Fanny Mills


Born in 1860, Fanny Mills was the daughter of English immigrants who settled near Sandusky, Ohio. She had a condition called Milroy disease, which restricts development of the lymph vessels in the legs and causes fluid build-up. Fanny was a petite woman who weighed but 115 pounds, yet she wore size 30 shoes, each pair made from three goat skins, with pillowcases as socks. Each foot was said to be 19 inches long and 7 inches wide, although photos clearly show that they were not the same size. Her exhibition career began in 1885, when she entered the museum circuit, accompanied by a nurse, Mary Brown. Brown helped Fanny move from place to place, as her large feet made walking very difficult. Fanny’s promoters offered $5000 and a “well-stocked farm” to anyone willing to marry the big-footed girl. Eventually she did marry, to William Brown, the brother of her assistant. When she came down with an unknown illness in 1892, she retired from showbusiness, returning to her family’s farm with her husband. She died the same year.

Milroy disease (or Nonne-Milroy disease) was first described in 1891 and causes many anomalies aside from lymphedema, including spinal cysts, yellow nails, double eyelashes and hearing loss. It is most common in women (70-80% of patients are female) and is an autosomal dominant trait.

Ella Harper


Most sources indicate that Ella Harper was born in Hendersonville, Tennessee around 1870 – although there are some conflicting reports. What is not argued, however, is the fact that Ella was born with an unusual orthopedic condition resulting in knees that bent backwards. The nature of this unusual affliction is exceedingly rare and relatively unknown, however most modern medical types would classify her condition and a very advanced form of congenital genu recurvatum – also known as ‘back knee deformity’. Her unusually bent knees, coupled with her preference of walking on all fours resulted in her moniker of ‘The Camel Girl’.

In 1886, Ella was the star of W. H. Harris’s Nickel Plate Circus, often appearing accompanied by a camel when presented to audiences and she was a feature in the newspapers of every town the circus visited. Those newspapers touted Ella as ‘the most wonderful freak of nature since the creation of the world’ and that her ‘counterpart never did exist’.

The back of Ella’s 1886 pitch card is far more modest in its information:

I am called the camel girl because my knees turn backward. I can walk best on my hands and feet as you see me in the picture. I have traveled considerably in the show business for the past four years and now, this is 1886 and I intend to quit the show business and go to school and fit myself for another occupation.

It appears that Ella did indeed move on to other ventures and her $200 a week salary likely opened many doors for her. After 1886, no further references to Ella ‘The Camel Girl’ can be found. An Ella Haper from the same county does appear on a in 1905 and a death certificate dated 1921 for that same Ella exists but it is currently unclear if this Ella is indeed the same Camel Girl of sideshow fame.

Records exist indicating that someone named Ella Harper married Robert L. Savely in 1905 in Sumner County, Tennessee and died in 1921 of colon cancer, but it is unclear whether these records refer to the circus performer.

Samantha Reed Smith


Samantha Reed Smith (June 29, 1972 – August 25, 1985) was an American schoolgirl, peace activist and child actress from Manchester, Maine, who became famous in the Cold War era United States and Soviet Union. In 1982, Smith wrote a letter to the newly appointed CPSU General Secretary Yuri Andropov, and received a personal reply which included a personal invitation to visit the Soviet Union, which she accepted.

Smith attracted extensive media attention in both countries as a “Goodwill Ambassador”, and became known as “America’s Youngest Ambassador” participating in peacemaking activities in Japan. She wrote a book about her visit to the Soviet Union and co-starred in the television series Lime Street, before her death at the age of 13 in the Bar Harbor Airlines Flight 1808 plane crash.

Historical context

When Yuri Andropov succeeded Leonid Brezhnev as leader of the Soviet Union in November 1982, the mainstream Western newspapers and magazines ran numerous front-page photographs and articles about him. Most coverage was negative and tended to a perception of a new threat to the stability of the Western world. Andropov had been the Soviet Ambassador to Hungary during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and the Chairman of the KGB from 1967 to 1982; during his tenure, he was known in the West for crushing the Prague Spring and the brutal suppression of dissidents, such as Andrei Sakharov and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. He began his tenure as Soviet leader by strengthening the powers of the KGB, and by suppressing dissidents. Andropov declared, “the struggle for human rights was a part of a wide-ranging imperialist plot to undermine the foundation of the Soviet state.” Much international tension surrounded both Soviet and American efforts to develop weapons capable of being launched from satellites in orbit. Both governments had extensive research and development programs to develop such technology. However, both nations were coming under increasing pressure to disband the project. In America, president Ronald Reagan came under pressure from a lobby of U.S. scientists and arms experts, while in Russia the government issued a statement that read, “To prevent the militarization of space is one of the most urgent tasks facing mankind”.

During this period, large anti-nuclear protests were taking place across Europe and North America, while the November 20, 1983, screening of ABC’s post-nuclear war dramatization The Day After became one of the most anticipated media events of the decade.

