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Books Based on the Mercer Girls Story

I have had many request for the names of books written about the Mercer Girls. There are not any non-fiction books written specifically about the girls. The girls are mentioned in almost every book written on the history of Seattle, but the information is very sparse.

There are several fiction books that used the Mercer Girls story as the basis for a story line.

On this page I will list a few of the books that I know about, with a brief description. If you know of any others please email me and I will include them.

Runaway Voyage was published by William Morrow and Company in 1978. Basing her novel on the voyage of the Mercer Maids, the author, Betty Cavanna, views the journey through the eyes of a frightened runaway.

An exploited maidservant, Eliza decides to flee her misery and join the venture of Asa Mercer and his girls. She manages to wangle a job aboard the ship as a laundress and make her way to Seattle to make a new life for herself in frontier country.

Petticoats West was published by Julian Messner, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. in 1963. The author, Olive Burt, takes you along as her fictional character, Abigail Cabot from Boston, makes the trip to Washington Territory with Asa Mercer.

Seattle Green was published by Arbor House in 1987. The author, Jane Adams, writes of three generations of women - their struggle for power, their timeless passions - amid the awesome splendor of Seattle's frontier. The first of the three, Maddy, makes her way to Seattle via the ship "Continental" with Asa Mercer and his group of young ladies.

Cargo of Brides was published by Little, Brown & Companny (Canada) in 1956. Helen Rucker writes the story of Marianna Bancrof, a spirited redhead of seventeen who in 1865 left the shelter of her well-bred Boston home to venture West. She was not alone. She went with one of the most colorful groups ever to settle in Washing Territory -- or indeed, in any territory -- the celebrated Mercer Girls.

Peri Muhich
Seattle, WA

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