Oscar Wilde.

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

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years. His stud career was therefore short, and this fact we
must remember in estimating his rank as a sire. Kate Sprague,
2:18, and Linda Sprague, 2:19, were about the best of his imme-
diate progeny, and Rounds' Sprague, that has twenty trotters
and pacers in the 2:30 list, some of them in better than 2:20, seems
to be his most successful son. Governor Sprague has to his credit
thirty-six trotters and two pacers with standard records, twenty-
two of his sons have sired fifty-four trotters and fifteen pacers,
and his daughters have produced twenty-three trotters and six
pacer.3. There was nothing in the inheritance of Rhode Island to
justify a supposition that he would transmit speed uniformly, and,
like Smuggler, the speed-getting power Avith him v/as sporadic.
But from his dam. Belle Brandon, Governor Sprague received tlie
blood of Hambletonian through an individual that had speed
herself and naturally produced speed; and this strain, combined
with the blood of a horse that was good enough in his day to beat
Lucy, American Girl and George Wilkes, gave Governor Sprague
a right to be all that he was.



Description and history of Mambrino Chief — The pioneer trotting stallion of
Kentucky — Matched ao^ainst Pilot Jr. — His best sons — Mambrino Patchen,
his opportunities and family — Woodford Mambrino, a notable trotter and
sire — Princess — Mambrino Pilot — Other sons of Mambrino Chief.

Mambrino Chief was a dark bay or brown horse, got by
Mambrino Paymaster, grandson of imported Messenger, and his-
dam was a large, coarse mare that was brought from the West in
a drove, and absolutely nothing was known of her blood. The
theory was once advanced in print that she must have been by
Stevens' Messenger Duroc, but I think it was never repeated.
The basis of this theory was, that the horse referred to was large
and coarse, with a long thigh bone, and as the mare was large and
coarse, with a long thigh bone, she must have been a daughter of
his. There are some obvious difficulties about accepting this
'"thigh-bone" pedigree. In the first place, the inventor of it
never saw either the horse or the mare, and hoAV could he have
put his tapeline on their "thigh-bones" and thus ascertained
they were of the same length? In the second place, it is not
known, nor was it known to the inventor, that the horse ever had
been within three hundred miles of the dam of this "daughter"
of his. It is not much wonder that the "horse business" is
hardly considered reputable when an educated man will advance
such senseless gabble as the basis of a pedigree. This mare pro-
duced another colt called Goliah that developed some speed, but
this was not the Goliah that was on the trotting turf.

Mambrino Chief was bred by Richard Eldridge, of Dutchess
County, New York, and was owned by Warren Williams; in the
spring of 1851 he passed into the hands of James M. Cockroft
and Gr. T. Williams; was kept two or three seasons in Ulster
County; trotted, under the saddle a trial in 2:36; sold to James
B. Clay of Kentucky, in the winter of 1854, and then to Gray (^


Jones, 1857, for five thousand and twenty dollars, and died 1801.
Soon after his arrival in Kentucky he was matched to trot against
Pilot Jr., and the match stirred up a great deal of' interest
among the breeders. He was so big and coarse and so far re-
moved from the type of the running horse that very few believed
he could show any speed at any gait, for the distance of a mile
and repeat. He was placed in the hands of Dr. Herr, who had
had some experience in handling trotters, for preparation. When
the day came there was quite an assemblage to witness the race
but the Pilot Jr. party came forward and paid forfeit. This was
a sore disappointment to those who thought the big horse could
not trot, and to satisfy them that he could trot and trot fast. Dr.
Herr drove him to show his gait, and notwithstanding his quarter
cracks he satisfied all that he really was a trotter. This was an
auspicious opening of a successful career extending through the
remaining six years of his life.

