Sunday, June 3, 2012

Chicken Dinner: Buffalo, Dry Powder, and the Big Dance

June brings great weather and sometimes it's pretty hard for writers to sit in front of the computer when the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the grill is waiting for us to slap on the steaks. Ah, but sacrifices must be made.

May ended up with the buffalo--when two historical romance authors write articles about the American Bison. Mind you, none of the blogs know what the other is posting, so it's by mere coincidence these things happen.

Buffalo Hunters, by Ellen O'Connell

And just for fun (our fun, not the bison's) here's a video of two bulls fighting for the right to mate with the cows:

Sometimes I look at the terminology of old newspaper reports and have to take a step back, because the terminology used is, um, not amenable to our modern sensibilities. Here's the report from The Owyhee Avalanche of June 1, 1872, reprinted May 30, 2012:
KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY. It is the opinion of some that we are on the eve of another Indian war. We sincerely hope that such may not be the case, but from our experience in the past, we would advise people, especially in the outside settlements, to arm themselves, keep their powder dry and be prepared for the worst.

We are informed by Col. Geo. W. Hill, of Bruneau Valley who favored us with a call this week, that the red skins have recently disappeared from the Valley, as well as from Sinker and Catherine Creek. This is suspicious, to say the least, as all, who have had experience with the Indian Troubles, can vouch. Col. Hill also informs us that the Old Winnemucca, attended by twelve villainous looking red devils, passed through Bruneau Valley some two weeks ago, and appeared anxious to find out the number of men at each ranch. They were armed with guns and acted in a very insolent manner.
This report goes on about how cattle have been stolen, and while they don't have any evidence that the Indians were the culprits, clearly blame was placed on their shouders. And, after writing a rather stirring article about vigilance against the "red devils," it urges the settlers to not start anything or take the first shot, then goes on to with:
We understand that in a few days they're to have a grand dance and pow-wow at Big Springs, between here and Cope District. This may account for their leaving the valleys hearabouts and the present time, and all may yet be well.
Ya think?

1 comment:

  1. I love the old articles you post, Jacquie. I find the same humor (and horror) when reading old research books, as I have just done for this family history I'm writing of my dad's family.


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