Buffalo Tongue Market

Buffalo tongue market, I’m sure there was a market in the 1700s and possibly prior as well and as soon as I locate that information I will publish it. If someone wants what you have, there’s a market, whether it be for cash or trade goods. I remember reading about the Natives taking the hides, humps, and tongues. That could be where the early settlers picked it up from. 


In progress….


Aurora General Advertiser-PA 18 Jun 1806

We shall here enumerate the various articles of produce exported from these countries — raw cotton of various kinds— tobacco of different kinds, wheat and other grain, raw silk, sheep’s wool of various qualities, bees wax, and honey, olives, and oil, grapes vermillion, hare skins, opium, gums, and drugs, camels hair, goats’ hair, buffalo hides, tongues, copper, orpiment, hartshorn, peltry, galls, box wood, oak, beech, ash, pine, elm, fir, masts, yards; spars of the manufactured kinds the red cotton of Greece is in great demand in the south of Europe they have morocco leather of the finest tints, carpets, vests; besides these the general productions of Africa and Asia and northern Europe which pass through the Levant, enter into the composition of their exports from the activity of the Greek and Armenian merchants.


Louisiana State Gazette 07 Jul 1824 Buffalo Tongues shipped inventory

Steamboat Dolphin, Young, St. Louis cargo, 9 bbls, 1 box tiff. to C.Gardiner; 47 kegs shot, to W . Anderson ; 35 bales furs, 401 packs buffalo robes, to J. Mager, 15 hide furs and skins, 20 boxes bar lead, to J. A. Merle ; 1 bag specie, to J. H. Martinstein ; 1 do, to J . Osgood & Co; 1 do, to W. Watson.& Co;,I do, J.& W. Montgomery; 1 roll do, 1 box buffalo tongues, to Rogeness, Sill & Slocomb ; cherry plank, to J. Lecarpentier.


Commercial Bulletin, Price-Current and Shipping List 17 Mar 1827

Keel-boats from Arkansas, with 54 bales cotton, 102 packs deer skins, 7 do bear skins, 300 hides, 3bbls tallow, 160lbs beeswax, 4 dozen buffalo tongues, 20 bbls pecans, 15 otter skins. 


The Philadelphia Inquirer 28 Jun 1827

B. LATOUCHE, French Restaurateur, No. 301, Market street, respectfully begs leave to inform the public, that on and after the 28th instant, he will keep a constant supply of Consommé broth prepared expressly for sick people. He takes the liberty to request the attention of Messieurs les docteurs to the above; the price is 25 cents per quart. To poor people, B. Latouche will make it a duty to furnish it gratis, on their sending an order signed by a physician.

Every day at 11 o’clock, is served two kinds of soup. Julienne and au Vermicel.

He has always on hand, Beef a. la Mode, Iced Hams, Buffalo Tongues, Beef do., Roast Chickens, do. Pigeons, Ducks, &. Oyster Pies.

The cellar under this establishment is always supplied with all the delicacies the season affords, choicest Wines and Spirits. 



As stated in the preceding section, the mourner requested the chief to have all the buffalo tongues saved. He required the tongues both in order to compensate those who performed certain special services and also because he was expected to entertain the people at noon during the entire course of the ceremony. In an exceptional instance noted by Bear-gets -up, Big-shade, as whistler, could not get a vision until the sixth day. Accordingly, the supply of tongues was completely exhausted before the close of the dance, and he was obliged to feast his guests with bā`rice’, a kind of dried meat.


Statesman and Gazette 03 Apr 1828, Natchez, Mississippi

BACON- 6000lbs Bacon, warranted good, cured in Kentucky; also a few excellent BUFFALO TONGUES MARKET, from Arkansas- Just received and for sale, by CLARK & WREN April 3, 1828 15


Commercial Bulletin, Price-Current and Shipping List 23 May 1829 N.O. Louisiana

STEAMBOAT ARRIVES – Steamboat Bever, Ball, from Natchitoches, with 411 bales cotton, and sundries, viz. 61 for Teynolds, Byrne & Co. 63 N. & J. Dick; 58 Maurin & O’Duhigg: 52 Wm. Bullitt; 56 Toledano & Gaillard: 40 J. Roumage, 29 John Hagan & Co.; 19 J.B. Heno & Co.; 17 Wilkins & Linton: 20 bales, 66 packs deer skins, 237 hides, 5 dozen buffalo tongues, J.G. Bank & Brother. 


East Riding Times 08 Dec 1829
The Hull Packet and Humber Mercury, or Yorkshire and Lincolnshire General Advertiser- England

Russian Cranberries, in Ankers. Salted and Smoked Buffalo Tongues, just arrived from Petersburg. At J. Hipskey & Co.’s Warehouse, Hull 4th 12th Mo. 1829 in Finkle-Street


The Morning Post, London- Ad ran for months/years 17 Feb 1830, as with some of these others in America.