In the sense of success, Mambrino Chief was really the pioneer
trotting stallion of Kentucky. True, " Old " Abdallah had been
there fourteen years earlier, but he was in bad shape and breeders
did not like him. He was very plain in his appearance and only
left some half-dozen of foals behind him when he was brought back
to Long Island. The breeders all turned to his stable companion,
Commodore, that was more after the pattern of the running horse,
and would not look at Abdallah. This Commodore filled the
blue-grass fields with his foals, but none of them could trot. He
was a son of Mambrino, by imported Messenger, and was an in-
bred Messenger, if his pedigree was right, but he was a failure as
a trotting sire. Mr. Marcus Downing took his horse. Bay Mes-
senger, there about the same time and he was a failure also, not-
Avithstanding he was a grandson of imported Messenger. Both
Commodore and Bay Messenger should have been trotting sires,
but either one of two reasons was suflBcient to prevent that con-
summation. First their blood and physical structure were all
right, but the mental structure — the instinct to trot — was lack-
ing; they inherited from some ancestor that could not and was
not inclined to trot. Second, Kentuckians of that period knew
nothing about trotters and they may have lacked in the requisite
knowledge, skill and patience to develop them. It is true that
old Pacing Pilot and some other pacing tribes were there that
would occasionally throw a pacer with the diagonal motion, like
Pilot Jr. , but there was no other blood there that trotted before the


arrival of Mambrino Chief. This pacing element was a very-
valuable element upon which to build up the trotter, but unfor-
tunately and wherever it was possible, a running pedigree was
tacked on to the pacer, and thus, in the estimation of Kentuck-
ians it was the running blood that did it.

The six years of his services in Kentucky gave sufficient time
to establish his value as a trotting sire, but not sufficient to build
up a large family. This limited period must be further re-
stricted, in estimating his value, by the fact that the war broke
out in 1861, at the very time when the larger part of his offspring
were just at the right age for development. This important fact
has been very generally overlooked when estimating the true
value of this horse. The question has often been asked why
this horse succeeded in Kentucky when he had not succeeded in
the North? This is too broad a question to be considered in this
historical sketch, but will be considered at another place in this
volume. In passing it, some very intelligent writers have at-
tributed it to what is called "the climatic outcross," and there
may be some real value in this point, but the great cause, aside
from the new surroundings and expectations of his progeny, may
be found in the fact that his own speed was never developed
until the very eve of his transfer to Kentucky. His instinct to
trot and to trot fast had remained dormant, practically, during
the Avhole j)eriod of his Northern service, and when he reached
Kentucky he was, in a sense, a new horse and conscious of his
powers as a trotter. The salutary effects of development, at
whatever gait, have been shown in ten thousand instances and
will continue to be shown as long as the interests and ambitions
of man shall prompt him to strive to surpass his neighbor.

At one time it was maintained right vehemently by the owners
of the stock of Mambrino Chief, as well as some others, that as a
stock horse he was not only equal but superior to Hambletonian.
In 1867, when the battles were raging between Dexter and Lady
Thorn, this view showed little abatement, and notwithstanding the
gelding was beating the mare all the time, they still maintained
that in the end she would be the conqueror. AVhen Lady Thorn
was seriously crippled and retired from the turf, there were many
sad hearts in the Mambrino family and many wonderful stories
were told, privately, of what Dan Mace had seen her do, and that
he was keeping very quiet till an opportunity came to show the
most wonderful flight of speed that the world had ever seen or



ever would see. With the shroud of what "might have been"
about them, they were "of the same opinion still."

Mambrino Chief left six in the 2:30 list; twenty-three sons that
put ninety-five in the list and seventeen daughters that produced
twenty-four trotters.



T3 O



o .





a o





17 5















and daug

Total No.

Mambrino Patclien









Woodford Mambrino, 3:3H. .


Mambrino Pilot, 3:









Clark CMef









Ericsson, 3:30^


Mambrino Chief Jr



Mambrino Patchen was the best son of Mambrino Chief and
was brother to Lady Thorn, 2:18^. He was foaled 1862, after the
death of his sire, and was bred by Levi T. Rodes. His dam was
by Gano, a running-bred son of American Eclij^se; his grandam
was a pacing mare by a colt of Sir William, but what Sir William
is not known; his great-grandam Avas an inveterate pacer and
never was known to strike any other gait. Mambrino Patchen
was so much smoother and handsomer than his sire, and was so
much of a failure as a trotter, that a very strong conviction prevailed
among the friends and neighbors of his owner that he was not a son
of Mambrino Chief, nor a brother of Lady Thorn. To this story
that he was a Denmark and not a Mambrino Chief I never have
given any shadow of credence. The attempt of his owner. Dr.
Herr, to make him a trotter was patient and persistent, extend-
ing through several years, but with all his skill and experience he
failed. Nobody was ever able to "catch" him a mile, but it
seems to have been conceded that he might go somewhere in the
"forties." While this persistent and long-continued training
failed in its original purpose of giving the horse a record of repu-
table speed, there can be no doubt, under the law that governs,
that this development did great good to the horse, as a progenitor


