History of Santa Clara County
Distinguished Visitors to San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley--Bayard Taylor's Day Dream--Political Orators--George Francis Train--Henry George as a Detective--Bret Harte--Presidents Hayes and Harrison--The Ovation to General Grant--Beecher, Ingersoll and the Old-Time Orators--Gen. John C. Fremont--Ned Buntline.
Many distinguished men and women have visited Santa Clara County. During the '50s Gen. John C. Fremont, David C. Broderick, William M. Gwin, Gov. Burnett, Bayard Taylor, J. Ross Browne and others came to San Jose, sometimes on business, sometimes for pleasure. Bayard Taylor, the famous poet, story writer and traveler, first visited the Valley in the early '50s. In his "Pictures of California" he thus describes what he saw: "How shall I describe a landscape so unlike anything else in the world? With a beauty so new and dazzling that all ordinary comparisons are worthless. A valley ten miles wide through the center of which winds the dry bed of a winter stream whose course is marked with groups of giant sycamores, their trunks gleaming like silver through masses of giant foliage. Over the level floor of this valley park-like groves of oaks, whose mingled grace and majesty can only be given by the pencil: in the distance redwoods rising like towers; westward a mountain chain nearly 4,000 feet in height, showing through the blue haze dark green forests on the background of blazing gold. Eastward another mountain chain, full-lighted by the sun, rose color touched with violet shadows, shining with marvelous transparency as if they were of glass, behind which shone another sun. Overhead, finally, a sky whose blue luster seemed to fall, mellowed, through an intervening veil of luminous vapor. No words can describe the fire and force of the coloring--the daring contrast which the difference of half a tint changed from discord into harmony. Here the great artist seems to have taken a new palette and painted his creations with hues unknown elsewhere. Driving through these enchanting scenes, I indulged in a day dream. It will not be long, I thought,--I may live to see it before my prime is over--until San Jose is but five days' journey from New York. Cars, which shall be in fact traveling hotels, will speed, on an unknown line of rail, from the Mississippi to the Pacific. Then let me purchase a few acres on the lowest slope of these mountains overlooking the valley and with a distant view of the bay; let me build a cottage embowered in acacia and eucalyptus and the tall spires of the Italian cypress; let me leave home when the Christmas holidays are over and enjoy the balmy Januarys and Februarys, the heavenly Marches and Aprils, of my remaining years here, returning only when May shall have brought beauty to the Atlantic shore. There shall my roses outbloom those of Poestum, there shall my nightingales sing, my orange blossoms sweeten the air, my children play and my best poem be written. I had another and a grander dream. One hundred years had passed and I saw the valley, not as now, only partially tamed, and reveling in the wild magnificence of nature, but from river bed to mountain summit, humming with human life. I saw the same oaks and sycamdres, but their shadows fell on mansions fair as temples, gleaming with their white fronts and long colonnades. I saw gardens refreshed by gleaming fountains, statues peeping from the bloom of laurel bowers; palaces built to enshrine the new art which will then have blossomed here; culture, plenty, peace everywhere. I saw a more beautiful race in possession of this paradise--a race in which the lost symmetry and grace of the Greek was partially restored; the rough, harsh features of the Oriental type gone; milder manners; better regulated impulses and a keen appreciation of the arts which enrich and embellish life. Was it only a dream?"
J. Ross Browne was a traveler, who wrote descriptive, semi-humorous accounts of his wanderings for Harper's Monthly. His home was in Oakland, but he loved San Jose and its people.
The political campaigns of the '70s brought many distinguished Eastern and Northern orators to California. San Jose was not slighted and as spell-binding was the main stock in trade of the stump speaker, the Californians received their full share of lofty periods and flowery diction. Among the orators who came to San Jose were Hannibal Hamlin, Vice-President under Lincoln; Julius C. Burroughs, United States senator and the silver-tongued orator of Michigan; Gen. W. S. Hancock, Garfield's opponent in the race for the presidency; John A. Bingham, of Ohio, United States senator and statesman; Ex-Governor George L. Woods, of Oregon, Thomas Fitch, of Nevada, and several others.
In politics the things done nowadays are anything but on all fours with the things done forty, fifty and sixty years ago. In the early days there was partisanship, pure and simple. The line-up in every campaign showed the adherents of one party in diametrical opposition to the adherents of the other. And those were the days of whoop-'er-up, of intense enthusiasm, of excitement, of deep sustained interest. Street corners were the scenes of animated discussion. Often the ready fist shot out when word of mouth failed to give force to the argument. But it vas all in the play and when the curtain fell villain and hero shook hands and all was well as before.
