Nashville Union Jan 6 1874 Wholesale Slaughter
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn, New York
Jan 8, 1874
For things could better illustrate the reckless character which Americans of the Eastern border have scarcely yet outlived, then the news item but because wild ducks are plentiful in the Delaware, near Lackawana, and even come close to the trains, passengers on the Erie amuse themselves by shooting at them with revolvers from the car windows as they pass. This is another sample, though on a small scale, of the same spirit of purposeless destruction which has laid low the noble forests that once graced the land, and conserved the public health, and which has within the past two or three years thinned out the bison of the plains, so that such herds as once gladdened the eye of the Indian, and furnished food and raiment for his family, are seen no more. We are told that when does simple Savage looks on the festering heaps of slaughtered buffalo, killed for no other reason than that the opportunity was afforded, fresh fuel is added to his hate of the greedy whites who destroy oven what their devouring appetite cannot master; and it is easy to conceive of the feeling. The truth is, that the spirit which dictates such acts as these is one of cruelty; and from cruelty to crime is but a step.
Ashtabula Weekly Telegraph Ashtabula Ohio Jan 10 1874
The Shippensburg News
Jan 17 1874
THE BUFFALO — The Kansas City Times says of Buffalo-hunting in Kansas: “this is not as plentiful this year as last, and hunters experience much difficulty in securing it. The Indians are holding the bison to the southward, and forbid hunters from encroaching upon their grounds. The wanton destruction of their buffalo for their hides is fast causing them to disappear; and in a few years they will be a curiosity where once they caused no more excitement than a herd of Texas steers. The Indians, realizing this, are therefore, guarding their cattle with jealous care. — The buffalo is to them what beeves are to the whites, and is regarded by them as their special property.”
The Atchison Daily Champion Jan 30 1874 Tanning Co.
The Austin Weekly Statesman
February 5, 1874
Indiscriminate Slaughter of Buffalo on the Plains.
The buffaloes of the plains have met their fate. Encroaching civilization has scaled their doom, and the inordinate greed of man has swept them from the face of the earth. Where years ago the mammoth herds of bison roamed the plains, and were hunted by the Indians as necessity demanded, now lie the bleaching bones of millions of these noble animals, sacrificed simply for their hides. For the past two years the work of destruction and annihilation has gone forward, and to-day there are not enough buffaloes to form what was at one time considered a moderate- sized herd. Millions of these animals ranged the plains, their natural home, feeding upon the rich grasses. To-day there are not enough to graze on a quarter section of land and eat the feed bare. Hunting parties are to be met all over the plains in the vicinity of the Republican, and also in the southern portion of the territory, who slaughter indiscriminately every herd upon which they come. The traveler over the Kansas Pacific Road may seek cords of white bones piled up at various stations in the buffalo country, awaiting transportation East, where they enter into a thousand and one articles of commerce and trade. Besides the bones are thousands of hides, rough dried, ready to be sent to the commercial marts of the East, where they are tanned and placed on the markets. These bones in hides are the fruits of the huntsman’s labors, in killing the noble game of the plains. The meat from the carcass of the slain buffalo is seldom used, although in a few instances, it is cut up and shipped to Eastern Packers, where it is disposed of as mess beef, at largely enhanced prices.
We yesterday met Mr. John A. Lessig, brother of General Lessig, the Surveyor General, who has been out on the plains several months, running correction lines and townshipping the eastern portion of the Territory. He informs us the destruction of the buffalo is almost incredible. During the perambulation of this party, they had an opportunity of forming opinions as to the slaughter of the bison on the plains. On the South Fork of the Republican they came upon one spot where were counted 6500 carcasses of buffalo from which the hides only had been stripped. The meat was not touched, and was left to rot on the plains. Only a short distance further on hundreds of more carcasses were found, and, in fact the plains were literally dotted with putrifying buffalo carcasses. On the Rikaree river, which lies between two forks of the Republican, the camps of buffalo hunters were frequently seen. Mr. Lessig estimates that there are at least two thousand hunters in camps along there, waiting for the buffalo. He came across one party of sixteen who stated they had killed twenty-eight thousand buffaloes during the past summer, the hides of which only were utilized. If sixteen hunters can kill this many animals, how great must be the slaughter upon the broad extent of the bison range! Evidently millions of the animals must have been killed during the past summer alone. Mr. Lessig says there are no buffalo to be seen on the plains, except dead ones, and that hunt as much as they may, the sportsman cannot at present find any game.
The value of the hides has deteriorated considerably, owing to the great increase of the article in the market. Heretofore they were worth three dollars delivered at the railway stations, while now a distinction is made to the size and paid for accordingly. The hides of Bulls being but one dollar, those of cows sixty cents, and calves forty cents. At these rates even the hunters say it pays very well. But even at these low rates the hunters will have to scratch to make their grub, for Mr. Lessig says the buffaloes are nowhere to be found. They say they are waiting for buffaloes, but they will have to wait a long time. There are but few to breed from, and, even if the animals are not completely annihilated, it will be many years before they regain even the tithe of their numbers of the past two years before the indiscriminate slaughter begun.
Mr. Lessig had fourteen men in his surveying party. About 27 November the cold weather began, and the snow fell to the great depth. The readings were drifted full, and on the level the snow was quite deep. Being in a timber list country, the party depended upon buffalo chips for fuel, but the snow coming on, recourse to this article was cut off, and they had to think of returning. One night the weather was so cold that a barrel full of water froze solid! The party left the Republican about 10 December, and reached Eel Trail on Friday night, from which point they came to Denver by rail. –Denver News, December 21.
Chicago Daily Tribune
Chicago, Illinois Mar 7 1874
When It Disappeared from Illinois.
Andrew Shuman in the (Chicago) illustrated Journal.
