Title: Untitled [Long ago, under the cleverly constructed title of Colonel the Honorable William F. Cody]

Periodical: Spirit of the Times

Date: July 30, 1892

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Long ago, under the cleverly constructed title of Colonel the Honorable William F. Cody, our old friend Buffalo Bill took his place among the Celebrities at Home of the London World. Buffalo Bill is both a Colonel and an Honorable; but the title bestowed upon him is usually reserved for officers of the British army who are the younger sons of noblemen. Now, the same paper has begun a series of what are technically called "write ups," with the attractive heading, "The Business of Pleasure," and the first of these reading notices is devoted to the Wild West Show and to information received from Colonel Cody as a great showman, the legitimate successor of the buried Barnum.

Buffalo Bill declares that he is about to retire from the profession. He has made money enough. This visit to London in his last. He will return home, next year, to astonish the world by the grandest show in history, at the Chicago Fair, and will then settle down to enjoy life on his Nebraska farm. He has been in the profession for twenty years, beginning with a small dramatic company, whose bickerings and jealousies gave him more trouble than the 260 employees and 240 horses of the Wild West. He has two daughters, one of whom is married, and he is a grandfather. The country which he likes best, next to the United States, is Italy. All his sojourn in England has been happy; but he especially remembers one glorious day in a launch on the upper Thames, when Irving was of the party.

The Wild West Show is a triumph of system. Each department has its responsible manager; John M. Burke is the general manager; Nate Salisbury is the director and side partner, and Buffalo Bill is the president or great chief. Every morning he hears reports from all the departments and familiarizes himself with every detail. The camp-kitchen serves three meals a day to the entire troupe. The Indians are the meat-eaters; white bean soup is the staple food; no intoxicating drinks are allowed. Although his present Happy Family includes Indians, Cossacks, cowboys, stablemen of all nationalities and British supernumeraries, Buffalo Bill says that he has never seen a drunkard in his camp, that quarrels are as rare as London sunshine and that there is very little illness, although (or because) an English physician, Dr. Coffin, is in constant attendance. "Mamma" Whitaker takes care of the American contingent.

The Wild West pay roll amounts to $2,165 a week. The highest salary is $100 a week, paid to Annie Oakley (Mrs. Frank Butler), the rifle expert. The wages of the twenty-two cowboys average $20 a week. The wages are clear profit to the employes, as everything—even tobacco and cigarettes—is provided for them gratis in camp. All the horses, except light steeplechasers and those owned by the Cossacks, are from America. Some have been eighteen years with the show. The gray pony which Buffalo Bill rides has galloped twice 'round the arena every day for nine years. The buckers and jumpers are lamblike in their stalls; but attempt to saddle them and they make a holy show of amateur riders.

Fifteen different languages, including four Indian and one Cockney dialects, are spoken in the show. At Glasgow, a party of native Africans were introduced to the Indians and interpreters were provided, but the two shades of colored people preferred the sign language, and understood each other perfectly. On Sundays, everybody may go to whatever church he pleases. The Indians visit impartially the temples of every faith and creed, and assert that they are "all heap Christians." During the first five weeks in London, 500,465 persons visited the Show, without counting royalties. On Whit-Monday, there were 63,000 spectators—the largest house ever known at this extraordinary entertainment.

Title: Untitled [Long ago, under the cleverly constructed title of Colonel the Honorable William F. Cody]

Periodical: Spirit of the Times

Source: McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody Collection, MS6

Date: July 30, 1892

Topics: Buffalo Bill's Wild West in Britain

Keywords: American Indians Celebrities Cossacks Cowboys Cross cultural communication Dialects Diversity in the workplace Drinking of alcoholic beverages Exhibitions Great Britain. Army Horsemen and horsewomen Horses Indian sign language Indians of North America Italy Language and languages Multiculturalism Nobility Ranches Nebraska Retirement Saddlery Scrapbooks Showman Stables Traveling exhibitions Traveling theater Wages Wild horses World's Columbian Exposition (1893 : Chicago, Ill.)

People: Burke, John M., 1842-1917 Oakley, Annie, 1860-1926 Salsbury, Nathan, 1846-1902

Places: Earl's Court (London, England) 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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