In San Jose the very strenuous political period began in 1865 and ended in 1884. In 1868 Grant and Seymour were the opposing candidates. Meetings were held, not in halls, but on the street where men could congregate and where the best places could not be occupied by the women, who were then non-voters. The idea in those days was not to give a theatrical performance to which one must procure a reserved seat, but to talk to the people without any other accessories than an improvised stand, an American flag and a row of tallow candles. On one occasion--in 1865--no stand was used, but at the intersection of Santa Clara and First streets, mounted on a dry goods box, the late lamented Thomas H. Laine, afterwards law partner of John H. Moore, D. M. Delmas, S. F. Leib and W. A. Johnston, eloquently enunciated the principles of Democracy, while the yellow torches on the corners flared, their offensive residuum permeating the air.
George C. Gorham, then a recently defeated candidate for governor, afterwards secretary, of the United States Senate and author of "The Life of Edwin M. Stanton," was California's most remarkable stump speaker. His voice was often heard in San Jose. He had a most remarkable command of vituperative language and a sledge-hammer style possessed by no other orator in the State. He was the first to advocate upon the stump the "Fatherhood of God, Brotherhood of Man" principle.
Citizen George Francis Train was, in his time the best-known American and the strangest man in existence. He started forty clipper ships to California in 1849, organized the Credit Mobilier which built the Union Pacific Railway, constructed the first street railway in England, organized the French Commune in 1870, was the business partner of kings, queens and emperors, was in jail eleven times, and, to wind up, broke the world's around-the-world record three times, the first time in eighty days, a feat that gave Jules Verne the idea for his captivating story.
In the early 70s he came to California on a lecturing tour. San Jose was visited and the lecture was given in the Opera House, which at the time of opening was crowded to the doors. The historian will never forget either the occasion or the man. His head was much too large for his short, stoutly-built body, but physical appearance was forgotten as one watched his movements and listened to his talk. Active as a cat and charged with dynamic force, he was never still for a moment, but moved from one end of the stage to the other, waving his chubby hands and uttering disconnected, choppy sentences in a manner that compelled interest and admiration. He was called a mountebank, a poseur and man with a screw loose in his upper story, but he cared not the snap of a finger for what was said about him, but seemed to delight in the caustic criticisms that followed him while he was in the limelight.
Before beginning his San Jose lecture he said to the audience: "They say I am incoherent and that I wander from my subject. Maybe these gentle critics of mine are right, but I can talk coherently, and I will give you something that will be to the point. First, I will present a sample of coherent lecturing and, following that, a sample of what they call incoherent lecturing. At the finish you shall say what style you wish me to use tonight." Now came the samples. The coherent one was dry and uninteresting and was received in silence. But after the sample of incoherent the applause shook the building. When quiet had been restored Train shouted: "Now, what will you have?" "Incoherent," was the unanimous reply. "All right," Train said, "incoherent it shall be." Then the circus opened. The lecturer jumped from one subject to another, bursts of eloquence were followed by clownish jokes, points at times were driven home with sledge-hammer force, gems of poetry were sandwiched in between lines of exquisite prose and at intervals came epigrams charged with scorn and bitterness, for in that distempered brain of his burned the fire of genius. Indeed Train was wonderful as well as strange, and it was easy to understand why he was such a success as a platform lecturer. After leaving California he returned to New York, ran as independent candidate for the presidency, defended Victoria Woodhull by publishing extracts from the Bible, an act that landed him in the Tombs; threw away his money, behaved more extravagantly than ever, and then one day closed his lips and for fourteen years never spoke to man or woman. Every day during this period he sat on a bench in Madison Square, feeding the birds and petting little children. At last speech and activity came back. He made another around-the-world trip, completing it in sixty days, and then settled down to a hum-drum existence in the top story of a New York hotel. While there he defended his position in the following characteristic style: "They say I talk as one out of his head. Why should I not do so? How can a peanut convention know about a cocoanut? The peanut composing it have never seen a cocoanut. They don't know what it is. The peanut convention considers the cocoanut, deliberates wisely and passes a resolution that the cocoanut is a large peanut. And how can a cocoanut find out what it is like until it has seen another cocoanut like itself? I am a cocoanut." Train died in 1903, at the age of seventy-four years.
