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Calamity Jane Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-95040).

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Calamity Jane (01 May 1852–01 August 1903), legendary western woman, was born Martha Cannary in Princeton, Missouri, the daughter of Robert Cannary (also spelled Canary). Her mother’s identity is unknown. In 1865, enticed by news from the Montana gold fields, her father moved the family to Virginia City, Montana. After her mother died in 1866, the family settled in Salt Lake City. Following her father’s death in 1867, an adolescent but determined Calamity Jane traveled to Fort Bridger, Wyoming. From there she embarked upon the transient existence that would characterize her life in the West, especially in the Black Hills mining camps of South Dakota and Wyoming....

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Le Vert, Octavia Celeste Walton (11 August 1811–12 March 1877), socialite and author, was born at the plantation home of her grandfather, “Bellevue,” just outside Augusta, Georgia, the daughter of George Walton II, a wealthy lawyer and senior statesman, and Sally Minge Walker. (Le Vert’s birth year has appeared in some sources as 1810 and 1820 and her death date as 13 March. The dates given here are the official dates printed on her tombstone and cemetery records.) Le Vert came from a family with generations of distinguished history. Her paternal grandfather, ...

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Pratt, Daniel (11 April 1809–20 June 1887), wanderer, eccentric, and lecturer, was born in the Prattville section of Chelsea, Massachusetts, the son of Daniel Pratt, Jr., and Mary Hall. The roots of the distinguished Pratt family go back to revolutionary times; Daniel’s father was a humbler member of the strain. Daniel was the second of his ten children and outlived all of them except possibly one....