Oscar Wilde.

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

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and a very worthy man. To him I am indebted for all the de-
tails of the early life of Andrew Jackson, and they were of his
■own personal knowledge.

Kemble Jackson. — About the year 1853, of all the idols of
the trotting-horse world, perhaps no one had so many worship-
ers as Kemble Jackson. In 1852 he was beaten by O'Blennis,
three-mile heats in harness, and in April, 1853, he was beaten by
both Green Mountain Maid and Lady Vernon, mile heats in har-
ness, but in June following he achieved a great triumph. The
race was on the Union Course and there was a vast concourse of
people there to see it. The purse and stake was for four thou-
sand dollars, three-mile heats to two hundred and fifty-pound
wagons. The interest was very intense, as O'Blennis, Boston
Girl, Pet, lola and Honest John were in it. Each horse in the
race made better time than he ever made before, and yet Kemble.
Jackson took the lead and maintained it from end to end, with-
out a skip or a break. After the first heat even, the friends of
O'Blennis would not hedge their money, for they had faith that
the gallant son of Abdallah would win. The finish of the second
heat was in the order above given. The time was 8:03, 8:04f.


Faster time has since been made to wagon, but probably not with-
this weight and at this distance. As a weight-puller for three
miles I believe he still remains the champion. He was a very
strongly built chestnut horse, and was got by Andrew Jackson
the last year of his life.

The pedigree of his dam was in confusion for a long time.
Her name was Fanny Kemble. There were a number of run-
ning-bred mares named after that very popular actress, and every-
body who had anything tracing to "Fanny Kemble" was sure
that that particular mare was the dam of Kemble Jackson. In the
first volume of the "Register" he is given as out of Fanny Kem-
ble by Sir Archy, and in the second volume there was some fairly
good evidence that he was out of Fanny Kemble by Hunt's
Eagle, tracing on through running lines. It is true he was out
of a mare called Fanny Kemble, but neither of the two foregoing.
Pier blood was wholly unknown. The Hon. Ely Moore was a
member of Congress, and when on his way to Washington in 1839
he saw a very fine, stout-looking mare hitched to a gig in the
city of Baltimore. She was a chestnut and showed such ability
to handle a great heavy gig with ease and rapidity that he bought
her. He bought her for what she was herself and not for what
her blood was. There was no evidence asked or given as to how
she was bred. This mare produced several foals to Andrew
Jackson, the youngest of which was Kemble Jackson. While he
was still a colt, Mr. Moore presented him to his son-in law, G.
U. Eeynolds, who still owned him when he died. Mr. Reynolds
is an intelligent and very reputable man, and this is the history
of the origin of Kemble Jackson as given to me in person by
him. Mr. Moore paid two hundred and fifty dollars for this
mare Fanny Kemble, and she was so handsome and so fast on the
road that he considered her a very cheap mare. The company
never was too hot nor the road too long for her.

Everybody has heard of "The Kemble Jackson Check" and
nearly everybody, until within the last few years at least, has-
been using it without knowing Just why or when it can
.be used with advantage. When in the hands of Hiram Wood-
ruff, Kemble Jackson got into the habit of bringing his chin back
against his breast, and in that shape Hiram could pull on him all
day without getting control of him. In this dilemma, Mr.
Reynolds suggested an overdraw check which might prevent the
indulgence of this bad habit. Hiram took the suggestion, had


one made, and it was a snccess, in his case. In twenty-four da3's
after the performance Avhich made him a great name from one
end of the land to the otiier he died of rupture. As he was only
nine years old and as he was just beginning to be appreciated as
a stallion the breeders of the country sustained a great loss. Up
to this point in his history he had no reputation, had been little
patronized and left but Cow of his progeny to perpetuate his

