Title: Miss Annie Oakley

Periodical: The Rifle. An Illustrated Journal

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FOR some time past, shooters, who have read American journals, recording feats of marksmanship, have noticed occasional allusions to the wonderful skill of Miss Annie Oakley, a young lady who, from an inherent love of fire-arms and hunting, when a girl of ten years of age, had become a fine shot, which gave her considerable reputation where she was born, and passed her childhood days; and as she grew older, and her skill continuing to increase, she attracted the attention of shooters throughout the country. As she frequently shot matches with fine shots of the sterner sex, and was generally victorious she has acquired the reputation of being one of the finest lady shots with rifle, shot-gun, or pistol in America.

Miss Oakley was born at Woodland, Dark Co., Ohio, August 13, 1866. In those days game was abundant in that section, and, when this young lady had reached the age of ten years, her greatest pleasure was to steal away into the woods, and, with her brother's musket, which had been smuggled from the house, indulge in her favorite pastime of hunting and shooting.

Later, securing a gun of her own, she established a great local reputation, which soon extended and attracted the attention of parties who induced her, by flattering offers, to exhibit her skill before the public, where she has done excellent work, delighting many thousands of people who have seen her shoot. Audiences are sometimes easily pleased, and often do not fully consider the difficulties of a performance; those who are used to handling fire-arms fully appreciate the skill of Miss Oakley; and it is a rare treat to see this little lady handle rifle or shot-gun, which she does with the greatest grace and ease and with acknowledged skill. She shoots with the shot-gun on foot and from horseback, being an expert rider, and with the rifle and pistol, of the latter two, our readers are specially interested in; the rifle and pistol preferred and used by her being the Stevens' make.

Early in her shooting career she exhibited her skill before the great Indian chief, Sitting Bull, the exhibition taking place in St. Paul, Minn.; the old warrior was filled with delight, and exclaimed, Muzza Caw Ah Pazzo! Muzza Caw Ah Pazzo! (Little Sure Shot),—a name she was from that time known by among the Sioux tribe, into which the great chief adopted her. In April, 1884, she attempted to beat the best 1,000-ball record at that time made, at balls thrown in the air, and broken with a rifle-ball; the record she attempted to excel being that of 979, made by Dr. Ruth, she used her .22-calibre rifle, and scored 943 balls out of 1,000.

In 31 matches she has engaged in she has secured 25 prizes, and has always shot even terms. Her collection of guns, medals, and prizes is magnificent, and in addition to this she has earned, during the past five years, a handsome sum of money.

This little lady wears the laurels she has won by her pluck and skill, with becoming modesty, She does not claim the word "champion," but many award it to her in particular styles of shooting. She is small in stature, but quick and sure in her movement, rides with unsurpassed grace, and shoots with unerring accuracy. Parties, who have seen her shoot the rifle and pistol in private, state that her skill is wonderful, and which few only of the male sex can equal.

Title: Miss Annie Oakley

Periodical: The Rifle. An Illustrated Journal

Source: Buffalo Bill Center of the West; MS6, William F. Cody collection, MS6.3681.001.02 (Oakley scrapbook)

Keywords: Biography Firearms Hunting Pistols Rifles Sharpshooters Shooting contests Shotguns Targets (Shooting) Traveling exhibitions

People: Oakley, Annie, 1860-1926 Sitting Bull, 1831-1890

Place: Darke County (Ohio)

Sponsor: This project is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Geraldine W. & Robert J. Dellenback Foundation.

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