Oscar Wilde.

Lady Windermere's fan, and The importance of being Earnest online

. (page 30 of 61)
Online LibraryOscar WildeLady Windermere's fan, and The importance of being Earnest → online text (page 30 of 61)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Ethan Allen


124


Pilot Jr


80


George M. Patchen


74


Champion (807)


61







In this table Ethan Allen is given as the representative of his
family in preference to his sire, Black Hawk, the real founder,
for the reasons that he was a far greater horse, and makes a bet-
ter showing than his sire, and further because he was a contem-
porary of Hambletonian. For exactly the same reasons
George M. Patchen is given as the representative progenitor of
the Clay line.

The next table demonstrates what the Hambletonian family has
done in the second and third generations, and the relative stand-
ing of the leading sub-families of the greatest trotting line. It
embraces separately every sire that has to his own credit and tO'
the credit of his sons and daughters an aggregate of fifty or more
standard performers, twenty-three in all, while the totals to the



HAMBLETOXIAN AND HIS FAMILY.



275-



credit of all the other sons of Hambletonian are grouped in the
last line:



FAMILIES OF HAMBI.ETONIAN'S SONS.



Name.


<v




33

2
<H

73 Hi

a
cd


a

be

a
'S

3

£


.3

be

o

3

1


Standard perform-
ers produced by
sons and daugh-
ters.


Total No. standard
performers in
two generations.


George Wilkes

Electioneer

Happy Medium


1856
1868
1863
1864
1863
1854
1866
1852
1866
1875
1865
1855
1863
1864
1867
1868
1868
1867
1863
1860
1866
1867
1866


1883
1890
1888
1893
1893
1888
1895
1865
1892

189-
1878
1892
1894
189-
1894
189-
189-
1873
1891
1891
189-
189-


83
154

92

44

53

34

71
5

45

75

23

13

14

29

31

15

28

35
8

14
23
31
16

618


94

65

51

43

44

40

26

14

25

25

24

12

20

14

13

15

17

4

9

9

9

6

9

229


81
43
47
45
42
48
54
29
19
18
41
16
44
28
13
36
16
20
14
11
14
9

15
412


1801

493

272

248

234

221

158

199

110

74

125

112

93

76

64

74

57

39

57

49

35

20

34

980


1884
647
364
292
286
255
229




Harold ...

Dictator




Volunteer




Strati 1 more




Abdallah (15)


204


Aberdeen


155


Ei'bert


149


Messenger Duroc . ,


148


Ed ward Everett

Administrator


125
107


Jay Gould


105


Victor Bismarck


95


Cuyler s


89


Masterlode


85


Sweepstakes


74


Sentinel


65


Middletown


63


Squire Talmage


58


Dauntless


51


Ecbo

Other sons (135)


50
1600













This table shows what each horse himself produced, and how
his blood is breeding on through his sons and daughters; and
above all it demonstrates the stupendous fact that in three gen-
erations the Hambletonian family has produced upward of seven
thousand standard performers, and all facts and all experience
now beyond cavil justify what I ventured to declare in Wallace's
Monthly many years ago: "The Hambletonian line stands above
all other lines and must survive because it is the fittest."

The Charles Kent Mare, dam of Hambletonian, was a bay,
fifteen and three-quarter hands high, with a star, left forward
ankle roan, and left hind foot white. Her son was long and
round, just the opposite of her sire. Hips rather coarse, and might



27G THE HORtJJG OF AMERICA.

be considered a little ragged. Stifles very powerful and well-
developed. Her hocks and legs were exactly represented in her
son Hambletonian. Her neck was fine and bloodlike, but not
long. Her head was good, and her eyes remarkably full and
bright, showing considerable white. Her mane was long, but
thin, and her tail was light. Her shoulders were well-sloped,
her withers ran up high, and were thin. Jonas Seely, St., hav-
ing given the old mare One Eye to his son Charles, she was sold
to Josiah S. Jackson, of Oxford, Orange County. Mr. Jackson
bred her to Bellfounder and the produce was the Kent mare.
Although the Seely family owned the stock, originally and after-
ward, Mr. Jackson was really the breeder of this mare. Mr.
Jonas Seely says she was got the year Bellfounder stood at
Poughkeepsie (1831), but Mr. Kysdyk says she was got in 1832,
when Bellfounder stood at Washingtonville. Mr. Jackson sold
her at three years old to Peter Seely for tbree hundred dollars;
Mr. Seely sold her soon after to Mr. Pray, of New York, for
four hundred dollars; Mr. Pray sold her to William Chivis for
five hundred dollars; and Mr. Chivis sold her to a gentleman,
who was a banker in New York — name not remembered — to
match another as a fast road team. This team ran away after a
time, and she was injured, and became lame. Charles Kent, a
butcher in New York, then bought her and bred her to Webber's
Tom Thumb, before he came to Orange County. At this junc-
ture, on the earnest recommendation of Mr. Pray, who had
tested the quality of three or four of the family, Mr. Jonas Seely
— Jonas, second — bought the mare of Kent for one hundred and
thirty-five dollars, and took her back to the old place, where she
was bred and produced as follows:

