Osage County, Oklahoma. Enjoy.
THE LOST DEAD BANDIT MINE
When I was only ten years old, at a Boy Scout camp I heard an elderly gentleman tell a story. The place was Camp McClintock and the man was known as “Pappy.” The story he told had the date and the names of some men. I don’t remember the date or the names. Anyways, here is my version.
As a store in Bartlesville was opening for business early one morning, two men arrived on horseback and robbed it. Automobiles were just becoming popular, yet these two men, described only as one young and the other quite older, chose to commit this crime with horses as their getaway conveyance. As my memory serves they took the contents of the safe, the contents of the cash drawer, several pocket watches, some canned food, and some ammunition.
Their take was said to be approximately 300 dollars in silver coins. Oddly there was no mention of paper currency, although they would have also taken paper.
A posse was quickly assembled consisting of Bartlesville businessmen. Just past noon the posse overcame the pair of bandits on Sand Creek near present day Osage Hills State Park. The bandits had stopped for lunch from the canned food and were caught off guard. Gunfire was exchanged and the pair took to their horses. They crossed the creek and raced up into a narrow draw. Around a few bends they realized their mistake. Cornered, they dismounted, grabbed the goods and climbed the steep rock embankment only to find a wide and steep cliff. There at the base was a small opening, a cave of sorts, and inside the pair sought cover. Relatively safe in the cave, I suppose these men were planning on making good their escape under the cover of darkness, but a member of the posse had left and headed to an area homestead where he knew that the landowner had just purchased the day before a large quantity of dynamite to clear tree stumps. Shortly before dusk he returned with a bundle of dynamite and a length of rope. With help from a spotter down below he positioned himself directly above the small cave. A threat to blast was shouted to the bandits and they replied with a couple of gunshots. The man above tied the bundle to the rope, lit the fuse, flung it into the cave, and ran.
Because of the late hour, the approaching darkness, the effects of the dynamite, and the squeamish nature of the businessmen, it was decided not to attempt to recover the money.
This small cave has another story of interest. When the Spanish were in this region searching for mineral wealth a seam was discovered on this ledge that bore a natural concentration of lead and other heavy metals. About 200 feet from the entrance is a well marked “El Grande” style death trap. This mine, like the dozen or so others in this region was worked by Native American people who were enslaved by the Spaniards. When at last the Indians had driven out the Spaniards, this particular mine was left open and unsealed. “Pappy” told of having seen bullets made from the ore, and said that Indians and homesteaders had worked the mine to get the lead just to make bullets. He also said these bullets tarnished black and were at least forty percent silver.
Copyright Bill Wade#grampawbill
Originally told by Arthur H. Lamb in his book “Tragedies of the Osage Hills” and used with permission from the late Raymond Redcorn, this story is quite well known throughout Osage County.
In 1862 a wagon train of immigrants was returning from the California gold fields. The wagon master was a stout man with a large nose. He was known as Captain Goldie. They stayed on the Santa Fe Trail until the Arkansas River crossing and took a southern turn to follow a central route known as the California Trail, also known as Evans Road., eastward on towards southern Missouri. This trail shared some footage with the Black Dog Trail. Their cargo was said to be $100,000 in gold.
One evening while the immigrants were camped a lone Indian had nosed his way into camp and offered to trade a few ponies for some of the gold. He was told no and became angry. He left and soon he had convinced a large number of Pawnees to give chase. Near present day Foraker they came into view. Upon seeing the approaching Indians Goldie had the men circle the wagons and gather together all the gold. Goldie took the gold to the edge of the woods with the intentions of burying it but saw the futility of the battle for his men were greatly outnumbered. In the cover of the woods he made good his escape. Here we pause to thank the late Mr. Lamb, for through his efforts we know what took place at the site of the massacre.
After a long and difficult battle the Indians succeeded, and after killing the wounded they searched the wagons and bodies, but found no gold. They were outraged and threatened to kill the lone Indian. He decided to find the body of the wagon master and cut off the end of his nose, but he couldn’t find the man. It was then realized that Goldie had escaped with the gold. They soon picked up his trail and followed after him.
My efforts put him following upper Sand Creek east for about a mile, turning northeast, following Dog Creek a short distance east, turning northeast again, crossing Buck Creek, then following a small creek to where he slept briefly and left a lengthy inscription on a large boulder. Late in the next afternoon he stopped briefly on top of the hill just west of Artillery Mound and scanned the countryside. He saw that he was being followed and decided to bury the gold.
Near here, according to all published versions of the story, he found a hollow tree near the base of Artillery Mound and put an old musket in this tree. So many steps from this tree stood two large trees sharing a common single trunk. So many steps from these he buried the gold. A good distance down the trail from this site he tied his mule to a tree and hung the tack and gear on a limb. From here he proceeded on foot. At this
point the Indians lost Goldie’s trail and after scouring the countryside they gave up the chase.
