African American Women of the Old West

Book Description

The brave pioneers who made a life on the frontier were not only male—and they were not only white. The story of African-American women in the Old West is one that has largely gone untold until now. The stories of ten African-American women are reconstructed from historic documents found in century-old archives. Some of these women slaves, some were free, and some were born into slavery and found freedom in the old west. They were laundresses, freedom advocates, journalists, educators, midwives, business proprietors, religious converts, philanthropists, mail and freight haulers, and civil and social activists. These hidden historical figures include Biddy Mason, a slave who fought for her family's freedom; Elizabeth Thorn Scott Flood, a teacher determined to educate black children and aid them in leading better lives; and the mysterious Mary Ellen Pleasant, a civil rights crusader and savvy businesswoman. Even in the face of racial prejudice, these unsung heroes never gave up hope for a brighter future.

About Wagner, Tricia Martineau

Tricia Martineau Wagner, a North Carolina author and presenter, is an experienced elementary teacher and reading specialist. She is a well-versed and entertaining speaker who brings history to life. She enjoys conducting presentations for schools and organizations around the country on the history of the Oregon Trail, African American Women born before 1900, and the Underground Railroad, as well as creative writing for grades three through twelve. For additional information or to book Ms. Wagner for an event please contact her at

Tricia has also written It Happened on the Oregon Trail and It Happened on the Underground Railroad. An Ohio native, she attended The University of Toledo and Miama University. She has lived most of her adult life in the Chicago and San Francisco area. She is an avid hiker and now makes her home in Charlotte with her husband, Mark; their children Kelsey and Mitch; and their puppy, Tiger.