How did Martha Jane Canary acquire the nickname “Calamity?”

How did Martha Jane Canary acquire the nickname Calamity?

Rob Noyes
Cincinnati, Ohio

According to one tale, Martha Jane Canary’s paramours, and there were many, were afflicted by a venereal calamity. Jane did love her men, but as time went on, she switched her affections to booze. By the time Jane was 24, she was an alcoholic and could out-cuss, out-shoot, out-shout and out-drink most men. One contemporary described her looking like “a busted bale of hay.” Despite her ways, Jane was generally well-liked by her peers.

What do you think?

Marshall Trimble

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and the Wild West History Association’s vice president. His latest book is 2018’s Arizona Oddities: A Land of Anomalies and Tamales. Send your question, with your city/state of residence, to or Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327.