Title: Letter from William F. Cody to C. B. Jones

Date: April 9, 1898

Author: Cody, William Frederick, 1846-1917

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Mr. C. B. Jones,


My dear Jones:

Although every moment of my time is occupied, as you are aware, I cannot refrain from stealing a few moments to write to you and through you to those noble people whom you guided into, and who have settled in the Basin. Let me assure you I appreciate their characteristics of persistence and endurance in the battle with the difficulties which have beset them.

Their patience and excellent sterling qualities are another exponent of all that has made our army of pioneers since the settlement of the country such grand people. They should remember, and doubtless do, that only through some hardships and suffering great commonwealths have arisen. The Puritans were the first to settle on the bleak coast of New England; from their beginnings our country has grown to what it is. Our Western States, grand commonwealths as they are today, had their genesis in just such trials as those people who have just sought new homes in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. To them will come grand results such as have followed on the trail of all others who have gone before them. The later part of Winter has been an exceedingly hard one, not only in the Big Horn Basin, but all through the Western country; perhaps such a season may not occur again in a quarter of a century.

I trust now they have gotten settled, and as Spring is approaching, they will soon find out that they have made no mistake in building up a new community so remote from our Eastern civili x zation. The possibilities of the new region I have no fears   are as grand as any which have followed other pioneers in the older Western States. We have only to look at what the Mormons have done in the great Salt Lake Valley, which at the time of its settlement was the most desolate of deserts; they have made it blossom as the rose, and today there is no more prosperous and wealthy state on the continent, taking into consideration all the circumstances, than Utah. We have in the Big Horn Basin, resources that are not only infinitely greater and more varied than in Utah, and I have no doubt that one season's effective work by our well to do settlers will show as great results as have been accomplished there.

I want to assure you that I shall ever be ready to help make the Basin what I know it must be through a proper system of agriculture and industry.

Let me thank you, and through you the people for their patient waiting, hoping to see you all after my season's work is over.

Very truly yours,

W. F. Cody

Note 1: Buffalo Bill's Wild West performed in New York, New York, from March 29-April 23, 1898. Buffalo Bill's Wild West then moved to Brooklyn to perform from April 25-30, 1898. [back]

Note 2: Letter is typewritten to C. B. Jones and signed by Cody. C. B. Jones was a land agent from Galesburg, Illinois, who brought settlers to the Big Horn Basin. The flowery language hints that perhaps John M. Burke dictated or typed this letter. [back]

Title: Letter from William F. Cody to C. B. Jones

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

Date: April 9, 1898

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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