Rebel Girl – Annie Oakley
8×10 inch giclee print
printed with archival inks on watercolour rag paper, giving a beautiful weighted texture and feel of the original painting
signed by artist
Born in 1860, Annie was the sixth of Jacob and Susan’s nine children, and the fifth of the seven surviving. Annie’s father, who had fought in the War of 1812, was 61 years old at the time of Annie’s birth and became invalid from hypothermia during a blizzard in late 1865 and died of pneumonia in early 1866 at age 66.
Because of poverty following her father’s death, Annie did not regularly attend school as a child. Annie began trapping before the age of seven, and shooting and hunting by age eight to support her siblings and her widowed mother.
At age nine, she was admitted to the Darke County Infirmary along with her sister where they were put in the care of the infirmary’s superintendent who taught her to sew and decorate. In the spring of 1870, she was “bound out” to a local family to help care for their infant son, on the false promise of fifty cents per week (equivalent to $10 in 2020) and an education. The couple had originally wanted someone who could pump water, cook, and who was bigger. She spent about two years in slavery to them, enduring mental and physical abuse. One time, the wife put Annie out in the freezing cold without shoes, as a punishment because she had fallen asleep over some darning.
Annie ran away at 15 years old, returning to her mother’s home where her hunting and trapping skills paid off the mortgage on her mother’s farm.