Wednesday, February 10, 2016

#WildWest #Women - Part 2

In the second part of the women of the Wild West, I'm bringing you four more well known women. Now they didn't all gun sling...but they made their way without needing a man to help them.

Pearl de Vere was another brothel owner in the mining town of Cripple Creek. However, rather than catering to outlaws and the usual clients, she made her living catering to mainly miners. Some of her girls were up to $200 a night (a lot of money back in those years). She had carpet, chandeliers, and intercoms. The Old Homesead was a great name for her brothel, especially since she told her parents she was working as a dress designer. Good thing there wasn't cell phones and SnapChat in the 1890's.

Pearl was also known as "the soiled dove of Cripple Creek."

Carrie Nation was known for something a bit different than these other ladies. She spoke out against alcohol. She'd been known to even go into bars and bash things up a bit, as well as destroy bottles of alcohol at her speaking "events."

Needless to say, she didn't live long enough to see the ban on alcohol.

Her claim was that new notions came directly from God and those that drank "got what they deserved."

Often thought to be a bit "off" she'd make a few extra bucks at her events by selling photos of herself and other souvenirs.

Point noted: both her mother and daughter did time in insane asylums.
Eventually she became a Sunday school teacher while her husband was a pastor. She also helped the poor and became a jail evangelist.

Sacagawea was also a very different type of "woman from the west" and one not heard too much of. She was one of the main reasons Lewis and Clark were successful.

She was not only their interpreter, but also their guide (yes...they needed a guide). In their journals, she is often referred to as "Snake Woman" (not uncommon for a Native American woman to be called in that time period).

Sacagawea was Shoshone and saved the expedition many times with her navigation skills, medicinal herb skills, and terrain knowledge. She even gave birth to her son while on this expedition, put him on her back, and continued on.

Unfortunately, she died at 24 due to an unknown illness.

On yet another different "famous female" we almost have to mention Laura Ingalls Wilder. I think most all of us have heard of her and many have watched Little House on the Prairie and maybe even read the books. While known as being a writer, her frontier struggles were very real. Moving to a homestead and growing up there, she's given most of us our most realistic view of the old west.

What many of us may not know, her most honest book - Pioneer Girl - tells a very different tale of her life on the prairie. It details a drunk man setting himself on fire, love triangles, domestic abuse, and more - many things that were common in the west - most didn't go to jail for beating their wife or children, and if they did, they didn't stay long.

Wilder censored her Little House on the Prairie books for children and I think, growing up, we all appreciated that.

1 comment:

Zina Abbott Author said...

Interesting post. I guess I better try to find a copy of PIONEER GIRL at my library. I don't recall reading that one when a girl.

Robyn Echols writing as Zina Abbott