Goldie made it home to Missouri, to his wife and his six year old son, but weakened from the ravages of the journey he soon fell ill. In the winter shortly before his death he revealed the story of the massacre and his escape to his wife. He left her a detailed hand drawn map with instructions to where the gold was buried.
Not knowing anyone she could trust, and her son being of tender age, plus the consideration of the Civil War, she decided to wait until he grew to be a man.
The government purchased this portion of the Cherokee Outlet from a group of Cherokees who represented only the Cherokees who were not living here in what was to become Osage County, and after a forced march the Osage People were confined to the area. They then allotted the land in 160 acre tracts to each Osage Tribal member.
After stopping near the Caney River at Matoaka to investigate the twin hills as the possible site, young Goldie appeared one evening in 1882 at the farm of an Osage man named Joe Boulanger. Joe invited him in for supper. After examining the area he explained his mission to Joe, and the significance of the trees and the musket. Joe claimed to remember the trees and the musket, having cleared the land himself. He did not produce the musket but he did take young Goldie to a spot and left him to dig for several days. After failing to find anything, young Goldie made Joe a copy of the map and received the promise that if anything was found a portion would be sent to him. He returned to his Missouri home and life went on.
Just after 1900 the story of the gold had leaked out and large holes began appearing in Joe’s field. Joe called upon the law and he sat up late many nights trying to catch the diggers but none were ever caught.
Many years later, in 1961, a cowboy was repairing a fence and cut down a dead tree. The tree was hollow and had grown back shut, totally concealing Goldie’s musket within. Even now remains of the stump and roots are visible in the ground. This location was revealed to me by the late Mr. C. E. McClurkin in 1991. Accordingly, the musket was given to a member of the Boulanger family. I was also informed that the man who found the musket passed away in 1968.
After much moonlit exploration, over a dozen trips tainted with no permission, I was privately informed that the treasure had long since been removed and was only about 150 pounds instead of the supposed 300 pounds, yes, we had done the math, and that it had all been quietly turned into cash and all had been spent some years prior to my search.
Where the treasure had been found, if it really was found, was said to be near a fence line on the southeast slope of the hill. Cattle had exposed a portion while walking the fence line. If this information is true and the structure of a cow hoof is taken into consideration then my attempt to justify another search gains credibility. I can easily imagine a nugget traveling a short distance in the cleft of a hoof. Pure speculation on my part can allow for a pound or two spread out along the fence line in both directions.
Another possibility is of relics at the massacre site. My studies put this to be at the top of a hill south of upper Sand Creek east of Foraker near what was once a dense forest but now is claimed to always have been prairie. I remember the dead trees.
Copyright Bill Wade#grampawbill
IN preceding chapters the chief events of lake history, from the period of French discovery to the beginning of modern commerce, succeeding the war of 1812, have been narrated.
The chronology of the lakes becomes a matter of greater detail as this inland traffic gradually expands, and the following pages will chronicle the more important events which have occurred since the lakes became the highway for great commercial purposes.
Preliminary to this chronology, a brief review of the earlier history is presented.
In the sixteenth century the St. Lawrence River was discovered and navigated by French adventurers.
In the seventeenth century the system of the Great Lakes was discovered and occupied by the same nation.
During the eighteenth century there was a constant struggle for the control of these vast inland seas, and, when the war of 1812 ended, their shores were rapidly populated.
Commerce properly began with that permanent settlement.
Briefly, then, the preparatory events were as follows:
Brest established by the French as a fishing station on the straits of Belle Isle.
About this year Portuguese also explored the region of the mouth of the St. Lawrence River.
Verrazano, a French explorer, visited the region of the St. Lawrence River and concluded that an immense continent lay to the west.
May 10, Cartier, sent by King Frances I of France, arrived off Newfoundland.
May 27, Cartier reached the straits of Belle Isle.
July 2, Cartier reached and named the Bay of Chaleur.
Cartier, on his second voyage, reached and named Assumption island, August 15, and discovered the mouth of the St. Lawrence river.
September 1, reached the mouth of the Saguenay River.
October 2, reached Hochelaga, near Mont Royale, now Montreal.
Cartier made his third voyage to the St. Lawrence River.
Pontgrave attempted colonization and failed.
June 7, Champlain started on an exploration of the Saguenay river.
About this time he first heard of the “Immense Sea of Salt Water” to the west.
Lake Huron discovered by Le Caron, the Recollect friar, and by Champlain, the great navigator.
Lake Ontario discovered later in the same year by Champlain.
