Covered Wagon Women: Diaries & Letters from the Western Trails 1854-1860, Vol. 7, edited by Kenneth L. Holmes


Some of the women traveling west in the late 1850s were strong advocates of equal rights for their sex. On the trail, Julia Archibald Holmes and Hannah Keziah Clapp sensibly wore the “freedom costumes” called bloomers. In 1858, Holmes joined the Pikes Peak gold rush and was the first woman of record to climb the famous mountain. Educator Hannah Clapp traveled to California with a revolver by her side, speaking her mind in a letter included in this volume, which is also enriched by the trail diaries of seven other women.

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