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There were numerous landed women of note in the West.

For example, María Rita Valdez operated , and when Ygnacio, the patriarch, died, his widow Isabel and daughter Josefa successfully took over the ranch’s operations.

The West was the first home of women’s suffrage in the U. We’ve got women in public offices and CEO suites throughout the region.

S., with nearly every western state or territory enfranchising women long before women won the right to vote in eastern states. But here in the West, women continue to lag behind men in too many areas to declare the “Woman Problem” solved. Ruiz Under colonial Spain and newly independent Mexico, married women living in the borderlands of what is now the American Southwest had certain legal advantages not afforded their European-American peers.

For readers outside the West, the settings these women described were exotic: California gold camps and desert outposts, northwestern logging and mining communities, Rocky Mountain and Great Plains homesteads.

Elinore Pruitt Stewart, writing from Wyoming in 1913, placed a series of letters about her homesteading experience in the prestigious .

However, if you grew up near Albuquerque, your husband could not sell the property you had brought to the marriage, thus giving you significant leverage in household decisions.

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They shaped that material into letters, journals, sketches, essays, and stories for eastern magazines and presses—and received popular acclaim.With the advent of European contact, Spanish and Mexican and indigenous women lived in—and came from—all directions.So we’re really talking about those recent immigrants who came from the eastern U. and from across the globe, particularly in the 19th century.Minority women—particularly Chinese and Native American—did not experience greater freedoms.For these groups, the idea of an American “West” was meaningless.

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