WHITE CAPTIVES (A Margaret K. McElderry Book) by Evelyn Sibley Lampman

WHITE CAPTIVES (A Margaret K. McElderry Book)

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It comes as something of a surprise to learn, finally, that the real Olive Oatman launched a lecture tour denouncing Indians after she was rescued from her years as a slave under Apache and Mohave masters. Here, though Olive never gets over her embarrassment at going half naked or her disdain for savage ways, she seems to share somewhat the author's romantic view of Topeka, the Mohave princess who takes a man's role in negotiating Olive's purchase from the Apaches and who must worry about becoming an old maid at the age of seventeen. And Olive even holds little animosity towards her tormentor, the Apache girl Toaquin who wants to revenge her sister's kidnapping by white men. Lampman has taken pains to modify existing accounts of Olive's suffering -- from malnutrition and cruelty as well as intended kindnesses, such as having her face tatooed for religious reasons -- with a more objective view of Apache and Mohave culture. The result is respectable both as anthropology and adventure, even if the softening of Olive's 19th century prejudices makes her seem somewhat more passive than her remarkable survival would indicate.

Pub Date: March 12th, 1975
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Atheneum