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Capturing Large Numbers

The Raleigh Microcosm
Raleigh, North Carolina July 16 1842


The following account of the mode of capturing a large number of Buffaloes is from the Buffalo Advertiser:

It is said that a Yankees engenuity is adequate to any emergency, and whether coaxing a consulship out of Congress, or catching coons, his brain ever teems with some huge plan, to circumnavigate the globe in a mackeral smack or convert sawdust into antidyspectic pills. Some such unique scheme must have entered into the head of the hunter having possession of the Buffaloe herd now in this city. The history of their taking, as gathered from the owner, is substantially as follows: April, 1841, a “native” residing somewhere this side of sun down, in Missouri, gathered together seventeen men, twelve horses, four wagons, and fifty-five cows and calves, with an intent to  traverse the immense plains near the base of the Rocky Mountains, in search of young Buffaloes. After reaching the scene of operations, the hunters would select half a dozen of the fleetest horses and dash off, Arab like, to the plain. Espying a herd, they would hold up and cautiously approached the animals, keeping well to the leeward, as seamen, say, to prevent the animals from taking alarm, which they easily do when the hunter is to windward. Once near enough, a rush is made among the herd, and by means of lassos, the Mexican mode of catching cattle with the rope, several of the creatures would be secured.

The hunters aim at the calves, but if they missed them and happened to catch a tartar, who was likely to prove an ugly customer, the rifle was brought in to request immediately and the animal despatched. Such of the young as were secured would be taken back to the encampment and domesticated by killing a calf belonging to one of the cows which they took with them on their departure from home, the cow and her young offspring at the same time having been fastened to a stake to prevent escape. In a week the young buffalo would become so attached to ‘mully,” that it would be loosened and suffered to run at large with the cow, and from that time the two were inseparable. In this matter, after a period of four months, the whole were taken and domesticated.

When the hunters had secured 37 young buffaloes and antelope and an elk, the whole returned again to their homes. The location of their operation was on the Arkansas, some 500 miles W.S.W. from Independents, Mo., far beyond the present bounds of civilization. The animals are now 15 months old and are particularly fond of oats or other grain but eat with avidity well cured hay or grass. One of the cows used in the hunting excursion is still with the herd and acts as a kind of bell-wether, the wind to go ahead, and is followed by the Buffaloes in a drove from one point to another, where the proprietors deem it best to exhibit. In a few weeks they will reach New York, where, if not disposed of, they will be shipped to Europe.


The Evening Post New York Dec 10, 1842

1841-1850 The Evening Post Dec 10, 1842


The Evening Post Aug 22 1843 Real Buffalo Hair Brush

1841-1850 The Evening Post Aug 22 1843 Real Buffalo Hair Brush


George Catlin Series 1844-1845

Buffalo Hunt-Chasing Back G. Catlin 1844

Wounded Buffalo Bull G. Catlin 1844Buffalo Hunt on Snow Shoes G. Catlin 1844

Dying buffalo in Snow Drift G. Catlin 1844




Under the White Wolf Skin Catlin 1845

White Wolves Attacking Bull Catlin 1845

Buffalo Hunt Approaching Ravine G. Catlin 1845

Buffalo Hunt-Chasing Back G. Catlin 1844





Burlington Weekly Free Press Nov. 8 1844

1841-1850 Burlington Weekly Free Press Nov 8 1844 Robes


The Pittsburgh Gazette Oct 31 1845 Magazine Cover

The Pittsburgh Gazette Oct 31 1845 Magazine Cover


New York Tribune
New York, New York Nov. 7, 1845

March of Improvement at the West and South –

Our brethren of the West and South certainly cannot be blamed for lack of energy. When we cast a retrospective glance at this portion of our country as it existed scarce five years ago – a dreary wilderness, penetrated only by the Elk and the Buffalo, and by many considered impervious to man – we cannot restrain a feeling of astonishment. Rivers which were supposed to be unnavigable, have been made than medium of constant communication between towns and villages which have sprung up, as if by magic, in the short space of a few calendar months, and exploring parties are pushing their researches, with undaunted vigor, into the remotest regions of the unsettled West. The River Amazon, heretofore considered difficult of access even to freight boats and sloops of smaller caliber, has been traversed from its mouth to its source by a steamboat – the first which has ever appeared and those regions, and a regular route established for the conveyance of passengers and mails.


