Title: Letter from William F. Cody to C. L. Hinkle

Date: August 18, 1902

Author: Cody, William Frederick, 1846-1917

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Buffalo Bill's Wild West

My. Dear. Hinkle

A Mr. M. P. Pels- President of the great Maxwell Grant in Southern Col and New Mexico-Will call on you. [2] To Know all about Cody and Salsbury Canal- We have decided to follow the upper Meade Quarry around the foot of Hart Mountain— this will join on both sides of the river about 120000 acres of irrigable land— [3] I know this is asking much of you and giving you extra work- but you wait till I land this enterprise I have the money in site in England to do this work— but if I can get it sooner here. I will take it. So try & land Mr Pell. Introduce him to the Govenor and Board- and Mr Bond. [4]

Will you please ask Mr. Tynan if he wants my application in writing for the rerental of those leased lands of mine in Big Horn Co— [5]

Please let me hear from you

Mike Russell is still with me. [6]

Yours Truly

W.F. Cody


Buffalo Bill's Wild West

B- [?] O 1902 Aug 18 1—P

C. L. Hinkle





Note 1: Buffalo Bill's Wild West performed in Boise on August 18, 1902. [back]

Note 2: The Maxwell Grant, which takes its name from Lucien B. Maxwell (1818-1875), the son-in-law of one of the original grant holders, became one of the largest private land holdings in the United States, covering over 1.7 million acres in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. The tangled legal history of this tract begins in 1841, when the local Mexican governor issued the original grant to Maxwell's father-in-law Carlos Beaubien and his partner Guadelupe Miranda. The precise limits of the Mexican grant were the subject of much litigation until the Supreme Court decided the case in 1887. By then, Maxwell's claims were owned by the Maxwell Land Grant Company, which was under the control of Dutch investors. Martinus Petrus Pels (c. 1837-1906), a representative of the Dutch investors, served as general manager of the Maxwell Land Grant Company from 1888 to 1894. Cody's attempt to persuade Pels to invest in the Cody-Salsbury Canal did not succeed. [back]

Note 3: William F. Cody refers to Heart Mountain, whose summit is about ten miles northwest of Cody, Wyoming. The river mentioned here is the Shoshone River, which was to be the water source for the Cody-Salsbury Canal. [back]

Note 4: The governor of Wyoming was then DeForest Richards (1846-1903). The "Board" Cody mentions is the Wyoming Board of Land Commissioners, which consisted of the state's governor, secretary of state, and superintendent of public instruction. The board supervised Carey Act irrigation projects in the state, in cooperation with the state engineer. Fred Bond (1856-1903) was then the state engineer. [back]

Note 5: Thomas T. Tynan (1860-1925), was Wyoming's superintendent of public instruction and a member of the Board of Land Commissioners from 1899 to 1907. Tynan later served as mayor of Sheridan, Wyoming, from 1914 to 1915. [back]

Note 6: The Irish-born Michael R. Russell (1847-1930) met William F. Cody in Kansas during the 1860s, and the two men formed a lasting friendship. Russell moved to Deadwood, South Dakota, in 1877 and took up business interests that included saloonkeeping and mining operations. About 1895, Russell sold Cody a herd of horses and the "TE" brand, which Cody used to establish his TE Ranch on the South Fork of the Shoshone River southwest of Cody, Wyoming. [back]

Title: Letter from William F. Cody to C. L. Hinkle

Source: McCracken Research Library (MRL), MS6.0141.02

Date: August 18, 1902

Author: Cody, William Frederick, 1846-1917

Topic: Buffalo Bill's Wyoming

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