C – Charlie Parkhurst #AtoZchallenge

For the AtoZ challenge, I’ve selected past heroines who have captured our hearts or maybe scared the tarnation out of us. Either way, come have a seat On The Porch Swing and share your thoughts!

Charlie Parkhurst drove a stagecoach in California. Known as a ‘whip’, since they used the device to encourage their horses to go faster, Charlie was described by his friends as being small in stature, slim, and somewhat quiet. Though he could cuss up a storm.

After his death, during the preparation of his body for burial, the truth came out. Old, one-eyed Charlie was female. Yep, you read that right; he was a girl!

Now imagine, a ‘whip’ was an exclusive boy’s only club. Known as possibly the handler of a horse team, Charlie had bested most men. No, the revelation did not sit well.

Her* mother passed away shortly after she was born. And her father, having remarried, left her at an orphanage. She ran away at 12 and found work in someone’s stables where she learned all she needed to know about horses.

After making her way to California, her career as a whip lasted over 20 years. She chewed tobacco, gambled in cards / dice, and never missed work. Well… except for maybe the day after payday, when a hangover made driving too difficult. A rumor existed she even shot and killed a stagecoach robber.

Some folks believed Charlie, disguised as a man, was the first woman to vote.

What would you be willing to do or sacrifice to survive?

*Apologizes for the switched gender. Otherwise, it gets confusing in my mind.


About EmmlyJane

I believe in true love and happily ever afters. eReader. Favorite genre: historical romance.
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6 Responses to C – Charlie Parkhurst #AtoZchallenge

  1. denizb33 says:

    Great theme for the A-Z! Wish you could have done a few more 🙂
    Read your Chapter 1 below, too – sounds like a great story!

  2. What a great character! Love stories about women dressing as men to get by (maybe because I loved that Streisand movie back then… Yentl?). I would’ve loved to see more of your A-to-Z posts–you’re still in time to catch up 🙂
    Guilie @ Life In Dogs

  3. Kathryn says:

    What a great story, and what a gutsy woman. I wonder how many other women did things like that but never got discovered.

  4. Hi there!

    I’m dropping by from the A to Z Challenge. I am a 4th Degree Black Belt and a children’s book author…focusing on reviewing picture books for the challenge. Stop by my blog if you get the chance…;~)

    Take care,
    Donna L Martin

  5. abbyjreed says:

    WOW! Charlie sets the bar high. I totally thought this was a fictional character…..until I read the part about voting. Good for her for pursing her dreams as a whip.

  6. This was a great choice and a fun post! I love stories of women that had to pass off as men, I think it happened far more often that we imagine. Very cool choice as a theme for #a2zchallenge great to connect ! I am #1547 http://4covert2overt.blogspot.com/


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