Title: A Child of the Prairie

Periodical: Sussex Daily News

Date: September 30, 1892

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A CHILD OF THE PRAIRIE.

It is refreshing in these days of an over-rated civilisation to find a man who yearns to "look mother Nature in the face again, and shake hands with her in her home." This stimulating sentiment comes form Colonel Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill, who has informed an interviewer that after the Chicago Exhibition he means to retire from the business of showman and return to his frontier wilds. Luckily for this commendable ambition there is a good deal of wildness left in the United States. Under the Rockies Buffalo Bill can career on his "buck-jumping" mustang over some ninety thousand acres, chiefly inhabited by mountain lions and bears. Colonel Cody does not view these animals with Lord Randolph Churchill's eyes, nor yearn to write about them at the rate of a hundred pounds a letter. He simply "pots" a lion or a bear in the course of a morning gallop, and thinks nothing of it. Only your sportsman who has been corrupted by civilisation proclaims to the whole world that he has seen a lion and run away. The great triumph of Buffalo Bill is that he has been a showman for years, and yet retains his simple veneration for "mother Nature." He has gone through the performance of shooting glass balls for the amusement of the gaping crowd, but all the time his heart has been in the Rockies, with the lions and the bears. Sceptics have hinted that his "buck-jumping" mustangs are merely the "trick" horses of the circus, but Buffalo Bill soars above such mean imputations to the altitudes where "mother Nature" makes her home. Amidst the blandishments of cities he remains the child of the prairie, and as he rides round the arena he looks beyond the ring of spectators to the rolling plain, the mountain crag, and the camp-fire of his boyhood. It is sad to think that there will come a time when the density of population in America will turn the picturesque wilderness into building lots, and annihilate the lion and the bear. Then the showman will still carry on the traditions of Buffalo Bill, and thrill small boys with sham-fights and Indian "braves." But the business will degenerate into the hands of men devoid of Buffalo Bill's exalted simplicity, and much more eager to finger the shillings of the public than to shake hands with mother Nature, who, indeed, will be homeless.

Title: A Child of the Prairie

Periodical: Sussex Daily News

Source: McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody Collection, MS6, MS6.3778.142.02 (1892 London)

Date: September 30, 1892

Also appeared as:

  Title: Untitled [It is refreshing in these days of an over-rated civilisation] |

  Periodical: Eastern Daily Press

  Date: September 30, 1892

Keywords: American frontier Exhibitions Fishing Historical reenactments Hunting Interviews Nature Retirement Rocky Mountains Scrapbooks Sportsman Targets (Shooting) Traveling exhibitions Wilderness areas World's Columbian Exposition (1893 : Chicago, Ill.)

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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