Long Island Black. Hawk. — This son of Andrew Jackson
was foaled 1837 and his dam was the distinguished trotter Sally
Miller, by Tippoo Saib, son of Tippoo Saib by imported Messen-
ger. This mare was bred in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and
trotted as a three-year-old in 1838 on the Hunting Park Course,
Philadelphia. She was distinguished in her day, beating many
of the best, and was the first three-year-old trotter of which we
have any account. She was finally owned on Long Island, but I
have never been able to learn the name of her owner. Black
Hawk trotted some famous races on Long Island, the most noted
of which, perhaps, was his match with Jenny Lind in which he
was to pull a two hundred and fifty-pound wagon, and the mare
the usual weight. In this match he beat her in straight heats.
Time 2:40, 2:38, 3:43. "in 1849 he beat Cassius M. Clay, time
3:41, 3:38, 3:41. This horse was owned for a time by Jonas
Hoover, of Germantown, Columbia County, New York, and was
there called Andrew Jackson Jr., or Young Andrew Jackson.
He made some seasons in Orange County, and died at Mont-
gomery in that county July, 1850. His progeny were not
numerous and but two of them from his own loins entered the
3:30 list. His son Jupiter put five in the 3:30 list; Andrew
Jackson Jr., two; Mohawk, three; Nonpareil, two; Plow Boy,
one; and Vernol's Black Hawk, one; to which we may add the
fact that this last named was the sire of the famous Iowa stal-
lion, Green's Bashaw. Although his life was not long and his
stud career was probably up to the average, it cannot be said that
he was a great progenitor of trotters.

Henry Clay, the nominal head of the tribe that has taken
his name, was a black horse, foaled 1837, got by Andrew Jackson,
son of Young Bashaw; and his dam was Surrey, or Lady Surrey,
as she is sometimes called, a pacing mare that was brought from
Surrey, New Hampshire, to New York, and was converted to a
trotter, or possibly she may have been double-gaited from her


birth. It has been generally stated in years past that this mare
was brought from Canada, and as there have been many dis-
l^utes about her origin, I will try to give what authentic knowl-
edge we have concerning her.

Mr. Peter W. Jones, one of the "old-time" horsemen and a
very reliable man, said that David W. Gilmore, formerly a grocer
at City Hall Place and Pearl Street, New York, bought a pacing
mare, five years old, of Mark D. Perkins, of Mount Vernon, New
Hampshire, which came from Surrey, New Hampshire, and hence
her name "Lady Surrey." Gilmore rode her to New York, with a
young man named Love joy. He gave less than one hundred
dollars for her. She was a superior saddle mare, and as Mr. Gil-
more appreciated horseback riding he bought her for that purpose.
Frank Gilmore, who was a deputy sheriff under Sheriff Orser, of
New York, said that Lady Surrey was the mare his brother rode
from New Hampshire, and after he sold her she turned out to
be a trotter.

This is the story as told by Mr. Jones, and judging from its
source I have no doubt it is substantially correct. This leaves us
without any knowledge whatever of the blood of the mare, but
only that she was both a pacer and a trotter. She was engaged in
some races and was quite well known to the trotting men of that
day, and she must have been a pretty good one to have been
owned by such a horseman as George M. Patchen and by him
bred to Andrew Jackson. It is said Surrey and Sally Miller were
coupled with Andrew Jackson the same day; they both stood,
and the one produced Henry Clay and the other Long Island
Black Hawk.

While Henry Clay remained the property of his breeder he was
trained and was looked upon as a promising young horse, but I
have not been able to determine what rate of speed he was able
to show. He certainly did not stand anywhere near the fastest,
and he does not appear to have ever won a race, and perhaps
never started in one. Still, he was esteemed as one of the best
horses on Long Island and was liberally supported while there.
When about eight years old he was sold for a fine price to Gen-
eral Wadsworth, of Livingston County, New York, and he was
kept at various points in that part of the State till he died of old
age and neglect in 1867. He came into the world when trotters
were few and he lived till they were many. He left a numerous
progeny, but as the sire of trotters he was a pronounced failure.


In examining the 2:30 list I find a single one of his get, before
he left Long Island, with a single heat of even 2:30. And in
examining the list of his get during the twenty-odd years of his
life in Western New York, I find a single representative, with
a single heat in even 2:30, and this one was out of a mare by old
Champion, a very noted trotting progenitor. He left three sons
that appear as sires: Andy Johnson, with three just inside of the
2:30 list, Henry Clay Jr., with a single one to his credit, and
Cassius M. Clay, with one very fast one to his credit. This
Cassius M. Clay was the. sire of the famous George M. Patchen.
Three of Henry Clay's daughters produced six 2:30 trotters, and
for a time it was held that the dam of the very famous George
Wilkes was a daughter of his, but that claim has not been sus-
tained by later developments.

