Title: Life in London | The Argonauts of the Wild West—The Princess at Easter—Mme. Mileson's Fortunes—The Prince and His Admirers

Periodical: The Philadelphia Inquirer

Date: April 27, 1887

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The Argonauts of the Wild West—The Princess at Easter—Mme. Mileson's Fortunes—The Prince and His Admirers.

LONDON, April 17.—Buffalo Bill has arrived! The Wild West are encamped in London! Notwithstanding the furore created in New York by their departure, only those who have had work to do in connection with it have any idea of the amount of labor, care and expense involved in the work of transplanting this living panorama of the life of the plains to the old world. In our school days the Wild West was marked on the map in the geography "the great American desert, unexplored." Now the man who was one of the explorers, and who has seen it added State by State, and Territory by Territory, to the galaxy of stars in the blue field on our flag, and who has shown the people of the East how that vast desert has been added to the treasures of our country, has crossed the waters to show to the mother country how her sons conquered and civilized a new world.

You think I am growing sentimental?

You would not if you were here amid a civilization which has existed for centuries, and developed at a snail's pace, and knew the educational value of this event. These people here are not able to comprehend how we have won from the desert the populous and treasure-trove country lying west of the Mississippi river. "Buffalo Bill" has come to show them! He has led the Argonauts of the plains across the waters to the metropolis of the world.

Since Columbus sailed for the wild West in search of the New World beyond the water, no such voyage as this is recorded in history.

London held its breath when it was announced that they had sailed, and never breathed freely again until it was flashed over the wires that the good ship State of Nebraska [1] was sighted off the Lizard and had signaled "Report us all well."

Why No Reception.

The hour and place of their landing was kept as quiet as possible.


Because, to have let it be generally known when and where they were to arrive would have been to gather from the 5,000,000 of inhabitants of London a mob of excited and curious people that would have been beyond control. That Buffalo Bill's entry into London was a quiet one is solely due to the fact that to have given him any reception of a public character would have involved such a risk to be present that it would have made it a matter presenting too serious difficulties for it to be considered for a moment. When, therefore, it was telegraphed that the State of Nebraska was due at Gravesend at 3 o'clock, about a score of gentlemen connected with the American Exhibition were marshaled by the Director General, Mr. John R. Whitley, [2] to Victoria station, where they were put on board a special tug, and in an hour arrived at Gravesend. Here a steam tug was in waiting at the pier, and the steamship had just come to anchor in the stream.


The Yankeeries.

The exhibition building is virtually completed, and the spaces for exhibitors marked off on the floors. These are now being rapidly occupied by the exhibits, which are very attractive, and in many cases novel. The gardens are in full bloom, and all will be in readiness for the opening, which is fixed for the 9th instant. The postponement of a week is due to the fact that the Manchester, Newcastle and Liverpool Exhibitions all open in the first week in May, and the postponement secures a free field and additional completeness of detail on the part of the exhibitors.

Royal Pastimes.

The Easter holidays are over, and the weather is fine and warm. This is to say that Mayfair is full, Hyde Park is fuller, and Piccadilly is fullest. From now on for the next four months the season, and the season in jubilee year is going to make London the gayest, brightest, and most charming place on top of the globe. Apropos of this Society remarks: "It is now the third week in April, and as yet there is no prominent candidate for the much-coveted post of chief back-scratcher to the Prince. [3] Mrs. Mackay [4] has made no sign--neither for the matter of that has the Prince. Mrs. Brown-Potter [5] has come, and seen, and comported herself, as our 'Powder Puff' truly said last week, in a manner which may be put down as a conquest or not, as you may please to read Man and Wife. Miss Adele Grant [6] is not with us yet, and, in the absence of any new Yankee 'notion,' and with the failure to come to the 'scratch' of last year's play-things, it seems probable that unless Buffalo Bill has a likely squaw in his following, Americanism as a royal pastime is at an end."

Note 1: S.S. State of Nebraska departed from New York harbor on March 31, 1887, conveying the members of Buffalo Bill's Wild West, including livestock and equipment, to the troupe's first trans-Atlantic tour, arriving in Gravesend, England, on either April 16th or 17th. [back]

Note 2: John Robinson Whitley (1843-1922) was founder of Earl's Court Exhibition Centre and Director-General and Chairman of the United States Executive Council for the American Exhibition, which was scheduled to open in London on May 2nd but was postponed until May 9th. [back]

Note 3: The Prince was Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, who became Edward VII, King of Great Britain (1841-1910) in 1901. [back]

Note 4: Mrs. John W. Mackay was the former Marie Louise Hungerford Bryant, 1843-1928. [back]

Note 5: Cora Urquhart Potter (1857-1936), an American society woman who became a stage actress in England; she married and later divorced James Brown-Potter. [back]

Note 6: Mrs. Adele Grant (1867-1922) of New York, an American socialite and daughter of David Beach Grant of Grant Locomotive Works, later became Adele Capell, Countess of Essex, when she married George De Vere Capell. [back]

Title: Life in London | The Argonauts of the Wild West—The Princess at Easter—Mme. Mileson's Fortunes—The Prince and His Admirers

Periodical: The Philadelphia Inquirer

Date: April 27, 1887

Topic: Buffalo Bill's Wild West in Britain

Keywords: Aristocracy (Social class) Buffalo Bill's Wild West Company Earl's Court (London, England) Nobility

People: Capell, Adele Grant, 1867-1922 Edward VII, King of Great Britain, 1841-1910 Mackay, Marie Louise Hungerford Bryant, 1843-1928 Potter, Cora Urquhart, 1857-1936 Whitley, John Robinson, 1843-1922

Places: 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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