The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955 Page: 455
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Send them powder and lead; let them kill and skin and sell until
the buffaloes are exterminated. Then your prairies can be cov-
ered with cattle."
To the Plains Indian, the buffalo meant food and clothing,
and even material for his home. He would not submit to white
rule as long as there were buffalo herds to serve his needs. Some
of his most vicious attacks on the white intruders stemmed from
warranted fear that the hide hunters would soon destroy this
source of independent living. He knew that loss of the herds
meant domination by the whites. But that change was inevitable.
Mari Sandoz, although she has lived in New York for some
time, grew up in Nebraska where she heard tales of buffalo
hunting. Some of her earlier writings dealt with Plains Indians
and gave her an insight into the red man's side of the clashes
on the buffalo ranges. Her book describes the wiping out of the
vast herds, beginning in 1867. Most of the slaughter was com-
pleted within a dozen years, although it continued a few more
years in the Yellowstone country.
The commercial killing on a large scale began in western
Kansas, with frontier Dodge City as headquarters for the hide
hunters. In the 1870's it spread into the Texas Panhandle and
beyond. From Fort Griffin and other points, fifteen hundred rifle-
men and skinners ranged the plains and brought back enormous
piles of hides. But Indian snipers picked off many of the hunters,
making theirs a most hazardous occupation.
Miss Sandoz, a seasoned writer, tells graphically the story of
the buffalo slaughter. She gives glimpses of such early hunters as
Wild Bill Hickok, Buffalo Bill Cody, George Custer, and several
of the Texans. Some readers would like more on the greatest
hunter of them all, J. Wright Mooar, who survived the Comanche
scalpers and lived on a Texas ranch near Snyder until his death
in 1940. On the other hand, there is a surplus of detail on Indian
battles, some of which are only faintly related to buffalo hunting.
The most serious weakness of this book is the author's inser-
tion of fictional details, conversations, and even supposed
thoughts of the characters. Miss Sandoz, who is primarily a nov-
elist, seems unable to put fictionizing entirely aside when she
sets out to write non-fiction works. Like her Crazy Horse and
Cheyenne Autumn, this book would have been much better
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955, periodical, 1955; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101158/m1/524/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.