ANNIE "LITTLE SURE SHOT" OAKLEY - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 9/24 - HFSID 285930
Before leaving on a ship, probably on tour, "Little Sure Shot" writes to friends.
EXTREMELY RARE ALS: "Annie Oakley", 2p, 5¼x8½, separate sheets. On stationery of Eastern Steamship Lines, Brocton, Mass., no year, September 24. Begins: "Dear Friends". In full, with grammatical errors and misspellings: "I realy am ashamed to think that I neglected to write you. and send our sincere regrets to dear Allice. But when I think it all over, I feel that God does things for our own good and the poorer Boy is better off and happier than he was away from his little Wife and Baby. The dear little photo is so cute. I would love to see you all again. Fern is feeling better and is in an office 35oo per week & percentage. And we hope that her Mother will strike oil on her farm. 5 wells on 2 next farms all paying. I havent been well. 5 weeks in N.Y.C. and only got one dress made. We sail in 5 minutes so must see & mail this. Bushels of love to all from both." Annie Oakley (1860-1926) was born Phoebe Anne Oakley Mozee in Ohio. She was the sixth of eight children. At the age of nine she began to shoot rabbits and quail and was almost a dead shot from the first. Within five years, she was a breadwinner for her family as a markswoman. In 1876, at age 16, she married Frank Butler, a vaudeville performer who became her partner. Annie's self-effacing personality (on and off stage) made her a popular performer. In 1885, the Butlers joined Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show. Annie, a star with the show for 17 years, charmed Kings and Queens. In 1901, she was severely injured in a railroad wreck that temporarily paralyzed her. But she made a sensational comeback in the next two decades. She and Butler were childless, but she supported 18 orphan girls. Her favorite reading was the New Testament, and her generosity and religious spirit comes through in this letter. She died at age 67 (November 3, 1926); her husband died three weeks later. Lightly creased. 1/8-inch diagonal tear at right blank edge (all paper intact). Vertical fold touches the "A". Fine condition.
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