Frontier Women: Twenty Six Classic Tales




Most stories dealing with life on the western frontiers feature men, but many women were there also. Native American women were born there and gradually encountered Caucasian and Afro-Americans as they surged West, Hispanics as they moved North, and Asians as they edged Eastward. While post-Civil War families moved West, many single women did likewise. They searched for husbands (after the Civil War there was a shortage of Eastern men), better opportunities (schoolteachers and nurses were needed), and free government land. And some young Asian women, hopefully with consent, were even imported from their native lands, as potential brides.

Much violence took place as Native Americans were pushed back and reduced in influence, but accommodations, friendships, and interracial marriages also took place.

Though some Caucasians, took Native American marriages seriously, and treated their wives well, most did not. Considering the tenor of the times, most Caucasian men wanted Caucasian wives.

A number of Afro-American men, on the other hand, had fled West to escape slavery before the Civil War and prejudice afterwards. They found greater acceptance from Native Americans and were more likely to be absorbed into their brides’ tribes. Of all interracial marriages during frontier days, however, generally the most acceptable seemed to be between Hispanics and Caucasians, though members of both groups still had an ethnocentric tendency to look down upon each other.

In our anthology, Caucasian women are featured in 11 stories (many more works were written about them). Native American women are featured in 9 stories. Hispanic women are featured 5 stories. And Asian women are featured in 1. (332 total pages; $22.96; ISBN: 978-1-943022-13-7)