Title: Col. Cody in the East

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Unite with Other High Officials in paying Tribute to Buffalo Bill, the World's Greatest Plainsman, Showman and Educator — Motion Pictures the Sensation of the Day

Col. W. F. Cody, the noted plainsman, showman and educator, and the illustrious god-father of the town of Cody, has been in Washington, D. C., during the past week, where he went for the purpose of exhibiting to the president and other high government officials, the motion picture films of Indian warfare and western life which were taken last fall in Wyoming and Nebraska. One of the conditions under which the government soldiers and permitted the Indians to assist in making the pictures was that they were first to be inspected by the secretary of war. Unless he approved the pictures they were not to be exhibited to the public.

Saturday night, the pictures were thrown on the screen before an audience composed of President Wilson and most of the cabinet officers, numerous army officials of high rank and other officials. Col. W. F. Cody, the chief actor in many of the stirring scenes depicted, delivered a lecture as the pictures were being shown and received such an ovation as has been given to few men.

The pictures were enthusiastically applauded and received the emphatic approval of all. Representatives of many of the leading papers were present and all over the east the press has been devoting columns to the praise of Col. Cody and the pictures. That they will prove the sensation of the season is an assured fact.

Regarding the initial exhibition, one of the leading papers of the national capital in Saturday night's edition said:

Official Washington, including members of the cabinet, senators, representatives, chiefs of all departments, tonight fixed their sign of approval on the moving pictures telling the story of historical Indian battles, which were taken under the direction of Col. W. F. Cody.

The private exhibition of these marvelous reels was given at the Home club, which is a social organization of the Interior department under the patronage of Secretary Lane. His was the idea that the exhibition be given in order that the president and all the officialdom might have a chance to see the wonderful educational value of the pictures, as his was the order by which the Indians were assembled on Pine Ridge reservation, the scene of those battles that closed 300 years of savagery and brought the red man into friendly relations with his white conqueror.

As head of the army, Secretary Garrison equally had been interested in preserving to posterity the vivid records of the accomplishments of the troopers. Both Secretaries Lane and Garrison expressed the deepest satisfaction with the pictures, declaring them to be historically correct in every detail. Secretary Garrison placed troops of the federal cavalry at the disposal of Col. Cody, and thus to him as the to Secretare [sic] Lane, is due much credit for these historical documents by which the past ever will be kept alive to those who people the present and the future.

The big feature of the exhibition last night was Col. Cody, who was introduced by Secretary Lane as the man "whose enterprise and genius have given to future generations vivid historical pictures of great events in the Conquest of the West."

Col. Cody, lithe as youth, straight as the arrows that have whizzed about his noble head on many a hard fought battle field, waited until the cheers of greeting subsided and looked with his bright eyes over an audience as distinguished as any ever beheld. The National press club was sponsor for the entertainment and the most noted journalists in the country were present. Sitting here and there in the hall Colonel Cody spied out many of the old Indian fighters, who gave him a salvo of applause, then settled to watch the great story unrolled.

Before the lights went out, however, Senator Warren of Wyoming stepped to the platform to say an emphasizing word as the educational value of the picture and paid a glowing tribute to Colonel Cody.

"I want to present to your favorable notice, he said, "one of the young men of the young state of Wyoming. He is one of my constituents and while a young man, he probably is the oldest and most distinguished of pioneers in America — if not in the world."

"It has been my object and my desire," answered Col. Cody, in replying, "to preserve history by the aid of the camera, with the living participants who took part in the closing of the Indian wars of America. I first preached this subject to Secretary of War Garrison and Secretary of the Interior Lane. They gave me permission for the taking of the pictures on the condition that they be made historically correct, showing the Indian wars and savagery of the Indian and following his progress to the present time.

Secretary Garrison gave permission for the United States troops to participate in this expedition and Secretary Lane authorized the mobilization of such Indians as were required for this purpose.

Into a perfect stillness born of great interest Colonel Cody told how the pictures were the silent witnesses of trailing, finding, fighting or skirmishes and battles which left traces of blood and conflict over thirty years of our nation's history.

"There is a thrilling victorywo [sic]

"There is the thrilling victory of Gen. E. A. Carr at Summitt Springs in 1869," said Col. Cody in that stirring voice of his. "There I took human life when Chief Tall Bull proved the weaker man of us two.

