Wicked Women: Notorious, Mischievous, and Wayward Ladies from the Old West
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This collection of short, action-filled stories of the Old West’s most egregiously badly behaved female outlaws, gamblers, soiled doves, and other wicked women by award-winning Western history author Chris Enss offers a glimpse into Western Women’s experience that's less sunbonnets and more six-shooters. During the late nineteenth century, while men were settling the new frontier and rushing off to the latest boom towns, women of easy virtue found wicked lives west of the Mississippi when they followed fortune hunters seeking gold and land in an unsettled territory. Prostitutes and female gamblers hoped to capitalize on the vices of the intrepid pioneers. Pulling together stories of ladies caught in the acts of mayhem, distraction, murder, and highway robbery, it will include famous names like Belle Starr and Big Nose Kate, as well as lesser known characters.
which the bullet had come. Alice stared back at him, her .38 pistol pointed at his head. The man fell face first onto the floor. His dead body was quickly removed to make way for another player. In a matter of minutes, the action inside the tavern returned to normal. Tubbs caught Alice’s gaze and grinned. He nodded to her and waggled his fingers in a kind of salute. She smiled slightly and turned her attention wholly back to the poker game in front of her. Alice Ivers never sat down to play
Rogers’ palace of joy on Market Street and there disport themselves in riotous fashion . . .” Rocky Mountain News, 1890 A blood orange sun shone down on the dusty, main thoroughfare in Denver, Colorado. Miners and townspeople scurried about with their daily activities, pausing every so often to talk with friends and acquaintances. A sudden commotion at the end of the street drew attention away from their regular routine. An open, horse-drawn coach carrying a host of overly painted girls rolled
o’clock this morning and washed out old Cad Thompson’s whorehouse—gave her hell—created quite a consternation among the law and order portion of the community—not the end of it yet. We shall have to see who rules the city, the rough or the decent men.” Cad rebuilt the Brick and purchased two other houses. In August 1878, eleven years after the fire, her only child, Henry—a twenty-two-year-old alcoholic—committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest. He was still clinging to life when the
Tom’s feet, dead. The sound of the gun firing drew the attention of the next-door n Gambling parlors like this re-created version at the Colorado History Museum in Denver lured Old West travelers inside with tasteful decor; an array of alcohol; a clean, unmarked deck of cards; and a stunning woman to blow on the dice for good luck. The Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, X-757 eighbors, and they hurried to the scene. According to the May 20, 1887, edition of the Salida
the Owl “The gambler is a moral suicide.” Reverend Charles Caleb Colton, 1832 On July 9, 1871, two ragged, down-and-out prospectors walked into the Bank of California in San Francisco and approached a dignified-looking clerk waiting behind a giant oak desk. The two hungry-looking men quietly inquired about renting a safe deposit box. The clerk eyed the unkempt miners suspiciously before answering. “Why would you need such a box?” he asked impolitely. The men exchanged a knowing look and,