The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930 Page: 48
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South western Historical Quarterly
an additional two and one-half million bisons were slain during this
period, which would run the grand total well above the 7,500,000
mark. From these figures we may get some conception of the
number of animals in the Southern herd.52
For the benefit of American citizens, William Blackmore, a noted
English sportsman of this early period, listed five evils growing out
of "this wholesale and wanton destruction of the buffalo." They
are as follows:
"1. Loss of the good and nutritious meat of upward of 3,000,000
"2. Loss of revenue to the United States of $15,000,000, assum-
ing that a reasonable tax of five dollars had been imposed on each
"3. Principal Indian tribes on the plains being deprived of their
annual supply of food for the winter, and only receiving short
rations on their reservations, driven on the war-path.
"4. Cost of Indian wars in the lives of the citizens of the United
"5. Pioneer settlers deprived of their supply of winter food.
Prior to 1870, the Western settlers, from eastern Kansas to the base
of the Rocky Mountains, looked to the buffalo as their winter store-
This same writer, however, evidently changed his point of view,
for we find him more correctly estimating the significance of the
passing of these animals when at a later time he made the following
"The countless herds of buffaloes which formerly ranged the
plains will be superseded by treble their number of improved
American cattle; the sparse herds of the smooth-haired antelope
will be replaced by countless flocks of woolly sheep, and the barren
prairies, now covered with short buffalo grass, yellow sunflowers, and
prickly cactus, barely sufficient to support the wild denizens of the
plains, will under cultivation teem with yellow harvests of wheat
and corn, providing food for millions; so that in a few years the
only reminiscence of the red man will be the preservation of the
"2As we might suppose, however, the ratio of slaughtered animals and
hides shipped to market gradually grew smaller as the herds diminished in
"8Published in the London Field, Farm and Garden, October 23, 1876,
and quoted by J. A. Allen, History of the American Bison, 558.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930, periodical, 1930; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101090/m1/56/: accessed June 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.