That member of the bovine family to which the American Indians and the early pioneers gave the name of buffalo, but which is not the genuine buffalo (bos bubalas) of Zoology, but the bison, is now in a fair way of early extinction. Year by year the Indians in the hunters of the Western mountains and plains are destroying these animals by thousands, and in a very few years the bison will be among the many extinct quadruped tribes of this continent. Therefore whatever fact or history can be ascertained in reference to this peculiar and wants numerous denizen of our American wilds, before he shall have entirely disappeared, should be carefully recorded for preservation.
In a conversation, a few days ago, with Capt. Leonard C. Hugunin, one of Chicago’s oldest residents still surviving, he came here from Oswego, N.Y., in 1833, he informed the writer that, among his private records that were lost in the Great Fire, where the memoranda of many historical facts and Indian traditions, which he had obtained from Billy Caldwell, the second Head Chief of the Pottawattamies, then over 60 years old; and that, among these memoranda, was one important fact for natural history that he distinctly remembers, namely: but in 1833, in the course of an interview with the old chief, the latter informed him that 70 years previous to that time that is, in 1763 there was the severest snowstorm and the heaviest fall of snow that had ever been known East of the Mississippi River; that, throughout the region now known as the state of Illinois, the snow was from 12 to 15 feet deep; and that, among other disastrous effects of that visitation in this region, was the total destruction of the bison, which, although up to that time as plentiful here as were the trees of the forest, perished by wholesale by being overwhelmed in the snow, or by starvation.
He said that some of the elk and deer also perished in that storm, but that many of these, taking refuge in the timber, subsisted upon the browse of the hazel-bush and other shrubbery until the snow melted and freed them from their temporary embargo.
Capt. Hugunin, in confirmation of the correctness of Billy Caldwell’s statement, also informed the writer that, in the autumn of 1840, while on a stage trip from Chicago to Galena, his attention was arrested by seeing, here and there, throughout the prairies, which had but recently burned over, great fields or yards of bleached bones: and that, on inquiry of Mark Beaubien, the old half-breed keeper of a tavern in this vicinity, and of other pioneer settlers and Indians, he was assured that the bones were those of the “buffaloes;” that these bone-yards, some of which were 10 acres in extent, were the Golgoths of the bison, which, gathered in vast groups during a great snowstorm many years previous, were literally imprisoned in the deep snow, and there died in multitudes.
Taking together the tradition of Billy Caldwell, and those bone-yard evidences throughout the Kankakee, Illinois, Fox, and Rock River Valleys, Capt. Hugunin, who is himself and amateur zoologist and ornithologist of no mean order, came to the conclusion that it is only a little over a century ago since the bison were as plentiful between the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan as they had been in our day between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains; that the American buffalo on this side of the Mississippi River was completely destroyed by tremendous snowstorm in the winter of 1763 and that in 1840 the osseous remains of the animals were still to be found throughout northern Illinois. Possibly a careful survey might find some of these remains in the same localities even at this day.
Kansas Farmer Topeka Mar 11 1874 How Animals Treat Their Weaklings
The Holt County Sentinel
Mar 13 1874
Legislating for the Buffalo
Two bills have been presented in the House of Representatives which seem wise and timely; one, by Mr. McCormack, restricting the killing of the bison or buffalo upon public grounds, except for the purpose of using the meat for food, or preserving the skin; the other, by Mr. Fort, for levying a tax of one dollar on every hide “taken from undomesticated buffaloes within the jurisdiction of the United States”
the wholesale and cruel slaughter of these animals has been carried to and extend that not only socks our sense of humanity, but becomes a fit subject for legislative action by its very prodigality. The original range of the American buffalo or bison appears to have been the whole of the North American continent west of Lake Champlain and the Hudson River, with the exception of some intervals on the Atlantic seaboard and South of the Ottawa and Columbia rivers. For many years they had ceased to exist east of the Mississippi River, and each year finds them retiring further and further towards the West, there vast numbers diminishing so rapidly that the date of their extinction becomes and arithmetical problem the mental solution of which would scarcely tax the power of a child.
Were this the natural result of the supply being inadequate to the legitimate demand little or nothing could be done. But this is not true; for in an restrained spirit of wastefulness is the immediate cause of this misfortune. No penalty being attached to the killing of buffalo, whenever the sportsman, surfeited with the slaughter of birds and rabbits, becomes ambitious for large game, he betakes himself to the plains and slays a score or more of buffaloes, leaving the carcasses to rot; or the hunter in the very wantonness of epicurism will kill a number of these beast, using only the tongues for food; or, again, taking advantage of their well-known habit of migrating in vast solid columns of thousands, which it is almost impossible to turn or arrest in their progress, the Indians drive them towards some precipice, over which the foremost ones are forced by those behind.
Economically used, these animals are very valuable. Their flesh is all edible, being tender and juicy. The hump is considered a delicate portion, and the tongue and marrow bones are greatly prized. The value of their hides is well known, and it is said numerous tribes of Indians are almost dependent on them for the necessity of life, the dressed hides with the hair left on our forming their robes, the hides without the hair the coverage of their tents, and the dried ordure, known on the prairies as bois de vache, on the treeless plains is often used for fires.
This improvident spirit is impoverishing our country and its woods; it deprives our rivers of their fish and are plains of game, and therefore we welcome any movement that is made towards its restraint, and regard the bills which Mr. McCormack and Mr. Fort have introduced, as equally credible to their foresight and their humanity, and hope that Congress will act favorably upon them. – N.Y. Evening Post.
The New York Times
New York, New York
Apr 6 1874
A small group by Mr. E. Kemeys, a young artist who seeks his inspiration from nature herself, is on view at Stevens’, near Union square. It is entitled, “Under the Wolf Skin,” and represents a Mandan Indian who has just slain a bison by stocking it with a wolf-skin, a device, and on such prairies as offer no cover for the hunter. We need no other assurance than such as is afforded by the group itself to convince us that this is a close study of nature, from the huge bulk of the slaughtered brute to the tithe, wiry form of the half naked savage. The latter is no ideal Indian, with features of classically-correct outline, lofty brow, and waving hair, but a hard-visaged savage, possessing more cunning, perhaps, then the brute he has just killed, though little more of intelligence. With his wolf-skin still suspended from his band, he cautiously approaches the game, doubtful yet whether it is quite safe to get within the animals reach. The mingled expressions of ferocity, doubt, and pleasure at the success of the ruse practiced, are strongly brought out. We are glad to know that Mr. Kemeys has received a commission for one of his groups in bronze for the Philadelphia Park.
