Title: At The Vatican | Buffalo Bill and His Indians Heroes of the Hour

Periodical: Sacramento Daily Union

Date: March 5, 1890

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Buffalo Bill and His Indians Heroes of the Hour,

ROME, March 4th.—The Herald correspondent sends the following cablegram:

One of the strangest spectacles ever seen within the venerable walls of the Vatican was the dramatic entry of Buffalo Bill at the head of his Indians and cowboys yesterday when the ecclesiastical, secular and military court of the Papacy had assembled to witness the twelfth annual thanksgiving of Leo VIII. for his coronation. In the midst of a scene of supreme splendor, crowded with old Roman people and surrounded with walls immortalized by Michael Angelo and Raphael, there suddenly appeared a host of savages in paint, feathers and blankets carrying tomahawks and knives.

A vast multitude surged into the great square before St. Peter's early in the morning to witness the arrival of the Americans. Before 9:30 the Ducal Hall, Royal Hall and Sistine Chapel were packed. Through the middle of the three audiences was a pathway bordered with the brilliant uniforms of the Swiss Guards, the Palatine Guards, the Papal Gendarmes and the private chamberlains. Light fell upon the lines of glittering steel, nodding plumes, golden chains and the shimmering robes of silk and all the brilliant emblems of pontifical power and glory. Suddenly a tall, chivalrous figure appeared at the entrance, and all eyes turned toward him. It was Buffalo Bill. With a sweep of his great sombrero he saluted the Chamberlains and then strode toward the guards. Behind was Buck Taylor, who towered hugely above the tallest man in the place, his long hair tied back on his shoulders, and then came Broncho Bill, in buckskin, and after him trooped the cowboys, splashed with mud and picturesque beyond description. Rocky Bear led the Sioux warriors in the rear. They were painted in every color that Indian imagination could devise, and every man carried something to present to the medicine man of the Great Spirit. The Indians and cowboys were ranged in solid mass in the south corners of the Ducal Hall, and Buffalo Bill and Salisbury were escorted into the Sistine Chapel by the Chamberlains, and were greeted by General Sherman's daughter.

A Princess invited Colonel Cody to a place in the tribune of Roman nobles. He stood facing the gorgeous Diplomatic Corps, surrounded by Prince and Princess Borghese, Marquis Serlupia, Princess Bandini, Duchess Grazioli, Prince and Princess Massino, Prince and Princess Ruspoli, and all the ancient families of the city.

When the Pope appeared, carried above the heads of his guards, preceded by the Knights of Malta and a procession of Cardinals and Archbishops, the cowboys bowed, and so did the Indians. Rocky Bear knelt and made the sign of the cross. The Pontiff leaned yearningly toward the rude group and blessed them. He seemed to be touched by the sight. As the train swept on the Indians became excited and a squaw fainted. Though they had been warned not to utter a sound, they were with difficulty restrained from whooping. The Pope looked at Colonel Cody as he passed, and the great scout bent low when he received a benediction. After the thanksgiving mass, with its choral accompaniment, with now and then the Pope's powerful voice ringing through the Sistine Chapel, the great audience poured out of the Vatican[.]

When the Indians returned to camp within sight of the grim castle of San Angelo they found the only warrior who did not go to the Vatican dead in his blanket. Rocky Bear told his followers that the Great Spirit had done it. To-night the Indians temporarily relapsed into paganism, and are howling over the dead brave, some of them tearing their flesh and sprinkling the funeral tent with their blood. Buffalo Bill expressed delight at the way in which the company has been received. He said: "You see the Wild West is filling its mission of making history for the Indian and the Western man for the Columbus Centennial of 1892. Tell our friends in America that the Wild West is all right. Let the carpers know that from time immemorial dogs have barked at the moon, but La Luna still continues on the even tenor of her way."

Title: At The Vatican | Buffalo Bill and His Indians Heroes of the Hour

Periodical: Sacramento Daily Union

Date: March 5, 1890

Topics: Buffalo Bill's Wild West in Italy & Spain

Keywords: American Indians Aristocracy (Social class) Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano Cappella Sistina (Vatican Palace, Vatican City) Catholics Cowboys Indian weapons Indian women Indians of North America Kings, queens, rulers, etc. Medicine man Nobility Paganism Papacy Romans Sioux Nation Vatican City Vatican City. Guardia svizzera pontificia

People: Leo XIII, Pope, 1810-1903 Rocky Bear Salsbury, Nathan, 1846-1902

Place: Rome (Italy)

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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