Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Women and Guns by Cynthia Hickey

Female Sharpshooters


History is full of women who did more than cook on the frontier. Most were quite handy with a gun. I thought it might be fun to point out some of them. Born during a time when women stood in the shadows of their rugged men, these trailblazers proved that they were as good - if not better - than their male counterparts. Some of them became legends as outlaws, shocking society with their ruthless and unladylike behavior. Still, some women became famous without shooting up the countryside.


Annie Oakley, a Quaker, retained her feminine dress, became a star attraction in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. After being the sole provider for her family, and paying off their home at a young age, she became known for her shooting skill. Annie Oakley met Native-American leader Sitting Bull in 1884, and he was so impressed with her manner and abilities that he "adopted" her and bestowed upon her the additional name "Little Sure Shot."


While there was no record of her ever actually having seen combat, Cathay Williams, became the first black woman Buffalo Soldier. It wasn’t until she became ill, that her identity was discovered and she was given an honorable discharge and became an army cook.


Belle Boyd became a spy during the Civil War, despite the notion that espionage was regarded as unhonorable as prostitution. She began spying for the Confederacy when Union troops invaded her Martinsburg, Virginia home in 1861. When one of the Federal soldiers manhandled her mother, Boyd shot and killed him.


Eleanore Dumont, called Madame Moustache, was known for her cool demeanor at the card tables, opening her own establishment in California. Stylish and aloof, she drew the gamblers in droves. Lonely, she finally fell in with a handsome man who turned out to be a con artist who swindled her out of her money. Never a timid woman, legend has it that she went after the cad, tracked him down and opened up on him with a double blast from a shotgun.


These are just a few of the women who carried a gun and stood up for what they perceived was their right, not conforming to the day's standards of typical woman's behavior. In my latest Heartsong release, In A Texas Ranger's Arms, my heroine is quite a good shot. What do you think of America’s pioneer women carrying guns? Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of In A Texas Ranger's Arms, and other great prizes. <a id="rc-0c1c490d0" class="rafl" href="" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
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 Multi-published and Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey had three cozy mysteries and two novellas published through Barbour Publishing. Her first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. Her third cozy, Chocolate-Covered Crime, received a four-star review from Romantic Times. All three cozies have been re-released as ebooks through the MacGregor Literary Agency, along with a new cozy series, all of which stay in the top 50 of Amazon’s ebooks for their genre. She has several historical romances releasing in 2013, 2014, 2015 through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents, and has sold more than 200,000 copies of her works. She is active on FB, twitter, and Goodreads. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs and two cats. She has five grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”. Visit her website at




  1. I think it was an important skill for pioneer women to be able to shoot guns. I know that for myself, understanding how a gun works and being able to shoot it makes me not fearful of them, but to have a healthy respect.

    Thanks for the giveaway! Your book sounds like one I'll enjoy!
    colorvibrant at gmail dot com

  2. I am all for women and their guns, then and now! Thank you, Cynthia, for the interesting post and the giveaway!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

  3. I loved learning more about these gun-toting women, Cynthia! Thanks for sharing.

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

  4. I think I woman knowing how to shoot was an asset for a pioneer woman. Fun post!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com