Thanks to Liberty Lausterer for another great feature… this time, Liberty takes us across the pond for a look at how the Europeans view a great Wyoming legend, Buffalo Bill…
BUFFALO BILL CONTINUES TO WIN HEARTS OF EUROPEANS
by Liberty Lausterer – images credited as noted
Travel Tip: If you travel to Europe, and happen to enter into casual conversation with a local, BE PREPARED. Be prepared that when an Italian, or a Frenchman, or an Englishman learns you are from WY you may suddenly be given the fanfare and paparazzi usually reserved for celebrity. You have Buffalo Bill to thank for this.
I learned this from a European who wears snazzy black cowboy boots and has an encyclopedic knowledge of William F. Cody. Her name is Julia Stetler. Julia is a German citizen and fell in love with the American west while she lived here as a foreign exchange student. The frontier, Buffalo Bill, and her husband (whom she affectionally calls “her cowboy”) won her European heart. Now she spends her days as the Associate Editor of the Papers of William F. Cody at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center of the West in Cody, WY.
Wild West and Congress of the Rough Riders of the World, by Courier Litho. Co., 1899 advertising poster
Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show made three European tours between 1887 and 1906. Cody saw himself as a cultural ambassador, whose job it was to impress Europeans and raise their esteem of Americans. Cody timed the shows so they accompanied some of the most significant world events of the time, like Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in London (God Save the Queen!) and the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris. Europeans were sold. They received the show lock, stock, and barrel.
Publisher: JMP & Lithography. c. 1889
Of course there’s a lot more to the story (how each country uniquely received Cody and the role of Native Americans). For this and more watch out for Julia’s forthcoming book entitled, European Wild West. In the meantime, don’t worry about impressing anyone, just proclaim you are from WY and hearts will be won.
Cheers! Ciao! Hurraa!