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1847. The old Fort stood in the center of the greatest buffalo range known to man, and Dodge City was at the time I was there the largest shipping station for stock direct from the feeding grounds in this country and probably in the world. The cattle, horses and sheep from the Pan Handle of Texas, with an immense scope of country tributary to Dodge City, were shipped at this famous stock station. This was the most westerly point visited by me in the above years on this once famous trail. For more than 200 miles I had intersected and traveled over its once well beaten track, but now as a general thing only a trail of the past. As I stood in wonderment outside Dodge City reflecting on the scenes witnessed there and thereabout 36 years before, when a soldier passing through that country, and then taking in the present situation, I was lost in amazement; I was lost at what I then foresaw, for well did I recollect the morning we broke camp when here before and the everto-be-remembered scenes of that day, and well did I recollect the country as it appeared at that time-in appearance a closely fed pasture with the bones of the buffalo strewed seemingly everywhere. Then it was the center of a most gigantic wilderness, with not a civilized habitation within a surrounding scope of more than 250 miles in extent of save here and there an Indian trader selling his wares to the tribes of the plains. Now what do we behold on this identical spot?
First, no signs of the Red Man. Second, no signs of buffalo nor their closely fed grounds, and third, no signs of a wilderness, but instead thereof the whole face of the earth, not otherwise improved, laden with a verdure of green growing grapes, seemingly limitless in extent and rank in size, and nothing of the sheep pasture appearance of 1847. Then, too, this wilderness of the former day transferred in its every appearance with cities, villages and hamlets on every hand, and with railroads running here, there and everywhere, with the world-wide Santa Fe system passing over this very ground and extending its western lines into Colorado, New Mexico, and even away off California and Old Mexico. With these facts before me, was it any wonder that when reviewing the scenes of former days I stood outside Dodge City in bewildered amazement?
The buffalo of 1847, and where are they now? In my trip across the country from Fremont by the way of Lincoln, Beatrice and Fairburg in Nebraska and Washington, Belleville, Concordia, Minneapolis, Lincoln, Ellsworth, Salina, Hutchinson, Great Bend and Stafford, to the southwest corner of Clark County, in Kansas, I learned from the oldest settlers of these communities that the buffalo of former days had become extinct. Their wallows I noticed in many places, especially in the Saline Valley, and in the Smoky Hill county they were frequently to be seen, and south of the Arkansas, as also back of Dodge City
the tracks of these animals, which once roamed over these plains by the million, were still plentiful, though the makers of those wallows had long since passed away.
In conversation with General George A. Forsyth, of the army, who has had much experience on the plains in fighting Indians and looking after matters generally pertaining to the army, he said, that in 1867, twenty years after our time, while riding over the Smoky Hill, Cow Creek and Walnut Creek Country, within a radius of a three days' ride he saw 3,000,000 buffalos, and more instead of less. These figures were from actual calculation made at the time This was before the railroads had penetrated that country, though they were heading that way. The country, he said, in that vicinity was an entire wilderness occupied only by the Indians and buffalo. The General also informed me that the building to completion of the Kansas Pacific Railroad through to Denver in 1870 was the signal for a general onslaught on the buffalo, and that in the year 1871 one station on that road had shipped 248,000 buffalo hides, and that there were shipped from that territory over the Kansas Pacific and Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroads, during that year, 600,000 hides of the buffalo. Hunters from all parts of the country, and even far-off Europe, rushed to these world. famous hunting grounds for the biggest game that ever trod our soil. The railroads that had been constructed
into the buffalo country furnished the transportation to the very lap of these grounds, and not only did the sportsman come for the sport there was in killing these noblest of all beasts that ever furnished sport for the huntsman, but the traffic huntsman came also for the money there was to be made out of it. The General added, these parties that came to make money out of the business there was in killing the buffalo, and taking their hides, were generally in parties of three. They would kill and skin twenty per day. These hides they would take to the nearest station and sell for $2.00 each, thus the three would realize $40.00 for each day's work. These parties sprang into existence like magic, and scoured the plains in close proximity to the railroads, as may be seen by the number of hides shipped in one season being 600,000. These parties for traffic left the carcasses where the animal was shot, after despoiling it of its hide, while the huntsman for the fun of the thing left everything for the wolves and carrion generally. If need be they would take such rare cuts out of the animal as they wanted and leave the balance. A couple of years after the killing the bone hunters came and gathered up the bones, and carried them to the nearest station and sold them to eastern purchasers for fertilizing purposes, knife handles, combs, etc. Those who killed the buffalo for the money they made, made big pay, while those who gathered bones made fair pay. This business was exten
