Deliverance Mary Fields, First African American Woman Star Route Mail Carrier in the United States: A Montana History – Miantae Metcalf McConnell


A creative nonfiction biography that chronicles the life of Mary Fields, an emancipated slave who in 1885, rushes into the Montana wilderness, saves her friend’s life, and remains in the perilous frontier, single-​handedly transforming pioneer lives for the better—including her own.

Mary’s history intertwines with that of Montana as the territory transitions to statehood and wrestles with constitutional issues that include women’s political rights: property ownership, wages, suffrage rights and Montana’s scandalous 1914 election.

Accurate accounts of Native Americans, the new generations of Métis, religious institutions, homesteaders, activists, entrepreneurs and ruthless scalawags bring the American frontier experience to life.

The title is based upon ten years of research and provides new historical discoveries. MCCONNELL’S RESEARCH enabled USPS to establish Mary Fields as the first African American woman star route mail carrier in the United States. She also achieves other historical firsts revealed in the book.


Under McConnell’s hand, the atmosphere, frontier challenges, and landscapes of Montana come to life. Mary Fields is a true historical figure, dramatized in novel format. Her story will delight readers who look for a blend of accurate historical facts, hard-hitting drama, and realistic scenes powered by a feisty protagonist whose values and concerns become part of the social changes sweeping the nation. —Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

McConnell has fashioned a historical narrative marrying prose and poetry, fact with creative writing. With the discerning eye of a photographer, the deft hand of a historian, and the literary heart of a poet, the life of Mary Fields, legendary black woman of Montana, rises off the page into living history. If the reader has any interest in Mary Fields, aka Stagecoach Mary, Miantae Metcalf McConnell has written a new book of historical fiction that draws on more than a decade of research into Fields’ life and brings to life Cascade, Birdtail Prairie and the struggle of Saint Angela’s Academy.—Kristen Inbody, Great Falls Tribune

I loved the historical biography, Deliverance Mary Fields! I felt like I was right there with Mary Fields. It was beautifully written and I could hardly put it down. Being a native Montanan who grew up in central Montana I knew the area where the story took place very well. A definite read for everyone!—Debbi Kramer, Executive Director, Montana Library Association, Inc.

Deliverance is the one book you must read.—Michael Searles, Author, Professor of History, Augusta University, GA.

A great story and history of Mary Fields, an important black westerner. A must read for youths and adults. —Bruce A. Glasrud, Author, Professor, California State University.

Recent Awards
U.K. Wishing Shelf Biography Finalist 2016
Finalist 2016 Laramie Award