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 Native American Nations | Extermination of the American Bison                   

 

[1] Davis' Spanish Conquest of New Mexico. 1869. P. 67.
[2] The Spanish Conquest of New Mexico. Davis. 1869. Pp. 206-7.
[3] Purchas: His Pilgrimes. (1625.) Vol. IV, p. 1765. "A letter of Sir Samuel Argoll touching his Voyage to Virginia, and actions there. Written to Master Nicholas Hawes, June, 1613."
[4] Westover Manuscript. Col. William Byrd. Vol. I, p. 178.
[5] Vol. II, pp. 24, 25.
[6] Ib., p. 28.
[7] Charles Burr Todd's "Story of Washington," p. 18. New York, 1889.
[8] Long's Expedition to the Source of the St. Peter's River, 1823, II, p. 26.
[9] Coll. Georgia Hist. Soc., I, p. 117.
[10] Ibid., I, p. 51.
[11] Hist. Coll. of Louisiana and Florida, B. F. French, 1869, first series, p. 2.
[12] Ibid., pp. 88-91.
[13] Hist. Coll. of Louisiana and Florida, French, second series, p. 58.
[14] Mississippi as a Province, Territory, and State, p. 484.
[15] The American Bisons, Living and Extinct, p. 132.
[16] The American Bisons, pp. 129-130.
[17] Sabine, Zoological Appendix to "Franklin's Journey," p. 668.
[18] Fauna Boreali-Americana, vol. 1, p, 279-280.
[19] American Naturalist, xi, p. 624.
[20] J. A. Allen's American Bisons, p. 107.
[21] All who are especially interested in the life history of the buffalo, both scientific and economical, will do well to consult Mr. Allen's monograph, "The American Bisons, Living and Extinct," if it be accessible. Unfortunately it is a difficult matter for the general reader to obtain it. A reprint of the work as originally published, but omitting the map, plates, and such of the subject-matter as relates to the extinct species, appears in Hayden's "Report of the Geological Survey of the Territories," for 1875 (pp. 443-587), but the volume has for several years been out of print.
The memoir as originally published has the following titles:
Memoirs of the Geological Survey of Kentucky.| N. S. Shaler, Director.| Vol. I. Part II.|-| The American Bisons,| living and extinct.| By J. A. Allen.| With twelve plates and map.|-| University press, Cambridge:| Welch, Bigelow & Co.| 1876.
Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoology,| at Harvard College, Cambridge, Mass.| Vol. IV. No. 10.|-| The American Bisons,| living and extinct.| By J. A. Allen.| Published by permission of N. S. Shaler, Director of the Kentucky| Geological Survey.| With twelve plates and a map.| University press, Cambridge:| Welch, Bigelow & Co.| 1876.|  4to., pp. i-ix, 1-246, 1 col'd map, 12 pl., 13 ll. explanatory, 2 wood-cuts in text.
These two publications were simultaneous, and only differed in the titles. Unfortunately both are of greater rarity than the reprint referred to above.
[22] Lewis and Clark's Exped., II, p. 395.
[23] On the plains of Dakota, the Rev. Mr. Belcourt (Schoolcraft's N. A. Indians, IV, p. 108) once counted two hundred and twenty-eight buffaloes, a part of a great herd, feeding on a single acre of ground. This of course was an unusual occurrence with buffaloes not stampeding, but practically at rest. It is quite possible also that the extent of the ground may have been underestimated.
[24] Plains of the Great West, p. xvi.
[25] Catlin's North American Indians, II, p. 13.
[26] Our captive had, in some way, bruised the skin on his forehead, and in June all the hair came off the top of his head, leaving it quite bald. We kept the skin well greased with porpoise oil, and by the middle of July a fine coat of black hair had grown out all over the surface that had previously been bare.
[27] North American Indians, I, 255.
[28] Plains of the Great West, pp. 124, 125.
[29] Quadrupeds of North America, vol. II, pp. 38, 39.
[30] In testimony whereof the following extract from a letter written by General Stewart Van Vliet, on March 10, 1897, to Professor Baird, is of interest:
"MY DEAR PROFESSOR: On the receipt of your letter of the 6th instant I saw General Sheridan, and yesterday we called on your taxidermist and examined the buffalo bull he is setting up for the Museum. I don't think I have ever seen a more splendid specimen in my life. General Sheridan and I have seen millions of buffalo on the plains in former times. I have killed hundreds, but I never killed a larger animal than the one in the possession of your taxidermist."
[31] Quadrupeds of North America, vol. II, p. 44.
[32] Plains of the Great West, p. 144.
[33] Red River, Assinniboine and Saskatchewan Expedition, II p. 104-105.
[34] Plains of the Great West, p. 144-147.
[35] Foot-note by William Blackmore: "The author is in error here, as in a point of the Tarryall range of mountains, between Pike's Peak and the South Park, in the autumn of 1871, two mountain buffaloes were killed in one afternoon. The skin of the finer was presented to Dr. Frank Buckland."
[36] North American Indians, vol. I, p. 249, 250.
[37] In the District of Columbia work-house we have a counterpart of this in the public bath-tub, wherein forty prisoners were seen by a Star reporter to bathe one after another in the same water!
[38] Travels in America in 1806. London, 1808.
