Pioneer Women: Frances Hopkins

Mariposa Cnty - Monarch ButterflyMary Frances Sherwood (or Frances, as her husband always called her), and her bridegroom Mark Hopkins, departed New York by ship for California just hours after their wedding ceremony. Frances was 36 on her wedding day September 20, 1854—an age considered quite old for a bride—although presumably they had Continue reading Pioneer Women: Frances Hopkins

Pioneer Women: Laura de Force Gordon

butterflyPennsylvania born Laura de Force was 17 when her brother’s death in 1855 brought profound, and lasting, changes to her life view. Laura adopted Spiritualism, the comforting faith her grief-stricken mother turned to, a faith that not only promoted contact with the departed but espoused equality between genders. Continue reading Pioneer Women: Laura de Force Gordon

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