The statue of Joan of Arc, recently erected in the Place de Pyramides, Paris, seems to have given almost universal dissatisfaction, and the comic papers teem with ludicrous allusions to it. The Maid of Orleans is represented in full armor, astride and in enormous dray-horse, holding a banner in her right hand. Judging from the illustrations which appear in the foreign papers, the statue is as grim, angular, and matter-of-fact as that of the late Mr. Lincoln, which glowers at the sparrows in Union square.
*Note: Kemeys was born on January 31, 1843 in Savannah, Georgia. He studied in New York City and then Paris. In Paris, he was impressed by the style of Antoine-Louis Barye, although in no sense an imitator. He made a specialty of the wild animals of the American continent. His “Fight between Buffalo and Wolves” attracted much attention at the Paris salon in 1878. Among his other important works are “Panther and Deer,” and “Coyote and Raven.” A colossal head of a buffalo for the facade of the station of the Pacific railroad atSt. Louis, Missouri, which was cast in bronze in New York in August, 1887, was the largest work of its kind that had been done in the United States. Another bronze statue of a panther named “Still Hunt,” is permanently situated on a rock flanking the East Drive of New York City’s Central Park. Kemeys died in Washington, D.C. on May 11, 1907.
I tried to locate a picture of the Indian Hunter sculpture…with no luck to locate it.
Juniata Sentinel and Republican
Mifflintown, Pennsylvania April 15 1874
The Frontiersman’s Beef.
Perhaps the American buffalo has no rights which mankind is bound to respect, yet his status and the question of his preservation are so intimately connected with the rights of the citizens of this country that they become legitimate matters of legislation. Two very proper bills have been introduced in Congress, one proposing restrictions upon the killing of a bison or buffalo, except for food or the sake of the skin, and the other a tax levy of one dollar on every hide taken from undomesticated buffaloes within the jurisdiction of the United States. The wanton destruction of these animals, which has long taken place unrestrained, is not only cruel, but a ruthless waste of what might be one of the nation strongest resources. So far removed are we from the East from the scenes of cruelty and prodigality but we think little of it, but let our thrifty men consider upon what their feelings would be were persons calling themselves sportsmen allowed to raid upon herds of wealth that the cattle whenever they took the notion, merely for the fun of it, leaving the valuable carcasses to rot where they fell. Yet this is what is being done in the far West, and every bison that his shot, merely for the sake of seeing him die, is as much a loss as a stall fed ox would be if disposed of in the same way. The buffalo constitutes the Indians beef, available on the the and on the spot, and were as much pains taken to preserve and utilize as to destroy them, we might be spared in more instances the spectacle of an Indian agent driving his drove of beef cattle four times through a corral, and then charging the government for four times the number of animals in it.
Chicago Daily Tribune May 16 1874 Buffalo Bill Cody to perform
May 25th 1874
to show off his mammoth wild animal collection around the country, today he was at Chicago, Illinois. This guy had almost every animal you could think of, from around the world. And of course, buffalo.
From William J. Oliphant’s stereographic
series “Life on the Frontier.” Photography
by George Robertson. Modern prints
made circa 1926. Prints and Photographs
A FEW THRILLING INCIDENTS IN MY EXPERIENCE
ON THE TRAIL
By L. B. Anderson of Seguin, Texas
One trip I drove for Dewees, Ervin & Jim Ellison. I got the herd at Rockport, in Coleman & Fulton’s pasture, and drove to the Millett & Irvin ranch in the Panhandle, camping right where the town of Seymour is now located, and remained there several months helping to round up several thousand head of cattle. Among those who were with me there on the range were Tom Peeler, Billie Bland, Sam and John Wilson, Billie Gray, Charlie Reed and Whit Vick. We started from that point with three thousand yearlings for Major Wolcott’s ranch in the Rocky Mountains. Had good luck all the way until we reached Fort McPherson on the North Platte River, where our horses stampeded and ran right through our herd, causing the yearlings to stampede also, going in every direction, several hundred running into the river. We finally rounded all of them up and delivered the herd in fine shape.
I took one herd of cattle up into Colorado for John and Tom Dewees to a man named Cheatem. We killed many buffalo on this trip, but in Kansas in 1874, on the Ninnisquaw River, I saw more buffalo than I ever saw anywhere else. As far as the eye could see over the plains was a solid mass of moving buffalo, all drifting northward. I remember my first experience in trying to kill one of these animals. I did not know the huge hump on their backs was a row of ribs, and that I could not kill one unless I shot below that hump, but I learned that much while trying to shoot my first buffalo. I had an old cap and ball pistol and, taking careful aim at a bull’s hump, I began to shoot, but the only effect my shots had was to make him run faster. I kept up with him, firing as we ran. Sometimes all six loads would go off at the same time and I would reload, going at full speed. I ran him several miles before I finally killed him.
Besides buffalo, deer and antelope, we used to kill ducks, geese, prairie chickens and other wild fowl, which were plentiful in the uncivilized part of the state.
Chicago Daily May 25, 1874
THE LIMITLESS PLAINS
where land is of little or no value, that stock raising becomes profitable. Even the plains, boundless as they seem, are fast disappearing before the advancing waves a population. Texas, the great cattle-ranche of North America, in one year received over 100,000 people, and all ready cattle-growers there feel they must soon look elsewhere for untrammeled ranges. A few more years like the past two, a few deductions of million acres of pasture-lands in a single season, and Texas will be no more of a grazing State than New York, Pennsylvania or Ohio. The lands of Texas are nearly all tillable, rich-producing lands, and one day the State will be densely populated. Already many stock-men are driving out in preparing to abandon the state as the cattle-growing region, and, as one of them tersely expressed it to me, “Texas is wanted for corn.”
