Title: Gladstone and Buffalo Bill

Periodical: Columbus Daily Enquirer

Date: May 3, 1887

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The Grand Old Man Takes in the Wild West.

As Much Delighted as Any Child—The Occasion Gives Him Opportunity for Making a Most Excellent Speech.

LONDON, April 30.—Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone, yesterday afternoon, in response to the invitation of Buffalo Bill visited the grounds of the Wild West entertainment. A number of other prominent guests were present, among them being Consul General Waller [1] , the Marqis of Lorne [2] and Colonel Hughes Hallett [3] , M. P. Mr. Gladstone was presented to Red Shirt and had a brief interview with him through an interpreter. The ex-premier asked the Indian if he noticed any difference between the English and Americans or if he regarded them as brothers. Red Shirt replied that he "didn't notice much about the brotherhood." The 1500 workmen employed at the exhibition grounds cheered for Mr. Gladstone and home rule. Mr. Gladstone and his wife [4] bowed repeatedly in answer to the salutations.

Buffalo Bill's troupe gave a brilliant exhibition of horsemanship, which elicited the wildest applause from the guests present. At the lunch subsequently given by Mr. Cody to his guests, Mr. Gladstone made a speech. He said that it was impossible for him not to express great interest in the spectacle which had that day been presented to him. The institution and progress of America had always been to him a subject of great interest ever since the time when many years ago he had studied the life of Washington. He had then become aware of two things: first, of the magnitude of the destiny reserved for the people of America; secondly, that the period of the birth of the American states was of more surpassing interest than any other which it was possible to study. Whenever any young man desirous of studying political life consulted him as to the course of study which he should pursue in the field of history it had been in his invariable practice to refer him to the early history of America. Now, the destinies of the latter were assuming such great dimensions that the prospects of what was contained in her future became almost too overwhelming for thought. But with progress came responsibilities, and the stronger and greater the Americans became as a people, the more it would be incumbent upon them to set the world an example to be followed. He could not in justice to his subject lay before them impressions of all he had seen that day. They had surprised the Englishman in feats of horsemanship, although Englishmen believed they had surpassed all other nations in that particular sport, and he hoped that their exhibition would stir up British emulation, and lend to further developments of what he might call the noble art.

He understood that the main purpose of the exhibition was to bring American life before the English people. If this was so, he could only say that there was no purpose he valued more. He believed that the exhibition was a commercial speculation, and he hoped that it would be a good speculation. But it was more than that. There was nothing more desirable on this side of the water than a true and accurate representation of the American world. About sixty years ago there existed, as he believed, much prejudice against England in America, and an equal amount of prejudice in America against England. He believed that those prejudices had disappeared. He believed that the very workmen engaged on the exhibition grounds rejoiced in being employed in a task, the execution of which would bring England and America more closely together. God Almighty had made Englishmen and Americans kinsmen, and they ought to have affections for one another. If they had not humanity would cry shame upon them. He rejoiced that the clouds which had parted them had almost disappeared from the political sky, and that the future was as bright and as promising as the warmest hearted among them could wish it to be. Half a century ago some admirable works on America had been published by, he regretted to say, not an English, but a French writer. Since then people in England had learned but little of America, which had during that time developed to an extent almost incredible. America of to-day was as different from the America of sixty years ago as the America of that period was from prairie life. America has not been idle since that time. She had gone through one of the greatest struggles known in the history of man, and he believes that the result of that struggle was what the mass of the people of England wished it to be. He believed that if they had to go through another similar trial, though that was scarcely possible, the result of the issue would be the same in conclusion. He said that he could only express his warmest appreciation of the international character of the exhibition, and that he had great pleasure in proposing the greatest prosperity to the wonderful enterprise.

Note 1: Thomas MacDonald Waller (1840-1924), Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1876, was United States Consul-General to London from 1885 to 1889. [back]

Note 2: Marquis of Lorne was John George Edward Henry Douglas Sutherland Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll; he held the title Marquess of Lorne from 1847 to 1900. [back]

Note 3: Francis Charles Hughes-Hallett (1838-1903), Member of British Parliament from 1885 to 1889. [back]

Note 4: Prime Minister Gladstone's wife was Catherine Glynne Gladstone (1812-1900). [back]

Title: Gladstone and Buffalo Bill

Periodical: Columbus Daily Enquirer

Date: May 3, 1887

Topics: Buffalo Bill's Wild West in Britain

Keywords: Buffalo Bill's Wild West Company Horsemanship

People: Argyll, John Douglas Sutherland Campbell, Duke of, 1845-1914 Gladstone, Catherine Glynne, 1812-1900 Gladstone, W. E. (William Ewart), 1809-1898 Hughes-Hallett, Francis 1838-1903 Red Shirt, 1845?-1925 Waller, Thomas M., 1840-1924, Consul-General to London, 1885-1889

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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