Sunday, July 10, 2016

American Biography: Buffalo Bill Cody

Buffalo Bill's life spanned a significant period in the West.  He went from the "Wild West" with Buffalo hunts and Indian fights, to portraying the nostalgia for the West after this period had past.  His first trip west was with the army and the Utah War.  He also served in the Civil War for the Union.  He gained his knick-name by participating in the U.S. policy of ridding the plains of the buffalo, and forcing the Indians to change their nomadic life style.  He killed 69 buffalo in one day, and over 4000 in an 18 month period.  He was involved in the Indian Wars, and killed and scalped Cheyenne Chief Yellow Hair, "The first scalp for Custer." he said.
In 1883 Buffalo Bill decided to create a new kind of entertainment, a spectacle of the Old West.  He started with the Wild West, Rocky Mountain and Prairie Exhibition.  He quickly graduated to his famous Wild West Show.  His show would have a cast of hundreds, cowboys and Native Americans.  He would entertain through out the United States and Europe.  He would entertain dignitaries and royalty, allowing them to ride the stage coach when it was robbed.  His company included Sitting Bull, Annie Oakley, Will Rogers, Iron tail, Mexican Joe, Be Ho Gray, Dr. D.W. Carver and many others.
More than anyone else, Buffalo Bill created the sense of what the Wild West was like.  He show influenced opinion and knowledge on the history of the West.

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