Title: Brussels Gossip

Periodical: The Galignani Messenger

Date: June 7, 1891

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It is a far cry from Pine Ridge Agency to the fertile plains of Brabant, but things move quickly nowadays (especially when it happens that such men as General Cody and Mr. Nate Salsbury are at the helm), and so it has come to pass that Kicking Bear, No Neck, Hard to Hit, Revenge, and the rest of their dusky associates who were fighting desperately against General Miles in North and South Dakota last Christmas, have marched through the fields of standing corn looking pretty much as they did on the eve of the "glorious eighteenth," contemplated with reverential gaze the lion of Waterloo, and paid their respects in true Indian fashion to the spirits of the mighty warriors, whose bodies have long since mouldered into dust beneath the ground on which they stood. It was curious to hear the disillusioned Messiah of the Sioux eagerly interrogating indefatigable Mr. George C. Crager, as to the exact number of killed and wounded or the respective merits of Napoleon and Wellington, while six paces off ten-year-old John Burke No Neck, who had been left for dead on the snow-covered banks of the Wounded Knee Creek just as 1891 was dawning, sat peacefully by the side of Master Louis Terrell (whose great grandfather died in 1794 of wounds received while doing battle with the Miami Indians at the Maumee Rapids), and evinced a keener appreciation of the inherent virtues of pop-corn than of the time-honoured associations connected with Hougemont or La Haie Sainte. Fifty tribesmen of the Brule, Uncpapas, Ogallala and Minnecoujou Indians wearing the picturesque feather bonnets and resplendent with war-paint, trudged merrily along the Braine d'Alleaud road, behind the invincible William Cody; the squaw contingent was represented by Her Blanket, Mrs. Ice, Eagle Woman, Crow Cane, Calls the Name, while the presence of Medicine Horse Woman materially assisted the researches of her lord and master Short Bull, now none the worse for his fall at Aix. It seems that the Wild West has its "old guard" as well as the greatest of French Emperors, and Major John Burke satisfied a life-long ambition last Tuesday when General Cody and Mr. Nate Salsbury together with Jule Keen, Johnny Baker, William Langan, John Nelson (leaning on the shoulder of his handsome Indian son), John Higby and himself took up a position on the supposed site of the far-famed charge. In June, 1815, the vieille garde engaged in a death struggle which won them immortality in spite of defeat; in June, 1891, Major Burke's devoted band had no more militant object in view than photography, and the only weapon used was M. Alexandre's redoubtable camera. The gallant Major, however, is almost as proud of his regiment of nine as Napoleon—for they are to-day the sole survivors of the Wild West as first constituted at Columbus (Nebraska), in 1883.



If anything could increase the enthusiasm prevailing on the Plaine of Tenbosch it is the frequent presence of Mr. Edwin H. Terrell, the American Minister at Brussels, who hails from Texas, the aboriginal home of the cowboy. Mr. Terrell has himself had some experience of frontier life; his grandfather lost his life in the Indian campaigns, now all but a century old; and his wife's father, Samuel A. Maverick, of St. Antonio, was, fifty years since, a prisoner of the Indians at Perote Castle. In 1872 he himself witnessed the conflict between the Shoshones and the Sioux in Wyoming, and, just two years later, early on a fine September morning, he met Buffalo Bill at [Fort] Macpherson. Eighteen years have vanished since [the] n, and Mr. Terrell's lucid explanations helped considerably to make General Cody's pilgrimage to Waterloo a more than ordinarily pleasant excursion. There is quite as much of the soldier as there is of the lawyer in Mr. Terrell's composition. He is at once a genial companion and a far-sighted diplomatist, and no one enjoyed more keenly the quaint admixture of joviality and serious history on Tuesday morning than the man who played so important a part in the building up of the General Act, which is destined to give African slavery its death blow. Mr. Terrell and his sprightly little son were almost the only strangers who took part in the latest Waterloo campaign, and their presence was as keenly appreciated by the Indians as it was by General Cody and his staff. While descending and ascending the Lion Mound, some large Wild West groups were taken by M. Alexandre of the Rue Haute, who has just completed a notable series of Indian types.


