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The "Last of the Aboriginal Tasmanians" (she wasn't) used brains, brawn, and sheer will to carve a place for herself, even as the world was collapsing around her.
When the end of an era was at hand, this samurai woman refused to go gently.
Bisexual cross-dressing spy princess of the Qing dynasty - a hero to some and unspeakable villain to others.
This uneducated rebel preacher upstaged New England magistrates so much that they founded Harvard University in part to prevent women like her from gaining power.
Nanny of the Maroons
Led colony of escaped slaves and protected them from the English using borderline supernatural abilities.
Picked to be an impotent figurehead, this savvy intellectual quickly learned how to play politics and modernized the nation to ward off invasion.
United Hawaii under one rule, abolished ancient taboos, and led negotiations with the fledgling United States.
Olympias of Macedon
The much-maligned woman fought tooth and nail to position her son, Alexander, to become "the Great" - and herself in the process.
Susan la Flesche Picotte
The first Native American medical doctor endured back-breaking labor, years spent alone, and institutional racism to better the lives of her people.
The "panther queen" of the Azna defeated some of the greatest villains of French colonial history through wits, cunning -- and possibly magic.