In this book frontier women gain a voice they never had. Professor Myers uses extensive new material by and about women--letters, journals, and reminiscences from over 400 collections--to study the impact of the frontier on women's lives and the role of women in the West. She offers a major reinterpretation of the experience of pioneer women, including that of Indian, Mexican, French, black, and Anglo-American women. Her account re-creates in detail the frontier experience of all these women, beginning with their physical and intellectual responses to the trek West, and concluding with their struggle for political suffrage and economic opportunity. Women moved from civilization to the frontier encumbered by more than baggage. they also had to overcome literary and social stereotypes depicting them as "sun-bonnet saints," "gentle tamers," or "silent partners." The real opinions and true feelings of frontier women in the West are carefully put forth in this book. We learn their views on wilderness, Indians, race, and religion as well as how they reacted to the daily challenges of keeping house, raising a family, and gaining a measure of equality. Sandra Myers perceptively reinterprets here the lives and impressions of a variety of frontier women, and colorful characters like Calamity Jane and Poker Alice. Her impeccable attention to historical detail combined with the sheer fascination of the materials and subject make a book that will appeal to many readers. Contains letters, journals, and reminiscences showing the impact of the frontier on women's lives and the role of women in the West.