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Interactive video lesson plan for: 4 Remarkable Wild West Women | What the Stuff?!

Activity overview:

-Calamity Jane was buried next to WILD BILL HICKOK (not Buffalo Bill) in Deadwood, SOUTH DAKOTA (not California)

I wouldn't mess around with these awesome women of the American frontier!

12 Renowned Women of the Wild West

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Music Attribution:
"Airship Fury" by Jahzzar

• Pearl Hart
• Born around 1870 but was already into a lifestyle of morphine and robbery by the age of 22.
• When her husband left for the Spanish-American War, Hart robbed stagecoaches with a German drifter named Joe Boot, while she herself was dressed like a man.
• One newspaper from the time thought Hart was the leader of the two, because Boot was a “weak, morphine depraved specimen of male mortality.”
• Took $421 from 3 passengers, but Hart reportedly gave each of them $1 back so they could afford something to eat.
• Famously said: “I shall not consent to be tried under a law in which my sex had no voice in making.”
• Spent 18 months in prison for stagecoach robbery. But after a year she became pregnant while in prison. To avoid having to explain how this happened, the governor of Arizona pardoned her for early release.
• Calamity Jane
• Born Martha Jane Canary in Missouri around 1856.
• (Supposedly) Received her nickname when she rescued an army captain in South Dakota when their camp was attacked by Native Americans. Historians dismiss this and think it was more likely because she always got into trouble and “calamity” followed her everywhere.
• Also claimed she was a military scout. But was likely a “camp follower,” the ambiguous term for prostitution.
• Described as hard-drinking, transient, sharp shooting, “don’t-mess-with-me” kind of gal.
• In Deadwood in 1878, Calamity Jane cared for people afflicted with smallpox, at risk to her own health.
• By the 1880s stage plays and dime novels spread the exaggerated fabrication of her personality. She wrote her own autobiography to profit on these legends. And performed her tales in dime museums and at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.
• Died in 1903 from “inflammation of the bowels”... also known as alcoholism.
• Buried next to Wild Bill Hickock in 1903.
• Belle Starr
• Nicknamed “The Bandit Queen” and “The Petticoat Terror of the Plains.”
• Born in Missouri in 1848. Ma,ed Myra Maybelle Shirly Reed Starr.
• As a child the Jesse James gang hid out at her family farm. Starr went on to provide refuge for outlaws as an adult.
• Described as: "bony and flat chested with a mean mouth; hatchet faced; gotch-toothed tart."
• Went on the run with her husband Jim Reed after he was involved in murder. They counterfeited and robbed banks together. Reed was killed in 1874 by a deputy sheriff.
• Shot in the back and face while riding her horse home in 1889. The identity of her murderer was never determined. It is speculated to be either revenge, her father or even one of her children.

• Only five feet tall and 110 pounds.
• Annie Oakley’s sharpshooting feats:
• She shot cigarettes from her husband’s mouth and potatoes from her dogs’ heads, and she split a playing card turned sideways.
• Sometimes the ambidextrous Annie did trick shots with both hands at once. Sometimes she rode a bicycle while she shot.
• She could shoot the flames off candles as they rotated on a wheel or hit a dime in a man's hand, leaving his fingers intact and her audience breathless.
• While many trick-shot artists used a mirror to shoot backward, Annie did them one better: she fired over her shoulder by sighting in the narrow reflection from a Bowie knife blade.
• Annie Oakley’s interactions with other famous people:
• Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II trusted her to shoot the ash off of his cigarette while he smoked it.
• Beat the Grand Duke of Russia in a shooting match.
• In 1922 was partially paralyzed by a car accident.
• Died in 1926. Her entire fortune was discovered to have been spent on women’s rights and children’s charities. Although while alive she did not advocate for women’s voting rights.

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