Henry George, the formulator and exponent of the single-tax theory, wrote "Progress and Poverty" while acting as editor of the San Francisco Post. In abbreviated form the matter was first used as meat for a lecture, and after San Francisco had been favored with the radical views of the great editor, George came to San Jose with his manuscript. Patrick W. Murphy, city editor of the Post, was the business manager and the lecture was delivered in the San Jose Opera House to a small audience. But the expenses were light and no money was lost. George took the situation good-naturedly, for he was a jovial, big-hearted man, and declared that he was satisfied with the sowing of the seed and would serenely await the verdict of time.
While in San Jose, George was the guest of J. J. Owen, the veteran editor and philosopher. On the afternoon preceding the lecture George was in Owen's office. Among other things they discussed the local sensation, which was of absorbing interest to Owen, who was an avowed spiritualist. Strange, unaccountable manifestations had been reported from a small, one-story house on Fourth Street near St. John. Spooks, no less, so it was claimed and generally believed, had repeatedly broken windows, thrown stones against the building and cut up other queer and devilish pranks. The lessee of the house was a well-known citizen (now deceased), who was utterly unable to understand why he, of all men, should be singled out for these satanic manifestations. His standing in the community was high, he had led an upright life and he was not aware that he had any enemies. The spooks--admitting that malignant spirits from the other world had been at work-had operated at all hours, day and night. George listened to the story, asked a few questions, and then said: "Let's go down to the house and investigate. We may stumble upon a clew. I don't take any stock in this spook business." Owen smiled but did not express any opinion. The historian, who was then doing reportorial work for Owen, accompanied the two editors to the house of mystery. The lessee was not at home, but his daughter was there. She smiled cynically as she bade the trio enter the living room, which fronted on the street. It was noticed on entering that some of the panes in the two front windows were broken. George examined the breaks and then addressed himself to the girl, who sat, sullen and defiant, near the door opening into the kitchen. The door was closed and there was no sound to indicate the presence of any other person in the house. Owen asked if the mother was at home. The girl shook her head. She was rather attractive, with her black hair and eyes, pale cheeks and tip-tilted nose. But her expression registered resentment rather than pleasure, over the coming of the investigators. Her story tallied with that given by her father. The mysterious manifestations had occurred at all hours of the day and night. She had no theory to advance. The stones might have been thrown by evil spirits or by some human enemy cunning enough to escape detection.
After the inquisition Owen and George, with this historian at their heels, looked into and examined every room in the house. Nothing of value as a clew having been discovered, the three newspaper men returned to the living room, the girl following them. She resumed her former seat and listened with an amused smile while George and Owen discussed spooks, politics and religion. At last George, changing the subject, said to Owen: "Have you made up your mind?" Owen was about to answer when there came a noise as of the shattering of glass. The investigators, quickly getting to their feet, saw that another pane had been broken. "Well," ejaculated George, "his spookship is considerate. That show was given for our benefit. Thank you, Spooky. Maybe"--he smiled at the girl, who sat staring at the window with her hands concealed in her apron--"Maybe this is a case of hoisting by one's own petard." Walking over to the window, he examined thoroughly pane, sash and floor, then opened the front door and stepped outside. He was gone but a few moments. Returning, he looked at the girl steadily, accusingly. She stood the scrutiny half a minute, then cast down her eyes and fumbled nervously with her hands, still concealed under her apron. She did not lift her eyes while George was speaking. "Miss ----," he said, gravely, "the stone was thrown from this room, therefore--" He paused and the girl burst out: "It's no use trying to fool you. How did you find it out?" "Easy enough. The glass broken by the smash is on the ground outside and not in this room." Then he added, "Why did you do it? You must have had some strong reason." "I had," was the low reply. Her story was soon told. She hated the house and had been trying for months to induce her father to move to another place. Unable to influence him, she had hit upon the device of scaring him into compliance. The scheme might have succeeded but for Henry George's astuteness.
The story ended, the girl fell to crying. Her father would never forgive her. She had a mind to run away and never come back. Her life was ruined, and so forth, and so forth. George was kind and sympathetic. His soothing words soon dried her tears. There was a way out of the tangle and he promised to find it before he left town. He was as good as his word. The father was seen and after much persuasion agreed to take another house, and also never to reproach his daughter for what she had done. That ended the matter. The manifestations ceased and Henry George left town in a satisfied frame of mind. He had not made any money in San Jose, but he had had a fine time.
