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The Oatman Massacre: A Tale of Desert Captivity and Survival

The Oatman Massacre: A Tale of Desert Captivity and Survival
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Weight 0.75 lbs
 
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By: Brian McGinty

The Oatman Massacre is among the most famous and dramatic captivity stories in the history of the Southwest. In this riveting account, Brian McGinty explores the background, development, and aftermath of the tragedy.

Roys Oatman, a dissident Mormon, led his family of nine and a few other families from their homes in Illinois on a journey west, believing a prophecy that the would find the fertile Land of Bashan at the confluence of the Gila and Colorado rivers. The Oatmans eventually separated from their fellow travelers, and on February 18, 1851, a band of southwestern Indians attacked them on a cliff overlooking the Gila River in present-day Arizona. All but three members of the family were killed. The attackers took thirteen-year-old Olive and eight-year old Mary Ann captive and left their wounded fourteen-year-old brother Lorenzo for dead. After about a year, Olive and Mary Ann were traded to a Mohave Indian community, but only Olive lived to be rescued and reunited with her brother at Fort Yuma five years later.

Using diaries, letters, and other firsthand accounts, as well as recent studies of nineteenth-century southwestern Indian peoples, McGinty dispels myths and corrects omissions in earlier sensationalized versions of the story.

Other Information:
Published: 2005
Pages: 258

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