The Oatman Massacre: A Tale of Desert Captivity and Survival
The Oatman massacre is among the most famous and dramatic captivity stories in the history of the Southwest. Roys Oatman, a dissident Mormon, led his ... Show synopsis The Oatman massacre is among the most famous and dramatic captivity stories in the history of the Southwest. Roys Oatman, a dissident Mormon, led his family and a few others on a journey west, believing a prophecy that they would find the fertile "Land of Bashan." On February 18, 1851, a band of southwestern Indians attacked the family 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. Ridding the legendary tale of its anti-Indian bias and questioning the historic notion that the Oatmans' attackers were Apaches, McGinty explores the extent to which Mary Ann and Olive may have adapted to life among the Mohaves and charts Olive's eight years of touring and talking about her ordeal.