Eliza by Tom Jiroudek




Author Tom Jiroudek and his wife Laurie own the Bald Eagle Coffee House in Cannon Beach. This story is about Laurie’s family, the Spaldings.

Eliza is an epic saga about the first pioneers to travel from New York to Vancouver, Washington, along the Oregon Trail. Eliza Spalding and Narcissa Whitman were the first two women to undertake this perilous journey. They came from affluent and loving families, leaving behind the comfort and safety of everything they had known. They ventured into an unknown world of danger and isolation that we can scarcely imagine. Eliza is a story of courage, commitment, and survival. It is also the story of the Spalding’s relationship with the Nez Perce Indians and the Nez Perce’s deep and abiding respect for all living things. In 1847 the infamous Whitman Massacre occurred, in which the Whitmans were both killed, leaving no descendants behind. Because of the courage of ten-year-old Eliza Spalding, the lives of fifty-four women and children were saved. Eliza is a biographical novel told through Eliza‚Äôs eyes. The Spalding descendants would become an important part of Northwest history, weaving a tapestry of human experience unlike any other, and it all began with the Oregon Trail.