Title: Letter from William F. Cody to John R. Brennan, May 27, 1904

Date: May 27, 1904

Author: Cody, William Frederick, 1846-1917

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John R. Brennan — Agent

Pine Ridge Agency

S. Dak.

Dear Major—

I am sending two Indians home who have lung trouble. And the only care for return is dry air which they can't have here. Sitting Bull Jr. [1] and Jonas Spider [2] the rest are all well and happy. I will take good care of them. I enclose my route. Will be glad to hear how you settled with the Rail Road— In regard to those who were killed and injured— [3]

Very truly yours

W. F. Cody

Note 1: Possibly William Sitting Bull (c.1863-1909) who was apparently listed as a "chief" in 1902 route book for Buffalo Bill's Wild West. Some sources indicate he was a stepson of the famous chief Sitting Bull (c.1831-90), while others suggest he was the chief's natural son. [back]

Note 2: Perhaps Jonas Yellow Spider (born c. 1877) who is listed as a resident of the Pine Ridge reservation in an 1898 census conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. [back]

Note 3: Three Indian performers in Buffalo Bill's Wild West were killed and twenty-seven were injured in a train wreck on the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad near Melrose Park, Illinois, on April 7, 1904. All the victims were residents of Pine Ridge. Some contemporary scholars believe that Agent Brennan failed to seek adequate compensation from the railroad for the victims and their families. See Cindy Fent and Raymond Wilson, "Indians Off Track: Cody's Wild West and the Melrose Park Train Wreck of 1904," American Indian Culture and Research Journal 18:3 (1994), 235-49. [back]

Title: Letter from William F. Cody to John R. Brennan, May 27, 1904

Source: Denver Public Library; WFC collection, Box 1, Series 1, FF7

Date: May 27, 1904

Author: Cody, William Frederick, 1846-1917

Topic: Show Indians

People: Brennan, John R., 1847-1919 Sitting Bull Jr., 1834-1890

Places: England South Dakota

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