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Buffalo Bill: Topics in Chronicling America

In 1869, William F. Cody is introduced to the reading public. This guide provides access to materials related to the “Buffalo Bill” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


"Buffalo Bill-- last of the vanished Wild West's Heroes." January 27, 1917. El Paso Herald (El Paso, TX), Image 39. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

Launching Buffalo Bill's Wild West show in 1883, buffalo hunter and showman, William Frederick Cody romanticized the adventure and excitement of the wild western frontier through horsemanship, sharp-shooting, battles with Indians, and rodeo style events. Attracting huge crowds daily, the show traveled with 600 people and 500 horses throughout the U.S. and Europe, introducing personalities such as Annie Oakley to the thrill seeking spectators. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


1869 “Buffalo Bill,” alter ego of William F. Cody, is introduced to the reading public by Ned Buntline in his dime novels and newspaper stories.
1883 One of the first performances of “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West” is held in Omaha, Nebraska. The show would continue to tour nationally and internationally for the next thirty years, making Buffalo Bill, and his image of “The West” famous.
January 10, 1917 The Hon. William F. Cody dies in Denver, Colorado at the age of 70. Even after his death, Buffalo Bill and his image of “The West” remained popular.