Excerpt from Making the American Thoroughbred
Especially in Tennessee, 1800-1845
By James Douglass Anderson
SUMNER COUNTY, BREEDING CENTRE
SUMNER COUNTY, established 1786, antedating the State of Tennessee by ten years, lies between the Kentucky line and the Cumberland River. It is at the head of the great Middle basin which extends through the state to the Alabama line. A dozen or more counties comprise the central area of this basin, among them being, besides Sumner, Davidson, Montgomery, Williamson, Rutherford, Maury, Giles, Bedford, Marshall and Lincoln. The soil of this basin is ingrained with limestone and as has been learned in recent years with phosphate. It is abundantly watered. Its adaptability to animal life was made known to the Indians by the great number of buffalo and deer always found here; and by agreement of various tribes this basin was held in common for use as a hunting ground. It was, therefore, in the logical course of events that the farmers of this rich basin should avail themselves of the opportunities which nature had placed at their door, and become the supply depot for the horse and mule market of other states.
The leading county in this industry was Sumner; and in Sumner the breeding business centered on east Station Camp Creek, which flows from the highlands in the north to Cumberland River, passing about two miles west of Gallatin. This creek is crossed by three roads that run west or northwest from Gallatin. Where the Nashville road the one nearest the river crosses the creek, lived Dr. Redmond Dillon Barry. Where the Long Hollow road next on the north crosses the creek lived James Cryer. Farther up the creek, where it is crossed by the Red River road, lies the farm long owned by Col. George Elliott. About four miles to the west of the Barry home, on the Nashville road, resided Rev. Hubbard Saunders. Orville Shelby lived "one half mile southwest of Gallatin" probably at Spencer's Choice. These were the men who laid the foundation for Sumner County's reputation among horsemen of the entire Union a reputation acquired as early as 1829 and maintained to within recent years.
A few words about these men before showing the immediate results of their labors as breeders.
Dr. Barry was a native of Ireland, a schoolmate and friend of Gen. Packenham at Dublin University. Through the influence of Charles James Fox he secured a position as surgeon in the British navy, but his sympathies being with the colonies, he resigned, settled in North Carolina, practiced medicine and made a fortune. He then studied law in the office of John Breckenridge (Attorney- General in Jefferson's Cabinet) in Louisville, removed to Gallatin, married Jane Alexander of the Mecklenburg (North Carolina) Alexanders, and became a successful lawyer. He was a warm friend of General Jackson.
The history of the grazing sections of Kentucky and Tennessee show such a close connection between blue blood and blue grass, it is worthy of mention that Dr. Barry, who brought Grey Medley into Middle Tennessee, also introduced blue grass; he blazed the way for the greatest agricultural specialty the Middle basin has ever had the breeding of thoroughbred horses. By this specialty has Tennessee been best known ever since she stopped producing presidents.
James Cryer was a Revolutionary soldier and came to Sumner County from North Carolina. He was a wealthy and influential citizen and represented Sumner County in the legislature of 1815. On the farm he owned may still be seen the marks of a track which is said to have been the first in Middle Tennessee where public race meetings were held, antedating Clover Bottom by many years. A few hundred yards away is the site of the old log court house, where Andrew Jackson had his famous fight with the Kuykendalls. It is tradition, firmly believed in this locality, that when Jackson was here attending Court as Attorney-General he rode in races on this track. The only way to undermine this tradition would be to prove that races were not run on this track when Jackson was here as Attorney-General.
Cryer died in 1816. Madam Tonson was his chief contribution to Sumner's foundation stock.
Col. George Elliott, born in North Carolina in 1781, was a colonel under Gen. John Coffee in the Creek war, and at the battle of New Orleans. By his efficient military service he won the friendship of Gen. Jackson. Jackson offered him command of the troops in the Florida war, but Elliott thought he had done his share of fighting and declined. Col. Elliott commenced his career as a breeder and turfman, prior to 1813, and continued until about the time of his death, in 1861. "Wall Spring" was the name of his farm and the residence built by him in 1828 still stands. In a flat across the road from his house Elliott had a splendid race track where many a "nag," afterward famous, joined the infant class in daily exercise. His home was a gathering place for people from all sections of the country and every meal was prepared for "company." Elliott accumulated a fortune. His success bespoke for him a genius for his calling tact, sound judgment and fine capacity for detail. All his contemporaries conceded to him first place among Tennessee breeders and turfmen. Top Gallant, Pacolet, Napoleon and Leviathan, in the order named, were Elliott's chief contributions to Sumner's foundation stock prior to 1840, in the male line; in the female line only Black Sophia need be mentioned.