The two superpowers had by this point abandoned their strategy of détente and in response to the Soviet deployment of SS-20s, Reagan moved to deploy cruise and Pershing II missiles to Europe. The Soviet Union’s involvement in a war in Afghanistan was in its third year, a matter which was also contributing to international tension. In this atmosphere, on November 22, 1982, Time magazine published an issue with Andropov on the cover. When Smith viewed the edition, she asked her mother, “If people are so afraid of him, why doesn’t someone write a letter asking whether he wants to have a war or not?”. Her mother replied, “Why don’t you?”


Smith was born on June 29, 1972, in the small town of Houlton, Maine, on the Canada–United States border, to Jane Reed and Arthur Smith. At the age of five, she wrote a letter to Queen Elizabeth II in order to express her admiration to the monarch. When Smith had finished second grade in the spring of 1980, the family settled in Manchester, Maine, where she attended Manchester Elementary School. Her father taught literature and writing at the University of Maine at Augusta while her mother worked as a social worker with the Maine Department of Human Services.

In November 1982, when Smith was 10 years old, she wrote to Soviet leader Yuri Andropov, seeking to understand why the relations between the Soviet Union and the United States were so tense:

Dear Mr. Andropov,

My name is Samantha Smith. I am ten years old. Congratulations on your new job. I have been worrying about Russia and the United States getting into a nuclear war. Are you going to vote to have a war or not? If you aren’t please tell me how you are going to help to not have a war. This question you do not have to answer, but I would like to know why you want to conquer the world or at least our country. God made the world for us to live together in peace and not to fight.


Samantha Smith

Her letter was published in the Soviet newspaper Pravda. Samantha was happy to discover that her letter had been published; however, she had not received a reply. She then sent a letter to the Soviet Union’s Ambassador to the United States asking if Mr. Andropov intended to respond. On April 26, 1983, she received a response from Andropov:

Dear Samantha,

I received your letter, which is like many others that have reached me recently from your country and from other countries around the world.

It seems to me – I can tell by your letter – that you are a courageous and honest girl, resembling Becky, the friend of Tom Sawyer in the famous book of your compatriot Mark Twain. This book is well known and loved in our country by all boys and girls.

You write that you are anxious about whether there will be a nuclear war between our two countries. And you ask are we doing anything so that war will not break out.

Your question is the most important of those that every thinking man can pose. I will reply to you seriously and honestly.

Yes, Samantha, we in the Soviet Union are trying to do everything so that there will not be war on Earth. This is what every Soviet man wants. This is what the great founder of our state, Vladimir Lenin, taught us.

Soviet people well know what a terrible thing war is. Forty-two years ago, Nazi Germany, which strove for supremacy over the whole world, attacked our country, burned and destroyed many thousands of our towns and villages, killed millions of Soviet men, women and children.

In that war, which ended with our victory, we were in alliance with the United States: together we fought for the liberation of many people from the Nazi invaders. I hope that you know about this from your history lessons in school. And today we want very much to live in peace, to trade and cooperate with all our neighbors on this earth—with those far away and those near by. And certainly with such a great country as the United States of America.

In America and in our country there are nuclear weapons—terrible weapons that can kill millions of people in an instant. But we do not want them to be ever used. That’s precisely why the Soviet Union solemnly declared throughout the entire world that never—never—will it use nuclear weapons first against any country. In general we propose to discontinue further production of them and to proceed to the abolition of all the stockpiles on Earth.

It seems to me that this is a sufficient answer to your second question: ‘Why do you want to wage war against the whole world or at least the United States?’ We want nothing of the kind. No one in our country–neither workers, peasants, writers nor doctors, neither grown-ups nor children, nor members of the government–want either a big or ‘little’ war.

We want peace—there is something that we are occupied with: growing wheat, building and inventing, writing books and flying into space. We want peace for ourselves and for all peoples of the planet. For our children and for you, Samantha.

I invite you, if your parents will let you, to come to our country, the best time being this summer. You will find out about our country, meet with your contemporaries, visit an international children’s camp – Artek – on the sea. And see for yourself: in the Soviet Union, everyone is for peace and friendship among peoples.

Thank you for your letter. I wish you all the best in your young life.

  1. Andropov

A media circus ensued, with Smith being interviewed by Ted Koppel and Johnny Carson, among others, and with nightly reports by the major American networks. On July 7, 1983, she flew to Moscow with her parents, and spent two weeks as Andropov’s guest. During the trip she visited Moscow and Leningrad and spent time in Artek, the main Soviet pioneer camp, in the town of Gurzuf on the Crimean Peninsula. Smith wrote in her book that in Leningrad she and her parents were amazed by the friendliness of the people and by the presents many people made for them. Speaking at a Moscow press conference, she declared that the Russians were “just like us”. In Artek, Smith chose to stay with the Soviet children rather than accept the privileged accommodations offered to her. For ease of communication, teachers and children who spoke fluent English were chosen to stay in the building where she was lodged. Smith shared a dormitory with nine other girls, and spent her time there swimming, talking and learning Russian songs and dances. While there, she made many friends, including Natasha Kashirina from Leningrad, a fluent English speaker.

