AND A GIVEAWAY OF MY VERY SPECIAL CHRISTMAS RELEASE…IF YOU READ THROUGH AND FIND OUT HOW!!!
We create characters for our books and we try so hard to make them fresh. Make them fun and interesting. Make them jump off the page. Sometimes we maybe go too far, make them too outrageous. Or maybe we hold back. Maybe we feel like, because we write fiction, our stories have to make sense.
And then we read about someone who really lived and realize the west was full of real characters. I think the west was for the strong. If you were tough enough you could be anything you wanted to be. And a case in point is the woman I want talk about today.
A friend, Cathy Richmond, is always on the lookout for fun stuff she knows I”d be interested in and for some reason that seems to mainly amount to her sending me links to odd occurances concerning GOATS.
But this time she sent me a link to information about Mary Fields. Also known as Black Mary, Stagecoach Mary and she was called White Crow by Native Americans because they said she acted like a white woman even with her black skin.
This woman is truly an almost unbelievable character and if she wasn”t REAL, if an author made her up for a book, people would scoff. But Mary Fields really lived.
Born a slave in Tennessee in 1832 she was raised with her master”s daughter, Dolly, and learned to read. She was freed in 1865. Her lifelong friend Dolly had become a nun and asked Mary to join her at the convent. Mary worked with the nuns and considered casino online them her family but she never became one of them, that might be because Mary liked to drink whiskey and roll her own cigars. She was a crack shot and she also had excellent survival skills learned during the hardest days of the Civil War. She could grow a garden, hunt for food and she knew herbal medicine.
Dolly was given a new job as Mother Superior in Montana. Mary remained behind, not wanting any part of the wild west but later, when Dolly became ill, Mary headed for Montana to care for her friend. In 1885, at age 53, Mary became a woman of the west and found the perfect life for herself.
Many considered her a great addition to the convent but her rough manners also drew criticism. There were several complains and after an incident with a male subordinate that “ending in gunplay” she had to leave her beloved Sisters.
Her first job was to open a restaurant but Mary was a poor business woman. Too softhearted for her own good, she would feed anyone who was hungry whether they could pay or not. She went broke within a year.
It turned out that Wells Fargo was hiring. She got the job by hitching up a six horse team faster than any of the younger men who were applying. At the age of 60 Mary Fields became the first black woman and only the second woman to be hired as a stagecoach driver. She was given a treacherous route from Great Falls to Fort Benton, Montana delivering the mail. Mary delivered the mail along that route for nine years until the age of 69. She never missed a day of work.
She became famous for her mule named Moses, the gun she carried, a pet eagle and the buffalo hide dress she”d made herself. She also delivered the mail to a young Gary Cooper who grew up in a home along her route and he wrote an article about Stagecoach Mary for Ebony Magazine in 1955.
Mary retired in 1901 and died in 1914 at age 82. One of the great characters of the west.
AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!
I just got my authors copies of Alaska Brides Collection. I have one book in this five book collection. It”s Golden Days, a formerly released book, my very first contracted book so it is very dear to my heart.
My publisher has gathered five romances set in Alaska into one book and made such a beautiful edition of it. This picture doesn”t do it justice. Foil lettering on the cover, deckled edges on the pages, that means kind of lacy, very pretty, and folded over covers on the front and back. A really lovely gift book. And today I”m having the first ever give-away. Leave a comment to get your name in the drawing…or