Allison James

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What we know

1860 - 1894
Envious of those active in the suffrage movement, Allison longed to work. When Colorado threw off her shackles in 1893, she joined the throng westward. Unfortunately, the Silver Panic of 1893 had just wiped out the economy, and her husband, Alfred, was unable to find work. Too penniless to afford a ticket back East, they both died of starvation in the winter of 1894. Rachel Cole and Pastor Horner admired their courage and fortitude and took up a collection for a handsome slate tombstone.


by Marion Albrecht

When Allison James found that Colorado's best
had passed the '93 vote for women1,
she stuffed her carpet bags with bloomers and flags
and rushed with the train across the plain.

With her battle cry, the Demon Rum
shall soon be gone and manna shall
rain down upon the purple majesties
where women use the vote!

Her husband, Alfred, followed,
prayers in hand for work of any sort.
Nonsense, she had said.
The Right of God won't let us starve.

She didn't heed Rachel Cole's warning
that silver's fiery death had stolen
any temperance thunder, right
along with the town's life and soul.

The girls at the White Owl
worried more about their starving backs
than a ginless future and did not
stay to hear her out.

But it was EdnaHarris's tale
of Rachel Cole's intemperance
that captured her despair
and derailed their prayers.





A drawing of a liquor keg.
Pastor Horner
Rachel Cole

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