The Evening Post 02 Aug 1831 New York

From Missouri. The St. Louis Times of the 16th ult. says The steamboat Yellowstone. under the command of Capt. K. Young, arrived at St. Louis on Thursday last, from her trip up the Missouri. The Yellowstone is owned by the American Fur Company, and left this place on the 15th of April last, for the purpose of proceeding as far up as the mouth of the Yellow stone 2000 miles carrying the goods for the Indian trade with which the Company annually supplies the traders in its employ. Owing, however, to the low stage of the water in the Missouri, the Yellowstone was unable to proceed beyond Fort Tecumseh, the mouth of the little Missouri, 1,300 miles above St. Louis. This is 600 miles higher than any steamboat has hitherto navigated. The Yellowstone brought down a full cargo of Buffalo robes, furs and peltries, besides 10,000 pounds of buffalo tongues.


Commercial Bulletin, Price-Current and Shipping List 06 Aug 1831

August 2nd – Powhatan, Sellers, from St Louis, with 1552 packs buffalo robes, 13 hhds, furs. 53 boxes buffalo tongues, 43 kegs butter, 171 bales hemp. 2 trunks and 2 boxes, John G. Stevenson 12hhds. Tobacco, Wallace, Lambeth & Pope; etc..

This ad above repeated Sep 10 1831 -38 boxes buffalo tongue market -413 packs robes


Litchfield Enquirer 27 Oct 1831 9000 tongues

One of the greatest curiosities here, is the American Fur Company’s establishment, where thousands of skins may be seen at once, such as buffalo, deer, etc. brought down the Mississippi and Missouri. They employ at present about one thousand men in this branch of the company, as hunters, trappers, etc. Their principal post on the Missouri is at the mouth of the Yellow Stone, 1800 miles above this place. A few weeks ago their steam-boat, the Yellow Stone, returned from a trip up the Missouri, up which she went 1400 miles, bringing a great number of skins, and about 9000 buffalo tongues, dried of course, and in a fine state of preservation! What a sacrifice of that noble animal, there must have been, and only, or chiefly, for their hides and tongues!


The Evening Post New York, New York 29 Oct 1831

Buffalo Tongues.
A few days since we received as a present, from the North American Fur Company, a few buffalo tongues, with directions for cooking them. On trial, they have proved a most delicate article, and far preferable to the common tongue. These tongues naturally must be finer thin ours, and the mode of curing them adds much to their goodness and fineness of flavour. If the Fur Company have any for sale, they cannot remain long on hand. We intend to solicit a few more, at any price.


Lancaster Examiner 17 Nov 1831 Pennsylvania

The New York American says of Buffalo Tongues, This luxury of the Western hunter has been recently introduced in some abundance among us by the American Fur Company; and we can, upon a full investigation of the subject, bear testimony to the value of this new contribution to the cause of good living.


BUFFALO TONGUES. 500 Buffalo tongues, a very superior quality, received from the North American Fur Company, for sate by RICHARD WILLIAMSON No. 19. Maiden lane. N18 1w
(He was still running ads in Sept 1833)

1833 Catlin

I mentioned the other day, that McKinzie’s table from day to day groans under the weight of buffaloe tongues and beavers’ tails, and other luxuries of this western land. He has within his Fort a spacious ice-house, where he preserves his meat fresh for any length of time required; and sometimes, when his larder runs low, he starts out, rallying some five or six of his best hunters (not to hunt, but to “go for meat”). He leads the party, mounted on his favorite buffalo horse (i.e. the horse amongst his whole group which is best trained to run the buffalo), trailing a light and short gun in his hand, such an one as lie can most easily reload whilst his horse is at full speed.

When I first arrived at this place, on my way up the river, which was in the month of May, in 1832, and had taken up my lodgings in the Fur Company’s Fort, Mr. Laidlaw, of whom I have before spoken, and also his chief clerk, Mr. Halsey, and many of their men, as well as the chiefs of the Sioux, told me, that only a few days before I arrived, (when an immense herd of buffaloes had showed themselves on the opposite side of the river, almost blackening the plains for a great distance,) a party of five or six hundred Sioux Indians on horseback, forded the river about mid-day, and spending a few hours amongst them, recrossed the river at sun-down and came into the Fort with fourteen hundred fresh buffalo tongues, which were thrown down in a mass, and for which they required but a few gallons of whiskey, which was soon demolished, indulging them in a little, and harmless carouse.
This profligate waste of the lives of these noble and useful animals, when, from all that I could learn t not a skin or a pound of the meat (except the tongues), was brought in, fully supports me in the seemingly extravagant predictions that I have made as to their extinction, which I am certain is near at hand. In the above extravagant instance, at a season when their skins were without fur and not worth taking off, and their camp was so well stocked with fresh and dried meat, that they had no occasion for using the flesh, there is a fair exhibition of the improvident character of the savage, and also of his recklessness in catering for his appetite, so long as the present inducements are held out to him in his country, for its gratification-Geroge Catlin 1833



The Hull Packet; and East Riding Times Hull, East Yorkshire, England August 02, 1833

JUST RECEIVED a fresh Importation of, REIN DEER and BUFFALO OX TONGUES; about 50 Russian Bear Hams; and 10 Ankers Russian Cranberries; also about 100 Westphalia Hams; and a fresh Supply of Gorgona Anchovies, in small Packages of about 7lbs. to 8lbs each.