"Then there is the fight of the War Bonnett with Generals Welsey Merritt and E. Carr's famous ride of '76 made to intercept the Ogallala and Brule Sioux from joining Sitting Bull. There, in a hand to hand duel, I dispatched Chief Yellow Hand to the happy hunting grounds from which he never returned to say what he found there."

Telling of this battle, where soldiers dripped with Indian's [sic] blood and Indians washed their hands in soldiers' gore, Cody had the audience spellbound.

Colonel H. C. Sickles and General Nelson A. Miles, with Cody in these campaigns, seemed to live them again in the unrolling films.

"After this," continued Cody, "the Ghost Dance and the Death of Sitting Bull give a high light to another epochmaking incident in our warfare with the Indian.

"Then comes the last stand in the battle of the Wounded Knee and the Mission in 1890. There Captain Wallace, a brave soldier, and Lieutenant Mann, another whose record was without stain, gave their lives. We saw Lieutenant Gurlington, Hawthorne, McKinsie and Father Craft who never knew fear, go down under the wounding knives and arrows and guns of the red men.

"And having been an actor in those early wars, having played my part with all the courage that was in me, courage kept warm and burning by my love for my country and my hope of a better day when all men shall stand as brothers under a common flag I know that the pictures you look at tonight are true to life. They were taken on the actual ground; they were taken under bright or grey skies such as lowered or gleamed on those days; they were commanded by men who commanded then, men and children of tomorrow and the men and women of today, in these pictures have history, true, faithful, reliable. Lieutenant Gen. Nelson Miles — the great 'Bear Coat' — leads today as he led when we were trying to force back the frontier. Then, as now, we knew in him the brave pacificator. Major General Jesse M. Lee, Major Gen. Charles King, Brig. General Frank Baldwin, Brig. General Marion P. Maus, Colonel Sickles, leading and assisting the gallant Twelfth U. S. cavalry, appear.

"Then, as now, the red men followed the teachings of Chief Short Bull. Now, as then we see the Messiah Medicine Man, with the leading warriors of the Red Cloud Sioux.

"And to bring the story out of the past to you of the present, clear, authentic, wonderful, we have used six miles of reels and written a period on three hundred years of hate, antagonism, injustice, heroism, bloodshed, and misunderstanding."

Colonel Cody's story of how he gained the services of his old comrades proved no less interesting than his brief narrative of the battles he has fought. The concluding scenes portraying the progress made by Indians at Pine Ridge and Lawton agencies forms a striking contrast of earlier scenes in which all the red men are shown in savagery. In these last scenes the department chiefs find their justification for being employed by the government to bring the Indian to a new understanding of himself and his place among the citizens of the nation.

So great was the demand on the part of the high officials of the government to see the films and to meet Buffalo bill [sic] that three private exhibitions were given. Regarding one of these exhibitions the Washington Post says:

That the famous Indian battles as represented in the motion pictures brought to this city by Col. W. F. Cody, popularly known as "Buffalo Bill," are true to life and realistic was the opinion voiced b ythe [sic] large number of persons who witnessed their exhibition yesterday. The pictures were shown in the afternoon at the Columbia Theatre, under the auspices of the National press club and last night at the Home Club. In both gatherings were a number of persons prominent in this country and several old Indian fighters and Civil war veterans were included.

Col. Cody, who personally told of the work of making the pictures and the difficulties attendant thereon, explained that no attempt was made to obtain fine stagecraft, but that the only point made was to have them historically correct.

