The 1901 Pan-American Exposition, held in Buffalo, New York, celebrated the United States’ territorial and technological growth in a carnival atmosphere—supremacy with a side of cotton candy. People from various cultures and countries, from Asians to Africans to Native Americans, were displayed in “living villages,” exhibitions that would be replicated at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis and elsewhere. Among the saddest stories of the event was the kidnapping for ransom of a Filipino boy who had been living with his father in the Filipino village. He was found a few days later.
This song by the Dillon Brothers (lyrics by Harry Dillon, music by John Dillon), a vaudeville team, was first published in 1895 and revived in 1901 in connection with the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo. The comedic song tells the story of a passenger who asks the train’s porter to wake him and "put me off" when the train reaches Buffalo during the night. He invites the porter to have a drink with him, and after imbibing too much the porter mistakenly ejects the wrong traveler at Buffalo.