Lake Superior discovered by Champlain’s interpreter, Etienne Brule, during this year or earlier.
Lake Michigan discovered by Jean Nicolet, an employe of a French fur trading company.
He visited Green Bay.
Raymbault and Jogues, two missionaries, traversed Lake Superior in search of a passage to China.
Iroquois destroyed Huron missions near Lake Huron.
Menard, the missionary, searched for the Hurons on the Lake Superior region.
Allouez established an Indian mission at La Pointe.
Marquette established an Indian mission at Sault Ste. Marie.
Lake Erie probably discovered by Joliet.
Allouez established an Indian mission at Green Bay.
First recorded passage through Detroit river, made by Sulpitian priests.
Marquette founded the mission of St. Ignace at the Straits of Mackinac.
Rude fort erected at Mackinac.
St. Lusson, in behalf of Louis XIV, of France, takes formal possession of the Great Lakes at St. Mary’s Falls.
Joliet and Marquette discovered the Mississippi.
Fort Frontenac erected by LaSalle on the present site of Kingston, Ontario.
La Salle built the little bark Frontenac, on Lake Ontario, the first vessel on the Great Lakes.
Schooner Griffin, the first vessel on Lake Erie, launched on the Upper Niagara river in June, entered Lake Erie August 7, encountered a severe storm on Lake Huron, reached Green Bay early in September.
Loss of the Griffin on her return trip.
Governor De la Barre, of New France, attempted to crush the Iroquois.
Duluth built a French fort at St. Joseph, on the St. Clair River, the site of Fort Gratiot.
English traders visited Mackinaw.
French capture two English trading parties on Lake Huron.
French expedition against the Iroquois met with defeat.
Fort Niagara built by the French.
Fort St. Joseph burned and abandoned by the French.
Fort Niagara abandoned by the French.
Fort Frontenac destroyed.
French temporarily lost command of the Great Lakes.
Fort Frontenac rebuilt by the French.
French fort erected at Detroit by Cadillac.
French fort at Detroit partially destroyed by Indians.
French fort at Detroit rebuilt by Tonti.
Governor Burnett, of New York, began the erection of a trading post at Oswego.
New York Legislature prohibited New York merchants from trading with Canada for furs.
French rebuilt Fort Niagara.
English launched two vessels at Oswego.
French fortify scattered posts from Lake Ontario to Lake Superior.
Little Fort Niagara, one and one-half miles above Niagara Falls, completed by the French.
English built two sloops, the Oswego and the Ontario, at Oswego, besides several other boats.
French fortify and strengthen their lake forts.
French captured Oswego, six sloops of war, 100 boats and large munitions of war.
Colonel Bradstreet captured Fort Frontenac, and with it seven vessels.
Fort Niagara surrendered to the English, who thereby secured control of Lakes Erie and Ontario.
Major Rogers took possession of Detroit.
English took the French posts at Mackinac, St. Mary’s, Green Bay and St. Joseph’s and gained control of the entire lake region.
English built at Detroit the schooners Beaver and Gladwyn.
Pontiac’s conspiracy against the English.
Fall of Fort Sandusky, May 16,
Indians captured St. Joseph’s Fort, May 25.
Massacre at Mackinaw, June 4.
English post at St. Mary’s and at Green Bay abandoned.
Presqu’Isle surrendered, June 17.
Detroit invested by Pontiac’s Indians.
Gallant service aboard the small armed schooners Beaver and Gladwyn.
Beaver wrecked at Cat Fish creek, 14 miles from Buffalo, August 28.
Massacre at Devil’s Hole, Niagara river, September 14.
The New York Mercury of 1763 says: “There are five brigs from 30 to 80 tons, and 18 armed flush-decked cutters on Lake Ontario. The navigation of that lake will soon equal for trade that of the Caspian Sea.”
Sir William Johnson attempted to pacify the savages.
Bradstreet relieved Detroit.
Captain Howard regained Mackinaw, and English detachments reoccupy Green Bay and St. Mary’s.
Great Britain again in complete control of the lakes.
Three new vessels built, the Victory, the Boston and the Royal Charlotte.
English fur trade at Mackinaw began, and extended rapidly.
The Brunswick launched.
The Enterprise built at Detroit.
Sloop Betsey launched.
The Charity, of 70 tons, launched at Niagara.
The Chippewa, Lady Charlotte and Beaver 2nd launched.
Beaver 2nd lost near Sandusky in May with her entire crew of 17 men.
Schooner Hope, 81 tons, built at Detroit.
Sloop Angelica, 66 tons, built at Detroit.
Sloop launched on Lake Superior by the English trader Henry and others in an attempt to develop copper mining.
