By Rachel A. Koestler-Grack
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Extra info for Calamity Jane (Legends of the Wild West)
Deadwood Dick Makes Jane Famous In time, Jane was a figure in many dime novels. One particular set of these books, far more than any others, gave a tremendous boost to Jane’s reputation. This was a wildly popular series of 33 novels set in the Black Hills about a character named Deadwood Dick. The first of these, published in 1877, was called Deadwood Dick, the Prince of the Road; or, The Black Rider of the Black Hills. Deadwood Dick was a completely fictional character, invented by the author of the series, a Pennsylvania writer named Edward L.
There were half a dozen patients in the small log pesthouse in Spruce Gulch when Dr. [He] believed that without [Jane’s] care not one of them would have pulled through. indd 50 6/22/10 11:31:43 AM Adventures in Deadwood 51 Once the smallpox emergency was over, Jane’s obligations to the sick came to an end. She regained her restlessness and decided to leave Deadwood. One of Calamity Jane’s first destinations after leaving town was Bear Butte Creek, not far from Deadwood. She apparently accompanied the 7th Cavalry there during 1878–1879, which was on assignment to help build the army outpost that eventually became known as Fort Meade.
Calamity Jane herself said that Jessie was born on October 28, 1887. indd 63 6/22/10 11:31:58 AM 64 calamity jane speculation that Jessie may have had a different natural mother and that Jane informally adopted her. In any case, it is true that a girl lived and traveled with Jane for years, and Jane called the girl her daughter. For his part, McLaird, Calamity’s most reputable biographer, believes that she was indeed Jessie’s mother. Some evidence backs up stories Calamity told about adventures in the late 1880s and early 1890s; others do not.
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