1843. Brown filly Belle, by Webber's Toin Thumb.

1845. Black gelding, by Webber's Tom Thumb.

1846. Chestnut filly (died at 4 years old), by Abdallah.

1848. Brown filly (died at 4 years old), by Abdallah.

1849. Bay colt Hambletonian, by Abdallah (mare and colt sold to William

M. Kysdyk, for $125).

1850. Brown filly (went to Maryland), by Young Patriot.

1851. Lost foal, by L. I. Black Hawk.

1853. Brown colt Tippoo Saib, by Brook's Black Hawk.

1853. Chestnut colt (died young), by Fiddler.

1856. Bfown gelding, by Plato.

1859. Bay colt, by Almack, son of Hambletonian.



HAMBLETONIA]sr AND HIS FAMILY. 277

In the preceding list there are but two fillies that lived to produce
anything, and one of them is lost from sight. The produce of
the first will be given below. The Patriot filly that went to
Maryland was a brown, and of good size, but nothing further is
known of her.

The Tom Thumb gelding of 1845 was in 1869 a good road
horse, and was owned by George S. Conklin. He was showy and
stylish without very much speed. Her fifth foal, Hambletonian,
is known wherever the trotting horse is known.

This mare was a trotter of no ordinary merit. She was never
in any races, so far as known, except they might have been of a
private nature, but after she passed into the hands of Peter
Seely her speed was pretty well developed. This is not only
shown by the advance in her price from owner to owner, but it
appears to be a well-established fact that when four years old
Peter Seely had her at the Union Course, and he there gave her
two trials to saddle, the first in 2:43 and the second in 2:41.
For a time I was skeptical about these trials, but they seem to be
beyond question. This is considerably faster than any other of
the get of imported Bellfounder ever trotted in this country,
and from this we may conclude that her inheritance from her
dam was the great factor in her speed.

OxE Eye, the dam of the Kent mare, was a brown, about
fifteen hands and an inch high, with two white feet and perhaps
a little white in her face. With the taste Mr. Seely had of the
Messenger blood in Silvertail he wanted more of it; and when
Townsend Cock sent the famous Bishop's Hambletonian to
Goshen in 1814, Mr. Seely bred his daughter of Messenger to
this son of Messenger and the produce was One Eye. I do not
learn that this mare was handsome, but she was an animal of
most remarkable courage and endurance. The load was never
too heavy nor the road too long. Withal, she had a will of her
own and was a little hard to manage unless she was worked con-
stantly. One day when on her mettle she got an eye knocked
out by accident, and, hence, her name; but the great quality of
this mare was her remarkable trotting action. Those familiar
with her gait, and entirely competent to judge, are enthusiastic
in the opinion that no trotter of the present day ever surpassed
her in a grand open trotting step. If the patience and sicill
brought into use in developing the modern trotter had been ex-
pended on her, she doubtless would have surpassed all of her



:278 THE HORSE OF AMERICA.

day, not even excepting her near relation, old Topgallant. This
mare illustrates a point of very great importance. She was got
by a son of Messenger that was a running horse of merit and able
to beat some of the best of his day, and her dam was a daughter
of Messenger. The trotting action of neither sire nor dam had
ever been developed, but when these two Messengers came to-
gether, the clean, open, unmistakable trotting gait was the result.
Eight at this point and in this mare. One Eye, we have the in-
cii)ient cause of all Hambletonian's greatness. This mare was
bred by Jonas Seely, Sr. ; given to his son Charles, who sold her
to his brother-in-law, Josiah Jackson, of Oxford in Orange
County. According the recollection of Mr. Rysdyk, who was
entirely familiar with the Seely family and their affairs, she pro-
duced as follows:

1829. Bay gelding Crabstick, by Seagull.

1830. Bay gelding Pray Colt, by Seagull.

1831. Bay filly Young One Eye, by Edmund Seely'.s horse Orphan Boy,

1833. Bay filly Kent Mare, by imp. Bellfounder. Sold to Mr. Pray.

1834. Bay filly; sold also to Mr. Pray, by imp. Bellfounder. Perhaps there

was another foal that died.