British brig-of-war General Gage, 154 tons, built at Detroit.
Schooner Dunmore, 106 tons, built at Detroit.
The Lake Superior sloop sold by Henry to fur traders.
Sloop Felicity, 55 tons, and Schooner Faith, 61 tons, built at Detroit.
Sloop Adventure, 34 tons, built at Detroit.
Sloop Wyandotte, 47 tons, built at Detroit.
British schooner Ontario, probably built several years earlier, lost during a fearful gale between Niagara and Oswego, with 172 English soldiers.
The Ontario carried 22 guns, and was commanded by Captain Andrews.
The soldiers lost were a detachment of the King’s Own Regiment, commanded by Colonel Burton.
Spanish detachment from St. Louis captured St. Joseph (the British garrison retreating to Detroit), and fly the flag of Spain over Lake Michigan.
The Spaniards, fearing an attack from Detroit, retired to the Mississippi a few days later.
By treaty the boundary between Canada and the United States established along the middle of the chain of Great Lakes.
Northwest Fur Company organized at Quebec, and established posts at various points on the upper lakes.
Northwest Fur Company built at Detroit the schooner Beaver, 34-feet keel, 13-feet beam and 4-feet hold.
Unsuccessful attempt to take the Beaver up St. Mary’s Falls.
Hudson Bay Company owned a vessel called the Speedwell on Lake Superior, and others on Lake Ontario.
John Fellows, of Massachusetts, crossed Lake Ontario in the first American boat on the Great Lakes, with tea and tobacco.
English merchantman, the York, constructed at York.
A vessel named the Missisaga, sailed on Lake Ontario that year.
English vessels on Lake Ontario included the armed schooner Onondaga, the Lady Dorchester, 87 tons, Mohawk, Caldwell and Buffalo.
The Sophia was a quick-sailing vessel on Lake Ontario.
Captain Lee, of Chippewa, owned the only boat on the south side of Lake Erie, a small vessel, name unknown.
Great Britain surrendered to the United States the posts at Oswego, Lewiston, Schlosser, Miami, Detroit and Mackinaw.
At Detroit this year there were owned 12 merchant vessels, and several sloops, brigs and schooners of from 50 to 100 tons each.
British built a fort on the island of St. Joseph, 20 miles above Detroit.
Schooner Swan first vessel to float the stars and stripes on Lake Erie.
Erie Packet sailed on Lake Erie.
Canadian vessel, Governor Simcoe, 87 tons, owned by the Northwest Company, sailed on Lake Ontario.
Sloop Detroit wrecked near Erie.
American schooner Wilkinson, 80 tons, built at Detroit.
The Jemima built at Hanford’s Landing, below Rochester.
Sloop Weazel sailed on Lake Erie.
Sloop Washington, 36 tons, launched near Erie.
The York wrecked in November, on a rock off the Devil’s Nose.
Genesee and Peggy sailed between Oswego and Niagara.
Buffalo Bill was born William Frederick Cody on February 26, 1846. He lived until January 10, 1917. Cody grew up on the frontier and loved his way of life. As he got older, some of his titles he earned included buffalo hunter, U.S. Army scout and guide, and showman, as well as Pony Express Rider, Indian fighter, and even author. Whatever Cody’s titles, he was destined for fame.
His track of fame began as with his reputation as a master buffalo hunter. While hunting buffalo for pay to feed railroad workers, he shot and killed 11 out of 12 buffalo, earning him his nickname and show name “Buffalo Bill.” As an army scout, Cody extended his fame by gaining recognition as an army scout with a reputation for bravery. As a well-known scout, he often led rich men from the East and Europe and even royalty on hunting trips. Cody’s fame began to spread to the East when an author, Ned Buntline caught wind of him and wrote a dime novel about Buffalo Bill, called Buffalo Bill, the King of Border Men (1869). To top it all off, Buntline’s novel was turned into a theatrical production which greatly contributed to his success and popularity in the east.
Before long, Cody ended up starring as himself in Buntline’s play. Soon after, he started his own theatrical troop. It wasn’t until 1883 when Cody first got his idea for a Wild West show. That same year, he launched Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show in Omaha, Nebraska. With his Wild West show in hand, nobody could deny Buffalo Bill’s fame. “At the turn of the twentieth century, William F. Cody was known as ‘the greatest showman on the face of the earth’”.Cody had full domination of the Wild West show business.
Out of all of his fame-bearing titles, William F. Cody is most celebrated for being the inventor of the Wild West show. His crown title would be impresario, or manager or producer of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. His motivation to produce the show was to preserve the western way of life that he grew up with and loved. Driven by his ambition to keep this way of life from disappearing, Cody turned his “real life adventure into the first and greatest outdoor western show”. Cody did not want to see his way of life vanish without remembrance. Consequently, Cody became the first real Westerner to cash in on the western myth, which others had been writing literature, dime novels, and plays about for some time.
