Eva, the tattooed captive in Hell on Wheels TV series, existed once and become a celebrity. She died in 1903 of a heart attack.
Her true name was Olive Oatman and she was born in Illinois. When she was little, her family tried to move to California, searching a better life. But the Oatmans were attacked by Yavapai Indians at the Gila River (current Arizona) and she and her sister were enslaved. Time after, Olive wrote: they “took unwarranted delight in whipping us on beyond our strength.” She was a teenager and she suffered very much.
However, one year later, Yavapai Indians sold Olive to the Mohave Indians for two horses and three blankets. Surprisingly, she felt well among the Mohave people. Some historians have even said that she could suffered Stockholm Syndrome, a psychological illness where captives express empathy towards their captors.
Anyway, she always said that Mohave Indians treated her as one of their own, giving her a Mohave name and receiving a blue chin tattoo because Mohaves considered tattoos to be a form of identification in the afterlife.
In fact, when authorities from Fort Yuma, CA, finally liberated her, Olive cried.
When Olive arrived at Fort Yuma, she became an immediate celeb and a popular circus topic. Newspapers around US called her a hero and a victim.
Margot Mifflin writes in The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman that she finally married a rancher and moved to Texas. She died of a heart attack in 1903.
In Hell on Wheels TV series, Olive is called Eva Toole (née Oates) and her role is played by Robin McLeavy. She is a brave woman, who initially supports herself by working in the Hell on Wheels brothel.
Maybe you also like this post about Hell On Wheels Season 5. Read HERE: Real Brave Women In The Wild West. Who Was Mary Fields?
Enjoy your day, Yareah friends. Art is everywhere and up to you!