The Real Story of Calamity Jane


One of the most enduring myths of the American Old West is that of Calamity Jane. The word “myth” is used because, even though Jane was a real person, very few details of her life can be discerned with certainty. Much of what is known about her early life comes from an autobiography she dictated to a friend, to be sold at Old West museums as an added attraction to them, and Jane was well known for embellishing tales about her life and adventures. She did it on stage during her brief time as a performer before alcoholism forced her out of the entertainment circuit (her only job as an entertainer was to tell tales of life in the Old West), and she did it with those who knew her. Fiction about her was even being written by others during her lifetime. Here is what is known and probably true about the life of the woman known as Calamity Jane...

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