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The Lives of Women in History

The Lives of Women in History

By April Rogers
Journey back in time as we take a look at the lives of women who helped settle the western frontier and beyond. The American frontier of the United States was the rough edge of a growing country. People came from the East and worked to make homes and new lives. The women who settled the west worked homesteads, raised families, and built communities.
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The Elusive Etta Place
Etta Place was the love interest of Harry Longabaugh aka the Sundance Kid. She was and where she was from is a mystery to this day.  The Pinkerton Detective Agency described her, in 1906, as having, "classic good looks, 27 or 28 years old, 5'4" to 5'5" [163–165 cm] in height, weighing between 110 and 115 lb [50 and 52 kg], with a medium build and brown hair." Join the conversation in The Lives of Women in History Facebook group.  Eamil at Twitter @womensettlers
April 26, 2022
The Love of Kid Curry's LIfe: Annie Rogers
Delta Moore, aka, Annie Rogers, was a soiled dove in Hell's Half Acre, in a brothel owned by Fanny Porter.  This short episode tells all that we know about Annie.  A well-read, intelligent, beautiful woman who kept the company of a brutal outlaw. Join The Lives of WOmen In History Facebook group or send me an email at  Follow on Twitter @womensetlers
April 24, 2022
The Wild Rose: Laura Bullion
Laura Bullion was born in Texas in 1876. Her father was an outlaw who died too soon and her mother was a wild lady who like to live it up with random boyfriends.  Often dropped on the doorstep of her maternal grandparents Laura learned to fend for herself.  Finding love in the arms of two infamous outlaws.   Join the discussion on Facebook in the Group The LIves Of Women In History or email comments or suggestions to
April 23, 2022
The Donner Reed Party pt 9: After the Rescue the Survivors Settle In
Only half of the Donner-Reed party survived that horrible winter at Truckee Lake and Alder Creek and most of them were women and girls.  Those that did survive went on to create a good life for themself in California.  Most achieved their goals and obtained land, opportunities, and prosperity.  That horrible winter shadowed them and made them famous insofar as fame existed at that time. Still, they did not let it rule their lives.  Each survivor had their own life to live and outside of their family, they did not keep in touch with one another.   
March 15, 2022
The Donner Reed Party pt 8: "Are you from California or are you from Heaven?"
James Reed and Aquilla Glover each lead a rescue team into the deeply snow-covered mountains in hopes of rescuing the remaining pioneers.  For many, it was too late but for the survivors, the rescue parties were a sight for weary eyes. The pioneers at Truckee Lake and Alder Creek had both reached the deepest darkest depths of desperation and given in to the last resort of cannibalism.  James Reed was reunited with his family and thankful they were all still alive.  Episode Cover Art: Tamsen Donner
March 09, 2022
The Donner Reed Party pt 7: "Were one to die, the rest might live."
Forlorn Hope has left the Donner-Reed party 15 strong, 5 women and 10 men. They had enough scraps of food to last 5 days which is what they estimated it would take to reach help.  30 days later they were down to 5 women and 2 men and had resorted to acts of cannibalism.  Cover photo is  
March 07, 2022
The Donner Reed Party pt 6: Trapped in Desperation and Despair
The Donner and Reed parties find themselves trapped near Truckee Lake. It is only November but winter snow has come early and trapped the pioneers in what can only be called hell.  Freezing and starving the families struggle to survive while clinging o the hope that a rescue party is not too far away.   A group of pioneers known as Forlorn Hope take the chance and go for help.  Off in the distance, the Paiute quietly watches in fear as the white settlers face death and an uncertain future. Cover Art image of Mary Ann Graves
March 05, 2022
The Donner Reed Party pt 5: Rock Upon Rock, Snow Upon Snow
James Reed has been banished from the group and had to leave his wife and children in the care of the others in the Donner Party. Just when the group thinks things are about to get better it starts all over again.  Teachers desserts to traverse with no food or water.  Then steep rocky mountains put the pioneers into even more danger. The snow begins to fall and the Donner-Reed party is trapped. 
February 28, 2022
The Donner Reed Party pt. 4: The Desert Banishment
The Donner Party has fallen even more behind.  As summer begins to fade into fall and the worry of winter quickly approaches the pioneers know they need to move fast.  They continue to follow the directions of Lansford Hastings and find themselves in the middle of the Great Salt Lake Desert with no water and little hope of making it out alive.  Tempers flair and James Reed is banished from the group to find his own way to California.
February 23, 2022
The Donner and Reed Party pt. 3: A Dangerous Shortcut
James Reed insists on taking the Hastings cutoff when most everyone is warning him not to. The party faces weeks of hardship traveling a path that no one knows and following the advice of a man who himself had not traveled the so-called shortcut.  
February 21, 2022
The Donner and Reed Party pt 2: Independence Points the Way
The Donner and Reed families have made it to Independence, Missouri. they joined a larger wagon train for safety and continued traveling west. Passing large landmarks like Courthouse Rock, Scott's Bluff, and Independence Rock they made it Fort Laramie.
February 15, 2022
The Donner and Reed Party: Preparing for the Journey
Meet James Reed and his family and George Donner and his family, plus several other families and hired hands as they prepare to travel 2500 miles across the country to California.  The journey is full of excitement and danger.  We will watch through the eyes of soon-to-be 13-year-old Virginia Reed as the families find themselves hopelessly lost in the Snow-covered land. 
February 10, 2022
Pearl Starr Pt.2
Pearl Starr Reed moves to Arizona where she makes the decision to find and write her daughter Mamie (Flossie Pearl).  A year after meeting her daughter that was given up for adoption Pearl dies.  