Milwaukee Daily Gazette May 5th & 13th 1846, 333 Buffalo RobesMilwaukee Daily Gazette May 5th & 13th 1846, 333 Buffalo Robes

Milwaukee Daily Sentinel May 12 1846, Just Arrived
Milwaukee Daily Sentinel May 12 1846 Just Arrived

The Times
New Orleans,  June 20, 1846

The Daily Picayune.
The Prairie Indians and the Treaty

We are at last placed in possession of the letters of our correspondent from the scene of the late treaty with the Comanches and other Prairie Indians. Our correspondent not returning directly with the Commissioners, but diverging to the seat of war on the Rio Grande, his letters have been somewhat delayed: they will not be the less interesting, however, and will serve to correct some erroneous details given by the press in regard to the terms of the treaty, while they supply a fund of information touching the Prairie Indians generally.

Both the Commissioners underwent heavy privations from exposure to cold and other annoyances during a rigorous and inclement season, and amidst conflicting elements of discord, which they found it difficult to allay; but they have the satisfaction of believing that the results of their labors will far outweigh all their personal sacrifices.

The Commissioners, we are authorized to say, believe most confidently that the treaty has been entered into in good faith on the part of the Indian, and that by a little timely attention, which will certainly be given, all the Prairie Indians may be controlled, and that peace and safety of the frontier permanently secured. According to the best information of the Commissioners were able to obtain, these Prairie or border Indians consist of 22,000 souls, of which the Comanches are the master spirits, and constitute about 13,000 souls; subdivided into six different bands with distinct organizations, all speaking the same language, but barely uniting or acting in concert. They make no corn, but live entirely upon the chase of the buffalo and the mustang, and by continuous predatory excursions upon the Northern Mexican provinces. The next in numbers and importance are the Kiaways, numbering about 3500 souls, of the same character and vocation. The next are the Essequetas and Muscalaroes, numbering about 4000 souls. They are recently from the provinces of Mexico, and are a corn-planting, improving people. The Wichetswes, Toweyash, Wacoes, Keechies Tiwoekenies, five little tribes, although distinct tribes, speaking different languages, from long association and intermarriages, are much the same people. They average about 140 souls each tribe; they plant corn and have settled residences and villages, but are the most notorious horse-thieves in the prairies. The loonies, Annodarcoes and Caddoes, are in much the same condition. They number about 1000 souls, and plant corn, pumpkin, etc. They live upon the Brazos river, nearest to the white settlements. The Lipans and Tonkaways, numbering about 800 souls, have heretofore been allies of Texas, inhabiting the country about San Antonio, and depending upon game for subsistence. These, with a few renegade Kickapoo’s, numbering about 300 souls; Cherokees about 60; Delawares and Shawnees about 50, constitute the different tribes of Indians that were in attendance, and parties to the late treaty. With these preliminary remarks, we proceed to lay the letters of our correspondent “Buffalo Hunp” before our readers: [SPECIAL CORRESPONDENCE OF THE PICAYUNE.] COUNCIL SPRINGS, BRAZOS RIVER, MAY 13, 1846.

‘Editors of the Picayune:

Gentlemen: I am an occasional sojourner at this place, though not a party to the contract or pending negotiations, and will, with your leave, give you occasionally an item of what is transpiring in this wild country.

The Council are in full blast: Present, the Commissioners and the Representatives of from ten to twelve distinct band of Indians. Some of these entire bands are present; others are represented by their chiefs and headmen. They are as follows: Comanches, 12,500, Wichetawes, 150: Towyash, 150: Keechies, 140: Wacoes, 130: Tiwockonies, 160: Lonies, 250; Annodarcoes, 350; Caddoes, 300; Lepans, 120; Tonqueaways,  750; Essequeyas, 3500; Muscalaroes, 400; a few renegade Kickapoos, 300; Cherokees,60; Delawares, 30; Shawnees,20; and Biluxies, 10; constitute the number assembled here.

Ascertaining their number only by their lodges, which average from two to twelve souls, they number about the amount set opposite each tribe, from which it will appear that there are between 18 and 20,000 souls. Of this number about 2000 are a corn planting people, the balance depend entirely upon the chase, and their predatory habits of stealing, plundering, etc.

