Mary Fields, the first African American woman to be a Star Route Carrier in the United States, was born into slavery in the early 1830s and was emancipated in 1863 at the end of the Civil War. After a variety of jobs (including working on a steamboat, at a convent, and opening her own restaurant), she became a Star Route Carrier in northern Montana, where she delivered mail along a fifteen-mile route. Highly reliable, she became known in the community as “Stagecoach Mary,” a nickname she earned due to the stagecoach she used to complete her route. Fields challenged female gender roles by frequenting saloons, wearing men’s clothes, and avoiding marriage. She carried two guns with her while working, and was beloved by locals for her fearlessness and her generosity (especially toward children). Her funeral in 1914 was heavily attended, and her legacy has lived on in a variety of movies, television shows, and songs.