Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Another Western Wednesday...!

Come to find out, not all the "bad guys" in the Old West were guys, after all!

Even though you don't often hear of them, there was a few women that were actually "bad guys!" I couldn't fined a picture of this woman, but her history is interesting and would make a good western movie!

May 30, 1899:
Pearl Hart holds up an Arizona stagecoach

On this day, the amateur bandit Pearl Hart and her boyfriend hold up an Arizona stagecoach.

Little is known about Pearl Hart's early life. She was born in Petersborough, Ontario, in 1871, and moved to Toronto as a child. She eloped when she was 16, but her husband abused her and the marriage did not last. Eventually, Hart took up with a dance-hall musician and minor gambler named Dan Bandman, and in 1892 the couple moved to Phoenix, Arizona. When Bandman left to fight in the Spanish-American War, Hart relocated to the Arizona mining town of Globe, where she began an affair with a German drifter named Joe Boot.

Short on money, the couple determined to hold up a stage, though neither of them appears to have had any prior experience as robbers. On this day in 1899, Hart (dressed as a man) and Boot stopped a stage on the run between Globe and Florence. After taking $421 in cash from the three passengers, Hart took pity on them and handed back $1 to each so they could buy something to eat when they arrived in Florence.

Unskilled in the art of the getaway, Hart and Boot left an obvious trail and the sheriff of Pinal County arrested the couple four days later. Boot was jailed in Florence, but since the town had no detention facilities for women, Hart was jailed in Tucson. Within several days, Hart had apparently charmed several men into helping her and she escaped. Her freedom, however, was short-lived. A lawman recognized her in Deming, New Mexico, and returned her to Tucson.

Tried and convicted in a Florence court, Boot was sentenced to 30 years and Hart to five. Neither served out their terms. After several years of good behavior, Boot was made a trusty and walked off while doing fieldwork, never to be heard from again. After about a year in prison, Hart became pregnant. Eager to save the Arizona Territory the embarrassment of having to explain how Hart arrived at this condition while imprisoned, Governor Alexander O. Brodie pardoned her on December 19, 1902.

Hart's life after her release is shrouded in myth. According to the romantic version, Hart leveraged her single experience as a stage robber into a career in show business, billing herself as "The Arizona Bandit." Some said she traveled for several years on the vaudeville circuit, others that she toured briefly with Buffalo Bill's Wild West show. Historians have been unable to verify either of these claims. The more mundane but likely version has it that Hart quickly married an Arizona rancher named Calvin Bywater and settled down to a quiet life of domestic bliss. If Mrs. Cal Bywater was indeed Pearl Hart, she lived into her 80s and other people described her as "soft-spoken, kind, and a good citizen in all respects."

So much for the myth of the "weaker sex", right?

I suggest we have our morning coffee on the patio, if that's alright with all of you!

8 comments:

Phyllis (N/W Jersey) said...

My, my .... what a busy lady! You're right, her life would make a good movie. Thanks for the story! Coffee on your patio is fine, ours is all wet from the thunderstorms last night. I'll bring the honey bread.

Ben in Texas said...

Dieing to see that movie.You going to write the screen play for it Hermit?
You got some great names to play with in the script.
Pearl Hart, Dan Bandman, Joe Boot. Those names are just begging to be in a movie and become legends.

Momlady said...

Heh, heh, who said women are the weaker sex?

JOJO said...

There is a book about all bad women of the West. Unfortunate I don 't have the book with me here. But it talks about lots of women who did all kinds of nasty things. :0
Coffee on the patio sound nice.

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
Too bad she didn't make a very good bandit! Probably just a bad choice of partners!

Honey bread sure sounds good!

Thanks for the visit this morning!


Hey Ben...
I think I could probably write the screen play. How could you miss with those real names?

Thanks, buddy, for coming over this morning!


Hey Momlady...
Having been married more than once, it certainly wasn't me that said it!

Thanks for your visit today!


Hey JoJo...
I believe that women, when given the chance, could be just as mean as the men!

Probably more true back in the old days, but I don't know for sure!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming over this morning!

Dizzy-Dick said...

I the animal kingdom, the males fight for territory or a harem, but never to the death. It is the females that fight to the death of one or both. Don't mess with those ladies.

HermitJim said...

Hey Dizzy...
Female lions do most of the hunting as well! The the male comes along and gets the choice cuts all to himself!

Hey, thanks for coming over today!

Anonymous said...

Rudyard Kipling's poem
"the female of the species"