Album portrait of Cody in civilian dress by Cabinet Card by Brisbois, Chicago bearing the signature in the recto margin.
William Frederick Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill earned his moniker during the American Civil War where he served as a civilian scout during the Indian Wars. HE was honored with the Medal of Honor for gallantry as an Army Scout, a rare distinction for a civilian. However, the award was revoked as part of Congress’s decision to reevaluate prior Medal of Honor awards and make it a military distinction. Cody’s encounters with Ned Buntline resulted in a highly embellished story published in the New York Weekly. Buntline’s subsequent novel, “Buffalo Bill, King of the Bordermen,” played a huge role in Cody’s rise to becoming a legend in his own time.
Buffalo Bill’s Wild shows, incorporating sharpshooting, rodeo events and theatrical performances based upon his exploits on the Frontier, toured the United States and Europe. These shows, starring Cody himself, laid the foundation for future forms of popular entertainment.
Cody formed a friendship and professional bond with renowned Lakota Sioux Chief Sitting Bull, who, along with other Native Americans, participated in Cody’s Wild West shows, providing an authentic touch to the events. Cody further cultivated relationships with iconic figures of his era to include Annie Oakley, Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Pawnee Bill and even Queen Victoria.
Buffalo Bill’s legacy lives on through the history of the Wild West Show, the town of Cody, Wyoming and various books, films and works inspired by his remarkable life, solidifying his place as an iconic figure in American History (Jim Olson, 2023)
PERIOD: Early 19th CenturyORIGIN: Illinois, United States
SIZE: 4" x 6 1/2"