Rev. Hubbard Saunders came from Virginia to Sumner County in 1798 and settled one mile west of the present site of Saundersville. McFerrin's "Methodism in Tennessee" says that Mr. Saunders "lived to an advanced age laboring all the time as a local preacher," and " maintained a fine reputation as a citizen and minister." On his land was erected a church the progenitor of the present Saunders Chapel and an encampment where, for many years, the Methodists held camp meetings. "These annual convocations," says McFerrin, "were great blessings and were the nurseries of Methodism in Sumner County." Mr. Saunders' farm was also the nursery of some fine race horses. His main contributions to Sumner County's foundation stock were Wilkes' Wonder, Rosey Clack and Tennessee Oscar. Mr. Saunders died in 1829, possessed of numerous slaves, several race horses, many thousands of acres of land in various sections of the country and thirteen children; to each of those living at his death he willed $30 to buy "mourning" to wear after his demise.
Orville Shelby, a son of David Shelby and grandson of Anthony Bledsoe, was born in Sumner County. He married, for his second wife, a daughter of Gen. James Winchester and moved to Kentucky about 1830. General Jo Shelby, of Shelby's Brigade C.S.A., was Orville Shelby's son by his first wife. As previously shown, Orville Shelby introduced Stockholder into Tennessee.
THREE MARES AND THEIR PRODUCE
ROSEY CLACK was bred in Virginia by W. E. Broadnax of Brunswick County, or by John Clack. Her sire was imp Saltram. Her dam was either Camilla by Melzar or Camilla by Symmes' Wildair both Camillas being owned by Broadnax. Balie Peyton said her dam was the Camilla by Wildair, and in his Reminiscences, No. 8, gives her pedigree extended; which see.
Rosey Clack was brought to Tennessee by Rev. Hub- bard Saunders about 1812 or 1813, and he owned her and bred from her until her death in 1827. Of her thirteen foals were Oscar by Wilkes' Wonder, 1814; Partnership by Cotton's Volunteer, 1821; Patty Puff by Pacolet, 1823; and Washington by Pacolet, 1824.
MADAM TONSON, by Elliott's Top Gallant, was foaled 1814, dam by Dr. Barry's Grey Medley; grandam by imp Oscar; g. grandam by imp Fearnought. Wallace says: "This was one of the most distinguished brood mares this country has produced. She was owned by the Rev. Hardy M. Cryer of Tennessee. Died 1831."
Madam Tonson's dam, owned by James Cryer, was from the stock of Boswell Johnson, a Virginian, who settled as a close neighbor to Cryer. Among Madam Tonson's ten foals were four sons by Pacolet: Monsieur Tonson, 1822; Sir Richard Tonson, 1823; Sir Henry Tonson, 1824; Champion, 1826.'
BLACK SOPHIA was by Elliott's Top Gallant, dam by Lamplighter, grandam by Beeder; by Buie (alias Bowie, alias Bouye). Lamplighter was by imp Medley. Beeder was by old Union and out of a full blooded Medley mare. See "Buov, ALIAS BUFORD'S DEFEAT."
For further information see sketches of James and Rev. Hardy M. Cryer and Thomas Foxhall.
Black Sophia ran at Bledsoe's and Mansker's creeks; in Wilson and Lincoln Counties; in Mississippi; and at Green Bottom Inn, near Huntsville, Alabama six or seven races in all and won every race. Elliott owned her many years and later she was owned by Col. A. B. Newsom. Newsom sold to Andrew Jackson, Jr., and other Alabama men, one half interest in her and two of her colts for $6,000. Bruce says "she was one of the best brood mares in America."
Among her produce when Elliott owned her were Morgiana by Pacolet, 1824; Jerry by Pacolet, 1825; Fortuna by Pacolet, 1826; Parasol by Napoleon, 1827; and Birmingham by Stockholder, 1831. When Newsom owned her she produced Catherine Barry, later called Beeswing, by Leviathan, 1835. She produced eight foals, the kst, in 1841, by Stockholder.
Morgiana ran eight races in Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi and won six. After Fortuna had run four races and won three, Elliott sold her for $2,000. Jerry's seven victories, out of ten races run, were won at Nashville, Natchez, New Orleans and other places.
PERFORMANCES OF PRODUCE
Now, as to this parent-stock's near descendants: Al l of the produce above named were more or less famed on the turf and as stallions or brood mares. But Oscar and the "four Tennessee Tonson Brothers" did more than any other horses, before 1829, to establish the reputation of Sumner County's native-bred stock.
MONSIEUR TONSON was 5 feet 3 inches high, a beautiful blood bay with black legs, mane and tail. All his markings showed the bluest blooded aristocracy.