The Comanches are Indians of decided rank and influence in the prairie; they are a fine looking, athletic people, and seemed to feel their superiority. They are known upon the prairies by the general appellations by all the Indians of Pah-to-cahae , subdivided into six distinct organizations, such as Yam-pe-rick-oes, or root diggers; Hoo-eisk, or honey-eaters; Coo-ebe-tack-ies, or buffalo-eaters; Pe-na-tah-es, or timber people; Te-nay-wish, or dog-eaters; Noe_tha, or the people in the desert. But two of these bands inhabit the South, or encounter the Texans.

In Council to-day, they have smoked, talked and hugged. The Presidents talk has been delivered to them, with which they are much pleased. This talk is short and to the point- being in amount: I send my two Captains, Butler and Lewis, to smoke the pipe and talk to you. Listen to their tongue, and follow their counsel. I have directed them to give you some presents. I have never seen I red children of the Prairie, but I wish and hope to do so soon. You must quit your warning and stealing with your white brothers.

The Council have adjourned to meet again to-morrow. I will write you again by the next express to Austin. I am your humble servant,

~Buffalo Hump.

The Evening Post June 23 1846 Brushes , Buffalo Handle

The Evening Post June 23 1846 Brushes , Buffalo Handle

Vermont, Phoenix (Brattleboro, Vermont)  Mar 11, 1847

Vermont Phoenix Mar 11, 1847

Joliet Illinois June 1, 1847

Hunting Bison in the Wilds of Mexico

The green heights of the savanna were covered with long files of bison. It would have been more than rash for two hunters to face these numerous flocks.-

There is but one way of killing a bison or two without much danger, that is, by separating them from the flock; the skill and agility of the hunter accomplish the rest. Contrary to the expectation of my two companions, the cibolos took the direction parallel to the river; and none of them ventured to our side.

The first European who saw a bison must have been much alarmed. The bison is larger than the common bull;  a thick mane, either black or rust color, covers his shoulder or breast and hangs down to his feet. The hind part of the animal, from the hump on his shoulders, is covered with short hair as harsh as the lion’s, and like the lions, incessantly lashed by a sinewy tail. His heavy tread shakes the ground, his bellowing disturbs the air, his eyes expressive of nothing but stupid ferocity: and the black, sharp horns planted on his white brow complete his appearance as an object of terror.

Whilst observing, not without vexation, the maneuvers of these gigantic flocks, one of the hunters was examining, en connoisseur, my horse, which the darkness of night had hitherto prevented his doing.

“Caramba!” said he, “this deep chest, slender legs, dilated nostrils, and then body, announce an unusual degree of swiftness.”

“My horse,” I replied, with the fatuity of a man who knows the value of his possessions, is it deer for lightness, a mule forbearing fatigue.”

“And a bison for swiftness,” interrupted the hunter. “well, then, to come to that point, señor, you might render me a very great service.”

“speak! What is it?”

“You see out there that flock of the cibolos looking as if they avoided us. Since your horse is so swift, gallup boldly up to the cowards, and fire once or twice as close to them as possible; you will wound one at least; the entire band will pursue you, but you will easily outstrip them. The most active, consequently the strongest, will alone keep up with you, and we will manage them.”

“Are you serious?” I asked. The hunter looked at me with astonishment.” If my horse were to fall !”

“He will not fall.”

“But if he should fall?”

“Why, in that case you would have very slender chances of escape. Yet even that has been known; but should you fall so gloriously, I promise to make a fearful massacre of cibolos in your honor.”

“Listen,” said I, “there are a thousand things I would do for you in preference to this. I involuntarily hunted a tiger a few days ago, a bear last night, and I do not care now to allow myself to be hunted by a bison. Everything considered I prefer lending you my horse.”

“I did not venture to ask such a favor; and, besides,” naively added the hunter, “I thought to please you by proposing this diversion to you.”

I thanked him for his kind intentions; and although delighted to escape this dilemma, I gave him the rein of my horse with the sigh. The buccaneer began by unsaddling him, folded up four times the blanket which he used as a cloak, and fastened it on the horses back, by means of the long faja of China crape rolled round his body. Then taking off his calzoneras, doe-skin boots and jacket, he remained with their feet, in short drawers and shirt sleeves.