Bret Harte made several visits to San Jose while he was editor of the Overland Monthly. One visit lasted several davs. It was shortiv after the publication of his first book of poems, "The Lost Galleon." He is remembered as a small, dapper, elegantly clothed person, with black mustachios and "burnsides" and a pockmarked face.
Mark Twain was in San Jose a few days before his lecture. This was in 1866. His controversy with W. Frank Stewart, the earthquake philosopher, has been referred to in an earlier chapter.
In the Society chapter reference was made to the visits to San Jose of Presidents McKinley and Roosevelt. Other Presidents who came before them were Hayes, Grant and Harrison. Hayes was in the middle of his term when he made the overland trip to California. There was not much fuss made over his arrival, though a large crowd gathered to listen to his address, made from the balcony of the Auzerais House. He was accompanied by Gen. W. T. Sherman.
President Harrison's visit was a flying one. He alighted from the train at the Market Street depot, was driven rapidly about town and then back to the train. He made one speech, short and to the point, like all his public utterances.
The great ovation was given to Gen. U. S. Grant on September 26, 1879. In honor of the event business houses generally were closed, the courts took a half-holiday, and the city was given an attractive gala-day appearance. Nearly all the public structures and business blocks were profusely and handsomely decorated with flags, shields and festoonings of red, white and blue, while private dwellings along the line of march were similarly arrayed and bedecked. It was estimated at the time that more than 20,000 people, in holiday attire, awaited the coming of the man who had reflected such honor upon his country. Military and civic organizations took part in the parade, the late W. T. Adel acting as grand marshal, with Capt. Ira Moore and A. P. Murgotten as aids. The former residents of Galena, Ill., Grant's old home, were represented by Judge Chas. G. Thomas, G. J. Overshiner, C. O. Rogers, O. C. Wells and C. Bellingall. At the depot Mayor Lawrence Archer delivered the address of welcome. The reception committee consisted of W. D. Tisdale, T. Ellard Beans, Rev. M. S. Levy, Capt. C. H. Maddox and J. J. Owen. The torn, tattered and faded battle flag carried by D. C. Vestal, as color-bearer of Phil Sheridan Post, excited much comment, and its history would not be out of place here. It belonged in 1864 to the Twenty-first Regiment, South Carolina Colored Volunteers, commanded by Col. A. G. Bennett, afterwards of San Jose, and was the first Union flag raised in Charleston after that city's surrender to and occupation by the Union forces. Five color-bearers were shot down while carrying it, and every hole in it was made by a Confederate bullet.
General Grant and party, which included Mrs. Grant and Ulysses S. Grant, Jr., received a pleasant surprise when the procession approached the Court House. Upon the steps and platform were congregated some 500 children, each one tastefully arrayed in white with red and blue ornamentations and bearing a small flag and a bouquet of flowers. The general's carriage was driven to the edge of the sidewalk and halted. Then the children, under the direction of Professor Elwood, struck up the National anthem, "America," singing the four stanzas with such spirit and feeling as made the welkin ring. At the close three cheers were given to General Grant and then came a shower of bouquets thrown at the carriage. After the procession had disbanded the general was driven to the Fair Grounds on the Alameda, where a running horse race, against time, had been arranged for his benefit. In the evening a banquet was given at the Auzerais House. Mayor Archer presided and Col. J. P. Jackson of San Francisco made the response for General Grant. The following were present:
Ladies--Mrs. U. S. Grant, Mrs. Mayor Bryant of San Francisco, Mrs. Mayor Archer, Mrs. S. O. Houghton, Mrs. T. Ellard Beans, Mrs. B. D. Murphy, Mrs. C. H. Maddox, Mrs. H. W. Seale, Mrs. Knox-Goodrich, Mrs. Ira Moore, Mrs. G. R. Baker, Mrs. F. E. Spencer, Mrs. J. J. Owen, Mrs. Gov. Irwin, Mrs. Coleman Younger, Mrs. J. A. Moultrie, Mrs. J. W. Cook, Mrs. W. T. Adel, Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. A. L. Rhodes, Mrs. J. H. Moore.
