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August 4, 2017

20 Black and White Studio Portraits of “Princess of the West” Annie Oakley Posing With Her Guns

Annie Oakley was the stage name of Phoebe Ann Moses, a sharpshooter whose skill at shooting led her to star in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show and made her a national celebrity. She won numerous medals for her marksmanship, performed for royalty, and remains a legendary figure of the American West.

She was born in August, 1860 in the town of Greenville, Ohio. From a young age, she became interested in shooting, but initially as a necessity: her father died when she was six years old and this left her family in desperate poverty. Annie began hunting and trapping and would sell surplus game to locals. Her skills gained larger attention when she won a shooting match with marksman Frank Butler at age 15. Not only would she go on to marry Mr. Butler, but the pair would travel together and join Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.

Known as "Little Sure Shot", Ms. Oakley had a unique combination of speed and accuracy in her shooting, and with the help of Buffalo Bill's coaching, she became an expert performer as well. She and her husband toured together for many years before settling down in North Carolina. Ms. Oakley did performances for locals well past her 60th birthday. Here is a brief pictorial history of her life.


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