The name and memory of the horse Henry Clay would have
been perpetuated in horse history through an attenuated line of
descendants, as a fairly good horse, though unsuccessful as a trot-
ting progenitor, had his bones been left to rest and rot where
they were buried. Unfortunately, about the time of his death,
there sprang up a most voluble enthusiast whose special mission
on earth seemed to be to extol the superlative greatness of Henry
Clay, and the contemptible worthlessness of "Bill Eysdyk's bull,"
as he designated Hambletonian. He commenced pouring his end-
less contributions into the columns of the breeding press and
writing interminable letters to as many prominent breeders as
would receive them, and all about the Clay blood being the only
blood from which the trotter could be bred. These effusions
were written with some skill, abounding in great prodigality of
fancy and still greater economy of truth. It was astonishing
how many men believed what he said and how few understood
that the "old man" was in it as a "business." He had gathered up
all the cheap sons of the old horse and wanted to sell them at a
handsome advance, and for a time the game won.

To keep the interest from falling oS. and the Clay blood mov-
ing, he secured access to the purses of two wealthy gentlemen
who were possessors and admirers of Clay blood, and the bones
of the horse were taken up, mounted and set up, and presented
to the United States National Museum at Washington, D. C.
The bones are still there, and the inscription on the pedestal
when last seen was as follows:


" The progenitor of the entire family of Clay
Horses, and the foundation of the

American Trotting Horse." •

Then follow the names of the two gentlemen who presented
the bones to the Museum, bat as a kindness to them their names
are omitted. The first clause of the inscription is true, but
the second is not true, and I very seriously doubt whether they
ever authorized the second clause. Henry Clay was not the
"foundation" of anything, except the airy fabric of a fortune for
our enthusiast. The scheme as an advertising dodge was well
worked, and the schemer could well exclaim, "Where now is Bill
Eysdyk's bull?" In the nature of things such shams cannot last;
this one had its fleeting day, and in the end the sheriff sold its
worthless accumulations.

Cassius M. Clay. — This son of Henry Clay Avas quite a large
bay horse, taking his color and much of his shape from
his dam. He was foaled 1843, and his dam, Jersey Kate,
was the dam of the trotting horse John Anderson. Jersey
Kate was a bay, about fifteen hands three inches high, with
a clean, bony head, long neck, well set up, and when in driv-
ing condition was a little high on her legs. She was used in
livery work, and when a good and fast driver was wanted, Jersey
Kate was always in demand. In the same stable a pair of
"Canuck" ponies were kept that were driven in a delivery wagon.
They were duns with white manes and tails and about fourteen
and one-half hands high, quick steppers with no speed. One of
them slipped his halter one night and got Jersev Kate with foal.
While she was carrying this foal she became the property of Mr.
Z. B. Van Wyck's father, and when she had dropped her colt and
was put to farm work it was found that she was too rapid and
spirited for his other horses, and he sold her to Joseph Oliver, of
Brooklyn. The colt she dropped was weaned before the sale of
the dam and remained in the family till he grew up. He was a
grey, a little below fifteen hands, and as the boy, Z. B. Van Wyck,
had broken and ridden him he got it into his head that he would
make a trotter, so he bought him from his father for eighty dol-
lars. He continued to improve and he sold him to Timothy T.
Jackson and he to Charles Carman, who trotted him in many
races. When Mr. Oliver, then owner of Jersey Kate, saw her
"catch" colt by a "Canuck" pony able to beat many of the
good ones on the island, he concluded to breed her to Mr.


Patchen's horse, Henry Clay, and the produce was Cassius M.
■Clay. From her appearance, form, and especially her action, it
was the universal opinion she was by Mambrino, son of Messen-
ger, and it is probable she was, but in the absence of proof she
must be classed as "breeding unknown." Had it not been for
the speed of little John Anderson, there would not have been
any Cassius M. Clay.

When the colt grew up, Mr. Oliver, his breeder, sold him to
Mr. George M. Patchen, of Brooklyn, and he became a very popu-
lar stallion. After the death of Kemble Jackson and Long
Island Black Hawk he was considered the best trotting stallion
on Long Island. He was in a good many races, some of which
were reported, but more that were not, and as against stallions,
he was with the fastest. In temper he was disposed to be vicious
and had to be watched. In form he could not be considered
beautiful, but powerful. When the artist was modeling the
equestrian statue of Washington that stands in Union Square,
he had a great search for a horse to serve as a model, and he
selected Cassius M. Clay as the best representative of majesty
and power that he could find. Although the bronze is of heroic
size, it is, no doubt, a fair representation of the outline and
structure of the horse. He died at Montgomery, Orange County,
New York, July, 1854, in the same stable where Long Island
Black Hawk had died four years before. The three great horses.
Long Island Black Hawk, Kemble Jackson and Cassius M. Clay,
died just as they entered on what should have been the period of
their greatest usefulness, the first at the age of thirteen; the
second at the age of nine; and the third at the age of eleven. If
these horses had lived through the usual period of horse life,
doubtless the records of performers would bear very different
relations from what they do to-day, but the really great sire had
not yet made his appearance.

