Sunday, August 07, 2022

Coming Across Mrs. Mountain Charlie

 August 7, 2022

   Leave it to Jana to find some crazy, amazing stories for our book. Cathay Williams is one of them. In November of 1866 she enlisted in the 38th U.S. Infantry, better known as the Buffalo Soldiers, under the name William Cathay. She successfully passed as a man and became a cook stationed in New Mexico Territory. The ruse lasted almost two years and even though she was hospitalized several times, she was not found out until, many years later, when she tried to collect her pension. Oh, boy. She remains today the only known female Buffalo Soldier!

Daily Whip Out:

"Cathay Williams Rides As William Cathay"

   Cathay is not alone.

"I knew how great are the prejudices to be overcome by any young woman who seeks to earn an honest livelihood by her own exertions. I buried my sex in my heart and roughened the surface so that the grave would not be discovered...." 

—Elsa Jane Guerin, who successfully passed herself off as "Mountain Charlie"

Daily Whip Out:

"Mrs. Mountain Charlie"

   There are other examples, most notably, Calamity Jane, and there's even a stage robber who had a gang who thought their leader was a man.

Daily Whip Out: "Flora Quick"

"I do not wish women to have power over men: but over themselves."

—Mary Wollstonecraft

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:13 AM

    If Cathay Williams enlisted in an infantry regiment, shouldn't she be marching, rather than riding?


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