Pauline Cushman

By: Jordan Ramirez and Riley Widener and Courtney Brown

Early Years

Pauline Cushman was born on June 10, 1833 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was the daughter of a French woman and a Spanish merchant. She was raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The reason her family moved from her birth place to Michigan was to spend up trade with the Indians. Pauline spent most of her time playing with the younger Indian girls, she let many Indians in need stay in her home. A while later she returned to Louisiana to join the performance group, New Orleans Varieties. She had three husbands and three children

Contribution to the Civil War

Pauiline Cushman was a spy for the union. They all called her Miss major Pauline Cushman, She managed to conceal battle plans by hiding them in her shoes, but was caught and brought to general Braxton Bragg. She had a trial by a military court and was sentenced to death. There was an invasion three days before her hanging, therefore postponing her hanging. As she had her chance she fled to the south still a spy dressed as a man. By the end of the war in 1865 she had begun touring the country giving lectures about her adventures as a spy.

After the Civil war

She met Jere Fryer and moved to Casa Grande, Arizona. There they married and operated a hotel and livery stable. Her last few years were spent living in a board house working as a seamstress and charwoman, then she became disabled from rheumatism and arthritis. she developed an addiction to pain meds and on the night of December 2, 1893, she took an overdose of morphine and was found the next day by her landlady. She was buried in San Francisco Presidio's National Cemetery.

Interesting facts

- Pauline was a descendant from one of the first original pilgrim families.

-she was featured in a P.T Barnum circus show.

-She married Charles Dickinson

-Her birth name was Harriet Wood, she changed her name to become a spy

-she was offered money to toast the confederate president during a performance, and she did it.

- she had cancer for 24 years yet she still kept acting.