Feisty Females: Martha Jane Canary, a.k.a. “Calamity Jane”

CalamityJane2Many stories have been written about today’s “feisty female”, but if based on her short autobiography, it’s debatable whether they are true or not.  Generally speaking, she was known for her “wild side” and it was legendary, based on the numerous stories in newspapers across the country beginning in the mid-1870s.  Legends of America describes her like this:

she … [grew] up to look and act like a man, shoot like a cowboy, drink like a fish, and exaggerate the tales of her life to any and all who would listen.

The Encyclopedia Britannica backs up that observation: “The facts of her life are confused by her own inventions and by the successive stories and legends that accumulated in later years.”

Martha Jane Canary, a.k.a. “Calamity Jane” was born near Princeton, Missouri on May 1, 1852 to parents Robert and Charlotte.  Martha was the oldest of six children.  Her father, a farmer, moved the family to Virginia City, Montana in 1865.

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