Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ned Buntline

Ned Buntline (March 20, c. 1813 – July 16, 1886), was a pseudonym of Edward Zane Carroll Judson (E. Z. C. Judson), an American publisher, journalist, writer and publicist best known for his dime novels and the Colt Buntline Special he is alleged to have commissioned from Colt's Manufacturing Company
Traveling with William Cody, Buntline became enamored with the gregarious man and would claim that he devised the nickname "Buffalo Bill" for the hero of his serial novel Buffalo Bill,the King of the Border Men, published in the New York Weekly beginning 23 December 1869. Originally Buntline was going to cast Cody as a sidekick to "Wild Bill" Hickok, but found his character more interesting than Hickok's. Buntline presented Cody as a "compendium of cliches", however this did not stop New York Playwright Frank Meader from using Buntline's novel as the basis of a play about Cody's life in 1872. In that same year Buntline and James Gordon Bennett invited Cody to New York City, where Cody saw the play at the Bowery Theater. In December of that year, Buntline wrote a Buffalo Bill play of his own called Scouts of the Prairie starring Cody himself, Texas Jack Omohundro, the Italian ballerina Giuseppina Morlacchi and Buntline. For some time the then six-year-old Carlos Montezuma also was featured in the show as Atzeka, the Apache-child of Cochise, being the only genuine Native American on stage, while his adoptive father, the Italian photographer Carlo Gentile, was hired to produce and sell promotional cartes de visite of the cast members.
Cody at first was a reluctant actor, but then decided he enjoyed the spotlight. Scouts of the Prairie opened in Chicago in December 1872 and starred Cody and although panned by critics, the play was a success. It was performed to packed theaters across the country for years. Cody served as a scout for the Army in the summer; when campaining stopped for the winter, he would head to the stage. Buntline's play served as a training aid for Cody's later Wild West Show.

Ned Buntline, Bufalo Bill Cody, Giuseppina Morlacchi, Texas Jack Omohundro, 19th c

“Helped Mr. Holmes butcher their pigs this forenoon.  Made a frame for the granary window this afternoon and put it in.  Pleasant day though cool with east wind.”
Leesah

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