The Extermination of the American Bison
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The Extermination of the American Bison

By William T. (William Temple) Hornaday
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Table of Contents
  • SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION.
    • UNITED STATES NATIONAL MUSEUM.
  • THE EXTERMINATION OF THE AMERICAN BISON.
    • BY
    • WILLIAM T. HORNADAY,
      • Superintendent of the National Zoological Park.
        • Inscription
        • From the Report of the National Museum, 1886-’87, pages 369-548, and plates I-XXII.
      • Inscription
      • From the Report of the National Museum, 1886-’87, pages 369-548, and plates I-XXII.
      • WASHINGTON
      • GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.
      • 1889.
    • Superintendent of the National Zoological Park.
      • Inscription
      • From the Report of the National Museum, 1886-’87, pages 369-548, and plates I-XXII.
    • Inscription
    • From the Report of the National Museum, 1886-’87, pages 369-548, and plates I-XXII.
    • WASHINGTON
    • GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.
    • 1889.
    • CONTENTS.
      • Group of American Bisons in the National Museum. Collected and mounted by W. T. Hornaday.
    • Group of American Bisons in the National Museum. Collected and mounted by W. T. Hornaday.
    • LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
    • MAPS.
    • PREFATORY NOTE.
    • THE EXTERMINATION OF THE AMERICAN BISON,
      • Superintendent of the National Zoological Park.
    • Superintendent of the National Zoological Park.
    • PART I.—LIFE HISTORY OF THE BISON.
    • I. Discovery of the species.
    • II. Geographical Distribution.
      • Head of Buffalo Bull From specimen in the National Museum Group. Reproduced from the Cosmopolitan Magazine, by permission of the publishers.
    • Head of Buffalo Bull From specimen in the National Museum Group. Reproduced from the Cosmopolitan Magazine, by permission of the publishers.
    • III. Abundance.
      • Slaughter of Buffalo on the Kansas Pacific Railroad. Reproduced from “The Plains of the Great West,” by permission of the author, Col. R. I. Dodge.
    • Slaughter of Buffalo on the Kansas Pacific Railroad. Reproduced from “The Plains of the Great West,” by permission of the author, Col. R. I. Dodge.
    • IV. Character of the species.
      • BISON AMERICANUS. (Male; four months old.)
        • From photograph of group in National Museum. Engraved by R. H. Carson. Buffalo Cow, Calf (Four Months Old), and Yearling. Reproduced from the Cosmopolitan Magazine, by permission of the publishers.
        • BISON AMERICANUS. (Male yearling, taken Oct. 31, 1886. Montana.)
        • BISON AMERICANUS.
        • (“Spike” bull, two years old; taken October 14, 1886. Montana.)
        • Spike Bull. From the group in the National Museum. Reproduced from the Cosmopolitan Magazine, by permission of the publishers.
        • Bull Buffalo in National Museum Group. Drawn by Ernest E. Thompson.
        • BISON AMERICANUS.
        • (Male, eleven years old. Taken December 6, 1866. Montana.)
        • BISON AMERICANUS.
        • (Young cow, in third year. Taken October 14, 1886. Montana.)
        • From a photograph. Engraved by Frederick Juengling. Bull Buffalo. (Rear View.) Reproduced from the Cosmopolitan Magazine, by permission of the publishers.
        • BISON AMERICANUS.
        • (Adult cow, eight years old. Taken November 18, 1886. Montana.)
        • LENGTH OF THE HAIR OF BISON AMERICANUS.
      • From photograph of group in National Museum. Engraved by R. H. Carson. Buffalo Cow, Calf (Four Months Old), and Yearling. Reproduced from the Cosmopolitan Magazine, by permission of the publishers.
      • BISON AMERICANUS. (Male yearling, taken Oct. 31, 1886. Montana.)
      • BISON AMERICANUS.
      • (“Spike” bull, two years old; taken October 14, 1886. Montana.)
      • Spike Bull. From the group in the National Museum. Reproduced from the Cosmopolitan Magazine, by permission of the publishers.
      • Bull Buffalo in National Museum Group. Drawn by Ernest E. Thompson.
      • BISON AMERICANUS.
      • (Male, eleven years old. Taken December 6, 1866. Montana.)
      • BISON AMERICANUS.
      • (Young cow, in third year. Taken October 14, 1886. Montana.)
      • From a photograph. Engraved by Frederick Juengling. Bull Buffalo. (Rear View.) Reproduced from the Cosmopolitan Magazine, by permission of the publishers.
