Post written and copyright by Doris McCraw
This past weekend I spent time with some amazing women who write about the experience of women in the West. The organization was celebrating its twentieth conference. It began when women authors wished to be acknowledged as writers of western fiction. The group grew and we are the recipients of their vision.
Some have called me a feminist. While not offended, I consider myself a historian who wants to have a more complete picture of what really took place as we grew as a nation. The energy I received from being around others who also tell the story, both as fiction and non-fiction spurs me forward in that quest.
This in no way is discounting what history has told us about Kit Carson, Red Cloud, Custer and any of the other figures in our history. This is about telling the other half of the stories, Helen (Hunt) Jackson, Isabella Bird, Nellie Cashman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nellie_Cashman and other women who also were part of the westward movement.
When I write of the women doctors, it is no way discounts Gardiner, Solly, Goodfellow http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_E._Goodfellow, but also adds Avery http://vcencyclopedia.vassar.edu/faculty/original-faculty/alida-avery.html, Preston, Spencer and others who worked at the same time as their male counterparts. I guess you could say I’m wanting to balance the scale, show that is took all people, to make the West, in fact all of what is our history. So was the 20th anniversary of the Women Writing the West http://www.womenwritingthewest.org conference a success, for me it was.
So until next time, here is to history, all of it.