July 18, 2021
Is it possible to sum up the entire Wild West experience for frontier females with ten to twelve scratchboards? I'm afraid not.
Okay, what about two dozen?
Daily Scratchboard Whip Outs:
"Women of The Wild West Collage #1"
Closer. Needs more Commanches. And, so it goes.
One thing is for certain. A certain writer has nailed the premise.
“The pioneer woman won her fight for freedom and equality by enduring with men the same deprivations and hardships,” wrote Nancy Wilson Ross “Her sacrifice and her trial became her opportunity for advancement.” And given an opportunity, she grabbed on and wouldn't let go. The West had four times as many female lawyers and twice as many
journalists and doctors as the East during the 1800s. The nation's first female office holders came from the West—including the first woman in Congress who took her seat at a time Eastern women couldn't even vote. Women owned land in the West, homesteaded on their own, ranched under their own brands, The West gave America its first professional female athletes, and while female suffrage
wasn't born here, the West is where it flourished.
By 1914, every Western state except New Mexico had given women full voting rights—the first being Wyoming in 1869, a full half century before the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920. To this day, you look at outstanding moments in women's history, and you find the West dominating. The first female member of the United States Supreme Court came from Arizona; the first female Speaker of the House came from California; the first female Secretary of State came from Colorado; and the first
female vice president of the United States of America is a California girl. We want readers to meet some of these women. This isn't going to be a complete history—you couldn't lift the book if we included everyone—but we will strive to give you a good and honest read on the accomplishments that are often ignored or minimized."
—Jana Bommersbach, an excerpt from her foreword in our forthcoming book, "Women of The Wild West"