Silver Rush Girls. Throughout the California Gold Rush of this mid-1800s, 1000s of males headed west with gold dirt to them.

Silver Rush Girls. Throughout the California Gold Rush of this mid-1800s, 1000s of males headed west with gold dirt to them.

Exactly what about ladies? For all of these, the untamed western was not pretty much silver -it had been about finding a location where they are able to loosen their corsets and phone their shots.


Mary Ellen “Mammy” Pleasant started life as being a slave in Georgia, but her intelligence that is lively-not mention her beauty- caught the plantation owner’s attention. He sent her to Boston become educated, in which he had been appropriate, she was-smart that is smart never to get back. Rather, she married a rich black colored businessman. As he passed away, nice took her $50,000 inheritance -an unheard of sum during the time whenever few women that are black $15 in 30 days- and headed to San Francisco.

Nice shrewdly dedicated to “swank house that is boarding bachelors” and brought in females with appearance and course to help keep the guys company. Her homes attracted the rich and effective, including senators, judges, and importantly- financiers that are-most. While she poured brandies for visitors, nice listened for insider info on stock opportunities. Before long, she had accumulated a hefty profile and ended up being sharing guidelines normally as she received them. “the easiest method to get abundant with bay area,” stated one rich patron, “is to know Mammy.”


Historic documents state that Eleanor Dumont had been an attractive young girl whenever she left her New Orleans house when it comes to Ca silver areas. She relocated to san francisco bay area during the early 1850s chasing the passion for her life. “Not a guy,” stated Dumont, “but that glittery rock lying among the list of foothills of Gold nation.” Nevertheless the backbreaking life of the miner was not into the cards for Dumont. The thing that was? Cards! In 1854 she exposed a gambling den in Nevada City, Ca, and developed a scandal whenever she began working blackjack. The townspeople saw the lovely female dealer because of the French accent as a hazard for their marriages, even though the males cheerfully destroyed the silver they dug wanting to win the dealer’s heart. Not one of them succeeded. At the conclusion of every winning game of vingt-et-un (“21”), Dumont sat the loser down and had the bartender afin de him one cup of milk. “Any guy silly sufficient to get rid of their cent that is last to girl deserves a milk diet,” she liked to state.

By age 30, Dumont’s fortune as being a gold country gambler had made her a king’s ransom. It had additionally scrubbed away her looks that are good. She had plenty dark locks growing above her top lip, disgruntled gamblers started calling her Madame Mustache. Because the silver mines begun to play away, the amount of players dwindled. In 1877, Dumont played a hand of faro that lost her what money that is little had left. She finished her profession being a card shark and blended by by herself one cocktail that is last to own been half champagne and half cyanide.


Mary Ann Crabtree constantly wished to be an actress, but like the majority of females of her time, she abandoned her goals and only wedding. In 1852 she used her gold-hungry husband, John, to Ca. Whenever her child Lotta was created, Mary Ann put her energies into switching the girl that is little a celebrity. She enrolled Lotta in dancing classes, first in bay area after which in Grass Valley, but her hopes did not get traction until a practiced (and globe famous) entertainer known as Lola Montez relocated in across the street and taught little Lotta the jig that is irish.

It absolutely was the right party to discover. When you look at the 1850s, 50 % of Ca’s foreign-born populace ended up being Irish. Lotta’s first job: Dancing for Irish miners collected at Flippin’s Blacksmith Shop. She kicked up her heels, red curls bouncing, while hammers pounded on anvils into the back ground. The miners adored the litttle lady -she reminded many of daughters they’d put aside inside their search for silver. They revealed their admiration by tossing sacks of silver dust at her foot. After Lotta’s effective premiere, mary Ann dragged her child from a mining camp to a different. Pretty Lotta that is soon little was in $13 in gold each night -far more than her luckless dad had ever found. By age 12, Lotta happens to be an actress that is famous the only help of her moms and dads and two brothers, and also by age 23 she had been apparently making $80,000 per year.

Mother kept an eye on every cent Lotta spent or earned. She provided Lotta an allowance to call home on, but spent the majority of her earnings in property. She had been therefore enthusiastic about monitoring her child’s cash that after her husband “borrowed” a coins that are few she had him arrested for theft. Into the end, Mom’s money minding paid down big. Whenever Mary Ann passed away, Lotta unearthed that her investments had made her a king’s ransom. At age 45, with $2 million in assets, Lotta retired.