Do not go where the path may lead, go where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Friday

Lizzie Hoodoo Brown

From High Noon


Mrs. Elizabeth "Lizzie" Hoodoo Brown, a widow living in Leadville, Colorado in the 1880s, was known for practicing the 'black arts'. In fact, it was often said that bad luck and death followed her wherever she went. Her husband, Hoodoo Brown, was a gambler like the man who ran the Dodge City Gang but it isn't certain that he was the notorious outlaw.

The pair travelled, gambling, conning and likely robbing to support themselves. During a high stakes poker game one night in Buena Vista, an argument erupted that Hoodoo and another gambler, "Curly" Frank, decided to settle with their six-shooters. Both were mortally wounded. They were, certainly unhappily, buried in the same grave.

Elizabeth returned to Leadville, where she worked as a prostitute and conjure woman. She's said to have drank heavily and to have been most unpleasant when she did.

“There was a time in the history of Leadville when Mrs. Brown was one of the reigning belles of Leadville’s Tenderloin District,” a Leadville paper reads. “Lizzie wore as fine dresses and big sparklers as any dame of the row.”

By 1885 rumors that she was in league with the Devil were rampant and she was accused of wrecking havoc with her witchcraft on more than one occasion. One
man went so far as to chop her black cat in half to break a spell. It's said that was the only time one of her spells was broken.

She lived in Leadville until her death in 1901 and was buried in an umarked grave in St. Joseph's cemetary.

For more: “Mining, Mayhem and Other Carbonate Excitements—Tales From a Silver Camp Called Leadville.” by Roger Pretti

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