……New York, with her settlements 250 years old, and a population of 4 million, has 748,000 oxen and stock cattle; Pennsylvania, with over 3 million people has 721,000; Ohio with 3 million inhabitants, has 749,000; and Texas, with only 800,000 people, has 3,800,000 cattle.
The plains are our
ONLY RELIABLE PASTURE-GROUNDS;
they are vast, an tillable, and rich in buffalo-grass. But millions of acres of uplands, where water cannot be carried, will, for hundreds of years, remain great pasture-fields; and here, upon of thousand hills, will grow the cattle that are to supply the nation with beef. It is no exaggeration to say that, within the present century, our population will reach 1 million, and the United States be practically settled. There will than be no West to go to, but farms and cities, and cities and farms, everywhere. Few realize how fast our country is settling. I predict that those who begin raising cattle now, and are wise enough to buy their ranches, will, before the end of the century, if they live, see the lands of their ranches worth more than their herds could ever have been. Before forty years have passed, every acre of good tillable land between the Missouri River and California will be worth $50 in gold. Those who wish to raise cattle, and our wisest, will by the lands of their ranches the moment it is offered for sale by the Government. James S. Brisbin
The Chicago Daily
June 8 1874
HOW TO QUIET HORSES
According to a discovery made by Prof. Shiff, of Florence, – a discovery which has been pushed beyond him by many others, – it was found that it was quite enough to touch the nostrils of a horse, simply passing the finger along the sides of the nose, to stop the activity of the heart and respiration; and stop consciousness in measure. He did not find, but left another to find it, that interchanges between tissues and blood is also stopped. It is well known now that most of those men who succeeded in quieting violent horses put their fingers to that part, and sometimes inside the nares. Merely touching these parts may produce some effect; pressing hard upon them has far more effect. It is not essential that the application be made there, as the pressure of the lip may produce the same thing. In some animals, rabbits and guinea pigs, if we pass needles into their chest and heart, so as to judge of respiration and circulation, we find that the needles stop altogether as we press the lips or part of the cheek. It is not that the poor creature is frightened, as when we have deprived them partly of their consciousness, or almost altogether, by the use of chloroform, the same phenomena occur. There is a very curious fact mentioned by Catlin, who traveled in the West, and wrote two volumes on the Indians. He states that the calves of the buffalo, if they are caught, and the air from the lungs of a man is strongly breathed into their nostrils, will become so fascinated by that peculiar influence that they will run after the horse of the hunter, and follow him five or six miles. It is said, that Mr. Catlin affirms it, that in Texas, or in other parts of the country where there are wild horses taken by lasso, if the hunter succeeds in taking hold of their nostrils, and then forcibly expels air from his lungs into the nostrils of the horse, he will follow him anywhere, and become perfectly tame. These facts deserve to be studied. I have heard that when Mr. Rarey acted so powerfully on very violent horses, both in this country and in Europe, he had something to do with their nostrils also. What he did, however, he In a great measure secret. That part of the system at any rate, has a great deal to do in diminishing the activity of the principal organs. It is very natural therefore; that such a power should be acquired by one who has done such a thing to an animal as intelligent as the horse.
The Inter Ocean
June 16 1874
THE BOOMING RIVER
The Annual “ June Rise” of the Missouri.
Down along the longest Valley in the world, past are very doors, says the Yankton press and Dakotian comes the annual messenger, coursing with haste, yellow with mud and spotted foam, with tidings from the snowy peaks and inaccessible cliffs of the Rocky Mountains. Starting months ago from uninhabited mountain regions rich in precious metals, it has just reached the land of the prairie cities and farms, and goes rushing on, unchecked by storm or night, to bury its message months after this even to the tropics shores of the Gulf. Never a paused as the mighty torrent know, in the whole four thousand miles of its course.
What is the news that this wonderful courier brings every year out of the hidden fastnesses where it has birth? It tells us that the great annual change has once more been completed; that the snow-clad peaks have felt the reviving force of the spring sunshine, and that snowdrifts deep enough to bury the mountain pines are turned to pure mountain rills, then during cataracts along tributary streams, and at last to a river that is known throughout the world. It tells us again the marvelous tale that “all the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; “ and set this to thinking of the mighty power of nature’s silent and imperceptible forces, wafting distilled waters from the salt sea, crystallizing it on the mountain tops, and setting it free to run once more its yearly race and mix again with the briny ocean. It tells us to never fear lest the supplies of nature and the streams of God’s countries may fail; for that eternal power which lifts this whole river from the ocean to the realms of perpetual ice will guard even the sparrow from want. And it tells the story of
Perpetual round of change,
From birth to death, from death to birth-
From earth to heaven, from heaven to earth,”
as described by the American Bard of Nature.
And so the great river goes roaring down its winding track, full to the banks, bearing the evidence of the country and people along its course. The pure limpid snow water soon falls into bad associations and after running for weeks with the clay hills of Montana it comes out contaminated and corrupted to a turbid brawling massive mud. The hills, to be sure, were also the sufferers from the companionship, for the rivers ceaseless energy undermined them and tumbled them into the depths; but the purity of the stress is gone never to return, even soiling the character of its future consort, the clear Mississippi. So much for the corrupting effects of bad company.
Saline on its boiling surges go floating lost dugouts of Indians, dead carcasses of buffalo that dropped through the ice last winter, small logs of Cottonwood, pointed at both hands as gnawed off by the myriad beaver that line all its shores, and fragments of red and blue, and purple lava from the volcanic rocks and Scoria of the Bad Lands. And tall steamers float like swans on the surface, their flat bottoms secure from the hateful sand-bars below, now buried and forgotten.
