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Clap your hands or bang your gavel if you’ve heard of Esther Morris. She received national publicity in 1870 when she won 15 minutes of fame as the nation’s first female judge. National newspapers and magazines covered the event, describing what she wore and how she handled the cases that came before her. It happened in the new territoor of Wyoming, in South Pass City, a short-lived gold-boom town filled with miners, saloons, and the characters who figure in this account. In an example of how to...

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