Title: A Showman in Clover | Buffalo Bill Lionized at the Swell Receptions and High Teas of London

Periodical: San Jose Mercury News

Date: June 14, 1887

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A SHOWMAN IN CLOVER.


Buffalo Bill Lionized at the Swell Receptions and High Teas of London.

Fashionable London is now dividing its attentions between Buffalo Bill and the picture galleries. The long haired wonder of the west takes to his lionizing with a charming ease, which quite delights the "dear duchesses" who have not reveled in what one of them called a "real raw American" since Joaquin Miller [1] made his slouch hat and high boots conspicuous in Rotten Row [2] as well, as at the swell kettledrums of other days. Joaquin only sung of scalp lifting; Cody has "raised hah" with the actual knife instead of the steel pen. He has a sort of semi-barbaric courtliness and Rocky Mountain dandyishness which make him a picturesque figure anywhere, and his old acquaintances among Englishmen of the nobility take him around as they would a king of Siam. He has been to a great many receptions, high teas, musicals and some dinners at the swell clubs. He calls them all "parties" with a gentle innocence that amazes and delights. He was shown through the house of commons last evening by Col. Hughes-Hallett, and rewarded his conductor and friends by many quaint comparisons with that portion of his career as a western legislator which secured him the great American title of "Hon."

A chat with him this afternoon brought out a curious bit of his experience, showing how similar human nature is everywhere. "I thought," he said, "that I had killed a few bear and buffalo and mountain sheep and antelope and had a few interesting scuffles with man and beast in my time; but the accounts of wholesale slaughter and Indian fights I'm expected to indorse as taking place under my eyes are just enough to take the sand out of the biggest liar between Omaha and 'Frisco."

"Exaggerated accounts of your adventures, eh?"

"Not 'xactly mine. Before I got into the show business, as you must have suspected, I conducted—that's the word now—a great many parties of Englishmen all through the Black Hills, the Yellowstone country, the Little Missouri and Little Big Horn countries—all round thar"—and the ex-scout made a western sweep of the arm—"Well, they were mostly quiet, good natured fellows, that kept me shooting to get peltry and antlers and sich like for them, and I prided myself on keepin' them out of trouble with Injuns and grislies and such. Now, jumping Jehosaphat, I find these quiet chaps have come home heroes of every kind of scrimmage, every skin was the nateral focus of a stack of lies and every horn is hung with a dime novel of the bloodiest kind. And I'm expected to back 'em all up and add bloodier particelars. It's rough on an honest frontiersman, but I do it."

"What, sustain wholesale liars?"

"Wal, this way," said Bill, with a faint blush. "It's mostly a young gal with glowin' eyes who's been lied to that asks me and I aint got it in me to take her visions away from her, and then," he added in a dreamy way, "it's all goin' to help the show."—London Cor. New York Journal.

Note 1: Joaquin Miller (1837-1913) was the pen name of American poet Cincinnatus Heine (or Hiner) Miller who was nicknamed the "Poet of the Sierras." [back]

Note 2: Rotten Row was a broad lane running along the south side of Hyde Park in London; illuminated by oil lamps, it was the first artificially lit highway in Britain and the "fashionable" place for upper-class Londoners to be seen. [back]

Title: A Showman in Clover | Buffalo Bill Lionized at the Swell Receptions and High Teas of London

Periodical: San Jose Mercury News

Date: June 14, 1887

Also appeared as:

  Title: A Showman in Clover | Buffalo Bill Lionized at the Swell Receptions and High Teas of London

  Periodical: Winona Daily Republican

  Date: July 14, 1887

Also appeared as:

  Title: A Showman in Clover | Buffalo Bill Lionized at the Swell Receptions and High Teas of London

  Periodical: Wichita Eagle

  Date: June 1, 1887

Topic: European Tours

Keywords: American bison American frontier American Indians Aristocracy (Social class) Bears Buffalo Bill's Wild West Company Dime novels Frontier Frontier and pioneer life Nobility Scouting (Reconnaissance) Scouts (Reconnaissance)

People: Hughes-Hallett, Francis Charles, 1838-1903 Miller, Joaquin, 1837-1913

Places: Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.) Little Bighorn River (Wyo. and Mont.) Little Missouri River (Wyo.-N.D.) London (England) Yellowstone River

Sponsor: This project is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Geraldine W. & Robert J. Dellenback Foundation.

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