“As the game I am going to play is us somewhat ticklish one,” said he, “I cannot give the horse and myself too much freedom of motion, and you will see what can be done with an animal properly arranged.”

Thus equipped, and having hung of species of rapier, very thin and sharp, to his saddle, the hunters sprung on the horses back, and ascertained that in case of necessity the faja might be used as stirrups and there the entire weight of his body, thus enabling him to leave the reins perfectly free. Then with the dexterity which must have equaled that of the ancient Numidians, he pulled up his horse, urged him forward, stopped him, rolled up in his left hand the cabresto, galloped off like an arrow, and returned to my side with the same rapidity.

“You do not know the value of such a horse,” said he, “and I almost reproach myself for depriving you of an opportunity of knowing what a treasure you possess.”

I must confess that the animal did not seem the same in the hands of this wild rider; I, however, earnestly entreated the hunter not to expose him too much to the horns of the bisons.

“We run the same risk,” replied the buccaneer, laughing. He then gave us his instructions. We were to lie flat on our stomachs, gun in hand, on the slope bordering the river, and watch through the long grass the movements of the animals he should drive towards us.

“However,” he added,” before placing yourself in ambuscade, you will have time señor, to witness such a race, as you will rarely have an opportunity of seeing. I wish to show you what may be expected of a good horse mounted by an expert hunter.”

He then rushed off in the direction of the flock of cibolas, whose distant bellowing came to us with the breeze. I remain standing on the edge of the river, in order to lose nothing of the interesting sight promised me. The hunter began by making a great circuit, clearing with imperturbable ease the prickly fix-trees and the inequalities of ground with which the plain was studded; the horse seemed rather to fly then run, and neighed joyfully; the writer then disappeared behind a hill of some little elevation. Meanwhile the buccaneers daring companion had set in the ground of willow branch, surmounted by a checked scarlet hankerchief. I asked if this was a signal for his comrade.

“No,” replied the hunter. “Bisons are like bulls, red irritates them. If Joaquin gets away one or two, this handkerchief will in fallibly attract them here, and we can kill them. Be careful to aim at their muzzles at the moment they spring on us.”

“It is then indispensable,” I asked the buccaneer, “to attract them just here?”

“It is my trade,” replied the buccaneer, who, like Matasiete, forgot that I was not a hunter by profession. As he ceased speaking, we remarked a sort of shudder and agitation in the ranks of the flock of bison which covered the lower slopes of the hill behind which Joaquin had disappeared. The rash hunter had just ascended the opposite height. When he reached the summit, he uttered to shrill screams, which were answered by prolonged roaring’s, then rushed from top to bottom of the hill like a piece of rock breaking away, and disappeared amid that thick forest of horns and black manes.

The frightened flock made an alarming movement towards our signals; but soon disappeared in various directions, broken up into numerous groups. I then saw Joaquin, safe and sound, galloped into the midst of the space he had cleared. Two bisons of gigantic size seemed the leaders of one of the columns detached from the principle flock, and the hunter seemed to direct his attack against these two monstrous beast. Hovering in the rear of the battalion with a lightness and audacity almost miraculous, Joaquin by turns appeared and disappeared without the two lead.

The long cord which serves at once as lasso and as halter, is called reata cabresto, or cabreto. Ers quitting their companions. At last there was an almost imperceptible space left between the little troop and its a buffalo conductors. Swift as lightning, the hunter rushed into it; that either he had presumed too much on the agility of his horse, or it was a scheme of his ferocious antagonists, for I saw with inexpressible anguish the waves, for a moment divided, close again, and the unfortunate buccaneer pressed as in of gulf, whose yawning mouth had suddenly closed upon him. I forgot the horse to think only of the man, and I exchanged a look full of anxiety with poor Joaquin’s companion. The bronzed cheeks of the hunter were tinged with the deathlike paleness; rifle in hand, he was about to rush to the assistance of his comrade, when he uttered a scream of joy and stopped short. Violently pressed between the horns of two bisons who had at last left the column they headed, Joaquin was standing on his horse, who was protected from their horns by the thick woolen blanket wrapped around him. Whilst the compact group was thus advancing towards us, the buccaneer drew out his rapier, put one foot on the bisons woolly shoulders, stabbed him, and, as the animal made a last effort not to die unrevenged, he sprung hastily to the ground. It was time, for at that moment my poor horse, lifted up by the bison’s head, fell to the earth with great violence. This saved him. He thus escaped from his two enemies; and, almost immediately getting up, he galloped off, pursued by the two cibolos. Joaquin ran along on a parallel line with his steed, whose reins he had never lost hold of, gradually came up to him, seized his horse’s mane, gave a spring, and seated himself in his saddle with a shout of triumph.