In his first race, run in 1824, when thin and out of condition, he was defeated by A. B. Shelby's Pacolet filly, Maria. Three weeks later, at Cairo, Sumner County, he beat Maria and others in a mile-heat race. In the spring of 1825 he won the Jockey Club purse at Gallatin, 2-mile heats. In the fall of that year he won the great colt stakes at Gallatin, 11 entries, $200 each, again beating Shelby's Maria, Col. Robert Smith's, Andrew Jackson and others. Time 1: 50-1:51. A few days later, at Florence, Alabama, he beat Andrew Jackson again and others. From Florence he was taken to Natchez to run there and at New Orleans, but took the distemper and thrush and did not start. In the spring of 1826 Henry M. Clay bought a half interest in him and he travelled 1,200 miles to Milton, North Carolina, in June and commenced his career in North Carolina on Sept. 21, by winning a 2-mile heat race. The next week, at Caswell Court House, he beat Sally Walker, by Timoleon, in a 2-mile heat race. On Oct. 19 following, after travelling 150 miles, to Tree Hill near Richmond, Virginia, he beat the famous Ariel, Gohanna, and Blenheim in a 4-mile heat race. Two weeks later he beat Ariel, Sally Walker and LaFayette 3-mile heats at Belf1eld. The next week at New Hope, he vanquished Shakespeare in a 3-mile heat contest. Two weeks later at Boydton, Virginia, he beat Sally Walker in a 4-mile heat race, which for many years afterward was regarded in Virginia and elsewhere as the best race ever run in the United States. The track was pipe clay and hilly and at that time very wet, tough and heavy. Time 7:56-7:55. In the spring of 1827 he was lame and did not run. In the following September at Caswell Court House, North Carolina, in a 3-mile heat race with Frantic he wound up his turf career on three legs but he wound it up a victor and the recognized superior of any horse of his day.
Sally McGee, in six successive races, beat all her competitors except Sally Walker and later maintained her brilliant reputation "in the west." Sally Walker was considered greatly superior to all other race horses that ran in "this country" from Timoleon's day to 1833 except her only successful competitor, Monsieur Tonson.
After Mons. Tonson had become distinguished on the turf he was purchased by Orville Shelby for $ 1,000, and after he had beat everything from Nashville to Natchez, Green Berry Williams sold half interest in him for $1,000.
SIR HENRY TONSON, SIR RICHARD TONSON and CHAMPION were on a par with their oldest brother, as race horses. The Turf Register of March 1, 1835, printed a picture and sketch of Sir Henry Tonson, furnished by Balie Peyton. In both picture and sketch due notice is taken of a peculiarity which Henry inherited from his sire. Henry, like Pacolet, was a dapple gray, with "a red belt passing from midway his back around the near side sure pledge of his Arabian origin." Henry was 15 hands 3 inches high. At two years of age he was sold for the then enormous price of $2,200 to O. Shelby, who put him in training in charge of John C. Beasley and found him to be a colt of superior qualities of speed and bottom. In bleeding him his wind pipe was permanently injured, cutting short his once promising career on the track. But even under this physical disadvantage he scored one notable victory as a 3-year old at Gallatin. After winning the first heat over Mr. Malone's Negro, by Pacolet, and Col. Robert Smith's Oscar, and while in front, in the second heat, he bounded through the field, came back on the track sixty yards behind his competitors and won the race by several lengths, though his bolt lost him the money. He started only one other time.
Neither Sir Richard Tonson nor Champion, "although each bantered and ran against the world," was ever beat; and Henry, but for his injury, was considered their equal. Champion is said to have been sold for $3,000 before he ever ran a race1 and in 1831 he was held at $10,000. "Richard," said Judge Williams, "was the most beautiful horse that could be led into a show room."
In the Tonson brothers were united the crosses of Citizen, Medley and Bedford, and being of different types, also, from the Archy stock, their blood was much sought to mingle with that of the descendants of Diomed. In 1833 Col. W. R. Johnson, who owned many mares of the Archy and Eclipse stock, paid $10,000 for Mons. Tonson to use as a sire.
Among Mons. Tonson's distinguished get that joined the stallion class were Anvil who was brought to Sumner County, Drone (sold for $5,000) who stood in Virginia, Governor Burton who stood in South Carolina and Rhoderick Dhu who stood in North Carolina. All four of these horses were grandsons of Sir Archy, the first two out of Isabella, the last two out of Lady Burton. Argyle, another son, started 18 times, won 11, five of them 4- mile and two 3-mile heats. Champion was destroyed by disease; Richard died young but left some fine stock; Henry was a great success in the stud.
