Capital Stories… William F. Cody

buffalo_bill_cody_by_sarony_c1880William F. Cody (

Moral dilemmas frequently arise when investment meets conscience. Given human nature, it is likely that such crises have existed as long as humans have invested money in things unseen. A story from the book Capital Stories about Famous Americans, demonstrates that at least one person came to question such an investment after witnessing one of Buffalo Bill’s famous western exhibitions.

After a performance in Boston, William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill) provided a reception. Spectators of the afternoon show could meet an authentic legend of the American West. As other guests enthusiastically engaged the famous westerner, a woman and her son lingered to the side of the gathering. When the crowd thinned, the lady, with son in tow, approached Cody. “”Do you consider that you give a true picture of Western life?”” she asked. “”We try to, madam”” responded Cody.

In an effort to clarify her question, the woman continued “”The people ride around and shoot in that terrific manner, do they?”” Now wary of the woman’s questions Cody replied ““Well yes; on occasion.”” Now clearly agitated the woman said “”I never suspected it. Most of the money left me by my husband is invested in the West, but now I feel doubtful about allowing any more of it to go there.””

Understanding the woman’s eastern sensibilities had been shaken by her perception of western barbarity, Cody offered “”Is it secured by first-class real estate mortgage?”” Pondering the man in front of her the lady answered, “”I believe so.”” Now confident he could allay the woman’s concern, Cody continued “”Madam, do not give yourself the least uneasiness. In all my experience with the West, I have never seen the first mortgage on real estate riding a bucking bronco, shooting up a town, or doing anything except grimly drawing its twelve per cent per annum. I wish I owned a million of ‘em.””

  10 comments for “Capital Stories… William F. Cody

  1. October 3, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Reblogged this on PenneyVanderbilt.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. October 5, 2016 at 1:30 am

    Thank you for writing a great blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. November 14, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    My great great aunt lived with him.


    • November 14, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      Really! Very interesting, anything you can share?

      Liked by 1 person

      • November 14, 2016 at 10:19 pm

        They weren’t married. I found out about it when my great grandmother passed, my grandmother was given a painting of the house they lived on… reminded me of the ‘Little House of the Prairie’.The painting was on really thick board-like, I don’t know why but it was cut in half.


      • November 15, 2016 at 6:42 am

        Does the painting still exist?

        Liked by 1 person

      • November 15, 2016 at 11:21 am

        Yes, I gave it to my aunt.


      • November 15, 2016 at 11:25 am

        That is a great piece of history!

        Liked by 1 person

      • November 15, 2016 at 11:31 am

        Seriously? When my grandmothers the family…all the way back to France in the 1800’s. Very interesting characters.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. December 30, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Best wishes for 2017

    Liked by 1 person

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