The Blue Tattoo tells the harrowing story of this forgotten heroine of frontier America. Orphaned when her family was brutally killed by Yavapai Indians, Oatman lived as a slave to her captors for a year before being traded to the Mohave, who tattooed her face and raised her as their own. At nineteen, she was ransomed back to white society and became an instant celebrity, but the price of fame was high and the pain of her ruptured childhood lasted a lifetime. Her blue tattoo was a cultural symbol that evoked both the imprint of her Mohave past and the lingering scars of westward expansion as a reminder of her deepest secret, fully explored here for the first time: she never wanted to go home. The Blue Tattoo is the first book to examine her life from her childhood in Illinois, through the massacre, her captivity, return to white society, and her later years as a wealthy banker’s wife in Texas.