This Courageous Fighter Survived The Harsh Frontier


When Mary Fields was orphaned in her youth, she escaped the harsh bondage of Tennessee slavery with no family to speak of.

Popping up in Toledo, Ohio, at the steps of the St. Peter’s Mission School, the Catholic nuns in charge soon learned that this special woman was nobody’s charity case.

She worked for the convent for years, building a bond with the nuns who loved her unconditionally despite regularly reprimanding her for cussing and fighting.

When the nuns moved west to Montana, Mary quickly adopted a career that suited her better than any other.

In 1895, the U.S. postal service needed strong and reliable mail coach carriers to deliver packages across untamed and dangerous frontier routes. 

Being the first Black woman to take on such a risky job earned her notoriety as the legendary “Stagecoach Mary.” 

Thieves, wild animals, and freezing weather never stood a chance against her two six-shooters,  ten-gauge shotgun, and short temper!

It’s why one of the most popular old Western film stars, Gary Cooper, called her “one of the freest souls to ever draw a breath or a .38.”

Stagecoach Mary was a pioneering rebel that bravely refused to bend to what society insisted a woman should be. She challenged gender stereotypes way before it was trendy to do so, and was a badass while doing it.

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