The first of her foals, Crabstick, appears to have been well-
named. His temper was anything but smooth and pleasant. He
was sold early to Mr. Ebenezer Pray, of New York, and he soon
evinced two traits of character that did not elevate him in the
estimation of his owner. He would throw every one off that
dared to mount him, and when they did get him under motion
he was determined to pace and not trot. On a certain occasion
Mr. Eysdyk visited Mr. Pray, and he was urged to try his skill
in riding Crabstick and see if he could make him trot. The at-
tempt was long-continued, and embraced up hill, down hill, and
level work, but all to no purpose, as pace he would. At last Mr.
Pray proposed to put him over rails and stakes, placed on the
road at intervals of a good trotting stride, and see if that would
make him quit moving one side at a time. Mr. Rysdyk went up
the road and got under good headway, but just before he reached
the rails the horse threw him. He was not much hurt, mounted
again, and then commenced in earnest the fight for the mastery
between the horse and his rider. The value of a neck was noth-
ing when compared with the great question of who should con-
quer. The next attempt was successful, and he went over the
jails flying. The intervals between them were then extended, and



HAMBLETOJS'IAX AND HIS FAMILY. 279

he was kept at that most dangerous exercise till he would trot
without rails, and until both horse and rider were completely
exhausted. The horse was conquered, and although always
Avillf ul and hard to manage, ever after, when called on to trot, he
would do it. Mr. Pray sold him to Mr. Vanderbilt, and, al-
though kept as a private driving horse, he was fast for his day,
and could go in less than three minutes at any time.

Her next foal was sold also to Mr. Pray when five years old,
and was known as the Pray Colt. He was marked just as his
brother Crabstick, and, like him, was somewhat vicious and hard
to manage.

The third foal. Young One Eye, was by Edmund Seely's horse
Orphan Boy, whose pedigree is not now known. One of her eyes
was knocked out by Peter Seely, accidentally, when breaking her,
just as her dam had lost an eye. She passed out of the hands of
the Seely family and her subsequent history is unknown. If this
mare ever produced anything, her history and that of her de-
scendants would be of great interest and value.

The question at once suggests itself. Where did Crabstick get
his pacing action? It could not have been from his sire, as he was
a son of Duroc, so said, but it may have come from Seagull's
dam, as we know nothing of her breeding; or it may have come
from old Black Jin, the dam of Silvertail. If from neither of
these we must then conclude it came from Messenger himself, or
rather, through him from some of his pacing ancestors. It is
altogether probable that the strong infusion of pacing blood in
Messenger's veins was the real element that made him a trotting
progenitor when every other imported English horse failed in
that respect.

Silvertail, the great-grandam of Hambletonian, was a dark
brown mare with white hind feet and a white face. She had a
great many white hairs in her tail and hence she was called
Silvertail. She was foaled in 1802 and was bred by Mr. Jonas
Seely, Sr., of Sugar Loaf, Orange County, New York. She was
got by imported Messenger in 1801, the year he stood at Goshen,
New York. Her dam was a great, slashing black mare called
"Jin" that Mr. Seely had used in his business many years, but
her origin and breeding cannot now be found. She must have been
a real good one or Mr. Seely would not have taken her to Messen-
ger. In the summer of 1806, as was his custom, he was down at
3^ew York with a drove of cattle, and his son Jonas, then a lad of



280 THE HORSE OF AMERICA.

eight or ten years old, went along to help drive the cattle and
to see the city. He was detained two or three days longer than he
expected and it was very important that he should reach home at
a certain time. On the morning of that day he found himself
in Hoboken, with his son, and no means of getting home except
on Silvertail. So he took the boy up behind him and went home
that day, seventy-five miles, by sundown. She was fully sixteen
hands high and of very fine style. Her head, neck and ear were
bloodlike, and her resolution and will were remarkable even in
old age. Her step, at the trot, is not known to have been much
developed, but she could gallop all day long. On several occa-
sions she carried her master to Albany in a day. Besides the
famous One Eye she produced several superior foals that brought
high prices, in those days, but we have only the one line tracing
to her as a producer. She died the property of Ebenezer Seely.
In searching for the particulars of this pedigree of Hamble-
tonian and in tracing it back to old "Black Jin," I was neces-
sarily brought into contact with a great many people, some of
whom were helpful and some were not. As a matter of course
I met with the usual number who professed to ''know it all," but
really knew nothing that was reliable. As the whole tracing
was in the Seely family, the public may wish to know what kind
of people they were. Jonas Seely, first, of Oxford in Orange
County, was a large farmer in the last century and an extensive
cattle feeder and drover. As there were no railroads or steam
boats in those days, much of his time was given to driving cattle,
either in collecting them from the interior or in taking them to
market in New York. He had use for good horses and he had a
fancy for the best. His business brought him into contact with
the butchers of New York, and we find he sold many of his horses
as well as his cattle to them. These same business relations were
continued under his successor. He left a large family of sons
who seemed to take to the horse as a duck takes to water.
Jonas, second, was one of his younger sons and succeeded to his
father's business as well as to the homestead. He was born 1797
at Oxford, and his father removed to the farm at Sugar Loaf
when he was a child. He was a thrifty and successful farmer.
For a number of years he was engaged with his partner and life-
long friend, Ebenezer Pray, in buying and driving cattle from
the West to the New York market. In June, 1882, he passed
away and there ended an acquaintance and a friendship of nearly