In creating the Wild West show, Cody also created the myth of the adventuresome, exciting, and outright wild western frontier. Cody helped pitch-in to give the West its image as we see it today. The legend he fathered became a permanent part in America’s history and is still present today. He also was the first to establish the format and content of Wild West shows.
The shows consisted of reenactments of history combined with displays of showmanship, sharp-shooting, hunts, racing, or rodeo style events. Each show was 3–4 hours long and attracted crowds of thousands of people daily. The show began with a parade on horseback. The parade was a major ordeal, an affair that involved huge public crowds and many performers, including the Congress of Rough Riders. The Congress of Rough Riders was composed of marksman from around the world, including the future President Theodore Roosevelt, who marched through the parade on horseback.
Among the composition of the show were “historical” scenes. “The exact scenes changed over time, but were either portrayed as a ‘typical’ event such as the early settlers defending a homestead, a wagon train crossing the plains, or a more specific event such as the Battle of the Little Bighorn”. In both types of events, Buffalo Bill used his poetic license to both glorify himself or others while heightening the villainous mischievousness of the “bad guys” (outlaws or Indians) and to embellish each situation for theatrical enhancement. “Typical” events included acts known as Bison Hunt, Train Robbery, Indian War Battle Reenactment, and the usual grand finale of the show, Attack on the Burning Cabin, in which Indians attacked a settler’s cabin and were repulsed by Buffalo Bill, cowboys, and Mexicans.
A more specific historical event in the show might have been a reenactment of the Battle of Little Bighorn also known as “Custer’s Last Stand”. This event was made into a famous act performed in the show, with Buck Taylor starring as General George Armstrong Custer. In this battle, Custer and all men under his direct command were killed. After Custer is dead, Buffalo Bill rides in, the hero, but he is too late. He avenges Custer by killing and scalping Yellow Hair (also called Yellowhand) which he called the “first scalp for Custer”.This reenactment is exciting for the audience and also stresses Buffalo Bill’s importance, as it suggests that were he to ride in on time, Custer and his men may have been saved.
Shooting competitions and displays of marksmanship were commonly a part of the program. Great feats of skill were shown off using rifles, shot guns, and revolvers. Most people in the show were all good marksmen but many were experts. Buffalo Bill himself was an excellent marksman. It was said that nobody could top him shooting a rifle off the back of a moving horse. Other star shooters were Annie Oakley, Lillian Smith, and Seth Clover.
The show also demonstrated hunts executed by Buffalo Bill, cowboys, and Mexicans, which were staged as they would have been on the frontier, and were accompanied by one of the few remaining buffalo herds in the worlds. “People throughout North America and Europe who had never seen buffalo before felt the rush of being in the middle of the hunt.”
Animals also did their share in the show through rodeo entertainment, an audience favorite. In rodeo events, cowboys like Lee Martin would try to rope and ride broncos. Broncos are unbroken horses that tend to throw or buck their riders. Other wild animals they would attempt to ride or deal with were mules, buffalo, Texas steers, elk, deer, bears, and moose. Some notable cowboys who participated in the events were Buck Taylor (dubbed “The First Cowboy King”), Bronco Bill, James Lawson (“The Roper”), Bill Bullock, Tim Clayton, Coyote Bill, and Bridle Bill.
Races were another form of entertainment employed in the Wild West show. Many different races were held, including those between cowboys, Mexicans, and Indians, a 100 yd foot race between Indian and Indian pony, a race between Sioux boys on bareback Indian ponies, races between Mexican thoroughbreds, and even a race between Lady Riders.
All in all, the show had a pretty big entourage. It contained as many as 1,200 performers at one time (cowboys, scouts, Indians, military, Mexicans, and men from other heritages), and a large number of many animals including buffalo and Texas Longhorns. Performers in the show were often popular celebrities of the day. Some of the recognizably famous men who took part in the show were Will Rogers, Tom Mix, Pawnee Bill, James Lawson, Bill Pickett, Jess Willard, Mexican Joe, Capt. Adam Bogardus, Buck Taylor, Ralph and Nan Lohse, Antonio Esquibel, and “Capt. Waterman and his Trained Buffalo”. Even more famous were Wild Bill Hickok and Johnny Baker. Wild Bill Hickok was well known as a gunfighter and as a marshal, and he was also an established dime novel hero, like Buffalo Bill. His name on the playbill gave a great draw of audiences because they knew him from dime-novels, and he was a genuine scout. Johnny Baker was nicknamed the “Cowboy Kid” and considered to be Annie Oakley’s boy counterpart. Cody originally took him on in the show mainly because he would have been the same age as his own dead son, but little Johnny Baker turned out to be a great success, was very skilled and ended up becoming the arena director.