      • BISON AMERICANUS.
      • (Adult cow, eight years old. Taken November 18, 1886. Montana.)
      • LENGTH OF THE HAIR OF BISON AMERICANUS.
    • BISON AMERICANUS. (Male; four months old.)
      • From photograph of group in National Museum. Engraved by R. H. Carson. Buffalo Cow, Calf (Four Months Old), and Yearling. Reproduced from the Cosmopolitan Magazine, by permission of the publishers.
      • BISON AMERICANUS. (Male yearling, taken Oct. 31, 1886. Montana.)
      • BISON AMERICANUS.
      • (“Spike” bull, two years old; taken October 14, 1886. Montana.)
      • Spike Bull. From the group in the National Museum. Reproduced from the Cosmopolitan Magazine, by permission of the publishers.
      • Bull Buffalo in National Museum Group. Drawn by Ernest E. Thompson.
      • BISON AMERICANUS.
      • (Male, eleven years old. Taken December 6, 1866. Montana.)
      • BISON AMERICANUS.
      • (Young cow, in third year. Taken October 14, 1886. Montana.)
      • From a photograph. Engraved by Frederick Juengling. Bull Buffalo. (Rear View.) Reproduced from the Cosmopolitan Magazine, by permission of the publishers.
      • BISON AMERICANUS.
      • (Adult cow, eight years old. Taken November 18, 1886. Montana.)
      • LENGTH OF THE HAIR OF BISON AMERICANUS.
    • From photograph of group in National Museum. Engraved by R. H. Carson. Buffalo Cow, Calf (Four Months Old), and Yearling. Reproduced from the Cosmopolitan Magazine, by permission of the publishers.
    • BISON AMERICANUS. (Male yearling, taken Oct. 31, 1886. Montana.)
    • BISON AMERICANUS.
    • (“Spike” bull, two years old; taken October 14, 1886. Montana.)
    • Spike Bull. From the group in the National Museum. Reproduced from the Cosmopolitan Magazine, by permission of the publishers.
    • Bull Buffalo in National Museum Group. Drawn by Ernest E. Thompson.
    • BISON AMERICANUS.
    • (Male, eleven years old. Taken December 6, 1866. Montana.)
    • BISON AMERICANUS.
    • (Young cow, in third year. Taken October 14, 1886. Montana.)
    • From a photograph. Engraved by Frederick Juengling. Bull Buffalo. (Rear View.) Reproduced from the Cosmopolitan Magazine, by permission of the publishers.
    • BISON AMERICANUS.
    • (Adult cow, eight years old. Taken November 18, 1886. Montana.)
    • LENGTH OF THE HAIR OF BISON AMERICANUS.
    • V. The Habits of the Buffalo.
      • Development of the Horns of the American Bison. 1. The Calf. 2. The Yearling. 3. Spike Bull, 2 years old. 4. Spike Bull, 3 years old. 5. Bull, 4 years old. 6. Bull, 11 years old. 7. Old "stub-horn" Bull, 20 years old.
    • Development of the Horns of the American Bison. 1. The Calf. 2. The Yearling. 3. Spike Bull, 2 years old. 4. Spike Bull, 3 years old. 5. Bull, 4 years old. 6. Bull, 11 years old. 7. Old "stub-horn" Bull, 20 years old.
    • VI. The Food of the Bison.
    • VII. Mental Capacity and Disposition.
    • VIII. Value of the Buffalo to MAN.
      • Memorandum of buffalo robes and hides bought by Messrs J. & A. Boskowitz, 101-105 Greene Street, New York, and 202 Lake street, Chicago, from 1876 to 1884.
        • Total number of buffalo skins handled in nine years, 246,175; total cost, $924,790.
        • UTILIZATION OF THE BUFFALO BY WHITE MEN.
        • Fig. 1. A Dead Bull. From a photograph by L. A. Huffman.
        • Fig. 2. Buffalo Skinners at Work. From a photograph by L. A. Huffman.
        • Fig. 1. Five Minutes’ Work. Photographed by L. A. Huffman.
        • Fig. 2. Scene on the Northern Buffalo Range. Photographed by L. A. Huffman.
      • Total number of buffalo skins handled in nine years, 246,175; total cost, $924,790.
      • UTILIZATION OF THE BUFFALO BY WHITE MEN.
      • Fig. 1. A Dead Bull. From a photograph by L. A. Huffman.
      • Fig. 2. Buffalo Skinners at Work. From a photograph by L. A. Huffman.
