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Pharaoh, pirate, soldier, spy. Most have heard of Joan of Arcbut throughout history and across cultures, there have been a great of women who have dressed in male attire in order to fulfill the roles that had traditionally been reserved for men. Many disguised their identities, sometimes taking their secret to the grave, while others were brazen, and even celebrated by their contemporaries. While their stories have largely been lost to time, there are some that made their mark on history. For nearly 20 years, she ruled Egypt as one of the few female pharaohs in the history of ancient Egypt.
Her rule began when her husband died and her stepson was too young to be pharaoh. Because of her unorthodox rise to power, Hatshepsut made efforts to legitimize herself in the role. In addition to leading military expeditions and expanding trade, it is believed she also dressed in the attire typically worn by male kings.
Over the next decade, she served under the Duke of Marlborough fighting the French. She eventually found her husband and convinced him to keep her secret so she could continue to serve. She went on to distinguish herself on the battlefield through multiple campaigns during the War of the Spanish Succession in She was wounded several times throughout her military career, and it was after she suffered a battle injury in that required surgery, that her identity was discovered.
After her husband was killed in battle, she remarried two more times, retired from the army inand opened an inn. Cavanaugh was granted a lifetime pension by Queen Anne and was given a military burial. Inshe married a poor sailor named James Bonny and left for the Bahamas.
Once there, Anne spent her time in saloons and seducing pirates. On board, Anne lived as a woman most of the time, but during engagements with other ships she wore the attire of a man, including a loose tunic, trousers, sword at her hip and pistols tucked in her sash. English-born Mary Read had been dressed as a boy as by her mother who rented her out as a servant to make ends meet.
At age 13, she served on a British warship carrying bags of gunpowder to the crew. She later ed the Army of Flanders and eventually fell in love with her bunkmate, to whom she divulged her secret, and to her entire regiment soon after.PS5 SSD Storage Activated - Which SSDs Should You Buy?
Mary quit the army and married the soldier, but after he died a short time later, she d her life as a man and sailed for the West Indies on a Dutch ship, which was captured by English pirates, led by Calico Jack.
The crew, believing Mary to be a fellow Englishman, encouraged her to them. They fought side by side during battles and even led their crew in violent raids. The two women stood trial in a Jamaican courtroom, both of them plead not guilty to all charges. Anne Bonny and Mary Read.
Englishwoman Hannah Snell assumed the identity of her brother-in-law, James Gray, after her child died and her husband deserted her. For four years, she served in the British Royal Marines. Inshe fought in the Siege of Pondicherry where the British attempted to seize a French colony in India.
Hannah was wounded several times during her naval service, including suffering a musket shot to the groin. She purportedly operated on herself to remove the musket ball to ensure her gender remained concealed.
Inshe revealed her true identity to her shipmates and she was granted an honorable discharge and even a military pension. New England native Deborah Sampson had a fervent interest in colonial and British politics during the American Revolution.
In Mayshe enlisted in the Continental Army disguised as a man using the alias Robert Shurtleff. She fought in several battles, including the siege of Yorktown, and was wounded multiple times. In constant fear that her identity would be revealed, she often tended to her own injuries, including once using metal probes to remove musket balls from her leg.
During the cold march north after Yorktown, Sampson succumbed to brain fever and was taken to a hospital in Philadelphia where her condition was considered grim. The attending physician discovered that she was female, but did not divulge her secret. He treated her until she was fully recovered and discharged from the army. Afterward, Sampson returned to New England where she d wearing female attire and went on to marry and have children. He also wrote a lecture of her adventures, which Sampson adapted to her own liking and toured across New England.
As word of her story spread, she became an acquaintance of Paul Revere and several events were held in honor of her heroism. She was awarded pensions from the state of Massachusetts and the federal government.
The job was dangerous and not for the faint of heart—hauling cargos of gold through open desert and over steep mountain passes, under constant threat of desperados and mother nature. Parkhurst was short and stocky, wore a black eyepatch, drank whiskey and smoked cigars.
When Parkhurst died alone in a cabin ina doctor discovered that the famous stagecoach driver was actually a woman. Charlotte Parkhurst was born in in New Hampshire and was abandoned by her parents. It is believed that she ran away from an orphanage dressed as a boy and wound up in Massachusetts, where she worked cleaning horse stables.
She also found a mentor who taught her how to handle horses. After working as a stagecoach driver on the East Coast for several years, Parkhurst journeyed west and arrived in San Francisco around She quickly earned a reputation for her ability to move passengers and gold safely through routes between mining outposts and major towns like San Francisco and Sacramento. By the late s, stagecoach driving became a dying profession with the growth of the railro and Parkhurst retired and opened a saloon for a time. She also worked as a lumberjack in Northern California. At age 16, she took a job as a travelling book salesman under the alias Franklin Thompson and found that customers readily accepted her disguised as a man.
She later landed in Hartford, Connecticut and was hired by the American Publishing Company selling book subscriptions.
In Decemberwhen the country was on the brink of civil war, the company sent her west to Flint, Michigan. InEdmonds contracted malaria and began experiencing recurrent health issues. She decided she would need to desert in order to be treated without revealing her identity.
Edmonds eventually moved to Washington, DC and worked as a nurse at a military hospital. Inshe published a memoir of her adventures in which she claimed to have been a spy for Union army and that she carried out eleven missions behind enemy lines.
Paul, MNNovember 27, Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Eberhardt was an explorer who lived and travelled extensively throughout North Africa. She was well-educated, spoke multiple languages, and often dressed as a man in order to freely go about her travels. Inshe journeyed to North Africa with her mother and they both converted to Islam. When her mother died later that year, Eberhardt stayed and made her home in northern Algeria.
Disguised as a man, she went by the alias Si Mahmoud Essadi, which enabled her to travel within Arabic society. She married Slimane Ehnni, an Algerian soldier, in Frances L. Clayton ca. InFrances Clayton journeyed across the Midwest seeking help to receive back pay owed to her late husband who had died during the American Civil War. She spoke to reporters along the way about her life as a Union soldier. According to Clayton, when fighting began, she and her husband decided to enlist together. The Minnesota couple ed a Missouri regiment with Frances disguised as a man and under the alias, Jack Williams.
For months, the two fought side by side until her husband succumbed to a bullet on the front lines at the Battle of Stones River. Frances told reporters she had to step over his corpse during the conflict.
Shortly after, she revealed her true identity and was discharged from the army. Several newspapers reported her story throughout to Additionally, she had pictures taken of herself in a Union military uniform inwhich became some of the most well-known photographs of women soldiers during the Civil War. However, the authenticity of her story has been questioned by historians due to contradictory information reported in newspapers, such as which battles she fought in and the regiments she served in.
There are also no records that she ever received or sought out a military pension. During the First World War, Englishwoman Dorothy Lawrence aspired to be an investigative journalist and she contacted several British newspapers offering to work as a war correspondent in France. All of the editors refused to hire her believing that the work was too dangerous for a woman.Mistakes Older Guys Make Trying to Look Youthful
Undeterred, Lawrence disguised herself as a manand using the alias Denis Smith, ed the British Army. Dorothy began experiencing fainting fits so she turned herself in and revealed her identity.
Authorities were first suspicious that she was a spy and detained her in a French convent. Before she was released, she was forced to swear an affidavit promising not to tell the public how she fooled the British military. That did not stop Lawrence from publishing an of her experiences in her memoir in If you know of other stories of women who dressed like men and made history, or similar stories of lesser known women, share their names and stories in the comments!
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Women Who Dressed as Men and Made History