Title: Untitled [Col. Cody, or Buffalo Bill as he chooses to be called]

Periodical: Bristol Mercury

Date: July 16, 1892

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Col. Cody, or Buffalo Bill as he chooses to be called, was good enough to invite us to visit his encampment at Earl's Court, and to see his exciting entertainment, one fine afternoon last week. I dreaded the long walk from the entrance to the amphitheatre where the exhibition takes place; but hearing of a friendly Bath chair man hailing from Earl's Court I wrote to him to meet me as I alighted from a carriage at the Warwick road gateway and there he was! So I easily and quickly got over the distance and was soon landed on Col. Cody's ground in a comfortable box, from which to watch a very wonderful display of feats of pluck, courage and skill, on the part of himself and his vigorous cowboys. They trotted in just as we arrived, and soon began their evolutions on bucking horses, trained, possibly, to the game as well as their riders, whilst Buffalo Bill himself ambled by on a grey charger looking very magnificent, and did not attempt to show any of his own achievements in rifle shooting until everyone else had taken his turn. Then he showed us what training such as his in the far West could do to make a man a perfect and unerring marksman. Miss Annie Oakley, the "little sure shot," as she is called, is a good-looking girl, dressed most becomingly and suitably in a very short full skirt—with a well-fitting tight little jacket, and her legs clothed in closely buttoned gaiters of a colour to match her dress. She wore a slouch hat, placed bewitchingly on her head, and all her movements indicated great muscular power, combined with perfect grace and agility. It seems as if it were impossible for her to miss shattering any number of glass balls as they were thrown into the air before her, and certainly any bird on the wing would have no chance with her. A troop of Gauchos, and a band of Cossacks, displaying numberless feats whilst riding wild horses at full gallop, were astonishing to behold and almost alarming to hear as they uttered their curious cries and smacked their powerful whips above their horses' heads. A band of mounted Russian peasants galloped in, and one by one performed a weird dance before us. A herd of dejected looking buffaloes trotted across the ground and disappeared, but the most thrilling incidents of the afternoon were, I think, the attacks made by a band of wild Indians, bedizened with feathers and beads, on a native village, and their entire discomfiture and destruction by Buffalo Bill and his brave boys.

The Indians' attack also on the Deadwood coach, which is an historical fact, and its rescue by the scouts and plainsmen is very exciting, and the old coach itself, which has weathered many a volley from cruel and savage foes, still exists, and is the property of Col. Cody, who now shows it daily and permits certain visitors to occupy the places of passengers, and to go through the farce of an attack and repulse just as it might appear on any stage. But then Col. Cody's stage is in the free open air, and consequently is not subject to the objections of gaslight and an impure atmosphere, as drawbacks to the spectacle. I saw many youthful spectators of both sexes viewing all these thrilling adventures with great interest, and I thought that many hours of a wet day would certainly be beguiled in playrooms and nurseries as the season goes on by imitations or repetitions of the equestrian and dramatic events so cleverly represented by Col. Cody and his accomplished band of cowboys. Were it for nothing else, he certainly deserves the thanks of the mothers of the time, whose lives will be set free from the necessity of inventing new games for their younger boys and girls for some time during the holidays. What can be better suited for an impromptu dramatic performance, with chairs, tables, toy guns and slouch hats, than the attack by Indians bedizened with feathers and beads and with darkened skins, on the Deadwood coach? I am quite prepared to assist any schoolroom or nursery full of enthusiastic boys and girls in preparations for such a domestic performance. As the Cossacks galloped out of the arena I resumed my Bath chair, and we all went to pay a visit to Buffalo Bill in his own tent, and to thank him for the pleasure he had given us. He is certainly not only a fine well made man, but also a handsome one, and most courteous in his reception of ladies who visit him by introduction or acquaintance in his comfortably arranged tent.

Title: Untitled [Col. Cody, or Buffalo Bill as he chooses to be called]

Periodical: Bristol Mercury

Source: McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody Collection, MS6, MS6.3778.088.01 (1892 London)

Date: July 16, 1892

Keywords: American bison American Indians Clothing and dress Cossacks Cowboys Ethnic costume Exhibitions Gauchos Historical reenactments Horsemen and horsewomen Horses Indians of North America Rifles Russians Scouts (Reconnaissance) Scrapbooks Stagecoaches Targets (Shooting) Traveling exhibitions Trick riding Wild horses

People: Oakley, Annie, 1860-1926

Places: Earl's Court (London, England) 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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