Title: "Buffalo Bill" At Brighton | Crowds Watch the Cavalcade

Periodical: The Argus

Date: October 12, 1891

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Colonel the Hon. W. F. Cody, more familiarly known as "Buffalo Bill," on account of his daring exploits in the backwoods and plains of America, and his renowned Wild West Show, commenced a week's sojourn at Brighton on the Hove-street Meadow this afternoon. The visit has been on the lips of everyone for weeks past; boys and young people generally have been waiting the advent with feverish impatience, while their elders have been almost as eager to see in reality what they had read so much about. Neither will be disappointed. The show comes up to all that has been said of it. It is unique in every particular—a bit of the rougher side of America carved out and transplanted here. Not only does the show embrace the uniqueness of a number of genuine Indians—Indians high in the possession of native honours and dignities, and attired with all the fantastic splendour of their picturesque native apparel,—brave cowboys, stern of demeanour, with flowing hair, red tunic and broad sombrero hat, proud Mexicans, gay with buttons and rich in costume, &c., but it also affords a knowledge of the manners and customs of the various peoples. There is the Indian Camp, where the visitors may wander without the slightest fear and where they may see the lord of the household taking his ease, while the women and children quietly pursue the several occupations and amusements to which they are accustomed in their native country, smoke cigarettes and converse together in their own dialect. Then there are the encampments of the Cowboys, Americans, Englishmen, Irishmen, Frenchmen, Alsatians, and people of other nationalities by whom "Buffalo Bill" is surrounded. The Indian encampment however, naturally attracts the greatest attention.


Mr. G. C. Crager, the Sioux interpreter attached to the show is in charge of this department. There are altogether twenty-four Indian warriors, who are held as hostages by the United States Government, having been made prisoners of war at Pine Ridge. The privilege accorded to Colonel Cody of taking these famous warriors on tour was granted solely in consequence of the great services rendered by him to the country as pioneer, scout, and military officer. Included among the Company are "No Neck," chief of police of the Wild   West under the constitution observed by the Indians among themselves, who was a leading Government scout in the last campaign at Pine Ridge, where the famous "Sitting Bull" met his death. "Little Johnny Burke No Neck," the sole survivor of the decisive battle of Wounded Knee, which resulted in the annihilation of Big Foot's band and the submission of the rebellious Indians; "Kicking Bear," the chief, upon whom the mantle of authority worn by the late "Sitting Bull" has virtually descended; Johnny Baker "the Cowboy kid," a marvellously sure shot; Miss Annie Oakley, to whom "Sitting Bull" gave the name of "Little Sure Shot," &c.



A glimpse was this morning afforded of the great show, and between eleven and twelve o'clock the principal points en route were seized upon by large crowds of people anxious to secure a commanding position of the imposing cavalcade as it wended its way along. The sight was certainly worth witnessing, and calculated to heighten the interest what was to follow. "Buffalo Bill" led the van. The Indians, quite an army of them, were mounted on native ponies, stately in war-paint, but not particularly treacherous-looking and in all the "panoply of war," while the women were seated comfortably in pair horse carriages, Miss Oakley rode on a nice little horse, and was followed by a long string of Cowboys and Mexicans. The historical "Deadwood Coach" drawn by four mules, also formed an important feature of the procession. The Cowboys' band led the way, the cavalcade coming by way of the Western-road, and returning via the King's-road.



During the past week the show was exhibiting at Portsmouth, the encampment being struck on Saturday evening. The removal to Brighton was made during the same night, the whole of the Company and stock arriving at Brighton by three special trains. Early the following morning the first reached Brighton about a quarter-past one, the second about half-past three, and the third and last, about quarter-past four. Expecting to witness the disembarkation a good many persons journeyed to West Brighton Station about nine o'clock, but were somewhat disappointed to find that Hove-street Meadow had already been taken possession of by the Wild West. Nevertheless, such view as the chinks between the boards afforded, was taken full advantage of during the day. There are altogether connected with the Show some two hundred people, and to assist in the setting up of the camp some 250 hands were engaged on the arrival at the meadows. Of horses and stock there are in all some 200.


In Mr. J. M. Burke Colonel Cody has a most able manager, in fact the heads of all the various departments are the right men in the places, Colonel Cody ("Buffalo Bill") holds the title of president; Mr. Nate Salsbury, vice-president and director; Mr. Albert E. Sheible, business representative; Mr. Carter Conturier, advertising agent; Mr. Jule Keen, treasurer; Mr. Lew Parker, contracting agent; and Mr. William Langan, supply agent. It was the good fortune of a representative of The Argus to get into conversation with the latter gentleman, who took him round the cooking establishment. It was an interesting sight, and the facts related by the caterer were as interesting. The whole staff have three meals a day and meat at every meal, every meal being varied. Between 200 and 300 pounds of meat is provided every day, and cooking is going on all day long. 1,200 eggs are cooked for breakfast. Mr. Keen is in charge of the cooking. A peep into the store-van revealed every specie of luxury and comfort for the inner man.


The entertainment commenced at three o'clock with a grand processional review, a most imposing sight, in which all took part. Then came a horse race between a Cowboy, a Mexican, and an Indian, on Spanish-Mexican horses, which proved an exciting affair. Miss Annie Oakley, the celebrated shot, was next introduced, and the clever manner in which she handled the rifle called forth the unanimous plaudits of the spectators. She was equally quick and active, shooting ten or twelve balls thrown in the air at the same time before either had time to reach the ground. "Little Sure Shot," as she was termed by "Sitting Bull," was born at Woodland, Ohio, and has been used to firearms from her earliest days. An historical adventure in the life of "Buffalo Bill" was his famous single combat with "Yellow Hand," chief of the Sioux, at War Bonnet Creek, Dakota, and the downfall and the death of the same on July 17th, 1875, in presence of the Indian and American troops. This was graphically represented, the triumph of the gallant Colonel and his successful scalping of the chief being heartily participated in by those who witnessed it. The pony express, describing how the letters and telegrams of the Republic were distributed across the continent previous to the railways and the telegraph, was the next item, some hard riding and the quick changing from one horse to another at the different stations, being accomplished. The next performance represented an attack on an emigrant train by Indians. The baggage waggons used in this representation are the same as those used thirty-five years ago, and the picture is most realistic. It looked bad for the emigrants, and the Indians were fast overpowering the little band when the Cowboys arrived and scatter them. After Johnny Baker had given an exhibition with the rifle, there was some fun by the Cowboys, including the picking of objects from the ground whilst riding, lassoing wild   horses, riding buckers, &c. Some clever pistol and revolver shooting was introduced by Mr. Claude L. Daly, and there were many other items all of which were well worth witnessing. The Deadwood coach episode was, perhaps, the most exciting.



In this adventure the identical Deadwood coach, called the mail coach, famous on account of having carried the great number of people who lost their lives on the road between Deadwood and Cheyenne eighteen years ago, was used. Of course it is now somewhat dilapidated, but nevertheless whole enough to convey several passengers round the arena driven at full speed by four high-spirited mules. The coach is driven by "Buffalo Bill," and on the route is set upon by Indians. But for the timely arrival of a band of Cowboys, the poor coach driver and passengers would all fare very badly indeed. Some unique feats of shooting by "Buffalo Bill," a buffalo hunt, and an attack on a settler's cabin are among the remaining items of the programme. A performance will be given to-night, when the camp will be brilliantly illuminated, and on every afternoon and evening this week.

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