Pioneer Women: Mary Ellen Pleasant

Welcome ScanNot content to simply speak out for civil rights, Mary Ellen Pleasant personally advanced the cause in California, following the Civil War.  “I am a whole theater to myself,” she reportedly said in her later years, boasting of her many successes. When a San Francisco bus driver denied her a seat in 1866, she went to the Continue reading Pioneer Women: Mary Ellen Pleasant

Pioneer Women: Margaret Frink

CA poppy close viewAlthough they owned a successful mercantile in Indiana, and were a bit older than the average gold-rusher, Margaret and her husband Ledyard were just as excited by the California gold discovery as everyone else. Despite the foreboding of friends and family, the couple purchased a custom wagon with storage Continue reading Pioneer Women: Margaret Frink

Pioneer Women: Eliza Farnham

FlowerEliza Farnham was just 28 when she was appointed Women’s Warden of New York’s infamous Sing Sing prison in 1844, a post she was sacked from within four years because of her passionate prison reform views. In the interim she gave birth to a disabled son, her second living child. Her husband Thomas Jefferson Continue reading Pioneer Women: Eliza Farnham

Pioneer Women: Eliza Gregson

covered wagonAs a young teenager, English-born Eliza Marshall emigrated to the United States with her family, settling in Rhode Island. At nineteen she wed James Gregson, a blacksmith by trade. A year later the couple moved to Illinois, but Eliza wanted no part of working in the cotton mills, and feared her husband “wasn’t stout enough” for heavy blacksmith’s work. Indeed, James was often ill Continue reading Pioneer Women: Eliza Gregson

Pioneer Women: Sarah Wallis

White RoseNineteen-year-old Sarah Montgomery and her husband Allen were members of the Stephens-Murphy-Townsend Party, the 1844 wagon train that was the first company to bring wagons over the Sierra Nevada. After weeks of arduous travel, and months spent at a temporary camp near the Yuba River, Sarah and several Continue reading Pioneer Women: Sarah Wallis