The list of famous Wild West show participants was not limited to men. Women were also a large part of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show and attracted many spectators. In fact Annie Oakley, one of the show’s star attractions was a woman. Born Phoebe Ann Moses, Oakley first gained recognition as a sharpshooter when she defeated Frank Butler, a pro marksman at age 15, in a shooting exhibition. She became the star attraction of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show for 16 years, under the management of Frank Butler, whom she ended up marrying. Annie was billed in the show as “Miss Annie Oakley, the Peerless Lady Wing-Shot”. She was also nicknamed “Little Sure Shot” by Chief Sitting Bull, who was also in the show. Annie was renowned for her trick shots. Annie was able to, from 30 paces, split the edge of a playing card, hit center of ace of spades, shoot down a playing card tossed in air, shatter glass balls thrown in air, hit dimes held between Butler’s fingers, shoot an apple out of poodle’s mouth and shoot off the butt of cigarette from Butler’s mouth. She also performed the last trick shooting the cigarette out of Crown Prince Wilhelm’s mouth in Berlin. Her most famous trick was a mirror trick in which she hit a target behind her shooting backwards using a mirror for aim. These incredible feats of marksmanship amazed and excited people and she generated huge audiences eager to see the display.
Calamity Jane (or Martha Cannary) was another distinguished woman participant of the show. Calamity Jane was a notorious frontierswoman who was the subject of many wild stories- many of which she made up herself. In the show, she was a skilled horsewoman and expert rifle and revolver handler. She also claimed to have a love affair with Wild Bill Hickok (and that she was married to him and had his child), which he denied and there is no proof of.Calamity Jane appeared in Wild West shows until 1902, when she was reportedly fired for drinking and fighting. Other mentionable females in the business were Lillian Smith and Bessie and Della Ferrel
Native Americans were also a part of Cody’s show. The Native Americans who took part in the show were mostly Plains Indians like the Pawnee and Sioux. They participated in staged “Indian Races” and historic battles, and often appeared in attack scenes attacking whites in which their savagery and wildness was played up. They also performed talented dances, such as the Sioux Ghost Dance. In reality the performance of the ghost dance meant that trouble was brewing and about to break out, but it wasn’t portrayed as such in the show. The Native Americans always wore their best regalia and full war paint. Cody treated them with great respect and paid them adequately. The extent of his respect was demonstrated when he named the Native Americans as “the former foe, present friend, the American”. Audiences were impressed by the presence of Native Americans in the show because they were extraordinarily “simultaneously exotic and accessible people”.
Native Americans in the show also had their claim to fame, the best known being Chief Sitting Bull. Sitting Bull joined the show for a short time and was a star attraction alongside Annie Oakley. It was said that he only agreed to join the show because he was fascinated with Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill assured him that if he joined, he could see her perform all the time.During his time at the show, Sitting Bull was introduced to President Grover Cleveland, which he thought proved his importance as chief.He was friends with Buffalo Bill and highly valued the horse that was given to him when he left the show. Other familiar Native Americans names who performed in the show were Chief Joseph,Geronimo, and Rains in Face (who reportedly killed George A. Custer).
Buffalo’s Bill’s Wild West show continued to captivate audiences and tour annually for a total of 30 years (1883–1913). After opening on May 19, 1883 in Omaha, Nebraska, the show was on what seemed to be a perpetual tour all over the east of America. The show “hopped the pond” in 1887 for the American Exhibition, and was then requested for a command performance at Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887 at Windsor Castle, in England. The whole troupe including 200 passengers plus 97 Natives, 18 buffalo, 181 horses, 10 elk, 4 donkeys, 5 longhorns (Texas steers), 2 deer, 10 mules, and the Deadwood Concord stagecoach crossed the Atlantic on several ships. They then toured England for the next six months and the following year returned to tour Europe until 1892. With his tour in Europe, Buffalo Bill established the myth of the American West overseas as well. To some Europeans, the Wild West show not only represented the west, but all of America. He also created the cowboy as an American icon. He gave the people of England, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany a taste of the wild and romantic west.
In 1893 the show performed at the Chicago World’s Fair to a crowd of 18,000. This performance was a huge contributor to the show’s popularity. The show never again did as well as it did that year. That same year at the Fair, Frederick Turner, a young Wisconsin scholar, gave a speech that pronounced the first stage of American history over. “The frontier has gone”, he declared.