      • Fig. 1. Five Minutes’ Work. Photographed by L. A. Huffman.
      • Fig. 2. Scene on the Northern Buffalo Range. Photographed by L. A. Huffman.
    • Memorandum of buffalo robes and hides bought by Messrs J. & A. Boskowitz, 101-105 Greene Street, New York, and 202 Lake street, Chicago, from 1876 to 1884.
      • Total number of buffalo skins handled in nine years, 246,175; total cost, $924,790.
      • UTILIZATION OF THE BUFFALO BY WHITE MEN.
      • Fig. 1. A Dead Bull. From a photograph by L. A. Huffman.
      • Fig. 2. Buffalo Skinners at Work. From a photograph by L. A. Huffman.
      • Fig. 1. Five Minutes’ Work. Photographed by L. A. Huffman.
      • Fig. 2. Scene on the Northern Buffalo Range. Photographed by L. A. Huffman.
    • Total number of buffalo skins handled in nine years, 246,175; total cost, $924,790.
    • UTILIZATION OF THE BUFFALO BY WHITE MEN.
    • Fig. 1. A Dead Bull. From a photograph by L. A. Huffman.
    • Fig. 2. Buffalo Skinners at Work. From a photograph by L. A. Huffman.
    • Fig. 1. Five Minutes’ Work. Photographed by L. A. Huffman.
    • Fig. 2. Scene on the Northern Buffalo Range. Photographed by L. A. Huffman.
    • IX. The Present Value of the Bison to Cattle-Growers.
      • Half-breed (Buffalo-Domestic) Calf.—Herd of C. J. Jones, Garden City, Kansas. Drawn by Ernest E. Thompson.
        • Half-breed (Buffalo-Domestic) Cow.—Herd of C. J. Jones, Garden City, Kansas. Drawn by Ernest E. Thompson.
        • Young Half-breed (Buffalo-Domestic) Bull.—Herd of C. J. Jones, Garden City, Kansas. Drawn by Ernest E. Thompson.
        • Statistics of full-blood buffaloes in captivity January 1, 1889.
      • Half-breed (Buffalo-Domestic) Cow.—Herd of C. J. Jones, Garden City, Kansas. Drawn by Ernest E. Thompson.
      • Young Half-breed (Buffalo-Domestic) Bull.—Herd of C. J. Jones, Garden City, Kansas. Drawn by Ernest E. Thompson.
      • Statistics of full-blood buffaloes in captivity January 1, 1889.
    • Half-breed (Buffalo-Domestic) Calf.—Herd of C. J. Jones, Garden City, Kansas. Drawn by Ernest E. Thompson.
      • Half-breed (Buffalo-Domestic) Cow.—Herd of C. J. Jones, Garden City, Kansas. Drawn by Ernest E. Thompson.
      • Young Half-breed (Buffalo-Domestic) Bull.—Herd of C. J. Jones, Garden City, Kansas. Drawn by Ernest E. Thompson.
      • Statistics of full-blood buffaloes in captivity January 1, 1889.
    • Half-breed (Buffalo-Domestic) Cow.—Herd of C. J. Jones, Garden City, Kansas. Drawn by Ernest E. Thompson.
    • Young Half-breed (Buffalo-Domestic) Bull.—Herd of C. J. Jones, Garden City, Kansas. Drawn by Ernest E. Thompson.
    • Statistics of full-blood buffaloes in captivity January 1, 1889.
    • PART II.—THE EXTERMINATION.
    • I. Causes of the Extermination.
    • II. Methods of Slaughter.
      • Still-hunting Buffaloes on the Northern Range. From a painting by J. H. Moser, in the National Museum.
        • The Chase on Horseback. From a painting in the National Museum by George Catlin.
        • Number of carts assembled for the first trip.
        • Cree Indians Impounding Buffaloes. Reproduced from Prof. H. Y. Hind’s—“Red River, Assinniboine and Saskatchewan Expedition.”
        • The Surround. From a painting in the National Museum by George Catlin.
      • The Chase on Horseback. From a painting in the National Museum by George Catlin.
      • Number of carts assembled for the first trip.
      • Cree Indians Impounding Buffaloes. Reproduced from Prof. H. Y. Hind’s—“Red River, Assinniboine and Saskatchewan Expedition.”
      • The Surround. From a painting in the National Museum by George Catlin.
    • Still-hunting Buffaloes on the Northern Range. From a painting by J. H. Moser, in the National Museum.
      • The Chase on Horseback. From a painting in the National Museum by George Catlin.