Considering the short period Cassius M. Clay was in the stud
he left a numerous progeny, but only one of them, George M.
Patchen, achieved greatness on the turf. He placed thirty-four
heats in 3:30 or better to his credit and made a record of 2:23^
in 1860, which was the fastest for any stallion of his day. This
was the only one in the 2:30 list from the loins of Cassius M.
Clay. Nine of his sons became the sires of eighteen trotters,
and more than a dozen of his sons were named "Cassius M. Clay


Jr.," thus leading to great confusion and oftentimes uncertainty
as to identity.

Cassius M. Clay Jr. (Neave's). — This was a brown horse
foaled 1848, got by Cassius M. Clay; dam by Chancellor, son of
Mambrino; grandam by Engineer, sire of Lady Suffolk, He was
bred by Charles Mitchell, of Manhasset, Long Island, owned by
Joseph Godwin, New York; stood in Orange County, 1852, in
Dutchess, 1853, and was taken to Cincinnati that fall. He was
owned by Mr. Neave, made a few seasons, broke his leg in the
hands of Mr. McKelvy, and had to be destroyed. Mr. Godwin
represented this horse to me as very fast until four years old,
when by an accident he was thrown into the Harlem Kiver when
hot and was stiff ever afterward. He put four of his get into
the 2:30 list, and four of his sons got ten trotters and one pacer.
His early death was esteemed a great loss, for he was better bred
than most of the other sons of his sire.

Clay Pilot, by Cassius M. Clay (Neave's), was out of a catch
filly, whose dam was the famous Kate, the grandam of Almont.
From the noted old trotting mare Belle of Wabash, whose his-
tory will be found in Chapter XXX. on the investigation of pedi-
grees. Clay Pilot got The Moor, himself a fast trotter and a suc-
cessful sire. He died at ten years old, leaving among others the
famous Beautiful Bells, 2:29^, that, mated with Electioneer, pro-
duced a remarkable family; and Sultan, 2:24, sire of the great
Stamboul, 2:07^, and of thirty-eight other performers, and of
thirteen producing sons and twenty producing daughters. The
Moor founded an excellent family.

From a sister to Crabtree Bellfounder, by imported Bell-
founder, Neave's Cassius M. Clay got the black stallion Harry
Clay, 2:29, that was quite a reputable trotter in his day, and left
five standard performers, sixteen producing sons and twenty-
three producing daughters, among the latter the famous Green
Mountain Maid, the dam of Electioneer.

Cassius M. Clay Jr. (Strader's). — This was a handsome
brown horse, foaled 1852, by the original Cassius, and his dam was
a black mare, by Abdallah, that passed through the hands of A.
Van Cortlandt and afterward became the property of Joseph
Godwin; grandam by Lawrence's Eclipse; great-grandam the
Charles Hadley mare by imported Messenger. This pedigree
has been questioned without assigning any reasons or facts, but
as it came to me circumstantially and from unquestionable sources.


I have no reason to doubt it. He was bred by Joseph H, God-
win, of New York, and foaled the property of Dr. Spaulding, of
Greenupsburg, Kentucky. He made some seasons in the hands
of Dr. Herr, of Lexington, Kentucky, was bought 1868 by R. S.
Strader, and passed to General W. T, Withers, of Lexington,
where he died 1882. He was engaged in several races and made
a record of 2:35:^. He put four in the 2:30 list, and he left six-
teen sons that were the sires of forty-six trotters and seven
pacers. His daughters have produced well, thirty-four of them
having produced forty-two trotters and seven pacers. This
shows him to have been a better horse than his sire and better
than any of the other sons of his sire.

