William buffalo bill cody
William buffalo bill cody
Buffalo Bill was one of the most interesting figures of the old west, and the best known spokesman of the new west. Buffalo Bill was born in 1846 and his real name was William Frederick Cody. Cody was many things. He was a trapper, bullwhacker, Colorado “Fifty-Niner”, Pony Express rider, Civil War soldier, wagonmaster, stagecoach driver, and even a manager of a hotel. He changed his name to Buffalo Bill sometime in his early twenties for his skill while supplying railroad workers with buffalo meat. He would soon begin his career as one of the most famous prairie scouts of the Indian Wars.
Buffalo Bill worked the army from 1868-1872. Cody was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1872. He was considered good luck by the men of the Fifth Cavalry. Cody guided them to victory, kept them from ambush, and his own fame in turn reflected glory on the regiment. Buffalo Bill thought himself to be lucky too. Cody was very fortunate to be wounded in action only once, and that one time it was only a minor wound. Most of all, he was most gracious for always being in the right place at the right time.
Buffalo Bill Cody appeared on stage for the first time in 1872. He played himself in a play titled “Scouts of the Prairie”. Following this, he kept acting in the winter and he worked for the army in the summer. The Wild West show began in 1883 in Omaha. When this began, real cowboys and real Indians showing how life really was in the west. Cody’s show spent ten out of its thirty years in Europe. “Buffalo Bill was a featured attraction at Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Only Egypt’s fame opposed the Wild West as the talk of Chicago at the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. His show exhibited many famous people, such as Annie Oakley and Sitting Bull. By the 1900’s, Buffalo Bill could have possibly been the most famous and recognizable man in the entire world.
The Wild West’s great success began on nostalgia for the passing frontier that swept the nation in the late 1800’s. However, Buffalo Bill never looked backward. Towards the end of his life, a famous quote of his was “All my interests are still with the west- the modern west”.
Cody used his glory and fame as a platform for his western causes. His western causes were fighting for the rights of Indians and women, and also for conservation. Even as early as 1879, Buffalo Bill warned the federal government to not make promises to them that could be broken. He knew that Indian conflicts would be caused by broken government promises. He also knew what the Indian was fighting for, because their entire history was in America, and they felt it was their country.
Buffalo Bill was a fair man, as well. He was quoted in 1894 as saying to a woman reporter who asked whether he thought the majority of women were qualified to vote that they were “as well qualified as the majority of men. If a woman can do the same work that a man can do and do it just as well, she should have the same pay”.
Very early on, Buffalo Bill realized that a western developer was obligated to be a preserver as well. He spoke out about his displeasement of the hide-hunters that slaughtered the buffalo. In Wyoming and Colorado, Buffalo Bill worked to set up game preserves and also to limit hunting seasons.
Bill Cody was a man who used his wealth and his words. He invested much of his money in ranching, irrigation, town building, mining, and publishing. Not too many of these investments benefited him, and as a result of this poor investing, he died almost broke.
Buffalo Bill loved the west with all his heart. The west was his territory. He described the west as “with its cities, drawing upon the mountains for the water to make it fertile, and upon the whole world for men to make it rich”.