Andropov, however, was unable to meet with her during her visit, although they did speak by telephone. It was later discovered that Andropov had become seriously ill and had withdrawn from the public eye during this time. Smith also received a phone call from Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to orbit the Earth. However, not realizing with whom she was speaking, Samantha mistakenly hung up after only a brief conversation. Media followed her every step—photographs and articles about her were published by the main Soviet newspapers and magazines throughout her trip and after it. Smith became widely known to Soviet citizens and was well regarded by many of them. In the United States, the event drew suspicion and some regarded it as an “American-style public relations stunt”.

Smith’s return to the U.S. on July 22, 1983, was celebrated by the people of Maine with roses, a red carpet, and a limousine and her popularity continued to grow in her native country. Some critics at the time remained skeptical, believing Smith was unwittingly serving as an instrument of Soviet propaganda. In December 1983, continuing in her role as “America’s Youngest Ambassador”, she was invited to Japan, where she met with the Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone and attended the Children’s International Symposium in Kobe. In her speech at the symposium, she suggested that Soviet and American leaders exchange granddaughters for two weeks every year, arguing that a president “wouldn’t want to send a bomb to a country his granddaughter would be visiting”. Her trip inspired other exchanges of child goodwill ambassadors, including a visit by the eleven-year-old Soviet child Katya Lycheva to the United States. Later, Smith wrote a book called Journey to the Soviet Union whose cover shows her at Artek, her favorite part of the Soviet trip.

Smith pursued her role as a media celebrity when in 1984, she hosted a children’s special for the Disney Channel entitled Samantha Smith Goes To Washington…Campaign ’84. The show covered politics, where Smith interviewed several candidates for the 1984 presidential election, including George McGovern and Jesse Jackson. That same year she guest starred in Charles in Charge as Kim, alongside another celebrity guest star, Julianne McNamara. Her fame resulted in Smith becoming the subject of stalker Robert John Bardo, the man who would later go on to stalk and ultimately murder My Sister Sam actress Rebecca Schaeffer. Bardo traveled to Maine in an attempt to meet Smith, but was stopped by police and returned home.

In 1985 she co-starred with Robert Wagner in a television series called Lime Street.


On August 25, 1985, Smith and her father were returning home aboard Bar Harbor Airlines Flight 1808 after filming a segment for Lime Street. While attempting to land at Lewiston-Auburn Regional Airport in Auburn, Maine, the Beechcraft 99 commuter plane struck some trees 4,007 feet (1,221 m) short of the runway and crashed, killing all six passengers and two crew on board. Much speculation regarding the cause of the accident circulated afterwards. Accusations of foul play circulated widely in the Soviet Union. An investigation was undertaken in the United States and the official report—which did not show evidence of foul play—was made public. As stated in the report, the accident occurred at about 22:05 EDT, the ground impact point located one mile (1.6 km) south-west of the airport, at 44°02′22″N 70°17′30″W. The report goes on to say, “The relatively steep flight path angle and the attitude (the orientation of the aircraft relative to the horizon, direction of motion etc.) and speed of the airplane at ground impact precluded the occupants from surviving the accident.” The main point of the report was that it was a rainy night, the pilots were inexperienced, and an accidental, but not uncommon and not usually critical, ground radar failure occurred.

Samantha Smith was mourned by about 1,000 people at her funeral in Augusta, Maine, and was eulogized in Moscow as a champion of peace. Attendees included Robert Wagner and Vladimir Kulagin of the Soviet Embassy in Washington, who read a personal message of condolence from Mikhail Gorbachev.

“Everyone in the Soviet Union who has known Samantha Smith will forever remember the image of the American girl who, like millions of Soviet young men and women, dreamt about peace, and about friendship between the peoples of the United States and the Soviet Union”.

President Ronald Reagan sent his condolences to Smith’s mother, in writing,

“Perhaps you can take some measure of comfort in the knowledge that millions of Americans, indeed millions of people, share the burdens of your grief. They also will cherish and remember Samantha, her smile, her idealism and unaffected sweetness of spirit.”

The remains of Smith and her father were cremated, and buried side by side in Estabrook Cemetery, Aroostook County, near Houlton where Smith was born.