From the Mound an adjournment was made to the museum, where Kicking Bear and his friends were able to indulge their natural taste for martial relics to the utmost. General Cody presented his dusky followers with photographs of the Dutch lion, and copious libations of milk followed Mr. Crager's description of the many trophies, so industriously got together by the gallant old serjeant-major and his successors at the bright little Hôtel du Musée. At different points of the pilgrimage, the cowboy band delivered itself of a most impartial selection of national airs, ranging from "Yankee Doodle" to the "Marseillaise," but the impromptu concert in the salon of the Hôtel du Musée was essentially American. Mr. Salsbury's masterful rendering of "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp," recalled the palmiest memories of the troubadours, and his capital song was followed by "Rally Round the Flag," "Mary had a Little Lamb," "John Brown," etc., and the merriment continued till the last brake arrived at Braine d'Alleud to the strains of "Marching through Georgia," and the delighted Sioux laden with Waterloo sticks and Waterloo photographs instead of scalps and tomahawks, disappeared for ever from the astonished gaze of the bewildered Walloons.


On Thursday morning the ladies of the Wild West having retained the services of a veteran Waterloo scout set out by coach for Waterloo. A start was made betimes, and before the clock struck 8 they were busily engaged in inspecting the resting place of Lord Anglesey's legs, and the adjoining church. The party consisted of Miss Clemmons (who, by the way, is to delight English playgoers with the White Lily in the autumn), Miss Georgie Duffy and Miss Della Ferrell, the most graceful of riders, "Mamma" Whittaker (not in the settler's sunshade, but in a brand new Parisian hat), Messrs. Schneider (Illinois), and Mr. Bell (Denver), the able organisers of the expedition, Mr. Hammit, of Colorado, in a costume savouring rather of Broadway and Bond-street, than of the Pampas; Mr. McFarlane, of Denver, who clung obstinately to the orthodox camping sombrero; Mrs. Crager (New York), Mrs. Keen (Denver), Mr. Williams, Mrs. Sweeney, and Mr. Chandler. After a halt at the Lion Mound and breakfast at the Hôtel du Musée, the visitors returned to Brussels by the delightful road through the forest of Soignies and the Bois de la Cambre, breaking the journey for half-an-hour at the ancient Abbey of Groenendael now converted into an hotel surrounded by shady arbours and clumps of lofty planes.


After looking carefully at the field and listening to M. Terrell's graphic narrative, the General observed that he saw a striking resemblance between the circumstances attending Waterloo and the incidents of the battle of the Little Big Horn fought sixty-one years later, on June 26, 1876. General Custer with the 7th Cavalry was the Napoleon or the Wellington of the conflict. He looked out for the arrival of Major Reno, who was destined either to be the Blücher or the Grouchy of the close of the fight. Unfortunately, he played the latter part,   and General Custer and his army met a more terrible fate than that which befel Napoleon.


Never since its Munich days has the Wild West proved so magnetically attractive as in the Belgian capital. Thousands have been turned away at most of the performances, the Queen has twice honoured the show with her presence, and the proposed four days at Ghent have been given up. The Wild West remains at Brussels till the 10th inst., when, at the close of the afternoon entertainment, the camp will be struck in time to allow of its erection at Antwerp in the small hours of Thursday. On Wednesday General Cody was present at a largely-attended soirée-musicale given by Mme. Lemmens-Sherrington, at which that talented artiste sang a duet with her daughter, Miss Mary Lemmens, while substantial contributions to the pleasures of the evening were made by Mr. Scappa (in good voice and always [?] Mrs. Nate Salsbury, who rendered "Within a Mile of Edinboro' Toun" in the best style of Miss Rachel Samuels, and Mr. Nate Salsbury, who gave his telling and forcible imitation of popular actors. On Thursday General Cody lunched with his popular compatriots, Mr. and Mrs. H. W. Robert, of New York, at Wiltcher's Hotel, and on Friday morning, under the kindly guidance of Mr. Edwin Terrell, the chiefs of the Wild West party spent a couple of hours very pleasantly in inspecting—by kind permission of the King—the Winter Gardens at Laeken, where General Cody expressed the most enthusiastic admiration of Mr. Henry Knight's prize orchids, pelargoniums, heliotropes, and calceolarias, and the magnificent display of geraniums and heliotropes in the Long Gallery. On leaving the last serre Mr. Knight presented Mrs. Salsbury with a magnificent bouquet. Before the party quitted the Royal demesne they were met by the Queen, who led the way to the stables and ordered some of her best driving horses—and there are few finer in Europe—to be trotted up and down for General Cody's inspection. She afterwards showed them some of the most romantic walks in the park, and pointed out several interesting features connected with the old palace now in process of restoration.