“Our turn comes now!” said the hunter who had remained with me, taking up his post at the sight of the two bisons, who, intent on the pursuit of the horse and its rider, came towards us at an unsteady pace, whilst the rest of the flock, deprived of its two leaders, took flight among the hills.

We threw ourselves and our stomachs on the sloping bank of the river and awaited the two cibolos, who, discouraged, stood still for a second, bellowing with rage, and tearing the ground with their horns. The buccaneer then shook violently the scarlet handkerchief at the end of his stick.

At sight of the detested color, the two animals seem to salute with ferocious joy an object which at least did not fly from their attack; they spring towards us. Joaquin had written off; his part was played.

It would be difficult to form an idea of the terrific aspect of the wounded bison. At each movement streams of blood poured from him, dyeing the waves of his black mane; a bloody foam reddened his nostrils, the formidable snorting of which came gradually nearer to us. The other bison preceded him, gazing with his stupid and ferocious eyes at the handkerchief, which the breeze of the river alone stirred; for the hunter had, like myself, his rifle in his hand. A minute more, and we should have had to defend ourselves from these two irritated beast. Fortunately, a few seconds later the wounded bison fell heavily and expired.

“Fire!” exclaimed the hunter.

Hit on the head by three bullets, the other bison stopped, fell, and struck against the earth, almost at the top of the bank which protected us. Joaquin trotted up to us, cool, and smiling like the horseman in the ring, who has been displaying all the qualities of his horse. He examined the last fallen cibolo.

“You have lodged your two bullets in his head,” said he. “That is not amiss for a beginner. For my part, I will never hunt the bison again except on horseback.”

“Not with mine, I hope!” I hastened to answer; “for it is a miracle that the poor animal escaped from the horns of the cibolo’s.”

“I intended doing more with your horse; but the first time I have an opportunity of mounting myself properly, I shall not fail to do so.


  •  The Buffalo Hunt
  • Contributor: Robinson, Henry R. – LOCThe Buffalo Hunt drawing 1848 LOC
  • Date:1848
  • Summary:
  • An optimistic view of the presidential prospects of Martin Van Buren, nominated at the Free Soil Party’s August 1848 convention in Buffalo, New York. Here Van Buren rides a buffalo and thumbs his nose as he sends Democratic candidate Lewis Cass (left) and Whig Zachary Taylor flying. Both are about to land in Salt River. Van Buren says defiantly, “Clear the track! or I’ll Ram you both!” Cass, whose “Wilmot Proviso” hat has already landed in the river, exclaims, “Confound this Wilmot Proviso, I’m afraid it will lead to something bad.” (On the Wilmot Proviso see “Whig Harmony,” no. 1848-21.) Cass’s opposition to the proviso put him at odds with a large number of Democrats. Taylor speculates, “If I had stood on the Whig platform firmly, this would not have happened.” He cites his reluctance to decisively embrace the regular Whig party doctrines. His cap flies in the air, spilling a packet of “Dead Letters.” (On the “dead letter” matter see “The Candidate of Many Parties,” no. 1848-24.)