Smith’s contributions have been honored with a number of tributes by Russians and by the people of her home state of Maine. A monument to her was built in Moscow; “Samantha Smith Alley” in the Artek Young Pioneer camp was named after her in 1986. The monument built to Smith was stolen by metal thieves in 2003 following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. In 2003, Voronezh retiree Valentin Vaulin built a monument to her without any support from the government. The Soviet Union issued a commemorative stamp with her likeness. In 1986, when Soviet astronomer Lyudmila Chernykh discovered asteroid 3147, she named it 3147 Samantha. The Danish composer Per Nørgård wrote his 1985 viola concerto “Remembering Child” in memory of Smith. A diamond found in Siberia, a mountain in the former Soviet Union, a cultivar of tulips and of dahlias, and an ocean vessel have been named in Smith’s honor. In Maine, the first Monday in June of each year is officially designated as Samantha Smith Day by state law. There is a bronze statue of Smith near the Maine State Museum in Augusta, which portrays Smith releasing a dove with a bear cub resting at her feet. The bear cub represents both Maine and Russia. Elementary schools in Sammamish, Washington, and in Jamaica, Queens, New York City, have been named after Samantha. In October 1985, Smith’s mother founded the Samantha Smith Foundation, which fostered student exchanges between the United States and the Soviet Union (and, after December 1991, the ex-Soviet successor states) until it became dormant in the mid-1990s.

A 1987 episode of the U.S. sitcom The Golden Girls entitled “Letter to Gorbachev” draws inspiration from the story of Samantha Smith.

In the mid-1980s, after Smith’s death, a script was written for a television movie titled The Samantha Smith Story with Robert Wagner as producer. However, Columbia Pictures Television decided not to film it due to lack of interest from any network.

In 2008, Smith posthumously received the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award for helping to bring about better understanding between the peoples of the United States of America (USA) and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), and as a result, reduce the tension between the superpowers that were poised to engage in nuclear war.

Elliott Holt’s 2013 novel You Are One of Them, uses the story of Samantha Smith as inspiration for a fictional character, Jennifer Jones. The book, characterized as literary fiction, was well received by critics for both literary style and page-turning intrigue.

Charlotte Dupuy


Charlotte Dupuy, also called Lottie (born ca. 1787-1790 – d. after 1866), was an enslaved African-American woman who filed a freedom suit in 1829 against her master, Henry Clay, then Secretary of State. This case went to court seventeen years before Dred Scott filed his more famous legal challenge to slavery. Then living in Washington, DC, Dupuy sued for her freedom and that of her two children, based on a promise by her previous owner. This was an example of the many freedom suits filed by slaves in the decades before the Civil War.

Although the Circuit Court’s ruling in 1830 went against Dupuy, she had worked for wages for 18 months and lived in the household of Martin Van Buren, the succeeding Secretary of State, while it was decided. Clay had returned to his home in Kentucky in 1829. After the ruling, Clay had Dupuy transported to the home of his daughter and son-in-law in New Orleans, and she remained enslaved for another decade. Finally in 1840, Henry Clay freed Dupuy and her daughter Mary Ann. Four years later he freed her son Charles Dupuy. By 1860 her husband Aaron Dupuy was listed on the census as a free man living with her at Ashland.

Early life

Charlotte Dupuy was born into slavery in Cambridge, Maryland. She was brought to Kentucky in 1805 by the tailor James Condon, who had purchased her as a child from Daniel Parker in Cambridge. She was said to have been born about 1787. About 1806 she met and married Aaron Dupuy, a young man held by Henry Clay on his Ashland plantation in Lexington, Kentucky. Condon sold Charlotte to Henry Clay in May 1806, perhaps to allow the young couple to live together. Charlotte and Aaron had two children, Charles and Mary Ann Dupuy.

When Clay went to Washington, D.C., for his congressional term beginning in 1810, Charlotte, her husband Aaron and two children accompanied him or arrived to work for him soon after. They lived with Clay and served in the house he rented, originally built for Stephen Decatur. Located at Lafayette Square across from the White House, today the Decatur House is a museum and a designated National Historic Landmark.

Petition for freedom

Charlotte Dupuy and her family enjoyed the relative freedom of living in Washington, DC, where they met other slaves and joined some of the activities of the city. Clay allowed her to visit her mother and family on the Eastern Shore a couple of times. Following his Congressional career, Henry Clay served as Secretary of State from 1825-1829.

As Clay began making preparations in 1829 to leave the capital when his service ended, Dupuy filed a petition for her freedom and that of her children. She based this on her mother’s being free and her previous owner Condon’s promise to free her and her children. Clay thought his political enemies had persuaded her to do it but decided to fight it, as he was embarrassed by the publicity.

On February 13, 1829, her attorney Robert Beale wrote a petition on her behalf to the judges of the District of Columbia. The petition asked the courts to use their power to keep Clay from removing Charlotte Dupuy from the District of Columbia while her lawsuit for freedom was underway. The Court granted this petition.

