Chicago Tribune, May 8, 1893
THOUSANDS SEE THE WILD WEST.
The Ducal Party and the Naval Officers Divide Honors with the Show.
In the rebound of the masses from the closed gates of the Exposition more than 18,000 persons found their way into the big wooden pavilion of the Wild West show to witness its afternoon performance. The congress of rough riding was in session before 3 o’clock, opening with a grand review that took the shine off all the three ring circuses extant. Miss Annie Oakley had broken a basket full of glass bulbs with her rifle, and a cowboy in buckskin had won a spectacular race in the arena against a Cossack, a Mexican and a Choctaw in war paint, when there was commotion in the great grand stand crowd. The Cossack was disappearing through a distant mountain that was painted on canvas when the ducal party arrived. The Duke of Veragua, the Duchess, their son, the Hon. Christobel Colon y Aquilera, Depuy de Loni, the Spanish Commissioner, and Commander Dickens entered and were shown seats in a box by Manager John M. Burke.
As they took their places a great many of the spectators arose to respect them. This courtesy was returned by the Duke, who bowed and smiled blandly right and left. Then he gave his eyes to the sights in the big arena. A pony post-rider delivering the mails, a train of prairie schooners allowing itself to be attacked without fatalities by marauding Indians and a group of Syrian horsemen, each had its turn in amusing the descendants of Columbus. Te the visiting naval officers, in a party of seventy, entered the amphitheater and attracted much attention. In this party were Admiral E. G. Howard, short and blonde in a dark cape coat; Admiral Magnaghi, and Capt. White of the English Royal Marines. The modest citizens’ attire of the officers was in striking contrast with the gorgeous gold lace which they wore Saturday. But all the time during their entrance the cowboys were lassoing horses and setting the spectators wild with their evolutions on bucking horses. A dozen Cossacks mounted on yellow ponies paraded around the inclosure singing a weird native hymn which had all the swing and charm of “Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay.” Many persons were inclined to believe that the two airs were identical. At all events the song of those red-gowned Cossacks seemed to be the original version of the popular tune, and before the gentlemen from the Caucasus had ended their musical ride the man who has been charged with having written “Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay” was proven an imposter.
Somewhat later, when the Deadwood mail coach was captured by a band of red men, the Duke seemed touched with emotion, He acknowledged that it approached a Spanish bull fight in its and action, but he seemed disappointed that the lineal heirs of the men of the men whom his great-grandfather discovered should be engaged in the disreputable business of robbing a mail coach.
The military evolutions of the cavalrymen gave occasion for a company of United States troops to ride up before the Duke’s box and salute him. He arose and bowed in return. Again, when Buffalo Bill had given an exhibition of marksmanship, he dismounted, walked to the Spanish box, and, doffing his broad white hat, bowed to the Duke and Duchess, who received him warmly. His smile thereafter was so broad that he missed some of the glass balls that were tossed into the air as targets.
When the Wild West show was ended the dual party entered carriages and were driven back to the city. The visiting naval officers before returning to their tally-ho coach, visited the first lunch counter they met on Sixty-third street, and ate a luncheon of doughnuts and coffee. The children of the Duke are this week going to inspect the quarters of Buffalo Bill’s congress and see how rough riders live. Last night’s exhibition of the Wild West was attended by about 2,000 spectators.
Program from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show at the World’s Columbian Exposition, 1893
Native American (Sioux) men, women, and children, in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, pose in front of grandstands at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Some of the men wear feather headdresses or hold painted shields and staffs decorated with feathers.
Map of the location of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show just outside the Exposition grounds.
The Coliseum was located between 62nd and 63rd Streets on Grace Ave.