By 1900 there were only three hundred buffalo left in the United States. This condition drastically altered the life of the Plains Indians. In 1902, a herd of 41 captive and wild bison was placed under government protection in Yellowstone Park; these animals formed the nucleus of the herd that survives today.
Now, the trend has been reversed and the buffalo live in the wilderness on reservations with the hope that their numbers will increase. They will never reach their former status when they roamed freely over the majestic, windswept Plains. But hopefully man will be wise enough to protect them from extinction.
About this article: Excerpted from the book, The Old Santa Fe Trail, by Colonel Henry Inman, 1897. The text as it appears here; however, is not verbatim as it has been edited for clarity and ease of the modern reader. Henry Inman was well known both as an officer in the U.S. army and an author dealing with subjects of the Western plains. During the Civil War, Inman was a Lieutenant Colonel and afterwards he won distinction as a magazine writer. He wrote several books including his Old Santa Fe Trail, Great Salt Lake Trail, The Ranch on the Ox-hide and other similar books dealing with the subjects he knew so well. Colonel Inman left a number of unfinished manuscripts at his death in Topeka, Kansas on November 13, 1899.