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Thomas H. Jenkins

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MacIntosh Ross and Kevin B. Wamsley

On July 27, 1859, “Canada” Kate Clark met two Americans, Nellie Stem and Mary Dwyer, for a pair of prize fights in Fort Erie, Canada West. Beginning their adventure in Buffalo, New York, they rowed their way across the Niagara River to the fighting grounds in the British colony. Like pugilists before them, they stripped to the waist to limit potential grappling in battle. Both the journey and pre-fight fight preparations were tried and true components of mid-nineteenth century prize fighting. Although the press, and later historians, overwhelmingly associated such performances with male combatants, women were indeed active in Canadian pugilistic circles, settling scores, testing their mettle, and displaying their fistic abilities both pre- and post-Confederation. In this article, we begin to untangle the various threads of female pugilism, situating these athletes and performers within the broader literature on both boxing and women's sport in Canada. By examining media reports of female boxers—both in sparring and prize fighting—we hope to provide a historiographic foundation for further discussions of early female pugilism, highlighting the various ways these women upheld and challenged the notion of the “new woman” in Canada.

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Mass Media: Past, Present and Future Issues Garry J. Smith 3 1991 8 1 95 97 10.1123/ssj.8.1.95 Book Review Relative Freedoms: Women & Leisure Jan Felshin 3 1991 8 1 98 100 10.1123/ssj.8.1.98 The Manly Art: Bare-Knuckle Prize Fighting in America Thomas H. Jenkins 3 1991 8 1 101 102 10.1123/ssj.8

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Mark Dyreson

Knuckle Prize Fighting in America (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1986); Elliott J. Gorn, ed., Muhammad Ali: The People’s Champ (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1995); Michael Oriard, Reading Football: How the Popular Press Created an American Spectacle (Chapel Hill: University of North

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Lindsay Parks Pieper

York, NY: Ballantine Books . Good publicity from ball game . ( 1915 , September ). Woman’s Journal and Suffrage News, p.  303 . Gorn , E.J. ( 2010 ). The manly art: Bare-knuckle prize fighting in America . Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press . Graham , S.H. ( 1996 ). Woman suffrage and the

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Anne Tjønndal

boxers and coaches. 1 Context: Women’s Participation in Boxing Contrary to popular assumption, women’s boxing is not a new discipline or sport. There is historical documentation of women’s involvement in early prize fighting and pugilism dating back to the eighteenth century ( Gems & Pfister, 2014