Between 1840 and 1870, hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic dreamers embarked on a 2,000-mile journey into the wide-open frontier of the United States in search of free land, gold, adventure, and a better life. Although only a few women were numbered among the very first pioneers, those who did take the risk changed the face of the United States forever. The western woman left the restrictions and conventions of her way of life behind and carried the struggle of emancipation into areas sacred to the male. She competed in business and politics, bronco busting, smoking, drinking, gambling, and gun-toting. This book celebrates the stories of the nonconforming, gun-toting pioneers who settled the West.