Once a year! The wheels of nature’s clock turned slowly! This annual flood is but a single tick of its pendulum in the long night of time. Nay, rather, it is a single pulsation of the great heart of Nature, forcing the life-current with the bound through its longest artery. The long half year of winter was the moment of inaction and of rest to earth’s vital forces, followed by the period of life, heat, and activity lasting till winter again. The season of deathly stillness has given place to the leaping streams and warm vital forces of spring, and in midsummer comes the June rise, telling us the heart of the Rocky Mountains has given another beat, and sent its pulse thrilling through the nation to the Gulf to proclaim it. Slow beatings, to our impatient minds and brief span of life; yet to Him who alone has counted them through the ages, they mark the flight of the years till time shall be counted no longer, even as our fevered pulses tell us there comes a day when the beating heart shall at last be still.
The Inter Ocean June 24 1874 Blacksmith
The New York Times
New York, New York
July 1 1874
SEAL BUTCHERY. (The last half of this article is about the seal slaughter, I left it in to show the mindset of the people)
There seems to be and unfortunate tendency in the Anglo-Saxon or Anglo-American races to crush and exterminate whatever wild tribes of animals, human or other, they may come in close contact with. The destructive habits which they get fairly by inheritance from Norse forefathers, who are styled in the Sagas “fine slaughtering fellows,” seem to attend the race even in their dealings with dumb beast. It is sadly evident that in a couple of generations from the present the American bison or buffalo will be as much a thing of tradition as is the anerocks. The perfect recklessness and Savage nests of our pioneer population with this noble animal, so useful to man in many respects, are fast exterminating him. Thousands are killed merely for their hides, or to furnish a trial of the hunters skill with the rifle. The cows and young calves are sacrificed ruthlessly; and year-by-year those immense herds of wild cattle which used to feed nations, are diminished or frightened away, and tell soon not a specimen will survive. The same fate is awaiting the red deer of Eastern states. It is well known that in former years hundreds of deer have been killed in Adirondack forest of this state merely for their hides; and now does and fonts are constantly shot long before they are in season. We believe that every year fully 1000 deer of all ages and sizes are killed in this state alone. From New-England they have been pretty much exterminated. Our smaller game was diminishing in the same manner, and but for the excellent supervision of the Sportsman’s Club’s, the partridge in the woodcock, grouse and quail, would soon have become as scarce in the West and here as they are now in the sea-board New-England States.
Among all the stories of wasteful butchery of brute animals we confess that we have never read anything equal to a recent account by Capt. Gray, of the steamship Eclipse, of the killing of seals by British seamen. This officer states that in one instance within his knowledge five ships attacked a pack of seals and in four days killed 10,000.
“Add 20 per cent, for seals mortally wounded and ost, gives an aggregate of 12,000 old ones: add 12,000 young which died of starvation, gives 24,000. But this is not all: the men spread on the eyes, so that the old ones that were left alive could not get on to suckling their young. The consequences was that the whole of the young brood was destroyed: and had these seals been left alone for eight or 10 days, I am quite within the mark when I say that, instead of only taken 300 tons of oil out of them, 1,500 could as easily have been got, and that without touching an old one. In one day, by the men of the five ships, upward of 4000 old seals were taken, the young ones in thousands yelling for their mothers, following the skins, as the men dragging them to the ships, and suckling the crangs, i.e. skins, in desperation. The maternal love for its offspring was made use of to save the men trouble, as a seal killed when giving suck was more easily secured, and often seals desperately wanted were seen administering nourishment to their young ones. The plight of the young ones which had lost their mothers was pitiful in the extreme; they were seen huddling together for heat, and trying to suck one another, till they at length succumbed.”
There seems reason, also, to believe that the seals are flayed alive and have their livers taken out and then are left in the water, still living, in agony. Some humane captains, however, put a bullet through the animals brains to terminate their sufferings. There is no doubt that in Alaska similar butchery and wastefulness were going on with the fur-seals, but we believe the new laws, and the care of our government, are preventing this. It is not very difficult for men to exterminate a useful animal from a given locality. We have fairly driven the salmon from our New England rivers, where was once so abundant. The “mantee” has disappeared; Atlantic right whale, which was once captured freely near the British coast, is seldom seen now; the Northern right whale is more and more driven toward the open sea at the polls, and is more difficult to take. The walrus is becoming more scarce.
It seems that the time has come for different nations to have international agreements in regard to the preservation of game, or, at least of the marine mammals. There ought to be severe penalties is established for the killing of seals and whales out of season, and for the slaughter of the young and useless. A writer in nature suggest that vessels for the Greenland seal- fishery could be forbidden and sailing before March 25, which would give the young time enough to mature. When it is remembered that this single fishery is valued at $580,000 per annum to British ships, the importance of this and similar regulations, protecting the dumb creatures who minister to man’s comfort, can be financially estimated.
Nashville Union Aug 21 1874 Amt who delights in hunting
Chicago Daily Tribune
Chicago, Illinois AUGUST 28, 1874
FREQUENT GROUNDS FOR COMPLAINT,
both general and special. Apart from the fact that the whole Indian policy itself is a fraud, comes the fact that even this erroneous policy is not faithfully administered. The Indian is plundered everywhere without redress. The traders smuggle whiskey among them, and deal out a bile chemical compound at the rate of $50 a gallon,-pelts or ponies being the currency. The Indian lives under a magnified system of Protection, that compels him to buy in the dearest and sell in the cheapest market. Then the buffalo hunters, especially since the Kansas railroads began to be pushed west, have been an abundant source of annoyance. When the country is filled with organized companies of hunters, armed with the best weapons procurable, and slain the bison as a business, and not for sport or to satisfy a necessity: when the meat does not pay for transportation, and trained after train of hides comes in to every station,-it is not to be wondered at that buffalo becomes scarce and shy, and that the Indians are annoyed and alarmed. Nor are the hunters at all nice about regarding treaties and reservation – lines, and their negligence in this respect is another fertile source of trouble.
