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Pioneering American Women

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  • Edith Abbott, PhD, Dean Social Service Admin (1875 - 1957)
    Miss Abbott was born to a family of activists in Grand Island, Nebraska, in the shadow of the Overland Trail. Her father, fresh from the Union army, served as the fledgling state's first lieutena...
  • Biddy Mason (1818 - 1891)
    1880 Census: SOURCE : "United States Census, 1880," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 18 May 2015), Biddy Mason in household of William Sargent, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, Un...
  • Mary Jane Blake (1834 - 1891)
    Mary Jane Safford-Blake (December 31, 1834 – December 8, 1891) was a school teacher, a prominent nurse in the Union army and worked closely with Mary Ann Bickerdyke treating the sick and injured...
  • Anne Royall (1796 - 1854)
    Anne Newport Royall, born in western Virginia in 1796, became the first well-known travel writer. From 1821-1826, Royall traveled throughout the United States reporting on her findings, adventures, a...
  • Lydia Darragh (1729 - 1789)
    I wrote this based upon my research. -Elizabeth R. Laumas Although the Darragh family were Quakers, and thus, pacifists, their son Charles fought in the Revolutionary War. During the year 1777, whe...

As the first Europeans landed and began their westward push, women were placed on the edge of hardship and danger. They took care of their families, and defended them.

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.

These include women like the "Unsinkable" Molly Brown, Calamity Jane, songstress Lilly Langtry, cattle rustlers, gamblers, and Hannah Dustin, who killed her Indian captors and returned home.