Synopsis of
Charley’s Choice

SYNCharley Darkey Parkhurst ran away from a New England orphanage, apprenticed with a respected horseman, worked hard learning horse craft, and, over the ensuing years, earned a hallmark reputation driving a six-up in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Georgia, and California during the gold rush era. Charley’s varied career also included working as a logger, stage depot operator, cattle rancher and chicken farmer. When death overtook Charley, many long-time friends and acquaintances were astounded to learn the tough old stage-driver was a well-endowed woman who had given birth at some point in her life. A member of the all male Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Charley was the only woman known to have voted in California during the 1868 federal election, fifty-two years before women won the right to vote. Charley’s Choice is a fictional biography that explores the independent spirit and perseverance that made Charley Parkhurst an American legend.