Frontier Woman

I've had this since about 1996 when it was posted on an e-mail list. I've never been able to locate the author. If someone knows who wrote this will they please let me know so I can give credit to the author?


She was a stranger to buttons and bows, but she was queen of the wild frontier.

She was the axman's woman, the pioneer's wife. She had no name, yet she had many.

She was Daniel Boone's Rebeccah and Davy Crockett's Polly. She was your great-great-grandmother and mine. She was a Biblical wife, and she told her husband: "Your sorrows will be my sorrows, and your joys will be my joys."

The gold band on her finger encompassed a lifetime's fidelity.

She came this way before there was a light or a hearth or a roof. She knew the meaning of suffering and travail, and she was a sister to loneliness, yet she never complained.

She was a heroine who, for the most part, was passed up by the history books, because the things she did were the things expected of her. She fought Indians, defended her home and her children, hefted an ax, sometimes followed the plow, stood at a spinning wheel and sat at a loom.

She was a shoemaker, a tanner, a dressmaker, a miller, a farmer, a trapper, a nurse, a preacher, an undertaker or anything else that the occasion might demand.

Her hands were callused with toil and browned from exposure. She hunted wild greens, picked wild berries and gathered nuts for the winter's store. She made candles and soap.

She told time by the shadow falling through the open door on the puncheon floor. Her calendar was the mantlepiece, notched and re-notched. She remembered the years by a death, or when the big snow came, or by a birth.

She had no time for dreaming, albeit all women dream. She drew her satisfaction from the things she did for her family.

Her day began at the first cock's crow and ended long after darkness.

She knew her Bible from "kivver to kivver." She read from it nightly, gathering her flock about her, setting aside a few minutes of her precious time so her children would not be ignorant of the word of God.

She knew the old ballads that had been fetched over from Scotland and England, and these she sometimes sang, if she wasn't too tired. She sang of fair ladies and bold knights, of fine silks and satins, this woman who only knew homespun and calico.

The frontier woman and the frontier have long disappeared. Now, there are only memories of them.

Dividing Line

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