Buckskins, Bullets, and Business: A History of Buffalo Bill's Wild West

By Sarah J. Blackstone | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FOUR
THE CONGRESS OF ROUGH RIDERS OF THE WORLD

Col. Cody's exhibition is unique in many ways, and might justly be termed a polyglot school, no less than twelve distinct languages being spoken in the camp, viz.: Japanese, Russian, French, Arabic, Greek, Hungarian, German, Italian, Spanish, Holland, Flemish, Chinese, Sioux, and English. Being in such close contact every day, we were bound to get some idea of each other's tongue, and all acquire a fair idea of English. 1


GENERAL INFORMATION

Cody's camp was not so cosmopolitan in the early years of the Wild West, but this 1904 cast resulted from Buffalo Bill's determination that as many things in his show as possible be completely genuine.

From the very beginning of the Wild West, Cody gathered together as many frontiersmen as possible. He knew many men himself who helped to settle the West, and these men knew others. Once Cody began his search for company members in 1883, word spread quickly throughout the West, and men who had been put out of work by the settling of the frontier began to flock to North Platte, Nebraska. Old-time friends of Cody such as Major Frank North and John Y. Nelson were given prominent positions, and such noted Western figures as Con Groner and David Payne were persuaded to appear in this new entertainment enterprise. 2 Buffalo Bill made arrangements with the government to exhibit Indians in his show, and cowboys from nearby ranches eagerly applied for the $60 per month salary being offered.

-77-

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Buckskins, Bullets, and Business: A History of Buffalo Bill's Wild West
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • INTRODUCTION: FIRST IMPRESSIONS 1
  • Chapter One - HOW TRUTH BECAME FICTION 11
  • Chapter Two - GETTING THE SHOW ON THE ROAD 37
  • Chapter Three - ON WITH THE SHOW 53
  • Chapter Four - THE CONGRESS OF ROUGH RIDERS OF THE WORLD 77
  • Chapter Five - PARTNERS AND FRIENDS 95
  • Chapter Six - MESSAGES AND MEANINGS 103
  • Chapter Seven - FINAL IMPRESSIONS 125
  • Notes 135
  • BIBLIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY 145
  • Index 149
  • About the Author *
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