Beale argued that Dupuy and her children were “entitled to their freedom” based on a promise by her previous master James Condon, but were “now held in a state of slavery by one Henry Clay (Secty of State) contrary to the law and your petitioners just rights.” Clay wanted to remove the Dupuys from their DC residence and return them to Kentucky. There, Beale argued, they would “be held as slaves for life.” While the Court allowed Charlotte Dupuy to stay in Washington while the case was heard, it permitted Clay to take her husband Aaron and children Mary Ann and Charles back to Kentucky.


Charlotte Dupuy’s petition to stay in the District temporarily was granted, but her writ for freedom was denied. Clay’s attorney showed that her mother had been freed after Charlotte was born, which did not affect her status as a slave. Her case was taken seriously for, according to a letter by Henry Clay, Dupuy stayed in DC “upwards of 18 months” after he left for Kentucky, awaiting the results of the trial. During these 18 months, Clay described her as acting as “her own mistress”. Dupuy worked for wages for the succeeding Secretary of State, Martin Van Buren, who also lived at Decatur House. The letter shows that Dupuy never willingly left DC. On the first page, Clay mused, “How shall I now get her …?” He approved of his agent’s having Dupuy arrested when she refused to return to Kentucky.

Although Dupuy was fighting for her freedom, the courts, in order to hear her case, had to assume her status as a free negro or a free person of color, since enslaved people had no legal standing in the courts. Such actions began to create political space for slaves’ freedom. The Court determined that the agreement between Dupuy and Condon was not applicable to any new ownership, and rejected her claim against Clay.


Clay’s agent arranged for Dupuy to be held in prison in Alexandria, which was part of the District of Columbia at the time, while he decided what to do. Clay had Dupuy removed from Washington and transported to New Orleans, to the home of his daughter and son-in-law Martin Duralde. She was enslaved there for another decade.

Finally on 12 October 1840, Henry Clay freed Charlotte Dupuy and her daughter Mary Ann in New Orleans. He retained her son Charles Dupuy, who traveled with him to speaking engagements. Clay frequently used him as an example of how well he treated slaves. He eventually freed Charles in 1844.

Either Clay before his death in 1852 or by his will, or his descendants freed Charlotte’s husband Aaron Dupuy, or “gave him his time”. The couple reunited to live again in Kentucky, where Aaron worked for John M. Clay at Ashland after his father’s death. While no deed of emancipation was found for Aaron Dupuy, according to the 1860 census, he and Charlotte Dupuy were listed as living together as free persons in Fayette County, Kentucky. An obituary of Aaron Dupuy said he died February 6, 1866 and was survived by his widow, although she was not listed by name.



Lozen (c. 1840-1890) was a skilled warrior and a prophetess of the Chihenne Chiricahua Apache. She was the sister of Victorio, a prominent chief. Born into the Chihenne band during the late 1840s, Lozen was, according to legends, able to use her powers in battle to learn the movements of the enemy. Victorio said, “Lozen is my right hand … strong as a man, braver than most, and cunning in strategy. Lozen is a shield to her people”

Victorio’s Campaign

In the 1870s, Victorio and his band of Apaches were moved to the deplorable conditions of the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona. He and his followers left the reservation around 1877 and began marauding and raiding, all while evading capture by the military. Lozen fought beside Victorio when he and his followers rampaged against Americans who had appropriated their homeland around west New Mexico’s Black Mountain. As the band fled American forces, Lozen inspired women and children, frozen in fear, to cross the surging Rio Grande. “I saw a magnificent woman on a beautiful horse—Lozen, sister of Victorio. Lozen the woman warrior!”, remembers James Kaywaykla, a child at the time, riding behind his grandmother. “High above her head she held her rifle. There was a glitter as her right foot lifted and struck the shoulder of her horse. He reared, then plunged into the torrent. She turned his head upstream, and he began swimming.” Immediately, the other women and the children followed her into the torrent. When they reached the far bank of the river, cold and wet but alive, Lozen came to Kaywaykla’s grandmother. “You take charge, now”, she said. “I must return to the warriors”, who stood between their women and children and the onrushing cavalry. Lozen drove her horse back across the wild river and returned to her comrades. According to Kaywaykla, “She could ride, shoot, and fight like a man, and I think she had more ability in planning military strategy than did Victorio.” He also remembers Victorio saying, “I depend upon Lozen as I do Nana” (the aging patriarch of the band). Late in Victorio’s campaign, Lozen left the band to escort a new mother and her newborn infant across the Chihuahuan Desert from Mexico to the Mescalero Apache Reservation, away from the hardships of the trail. Equipped with only a rifle, a cartridge belt, a knife, and a three-day supply of food, she set out with the mother and child on a perilous journey through territory occupied by Mexican and U.S. Cavalry forces. En route, afraid that a gunshot would betray their presence, she used her knife to kill a longhorn, butchering it for the meat. She stole a Mexican cavalry horse for the new mother, escaping through a volley of gunfire. She then stole a vaquero’s horse for herself, disappearing before he could give chase. She also acquired a soldier’s saddle, rifle, ammunition, blanket and canteen, and even his shirt. Finally, she delivered her charges to the reservation. There, she learned that Mexican and Tarahumara Indian forces under Mexican commander Joaquin Terrazas had ambushed Victorio and his band at Tres Castillos, three stony hills in northeastern Chihuahua. According to Stephen H. Lekson in his monograph Nana’s Raid: Apache Warfare in Southern New Mexico, 1881, Terrazas, on October 15, 1880, “surprised the Apaches, and in the boulders of Tres Castillos, Victorio’s warriors fought their last fight. Apache tradition holds that Victorio fell on his own knife rather than die at the hands of the Mexicans. Almost all the warriors at Tres Castillos were killed, and many women died fighting; the older people were shot, while almost one hundred young women and children were taken for slaves. Only a few escaped.”