With these special and general causes at work, and Indian outbreak, always possible, was this yet rendered very probable.
New York Times
September 5 1874
INTERESTING DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTRY
Its physical geography, geology, agricultural, and grazing resources – fossil remains – buffalo hunting.
From our correspondent, Omaha, Thursday, August 27, 1874
While stopping there I had the pleasure of participating in a buffalo hunt, which lasted three days, but as one hunt is like all others, except in the numbers slaughtered, or the accidents encountered, an experience of one day will give an idea of how old sportsmen chase the bison. Being a novice in such hunting, I was compelled to leave all the details of my outfit to the leader of the party, and he gave me no cause to complain afterword.
We secured some excellent horses magazine rifles, revolvers, and lariats, and thus equipped, 10 of us mounted are steeds late in the evening, and wended our way southward to the rolling sand-hills. We marched in till midnight, then encamped in and under the wagon which we brought along with us to transport our food and water out, and are buffalo steaks back. We found it impossible to sleep, however, owing to the veracity of the mosquitoes, which not even our blankets could guard us from; so we groaned, fidgeted, and I believe some of us swore a little mite. A most fortunate storm arose after a while and blew them away, and we were just beginning to sleep when “Get out your rifles” was shouted by one of our party. We unrolled ourselves from the blankets as rapidly as possible, then rolled out from under the cart. Shoes were graveled and placed on without much reference as to whether they were on the proper foot or not; our weapons were then seized, one man in his haste seizing another by the hair of the head, and making him yell as loudly as if he were being scalped. There was much excitement, in many queries as to the cause of the disturbance; but the latter were soon answered by the clatter of galloping horses, and “Indians” were the first thought with all ; so we prepared to meet them by making a barricade of the wagon. As they drew high we were both pleased and disgusted to hear a voice shout, “We’ll camp here;” so drawing near our situation, they dismounted amid a volley of anything but pleasant epithets from our angry warriors. They proved to be a party of Teutons, who like ourselves, were determined on single icing themselves as Nimrods. All further ideas of sleep Dean banished, we saddled are steeds and moved off, and by daylight found ourselves on the buffalo grounds, but we could see none, except a cow and a calf, which were grazing along the bottom of the South Platte with a herd of domestic cattle. A party of four men started after them, and in a short time they had the youngster separated from its mother and in a full run for the hills. The experienced horses, however, were too fleet for_st, so after coursing about for twenty minutes it was brought to a halt, being too fatigued to run further. It was then seized, bound with a rope, despite its vigorous charging, and placed in a deserted “dugout” for safekeeping. The guide and myself continued onward, and soon met a couple of strapping spring calves. They approach to within a few yards of us __ they recognized are dangerous character, but that fact learned, they made for the bluffs at a speed one would not expect from such clumsy looking brutes. We dashed after them, and in less than twenty minutes had turned them for five times: but the wind being against me, are stiff lassos of rope would not accomplish their work, although they fell on the quarry some half-dozen times. After a run of three miles we lassoed them, then bound them tightly and left them at the place where captured while we went in pursuit of more. The little fellows, when pressed to closely, would halt suddenly, face about and charge our horses, but the latter being experienced veterans the tiny horns had no terror for them. When our party had assembled again, we started in search of the old herds, and after traveling some three miles had the exquisite pleasure of beholding one of the finest buffalo views imaginable. Some two miles to our right an immense herd extended in a dark, single-line from the horizon to the river bottom, and presented as seen so striking that we gazed at it several minutes in mute admiration. We were preparing to pursue this herd when a flock of ‘buffalo birds” , arose a little to our left, and knowing that their companions, the bison, must be close by, we turned our steeds in that direction, and in two minutes sighted a splendid drove, which were quietly grazing. When they saw us they raised their heads for a moment, then dashed wildly off with that long, heavy, swinging gate so peculiar to them. We sung the spurs into our horses’ flanks and dashed after, and in less than five minutes were alongside them. Those who wished to kill trophies threw the reins on the neck of the steeds and began using their repeating rifles with marked effect, while others broke through a portion of the herd to cut out the calves, which they intended to capture alive. For nearly three miles the crack of the rifle or revolver was heard; but, having tumbled over all we wanted in that distance, the assembly was sounded, and everyone except those in pursuit of the calves returned to report progress. All express themselves delighted with their success, and said it was one of the finest runs they had ever seen, as the ground was rolling and free from prairie dog villages, so that there was little danger of horses being thrown. Those who killed their first buffalo were greeted by the veterans with cries of “Victory! Victory!! “ So the caudal was clipped from all they had killed and fastened to the bridal. Having had our fill of sport for the day, and not desiring to injure our trusty steeds, we returned to camp, after cutting the hindquarters in the hump off the slain, and placed them with the captive youngsters in the wagon. The following two days we had sport galore, to use a Celticism, for we found the herd so thick that we were often in their midst, so had to shoot right and left a clear a passage out, or to avoid being horn along with the maddened throngs. Few sports are more exciting than a buffalo hunt, and anyone who is a good horsemen, and is mounted on a good steed, need have no fear of returning from it without having captured a “brush”. This noble animal will soon, however, be among the fauna of the past, for the “pot hunters” and civilization are rapidly pursuing in to decimation.
Chicago, Illinois Sep 11 1874
A singular and affecting trait is recorded of the bison when young. Whenever a cow bison balls by the hand of the hunter, and happens to have a calf, the helpless creature, instead of attempting to escape, stays by its ball and damn, with many expressions of strong affection. The mother been secured, the hunter makes no attempt on the, because this is unnecessary, but proceeds to cut up the carcass; and then, laying it on his horse, he returns home, followed by the young one, which and thus instinctively follows the remains of its parent. A hunter once rode into the town of Cincinnati, between the Miames, followed in this manner by three calves, all of which had just lost their dams.
