Annie Oakley (born Phoebe Ann Mosey, 1860-1926) Photo, London, 1891, inscribed “Compliments of Annie Oakley, Strassburg, April 18th, 1891”
2 pairs of gloves, leather & beaded suede, ca. 1900, each signed in pen on the lining.
A heart card pierced by 5 bullets.
A typed telegraph letter on Pennsylvania Limited stationery to Emma Butler
Steamer trunk, ca. 1917 & 48E. Photo of the leads in “The Western Girl,” NY, 1902?
Annie is still so mythologized–a lot due to her–but this is a sampling from her real life. The aptness of her nickname “Little Sure Shot” is evidenced by the slew of medals covering her chest. She gave this particular photo to Nate Salisbury, manager of the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show. Five bullets went through the red heart of this promotional card, tossed in the air twelve yards away from the sharpshooter. She always wore gloves to shoot, and had surprisingly big hands for a tiny woman, size 9 or 10. The brown leather ones bear her signature logo of three running horses’ heads. In 1902-4 she starred in a play written for her, “The Western Girl,” in New York. She is standing on the left with the actors who played her father and blind sister. She ’s wearing a curly brown wig, as her own hair had turned white after the 1901 train accident and ﬁve surgeries on her spine which halted her rodeo career. When in 1903 the Hearst tabloids published that she had been arrested in Chicago for shoplifting a pair of men’s pants (a local drug addict told the cops her name was Annie Oakley), she sued the pants off them. The telegram celebrates her victory. She was awarded the enormous sum of $27,500, though it took until 1910 for the foot-dragging Hearst to pay up. Annie and her husband Frank Butler traveled extensively during World War 1 to raise funds and entertain at troop camps. She also gave classes on sharpshooting to women. The Seward wood and metal trunk is stencilled upside down, so that when the lid is raised, it advertises her name. She also scratched her signature heart near the handle.