Annie Oakley Research Paper World Lit II

Submitted By bwhitten1
Words: 1284
Pages: 6

THE LIFE OF ANNIE OAKLEY

Prepared for
Mrs. Rita Bailey

Prepared by
Brittany N. Whitten

July 19, 2012

Annie Oakley was not just an average American woman in the 19th Century. It did not matter if Annie had a rifle, pistol, or a shotgun in her hand, she would master it. Throughout her life, she was not just a sharpshooter; she was a powerful epitome of what every American woman should aspire to be.
On August 13, 1860, Annie Oakley was born on her parent’s farm in Darke County, Ohio. Her parents, Jacob and Susan Moses named her Phoebe Ann Moses when she was born but she later took the stage name “Annie Oakley”. She was the fifth of seven children. As a young child, Annie helped her parents on the family farm. (PBS, 2006)
In the winter of 1866, when Annie was only 6 years old, her father got caught in an early blizzard while he was traveling back from a local convenient store. He made it home and shortly after passed away of pneumonia. His death left the family in a financial catastrophe. In 1867, Annie’s oldest sister died of tuberculosis. These events gave the family no choice but to leave the family farm and move to smaller home. (PBS, 2006)
Attempting to help her struggling family, Annie started setting traps for birds. She successfully caught quails and grouse in her traps. At the age of 8, Annie got her father’s old rifle, went into the woods, and shot a squirrel. Annie’s mother found out about it and tells her to never shoot a gun again. (PBS, 2006)
When Annie was 10, her mother was unable to financially support Annie anymore. She sent her to Greenville, Ohio to live with Samuel and Nancy Edington on a poor farm. She was then sent to work for a mean, abusive family who Annie called, “the wolves”. After two years of the brutal work, Annie ran away from “the wolves” and returned to live with the Edingtons where she then learned how to sew. (PBS, 2006)
In 1875, Annie returned to her mother’s home and began shooting game and selling it to a local shop owner. She did so well in doing this, she was able to pay off the mortgage on her mother’s home. Soon after, Annie decided to enter into a shooting contest against an Irish immigrant, Frank Butler. Frank was a distinguished marksman who was a well-known local theater performer. Annie bravely battled against and conquered Frank by hitting all 25 targets in a row, as Frank missed the last target. Frank became love-struck by the minuscule defeat by Annie. (PBS, 2006)
In the summer of 1876, Annie and Frank got married. Frank continued his shooting act tour and in time partnered up with a man named Baughman. The duo eventually joined the Sells Brothers Circus and referred to themselves as “Champion Rifle Dead-Shots of the World.” Not long after, the circus contract ended and Frank teamed up with John Graham. The two marksmen worked in the theaters and called themselves, “America’s own rifle team and champion all around shots.” On the night of one of their performances, Graham got sick and Frank asked Annie to perform in his place. (PBS, 2006)
In almost an instant, Annie turned heads with her shooting expertise and replaced Graham. The married couple started calling themselves “Butler and Oakley” and joined the vaudeville circuit. Annie stood out against all of the other female performers. Unlike the other women, Annie dressed conventionally and let her gun do the work. It didn’t take long for Frank to realize, Annie was the real star on stage. He then started handling the business portion of their work. (PBS, 2006)
In March of 1884, Butler and Oakley performed in front of an audience that happened to have the prominent Native American, Sitting Bull watching. When Sitting Bull saw Annie Oakley put out a burning candle wick by a single shot, he was remarkably impressed. He then adopted Annie and granted her the Indian name, “Watanya Cicilla,” also known as, “Little Sure Shot.” (History, 2012)
In the next year, the couple grew tired of the nonstop…