of trotters. The conditions being a handsome horse, with the
banner constantly flying over him, "full brother to Lady Thorn,"
an industrious and very capable owner, in the heart of the great-
est breeding region in the whole country, it is easy to account for
a very wide and lucrative patronage. Still, as a getter of speed
he was not a great success, and as a getter of high speed he was a
failure. With all the facilities for development, only twenty-five
of his progeny have found a place in the 2:30 list, the fastest of
which has a record of 2:20^. Of his sons, fifty-one are the sires of
one hundred and twenty-six trotters, and of his daughters, ninety
have, produced one hundred and twenty-nine standard per-
formers. He has proved himself a very great sire of brood mares,
and when his daughters are bred to horses of stronger inherit-
ance, they stand among the best.

Woodford Mambrixo. — This son of Mambrino Chief was a
large brown horse, foaled 18G2. He was bred by Mr. Mason
Henry, of Woodford County, Kentucky. His dam was also the
dam of other trotters, was got by Woodford, son of Kosciusko,
and her dam was a farm mare without any known breeding.
Woodford was a large, strong horse used only for farm work, to
which he was well suited. After spending a good deal of time
and labor on his pedigree I am constrained to say that while he
may have been a son of Kosciusko, his dam's breeding is worse
than unsatisfactory. Woodford Mambrino made a record of
2:21^, and placed thirteen of his get in the 2:30 list. He left
twenty-three sons that were the sires of standard performers,
and twenty-four daughters that produced twenty-seven standard
performers. His son, Princeps, owned by Mr. E. S. Veech, of
Indian Hill Farm, near Louisville, Kentucky, was in the stud
far and away the best of his sons, and although he had no record
of his own he placed in the list forty-four trotters and four
pacers, many of them with fast records.

Mambkixo Pilot was a very large and very coarse horse. He
Avas a brown, got by Mambrino Chief, foaled 1859, dam Juliet, by
Pilot Jr.; grandam by Webster, son of Medoc; great-grandam by
Whip. He was bred by Thomas Hook, of Scott County, Kentucky,
and after passing through the hands of Dr. Herr and others
he was sold to C. P. Relf , of Philadelphia, and, I think, remained
in his family till he died, 1885. He had a record to saddle
of 2:27^. He put nine of his get into the 2:30 list, and seventeen


of his sons left fifty-one performers and fourteen of his daughters
produced twenty performers.

Many others of the descendants of Mambrino Chief *might be
noticed, but it is not the purj)ose of this volume to dwell upon
matters that are accessible in the current literature of the trot-
ting horse. The foundations of breeds and the leading heads of
tribes must command my labor. The table shows the rank of
the other sons of Mambrino Chief that achieved any degree of
success, and of these clearly the best was Clark Chief, that died
at ten years old.



The imported Barb, Grand Bashaw — Young Bashaw, an inferior individual —
His greatest son, Andrew Jackson — His dam a trotter and pacer — His his-
tory — His noted son, Keuible Jaci'son — Long Island Black Hawk — Henry
Clay, founder of the Clay family — Cassius M. Clay- — The various horses
named Cassius M. Clay — George M. Patchen — His great turf career —
George M. Patchen Jr. — Harry Clay — The Moor, and his son Sultan's

This family is no longer prominent in trotting annals and its
blood has been practically absorbed by other strains that have
proved themselves more potent in transmitting and more uniform
and more speedy in performing. The name '^Bashaw Family"
is a misnomer and it should never have been used, but as it has
represented, for many years, the oldest line of developed speed, it
seems a necessity to recognize it here. A branch of this family,
designated as "The Clay Family" has perpetuated itself in some
strength and will be considered in this chapter.