The arrival of the Wild West has created some excitement in the realms of art. M. Portaels, the venerable but still vigorous director of the Belgian Fine Art Academy, is hard at work on a portrait of the Indian squaw Calls the Name. M. Alfred Cluysnaer is doing his best to complete sketches of Short Bull and Wooden Face, while the Baroness Villermont (née Mlle. Alice Fischer), has taken in hand a picture of little John Burke No Neck. The Baroness has presented one of her still-life groups to Mr. George Crager, whose services as guide to the Indian encampment have won him numerous friends in Brussels.


Lord Vivian's dinner party in honour of her Majesty's birthday proved a triumphant success. The British Minister was supported on one hand by Mr. Allix, and on the other by General Baillie; Mr. Gosselin and Count de Salis were both present, and amongst the twenty-eight guests were the British Vice-Consul, the British Pro-Consul, the three British chaplains, Colonel Hesketh, and other members of the British colony in Brussels. Lord Vivian's one pithy speech was in the best possible taste, and Lord Lyons, even in the palmiest days of his reign in Paris, would have found it difficult to beat the menu, which was entirely printed in gold on vegetable parchment very prettily ornamented with Oriental corners. In the approaching reshuffling of the diplomatic pack, Lord Vivian will probably go either to Rome or Madrid, and residents in those cities, diplomatic or otherwise, may be glad to know that Lord Granville's cordon bleu never did anything better than the "salade Nelson," the "chaufroix" (a fresh rendering of that aggravatingly uncertain substantive), "de mauviettes á l'Indienne," and above all the "chamounix en fromage," which in turn excited a subdued murmur of appreciation last Saturday evening, in the Rue de Spa. Lord Elibank has leased a house in the Chaussée de Charleroi for a term of years, but he unfortunately missed the birthday dinner.


The Princess Lætitia Bonaparte (the young widow of the Duc d'Aosta) is just now staying at the Hôtel Bellevue, where, during the past few days, she has had for neighbours Mr. Cornelius Vanderbilt, Mr. Astor and General Cody. The Princess has lunched once or twice at her brother's Napoleonic museum in the Avenue Louise, and has also exchanged formal visits with the Queen and the Princess Clementine. The King has spent the whole of the week at Ostend. General Boulanger remains very quietly at his house in the Rue Montoyer. Mme. de Bonnemain's state of health is reported to be very critical indeed, and all political agitation is for the moment suspended. On Wednesday two visitors appear to have signed the "descendants of combatants" album at Waterloo—the one a granddaughter of a prominent officer on Napoleon's staff, the other a granddaughter of Sir Peregrine Maitland, G.C.B. Possibly the influenza has something to do with the unusual number of English visitors at present in Brussels.

Title: Brussels Gossip

Periodical: The Galignani Messenger

Source: McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West , MS6.3772.017.02a-d (Crager scrapbook)

Date: June 7, 1891

Topic: Lakota Performers

Keywords: American Indians Brulé Indians Cowboys Frontier and pioneer life Ghost dance Indian dance Indian weapons Indian women Indians of North America--Clothing Miami Indians Oglala Indians Shoshoni Indians Sioux Nation Slavery Songs Tomahawks United States. Army. Cavalry, 7th United States. Office of Indian Affairs. Pine Ridge Agency Vanderbilt family Wounded Knee Massacre, S.D., 1890 Yankee Doodle (Song)

People: Amadeo I, King of Spain, 1845-1890 Anglesey, Henry Paget, Marquess of, 1797-1869 Baker, Lewis H., 1869-1931 Burke, John M., 1842-1917 Clémentine, Princess of Belgium, 1872-1955 Custer, George A. (George Armstrong), 1839-1876 Ferrel, Della Kicking Bear Luitpold, Prince Regent of Bavaria, 1821-1912 Maitland, Peregrine, 1777-1854 Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, 1769-1821 Nelson, John Young, 1826-1903 No Neck (Tahu Wanica) Reno, Marcus A. (Marcus Albert), 1835-1889 Salsbury, Nathan, 1846-1902 Short Bull, -1915 Vanderbilt, Cornelius, 1794-1877 Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, Duke of, 1769-1852

Places: Antwerp (Belgium) Bois de la Cambre (Brussels, Belgium) Brabant (Belgium) Braine-l'Alleud (Belgium) Brussels (Belgium) Munich (Germany) Nebraska North Dakota Rome (Italy) Soignies (Belgium) South Dakota Texas Waterloo (Belgium) Wyoming

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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