George M. Patchen was a large bay horse, fully sixteen hands
high and heavily proportioned. He was bred by H. F. Sickles,
Monmouth County, New Jersey, for Richard F. Carman, of New
York, the owner of his dam. He was got by the original Cas-
«ius M. Clay, and his dam was a light chestnut mare, owned and
driven on the road by Mr. Carman. As the blood and origin of
this mare was for many years unknown, it is necessary to go into
some particulars concerning it. From 1835 two brothers,
Thomas and Richard Tone, were contractors on the streets in the
northern part of New York City. Two or three years afterward
Richard bought or traded for a large, strong sorrel mare to work
in one of their dirt carts. It was represented that she had lost a
foal shortly before and she was thin in flesh and looked coarse.
When she moved out of a walk she always went into a pace, and that
seemed to be her natural gait. They kept this mare at work in
the cart for several years and sometimes turned her out to pas-
ture in a small field at the foot of "Break-neck" hill, adjoining
a pasture owned by the Bradhurst family. One morning a two-
year-old stallion colt, owned by Samuel Bradhurst, was found in
the pasture with the big pacing mare. He had broken down the
fence between the two pastures and gotten the big mare with
foal. In due time she dropped a light chestnut filly, and when
weaned, Thomas Tone bought this filly from his brother Richard,
and at two years old commenced working her to his wagon. She
had very severe treatment for so young an animal and went amiss,
when Thomas sold her to James Scanlon, a blacksmith, and after
a time he sold her to Richard F. Carman for a driving mare.
Like her dam, when she started off she would pace, but after
going some distance she would strike a trot and go very fast.


Mr. Carman paid one hundred dollars for her and he drove her
beside another that he paid fifteen hundred for, and his fast daily
drives from Carmanville down to the city soon tested the respec-
tive merits of the two mares. The hundred-dollar mare could
outlast the other and had to help her along toward the end of
the drive. In time she was foundered and permanently stiffened
and that was the reason she was sent to Mr. Sickles to be bred.

We must now look after the two-year-old colt that was the sire
of this mare. Robert L. Stevens, of Hoboken, owned the famous
race mare, Betsey Ransom, and with others he bred from her
the two fillies, Itasca and Frolic. lu 1837 these two mares were
owned by Samuel Bradhurst, who manifested a sporting disposi-
tion, very much against the wishes of his father. In 1837 he
bred these two mares to imported Trustee, then standing at
Union Course, Long Island, and the produce were Head'em
and Fanny Ransom. It is not known what became of Fanny
Ransom, but he continued to own Head'em for some years and
ran him in 1841 at the Union Course and beat the imported colt
Baronet, by Spencer. There seems to be no other trace of his
running or his stud services. It was in 1840, therefore, that he
jumped the fence and in 1841 that the dam of George M. Patchen
was foaled. George Canavan, Mr. Bradhurst's. coachman,
says there were no other foals of any description bred by Mr.
Bradhurst. These facts were gleaned personally and separately
from Tone and Canavan, and as they complement and sustain
each other, they must be accepted as the best information extant
on the breeding of this great horse. His dam was by Head'em,
a son of Trustee, out of a mare by American Eclipse, a grandson
of Messenger, and she was a pacer and a trotter. His grandam
was a pacer of unknown breeding.

In 1851 he was purchased for four hundred dollars from Mr.
Sickles by John Buckley, of Bordentown, New Jersey, and a few
months afterward he sold a half interest in him to Dr. Long-
street, of the same place, and he remained their joint property till
1858, when Mr. Buckley sold his half interest to Mr. Joseph Hall,
of Rochester, New York. He commenced his remarkable career
on the turf in 1855 and it continued till 1863. In 1858 he was
engaged in the first race that gave him a national reputation.
This was against no less a celebrity than Ethan Allen, and he was
distanced, leaving Ethan with a clear title to the stallion cham-
pionship. In 1860 he turned the tables on his old rival and beat


him in straight heats in 2:25, 2:24, 2:29. The next week the
contest was renewed and Patchen again won in straight heats,
and this gave him the unchallenged right to the rank of the fast-
est trotting stallion in the world. His triumphs, however, were
as wide as the trotting turf and not limited to sex. He was able
to beat and did beat all the best but the indomitable little Flora
Temple, and although he beat her twice, she was too fast for him
and beat him many times. It is not my purpose to give a history
of his achievements. It is sufficient to say he made a record of
2:23^, with thirty-four heats to his credit in 2:30 and less, and
two miles in 4:51^.

It cannot be said that he was a very great success in the stud
as we now measure success. Four of his get were able to enter
the 2:30 list, and among them was the great Lucy, with her,
record of 2:18:j. Fifteen of his sons became the sires of sixty-
two trotters and three pacers, and four of his daughters produced
five trotters. It is hardly fair to compare the stud services of a

Online LibraryOscar WildeLady Windermere's fan, and The importance of being Earnest → online text (page 35 of 61)