The Wild West on Film – Actual Footage of Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley by Thomas Edison
The Lussiure New of England predicted “The Business will degenerate into the hands of men devoid of Buffalo Bill’s exalted simplicity, and much more eager to finger the shillings of the public than to shake the hand of Mother Nature.” By 1894 the harsh economy made it hard to afford tickets. It did not help that the show was routed to go through the South in a year when the cotton was flooded and there was a general depression in the area. Buffalo Bill lost a lot of money and was on the brink of a financial disaster. Soon after, and in an attempt of recovery of monetary balance, Buffalo Bill signed a contract in which he was tricked by Bonfil and Temmen into selling them the show and demoting himself to a mere employee and attraction of the Sells-Floto Circus. From this point, the show began to destroy itself. Finally, in 1913 the show was declared bankrupt. “Cody was forced to take his tents down for the last time”.
Western shows “generated a passion for Western entertainment of all kinds.”This passion is still evidenced in western films, modern rodeos, and circuses. Western Films in the first half of the 20th century filled the gap left behind by Wild West shows. The first real western, The Great Train Robbery was made in 1903, and thousands followed after. Contemporary rodeos also still exist today as major productions, still employing the same events and skills as cowboys did in Wild West shows.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — It was one of the worst defeats in one of history’s most dramatic conquests: Only a year after Hernan Cortes landed in Mexico, hundreds of people in a Spanish-led convey were captured, sacrificed and apparently eaten.
Excavations at a site just east of Mexico City are yielding dramatic new details about that moment when two cultures clashed — and the native defenders, at least temporarily, were in control.
Faced with strange invaders accompanied by unknown animals, the inhabitants of an Aztec-allied town reacted with apparent amazement when they captured the convoy of about 15 Spaniards, 45 foot soldiers who included Cubans of African and Indian descent, women and 350 Indian allies of the Spaniards, including Mayas and other groups.
Artifacts found at the Zultepec-Tecoaque ruin site, show the inhabitants carved clay figurines of the unfamiliar races with their strange features, or forced the captives to carve them. They then symbolically decapitated the figurines.
“We have figurines of blacks, of Europeans, that were then intentionally decapitated,” said Enrique Martinez, the government archaeologist leading this year’s round of excavations at the site, where explorations began in the 1990s.
Later, those in the convoy were apparently sacrificed and eaten by the townsfolk known as Texcocanos or Acolhuas .
A worker clears the area around broken pottery lying in situ at the Zultepec-Tecoaque archeological …
The convoy was comprised of people sent from Cuba in a second expedition a year after Cortes’ initial landing in 1519 and they were heading to the Aztec capital with supplies and the conquerors’ possessions. The ethnicity and gender of those in the convoy were determined from their skull features.
Some place the number of people in the group as high as 550. Cortes had been forced to leave the convoy on its own while trying to rescue his troops from an uprising in what is now Mexico City.
Members of the captured convoy were held prisoner in door-less cells, where they were fed over six months. Little by little, the town sacrificed, and apparently ate, the horses, men and women.
“The aim of the sacrifices … was to ask the gods for protection from the strange interlopers,” the National Institute of Anthropology and History said in a statement.
But pigs brought by the Spaniards for food were apparently viewed with such suspicion that they were killed whole and left uneaten. “The pigs were sacrificed and hidden in a well, but there is no evidence that they were cooked,” Martinez said.
The skull of a Spaniard, bottom left, a child, center, and a person of African heritage sit alongsid …
In contrast, the skeletons of the captured Europeans were torn apart and bore cut marks indicating the meat was removed from the bones.
Some of the first European women to set foot in Mexico weren’t treated chivalrously. Along with the men, they were apparently kept in the walled-in spaces for months, with food tossed in, perhaps through small windows. A find last week indicates one woman was sacrificed in the town plaza, dismembered, and then had the skull of a 1-year-old child, who apparently was sacrificed as well, placed in her pelvis, for reasons that were probably symbolic and remain unclear.
While Spaniards later wrote accounts of the massacre that occurred in 1520, a dark year for the conquistadors, archaeologists are finding things they didn’t mention.
“The interesting part is that the historical sources (mainly Spanish chroniclers) didn’t mention the presence of women in the convoy, and here we have a large presence of women” among remains excavated so far, Martinez said.
Fifty women and about 10 children are estimated to have been in the convoy, and all were killed.
A worker rebuilds a toppled wall using rocks found inside the Zultepec-Tecoaque archeological zone i …
The Spaniards’ goods were, on the whole, treated indifferently. A prized and elaborate majolica plate from Europe was tossed into the wells as were the Spaniards’ jewelry and their spurs and stirrups, which were of no use to the Indians. A horse’s rib bone, however, was prized and carved into a musical instrument.