BETSEY MALONE, next in point of time, was the most distinguished product of Sumner County. Of her Wallace says: "Foaled 1829; got by Stockholder dam by Potomac g. dam by imp Diomed. Nothing more is known with certainty of the blood of this wonderful animal, but her performances on the turf at all distances and her produce in the stud, entitle her to a very high place in the true horse aristocracy. Out of 22 races at all distances she lost one, and she produced Charmer."
Peyton says he was sold at this price while at the head of the turf.
Betsey Malone was foaled the property of John Wesley Malone, of Sumner County, and was named by him for his wife. Tradition in the Malone family is that this mare never lost a race.1 She was trained by John Malone and Green Berry Williams and ran in Nashville, Natchez and other Southern cities. A news item in The Spirit in 1838 stated that Richard Beasley, of Nashville, had sold to W. J. Minor, of Natchez, Betsey Malone and her colt by imp Consol, of Alabama, for $2,200.
CELEBRITIES OF THE 1830's
Among the most successful racers in the United States, 1836-39, inclusive, were the following named descendants of the above mentioned parent stock. All of them were foaled in Sumner County unless otherwise stated.
ANGORA (Gen. Robert Desha's), foaled 1832; by Leviathan, dam Patty Puff. See ANGORA vs. RODOLPH, post.
SARAH BLADEN (Col. George Elliott's), foaled 1834; by Leviathan, dam Morgiana. She won $11,500 in six races and forfeitures in 1836-38. See "THE LEVIATHANS vs. THE LUZBOROUGHS," post.
In Skinner's table showing the best time on record at 2-mile heats prior to 1847, Sarah Bladen is put down as making that distance in 3:46 at New Orleans, March 17, 1842; in the 4-mile heat races she is credited with 7:45- 7:40, at New Orleans on March 17, 1841. Referring to an entirely different race from the above the Editor of The Turf Register wrote in February, 1843: "To this day the Turfmen of the Old Dominion and of the North will not concede that any performance made at New Orleans equals that of Sarah Bladen who, at eight years old, with her full weight up, ran 4-mile heats in 7:37-7:40."
Bruce says Betsey Malone's second dam was by imp Diomed and her third dam by Pegasus. Charmer was by Glencoe.
A writer in The Turf Register said she never lost a heat except the one in which she fell. Judge Jo C. Guild said she never lost a race except the one in which she fell.
(3) BIRMINGHAM (Col. George Elliott's), foaled 1831; by Stockholder, dam Black Sophia. Sold for $700 to A. B. Newsom, who sold him for $2,500 to Dr. Scott of Benton County, Alabama, who sold him for $4,500 to Maj. Kean of Mobile. After several victorious campaigns Birmingham, in the presence of a great crowd at Mobile, in April, 1837, as the entry of P. B. Starke, defeated Col. Vance Johnson's Scarlet in a match race, 4-mile heats, for $5,000. Scarlet was by Waxy (son of Sir Archy) dam by Tiger. Scarlet distanced first heat. Time 1:541:541:55 2:05. Total 4 miles 7:48. The Spirit said Birmingham could have made better time, but, as it was, proved himself "one of the very best horses on the American turf." At this same meeting four days later he was allowed to take down a $1,000 purse without opposition. In 1838 he was taken to Kentucky for use as a stallion and in 1839 Y. N. Oliver & Co., of New Orleans and Louisville, sold half interest in him to Throckmorton and Prestbury of Louisville for $4,000. As a stallion he earned a place in the list of celebrities.
(4) L1NNET,1 foaled 1832, by Leviathan, dam Object by Marshal Ney by Pacolet. James Jackson sold her as a 3-year old to W. J. Minor of Natchez, Miss., for $3,000 and Minor sold her to T. J. and M. Wells of Alexandria, Louisiana, for $6,000. Wells Brothers refused an offer of $12,000 for her. In seven races run in 1836-7-8 she won more than $20,000 in prizes. In a match race for $10,000 a side, $5,500 bye, mile heats, set for December 15, 1836, at Alexandria, Louisiana, Linnet received forfeit of $5,000 from Francis Henderson's Coahoma, by Mercury, dam by Sir Peter Teazle. In 1838, in a 4-mile heat race at New Orleans for a $2,000 purse she beat, among others, A. L. Bingaman's Fanny Wright (by Bertrand), "Crack of the South," who, in 1837, had won six 4-mile heat races aggregating $9,000 in purses. In 1838 at Natchez, Linnet won a $10,000 sweepstake from Angora. Angora's jockey fell off and Linnet got the money, but the respective merits of these two half-sisters from Sumner was not decided.
