Dear Annie Oakley,
You were America’s gun-tootin little sweetheart and a classic female American superstar. You took chances and you excelled as a woman in what is considered a man’s world. You blurred the lines between what a proper Victorian lady should and shouldn’t be – and you did it all with style.
Love Mookychick xxx
Annie Oakley Quotes
“Aim at a high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, not the second time and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect. Finally you’ll hit the bull’s-eye of success.”
“For me, sitting still is harder than any kind of work.”
“My mother and sisters thought my prowess with the gun was just a little tomboyish”
“I would like to see every woman know how to handle [firearms] as naturally as they know how to handle babies.”
“A crowned queen was never treated with more reverence than I was by those whole-souled western boys And for seventeen long years I was just their little sister, sharing both their news of joy and sorrow from home.”
A Short History of Annie Oakley
Annie Oakley was born on August 16th 1860 in Darke County, Ohio. Her mother gave her the name Phoebe Ann, but her sisters called her Annie. She would later add Oakley part in honour of Oakley, Ohio. Life was not easy for our little Ann as tragedy upon tragedy was thrust on her family – after the death of her father and the loss of her stepfather, Ann’s mother had no choice but to send her off to work on a poor farm. For two years Ann spent her time in near servitude to a family that she often referred to as “the wolves”.
At the age of 15 Annie was finally reunited with her mother, who had remarried, but even then things were not well with the family, for the family farm was soon to be lost. Luckily, Annie had taught herself to shoot a gun and with her skill and wits Annie was able to gain enough money from her hunting to pay off the farm’s mortgage. How manly!
Around the age of sixteen, Annie Oakley went to Cincinnati to enter into a shooting contest with the great marksman Frank E. Butler. Annie not only won the match, but had also won the heart of Frank E. Butler as well. Hurrah! They soon married after their meeting and began their life together as sharpshooting performers. At first Annie was just Frank’s assistant, but he later realized that Annie was more talented himself – Annie was the one everyone came to see. He gladly stepped down (what a great husband) and let Annie have the limelight, giving himself the role of her manager. His generosity makes him a real mookyduke in his own right.
At the age of seventeen, Annie joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show as one of its star performers and performed feats such as shooting an object from just looking right into a mirror, hitting a playing card five to six times before it settled back onto the ground, shooting a cigarette right out of the mouth of Frank. She later shot a cigarette right out of the hand of Wilhelm, the Crown Prince of Germany, at his request – no nasty repetitions of the assassination of Ferdinand the Fox and the start of WW1 here! If there was something to hit, Annie was sure to make the bullseye with a pistol, rifle, and her favourite, the shotgun. The Indian chief Sitting Bull gave Annie Oakley the name Little Sure Shot – because she never missed.
Taking on royalty, becoming a genuinely talented star performer, getting married to the right guy, getting official love from Native American chiefs and saving the family farm? That’s a helluva lot to achieve in your teenage years.
Everything wasn’t always peaches ‘n cream for Annie though. Another sharpshooter named Lillian Smith joined Buffalo Bill’s show and threatened to take Annie’s place. Lillian was 15 while Annie was 26 – oh, the fickle finger of fame! Annie began to lie about her age in order to make the age difference between the two not as noticeable. Even though Lillian was around ten years younger than Annie she lacked the skill and class Annie possessed and eventually left the show, leaving Annie to retain her position as the sharpshooting queen.
In 1901 Annie was involved in a train wreck that caused great injury to her spine, but she was able to fix most of the damage by having multiple surgeries. Even though Annie suffered from a spinal injury and age was catching up to her, she still managed to be the spectacular markswoman she always had been. On the third of November, in 1926, Annie passed away of pernicious anemia at the age of sixty-six. Frank was heartbroken over the loss of his ladylove and stopped eating and followed her to the grave just 18 days after her departure.
To tweak the quote, let’s give Frank his dues: Behind every great woman there might well be a great man.
Annie Oakley is best known for
Being a terrific markswoman and being one of the main stars in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
Annie Oakley is least known for
To the surprise of many Annie was not in favour of the women’s right to vote – oh Annie, how conservative! But she was in favour of women getting equal pay for equal work.
Annie Oakley was a self-made woman who pioneered the way for other women to make a name for themselves in the world of show business. She was a woman who was able to accomplish so much from just her talents – and she even gladly shared the knowledge she knew with other ladies who wanted to learn how to use firearms. Considering all this and more I think Annie Oakley’s level of mookiness is well deserve,d considering that she could hold her own against the sharpshooters of yesterday and today.
Annie Oakley Links
Tagged in: feminist icons