HAMBLETONIAN AND HIS FAMILY. -^81

thirty years. He was a strictly conscientious and truthful man,
.und died in the glorious hope of a devoted Christian. His first
visit to New York, in 1806, the wonders he saw there, and es-
pecially the total eclipse that occurred while he was there, and
how he watched it from the Bull's Head tavern, through a piece
of smoked glass, and the ride home the next day behind his
father on Silvertail, and how he ran down many a hill to rest
himself, and how tired he was when they reached home, are inci-
■dents that were all detailed to me with the interest and vigor of
yesterday.

When One Eye was about fifteen years old the elder Jonas gave
her or sold her to his son-in-law, Josiah Jackson, and in due
time he bred her to imported Bellfounder and she produced the
Charles Kent mare. Mr. Eysdyk thought the elder Jonas gave
this mare to his son Charles and that Charles sold her to Mr.
Jackson, which is not material. After the Kent mare had been
battered about in New York for some years and finally crippled,
•Charles Kent, a butcher, bought her and bred her to Webber's
Tom Thumb, a Canadian horse that was quite a trotter. On
one occasion when Jonas II. and Mr. Pray were down in the city,
Kent wanted to sell the mare, and Mr. Pray urged Jonas very
strongly to bay her and take her home for a brood mare. He
•concluded to do so if she were not too badly crippled, and they
together went over on to the island to see her, when she came
^gain into the Seely family. In 1848 he bred her to Abdallah,
in 1849 she produced a bay colt, and in the autumn of that year
lie sold her with her colt to William M. Rysdyk, who had been
employed on his farm for the year, for one hundred and twenty-
five dollars, and this colt proved to be the great Hambletonian.

As it is now conceded, not only in this country, but through-
out the world, that Hambletonian, as a trotting progenitor, is far
and away the greatest horse that has ever been produced, a care-
ful and true analysis of the blood elements entering into his in-
heritance is a most interesting and instructive lesson for all
breeders. First we have the direct cross from Messenger himself
in Silvertail; second, we have the cross from a son of Messenger
on a daughter of Messenger in One Eye, making her equal to a
daughter of Messenger in blood; third, we have the out-
oross from Bellfounder, that was a total failure as a trotting pro-
genitor, on this double granddaughter of Messenger, and the re-
sult is a trotter in the Kent, mare and practically the only trotter



5>82 THE HORSE OF AMERICA.

that Bellfounder ever got; fourth, we have the cross of a grand-
son and probably a double grandson of Messenger on this trotter,
and the produce is Hambletonian himself. These crosses show
a stronger concentration of Messenger blood than can be found
in any horse of his generation.

Bashaw (Green's). — This was a black horse, fifteen and a
half hands high, bred by Jonas Seely, the breeder of Hamblp-
tonian; foaled 1855, and given when following his dam to his son-
in-law, Colonel F. M. Cummins, of Muscatine, Iowa. He was got
by Vernol's Black Hawk, then known as the Drake colt, son of
Long Island Black Hawk, and his dam was Belle, the first foal of
the Charles Kent mare, that was out of One Eye. In the spring
of 1857 he was sold to Joseph A. Green, of Muscatine, and he re-
mained his till 1864. He had one white hind foot and a large,
full star in his forehead. He was a smooth, handsome horse in
every respect. His head, neck, ear and eye were all good, and
free from coarseness. His back and loin had very few equals
even among those that are called most perfect at these points.
His hip was of great length, and in his buttock there was quite a-
resemblance on a reduced scale to his kinsman, Hambletonian.
His limbs and feet both in shape and quality were admirable, and
his disposition docile and kindly. In walking his gait was sling
ing, but loose jointed and slovenly, and he was therefore not a
pleasant driving horse. But at the trot, whether going slow or
fast, his style was very taking and his action remarkably perfect.
While owned by Mr. Green he was handled by good, careful men,
but they had no experience in developing and driving a trotter,
and knew nothing about that kind of horsemanship. Under
these, circumstances many a horse would have been spoiled, but
his gait was always perfect and his popularity as a trotter never
waned. He never was started in what might be called regular
races, but at State fairs and the principal county fairs he was
always in demand and always won. He was, perhaps, the best
natural trotter that I have ever seen. He was able to show about
2:28, but I think he never won a heat on a half-mile track in
better than 2:31, and when sixteen years old he was able to win
in 2:35. In 1864 Mr. Green sold him to some parties in St.
Louis, Missouri, and they to Mr. Beckwith of Hartford, Con-
necticut, and while in his hands he was matched against Young
Morrill, but went amiss and paid forfeit. He made the season of
1865 at Hartford. The following winter Mr. Green repurchased



