Women in American History

American Progress

American Progress

“Cautious, careful people, always casting

about to preserve their reputations …

can never effect a reform.”

— Susan B. Anthony

Limited in their legal rights and accepted customs of society at the time, women mostly honored their husbands’ demands and spent their time cooking meals, tending to children, watering the horses, and taking care of the household chores.

But, that was not always the case. There are hundreds of women who stand out in American History due to their strong characters, contributions to society, or plain old interesting personalities. From the hardy pioneers who crossed the vast prairies and mountains heading westward, to nurses, abolitionists, stagecoach drivers, and even a few doctors and soldiers, you’ll find their stories here.

For those less fortunate, forced by circumstance, need, and sometimes adventure, you’ll also find female outlaws, gamblers, powerful Madams, their brothels, and a bevy of soiled doves. In the days when the West was ruled by the gun, it took a woman of great character and a strong resolve to survive.  


Revolver Girl

Revolver Girl

List of Historic Women

Full Articles:

Susan “Doc Susy” Anderson – Frontier Physician

Susan B. Anthony – Political Activist

The Battle Against Corsets

Mary Bickerdyke – A Civil War Hero

Big Nose Kate – Doc Holliday’s Sidekick

Anne Bonny – Lady Pirate

Lizzie Borden – Killer of Fall River, Massachusetts?

Sarah A. Bowman – Camp Follower of the American West

Calamity Jane – Rowdy Woman of the West

Cattle Kate – Mystery of a Lynching

Kate Carmack – Discovering Gold in the Klondike

Nellie Cashman – Pioneering the Mining Camps of the Old West

Mary Ann Shadd Cary – Activist, Teacher, & Writer

Mary Colter – Architect of the West

Phoebe Couzins – Lady Law

Diamond Lil Davenport – Madam of Skagway, Alaska

Deadlier Than the Male – Female Spies During the Civil War

Lottie Deno: Queen of the Paste Board Flippers

Eleanore Dumont – Madame Mustache Plays the West

Hannah Dustin’s Revenge

Fannie Echols – First Woman Sentenced to Hang at Fort Smith

Pearl Hart – Lady Bandit of Arizona

Josephine Hensley, better known as Chicago Joe

Josephine Hensley, better known as Chicago Joe

Josephine “Chicago Joe” Hensley – Queen of Helena, Montana

Heroines of the Southwest

Heroines Across the Plains

Heroines in the Rocky Mountains

Zee James – Jesse’s “Poor” Wife

Lady Marshals of Indian Territory

Leading Madams of the Old West

Kitty Leroy – Lady Gambler & Gunfighter

Queen Liliuokalani – Last Royal Ruler of Hawaii

Lozen – Apache War Woman & Prophet

Susan Magoffin – Recording the Santa Fe Trail

Monument to a Prostitute in Lusk, Wyoming

Mattie Silks

Mattie Silks

Painted Ladies of the Old West

Painted Ladies of Deadwood Gulch

Susan La Flesche Picotte – First Native Physician

Typhoid Mary Mallon – Spreading the Fever

Etta Place – Hanging With the Sundance Kid

Pocahontas – Legendary Indian Princess

Fannie Porter – San Antonio’s Famous Madam

Annie Rogers and the Bank Dick

Betsy Ross & the Nations First Flag

Poker Alice – Famous Frontier Gambler

Sacagawea – Leading Lewis & Clark

The Journal of Sedona Schnebly

Sacagawea guided Lewis and Clark on their expedition  of 1804-06

Sacagawea guided Lewis and Clark on their expedition of 1804-06

Sally Skull – The Scariest Siren in Texas

Some Remarkable Women in Pennsylvania & Kentucky

Belle Starr – The Bandit Queen

Helen J. Stewart: First Lady Of Las Vegas

Baby Doe Tabor & the Tabor Triangle

Texas Madam, Squirrel Tooth Alice

Timeline of American Women in History

Harriet Tubman – Moses of the Underground Railroad

Pearl de Vere – Madam of Cripple Creek, Colorado

Sarah Rosetta Wakeman – Fighting in the Civil War

C.J. Walker (Sarah Breedlove) – Blazing a Path in Business for Women

Mary E. Walker – Brave Surgeon of the Civil War

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder – Celebrated American Author

Cathay Williams – Female Buffalo Soldier

Victoria Woodhull – First Woman to Run For President

Woman As A Pioneer

Women of the Klondike Gold Rush

Women in the Army

Women in the Homestead

Women on the Move: Overland Journeys to California

Women on the Santa Fe Trail

Women’s Suffrage in the United States

The Woman Suffrage Parade of 1913

See our Women in History Photo Gallery HERE

Also See:

Nine Important Women in American History You May Not Have Heard of

American History

Historic Women Photo Gallery

Who’s Who in American History