Title: Buffalo Bill's Wild West

Periodical: Eastern Bells

Date: December 1891

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Buffalo Bill's Wild West.

COLONEL CODY, with his mammoth and unique exhibition, has now almost finished his first month in Glasgow. No more novel exhibition has ever been brought to our city than this Wild West. It has done a remarkable tour since 1883—through the United States several times, the principal cities and towns of the Continent, the rage of London during the Jubilee year, and a most successful journey through the English provinces. The success of the show here in Glasgow is already assured. There is one thing goes to prove what a great attraction the colonel's entertainment is to the public here, and that is, in spite of the most disagreeable weather we have experienced for the last two weeks, the building is filled at every performance, night or day, by enthusiastic audiences.

The inner life of the motley company is a varied one. Indians, cowboys, Mexicans, Americans, Englishmen, and Scotchmen—in fact, people of all nationalities—are here grouped, all under the personal direction of Colonel Wm. F. Cody and his able partner, Mr. Nate Salsbury.

Much has already been said about Colonel Cody. His record is one that has never been approached, nor his daring ever been questioned. As a man, he is loved by all who know him for his kindness and fatherly interest. He is ably assisted by his partner, Nate Salsbury, who is the life and soul of the business arrangements, a man of shrewd and practical nature, fearless and kind, and, with his vast experience at home and abroad, has gathered about him a host of friends. Mr. Salsbury is an inveterate worker, and one of the men, once met, never forgotten.

Another prominent figure—both physically and mentally—at the Wild West is Major John M. Burke. The major's duties are implied by the affix General Manager. He is the colonel's right hand man, and is untiring in his efforts to accomplish the best results for the welfare of the show.

Through Interpreter George C. Crager, who has charge of all the Indians in the Wild West camp, we were permitted to chat with several of the Indian chiefs, foremost of whom stands "No Neck," 40 years old, six feet two inches in height, weighing a trifle over 15 stone—a veritable Hercules in build. "No Neck" was the leading Indian scout during the last Indian campaign, and rendered valuable assistance to General Miles in subduing the hostiles, about one year ago. He is looked upon by his people as a great chief and adviser. He acts as Head Chief, also as Chief of the Indian Police of this vast company. The names of the Indians may seem ludicrous to the uninitiated, but we are informed by Mr. Crager, who has lived among the Indians for over 13 years, and who has acquired several of their languages and dialects, that the name of the father does not necessarily attach to the son, but they have a peculiar art of nomenclature of their own, giving names to their children by some occurrence—real or imaginary—that happens at the time of the child's birth.

Those people who arrive early in the evening, in their anxiety to secure a good seat, receive a treat which is missed by the late comers who turn up just in time to see the curtain rise. What we refer to is the music provided by the Cowboy Band. One of the most pleasant periods of the whole evening is the half-hour occupied in listening to the overture. The band is under the able direction of Mr. Sweeney, a gentleman of modest and unassuming character[.] It is only within the last few days that Mr. Sweeney has been prevailed upon to give some of his exquisite solos on the cornet, but these have been so enthusiastically received that he dare not now leave it out of the programme. Such splendid talent as he possesses must not be allowed to remain in oblivion. Music such as he gives us would be well worth waiting to hear, even if it were at the close of the evening's entertainment.

As shooting and riding are two of the great essentials in a cowboy's life, Colonel Cody places before us some of the best exponents of these arts. We have Miss Annie Oakley, a crack rifle shot, who is fast becoming a great favourite here. William C. Daly, a young man who is second to none in the use of the pistol, is 25 years of age, of remarkable muscular development, and has won scores of medals and prizes in open competition. His shooting here with pistol and revolver is much appreciated and warmly applauded nightly. Then there is Johnnie Baker, a youth of 21 years, whose exhibition of shooting in almost any position is almost supernatural.

The Tyrolean singing [1] of the Ayrlesberger troupe is also much appreciated, encores being demanded of them at every performance. The members of the troupe are highly pleased at the reception accorded to them in the second city of the empire.

To sum up, the Wild West show is not only entertaining, but highly instructive, and before the season comes to a close, hundreds of thousands of the Scottish public will have been taught many things of which they were ignorant before the visit of Colonel Wm. F. Cody.

Our best thanks are due to Mr. Carter Coutourier, the courteous and genial manager of the advertising department, and Major Burke, for their many kindnesses to us since they have been amongst us.

Note 1: "Tyrolean singing" is folk music of the alpine region in central Europe that incorporates harmony, yodeling, whistling, and dance. [back]

Title: Buffalo Bill's Wild West

Periodical: Eastern Bells

Source: McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West , MS6.3772.014.01 (Crager Scrapbook)

Date: December 1891

Topic: European Tours

Keywords: American Indians Bands (Music) Cowboys Firearms Indian scouts Mexicans Pistols Revolvers Rifles Scots Shooting Show riding

People: Baker, Johnny, 1869-1931 Burke, John M., -1917 Miles, Nelson Appleton, 1839-1925 Oakley, Annie, 1860-1926 Salsbury, Nathan, 1846-1902 Sweeney, William, 1856-1916

Places: Glasgow (Scotland) London (England)

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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