LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE YOU TO THE FAMOUS
NAME: Martha Jane "Calamity Jane" Canary Burke
DATE OF BIRTH: May 1, 1852?
PLACE OF BIRTH: Princeton, Missouri
DATE OF DEATH: August 1, 1903
PLACE OF DEATH: Terry, So. Dakota
Calamity Jane was the oldest of six children. Legend states that she and James B. (Wild Bill) Hickock were involved during the gold mining years in Deadwood, So. Dakota; however, there is no evidence supporting this. After the gold mining boom, Jane wandered throughout the West and married Clinton Burke on September 25, 1891; he left Jane shortly after. Jane set herself apart from other women in that she could work and socialize with hard and tough frontiersmen: from digging for gold, drinking in bars and dressing like a man, she was mostly accepted by them. As a young child, she loved adventure and the outdoors and became an expert rider at a young age. As she traveled with her family Jane hunted and worked along with the men and at a young age became known as a good shot and fearless rider. Posing as a man, she became part of the 400 soldier Newton-Jenney geological expedition which explored the Black Hills. She then became a member of the Black Hills force led by General George Crook but an officer in the unit discovered she was a woman and had her expelled. It is uncertain how she obtained her nickname, but theories conclude that it was drawn from her hard frontier living and from helping those in need from disaster and sickness;
In her last years, she characteristically wandered from place to place throughout the West. On August 1, 1903 she died in Terry, South Dakota and was buried in Mount Moriah Cemetery in Deadwood.