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Sale 2533 Lot 2
(AMERICAN INDIANS.) Stratton, Royal B. Life among the Indians: Being an Interesting Narrative of the Captivity of the Oatman Girls, among the Apache and Mohave Indians. 12 text illustrations. 183 pages. 12mo, plain contemporary cloth, worn; moderate foxing, minor dampstaining and wear, a few light pencil marks, several closed tears, leaf A3 defective, lacking final leaf, with the final remaining leaf partly adhered to the rear pastedown; early ownership inscription on title page. San Francisco, CA: Whitton, Towne & Co., 1857
Estimate $3,000 - 4,000
First edition. A somewhat defective copy of an important book, one of the great rarities among the early Indian captivity accounts. In 1851, a party of migrants from a Mormon splinter group was attacked by a group of American Indians while travelling across what is now Arizona. Most of the Oatman family was killed. 13-year-old Olive and her sister Mary Ann were enslaved and later sold to Mohaves in California. There Mary Ann starved to death, and Olive received a blue tattoo on her chin. Upon her return to white society in 1857, she discovered that her brother Lorenzo had also survived the massacre. Her story was published by pastor R.B. Stratton and went through numerous editions, earning her enough in royalties to cover her college tuition. She toured the country as a speaker, and her face tattoo made her an iconic curiosity--probably the first white American woman to be seen with a tattoo. Graff 4006; Greenwood 884; Howes S1068 ("d"--"very rare . . . obtainable only with great difficulty"); Sabin 92743; Streeter sale V:3182; Wagner-Camp 294:1. This first edition not listed in Ayer's Captivity Narratives or the supplement. Only 2 other copies traced at auction since 1954: the Streeter copy and the Siebert-McKinney copy.