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University Press of Colorado, 2012

2013 Colorado Book Award Finalist 

2013 WILLA Literary Awards Finalist, Women Writing the West

Colorado Women is the first full-length chronicle of the lives, roles, and contributions of women in Colorado from prehistory through the modern day. A national leader in women's rights, Colorado was one of the first states to approve suffrage and the first to elect a woman to its legislature. Nevertheless, only a small fraction of the literature on Colorado history is devoted to women and, of those, most focus on well-known individuals.

The experiences of Colorado women differed greatly across economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. Marital status, religious affiliation, and sexual orientation colored their worlds and others' perceptions and expectations of them. Each chapter addresses the everyday lives of women in a certain period, placing them in historical context, and is followed by vignettes on women's organizations and notable individuals of the time.

Native American, Hispanic, African American, Asian and Anglo women's stories hail from across the state—from the Eastern Plains to the Front Range to the Western Slope—and in their telling a more complete history of Colorado emerges. Colorado Women makes a significant contribution to the discussion of women's presence in Colorado that will be of interest to historians, students, and the general reader interested in Colorado, women's and western history.


"One of the great frustrations for those who teach Colorado history has been the absence of a comprehensive study of the state's women. Former teacher Gail Beaton has remedied this problem with her new book Colorado Women."
—Rebecca A. Hunt, Montana The Magazine of Western History

"Beaton's intricate research and accomplished storytelling make a welcoming impression that further complicates women's history in the American West. Colorado Women is certainly an indication that scholars have just started to scratch the surface of this crucial field."

—Elaine Marie Nelson, New Mexico Historical Review

"An excellent book with which to begin research on Colorado women of any period. . . a good beginning in appreciating the important contributions of Colorado women."
—Pat Pascoe, former Colorado state senator and author of Helen Ring Robinson: Colorado Senator and Suffragist

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