Calamity Jane (May 1, 1852 – August 1, 1903) was a frontier woman renowned for her sharp-shooting, whiskey-swilling and cross-dressing ways and one of the more colorful characters of the West. Few substantiated facts are known about Calamity Jane’s life, but much is known about the legend.
Calamity Jane (born Martha Jane Canary) had a reputation for being able to handle a horse better than most men and shoot like a cowboy. She once described herself as the most reckless and daring rider and one of the best shots in the West. Further, she scoffed at the narrow limits placed on women in her era. Buffalo Bill Cody once said she had "very positive opinions of the things that a girl could enjoy."
A truly independent woman full of adventure, Calamity Jane did many things that women of her day could only dream of. She was a woman who held her own among the roughest characters of the Wild West.
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In 1777, a 16-year-old American patriot named Sybil Ludington rode 40-miles (twice as far as Paul Revere) through the night on horseback – in a dress – to alert her father’s men and rally troops to fight the British in what would become the battle...