Newport Daily News Rhode Island April 14 1848=Buffalo Oil

Newport Daily News Rhode Island April 14 1848


Public Ledger, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Dec 27, 1848

Public Ledger, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Dec 27, 1848


Polynesian Hawaii Oct 13 1849
From Parkham’s Oregon and California Travels


……We had scarcely gone a mile when in imposing spectacle presented itself. From the riverbank on the right, away over the swelling prairie on the left, and in front as far as we could see, extended one vast host of buffaloes. The outskirts of the herd were within a quarter of a mile of us. In many parts they were crowded so densely together, that in the distance there rounded backs presented as surface of uniform blackness; but elsewhere they were scattered, and from amid the multitude rose little columns of dust where the buffalo were rolling on the ground. Here and there are a great confusion was perceptible, were battle was going forward among the bulls. We could distinctly see them rushing against each other, and here the chattering of their horns and their hoarse bellowing. Shaw was riding at some distance in advance, with Henry Chatillion; I saw him stop and draw the leather covering from his gun. Indeed, with such a site before us, but one thing could be thought of. That morning I had used pistols in the chase. I now had a mind to try the virtues of a gun. Delorier had one, and I rode up to the side of the cart – there he sat under the white covering, biting his pipe between his teeth and grinning with excitement.
‘Lend lend me your gun, Delorier, ‘ said I.
‘Our, monsieur, oui,‘ said Delorier, tugging with might and main to stop seem to be obstinately bent on going forward. Then everything but his moccasins disappeared as he crawled into the cart and pulled at the gun to extricate it.
‘Is it loaded?’ I asked.
‘Oui, bein charge, you’d kill –non bourgeois; yes, you’ll kill- e’eit un bon fusil.’
I handed him my rifle, and rode forward to Shaw.
‘Are you ready?’ he asked.
‘Come on.’ said I.
‘You keep down that hollow,’ said Henry,
‘and then they will not see you till you get close to them.’
……The hollow was a kind of ravine, very wide and shallow; it ran obliquely towards the Buffalo, and we rode at a canter along the bottom, till it became too shallow; when we bent close to our horses necks, and then finding that it could no longer conceal us, came out of it and rode directly at the herd. It was within gun shot; before its outskirts numerous grizzly old bulls were scattered, holding guard over there females. They glared in anger and astonishment, walked towards us a few yards, and then turning slowly round, retreated at a trot which afterwords broke into a clumsy gallop. In an instant the main body caught the alarm. The Buffalo begin to crowd away from the point towards which we were approaching, and a gap was opened in the side of the herd. We entered it, still restraining are excited horses. Every instant the tumult was thickening. The buffalo, pressing together in large bodies, crowded away from us on every hand. In front and either side, we could see dark columns and masses, half hidden by clouds of dust, rushing along in terror and confusion, and here the tramp and clattering of ten thousand hoofs. That countless multitude of powerful brutes, ignorant of their own strength, were flying in a panic from the approach of two feeble horsemen. To remain quiet longer was impossible.
‘Take that band ou the left,’ said Shaw,
‘I’ll take these in front.’
……He sprang off, and I saw no more of him. A heavy Indian with was fastened by a band to my wrist; I swung it into the air and lashed my horses flank with all the strength of my arm. Away she darted stretching close to the ground. I could see nothing but a cloud of dust before me, but I knew that it concealed a band of many hundreds of buffalo. In a moment I was in the midst of the cloud, half suffocated by the dust, and stunned by the trampoline of the flying herd; but I was drunk with the chase and cared for nothing but the buffalo. Very soon along dark mass became visible, looming through the dust; then I could distinguish each bulky carcass, the hooves flying out beneath, and the short tails held rigidly erect. In a moment I was so close to them that I could have touched them with my gun. Suddenly, to my utter amazement, the hoofs were jerked upwards, the tail flourished in the air, and admitted a cloud of dust, the buffalo seem to sink into the earth before me.
