The Life of Hon. William F. Cody Known as Buffalo Bill: The Famous Hunter, Scout and Guide
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"We got more provisions for our whiskey than the same money, which we paid for the liquor, would have bought; so after all it proved a very profitable investment." -Buffalo Bill
The life and adventures of Hon. William F. Cody—Buffalo Bill—as told by himself, make up a narrative which reads more like romance than reality, and which in many respects will prove a valuable contribution to the records of our Western frontier history. While no literary excellence is claimed for the narrative, it has the greater merit of being truthful, and is verified in such a manner that no one can doubt its veracity. The frequent reference to such military men as Generals Sheridan, Carr, Merritt, Crook, Terry, Colonel Royal, and other officers under whom Mr. Cody served as scout and guide at different times and in various sections of the frontier, during the numerous Indian campaigns of the last ten or twelve years, affords ample proof of his genuineness as a thoroughbred scout.
There is no humbug or braggadocio about Buffalo Bill. He is known far and wide, and his reputation has been earned honestly and by hard work. By a combination of circumstances he was educated to the life of a plainsman from his youth up; and not the least interesting portion of his career is that of his early life, passed as it was in Kansas during the eventful and troubleous times connected with the settlement of that state. Spending much time in the saddle, while a mere boy he crossed the plains many times in company with bull-trains; on some of these trips he met with thrilling adventures and had several hairbreadth escapes from death at the hands of Indians. Then, for a while, he was dashing over the plains as a pony-express rider. Soon afterwards, mounted on the high seat of an overland stagecoach, he was driving a six-in-hand team. We next hear of him cracking the bull-whacker's whip, and commanding a wagon-train through a wild and dangerous country to the far West. During the civil war he enlisted as a private, and became a scout with the Union army; since the war he has been employed as hunter, trapper, guide, scout and actor. As a buffalo hunter he has no superior; as a trailer of Indians he has no equal. For many years he has taken an active part in all the principal Indian campaigns on the Western frontier, and as a scout and guide he has rendered inestimable services to the various expeditions which he accompanied.
CHAPTER I. CHILDHOOD. CHAPTER II. EARLY INFLUENCES. CHAPTER III. BOY DAYS IN KANSAS. CHAPTER IV. YOUTHFUL EXPERIENCES. CHAPTER V. IN BUSINESS. CHAPTER VI. HARD TIMES. CHAPTER VII. ACCIDENTS AND ESCAPES. CHAPTER VIII. ADVENTURES ON THE OVERLAND ROAD. CHAPTER IX. FAST DRIVING. CHAPTER X. QUESTIONABLE PROCEEDINGS. CHAPTER XI. A SOLDIER. CHAPTER XII. A WEDDING. CHAPTER XIII. A MILLIONAIRE. CHAPTER XIV. EARNING A TITLE. CHAPTER XV. CHAMPION BUFFALO KILLER. CHAPTER XVI. A COURIER. CHAPTER XVII. AN APPOINTMENT. CHAPTER XVIII. SCOUTING. CHAPTER XIX. A TOUGH TIME. CHAPTER XX. AN EXCITING CHASE. CHAPTER XXI. A MILITARY EXPEDITION. CHAPTER XXII. A DESPERATE FIGHT. CHAPTER XXIII. ADMINISTERING JUSTICE. CHAPTER XXIV. HUNTING EXPEDITIONS. CHAPTER XXV. HUNTING WITH A GRAND DUKE. CHAPTER XXVI. SIGHT-SEEING. CHAPTER XXVII. HONORS. CHAPTER XXVIII. AN ACTOR. CHAPTER XXIX. STARRING. CHAPTER XXX. A RETURN TO THE PLAINS. CHAPTER XXXI. DANGEROUS WORK. CHAPTER XXXII. CONCLUSION.
About the Author
Buffalo Bill was born William Frederick Cody in 1846. He was a soldier, a bison hunter, a showman, and one of America’s biggest celebrities until his death in 1917.
Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful.
Buffalo Bill Brings us the Old West
By Amazon Customer
This is a refreshing account of life in the 1800's from a person who lived it. If you are bound by modern sensibilities about people not like you, gun violence, frontier justice, etc. then this book is not for you.
It is from my study of history a really accurate account of life on the frontier (Cody calls it the Plains) from the 1840's to the 1880's. This is written from a autobiographical point of view.
Some things that I learned about this time was that they had heavy prejudice.
That African Americans were better accepted on the Plains than in the rest of America.
The the Indians seemed to be universally hated. The author would claim for good reason.
By reading a little bit between the lines you can surmise that Custer was an egotistical idiot.
The killing of buffalo was common practice by both whites and Indians. Both sides used the results for food, blankets, medical needs, etc. However the whites seem to waste more than the Indians.
The one thing I never knew is that Buffalo Bill was a thespian. He traveled the east for several winters putting on plays based loosely on his life that he wrote or in one case another wrote.
The one thing that startled me is the amount of European and Asian aristocrats that came to America to go hunting.
Overall this is a great history from Buffalo Bill's perspective.
The one thing that is missing is his later years.
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
A very pleasurable reading
By Boris Falaleyev
An impressive picture of the Old West, with a tangible feeling of freedom in the boundless ranges among high rocks, sun-baked or covered with snow. We see the author living within and being part of Mother Nature. The book is valuable from historical point of view, too, as the author tells the story of his family in the context of the exploration of the Western territories, including the early days of the Pony Express, the Civil War, and other great events. The author himself is a fascinating person - quiet, courageous, self-confident, just and respectful to others. A very pleasurable reading.
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
Adventure and History
By Susan Grassi
I really enjoyed this autobiography by Buffalo Bill. It was very well written, exciting and very engaging. Having visited many of the places mentioned in the book, l was totally intrigued.