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Profile of the Day: Calamity Jane

On this day in 1852, American frontierswoman and folk hero Calamity Jane was born near Princeton, Missouri.

Profile of the Day: Calamity Jane

Calamity Jane / Library of Congress

Calamity Jane’s early life is a mystery. Much about what is known comes from an autobiographical booklet from 1896. The booklet, dictated by Calamity Jane, was written for publicity purposes, and thus, some of the information was likely exaggerated or false.

What is known is that she was born Martha Jane Canary and that by the age of 12, both of her parents had died. The oldest of six children, Jane took charge of her siblings and took a series of odd jobs before becoming a scout at Fort Russell.

She helped perpetuate her own legendary status by embellishing many stories about her life, including stories of heroism and charity. Her close friendship with legendary gunslinger Wild Bill Hickok also helped contribute to the public’s fascination with Calamity Jane. In her later years, she appeared in many Wild West Shows as a storyteller and to show off her sharp shooting skills.

Explore Calamity Jane’s family tree and share your connection!

View Calamity Jane’s Geni Profile


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