End of Apache Wars and Lozen’s later years

Knowing the survivors would need her, Lozen immediately left the Mescalero Reservation and rode alone southwest across the desert, threading her way undetected through U.S. and Mexican military patrols. She rejoined the decimated band in the Sierra Madre (in northwestern Chihuahua), now led by the 74-year-old patriarch Nana. According to Kimberly Moore Buchanan’s book Apache Women Warriors, Lozen fought beside Nana and his handful of warriors in his two-month long bloody campaign of vengeance across southwestern New Mexico in 1881. Just before the fighting began, Nana said of Lozen, “Though she is a woman, there is no warrior more worthy than the sister of Victorio.” Lozen also fought beside Geronimo after his breakout from the San Carlos reservation in 1885, in the last campaign of the Apache wars. With the band pursued relentlessly, she used her power to locate their enemies—the U.S. and Mexican cavalries. According to Alexander B. Adams in his book Geronimo, “she would stand with her arms outstretched, chant a prayer to Ussen, the Apaches’ supreme deity, and slowly turn around.” Lozen’s prayer is translated in Eve Ball’s book In the Days of Victorio: Upon this earth On which we live Ussen has Power This Power is mine For locating the enemy. I search for that Enemy Which only Ussen the Great Can show to me. “By the sensation she felt in her arms, she could tell where the enemy was and how many they numbered”, Adams writes. According to Laura Jane Moore in the book Sifters, Native American Women’s Lives: In 1885 Geronimo and Naiche fled their reservation with 140 followers including Lozen after rumors began circulating that their leaders were to be imprisoned at Alcatraz Island. Lozen and Dahteste began negotiating peace treaties. One of which was that the Apache leaders would be imprisoned for two years then would have their freedom. The Americans leaders dismissed the peace treaty and Lozen and Dahteste continued to negotiate. The Apache rebels believed they had strong resolve until it was revealed all the Chiricahuas had been rounded up and sent to Florida. If they wanted to rejoin their kin, the Apache needed to head east. The Apache warriors agreed to surrender and laid down their arms. Five days later they were train bound to Florida. Taken into U. S. military custody after Geronimo’s final surrender, Lozen traveled as a prisoner of war to Mount Vernon Barracks in Alabama. Like many other imprisoned Apache warriors, she died in confinement of tuberculosis sometime after 1887. Nevertheless, her life was noted as a validation of the respected place women held among the Apaches. Lozen was the subject of Lucia St. Clair-Robson’s 2002 novel Ghost Warrior, Lozen of the Apaches.

Nakano Takeko


Nakano Takeko (1847 – 1868) was a Japanese female warrior of the Aizu domain, who fought and died during the Boshin War. Nakano, born in Edo, was the daughter of Nakano Heinai, an Aizu official. She was thoroughly trained in the martial and literary arts, and was adopted by her teacher Akaoka Daisuke. After working with her adoptive father as a martial arts instructor during the 1860s, Nakano entered Aizu for the first time in 1868. During the Battle of Aizu, she fought with a naginata (a Japanese polearm) and was the leader of an ad hoc corps of female combatants who fought in the battle independently, as the senior Aizu retainers did not allow them to fight as an official part of the domain’s army. This unit was later retroactively called the Women’s Army .

Whilst leading a charge against Imperial Japanese Army troops of the Ōgaki Domain, she received a bullet to the chest. Rather than let the enemy capture her head as a trophy, she asked her sister, Yūko, to cut it off and have it buried. It was taken to Hōkai-ji Temple (in modern-day Aizubange, Fukushima) and buried under a pine tree.

A monument to her was erected beside her grave at Hōkai-ji; Aizu native and Imperial Japanese Navy admiral Dewa Shigetō was involved in its construction. During the annual Aizu Autumn Festival, a group of young girls wearing hakama and white headbands take part in the procession, commemorating the actions of Nakano and her band of women fighters of the Joshigun.