[39] On page 248 of his "North American Indians," vol. I, Mr. Catlin declares pointedly that "these animals are, truly speaking, gregarious, but not migratory; they graze in immense and almost incredible numbers at times, and roam about and over vast tracts of country from east to west and from west to east as often as from north to south, which has often been supposed they naturally and habitually did to accommodate themselves to the temperature of the climate in the different latitudes." Had Mr. Catlin resided continuously in any one locality on the great buffalo range, he would have found that the buffalo had decided migratory habits. The abundance of proof on this point renders it unnecessary to eater fully into the details of the subject.
[40] Our Wild Indians, p. 283, et seq.
[41] American Field, July 24, 1886, p. 78.
[42] Plains of the Great West, p. 125.
[43] By the Red River half-breeds only.
[44] On one occasion, which is doubtless still remembered with bitterness by many a Crow of the Custer Agency, my old friend Jim McNaney backed his horse Ogalalla against the horses of the whole Crow tribe. The Crows forthwith formed a pool, which consisted of a huge pile of buffalo robes, worth about $1,200, and with it backed their best race-horse. He was forthwith "beaten out of sight" by Ogalalla, and another grievance was registered against the whites.
[45] Schoolcraft's History, Condition and Prospects of the Indian Tribes, iv, p. 107.
[46] Westover MSS., i, p. 172.
[47] Quoted by Professor Allen, "American Bisons," p. 107.
[48] The American Bison, p. 197.
[49] For a full account of Mr. Wickliffe's experiments, written by himself, see Audubon and Bachman's "Quadrupeds of North America," vol. ii, pp. 52-54.
[50] On nearly all the great cattle ranches of the United States it is absolutely impossible, and is not even attempted.-W. T. H.
[51] In summing up the total number of buffaloes and mixed-breeds now alive in captivity, I have been obliged to strike an average on this lot of calves "mixed and pure," and have counted twelve as being of pure breed and five mixed, which I have reason to believe is very near the truth.
[52] Plains of the Great West, p. 127.
[53] North American Indians, I, pp. 25-26.
[54] Red River Settlement, p. 256.
[55] Schoolcraft's "North American Indians," 108.
[56] Schoolcraft, pp. 101-110.
[57] Ocean to Ocean, p. 116.
[58] Assinniboine and Saskatch. Exp. Exped., II, p. 111.
[59] Assinniboine and Saskatchewan Expedition, p. 358.
[60] H. Mis. 600, pt. 2-31
[61] North American Indians, I, 253.
[62] Travels in America in 1806. London, 1808.
[63] North American Indians, I, p. 263.
[64] Plains of the Great West, p. 134.
[65] North American Indians, I, 256.
[66] Plains of the Great West, pp. 139-144.
[67] As an instance of this, see Forest and Stream, vol. II, p. 184: "Horace Jones, the interpreter here [Fort Sill], says that on his first trip along the line of the one hundredth meridian, in 1859, accompanying Major Thomas-since our noble old general-they passed continuous herds for over 60 miles, which left so little grass behind them that Major Thomas was seriously troubled about his horses."
[68] It is to be noted that hairless hides, taken from buffaloes killed in summer, are what the writer refers to. It was not until 1881, when the end was very near, that hunting buffalo in summer as well as winter became a wholesale business. What hunting can be more disgraceful than the slaughter of females and young in summer, when skins are almost worthless.
[69] Congressional Globe (Appendix), second session Forty-second Congress.
[70] Congressional Globe, April 6, 1872, Forty-second Congress, second session.
[71] Congressional Record, vol. 2, part 1, Forty-third Congress, p. 371.
[72] Congressional Record, vol. 2, part 3, Forty-third Congress, first session, pp. 2105, 2109.
[73] I know of no greater affront that could be offered to the intelligence of a genuine buffalo-hunter than to accuse him of not knowing enough to tell the sex of a buffalo "on the run" by its form alone.-W. T. H.
[74] Congressional Globe, Vol. 2, part 6, Forty-third Congress, first session.
[75] Forty-fourth Congress, first session, vol. 4, part 2, pp. 1237-1241.
[76] Forty-fourth Congress first session, vol. 4, part 1, p. 773.
[77] It was the Cree Indians who used to practice impounding buffaloes, slaughtering a penful of two hundred head at a time with most fiendish glee, and leaving all but the very choicest of the meat to putrefy.
[78] It is indeed an unbounded satisfaction to be able to now record the fact that this important task, in which every American citizen has a personal interest, is actually to be undertaken. Last year we could only way it ought to be undertaken. In its accomplishment, the Government expects the co-operation of private individuals all over the country in the form of gifts of desirable living animals, for no government could afford to purchase all the animals necessary for a great Zoological Garden, provide for their wants in a liberal way, and yet give the public free access to the collection, as is to be given to the National Zoological Park.
[79] This specimen is now the commanding figure of the group of buffalo which has recently been placed on exhibition in the Museum.
[80] Caught alive, but died in captivity July 26, 1886, and now in the mounted group.

Source: The Extermination of the American Bison, 1886-87, By William T. Hornaday, Government Printing Office, Washington, 1889

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Extermination of the American Bison

 

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