Posted by: unclesamshistory | August 8, 2011

Frontier Women

Living on the frontier was no easy task. Strong men
were known to give up and return East, not being able to endure the hardships.
How much harder was it for a woman?

Our image of the ladies of the frontier has been
distorted by the movies. Growing up I never missed a Saturday afternoon at the
movies. Westerns were always playing. The heroines never had a hair out of
place nor a smudge on their face. Really, now that’s hard to believe.

During the War for Independence many frontier men
were in the army leaving their families unprotected. Throughout Pennsylvania cabins
were scattered in the hills, so it was common practice for two or more families
to live together. One such group had gathered at Experience Bozarth’s cabin in
Dunkard’s Creek, rural Westmoreland County, now part of Washington County.
Three families had come together there for protection as renegade bands of
Indians roamed the countryside. It was March and the children were playing
outside when suddenly a couple came running into the house crying that some
ugly red men were outside.

There were two men in the house and one stepped to
the doorway where he immediately received a musket ball in the side. This put
him down and an Indian was at once on him trying for his scalp. The other man
grabbed the Indian and threw him on the bed calling for Mrs. Bozarth to get him
a knife. No knife was available but Bozarth found an ax and with a blow to the
Indians head ended that fight. Now another Indian came through the door and she
swung the ax again disemboweling him.

Other Indians who had been outside killing the
children came running to the cabin. The first one to stick his head in the door
received the sharp edge of Bozarth’s ax. The remaining Indians pulled their comrades
outside and those inside were able to slam the door and bolt it. Where they
remained under siege until a relief party arrived.

Frontier women were hardy, tough and resourceful we
can be thankful and grateful for them.

To read more about frontier life please visit my web
site www.samhossler.com

Until next time –

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Responses

  1. Sam, this is so interesting. Thanks for sharing through this blog.


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