Calamity Jane at the age of 33. Photo by H.R. Locke.Martha Jane Cannary-Burke, better known as Calamity Jane (May 1, 1852 (?) - August 1, 1903) was a fighter and frontierswoman most well known for her association with Wild Bill Hickok, after first gaining fame fighting Native Americans.
She was born Martha Jane Cannary (or Canary) in Princeton, Missouri. Her mother died in 1866 and her father died in 1867 (in Utah). In 1870, she signed on as a scout with George Armstrong Custer, and adopted the uniform of a soldier. It is unclear whether she was actually enlisted in the U.S. Army at the time. She was involved with a number of campaigns in the long-running military conflicts involving Native Americans. In 1872, she acquired the nickname "Calamity Jane," by rescuing her superior Captain Egan from an ambush near Sheridan, Wyoming. Calamity Jane accompanied the Newton-Jenney Party into the Black Hills in 1875, along with California Joe and Dr. Valentine McGillycuddy.