The Weekly Oregon Statesman, Salem, Ore. Sep 19 1874 Euro bison
Chicago Daily Tribune Nov 7 1874 hide count
November 17, 1874
“AMERICA” IN MARBLE
A London correspondent of the Philadelphia Telegraph gives the following description of John Bell’s piece of sculpture of “America.” The principal subject is the United States directing the progress of America, which Canada accompanies, pressing to her breast the rows of England. The composition, however, comprises five figures, and a bison, (or American buffalo,) on which the central figure of America (as a quarter of the globe) is mounted. This figure is between nine and ten feet high, and is of the native American type, with costume in accordance. On her left arm she bears as shield, with blazons of the Eagle for the United States, the beaver for Canada, the volcanoes for Mexico, the lone star for Chili, the alpaca for Peru, and the Southern Cross for Brazil. On her right hand in a stone-pointed feathered lance, hung with Indian totems of the gray squirrel and the humming-bird. The housings beneath her are a grizzly bears skin. The buffalo is represented as pressing on, almost charging, through the long prairie grass, and in the rear, aroused by its passage, is a rattlesnake.
“The two male figures on the rear faces of the composition represent respectively South America and Central America, both of which, as less progressive, are represented sedent. South America is personated by an Indo-Spaniard half-breed, habited in sombrero, poncho and Indian girdle, while in his left hand is the other short horseman’s carbine of the country, and in his right a lasso; by his side is an orchid of the forest of Brazil, and at his feet a horn of the wild cattle of the plain and blossom of the giant lily of the River Amazon. Central America is presented in Mexican head-dress, with staff and feather cincture, and at his feet is a plant of the cochineal cactus. These two male figures are each eight feet six inches in stature. In relative proportion with these, about eight feet high, are the two female erect statues on either side in front, representing respectively the United States and Canada, (or the British Possessions,) which, although differing in feature, bearing and expression, are both of the Anglo-Saxon civilized type. Canada is partly habited in furs, and in her headdress appear the Maple leaf of the mainland and the Mayflower of Nova Scotia. In her left hand is the English rose, and in the right are the ears of wheat, while at her feet are some fir branches and a pair of snow-shoes.
“She advances on one side of the buffalo, while on the other side, directing its progress with the star scepter which she points forward over its head with her right hand, advances the figure of the United States, habited in a dress partly thin and partly of a thicker material, to suggest the great range of her climate. In her tresses is seen a star, which is repeated on her baldric and (with the legend United) on the bracelet upon her left wrist, while the wand bears a wreath of the foliage of the evergreen oak, an emblem of the States, and at her foot lies the Indian’s quiver, with but an arrow or two left in it. This is the dominant and directing figure of the whole group, although not the largest in scale, as it was judged requisite to present the central figure of America (as a quarter of the globe) of larger dimensions than any other figure representing but a portion, however important, of the same. The figure of the United States controls as well as directs the progress of the buffalo, which was selected to bear the central figure, as typical of the innate power and force of the continent, and of which animals in their native state still range in such multitudes in the vast natural Meadows at the feet of the Rocky Mountains.”
Story about Sculpture and where it resides
Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye
November 19, 1874
It is estimated that the “hide hunters” of Kansas, Texas, Colorado, in southern Nebraska kill fifty thousand buffalo each year for the skins alone; that the Indians kill three times that number, and that perhaps ten thousand more are killed by sportsmen and those pioneers who depend on the buffalo for their winter meat; thus we have the enormous figure of two hundred and ten thousand as the annual slaughter. But this even will not represent the grand total, for many calves are captured to be sold to menageries, museums and private gentlemen who desire such pets. I cannot approach a summary of the latter, but think that from five thousand to ten thousand would be an approximate estimate, although a low one. I have known instances where a hundred of these creatures were caught in a day by being run down, and not more than one tenth were alive the next, for, though apparently strong, they cannot endure much hardship. By giving the figures in round numbers we may estimate that a quarter of a million bison are destroyed yearly; and that, I think, will not be far from the exact number. At this rate of destruction they cannot last long, so the present generation will probably witness the decimation of the animal most characteristic of the fauna of North America – one with which the history of our plains, pioneers in trappers is most closely blended.
The Tiffin Tribune _Ohio_Dec 3 1874 Buffalo Robes
Decatur Daily Republican
Decatur, Illinois Dec 8 1874
Texas Rangers Killing Bison
In the coming spring one hundred English “swells” are coming over to enter upon the grand hunting season on the western plains. The hunt is to be organized on a magnificent scale. One hundred Texas rangers will accompany them, and in addition to a vast retinue of servants, cooks, grooms valets, etc. they will be accompanied by the brass band, which will discourse sweet music as they gather around their cheerful campfire to partake of the evening meal. We are not sure but they will also take with them a corps of ballet dancers, and, may be, even and opera troupe. They will hunt the grizzly to his mountain vastness, and slaughter the lively bison by thousands on the plains, occasionally diverting themselves by popping over grouse and prairie hen, or stocking red deer in the forest primeval. It is estimated that these modern Nimrods , with their Texan reinforcement – two hundred guns in all – will be able to slaughter an average of 500 buffaloes per day. In two months, throwing off a liberal per centage for bad weather and unfavorable conditions, they ought to bag, say 30,000 , and reduce, by that much, the resources of Mr. Lo and his people.
Some philanthropic people, including the Indian Peace Commissioners, may be expected to enter a protest against the wholesale slaughter of the game in the national reserves; but after all it is at least an open question whether it would not be better to have the last buffalo destroyed. The animal is of no special benefit to the white race, and so long as the Indian can find abundance of buffalo he will follow the chase in the pleasant months of the year, make war upon the white settlers at all other seasons, and successfully resist all efforts to civilize him. Even should the Indian disappear with the buffalo the settlers on the frontier would not be inconsolable.
