When it comes to female outlaws in the Old West,
none can compare to a couple of teenagers
from the Indian Nation of Oklahoma.
They rode into legend with and without
their outlaw pals at their sides,
yet for some reason, western writers tend
to ignore them in favor of criminals with
more colorful exploits.
Maybe it is because of their youth
and the fact that they went "straight" after
reform school. Maybe it is because
they only flourished for
a couple of short years on the bandit trails
before they were caught. Maybe it is
because little is known about
what happened to them later in life.
Whatever the reason, Cattle Annie and Little Britches
have been mostly forgotten in the annals
of western lore, but not in the Oklahoma
and Indian Territories. Here, they were
two of the best known names in outlaw history.
In the days of Bill Doolin and his Wild Bunch, lawmen
also had their hands full trying to put a stop
to the message carriers who would warn gang
members when Johnny Law was in the vicinity.
Around Pawnee and Perry, Oklahoma, two of
these spies were also wanted for selling liquor to the
Indians and for horse theft. They were
crack shots with either pistol or rifle,
and in spite of their youth,
or perhaps because of it, they managed
to elude the law just about everywhere
they turned up. It was hard to imagine girls
on the wrong side of justice, especially teenagers,
but the truth is that two of the cutest and
youngest outlaw spies ever to ride the bandit
trails were "Cattle Annie" and "Little Britches".
Anna Emmaline McDoulet was born in 1879
to James C. and Rebekah McDoulet of
Lawrence County, Kansas.
She had an older brother named Calvin and
an older sister named Martha, and at the time
she went to prison as Cattle Annie,
her siblings also included
Claude, Maud, Everett, George,
James, and John, all younger
than herself and all still living at home.
Jennie Stevens was born in 1879 to
Daniel and Lucy Stevenson of
Barton County, Missouri.
She had one sister named Victoria Estella,
and there may possibly have been more siblings.
The first eight years of her life were spent in Missouri.