Pearl Of The West? Juvinile Delenquents Of The West??

     Well here we go with a couple more old west desperado’s of the female persuasion.


     Pearl Hart was born in Canada, of French decent.  She was a free spirited girl who was reputed to date anyone.  It was said she was attractive and well dressed.  She married at the age of seventeen and suffered a abusive relationship with her husband, and fled to Trinidad Colorado at the age of 22.  She found it difficult to survive there and was in Phoenix, Arizona in1892.  Her husband followed and found her there and begged for another chance.  Living in squalid, near poverty conditions it is reported that she began to smoke, drink and use morphine.  Left to her own devices, when her husband went off to the Spanish American war she suffered depression and tried suicide on at least four occasions.  Friends intervened and saved her each time

     She then met Joe Boot, who could not provide for their survival.  He convinced Pearl to help him rob the Globe-to-Florence Stage.  On May 29, 1899 the two preformed the last recorded stage robbery in the United States.  Their haul was modest, Pearl relieved a salesman of his watch and $380, a tenderfoot of $36 and a china-man of $5.  Then feeling sorry for the victims she gave them each one dollar back.  The inept bandits became lost and went to sleep in a pasture where they were captured by a posse.


     Pearl caused such a sensation at the Florence jail that she was transferred to Tucson.  At the Tucson facility where she was being held for trial a inmate named Hogan, who was allowed to roam free be came enraptured of Pearl.  Hogan knocked a hole in the wall and he a Pearl escaped together.  their time on the lam was short and they were caught by a U. S. Marshal.  Eventually Pearl was sentenced to five years in the Federal Prison in Yuma Arizona.  There Pearl once again was some what of a celebrity.  Visitors constantly asked to see her, photographers asked her to poise with unloaded guns.  Male guards hung around her cell. 

      She was pardoned two years early, the excuse being that the prision was not set up for a female prisoner.  The actual fact was Pearl was pregnant and the warden convinced the govenor it was in the best interest of the prision to be shut of her.

      Pearl dropped out of sight for a while, it was said that she was in Kansas City in1904 with a gang of pickpockets and thieves.  but more reliably, that she married a cowboy named Calvin Baywaler, and live out her days in Montana, Smoking cigars and with a fowl mouth, as a sturdy built matron.  When asked by a census taker where she was born she replied “I was never born”. 


     Jennie Medcalf was sixteen and Annie McDoulett was seventeen in 1893 when they attended a dance in Ingalls, Oklahoma.  When they saw several handsome men dancing to the sounds of the fiddle and bow, they asked and discovered that they were members of the Doolin gang.  Like many modern day teenagers they were enthralled by the sight of outlaws.  Soon they were dancing with the group of outlaws.  I am not going to name the members of the gang as there are two many of them, they were a large group, nine in all.  It is not known which one of the group stole Annie Metcalf’s heart but her fate was sealed that night.  She simply knew that the daughter of a farmer was not for her.  She returned home stole a farmhands trousers and mounted a horse and rode off in to history.

     Soon she was joined by Annie McDoulett, and the girls were soon riding with the gang and took to the outlaw trail like duck to the water.  They kept camp, tended the horses and rode with the gang across  Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Missouri, stealing livestock, robbing train’s and drawing on banks.  The two fast traveling girls won fame and outlaw names, Cattle Annie and Little Britches. 

     In 1893 the gang started to take casualties.  And after a vicious gun battle that left three dead marshals, the word came down run the gang to death or arrest.  Marshals Bill Tilghman, Chris Maden. Heck Thomas and others started to hound the gang in earnest.  1894 was the gangs most profitable year, but 1895 was the beginning of the end, with Bill Doolin’s capture, escape and killing in1896 ending the gangs regine of terror.

    With the rest of the gangs captured Marshalls Tilghman and Steve Burke turned their attention to the capture of Cattle Anne and Little Britches.  They caught up with the two girls in a farmhouse near Pawnee, Oklahoma.  Little Britches jumped out a rear window and fled on horse back across the prairie, all the while throwing pistol shots back at Tilghman.  The Marshal being a crack shot shot her horse from under her.  She fell to the ground with a foot caught under the horse with her pistol just out of reach.  After emptying her gun of cartridges, he pulled her from under the horse only to find he had a wildcat on his hands.  She raked his face with her nails and pulled his hair.  The stocky lawman  simply turned her over his knee and dusted the seat of her name sake  britches.

     Steve Burke meanwhile was not having a easy time getting Cattle Annie out of the house.  Finally he simply stood leaning against the side of the house waiting for her.  Finally she peered out of the window to see where he was and he grabbed her and drug her out.  He found that he did not have a wildcat but a tiger, Annie clawed, punched and bit.  When Tiglhman rode up Burke was standing there gripping Annie in a bear hug.

     In Perry, Oklahoma the marshals had the girls washed and dressed in proper female clothing at their own expense.  When they appeared in the court of Judge A.G. C.  Briere, the ferocious female bandits appeared to be no more than frightened teenagers.  Influenced by the surprising forgiving Tiglhman.  The judge sentenced them to short terms in the women’s facility in Farmingham, Massachusetts.  They were escorted by Marshal Everett Nix to the penitentiary they were greeted in Boston by a large crowd eager to get a look at the famous female bandits.

      The pictures of Pearl Hart, Cattle Annie and Little Britches were posed photos taken in prision  after their capture.

      There are many more desprate women of  the west, but I belive I’ll  let you look them up in the book or online for yourself, if have a thirst for more.  If I decide to carry on the west, I might mention some of the shady ladies of the night ( there more than a few who were of note).

     anyway that’s all for now, bye



One Response to “Pearl Of The West? Juvinile Delenquents Of The West??”

  1. Raven Says:

    Hiya – Found a page on Cattle Annie and Little Britches that has a letter from a family member of Annie’s at the bottom.

    Here is the letter, from the link above:

    “Cattle Annie was my aunt – she did not remain ‘back east’ after reform school. She returned to Oklahoma, married, had 2 sons (who were mainly raised by their father & paternal grandparents), divorced, traveled with the XIT Wild West Show, remarried, became a devout Christian, devoted wife & very respected member of the community. She remained very active right up to the end. She learned to water ski the summer she was 72 (after having had a broken hip), but had to give it up because it made her ‘too tired’. She went surfing with her great grandson at age 80, because according to her, her grandson was too big a ‘fuddy duddy’. She was truly a remarkable lady. She lived in Oklahoma City up to the time of her death & is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery.
    Ann S.E.”

    Sounds like a pretty cool lady!

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