|Did you know that girls and young women made a
difference in Americas history? During the 1800s, many girls helped
America grow bigger and better, yet are missing from many history
books. Virginia Reed, at 12, survived the trek to California with the
Donner Party. Joanna Troutman, at 17, created the first Texas flag.
Belle Boyd risked her life to spy for the Rebels during the Civil War.
Bedell wrote a letter to Abraham Lincoln that changed the way he
faced the nation. Kate Shelley, at 15, crawled across a high trestle in
a ferocious thunderstorm to stop the next train from falling through a
washed-out bridge. A young teacher, Minnie Freeman led her 17 students
to safety through the blinding snow of the Blizzard of 1888.
These are just a few of the 19 inspiring true stories of 19th century
American girls who touched the hearts of their hometowns. You can
remember them today by visiting their historical markers, monuments,
exhibits, and parks, or by reading their poems, and singing their
by Betty Bolte