      • Number of carts assembled for the first trip.
      • Cree Indians Impounding Buffaloes. Reproduced from Prof. H. Y. Hind’s—“Red River, Assinniboine and Saskatchewan Expedition.”
      • The Surround. From a painting in the National Museum by George Catlin.
    • The Chase on Horseback. From a painting in the National Museum by George Catlin.
    • Number of carts assembled for the first trip.
    • Cree Indians Impounding Buffaloes. Reproduced from Prof. H. Y. Hind’s—“Red River, Assinniboine and Saskatchewan Expedition.”
    • The Surround. From a painting in the National Museum by George Catlin.
    • III. Progress of the Extermination.
      • A. The Period of Desultory Destruction, from 1730 to 1830.
        • Indians on Snow-shoes Hunting Buffaloes. From a painting in the National Museum by George Catlin.
      • Indians on Snow-shoes Hunting Buffaloes. From a painting in the National Museum by George Catlin.
      • B. The Period of Systematic Slaughter, from 1830 to 1838.
        • Buffalo product.
        • Southern buffaloes slaughtered by southern Indians.
        • The slaughter of the southern herd.
        • Where the Millions Have Gone. From a painting by J. H. Moser in the National Museum.
      • Buffalo product.
      • Southern buffaloes slaughtered by southern Indians.
      • The slaughter of the southern herd.
      • Where the Millions Have Gone. From a painting by J. H. Moser in the National Museum.
    • A. The Period of Desultory Destruction, from 1730 to 1830.
      • Indians on Snow-shoes Hunting Buffaloes. From a painting in the National Museum by George Catlin.
    • Indians on Snow-shoes Hunting Buffaloes. From a painting in the National Museum by George Catlin.
    • B. The Period of Systematic Slaughter, from 1830 to 1838.
      • Buffalo product.
      • Southern buffaloes slaughtered by southern Indians.
      • The slaughter of the southern herd.
      • Where the Millions Have Gone. From a painting by J. H. Moser in the National Museum.
    • Buffalo product.
    • Southern buffaloes slaughtered by southern Indians.
    • The slaughter of the southern herd.
    • Where the Millions Have Gone. From a painting by J. H. Moser in the National Museum.
    • IV. Congressional Legislation for the Protection of the Bison.
    • V. Completeness of the Extermination.
      • Number of American bison running wild and unprotected on January 1, 1889.
    • Number of American bison running wild and unprotected on January 1, 1889.
    • VI. Effects of the Extermination.
    • VII. Preservation of the Species from Absolute Extinction.
    • PART III.—THE SMITHSONIAN EXPEDITION FOR MUSEUM SPECIMENS.
    • I. The Exploration.
    • II. The Hunt.
      • Sketch Map of the Hunt for Buffalo. Montana 1886.
        • Trophies of the Hunt. Mounted by the author in the U. S. National Museum. Reproduced from the Cosmopolitan Magazine, by permission of the publishers.
      • Trophies of the Hunt. Mounted by the author in the U. S. National Museum. Reproduced from the Cosmopolitan Magazine, by permission of the publishers.
    • Sketch Map of the Hunt for Buffalo. Montana 1886.
      • Trophies of the Hunt. Mounted by the author in the U. S. National Museum. Reproduced from the Cosmopolitan Magazine, by permission of the publishers.
    • Trophies of the Hunt. Mounted by the author in the U. S. National Museum. Reproduced from the Cosmopolitan Magazine, by permission of the publishers.
    • III. The Mounted Group in the National Museum.
      • THE ACCESSORIES.
        • THE SIX BUFFALOES.
        • THE TAXIDERMIST’S OBJECT LESSONS.
        • Map Illustrating the Extermination of the American Bison. Prepared by W. T. Hornaday.
      • THE SIX BUFFALOES.
      • THE TAXIDERMIST’S OBJECT LESSONS.
      • Map Illustrating the Extermination of the American Bison. Prepared by W. T. Hornaday.
      • FOOTNOTES.
    • THE ACCESSORIES.
      • THE SIX BUFFALOES.
      • THE TAXIDERMIST’S OBJECT LESSONS.
      • Map Illustrating the Extermination of the American Bison. Prepared by W. T. Hornaday.
    • THE SIX BUFFALOES.
    • THE TAXIDERMIST’S OBJECT LESSONS.
    • Map Illustrating the Extermination of the American Bison. Prepared by W. T. Hornaday.
    • FOOTNOTES.
    • INDEX.
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