RCC Honors History Project

Comment on Pictures of Buffalo Massacre

Posted by mcelynrh on December 1, 2008

I have read various articles on the buffallo massacre and seen similar photos as posted, but everytime I see such pictures I am reminded of the monstrosity that occured. It was horrible not just for the buffalos but for the Native Americans as well. Non-Native Americans used the buffalos for their own businesses and profits. Could they not see or did they not know that the Native Americans used such animals for their everyday lives? They were apart of survival when it came to them. It is even more mind boggling that bones were just left in a heaping pile by the American tradesmen, while Native Americans could have used them to make tools and other necessities or what not.

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4 Responses to “Comment on Pictures of Buffalo Massacre”

  1. ga2008bby said

    I completely agree with you!! How could one be soo selfish to come along and steal away somebody’s necessities to life? Buffalo helped the Native Americans make a living as you said; tools, food, etc. Killing Buffalo’s is in the same sense taking away our transportation. How would we transport back in forth, get to work, school and travel?? Basically how would we make a living?? I believe that the colonists did know the buffalos were a big part of the Native American’s lives yet they didn’t care! The Indians could not gain power in any way so taking away necessities is a good way of not allowing them too. I looked up a bit of information on the buffalo massacre and here is something I read that really made me sick:
    This began in the 1870s and became known as the Great Buffalo Massacre. Sadly, this was so successful that by 1889, a population of some 75 million buffaloes was reduced to a mere 540, a horrendous situation that led to the prairies being littered with the bones of the slaughtered buffalo. By the turn of the century, these few pitiful survivors were reduced to a mere few dozen.

  2. blooney said

    I too agree with both of you, but why do why act surprised by the horrendous things frontiers or Americans in general have done? I believe the American tradesmen knew exactly what they were doing. They could not argue ignorance because of people like George Catlin, who had his faults, but in a way was an advocate for the Indian way of life. He wrote about the Indian’s way of life in letters and also painted pictures depicting some aspects of the Indian way of life. Yet Americans did not care because they made a profit from it. It also goes back to the beliefs of manifest destiny. The faster the Native Americans resources disappeared the faster God’s will would be fulfilled. It was a win win.

  3. rcchonorshistoy said

    Your right Mclyrnth it is a tragedy that these buffalo were massacred just because of business. They should have done the same thing that Native Americans did and been conservative with the killing of the buffalo. By not doing this he Indians suffered and the buffalo were almost wiped from the face of the earth. I also think that it is sad that the buffalo were killings were was also devastating to the future of America. I would have liked to have seen the countless buffalo in the plains of America today but I feel I won’t be able to do this, since it will be along time if ever when the buffalo will be restored to their former glory. This got me wondering about the other endangered animals in the world that have been over killed at the hands of humans. Africa has many animals like the elephant and the rhinoceros that have been victims of over poaching. Another animal that I found that is going extinct because of humans are lions. According to the Animal planet website seen here http://animal.discovery.com/news/briefs/20031006/lions.html, Lions have gone from 200,000 in the 1980s to only 23,000 today in Africa. Just like the buffalo, the animals in Africa are going extinct and we need to stop this so future generations will be able to see these animals.

  4. mcelynrh said

    Sometimes it seems as if, still, we have not learned from the past. From reading the last entry, so many animals are near extinction now. I feel that we have a greater preservation system for land (national parks) than for animals. I do not have any statistical information on this but this is what it seems through my eyes. Though, in reality it won’t matter how much land we have if such creatures are slowly nearing the point of extinction. A greater awareness really needs to be enforced or else we’ll all have to be vegetarian. This really is a serious matter though, taking ourselves (humans) away from the situation, it is not fair to these animals.

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