Buffalo Bill with his Wild West Show first visited Glasgow in 1891-92
Glasgow was the sole Scottish venue. They had just completed a show in Croydon, near London, on Saturday the 24th of October 1891, and came to Glasgow by train immediately afterwards. This followed a tour of Germany, Belgium and Wales. The show demonstrated feats of horsemanship and marksmanship from Buffalo Bill himself and from Annie Oakley. The most famous of the Indians in the show were Kicking Bear, Short Bull and One Bull who were Lakota (also known as Sioux). Kicking Bear was the last Lakota warrior to surrender to the Federal government in the wake of the massacre at Wounded Knee and became a familiar figure on the streets of Dennistoun having his photograph taken in a Studio in Bellgrove Street - the middle photograph below plus another photograph of him below right. Buffalo Bill is in the photograph on the left.
The show was staged in the East End Exhibition Buildings which had been converted into a 7,000 seated theatre and ran for 3 months from 16th November 1891 finishing on 27th February 1892. Despite the show finishing in February it was mid April before the last of the troupe left Glasgow and they were seen far and wide in the city quite often worse for drink. One of the final acts of the company was a charity football match at Celtic Park played by the Cowboys against the Brandon Club. The final score was not recorded but the Cowboys lost. George Crager was the Lakota interpreter and was responsible for the sale of the Ghost Shirt to 'Calvin Grove' Museum. the letter below is offering Indian Relics and the other photographs are himself and family and one of the other relics seen hanging on the chair he is sitting on. Crager also hit the headlines when he was assaulted by Charging Thunder who hit him over the head with a block of wood and went to spend a weekend in Tobago Street Police Station and finally ended up serving 30 days in Barlinnie.
On his second visit in the summer of 1904 the show was called the Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders and toured 29 towns and cities in Scotland including the final Scottish date in Dumfries on September 14 where Buffalo Bill was presented with a medal by Provost JJ Glover. The company also laid a wreath at Robert Burns tomb.View Larger Map