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Four Years in Europe with Buffalo Bill

Charles Eldridge Griffin, Edited and with an introduction by Chris Dixon

Publication Year: 2010

William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody was the entertainment industry’s first international celebrity, achieving worldwide stardom with his traveling Wild West show. For three decades he operated and appeared in various incarnations of “the western world’s greatest traveling attraction,” enthralling audiences around the globe. When the show reached Europe it was a sensation, igniting “Wild West fever” by offering what purported to be a genuine experience of the American frontier. By any standard Charles Eldridge Griffin (1859–1914), manager of the Wild West’s European tour, was a remarkable man. Known by the stage names of Monsieur F. Le Costro, Professor Griffin, and the Yankee Yogi, he was an author, comedian, conjurer, contortionist, dancer, fire-eater, hypnotist, illusionist, lecturer, magician, newspaper owner, publisher, sword swallower, and yogi. His account of life on the road with the Wild West show, published here for the first time since its release in 1908, opens a window on a vanished world. In addition to line drawings and photographs from the original book, Chris Dixon provides an introduction and annotations for historical context. Griffin’s story of traveling with Buffalo Bill in Europe from 1903 to 1906 presents a fascinating picture of a quintessentially American character. At the same time it offers a vision of the nation on the verge of nationalism, imperialism, and an emerging global mass culture.

Published by: University of Nebraska Press

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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New Edition Table of Contents

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List of Illustrations

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pp. vii-viii

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Series Editor's Preface

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pp. ix-xii

Four years ago the McCracken Research Library in Cody, Wyoming, set out to edit and publish the collected papers of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody. It seemed like an idea whose time had come; in fact, it seemed long overdue. William F. Cody was the most famous American of his ...

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Introduction

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pp. xiii-xxvi

By any standard Charles Eldridge Griffin was a remarkable man. Author, comedian, conjurer, contortionist, dancer, fire-eater, hypnotist, illusionist, lecturer, magician, newspaper owner, publisher, sword swallower, and yogi: Charles Griffin was also known by the stage names of Monsieur ...

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About this Edition

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pp. xxvii-xxx

By the end of his life William F. Cody had become the entertainment industry’s first international celebrity, blazing a trail that was to be followed by others with the advent of mass communication media in the decades after his passing. The vehicle that brought him international stardom ...

Four Years in Europe with Buffalo Bill

Chapter Table of Contents

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Buffalo Bill-A Sketch

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pp. 5-11

Although Colonel William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill) has a vast army of personal friends, his tremendous successes (yes, I meant that to be plural) have made him many envious enemies, who assiduously exaggerate and circulate all kinds of villainous and scurrilous stories about the great scout—but that is one of the penalties of being great and famous. ...

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James Anthony Bailey

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pp. 13-16

The subject of this sketch was born at Detroit, Michigan, July 4, 1847, of Scotch-Irish parentage.4 He left home at ten years of age, and for a time worked on a farm at $3.50 per month. ...

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Foreword

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pp. 17-18

When the late James A. Bailey, undisputed king of the show world, visited the Ringling Bros.’ Circus, at Canton, Ohio, in June, 1902, he unconsciously, perhaps, paid the Ringling brothers the greatest compliment that could be paid to a rival concern, inasmuch as he had never before deigned to visit a similar institution personally. However, he would keep himself ...

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Chapter I -1903: Our Ocean Voyage—General Impressions of Old England

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pp. 21-26

.. I remained in my berth all day Sunday, unable to get up or to eat a bite. Monday morning I ventured on deck and the fresh sea air did me good—in fact, from that day on I enjoyed the trip, and ate my regular six meals a day ...

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Chapter II-Summer 1903: Opening of the Season—Accident to Buffalo Bill

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pp. 27-34

We opened the tenting season of 1903 at Brook’s Bar, Manchester, April 13, Bankers’ Holiday, to turn away business, in a cold drizzling rain, which turned to snow. At the opening performance Colonel Cody was thrown from his horse, or, rather, the horse stumbled,1 severely spraining one of the Colonel’s ankles, consequently he was unable to ride during ...

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Chapter III-Winter 1903-1904: Wintering in London—Sights and Scenes of the Great City—A Trip to “Gay Paree,” the Fashion Capital of the World

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pp. 35-49

Having considerable heavy luggage, we experienced some difficulty in getting it transferred to King’s Cross Station, Metropolitan underground railway, as baggage wagons are not waiting for you, like birds of prey, in the States, such work being done by “outside porters,” with push carts. While it would have cost at least ...

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Chapter IV-1904: Second Year of Buffalo Bill in Great Britain—A Visit to the Potteries—Bonnie Scotland

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pp. 51-56

Mr. Lew Parker had during the Winter resigned as manager of privileges, and returned to the States to take the same department with Ringling Bros.’ World’s Greatest Shows, and I was selected by the management to fill his position with the Wild West. ...

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Chapter V-Winter 1904-05: Again in London—Shop Showing—The Waverley Carnival—Studying French

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pp. 57-67

At the close of the season of 1904 I returned to my studio at West Kensington, London. By this time I was well acquainted in the big city and found it a first class place to live. During this time I had all kinds of ...

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Chapter VI-1905: Grand Opening at Paris—A Zigzag Tour of France— Disease Among the Horses—Tragedie des Chevaux

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pp. 69-91

Our grounds were beautifully laid out in the Champs de Mars (Military Field), midway between the Galerie des Machines and La Tour Eiffel. This historic ground is the site upon which the great Napoleon marshaled his forces, and it is also the scene of all the great Paris expositions. ...

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Chapter VII-Winter 1905-1906: Marseille, the Gateway to the Orient—Wintering Under Canvas—More Observations of French Manners and Customs

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pp. 93-100

From November, 1905, until March, 1906, we wintered under canvas at Marseille, the semi-tropical climate of that latitude rendering such a heretofore unheard of proposition possible. When Manager Fred Hutchinson first spoke of doing this, the old boys shook their heads, but Colonel Cody, having full confidence in his young ...

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Chapter VIII-1906: Opening of the Season at Marseille—Tour of Italy, Austria-Hungary, Germany and Belgium

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pp. 103-122

The first week out, beginning at Marseille, March 4, and ending at Nice, March 10, was the biggest opening week, financially, in the history of the show. While we were at Nice everybody had the Monte Carlo fever, and the boys tell some amusing tales of “how they did not break the bank.” ...

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Chapter IX-1906-1907: Closing of the Tour—Departure for and Arrival at New York— Impressions of New York After Four Years Abroad

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pp. 123-126

The last of our four years abroad (1906), during which we encountered sixteen different languages, was a particularly trying one. When we closed our season at Ghent, Belgium, afternoon of September 21, I felt as though I was on the verge of nervous prostration, having been at a high nervous tension all Summer, as ...

Official Roster of Buffalo Bill's Wild West

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pp. 127-130

Programme of Buffalo Bill's Wild West

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pp. 131-134

Appendix: Buffalo Bill's Wild West in Europe, 1902-1906

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pp. 137-153

Bibliography

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pp. 155-159


E-ISBN-13: 9780803234666
E-ISBN-10: 080323466X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780803234659
Print-ISBN-10: 0803234651

Page Count: 200
Illustrations: 34 illustrations, 1 appendix
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Papers of William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody