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.