Title: The Only Jones

Periodical: Judy, or the London Serio-Comic Journal

Date: May 18, 1887

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THE theatrical, or non-theatrical topic of the week, I am not sure which, is decidedly Buffalo Bill. Never before was a Bill so billed, and [drawing] THE BILL.—YES; AND A STRONG BILL, TOO! never within the memory of the ordinary hum-drum home-brewed native of the wide-world of London was the word buffalo so often repeated. I recollect when a boy at school at Richmond (Good gracious! that's a long while ago, too!), first becoming interested in the existence of buffaloes by reading a thrilling article in a sixpenny monthly magazine of Albert Smith's, called "A Ride on a Buffalo Bull." It was written by Captain Mayne Reid [1] and shortly afterwards published in three volume form in his "Scalp Hunters." What a thrilling description was that and how it made my boy-heart beat then! Can it now, forty years later, have lost all its charm for boys of 1887? I can hardly think so as I lay down the book I have just been re-reading it in—the same old book. I noticed that the buffaloes were rather tamish at the American Exhibition at Earl's Court, last Monday week, which disappointed me; but otherwise it is a brave show, and in many respects very curious and new. I, however, can hardly fancy, judging from how the weather has so far been, that we are going to have a sultry summer, and so Bill won't be any more serious rival to the Theatres Royal than the other exhibitions at Kensington, even supposing they really took away any business at all. Anyhow, a good many thousands ought, and will, of course, go and see the attractive entertainment.

And what do you think has been most talked about by the lady spectators the first day of the Show? Bill? No. Red Shirt? No. Miss Oakley, Miss Smith, or the Cowboys? Not at all. Do you give it up? Why, the Indian girls who ride astride.

Note 1: Thomas Mayne Reid (1818-1883), an Irish-born author best known for his tales of adventure set in the American West. [back]

Title: The Only Jones

Periodical: Judy, or the London Serio-Comic Journal

Source: McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West , MS

Date: May 18, 1887

Topics: Buffalo Bill's Wild West in Britain

Keywords: American bison American Indians Cowboys Exhibitions Horsemen and horsewomen Indian women Indians of North America Satire Social satire Spectators Theater

People: Oakley, Annie, 1860-1926 Red Shirt, 1845?-1925 Reid, Mayne, 1818-1883

Places: Earl's Court (London, England) Kensington (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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