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Letter: Remembering Stagecoach Mary

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

Has the name Mary Fields ever come up in conversation? Or in your travels? She was a very unusual woman who played a vital role in American history, and in winning and taming the Old Wild West.

Ms. Mary Fields, a freed slave, was born in Hickman County, Tennessee, around 1832 and she dabbled in many things in her lifetime: she was a freighter, a cook, a domestic worker, a failed restaurateur, and a trailblazing Star Route Mail Carrier. In fact, she was the first African American Star Route Mail Carrier in the U.S.!

She often toted a shotgun, and also held her whiskey quite well, too. Many called her Stagecoach Mary. (Sometimes with the gathering of age, it tends to slow some down; but not with Ms. Fields). Even at the late age of 63, she was hired as a U.S. mail carrier for many reasons; one of which was she could hitch a team of horses faster than any man ever could! And she would usually drive the route with six horses, and one mule named Moses—throu...

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