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    William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody: Very Rare Program for the "The Red Right Hand," 1876-77. Four integral pages, 6.25" x 9.5", n. p., circa 1876-1877. The stage production of "The Red Right Hand" was a dramatic interpretation of the Battle of Warbonnet Creek, which had taken place a few months earlier, in July, 1876. The skirmish, also known as the First Scalp for Custer, followed on the heels of Custer's defeat and death at Little Bighorn. Bolstered by the success of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse against the United States Cavalry, 200-300 Cheyenne, with their families, left the Red Cloud Agency and were intercepted by the 5th Cavalry. The fight was characterized by the killing of Yellow Hair (often incorrectly translated as Yellow Hand) by Buffalo Bill, who first shot and then scalped him exclaiming (at least according to Cody), "The first scalp for Custer!"

    The dramatization of the event was brought to the stage in October of that year. The first page of the program reads: "The Buffalo Bill Combination. Season of 1876-77. In the New Western Drama written expressly for Hon. W. F. Cody (Buffalo Bill), by Col. Prentiss Ingraham, founded on the LATE INDIAN WAR, entitled The Red Right Hand or, Buffalo Bill's First Scalp for Custer." The production starred Cody and Captain Jack Crawford, "The Poet Scout of the Black Hills," as themselves. The play contained five acts, with the final scene being the killing and scalping of Yellow Hair, and included a full exhibition of "the Scalp, War Bonnet, Gun, Shield, Bridle, Blankets, Pistols, and Lance of Yellow Hand." Program contains a full cast list, the New York Herald account of the battle, and the poem "Custer's Death" by Jack Crawford. Slight chipping along the upper portion of the right edge.


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    Auction Dates
    June, 2012
    10th Sunday
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