You are currently viewing Stick Figure History ~ The Queen of the Mist

Stick Figure History ~ The Queen of the Mist

“It is not a suicidal idea with me. I entertain the utmost confidence that I shall succeed in going over the Falls without any harm resulting to me. The barrel is good and strong and the inside will be cushioned so that the rolling movement will do me no harm. Besides, I shall have straps to hold fast to. There will be a weight in one end of the barrel so that air can be admitted through a valve in the upper end where my head will be located.”

When Annie Edson Taylor proposed a journey over Niagara Falls in a barrel as a means of financial security, her friends were reluctant to assist with what seemed a fatal proposition. The stunt was delayed several times. Taylor wasn’t the only person at risk – her manager and promotor F. M. Russell had both Canadian and American authorities preparing to charge him with manslaughter if Taylor did not succeed.  Fortunately, the barrel held and Taylor became the first recorded person to survive the cascades of Niagara Falls. She emerged bruised and in shock, uttering, “Nobody ought ever to do that again.”


Art by Isolde Honore

Photos, history, and more about Annie Edson Taylor:

Annie Edson Taylor Biography, Newspaper Excerpts, Photos – The Bay Journal

Annie Edson Taylor Images from the Niagara Falls – Ontario Public Library

Queen of the Mist: The Forgotten Heroine of Niagaraby Joan Murray

Annie Edson Taylor’s 1901 Retirement Plan: Go Over Niagara Falls In A Barrel – Atlas Obscura