Artemisia I of Caria


Artemisia I of Caria ( 480 BCE) was queen of Halicarnassus, a city of Dorian Greeks and Carians in the Achaemenid satrapy of Caria and of the nearby island of Kos, in about 480 BCE. She fought for her overlord Xerxes I, King of Persia against the free Greek city states during the second Persian invasion of Greece. She personally commanded her contribution of five ships at the naval battle of Artemisium and in the naval Battle of Salamis in 480 BCE. She is mostly known through the writings of Herodotus, who praises her courage and the respect in which Xerxes held her.

Family and name

Artemisia’s father was the satrap of Halicarnassus, Lygdamis I and her mother was from the island of Crete. She took the throne after the death of her husband, as she had a son, named Pisindelis, who was still a youth. Artemisia’s grandson, Lygdamis II, was the king of Halicarnassus when Herodotus was exiled from there and the poet Panyasis was sentenced to death, after the unsuccessful uprising against him.

The name Artemisia derives from Artemis, itself of unknown origin and etymology although various ones have been proposed; for example according to Jablonski, the name is also Phrygian and could be “compared with the royal appellation Artemas of Xenophon; according to Charles Anthon the primitive root of the name is probably of Persian origin from arta*, art*, arte*,.. all meaning great, excellent, holy,.. thus Artemis “becomes identical with the great mother of Nature, even as she was worshipped at Ephesus”; Anton Goebel “suggests the root στρατ or ῥατ, “to shake,” and makes Artemis mean the thrower of the dart or the shooter”; Plato, in Cratylus, had derived the name of the Goddess from the Greek word ἀρτεμής, artemḗs, i.e. “safe”, “unharmed”, “uninjured”, “pure”, “the stainless maiden”; Babiniotis while accepting that the etymology is unknown, states that the name is already attested in Mycenean Greek and is possibly of pre-Hellenic origin.

The Battle of Salamis

Xerxes was induced by the message of Themistocles to attack the Greek fleet under unfavourable conditions, rather than sending a part of his ships to the Peloponnesus and awaiting the dissolution of the Greek armies. Artemisia was the only one of Xerxes’ naval commanders to advise against the action, then went on to earn her king’s praise for her leadership in action during his fleet’s defeat to the Greeks at the Battle of Salamis (September, 480 BCE).


Before the battle of Salamis, Xerxes gathered all his naval commanders and sent Mardonios to ask whether or not he should fight a naval battle. All the commanders advised him to fight a naval battle except Artemisia.

As Herodotus tells it, she told Mardonios:

Tell the King to spare his ships and not do a naval battle because our enemies are much stronger than us in the sea, as men are to women. And why does he need to risk a naval battle? Athens for which he did undertake this expedition is his and the rest of Greece too. No man can stand against him and they who once resisted, were destroyed.

If Xerxes chose not to rush into a naval encounter, but instead kept his ships close to the shore and either stayed there or moved them towards the Peloponnese, victory would be his. The Greeks can’t hold out against him for very long. They will leave for their cities, because they don’t have food in store on this island, as I have learned, and when our army will march against the Peloponnese they who have come from there will become worried and they will not stay here to fight to defend Athens.

But if he hurries to engage I am afraid that the navy will be defeated and the land-forces will be weakened as well. In addition, he should also consider that he has certain untrustworthy allies, like the Egyptians, the Cyprians, the Kilikians and the Pamphylians, who are completely useless.

Xerxes was pleased with her advice and while he already held her in great esteem he now praised her further. Despite this, he gave orders to follow the advice of the rest of his commanders. Xerxes thought that at the naval battle of Artemisium his men acted like cowards because he was not there to watch them. But this time he would watch the battle himself to ensure they would act bravely.


Artemisia participated in the Battle of Salamis in September, 480 BCE as a Persian ally. She led the forces of Halicarnassos, Cos, Nisyros and Calyndos (Calyndos was on the southwest coast of Asia Minor across Rhodes), and supplied five ships. The ships she brought had the best reputation in the whole fleet, next to the ones from Sidon.

As Herodotus says, during the battle, and while the Persian fleet was facing defeat, an Athenian ship pursued Artemisia’s ship and she was not able to escape, because in front of her were friendly ships. She decided to charge against a friendly ship manned by people of Calyndos and on which the king of the Calyndians Damasithymos was located. The Calyndian ship sank. Herodotus also mentions that Artemisia had previously had a disagreement with Damasithymos at the Hellespont.

According to Polyaenus, when Artemisia saw that she was near to falling into the hands of the Greeks, she ordered the Persian colours to be taken down, and the master of the ship to bear down upon and attack a Persian vessel of the Calyndian allies, which was commanded by Damasithymus, that was passing by her.

When the captain of the Athenian ship, Ameinias, saw her charge against a Persian ship, he turned his ship away and went after others, supposing that the ship of Artemisia was either a Greek ship or was deserting from the Persians and fighting for the Greeks.