Last night's assemblage was composed of guests of Secretary Lane of the Interior department and included: Mrs. Lane, Secretary of Labor Wilson, former Secretary of the Interior Fisher, Assistant Secretary of the Interior and Mrs. Jones, Senator and Mrs. Francis E. Warren of Wyoming, Senator and Benjamin T. Tillman of South Carolina, Senator John F. Shaffroth of Colorado, Representative and Mrs. James A. Frear of Wisconsin [sic]: Representative and Mrs. Addison T. Smith of Idaho, Representative and Mrs. Philip P. Campbell of Kansas, Representative William H. Murray of of [sic] Oklahoma, Representative Nicholas J. Sinnett of Oregon, Representative and Mrs. Clarence Miller of Minnesota, Representative William Kent of California, Representative and Mrs. James M. Grapham of Illinois, Representative and Mrs. John H. Stephens of Texas; Representative and Mrs. John E. Raker of California; Commissioner of Indian Affairs and Mrs. Cato Sells, Commissioner of General Land Office and Mrs. Clay Tallman; George Ottis Smith, director of the geological survey; Thomas Ewing commissioner of patents; J. A. Holms, director of bureau of mines; Dr. Van Barveneld, director mining and metal lurgical [sic] exhibit of Panama-Pacific exposition; Assistant Commissioner of Indian Affairs and Mrs. E. B. Merritt; Franklin K. Lane, Jr.; Dr. and Mrs. Sheap of Idaho and Frank Johnson of Denver.

Title: Col. Cody in the East

Source: McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody Collection, MS6, OS Box 50, page 28

Topics: Buffalo Bill on Film

Keyword: Washington Post Company

People: Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924 Lane, Franklin Knight, 1864-1921 Garrison, Lindley M. (Lindley Miller), 1864-1932 Warren, Francis E. (Francis Emroy), 1844-1929 Carr, E. A. (Eugene Asa), 1830-1910 Tall Bull (Lakota Indian chief), 1830-1869 Merritt, Wesley, 1834-1910 Sitting Bull, 1831-1890 Yellow Hand, 1850?-1876 Sickel, Horatio Gates, Jr. Miles, Nelson Appleton, 1839-1925 Wallace, George D., 1849-1890 Mann, James D. Garlington, Ernest A. (Ernest Albert), 1853-1934 Hawthorne, Harry L. Kinzie, John J. Craft, Francis M., 1852-1920 Lee, Jesse M. King, Charles, 1844-1933 Baldwin, Frank Dwight, 1842-1923 Maus, Marion P. (Marion Perry), 1850-1930 Short Bull, -1915 Wovoka, approximately 1856-1932 Lane, Franklin K., Mrs. Wilson, William Bauchop, 1862-1934 Fisher, Walter L. (Walter Lowrie), 1862-1935 Jones, Andrieus Aristieus, 1862-1927 Jones, Andrieus Aristieus, Mrs. Warren, Francis E. (Francis Emroy), Mrs. Tillman, Benjamin R. (Benjamin Ryan), 1847-1918 Tillman, Benjamin R. (Benjamin Ryan), Mrs. Shafroth, John F. (John Franklin), 1854-1922 Shafroth, John F. (John Franklin), Mrs. Frear, James A. (James Archibald), 1861-1939 Frear, James A. (James Archibald), Mrs. Smith, Addison T. (Addison Taylor), 1862-1956 Smith, Addison T. (Addison Taylor), Mrs. Campbell, Philip Campbell, Philip, Mrs. Murray, William H. (William Henry), 1869-1956 Sinnott, N. J. (Nicholas John), 1870-1929 Miller, Clarence B., 1872-1922 Miller, Clarence B., Mrs. Kent, William, 1864-1928 Graham, James M. (James McMahon), 1852-1945 Graham, James M. (James McMahon), Mrs. Stephens, John H. (John Hall), 1847-1924 Stephens, John H. (John Hall), Mrs. Raker, John Edward, 1863-1926 Raker, John Edward, Mrs. Sells, Cato, 1859-1948 Sells, Cato, Mrs. Tallman, Clay, 1874-1949 Tallman, Clay, Mrs. Smith, George Otis, 1871-1944 Ewing, Thomas, 1862-1942 Holmes, J. A. (Joseph Austin), 1859-1915 Barneveld, Charles E. van, Dr. Meritt, Edgar Briant, 1874- Meritt, Edgar Briant, Mrs. Lane, Franklin K., Jr. Sheap, Dr. Sheap, Mrs. Johnson, Frank

Places: Cody (Wyo.) Washington (D.C.) Wyoming Nebraska Pine Ridge (S.D.) Summit Springs (Colo.) Warbonnet Creek (Neb.) Wounded Knee (S.D.) Lawton (Okla.) South Carolina Colorado Texas Wisconsin Idaho Kansas Oklahoma Oregon Minnesota California Illinois Denver (Colo.)

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