Tricia Wagner

Independent Historian

Tricia Martineau Wagner is a North Carolina author and hands-on living history presenter. She is an experienced elementary teacher, reading specialist, and independent historian. Her four non-fiction books are: It Happened on the Underground Railroad (2007; 2nd edition 2015), Black Cowboys of the Old West (2011), African American Women of the Old West (2007), and It Happened on the Oregon Trail (2004; 2nd edition 2014). Ms. Wagner is a well-versed and entertaining speaker who brings history to life. She enjoys conducting presentations for schools around the country in grades 2 – 8 on: the Underground Railroad, Black Cowboys of the Old West, African American Women of the Old West, and the history of the Oregon Trail. She has spoken at the 4th Annual Black History Conference in Seattle, Washington sponsored by the Association for African American Historical Research and Preservation (AAAHRP), Presentation title: “Rewriting American History: The Untold Story of the Contributions & Achievements of African American Citizens.” Ms. Wagner also spoke at the Western Heritage Symposium for the National Day of the American Cowboy, Arlington Texas, (National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum in association with University of Texas at Arlington), Presentation title: “America’s New Vision of the Old West: Black Cowboys & Black Women Who Reformed and Refined Society.”

Walter Dean Myers (1937-2014)

“Image Ownership: Public Domain” Walter Dean Myers was a critically acclaimed African American children’s author of award-winning fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. He was a tireless advocate of literacy and education who also promoted diversity in children’s literature. The New York Times best-selling author is best … Read MoreWalter Dean Myers (1937-2014)

Jesse Stahl (c. 1879–1935)

  Image Ownership: Public Domain African American cowboy and rodeo rider Jesse Stahl set the standard of performance in saddle bronc riding that continues to this day. Stahl was a topnotch horseman, a first-class gentleman, and a cowboy who was regarded by many who saw … Read MoreJesse Stahl (c. 1879–1935)

Isom Dart (1849-1900)

  Image Ownership: Public Domain Ned Huddleston (also known as Isom Dart) was born into slavery in Arkansas in 1849. His reputation as a rider, roper and bronco-buster earned him the nicknames of the “Black Fox” and the “Calico Cowboy.”  He was also a notorious … Read MoreIsom Dart (1849-1900)

Charley Willis (1847–1930)

  Charley and Laura Willis Image Ownership: Public Domain African American cowboy Charley Willis was recognized as a singing cowboy who authored the popular trail song, “Goodbye Old Paint.” Willis was a skilled cowhand who not only sang songs from the trail but who contributed … Read MoreCharley Willis (1847–1930)

Lydia Flood Jackson (1862-1963)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Lydia Flood Jackson was a champion of women’s rights and suffrage in California for African American women and other people of color. The outspoken activist was the first black student to attend an integrated public school in Oakland, California. Flood’s mother, … Read MoreLydia Flood Jackson (1862-1963)

Bridget “Biddy” Mason (1818–1891)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Bridget “Biddy” Mason, born a slave in Mississippi in 1818, achieved financial success that enabled her to support her extended family for generations despite the fact that she was illiterate. In a landmark case she sued her master for their freedom, … Read MoreBridget “Biddy” Mason (1818–1891)

Mary Jane Holmes Shipley Drake (1841–1925)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Mary Jane Holmes Shipley Drake, born in Missouri in 1841, was one of six children of Robin and Polly Holmes. From 1852 to 1853 Mary Jane was the subject of a fifteen-month legal battle known as Holmes v. Ford to obtain … Read MoreMary Jane Holmes Shipley Drake (1841–1925)