“A beautifully written, compulsively readable tale
that gives voice to this fascinating, larger-than-life figure
from a neglected corner of history.” – Indie Reader
The year is 1844. On a May midnight, Eliza Haycraft flings
herself into a canoe to escape a husband who beats her and a
life that does the same. She is penniless and illiterate.
Yet a decade later, sex and secrets will make her the
wealthiest woman in St. Louis, a frontier boom town at the
western edge of a restless nation.
In exotic New Orleans and then in St. Louis, with only
herself to rely on, Eliza becomes a prostitute and madam,
then a property owner and puller of strings. She tangles
with a vindictive rival and a governor who will become a
Civil War turncoat. Scarred by experience, she finds true
love but dares not admit it even to herself.
As civil war looms, tensions seethe. All know Missouri is a
prize the Union can ill afford to lose, where two great
rivers meet and home to a critical arsenal. Yet while the
state’s mind points toward the North, its heart beats for
the South. In Washington City, President Lincoln worries
that Missouri’s riven loyalty could determine the fate of
the entire nation. In St. Louis, Eliza faces a devastating
choice: whether to risk her own life for the survival of
everything—and everyone—she holds dear.
Though Eliza Haycraft lived two hundred years ago, her story
illuminates many of the issues of our day: nativism, racism,
sexual politics, even a pandemic. Yet at its heart, Eliza’s
is the tale of every woman who faces her challenges with
determination and savvy alongside vulnerability and
Inspired by a true story, The Unstoppable Eliza Haycraft
is the riveting tale of an extraordinary woman in antebellum
Missouri who allowed neither men nor society’s conventions
to keep her from cutting her own remarkable path…