Gkand Bash AAV, the horse that gave this family its name, was
imported from Tripoli by Richard B. Jones, who was the American
consul at that port. Mr. Morgan was associated with him, and they
imported at the same time two other Barbs, Grand Sultan and
Saladin. Grand Bashaw was kept in Lower Merion, Montgomery
County, Pennsylvania, several years; Grand Sultan was kept in
New Salem, New Jersey, for a time, and Saladin was taken to
North Carolina and afterward died in Georgia. From these
three horses nothing has been left to the horse history of the
country but one single attenuated line. Grand Bashaw was a
black horse, fourteen hands and an inch high, with a star and a
snip on his nose. He was kept all his life in the vicinity of
Philadelphia, and died at Newtown, Pennsylvania, 1845.

Young Bashaw was a grey horse, about fifteen and one-quarter
hands high, and is the only descendant of Grand Bashaw through
which we can trace to that horse. He was foaled 1822 and was


bred by Thomas Logan, of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
His dam was Pearl, by Bond's First Consul, a famous running
horse, his grandam Fancy, by imported Messenger, and his great-
grandam by imported Kockingham. This is the pedigree under
which he was advertised, but it has never been authenticated in
any of its crosses. Judging by the horse himself and his progeny
there can hardly be a doubt that there was a Messenger cross in
it, but just where cannot be determined.

He made his first season in Salem, New Jersey, 1826. He was
then four years old and by no means handsome or attractive in
his form. His head, ear and neck were his worst features; but
in addition to these defects he was flat on the ribs and habitually
carried his tail to one side. His limbs and feet were as good as
ever were made, but his great redeeming quality was his trotting
gait. When in Salem he was only a rough, partly developed,
four-year-old colt, but he showed then a step and a rate of speed
so remarkable as to induce a few to breed to him, notwithstand-
ing his ungainly appearance. He did not cover more than a
dozen mares that season, and all-told he got eight foals. Out of
these eight, seven proved to be superior trotters for that day.
Andrew Jackson was the best, but there was another that could
go below 2:40. The common remark was, wherever he touched a
mare of Messenger blood, there was sure to come a trotter. This
was the general rule, but the best hit he ever made, probably,
Avas when he covered Joseph Hancock's black pacing mare and
got Andrew Jackson.

In looking over his blood elements we can see nothing in his
pedigree to justify these trotting qualities except the grandam.
Fancy, by Messenger. First Consul was a great race horse, but
neither he nor his descendants ever evinced a disposition to trot.
The horse Eockingham was contemporaneous with Messenger
and a constant rival while Messenger was about Philadelphia.
He was not wholly running-bred, as he was by Towser, afterward
called Counsellor, and out of a hunting mare. As a stock horse
he was esteemed as only second to Messenger on the Delaware,
where he stood many years.

The fame of Young Bashaw did not cease nor die out after the
exploits of Andrew Jackson, Black Bashaw, Charlotte Temple,
Washington and others from his own loins. The Clays, the
Long Island Black Hawks and the Patchens have kept spreading
it wider and wider until of late years we find that only the one


great Hambletonian family has overshadowed them all. Young
Bashaw, after eleven years in the stud along the Delaware River,
^bove and below Philadelphia, died at Morrisville, Bucks County,
Pennsylvania, June, 1837.

Andrew Jackson was the most noted son of Young Bashaw.
He was a black horse, fifteen and a half hands high, with three
white feet and a strip of white in his face. He was very well
formed in every point and was strong, compact, short-legged and
handsome. He was foaled 1827, and was bred by Joseph Hancock,
■of Salem, New Jersey. His dam was a strong, compact black
mare that both trotted and paced, and was noted for her speed at
the latter gait. This mare was brought in a drove from Ohio, in
the spring of 1820 and on the twenty-first of June of that year she
was sold to Mr. Hancock, of Salem, New Jersey, for one hundred
■dollars. He kept her a little over six years, and in the spriug of
1826 bred her to Young BashaAv, and in the fall of that year sold her
to Powell Carpenter; and soon after he sold her to Daniel Jeffreys,
-a brickmaker on the Germantown road, near Philadelphia. She
was then in foal by Young Bashaw, and the next spring she
■dropped the colt that became famous as Andrew Jackson.

