Saturday, September 24, 2016

Calamity Jane as written in Meet the Legends - Destination Deadwood

Calamity Jane was born Martha Jane Canary.  My favorite movie is Buffalo Gals, but it doesn't follow history as I've recently discovered.

Jane was married a number of times, and although the movie claims Wild Bill Hickok as the father or her only child, little is known about her marriages and lovers.

In line with the movie, she was a female bushwacker with language so strong men feared it more than her gun, which rarely missed its mark.  She came to Deadwood in 1876 and made it a permanent home, but ventured freely from time to time.  She caroused with drunkards, gamblers and miners, and even, during a small pox outbreak in a mining camp, nursed many back to health.  To some she was a true angel.

Her reputation varies depending upon who you believe.  She was kind and took care of the less fortunate, or a renegade who was drunk and disorderly.  She was never known to have stolen anything, however, but always got what she gunpoint.

Buffalo Gals centered on her love for Wild Bill, but he was married to his beloved Agnes, who awaited his return in Cheyenne.  If there was a love affair, it was definitely one-sided as Wild Bill never strayed.

Jane died August 1, 1903 and was buried, at her request, near Wild Bill in the Mt. Moriah Cemetery.  Some say she coudn't be near him in life, but would forever be close to him in death.  A combination of pneumonia and alcoholism made her dream a reality. 

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