Baby Doe Tabor

Baby Doe Tabor

The Madwoman in the Cabin

Book - 2007
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Univ of Oklahoma Pr
The story of Baby Doe Tabor has seduced America for more than a century. Long before her body was found frozen in a Leadville shack near the Matchless Mine, Elizabeth McCourt “Baby Doe” Tabor was the stuff of legend. The stunning divorcée married Colorado’s wealthiest mining magnate and became the “Silver Queen of the West.” Blessed with two daughters, Horace and Baby Doe mesmerized the world with their wealth and extravagance.

But Baby Doe’s life was also a morality play. Almost overnight, the Tabors’ wealth disappeared when depression struck in 1893. Horace died six years later. According to the legend, one daughter left home never to return; the other died horribly. For thirty-five years, Baby Doe, who was considered mad, lived in solitude high in the Colorado Rockies.

Baby Doe Tabor left a record of her madness in a set of writings she called her “Dreams and Visions.” These were discovered after her death but never studied in detail—until now. Author Judy Nolte Temple retells Lizzie’s story with greater accuracy than any previous biographer and reveals a story more heartbreaking than the legend, giving voice to the woman behind the myth.


The story of Baby Doe Tabor has seduced America for more than a century. Long before her body was found frozen in a Leadville shack near the Matchless Mine, Elizabeth McCourt “Baby Doe” Tabor was the stuff of legend. The stunning divorcée married Colorado’s wealthiest mining magnate and became the “Silver Queen of the West.” Blessed with two daughters, Horace and Baby Doe mesmerized the world with their wealth and extravagance. Baby Doe Tabor left a record of her madness in a set of writings she called her “Dreams and Visions.” These were discovered after her death but never studied in detail—until now.


Baker & Taylor
Looks at the life and writings of the Colorado mining pioneer.

Publisher: Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, c2007
ISBN: 9780806140353
0806140356
Branch Call Number: 978.84603 T2474b 2007
Characteristics: xx, 260 p. : ill. ; 24 cm

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US 24: Leadville, Colorado

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PimaLib_StephanieM Jun 01, 2015

The primary purpose of this book seems to be to deconstruct the genre and scholarship associated with previous writings about Tabor. Much of what Temple deconstructs applies to the myths surrounding many such women. The author is very forthcoming with her bias and how it affects her interpretatio... Read More »


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AnnabelleLee27 Sep 28, 2016

Non fiction. A great book that has become one of my favorites; it changed my understanding and allowed me to connect in a new way with the woman known as 'Baby Doe'. Temple examines Elizabeth Tabor from a Feminist perspective which seeks to give voice and dignity to her while placing her in the larger historical context of her day . Temple looks at how the story of the Tabors was used to further the goals of the teller (a morality play, or a love story, or the fitting fall of a “home wrecker” etc) and how the telling furthered the goals of particular authors as 'historians'. Temple then examines Elizabeth’s writings from her later years in her cabin at the Matchless Mine. She presents the story of Elizabeth's daughters, particularly that of Silver and her tragic demise.

PimaLib_StephanieM Jun 01, 2015

The primary purpose of this book seems to be to deconstruct the genre and scholarship associated with previous writings about Tabor. Much of what Temple deconstructs applies to the myths surrounding many such women. The author is very forthcoming with her bias and how it affects her interpretation of Tabor's story. The feminist and sociological approach to the book is heavy-handed and could be rough going if you're not in the mood. I happened to be so I got through it pretty quickly.

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