Fearless Mary - The Story of Stagecoach Pioneer Mary Fields
Mary Fields, also known as Stagecoach Mary was the first African-American woman employed as a mail carrier in the United States. She was also just the second American woman mail carrier. Fearless Mary, a new children's book by Tami Charles celebrates the life of this inspiring and daring woman.
A little-known but fascinating and larger-than-life character, Mary Fields is one of the unsung, trailblazing African American women who helped settle the American West. A former slave, Fields became the first African American woman stagecoach driver in 1895, when, in her 60s, she beat out all the cowboys applying for the job by being the fastest to hitch a team of six horses. She won the dangerous and challenging job, and for many years traveled the badlands with her pet eagle, protecting the mail from outlaws and wild animals, never losing a single horse or package. Fields helped pave the way for other women and people of color to become stagecoach drivers and postal workers. Recommended ages 5-7 Order Here MORE ABOUT MARY FIELDS
Mary was born into slavery in Tennessee around 1832. Like many enslaved people, her exact birthdate is unknown as recording their births weren't a high priority. Not much is known about Mary's early life, but after the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation, she was freed and moved north in search of a better life.
When Mary was in her 60s, she got word that the postal service was in search of stagecoach drivers. Being a stagecoach driver was a HARD and dangerous job, but Mary was a strong and resilient woman.
Mary earned the job by beating out all of the cowboys. She was the fastest applicant to hitch a team of six horses. Mary's reliability and toughness earned her the nickname "Stagecoach Mary." Would-be mail thieves didn't stand a chance against Stagecoach Mary. She protected herself and the mail with her guns and her wits.
Stagecoach Mary paved the way for women and people of color to become stagecoach drivers and postal workers. Think of Mary Fields when you ship your packages or receive your mail. She was born enslaved in 1832, but died a legend in 1914. Fearless Mary by Tami Charles. Recently published (January 1, 2019) Order Here