Olive Oatman, ca. 1863


circa 1860: Studio portrait of Olive Oatman (1837 - 1903) who was the only member of her family to survive being captured by Yavapai Indians. She was sold to the Mojave tribe who treated her kindly but tattooed her chin with the mark of a slave. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)


Olive Oatman by Benjamin F. Powelson (58 State St, Rochester, NY), ca. 1863

Olive Oatman (1838–1903) was the first tattooed white woman in the U.S. After her family was killed by Yavapais Indians, on a trip West in the eighteen-fifties, she was adopted and raised by Mohave Indians, who gave her a traditional tribal tattoo. When she was ransomed back, at age nineteen, she became a celebrity.


CDV by Powelson, Rochester, NY, with inked identification (or possible signature?)  Olive Oatman / Rochesteron verso. She wears a dark dress, with vertical lines tattooed on her chin, a clear indication of her time as a captive. She appears a few years older than she does in the more commonly seen images.

Via: WikiCommons, The New YorkerSharlotArizona Historical Society, Live Auctioneers

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