Friday, January 16, 2009
On this day, 140 years ago, the well known dime-novelist and Western raconteur Ned Buntline gave one of his famous Temperance 'lectures' in Vallejo.
Following his lackluster reception on this 1869 California tour, Buntline would meet up with Buffalo Bill Cody and begin to publish the popular stories that made Cody famous and Buntline rich. The Vallejo Daily Chronicle advertised Buntline's performance as follows:
TIME MUST BE KILLED
How to do it most genteelly is the question
Associated with the greatest violinist of the age
GEO. H. EDMONDS
Will give a chaste popular entertainment at Vallejo on Saturday evening Jan. 16th. The performance will consist of an address entitled “California 25 years ago – Now – 25 years hence” by Col. Judson, followed by violin solos by Geo. Edmonds, “stories in character” French, Dutch, Irish, Yankee and Quaker, also
MOSE IN CALIFORNIA
The Red Man’s Tale
A wild story of wrong, given in full Indian costume and paint by Ned Buntline.
ADMISSION 50 cents
Children 25 cents
Front seats reserved for Ladies
A few days later, the paper had a more critical appraisal of Buntline's show:
“Ned Buntline, the notorious, was here last Saturday night. To style his blathering a “lecture” would be burlesquing the English language. Buntline may be a hero and a man respected in his own land, if so, we advise him to travel home instanter. The Order of I.O.G.T. made a bad hand of it when they started that polluted and nonsensical piece of humanity around the State to preach temperance and morality to Californians. A man must practice what he preaches, and the people saw in his countenance that his sermons and his actions were not alike. His modesty was like the points in his ‘lecture’ – had none. His Indian costume consists of a pair of dirty drawers and undershirt, a meager head-dress, something thrown over one shoulder, and in this rig he calls a ‘Comanche costume’ he appears before the people and makes a speech. Ned Buntline you won’t do!”