Also on hand about 300 Yorkshire Hams in prime condition for exporting. WILLIAM TONGE, Scale-Lane, Hull.


1833 – BISON ROBES. Number of the Animals Killed by Indians

Though the Indians have the credit of not destroying more bison than they could actually utilize, some tribes appear to have been less careful. Thus, the Sioux are said to have occasionally killed thousands in a single hunt. Mr. Caitlin describes one of these grand hunts, which occurred in 1833, just before his arrival at the Fur Company’s settlement, at the mouth of the Teton, when about six hundred Sioux horsemen started to ride down a large herd of buffaloes, returning at sunset with 1,400 fresh buffalo tongues, all of which they exchanged for a few gallons of whiskey: but not one skin, nor even a pound of flesh, was saved from the victims thus ruthlessly slaughtered.


Niles National Register St. Louis, Missouri August 03, 1833

FROM THE “FAR WEST.” The steamboat Assiniboine, B. Pratte, Jr. master ‘ arrived on Thursday night last, from the mouth of the Yellow Stone, with a full cargo of furs, skins, etc. for the American fur company. By this arrival, we learn, that the steamboat Yellow Stone lost three of her hands and a pilot, by the cholera, while ascending the river, near the mouth of the Kansas. We also learn, that famine, a calamity more dreadful than the cholera threatens the inhabitants of the immense region of the Upper Missouri. No buffalo had appeared upon the plains of that country during the past spring; and the Indians, in the thriftless economy which governs them at all times, were in consequence destitute of the means of subsistence. Even the traders were compelled to subsist on Buffalo tongues, (obtained during a preceding season), and corn; and the voyageurs had not his fare allowed to them. No one has, we believe, pretended to account for this disappearance of the immense herds of buffalo which covered those regions. It was observed, by persons who were in the Assiniboine, and who have been in the habit of navigating the Missouri, that points at which vast numbers of buffalo had always been known to herd, were deserted, or but a single one now and then seen. -Missouri Republican.


The Tennessean Nashville, Tennessee · Saturday, May 17, 1834

BUFFALO TONGUES. A development has recently been made in a court of justice which has affected the stomachs of some metropolitan high livers. In answer to a question why horse’s tongues had ceased to be hawked about as usual for cats’ and dogs’ meat, it was answered, “they were by far too valuable,” as properly trimmed, cured, and dried, they made most excellent Buffalo tongues, and under that name, were eagerly-sought for by those who could afford to buy so rare and valuable an article for food. The breakfast table of the rich epicure had often borrowed its richest attractions from its appearance on the board.


The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania
April 16, 1836 Tongues and Clubs in Canada (extract)

The great dons of the place in those days were the “Nor-Westers,” that is, gentleman who had realized fortunes in the fur trade or north-west company. To commemorate the scenes of their youth they had established a society denominated the “Beaver Club;” and exclusive of all the luxuries money could procure, they treated their friends to a variety of sylvan dainties in the shape of beaver tails, beaver hams, buffalo tongues, &etc. After dinner, individuals dressed as Indians enter, holding the calumet or pipe of peace with other symbols of friendship; one addressed the company with a speech, or “talk,” in the Indian language, while another went round presenting the pipe to each guest, who had to take a whiff to demonstrate his good fellowship. After this, all the members stand up in a row on either side of the table, each having-a canoe paddle in his hand, and all joining in singing the beautiful Canadian voyageur boat -songs in French, keeping time by the motion of the paddle to the varied strains of the tune, as the hardy venturous voyagers are wont to do when descending a rapid, stemming a current, or skimming the still bosom of a romantic lake. On one of these occasions, when the Governor-General (the Earl of Dalhousie) was dining at the club, a member, representing an Indian Chief, after a complimentary speech, threw down, at his Lordship’s feet, a rich full Indian costume, saying ‘ father take that.” This magnificent dress was made of whole skins, exquisitely embroidered with stained porcupine quills, and ornamented with the claws, teeth and tails”, of the rarest and most ferocious animals, only found in the far interior of this vast continent, while the head-dress was composed of most beautiful feathers, of birds, I believe, still unknown to us. The whole, including the arms and weapons, was valued at five hundred pounds; and, what is most remarkable, the tribe from whom it had been procured were so far removed from the haunts of civilized men, that they had never seen a European, nor communicated with one until a few adventurous traders had stumbled upon them in exploring those remote regions. Traveller.


Osborne County Farmer

‘ We have seen the time when one might enjoy a wild turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. ; But, if our memory serves us right, there was no cranberry sauce, no celery, no olives, no peach pickles, no layer cake, no apples, no oranges, no imported grapes, no oyster dressing and, if there was any mince pie it was made from buffalo tongue, with piemellon in place of apples, with wild grapes taking the place of raisins and sorghum doing the sweeten job. But the folks in those days were just as thankful for what they had and just as happy as they are now for their more numerous blessings.