“This seems to be even more spectacular information about an important event of the Conquest … about which we have very little historical documentation,” wrote University of Florida archaeologist Susan Gillespie, who was not involved in the project. “It does add new dimensions to the acts of resistance of the indigenous people. There is the wrong-headed notion that many of them simply capitulated to the more superior European forces. But it is the victors who write the histories of war.”
The bloodiness of the brief chapter of dominance by the indigenous group is sealed in the second name of the Zultepec ruin site, Tecoaque, which means “the place where they ate them” in Nahuatl, the Aztec language.
When Cortes’ soldiers returned to the town, they found that townspeople had strung the severed heads of captured Spaniards on a wooden “skull rack” next to those of their horses, leading some to think the Indians believed that horse and rider were one beast.
When Cortes learned what happened to his followers, he dispatched a punitive expedition of troops to destroy the town, setting into motion a chain of events that actually helped preserve it.
The inhabitants tried to hide all remains of the Spaniards by tossing them in shallow wells and abandoned the town.
“They heard that he (Cortes) was coming for them, and what they did was hide everything. If they hadn’t done that, we wouldn’t have found these things,” Martinez said.
Cortes went on to conquer the Aztec capital in 1521
Stony Point, NY| A team of lanscaping workers, proceeding to an excavation near the banks of the Hudson river, has discovered the archeological remains of a Norse village dating from the 9th or 10th Century AD.
The workers were digging with a mechanical shovel near the shores of Minisceongo creek, when they stumbled upon the ruins of an ancient building. A team of archaeologists linked to Columbia University, was called to the site to inspect the findings, and they rapidly identified the site as a possible Viking settlement. They proceeded to extend the excavation, and have finally discovered the remains of six buildings.
The various structures are believed to have been constructed of sod, placed over a wooden frame. Based on the associated artifacts, the buildings were variously identified as four dwellings and two workshops. The largest dwelling measured 88 by 42 feet (26.8 by 12.8 meters) and consisted of several rooms, while two of the dwellings were much smaller and were identified as living quarters for lower-status crew or slaves. The two workshops for their part, were identified as an iron smithy, containing a large forge, and a carpentry workshop.
It is unclear how many men and women lived at the site at any given time, but the archaeological evidence suggests it had the capacity of supporting between 30 to 100 individuals, and that the site was inhabited by the Norse for a relatively short period of time.
During their search of the site, the archaeologists have discovered nine skeletons, who were identified as four adult males, two adult females and three children. Only one of the male warriors had been given a proper burial, being placed in a tomb with his weapon and belongings. The other skeletons showed traces of violent injuries and seemed to have been simply left on the site of their death by the killers.
Many clues discovered on the site suggest that the Vikings could have come into conflict with the indigenous people of the region. Besides the skeletons that were found, who were most likely killed in combat, the numerous remains of native American weapons found on the site suggest the colony suffered a large-scale attack by indigenous warriors.
Several artifacts were also found on the site, suggesting the inhabitants of the site who survived the attack, must have left hastily. These include a dozen of pieces of jewelry, like brooches, pins and arm-rings, mostly made of silver and walrus ivory. The archaeologists also unearthed iron pots, potteries, oil lamps, tools, a whetstone, coins, as well as a few broken weapons and pieces of armor.
The Vikings were Germanic Norse seafarers, speaking the Old Norse language, who raided and traded from their Scandinavian homelands across wide areas of northern and central Europe, as well as European Russia, during the late 8th to late 11th centuries.
Using their advanced seafaring skills and their famous longships, they created colonies and trading posts throughout the North Atlantic islands, navigating as far as the north-eastern coast of North America. Another short-lived Viking settlement was already discovered in 1960, in present-day L’Anse aux Meadows, located in the province Newfoundland and Labrador, in Canada. The remains of butternuts found on that site, had indeed suggested that other settlements further south, because these nuts do not grow naturally north of New Brunswick.
The scientists believe that the settlement could indeed be the legendary Norse colony known as “Vinland”, mentioned in the Icelandic Sagas. Based on the idea that the name meant “wine-land”, historians had long speculated that the region contained wild grapes. Wild grapes were, indeed, still growing in many areas of the Hudson Valley when the first European settlers arrived in the region, so the archaeologists believe that this could really be the colony described in the mythological saga.
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Gary Schafer of Minelab talks about the just released SDC 2300 detector, this Monday on Relic Roundup, June 9. According to press releases, “The SDC 2300 is a high performance mid-range gold detector, perfect for chasing down those elusive sub-gram nuggets both on land and underwater.” Talk to Gary live on the air, join our chat, or just sit back and listen. Tune in June 9, 9 pm EST, at www.relicroundup.blogspot.com/. The player is in the upper right hand corner, click on the green arrow to listen in.
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