HAMBLETONIAN" AND HIS FAMILY. 285

him and he was returned to Muscatine, where he remained till
January, 1877, when he was sold to George A. Young, of Leland,
Illinois, and died January, 1880.

He left seventeen trotters in the 2:30 list; twenty-four sons
that were the sires of fifty-nine standard performers, and thirty-
four daughters that produced forty-four standard performers. As
his sire never amounted to anything either as a trotter or a getter
of trotters, it is fair to conclude that whatever merit he possessed
was inherited from the same source that made Hambletonian
greater than all others.

Belle, the dam of Bashaw, 50, was a brown mare about
fifteen and three-quarter hands high, with tan muzzle and fianks
and some white feet. She was rather short in the body and
neck, but she was very stoutly built and had been a fine road
mare. She was bred by Charles Kent, the butcher, and I think
was following her dam when Mr. Jonas Seely bought her. She
was foaled 1843 and was got by Tom Thumb, a Canadian horse,
and a trotter that was brought into Orange County by William
Webber and left excellent stock. Her dam was the Charles Kent
mare, the dam of Hambletonian. She produced as follows;

1848. Bay gelding, by Abdallab.

1849. Bay filly Seely Abdallab, by Abdallab.

1851. Black colt Seely's Black Hawk, by Long Island Black Hawk.
1853. Bay filly, (taken West) by Hambletonian.
1855. Black colt Green's Bashaw, by Vernol's Black Hawk.
1857. Bay filly by Black Hawk Prophet, son of Vermont Black Hawk, itt
Iowa. This filly u as ringboned, and given away.

Nothing is now known of the gelding by Abdallah. The filly
of 1849 by Abdallah, called Seely Abdallah, was owned by Mr.
Charles Backman, and he had her produce for two or three
generations.

The black colt by Long Island Black Hawk of 1851 was sold to
Ebenezer Seely, and kept as a stallion. This Mr. Seely died in
Chemung County, and the horse died there in the spring of 1859.
The filly of 1853 by Hambletonian was one of a pair of Hamble-
tonian fillies bought and taken to Iowa by Mr. Green in 1855^
They developed a very fine rate of speed.



CHAPTER XXII.

hambletonian's sons and grandsons.

Different opinions as to relative merits of Hambletonian's greater sons
— George Willies, his history and pedigree — His performing de-
scendants — History and description of Electioneer — His family — Alexander's
Abdallah and liis two greatest sons, Almont and Belmont — Dictator —
Harold — Happy Medium and his dam — Jay Gould — Strathmore — Egbert —
Aberdeen — Masterlode — Sweepstakes — Governor Sprague, grandson of
Hambletonian.

There is hardly a prominent sire by Hambletonian that has
not been claimed by his admirers to have been the "greatest son"
of the most renowned of trotting progenitors, and if a poll of
the horsemen of the country could be taken to-day as to what
horse was the greatest son of Hambletonian, probably a dozen
names would be found to have thousands of supporters each. As
with all questions that are largely matters of opinion, and that
cannot be decided absolutely by figures, the relative rank of
horses as progenitors must always remain open to disputation
according as thinkers approach the subject from different points
of view and of interest. I shall not enter into any discussion as to
the relative merits of the great sons of Hambletonian with a purpose
to reach any deduction as to "which was or is the greatest; but
shall refer the reader to the table given in the preceding chapter,
and content myself with briefly giving the history of the more
renowned sires of the Hambletonian line, with such statistics as
may be necessary to gauge their rank as progenitors.

George Wilkes was one of the first of Hambletonian's sons



Online LibraryOscar WildeLady Windermere's fan, and The importance of being Earnest → online text (page 30 of 61)