One vivid impression of that instant remains upon my mind. I remember looking down upon the backs of several buffalo dimly visible through the dust. We had run, unawares, upon a ravine. At that moment I was not the most accurate judge of depth and width, but when I passed it on my return, I found it about twelve feet deep, and not quite twice his white at the bottom. It was impossible to stop; I would have done so, gladly if I could; so, half sliding, half plunging, down on her knees in the loose sand at the bottom. I was pitched forward violently on her neck and nearly thrown over her head among the buffalo, who, amidst the dust and confusion came tumbling in all round. The mayor was on her feet in an instant, and scrambling like a cat up the opposite side. I thought for a moment that she would’ve fallen back and crushed me, but with the violent effort she clamored out and gained the hard prairie above.-Glancing back I saw a huge head of a bull clinging as it were by the forefeet at the edge of the dusty gulf. At length I was fairly among the buffalo. They were less densely crowded than before, and I could see nothing but bulls, who always run at the rear of a herd. As I passed amid them they would lower their heads, and turning as they ran, attempt to gore my horse; but as they were already at full speed there was no force in their onset, and as Pauline ran faster than they, they were always thrown behind her in the effort. I soon began to distinguish cows amid the throng. One just in front of me seemed to be liking, and I pushed close to her side. Dropping the rains I fired, holding the muzzle of the gun within a foot of her shoulder. Quick as lightning she sprang that Pauline the little mare dodged the attack, and I lost sight of the wounded animal amid the tumultuous crowd. Immediately after, I selected another, and urging forward Pauline, shot in to her both pistols in succession. For a while I kept her in view, but in attempting to load my gun, lost sight of her also in the confusion. Believing her to be mortally wounded and unable to keep up with the herd, I checked my horse. The crowd rushed onward. The dust and the tumult passed away, and on the prairie, far behind the rest, I saw a solitary buffalo, galloping heavy. In a moment, I and my victim were galloping side-by-side. My firearms were all empty, and I had in my pouch nothing but rifle bullets, too large for the pistols and too small for the gun. I loaded the latter, however, but as often as I leveled it to fire, the little bullets would roll out of the muzzle and the gun returned only a faint report, like a squib, as the powder harmlessly exploded. I galloped in front of the buffalo and attempted to turn her back; but her eyes glared, her mane bristled, and lowering her head, she rushed at me with astonishing fierceness and activity. Again and again I wrote before her, and again and again she repeated her furious charge. But little Pauline was in her element. She dodged her enemy at every rush, until at length the buffalo stood still, exhausted with her own efforts; she panted, and her tongue hung lolling from her jaws.
……Riding to a little distance, I alighted thinking together a handful of dry grass to serve the purpose of wadding, and load the gun at my leisure. No sooner were my feet on the ground than the buffalo came bounding in such a rage towards me that I jump back again into the saddle with all the possible dispatch. After waiting a few minutes more, I made an attempt to ride up and stabbed her with my knife, but the experiment proved such as no wise man would repeat. At length, be thinking me of the fringes at the seams of my buckskin pantaloons, I jerked off a few of them, and reloaded the gun, force them down the barrel to keep the bullet in its place; then approaching, I shot the wounded buffalo through the heart. Sinking on her knees, she rolled over lifeless on the prairie. To my astonishment, I found that instead of a fat cow I had been slaughtering a stout yearling bull. No longer wandering at the fierceness he had shown, I opened his throat and cutting out his tongue, tied it at the back of my saddle. My mistake was one which more experienced eye than mine might easily made in the dust and confusion of such a chase.
……Then, for the first time, I had leisure to look at the scene around me. The prairie in front was darkened with the retreating multitude, and on the other hand the buffalo came filing up in endless, unbroken columns from the low plains upon the river. The Arkansas was three or four miles distant. I turned and moved slowly toward it. A long time passed before, far down in the distance, I distinguish the white covering of the cart and the little black specks of horsemen before and behind it. Drawing near, I recognize Shaws elegant tunic and red flannel shirt conspicuous far-off. Overtook the party and asked them what success he had met with. He had assailed a fat cow, shot her with two bullets, and mortally wounded her. But neither of us were prepared for the chase that afternoon, and Shaw, like myself, had no spare bullets in his pouch; so he abandoned the disabled animal to Henry Chatillion, who followed, dispatched her with his knife, and loaded his horse with her meat.
……We encamped close to the river. The night was dark, and as we lay down we could hear, mingled with the howling of wolves, the hoarse bellowing of the buffalo, like the ocean beating up on a distant coast.


Bangor Daily Whig and Courier Bangor, Maine Nov 9, 1849

Bangor Daily Whig and Courier Bangor, Maine Nov 9, 1849

Milwaukee Daily Sentinel April 22nd 1850 shop ad for combs

Milwaukee Daily Sentinel April 22nd 1850 shop ad for combs

Milwaukee Daily Sentinel April 25th 1850 buffalo robes

Milwaukee Daily Sentinel April 25th 1850 buffalo robes

Lethbridge May B 1850 Canada History