Courtesy of All That's Interesting

231: Calamity Jane

American Frontierswoman who Exaggerated Practically Every Story of Everything That Ever Happened to Her

Born: 1 May 1852, Princeton, Missouri, United States of America

Died: 1 August 1903, Terry, South Dakota, United States of America

Original Name: Martha Jane Canary

Calamity was known for dressing like a man, shooting like a man, and drinking like a man.

Both of her parents died in short succession after traveling by wagon train from Missouri westward; leaving Calamity in charge of her five younger siblings.

In 1870, she joined General George Armstrong Custer as a scout at Fort Russell in Wyoming—effectively beginning the rest of her life of dressing like a man.

Although Calamity often claimed she and Wild Bill Hickok were involved (or possibly even married) there is little to no evidence to support these claims.

She spent years traveling all over the Western United States and in 1885 she married and had a daughter two years later.

Calamity continued to travel and in 1895 she was hired as a part of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

She eventually died from effects of alcoholism and requested she be buried by Wild Bill Hickok.

In 1953, a Hollywood Film Entitled “Calamity Jane” was released. I’ve linked the trailer to the left.

Badges Earned:

Find a Grave Marked

Located In My Personal Library:

America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines by Gail Collins

The Book of Awesome Women: Boundary Breakers, Freedom Fighters, Sheroes, and Female Firsts by Becca Anderson

Cowgirls: Women of the American West by Teresa Jordan

Haunted West: Legendary Tales From the Frontier (Magazine Published by Centennial Today, Fall 2020)

Scandalous Women: The Lives and Loves of History's Most Notorious Women by Elizabeth Kerri Mahon

Tales Behind the Tombstones: The Deaths and Burial's of the Old West's Most Nefarious Outlaws, Notorious Women, and Celebrated Lawmen by Chris Enss