Williams, John, 1664–1729, American clergyman, b. Roxbury, Mass., grad. Harvard, 1683. In 1686 he became the first minister at Deerfield, Mass. During the great Native American massacre at that frontier town in Feb., 1704, he and his family were taken captive. Two of his children were murdered, and his wife was killed on the long journey to Canada. In 1706 he and his surviving children (except one, who remained with the Native Americans) were released. Williams returned to Deerfield. His story of his adventures, The Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion (1707), is one of the best known of the many accounts of Native American captivity.