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Calamity Jane
by Martha Jane Cannary

Category: History
Description: The true life story of the frontier scout Martha Jane Cannary, who was known as "Calamity Jane." Calamity Jane scouted for General Custer, delivered the mail for the Pony Express, went to Deadwood with Wild Bill Hickock, and ended her career as an entertainer in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Shows. In this story of her own life she tells of her exciting adventures. This is a low reading level book with high interest for people seeking authentic narratives by historical women.
eBook Publisher: ebooksonthe.net, 2006
eBookwise Release Date: September 2006

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Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [13 KB]
Words: 2061
Reading time: 5-8 min.


My maiden name was Marthy Cannary.

I was born in Princeton, Missouri, May 1st, 1852. Father and mother were natives of Ohio. I had two brothers and three sisters, I being the oldest of the children. As a child I always had a fondness for adventure and out_door exercise and a special fondness for horses. I began to ride at an early age and continued to do so until I became an expert rider. I was known for being able to ride the most vicious and stubborn of horses, In fact, the greater portion of my life in early times was spent in this manner.

In 1865 we emigrated from our homes in Missouri by the overland route to Virginia City, Montana. We took five months to make the journey. While on the way the greater portion of my time was spent in hunting along with the men and hunters of the party. In fact I was at all times with the men when there was excitement and adventures to be had. By the time we reached Virginia City, I was considered a remarkable good shot and a fearless rider for a girl of my age. I remember many occurrences on the journey from Missouri to Montana. Many times in crossing the mountains the conditions of the trail were bad. We frequently had to lower the wagons over ledges by hand with ropes, for they were so rough and rugged that horses were of no use.

We also had many exciting times fording streams. Many of the streams in our way were noted for quicksands and boggy places, where, unless we were very careful, we would have lost horses and all. Then we had many dangers to encounter in the way of streams swelling on account of heavy rains. On occasions of that kind the men would usually select the best places to cross the streams. On more than one occasion I have mounted my pony and swam across the stream several times merely to amuse myself, and have had many narrow escapes from having both myself and pony washed away to certain death. But as the pioneers of those days had plenty of courage we overcame all obstacles and reached Virginia City in safety.

Mother died at Black Foot, Montana, 1866, where we buried her. I left Montana in Spring of 1866, for Utah, arriving at Salt Lake city during the summer. Remained in Utah until1867, where my father died. Then I went to Fort Bridger, Wyoming Territory, where we arrived May 1, 1868. We then went to Piedmont, Wyoming, with Union Pacific Railway. I joined General Custer as a scout at Fort Russell, Wyoming, in 1870, and started for Arizona for the Indian Campaign.


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