TV’s Eva Toole Based on Historical Olive Oatman

If you’re a fan of the strong-willed tattooed character, Eva Toole, from TV’s western drama, Hell on Wheels, you may be interested to know that she’s based on a real person from America’s southwest.

Olive Oatman

In 1851, Olive Oatman was en route from Illinois to California with her family in the search for gold when they were ransacked by natives not far from modern-day Yuma, Arizona. Olive was traded to the Mohave Indians, from whom she received her iconic chin tattoo. Margot Mifflin’s The Blue Tattoo retells the story of Olive’s harrowing capture and eventual reassimilation into the old west’s white society.

Eva Toole, AMC's Hell on Wheels
Margot is an author, journalist, and professor who writes about women’s history and the arts, including Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo and The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman.  For information about working with Margot for your next event, contact Books In Common.

The Blue Tattoo: the Life of Olive OatmanMargot Mifflin, author of The Blue Tattoo

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