The Life of Hon. William F. Cody, Known as Buffalo Bill: The Famous Hunter, Scout, and Guide: An Autobiography

The Life of Hon. William F. Cody, Known as Buffalo Bill: The Famous Hunter, Scout, and Guide: An Autobiography

The Life of Hon. William F. Cody, Known as Buffalo Bill: The Famous Hunter, Scout, and Guide: An Autobiography

The Life of Hon. William F. Cody, Known as Buffalo Bill: The Famous Hunter, Scout, and Guide: An Autobiography

Excerpt

Don Russell

WILLIAM FREDERICK CODY, known as Buffalo Bill, probably contributed more than any other one person to the romanticizing and glamorizing of the Wild West, the West of cowboy and Indian. He led an adventurous life and, because he had entered show business and had begun making appearances in dime-novel fiction, he was already a legendary figure when his autobiography was published in 1879. Buffalo Bill continues to symbolize the West, but his legend has grown so large that many people disbelieve all that is said by or about him. Their skepticism begins with the title page of this volume. They insist on denying the validity of the words "an autobiography." It is taken for granted that Buffalo Bill had to have a ghostwriter. Bibliographers and many book dealers nominate for that job Ned Buntline, John M. Burke, Prentiss Ingraham, and Frank E. Bliss.

The cynics who see Buffalo Bill as entirely the invention of press agents commonly attribute that invention to Ned Buntline, pen name of Edward Zane Carroll Judson, about whom has gathered a mythology making him a supercolossal writer of dime novels, including hundreds of Buffalo Bill stories. Actually he wrote only four. The association of Judson and Cody was brief but not unimportant in Cody's career. They met, as described on pages 263-64 of this book, on July 24, 1869, the date being set as that of the departure of the scouting party led by Brevet Major William H. Brown from Fort McPherson. A minor indication that Ned did not write the autobiography is his introduction as "Colonel E. B. C. Judson," with the middle initial incorrect.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.