African American Women of the Old West
The brave pioneers who made a life on the frontier were not only male—and they were not only white. The story of African-American women in the Old West is one that has largely gone untold until now. The stories of ten African-American women are reconstructed from historic documents found in century-old archives. Some of these women slaves, some were free, and some were born into slavery and found freedom in the old west. They were laundresses, freedom advocates, journalists, educators, midwives, business proprietors, religious converts, philanthropists, mail and freight haulers, and civil and social activists. These hidden historical figures include Biddy Mason, a slave who fought for her family's freedom; Elizabeth Thorn Scott Flood, a teacher determined to educate black children and aid them in leading better lives; and the mysterious Mary Ellen Pleasant, a civil rights crusader and savvy businesswoman. Even in the face of racial prejudice, these unsung heroes never gave up hope for a brighter future.