Gentlemen--L. Archer, W. D. Tisdale. W. L. Tisdale, T. E. Beans, E. McLaughlin, C. T. Ryland. J. M. Braley, E. McLaughlin, H. H. Hoffmann, H. B. Alvord, C. T. Parks, W. Erkson, J. J. Burt, L. G. Nesmith, John T. Malone, H. L. Cutter, C. C. Stephens, Martin Murphy, T. W. Spring, D. C. Vestal, W. S. Thorne, A. McMahon, W. L. Coombs, L. Finigan, H. M. Leonard, J. P. Pierce, M. Byrne, Ira Moore, R. F. Peckham, J. W. Cook, W. F. Ellis, W. M. Lovell, S. O. Houghton, C. H. Maddox, S. W. Boring, S. A. Clark, Levi Goodrich, J. H. Flickinger, L. Lion, D. Belden, B. D. Murphy, P. W. Murphy, E. C. Singletary, E. P. Reed, James A. Clayton, D. C. Bailey, S. F. Leib, Geo. L. Woods, G. F. Baker, A. E. Pomeroy, H. W. Seale, J. J. Sontheimer, J. J. Owen, Miles Hills, N. R. Harris, N. B. Edwards, J. N. Hammond, J. R. Lowe, S. A. Barker, C. G. Thomas, J. S. Seely, C. X. Hobbs, B. B. Thayer, L. J. Hanchett, J. P. Sargent, C. E. White, W. S. Clark, Wilson Hays, J. B. Randol, W. T. Adel, A. Whitton, Coleman Younger, M. J. Ashmore, Jesse D. Carr, J. C. Zuck, F. E. Spencer, C. C. Hayward, A. W. Saxe, A. L. Rhodes, Geo. Rutherford, J. T. Murphy and C. G. Harrison.
San Francisco--U. S. Grant, A. J. Bryant, J. H. Smith, W. W. Dodge, A. M. Scott, M. L. McDonald, J. P. Jackson, E. Danforth, M. D. Bornck, H. Brickwedel, John Wise and Henry Pierce.
Lecturers from over the sea who came to San Jose were T. P. O'Connor, Michael Davitt and Timothy Healey, Irish patriots. From the East came Robert G. Ingersoll, Henry Ward Beecher, Theodore Tilton, Col. E. Z. C. Judson, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Dr. Mary Walker, Anna Howard Shaw, Anna Dickinson, Mrs. Mary A. Livermore, Dr. Mary Walker and Oscar Wilde. The lectures of Beecher and Ingersoll were not far apart, but their speaking styles were as far apart as the poles. Beecher was ornate, flowery and serious. He was eloquent in a lofty way and his voice was a volume of musical sound. But he never thrilled an audience as Ingersoll thrilled it. Ingersoll possessed a personal magnetism more seductive than any speaker who ever visited San Jose. At his first lecture, given in Music Hall on First Street, the front bench was occupied mainly by ministers of the local Protestant churches, gathered there out of curiosity. Before and after the lecture they called Ingersoll a sophist, one who touched insignificant errors but failed to sound the depths of Christian philosophy as revealed in the pages of the Bible. But that night they were so carried away by the great agnostic's quips and quirks that their laughter, chuckles and unconscious movements broke down the bench upon which they were sitting, thus creating a diversion that greatly amused the lecturer and caused a laughable commotion in other parts of the hall.
Theodore Tilton was stiff, stilted and self-conscious. He had a fine command of language, but his mannerisms, his posings and his conceit combined to create an unfavorable impression. He came to San Jose just after the celebrated trial in Brooklyn of the renowned Tabernacle preacher, and his notoriety--not his fame as a public speaker--had the effect of drawing to his lecture a very large audience.
Mrs. Stanton produced an altogether different impression. She was easy, graceful and earnest, spoke without effort and made her points without artifice. Anna Howard Shaw and Anna Dickinson were polished speakers. Miss Dickinson was the more dramatic.
Of the Irish lecturers, Healey and Davitt were serious and impassioned. O'Connor (Tay Pay) was serious and witty by turns, and his talk was therefore more entertaining than that of his fellow-workers in the Irish cause.
In the '80s the annual encampment of the National Grand Army of the Republic was held in California. After the session San Jose was visited by a large number of delegates, the number including Gens. John A. Logan, C. S. Fairchild, and George Stoneman. At the time Stoneman was Governor of California. Before this event Gen. W. S. Hancock had been in San Jose. Of the warriors, Logan, as a speaker, was eloquent, impressive and forceful. With his long hair, once raven-black but now streaked with gray, his flashing black eyes and handsome features, he made a picture that %vas pleasing to look upon. General Hancock was not an orator. He was over six feet in height, ponderous and heavy, and moved slowly, as if he found it an effort to lift his feet. He spoke haltingly, but made a good impression on account of his transparent honesty and unaffected manner.