The incidents connected with the history of this mare are here
given, perhaps in unnecessary detail, but as Andrew Jackson
was very extensively advertised under a fraudulent pedigree from
tibout 1834 till the time of his death, and as I had at one time
accepted it as true, it is better that it should be made very plain,
especiall}' as I had been severely criticised for changing it. The
<!orrection made, as above, was founded on information received
from two separate and distinct sources and both thoroughly re-
liable. The fraudulent pedigree of this mare represented her as
^'by Whynot, son of imported Messenger, and her dam by Messen-
ger" himself. This was just such a pedigree as so great a horse
should have had, but there was no truth in it. The attack was
led by quite a large breeder in one of the prairie States, who had
a number of animals remotely descended from Andrew Jackson.
He did not even pretend to know anything at all about the truth
of the matter, but simply urged most vehemently that the pedi-
gree should be restored because it was old. The fact of the
matter was the man wanted the old lie instead of the new truth
maintained because it would help to sell his stock, which was the
very object for which the lie was originally invented.

Daniel Jeffreys was very much addicted to trotting horses, and


when he bought the black mare that was then carrying Andrew
Jackson he kept her for his own driving and named her "Char-
coal Sal." She was no doubt among the fastest o5 the road
horses, but there is no record of her ever being in a race. How
much Jeffreys drove Charcoal Sal that autumn cannot now be deter-
mined; probably too much for the physical, but not too muck
for the mental, organization of the foal she was carrying.

About the break of day, one morning in the following April,,
somebody was passing Jeffreys' brickyard (my recollection is,
it was George Woodruff himself), and he heard a splashing in the-
water accumulated in one of the clay pits, and Charcoal Sal cir-
cling round in great distress. She had dropped her foal, and in
its weak efforts to get on its feet, it had rolled into the pit. It
was at once pulled out and the family aroused, and no time was
lost in rubbing it dry and wrapping it in warm blankets. Some-
of the mare's milk was poured into it from time to time, and to-
ward noon it was so much revived and strengthened as to mani-
fest a disposition to get on its feet. This was due, principally,,
to the womanly care and good nursing of Mrs. Jeffreys. But,
when helped up, he appeared to have strength enough every-
where but in his pastern joints, and there he had no strength at
all. In this condition the colt remained a day or two, a most
pitiable and most helpless object, standing on its pasterns instead
of its feet. One morning at the breakfast-table Mr. Jeffreys,
said he would give any of the boys a dollar if he would put that
colt out of misery and bury it out of his sight. Mrs. 'Jeffreys,,
whose womanly feelings and sympathies were all enlisted, replied
to her husband's remark that "the boy who would kill that colt
never could eat another mouthful at that table." What a grand
exhibition of true womanly instincts I Day by day her unremit-
ting care was rewarded by seeing a little more strength gather-
ing in the weak places, and at last her kind, motherly heart was-
gladdened by seeing him skip and play, a strong beautiful colt.

Mr. Jeffreys kept the colt till he was some five or six years old
and then sold him to John Weaver, whose residence was about
half a mile from the old Hunting Park Course. He remained
the property of Mr. Weaver till he died, September 19, 1843. In
his stud services he was kept on both sides of the Delaware, in
the region of Philadelphia, and made one season, perhaps two, on
Long Island. As a trotter he stood as the first of all stallions of
his day.


His first race took place October 19, 1832, over the Hunting
Park Course for a purse of two hundred dollars for green horses,
to saddle. He was entered under the name of "Brickmaker,"
was ridden by George Woodruff ("Uncle George"), and beat
Jersey Fagdown, son of Fagdown, by Messenger. Time 6:30,

The next year he beat Jersey Fagdown again for the same
purse and over the same course.

October, 1834, he again won the same purse, over the same
course, at two miles to saddle, beating Sally Miller. Time 5:26,

The next October, 1835, over the same course, the same con-
ditions, he beat Lady Warrenton, by Abdallah, and Daniel D.
'Tompkins, by a son of Winthrop Messenger. Time 5:20, 5:19.

These performances have been extended far enough to give a
Just conception of iiis speed and his staying qualities. His races
.seem to have been pretty much all to saddle and two-mile heats.
In that day most races were to saddle. George Woodruff told
me he was on his back when he made Edwin Forrest trot in
2:31^ to win, but whether it was in a race or a trial I cannot now
recall. Mr. George Woodruff was an uncle of Hiram W^oodruff

Online LibraryOscar WildeLady Windermere's fan, and The importance of being Earnest → online text (page 34 of 61)