Museum Minute: Frederic Remington And Buffalo Bill

Feb 8, 2019

MS 410 Thomas P. Cuffe Collection. Gift of Mary C. Schiendler.

The McCracken Research Library receives hundreds of collections of journals, notebooks and photographs annually. Often, library staff are not able to go through it all. But when library fellows come in to research their own interests, many unknown gems are exposed.

This is what happened with a collection of military records and photos of a Buffalo Bill performer. Mary Robinson, the director of the McCracken Research Library, said a fellow came in who was doing work on military performers in the wild West.  

“One of the photos in the collection was quite faded and he asked if we would take a look after scanning,” said Robinson. “We scanned it and enhanced it, so the image came back and we could see it better. When we did that, we got pretty excited.”

It turns out it was a cast photo of the Buffalo Bill Wild West show, which is nothing special, but Robinson said this one was very unique.

“What really amazed us, was standing to the left in a conversation with Nate Salsbury who was [Buffalo Bill] Cody's partner, was none other than the artist Frederic Remington,” said Robinson.

It was known that Remington and Buffalo Bill knew each other but this was the first photographic evidence of them together.