January 02, 2022
Pearl Starr Pt.1
We now transition to the life of the beloved daughter of Belle Starr Pearl Reed.  After her mother's death, Pearl moved to Arkansas to look for work. With limited options for employment Pearl found success.  She owned and operated her own business, bought property, was married three times, and gave birth to three children.
December 12, 2021
Belle Starr (and Pearl) Pt. 5
In part 5 of the series on Belle Starr, we learn of Pearl Reed's pregnancy and she quickly is pressured into marrying a much older man whom she has no interest in.  Sam and Belle Starr serve a year in prison for horse theft. Sam Starr is killed on Christmas Eve and Belle wastes no time marrying a much younger man named Jim July whose name she refuses to take.  Belle becomes concerned that someone she knows is going to try and kill her. 
December 01, 2021
Belle Starr Pt.4
Welcome to Part 4 of the Belle Starr series.  I hope you are enjoying this extended biography.  In this episode, Belle travels to Kansas border towns racing horses.  She meets and marries Bruce Younger and three weeks later moves to Indian Territory and goes from being Bellel Reed to Belle Younger to the legendary Belle Starr.  Also during this time the infamous hanging judge Issac Parker takes the bench in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
November 30, 2021
Belle Starr Pt. 3
We continue the story of Belle Starr.  Belle and her husband Jim moved to California hoping to hide out and start a new life.  But Jim is soon recognized and heads back to Indian Territory to hide out.  Belle follows and goes back to business as usual in Dallas and Scyene. 
November 28, 2021
Belle Starr Pt. 2
We continue our multi-episode series on Belle Starr.  In this episode, Belle marries Jim Reed and she gives birth to her daughter Pearl. 
November 27, 2021
Belle Starr Pt.1
Myra Maybelle Shirley was born on February 5, 1848, in Carthage, Missouri.  She was well educated and grew up in a family of SOuthern sympathizers and supporters of Slavery.  She eventually found her way to a life of petty crime, or really more like she just befriended a crowd of criminals.  Over the next few episodes, we will learn about the life of Belle Starr and then her daughter Pearl. 
November 27, 2021
Victoria WoodHull
Bonus Episode - Outlaw Woman, Bad Girls of the Frontier. In this Bonus Episode, we take a look at Victoria Woodhull and her sister Tennessee Claflin.  Victoria and Tennessee grew up with a con artist Pa and a religious fanatic Ma.  They claimed to have clairvoyant abilities and conned people all across the United States.  Victoria soon started speaking out about her beliefs that women should be able to practice "free love" and she tried to run for president. Please be aware that although there is no language used in this video there is limited talk of sex.
October 10, 2020
Sarah Winnemucca
This week we take a look at Sarah Winnemucca, a brave Native American woman not afraid to stand up and fight for the people she loved so dearly.  
October 09, 2020
Divorce to Work
In this episode we take a short look at the possibility of separation and divorce on the frontier as well as the different kinds of work women did on the frontier.  From setting up the home to gardening, plowing, caring for the animals, making soap, spinning yarn, sewing clothes, cooking every meal, and caring for the children of a growing family women endured many struggles and hardships. 
October 04, 2020
Family, Marriage, and Children
In this episode we take a peek behind the closed doors of the Pioneer Woman living on the Frontier. We will compare and contrast the lives of Anglo women, a Native American, woman, and a Hispanic Woman.   We look at how she struggled with the day to day living out West.  Then we will sneak a peek at marriage and childbirth.
September 20, 2020
Madam Moustache - Wild Women of the Frontier
Eleanora Dumont born around 1829 in parts unknown became a successful gambler and madam.
September 07, 2020
Cathay Williams: Buffalo Solider
Cathay Williams was born in 1844 as a slave.  During the Civil War she was impressed into service by the Union Army as a cook a laundress.  Once the war was over she found herself needing employment.  She joined the US Army in November 1866.  This is is story of the life of Cathay Williams.  The little that is known shows us the life of woman who wanted nothing more than to be self-sufficient.
February 17, 2019
Furnishing, Utilities, and Critters Oh My!
Furnishing their new home on the plains and in the west was an important step in creating a warm welcoming place for  woman's family.  But battling the issue of water, waste disposal, and lighting could be as worrisome as battling insects, rattle snakes, and critters large and small.
February 14, 2019
Nearing the End of the Trail
As the end of the trail drew near, thoughts of building a home topped the minds of the women.  The excitement of being off the trail soon turned to worry and sometimes dread at the task of turning earth into a home worthy of their families. 
February 09, 2019
Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon
Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon was a skilled physician, ardent suffragist, public health reformer, the first female senator from Utah, fourth polygamist wife of Angus Cannon, and mother of three. 
January 31, 2019
Cooking, Sleeping, Health and Child Birth on the Trail
Cooking provide to be particular hard on the trail.  Contending with wind, rain, and lack of adequate firewood made feeding a family more than just difficult.  Storms would sweep through the plains leaving everything in its wake wet.  Staying health from disease and child birth were dangers faced everyday. 
January 28, 2019
Nellie Cashman
The life of Nellie Cashman is a story of family, adventure, and freedom.  
January 27, 2019
Modes of Transportation
As families start the journey west many travel in covered wagons, Mormons walk pulling handcarts behind them, while others make the later journey via the railway.
January 26, 2019
This is a reupload of sources. Some how I managed to mess up my uploaded episodes.
January 24, 2019
Preparing For The Journey
Women prepare their families for the journey west.
January 24, 2019
Francis Boyd
Francis Boyd was a military wife. She followed her husband for 18 years as he served his country and helped tame the west.
December 20, 2018
Leaving It All Behind
In this episode we talk about women packing up their belongings and their families and moving away from all they know.
December 19, 2018