Saturday, August 12, 2017

First Paragraph

Patrons of P. T. Barnum's American Museum in April 1863 were in for a treat. For twenty-five cents, they could gaze upon eleven Plains Indian chiefs just arrived in New York City from a visit to the "Great Father" Abraham Lincoln. These were not the "random beggars or drunken red men from Eastern reservations" that Barnum normally presented to the public, The New York Times assured readers. They were Cheyennes, Arapahos, Kiowas, and Comanches - "roamers of the remotest valleys of the Rocky Mountains." Barnum promised three dramatic performances daily, but the engagement was strictly limited. "Come now, or you're too late," trumpeted the great showman. "They are longing for their green fields and wild forest homes, and must be seen now or not at all."

- From The Earth is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West by Peter Cozzens

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