Title: Letter from William F. Cody to George T. Beck

Date: August 17, 1896

Author: Cody, William Frederick, 1846-1917

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Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders.
of the World.

Col. W. F. Cody. (Buffalo Bill), President.


Nate Salsbury. Vice-President & Manager.

John M. Burke. General Manager.
Albert E. Sheible, Business Manager.
Jule Keen, Treasurer.

Dear George

Bleistein & Salsbury had no success so far in placing the Bonds. For the reason of you blooming free silver Democrats [2] — & I dont think we can place them until after Election— And not then if the Democrats win which thank God they will not. how we are going to save our credit I dont know as it will take every dollar I can raise to pay my own debts and I fear the Buffalo men [3] wont put up any more. But some thing may turn up— If we can squeeze through till I can get foot loose I can go to N. Y. & raise money— but that will be November.

Now George. Nagle [4] expects to land nearly $100 one hundred men there in Sep. and these people after they get their houses up say about Oct 10th Then they will want to take a contract on ditch. I told them we would not employ them by the day for the work they do by contract. they are to receive half cash other half to apply on water rights. Is this satisfactory to you. Salsbury & Bleistein have no objections. George its our duty to be as accommodateing   to these people as possible while they are getting out there and getting settled. It will show them that we take an interest them. It will go along ways toward makeing them feel at home and that we are glad to have them &c— Will you instruct all our employees to be pleasant to these people— George this colony [5] will want about 8000 acres— they want it on sage creek. [6] First people who come should have first pick I think. And I would let them have it where they want it— have you tried to find water on the sage creek bottom yet— If not I wish you would do so at once— And if the co refuse to pay the cost of the well charge it to my personal account as I have promised to have them a well when they get there. If the Company will finish the work around the red Buttes [7] I will agree to do the line down to the Town [8] — And this winter the settlers can do the Sage creek line

Please answer at once & give me your ideas & if you will see to the well—

Your friend

W. F. Cody

Note 1: Buffalo Bill's Wild West performed in Joliet, Illinois, on August 17, 1896. The day's entry in the 1896 Route Diary: "Joliet, Ill. / Monday, August 17. Six-horse driver James Black, who had his arm and shoulder dislocated in Michigan City, closed to-day and left for Philadelphia. John Curley, of the stake-and-chain wagon, left this afternoon for Chicago, to go to the hospital. J. A. Berscheid joined the Annex Band to-day. Dan. Taylor left this evening for Milwaukee to prepare the lot for our next Monday and Tuesday engagement. / Business big at both performances. / Weather cool and clear. / Lot, Second Avenue--Old Fair Grounds. / Arena, 181 x 360." [back]

Note 2: Cody believed that the "blooming free silver Democrats" had ruined the bond market and thus would jeopardize the irrigation project in the Big Horn Basin. [back]

Note 3: "Buffalo men" refers to Bleistein, Rumsey, and Gerrans. [back]

Note 4: S. V. Nagle, an associate of the firm of F. A. Nagle Commission Merchants of Chicago, attempted to recruit settlers to the lands in the Big Horn Basin that were to be irrigated by the Cody Canal. [back]

Note 5: "Colony" refers to the first group of fifty German migrant families to settle in the Big Horn Basin. [back]

Note 6: Sage Creek lies east of Cody, Wyoming, flowing north and into the Shoshone River northeast of Cody. [back]

Note 7: Cody refers to 'red buttes' but he likely means Red Bluffs southeast of Cody. Red Butte is located northwest of Cody and is part of Rattlesnake Mountain and apart from the reclamation area. [back]

Note 8: The "Town" was officially named Cody, Wyoming, in August 1896. [back]

Title: Letter from William F. Cody to George T. Beck

Source: University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center, Buffalo Bill Letters to George T. Beck (Acc. #9972), ah031383-84

Date: August 17, 1896

Author: Cody, William Frederick, 1846-1917

Topic: Buffalo Bill's Wyoming

People: Beck, George Washington Thornton, 1856-1943

Sponsor: Supported in part by a grant from the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, a program of the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources.

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