"When the white men wanted to build railroads, or when they wanted to farm or raise cattle, the buffalo still protected the Kiowas. They tore up the railroad tracks and the gardens. They chased the cattle off the ranges. The buffalo loved their people as much as the Kiowas loved them... Then the white men hired hunters to do nothing but kill the buffalo."

~  Old Lady Horse
 

 

"The buffalo didn't belong to anybody. If you could kill them, what they brought was yours. They were walking gold pieces...Was I not lucky that I discovered this quick and easy way to fortune? I thought I was...The thing we had to have, we businessmen with rifles, was one shot kills. We based our success on...the overwhelming stupidity of the buffalo, unquestionably the stupidest game animal in the world...If you wounded the leader...the rest of her herd, whether it was three or thirty, would gather around her and stupidly "mill"...All you had to do...was pick them off one by one...I once took 269 hides with 300 cartridges. Adventurous? No more than shooting a beef critter in the barnyard...It was a harvest. We were the harvesters...One by one we put up our buffalo rifles...left the ranges. And there settled over them a vast quiet...The buffalo was gone...Maybe we served our purpose in helping abolish the buffalo; maybe it was our ruthless harvesting of him which telescoped the control of the Indian by a decade or maybe more. Or maybe I am just rationalizing. Maybe we were just a greedy lot who wanted to get ours, and to hell with posterity, the buffalo, or anyone else, just so we kept our scalps on and our money pouches filled. I think maybe that is the way it was. "

~ Buffalo Hunter, Frank H. Mayer
 

 

"It would be hard to imagine anything more deeply hurtful than the loss of something ineffably sacred. One can only guess and imagine. We can't know what that is now. But certainly confusion, first of all, I suppose. Why is this happening? Why are you killing the buffalo? We do that, of course, but we do it in order to survive and we do it in a sacred manner. But this wholesale slaughter must have been first confusing, and then -- you know --a devastation. A wound in the heart that we cannot conceive of now."
 

 

~ N. Scott Momaday
 
 

"Who will provide the grand design, what is yours and what is mine?
'Cause there is no more new frontier, we have got to make it here.
We satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds
in the name of destiny and in the name of God."
 

~The Eagles - The Last Resort  Hotel California 1976

 

Source:  Ken Burns' "The Grandest Enterprise Under God" The West Episode 5 (1868 - 1874).
 
 

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