In later days came Josh Billings, Opie Read, James
Whitcomb Riley, Bill Nye, Geo. W. Cable, Geo. Alfred Townsend, Jack London,
Joaquin Miller, Mrs. Mary Austen, King Kalakaua, of the Hawaiian Islands,
Gen. John C. Fremont, William J. Bryan, Booker Washington, Thomas B. Reed,
and several other notables whose names cannot be recalled. Bryan's first
visit to San Jose was made in 1897, the year after he was defeated for
the presidency by William McKinley. There was quite a demonstration when
he arrived with James G. Maguire, congressman from the San Francisco district.
He spoke at the Fair
Grounds before a large audience and afterwards held a reception at the Hotel Vendome.
General Fremont visited San Jose a few years before his death. He was the guest of the Santa Clara County Pioneers, and after sightseeing in San Jose the General and his wife were taken to the Big Trees in Santa Cruz County, where an old-fashioned entertainment was provided.
One whose career was one series of sensational
adventures and whose reputation during the '50s and '60s was world-wide,
stayed in San Jose for several weeks in 1868. The man was Col. E. Z. C.
Judson (Ned Buntline), who was the originator in the United States of the
dime novel. He was also the pioneer in the writing of lurid fiction. He
was a graduate of the Annapolis Naval Academy and was commissioned midshipman
for bravery in rescuing a boat's crew from drowning in New York harbor.
While in the navy he fought seven duels. His fellow-middies refused to
associate themselves with him because he had been a common sailor. To enforce
their respect he challenged all of them, thirteen in number, to mortal
combat. Only seven agreed to fight, and he worsted them all in quick succession
without receiving a scratch himself. One of his opponents was afterwards
an admiral in the navy. He was an active participant in the Florida (Indian)
wars, and in the Civil War was the colonel of a regiment of mountaineers. He was a crack shot and in the '70s, in a trial of skill with Buffalo Bill, Texas Jack and a number of Indian chiefs, he easily proved his superiority.
He began to write fiction in the early '40s. In 1848 he started a paper in New York in order to further the cause of Know-Nothingism, of which he was an ardent and reckless supporter. In that same year he was sentenced to one year's confinement in prison as one of the leaders in the Astor House riots when the adherents of Edwin Forrest, the great American tragedian, attempted to mob W. C. Macready, the English tragedian, as a reprisal for insults heaped upon Forrest by Macready's English friends while Forrest was filling a London engagement. He was one of the pioneers in waging war against the publication and circulation of immoral literature. In 1852, long before Anthony Comstock was in the field, he made complaint against an offending publisher. The place was raided by the police and tons of objectionable literature were seized and burned in City Hall Park.
Ned Buntline's first serial story appeared in 1857, and for over twenty years bear and Indian stories, year and sea romances, local novels--in fact every variety of sensational fiction--flowed in constant stream from his pen. In 1868 he came to California as a temperance lecturer. He had been a hard drinker, but had reformed. During his stay in San Jose he delivered one of his lectures under the auspices of the local Good Templar lodge. Of the committee of introduction only one member is now living (1922), the veteran lawyer, J. C. Black, who afterwards served as district attorney and was special prosecutor in several notable criminal cases.
After leaving San Jose Buntline started eastward,
but laid over several months in Laramie, Wyo., in order to obtain material
for a new series of wild west stories. Here he met Buffalo Bill, who had
just completed a contract to supply buffalo meat for the tracklayers of
the Kansas Pacific Railway, and whose reputation then was mainly local.
The two men became fast friends and a short time after their meeting Buntline
sent the first Buffalo Bill romance to a New York story paper. Other stories
quickly followed, and within a year Buffalo Bill became the most talked-of
personage in America. Not content with newspaper exploitation, Buntline
wrote a play called "Buffalo Bill, the King of Scouts," and induced Bill
to appear in the titular role. The first performance was given in a Western
city. Other plays starring Buffalo Bill were written, a company was formed,
Wild Bill and Texas Jack becoming members, and a tour of the country was
made. San Jose being visited in 1877. After parting with Buffalo Bill,
Buntline resumed his temperance crusade, but still kept up his story-writing.
A large portion of the money he earned was spent in improving his country
place in Westchester County, New York. He married late in life and died