Wanton West: Madams, Money, Murder, and the Wild Women of by Lael Morgan

By Lael Morgan

From the time of the gold rush to the election of the 1st girl to the U.S. Congress, Wanton West brings to existence the ladies of the West's wildest zone: Montana, well-known for its lawlessness, boomtowns, and America’s biggest red-light districts. Prostitutes and entrepreneurs--like Chicago Joe, Madame Mustache, and Highkicker—flocked to Montana to make their very own cash, gamble, drink, and lift hell similar to males. Moralists wrote them off as “soiled doves,” but a shocking quantity prospered, flaunting their freedom and banking ten occasions greater than their “respectable” sisters.          A vigorous learn delivering new insights into women’s fight for equality, Wanton West is a refreshingly aim exploration of a freewheeling society and a new version of an unforgettable period in background.

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Extra info for Wanton West: Madams, Money, Murder, and the Wild Women of Montana's Frontier

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Yet she mustered the spunk to defy her husband when he interrupted her shift at the Union to insist she accompany him to another dancing saloon, probably Stanchfield’s, a few doors distant. Scott argued with Mollie at the back of the hall and then took her to the bedroom he had earlier reserved. No one at the Union paid much attention until five minutes after the couple’s departure when a gunshot startled revelers to silence. The noise was so loud, in fact, that it caused Officer Micklejohn of the Butte Police Department to leave his sidewalk beat and head for Mollie’s bedroom, from which Joe Scott was making a swift departure.

She dressed her dark, curly hair in an exotic fall and sported an expensive wardrobe accessorized with frills, laces, and jewels. The fact that she was illiterate was countered by her extraordinary aptitude for math. Her social skills matched her sharp wit. She was, as reputed, a woman of her word, and she was physically as tough as a professional wrestler. By the time Josephine got organized to leave Chicago, the stampede had moved to Last Chance Gulch, about eighty miles to the north of Virginia City, where a party had struck pay dirt on Prickly Pear Creek.

No one could keep track of the population, which had topped four thousand, but lodging was in such short supply that transients were sometimes forced to spend the night snoozing in Turkish baths or in houses of ill repute they would not normally have patronized. First-class hotels were finally being built, and the town’s super rich organized Butte’s Silver Bow Club, where they could meet privately and in style to plan for the future. During this heady period, the Stanchfields—who were not yet rich enough to qualify for club membership, but close—launched a campaign to ensure their financial future.

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