Herodotus believed that Ameinias didn’t know that Artemisia was on the ship, because otherwise he would not have ceased his pursuit until either he had captured her or had been captured himself, because “orders had been given to the Athenian captains, and moreover a prize was offered of ten thousand drachmas for the man who should take her alive; since they thought it intolerable that a woman should make an expedition against Athens.”

Polyaenus in his work Stratagems says that Artemisia had in her ship two different standards. When she chased a Greek ship, she hoisted the Persian colours. But when she was chased by a Greek ship, she hoisted the Greek colours, so that the enemy might mistake her for a Greek and give up the pursuit.

While Xerxes was overseeing the battle from his throne, which was at the foot of Mount Egaleo, he observed the incident and he and the others who were present thought that Artemisia had attacked and sunk a Greek ship. One of the men who was next to Xerxes said to him: “Master, see Artemisia, how well she is fighting, and how she sank even now a ship of the enemy” and Xerxes then responded: “My men have become women, and my women men.“. None of the crew of the Calyndian ship survived to be able to accuse her otherwise. According to Polyaenus, when Xerxes saw her sink the ship, he said: “O Zeus, surely you have formed women out of man’s materials, and men out of woman’s.”.


Plutarch in his biography of Themistocles says that it was Artemisia, who recognised the body of Ariamenes (Herodotus says that his name was Ariabignes), brother of Xerxes and admiral of the Persian navy, floating amongst the shipwrecks and brought the body back to Xerxes.

After the Battle of Salamis

After the battle, according to Polyaenus, Xerxes acknowledged her to have excelled above all the officers in the fleet and sent her a complete suit of Greek armour and he presented the captain of her ship with a distaff and spindle.

According to Herodotus, after the defeat, Xerxes presented Artemisia with two possible courses of action and asked her which she recommended. Either he would lead troops to the Peloponnese himself, or he would withdraw from Greece and leave his general Mardonius in charge. Artemisia suggested to him that he should retreat back to Asia Minor and she advocated the plan suggested by Mardonius, who requested 300,000 Persian soldiers with which he would defeat the Greeks in Xerxes’ absence.

According to Herodotus she replied: “I think that you should retire and leave Mardonius behind with those whom he desires to have. If he succeeds, the honour will be yours because your slaves performed it. If on the other hand, he fails, it would be no great matter as you would be safe and no danger threatens anything that concerns your house. And while you will be safe the Greeks will have to pass through many difficulties for their own existence. In addition, if Mardonius were to suffer a disaster who would care? He is just your slave and the Greeks will have but a poor triumph. As for yourself, you will be going home with the object for your campaign accomplished, for you have burnt Athens”.

Xerxes followed her advice, leaving Mardonius to conduct the war in Greece. He sent her to Ephesus to take care of his illegitimate sons. In return, Artemisia’s lands did well by their alliance with the Persians.

Opinions about Artemisia

Herodotus had a favourable opinion of Artemisia, despite her support of Persia and praises her decisiveness and intelligence and emphasises her influence on Xerxes.

Polyaenus says that Xerxes praised her gallantry. He also in the eighth book of his work Stratagems, mentions that when Artemisia (he may referred to Artemisia I, but most probably he referred to Artemisia II) wanted to conquer Latmus, she placed soldiers in ambush near the city and she, with women, eunuchs and musicians, celebrated a sacrifice at the grove of the Mother of the Gods, which was about seven stades distant from the city. When the inhabitants of Latmus came out to see the magnificent procession, the soldiers entered the city and took possession of it.

On the other hand, Thessalus, a son of Hippocrates, describes her in a speech as a cowardly pirate. In his speech, Thessalus said that the King of Persia demanded earth and water from Coans but they refused (493 BCE) so he gave the island to Artemisia to be wasted. Artemisia led a fleet of ships to the island of Cos to hunt down and slaughter the Coans, but the gods intervened. After Artemisia’s ships were destroyed by lightning and she hallucinated visions of great heroes, she fled Cos, but afterwards she conquered the island.

Death and cultural depictions in ancient world

A legend, quoted by Photius, some 13 centuries later, claims that Artemisia fell in love with a man from Abydos, named Dardanus, and when he ignored her, she blinded him while he was sleeping, but her love for him increased. An oracle told her to jump from the top of the rock of Leucas, but she was killed after she jumped from the rock and buried near the spot. Those who leaped from this rock were said to be cured from the passion of love. According to a legend, Sappho killed herself jumping from these cliffs too, because she was in love with Phaon.

Aristophanes mentions Artemisia in his works Lysistrata and Thesmophoriazusae.

Pausanias, in the third book of his work Description of Greece, entitled Laconia mentions that in the marketplace of Sparta the most striking monument was the portico which they called Persian, because it was made from spoils taken in the Persian wars. In course of time they have altered it until it became very large and splendid. On the pillars were white-marble figures of Persians, including Mardonius. There was also a figure of Artemisia.