The Red Cloud Chief, Red Cloud, NE Dec 16 1874 Otoes allowed to hunt again
Chicago Daily Tribune
Dec 19 , 1874
A WILD-HORSE EXCURSION
Some enterprising persons of Porkapolis, having accidentally heard that West of Omaha there were vast plains on which all kinds of game and wild animals were roaming, and to which country the people of Chicago occasionally get up excursions and have a great sport in hunting, have decided to do likewise and get up and excursion, and explore that mysterious country and see if the reports that came to them from Chicago were correct. As appears by a large poster, the excursion will start from Cincinnati on 5 January, when, on account of the snow, there will be excellent trails to track the game. Among the animals advertise to be killed are buffalo, elk, deer, antelope, prairie-wolves, badgers, jack-rabbits, prairie-chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, eagles, etc. Particular sport is the promised to experts with the lasso, as the plains are covered with large herds of wild horses. The advertisement closes with advice to the participants to take their guns, rifles, and plenty of ammunition, as a big hunt is expected. This wild horse excursion is expected to last forty days.
Atchison Daily Patriot
Atchison, Kansas December 22, 1874
The extent of the collection, assortment, and sale of the skeletons of defunct buffaloes on the plains is surprising. During the season hundreds of men engaged in the business, and all the stations on the Kansas Pacific and Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe railroads have bone middlemen, so-called, make good profits by buying and shipping the pickings of the “pickers.” The skeletons are, of course, plentifully scattered over the plains, and parties of half a dozen, or dozen, or more, with wagons, go in search of them and bring them into the stations for shipment. It is said that since the first of last month from ten to twenty tons of buffalo bones have been shipped the above named lines every day.
The bones are worth, delivered at the railway station, an average of $5 a ton. The bulk of them is sold for fertilizing purposes in the soil enfeebled districts of the eastern and middle States, Philadelphia being the principal point of consignment. Certain portions of the buffalo skeleton, however, are adapted to nobler uses than that invigoration worn out earth and are sold at a handsome price to the manufactures of buttons, combs and knife handles. At almost every railroad depot are great piles of these queer remains of the bounding bison awaiting shipment; and the variations of the value of bones are of more interest to the people than the fluctuations of the grain markets. In a sorting for market strange discoveries are sometimes made. It is no uncommon thing, for instance, to find Indians skulls, legs and arms; and in some instances the skulls and vertebrae of women and children have been picked up. These latter are usually tossed aside in a rude sort of reverence for the helpless and innocent; but no such respect is paid to the bones of the Indian. An Indian skull is said to be worth a dollar and a quarter for combs, and the Indian thigh makes knife handles that are beautiful to behold.
Daily Milwaukee News
Milwaukee, Wisconsin Dec 25 1874
GREAT BONE HARVEST
(same article as above)
Then continued with;
The Slaughter of the Monarchs of the Plains—Hide Hunters and Meat Jerkers
Hide hunters along the Kansas Pacific are even more numerous than the bone pickers, and their trade is much more exciting and hazardous. They usually follow in the wake of buffalo hunting expeditions and roving bands of Indians ‘meat jerkers.” The Indians who kill buffalo take only a small portion of the animal, and the white men who slay them for sport rarely touched them with a knife; so that the hide hunter who goes after is usually sure of his spoil, as the hide remains in good order for removal nearly a week after the killing if the wolves keep away. When hides are not to be had fast enough or with personal safety in this way, the hide hunters project little raids of their own into the buffalo ranges, killing the animals simply for their hides, and leaving the meat to decay, or selling it at a nominal rate to accompanying parties of dealers. The hides are tanned and dressed by a much more rapid, but less perfect and effective process than that followed by the Indians, and only the hides of the animals killed in cold weather make
REALLY VALUABLE ROBES
In a ___________ more than there______ over 50,000 of dress hides were shipped from the stations on the western division of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, and it is estimated that the shipments for this year over that road and the Kansas Pacific will aggregate 125,000. As each hide represents a slain buffalo, these figures convey a fair, though not a full idea of the magnificent butchery which has been going on among these “monarchs of the plains.” The hides, after being dressed, are rolled up in as small a compass as possible, and shipped to the large eastern cities, where they are subjected to a process of re-cleaning and drying, and put into the market for sale. The original purveyor of the hide gets about as much for them as the New England or New York farmer receives for the hides of his cattle; but the prophet to the eastern dealer, as can be seen at a glance, is considerable. Attempts have been made from time to time to convert the buffalo hide into leather, but without much success; and it probably has no very great value except for use as a robe.
But still greater importance than bone-picking or hide-hunting, is the trade in buffalo meat. It has employed during the last year or two and amount of labor and capital that would seem and credible to a person unacquainted with the facts. The meat market opens in November, when the weather becomes cool enough for its transportation, and continues until the first of April. During these five months as much as 2,000,000 pounds are shipped from the station on the Kansas Pacific to all parts of the country. In the winter months a buffalo steak can be obtained as easily and almost as cheaply in the butchers stalls of the leading northern cities as a beefsteak or a mutton chop, and in Colorado and Kansas it is as common as antelope. When buffaloes are killed for the meat, only the hams and shoulders are brought in, and shipments are usually made and that shape, the hide nearly always been left on to the end of the journey.
THE LEADING MARKETS
for buffalo meat “in the rough,” are St. Louis, Chicago and Indianapolis, whence it is reshipped, and cleaner and more artistic condition, to cities of the seaboard. At Kansas City, too, large quantities are cured and packed for Easter and use, and some successful experiments have been made in shipping direct to New York and Philadelphia and refrigerator cars. The price in the towns along the middle and eastern divisions of the Kansas Pacific ranges from $50 to $80 per town in bulk, and the local dealers retail at six to eights cents per pound. The settlers adjacent to the stamping ground of the buffalo procure meat enough in a daze hunting to last them through the winter; and many a poor homesteader in the valley of the Arkansas, has The wolf from the door on this article of diet alone four months at a time. The flesh of the buffalo is not such as God’s would delight to feed upon, Norwood poets find it particularly conducive to the cultivation of sweet and tender imagination. It is very nutritious, however.