By Field, Corinne T.; Syrett, Nicholas L
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23 Even more significantly, Johnson reports that “during his absence he had entirely forgotten the English language, spoke a little broken French, but was perfect in Indian. 25 Sylvanus Johnson appears to have been a very good Indian child, a boy adaptable enough to survive the challenges and hardships of three different border crossings in the northeastern borderlands during the Seven Years War. Did he view his return to Anglo-American society as a “redemption” from captivity, or was his removal from the French and Indian communities he lived in Age and Captivity in Colonial Warfare | 35 retraumatizing, an event that placed him once again among people who were strangers to him and whose language he no longer spoke?
S. states also stipulated that brides under eighteen or grooms under twenty-one needed parental consent to marry. 40 Age and Captivity in Colonial Warfare | 41 Finally, just as in European and Euro-American communities, marriage marked the end of childhood for Native people as well. Wabanaki people appear to have had an especial reverence for the transition from the unmarried to the married state, suggesting that they too saw a great deal of the work of childhood and adolescence as complete or nearly complete once men and women made the decision to marry.
Seven as an age and as a number with spiritual meaning retained its power through the Reformation; Keith Thomas has argued that in early modern England, “[a]ges involving multiples of seven were deemed climacteric years, dan- 32 | Ann M. ”17 Perhaps because of its religious significance, seven was widely understood in early modern Europe as the appropriate age at which to begin elite formal education for both girls and boys, with girls perhaps starting their educations a little later. Boys in Renaissance Florence entered boarding schools at age seven, as did both girls and boys in eighteenth-century France.