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Biographie de Calamity Jane

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Par   •  24 Janvier 2020  •  Résumé  •  610 Mots (3 Pages)  •  551 Vues

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Calamity Jane (1852-1903)

Mythical idol of the Wild west, Martha Jane Cannary, nicknamed Calamity Jane was one of the rebel who would be easy to considered as feminist before the hour.

Martha has always a wide fringed suede coat, a leather hat, put aside on a braided hair that we know to be red and above all, a Winchester rifle held as an extension of her arm.

Discerning the truth from fabrication and rumour is very difficult when we are talking about Calamity Jane. The fact is that Calamity Jane herself didn’t hesitate to embellish her exploits and deny her crimes in her autobiography written in 1896.

At the age of 11, Martha finds herself orphaned, she did a series of odd jobs as a mineworker in the mines or as an employee of railroad companies pushing the border further and further to the west. In the Wild West she learned to ride a horse, to lasso.This girl who smokes, drinks and swears doesn't go unnoticed.

According to her autobiography, Calamity would have spent several years in the army, where she would have enlisted in 1870 disguised as a man and would have accomplished many feats, notably alongside the terrible General George Armstrong Custer. Yet some historians assure us that there is no evidence that she joined the army.

According to her memoirs, it was during her Scouting days that she earned the nickname.Calamity Jane. Hired by General George Crook, she was ordered to go with a detachment to Wyoming. Gone for several days, the group of soldiers suffered several Native American attacks during which six soldiers were killed and many others seriously hurt. On their return to the fort, only a few kilometres from it, the detachment was ambushed. The captain was hurt. Turning around, Martha notices that the officer is about to fall off his horse. She galloped towards him and grabbed him before he fell. She pulls him up on her horse in front of her and brings him back to the fort, saving his life. Once healed, the captain said to her, "I baptize you Calamity Jane, the heroine of the plains. »

It's also very difficult to confirm, or not, her history as a prostitute. Calamity is said to have worked at the Gem, run by the infamous manager Al Swearengen, who turned the theatre into a notorious den of sin. Despite some indirect testimonies, there is no guarantee that she worked there as a prostitute.

This sulfurous side of the American woman has been counterbalanced by stories depicting her as a mother Teresa. In Deadwood, she not only skimmed the saloons, she was also a nurse and a nursemaid. She was particularly prominent during a devastating smallpox epidemic. In one article, she was even described as "the perfect angel sent from Heaven when all men were sick". In another as "a great friend in times of need". "If someone got sick or hurt, she took care of them until they got better."

Between 1875 and 1878, Calamity Jane went from being an unknown to a national celebrity in the press. Several biographies and novels featured her even before the end of the century. Proud of this sudden fame, which was extraordinary for a woman of her time, she herself drank her own legend of fantastic tales often exceeding the truth. Her tours with the Wild West Show, a travelling show led by the famous Buffalo Bill, helped to inflate her mythology.



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