sively carried on for many years, and indeed until the buffalo were, as a general thing, entirely wiped out or killed. off. In my trip down through the country, and along the old Santa Fe trail, I noticed the entire absence of the vast number of bones that we saw when through there in 1487, and in response to my inquiries as to the causes that led to the absence of the bones, the reply of all from whom I sought the information was the same as that given by General Forsyth. The universal opinion of those with whom I conversed was that the bone hunters came with the introduction of the railroads, that they scoured the whole buffalo country for this commodity. That the hunters came first. That those for sport came from all parts of the country. They were huntsmen on a grand scale, with all the parapharnelia for camping out and living. That these parties were to be found from the British possessions to Texas; indeed they covered the whole buffalo range. When the various railroads penetrated the buffalo country, the hunters for the buffalo hides came with them. Then, too, there were the
Indians distributed over a large portion of this range or tributary thereto, who killed enormous numbers, but never for sport; they killed them for their flesh; indeed they husbanded the buffalo. This much we gained from their own lips as we met them on the Santa Fe trail, and as the tribes informed me on the Platte River in 1850.
Thus it is shown that 600,000 buffalo hides were shipped from a few stations on the Kansas, Pacific and Santa Fe roads in one season. These 600,000 came from a limited strip of buffalo territory. They were not a tithe in number to all those killed during that same period of time in the entire buffalo range. After the completion of the railroads, the killing went on and on until the last herd come-at-able were slain, and, then, and not until then, were the world's huntsmen content, for they had killed the last buffalo; and "Howell" has my version of what became of the buffalo which once darkened the vast feeding grounds of this fertile country. CHARLES C. P. HOLDEN.
THE BENCH AND BAR OF NEW YORK.
GENERAL THOMAS H. HUBBARD.
THE subject of this sketch, a prominent lawyer of New York City, was born in the town of Hallowell, Maine, on the 20th day of December, 1838. His grandfather John Hubbard was a physician, a native of New Hampshire and one of the early settlers of the town of Readfield, Maine. His father, also a physician of distinction, and a skillful surgeon, was Dr. John Hubbard, who was born in Readfield, Maine, March 22, 1794. His death took place at his home in Hallowell, February 6, 1869. His practice was a large one and extended over a wide territory, and not only as a physician, but in public affairs generally he took an active part. In 1843, he was elected to the State Senate, and in 1849 he was chosen governor of the State of Maine, holding the office until 1853. In March 1859 he received the appointment as commissioner for the United States under the Reciprocity Treaty with Great Britain of June 5, 1854. This position he held for two years. He was a graduate of Dart. mouth College, and was a man of culture and fine education. Gen. Thos. H. Hubbard's mother was Sarah Hodge Barrett who was born at Alma, Maine, March 4, 1796. She was married to
Dr. John Hubbard in July, 1825. Her father, Oliver Barrett, was born at Concord, Massachusetts, in 1764. The family became quite distinguished at the time of the Revolutionary War in the Colonial Army. Young Hubbard prepared for college at the Hallowell Academy, and entered Bowdoin College, at Brunswick, Maine, in 1853. He was graduated therefrom with. honors in 1857, and choosing the law as his profession he began his studies at Hallowell, and was admitted to practice in the various courts of the State in 1860. In the early autumn of the same year he came to New York City with the intention of continuing his studies and establishing a practice here. In the winter and spring of 1860-61 he studied law in the Albany Law School, and the 4th of May, 1861, having returned to New York City was there admitted to practice in the courts of this state.
The needs of his country in the army withdrew him from his profession in 1862, and in the fall of that year he returned to his native state for the purpose of joining the Union forces. He was
mustered into service as First Lieutenant and adjutant of the Twentyfifth Maine Volunteers, September 29,