The fact that Linnet was later owned by James Jackson probably caused some writers to say she was bred by Jackson. General Desha who lived in Sumner at the time, said she was bred in Sumner. Bruce credits John Duncan of Alabama with owning Object. The fact that Object produced nine foals by Leviathan indicates a long residence in Sumner. At any rate she was of Sumner County stock.
In addition to the more than $20,000 winnings referred to above, Linnet received $5,000 forfeit on an inside bet of $10,000 with Col. Osmund Claiborne's Hinda (Susan Yandell) by Sir Richard Tonson, dam by Rockingham, in a 4-mile race won by Fanny Wright at Natchez in March, 1837. Both Hinda and Linnet were out of sorts and the latter was distanced the first heat. Linnet was the favorite.
(5) ZELINA, foaled 1833, by Leviathan, her dam (a sister to Betsey Malone) by Stockholder. Afterward owned in turn by Eli Abbott, J. B. Jones, Johnson & Tayloe and Henry H. Tayloe of Alabama. In 1836-7-8 she won three 4-mile heat races, five 3-mile heat races, two 2-mile heat races and four mile-heat races, her winnings amounting to $13,900. In this list was a $5,000 sweepstake won over Gen. J. A. Mabry's fine racer, Hugh Lawson White, by Leviathan, dam Julia Franklin by Conqueror, at Tuscaloosa, Alabama. At New Orleans, in December, 1838, she beat Linnet in a 2-mile heat race for a $10,000 purse; time 4:07 4:09.
(6) THE PONEY (Col. Jesse Cage's), foaled 1834; by Leviathan, dam by Stockholder; later sold to Thomas J. Wells, of Alexandria, Louisiana, for $3,000. In six races two of 4-mile heats, three of 3-mile heats and one a mile heat, run within the two years ending March 15, 1839, The Poney won $12,100. Ten thousand dollars of this sum was won in a match race at Mobile, 4-mile heats, with David Stephenson's Melzare, by Bertrand, dam Madam Bosley, by Sir Richard Tonson; time 7:48 7:56. Four days later, on March 15, 1839, at the same place, The Poney defeated four competitors in a 4-mile heat race for J. C. P., $1,000. After his racing career was over he became celebrated in the stud.
(7) BEESWING, by Leviathan, dam Black Sophia. Foaled 1835, as property of A. B. Newsom of Wilson County; at 2 years old sold to Jo C. Guild and Balie Peyton of Sumner, for $2,000. Peyton later sold his interest for $1,500 to T. J. and M. Wells of Louisiana and Beewsing joined the long procession of Sumner County horses that went South. In eight races run in 1838 and 1839 she won $14,100 for her owners. In her list of victories was a $5,000 match race in 1838 with Willina Herndon (by Woodpecker dam by Whipster), 4-mile heats, at New Orleans; time 8:15 8:37. On March 6, 1839, at New Orleans, she won $5,250 in a sweepstake, four running; time 3:44 3:47. Six days later at Mobile she distanced two competitors one 5 and the other 6 years old in a 2-mile heat race for a purse of $700.
In a statement of the best time on record at 2-mile heats up to December 1, 1846, Beeswing is one of the twelve horses mentioned. Her time was 3:44 3 = 47, made at New Orleans, March 26, 1839.
In winding up her successful turf career in New Orleans in 1840, Beeswing ran a 4-mile heat in 7:38. This was better than Peytona did in her race with Fashion; it was only one half second behind the best time made in the Eclipse-Henry race. It will be borne in mind that Sarah Bladen's time of 7:37, previously stated, was better than either heat of the Eclipse-Henry contest.
(8) LAVINIA, foaled 1835, by Leviathan, dam Parasol (by Elliott's Napoleon). Bred by Col. Robert Smith of Murfreesboro. She won seven mile-heat races in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, in 1838. Sold to B. M. Grissett, of Alabama (along with Lizzy Diggs by Leviathan, dam by Tennessee Oscar), for $6,000.*
It must not be assumed that these results came from haphazard ways of breeding. Mating was a science, and the chief pleasure that most breeders got out of the turf was in watching the practical test of their theories the joy of achievement. This fact must be kept in mind by all who would get at the heart of the thoroughbred industry before one branch of it came under the blighting influence of the bookmaker. Conceding this much to the impelling power behind the breeders it may be easily imagined how the news of the victories above enumerated, leaking back through the wilderness by way of the Natchez Trace, or by Mississippi steamer, stirred "the grand old county of Sumner" from the head of Goose to the mouth of Mansker.
Other successful horses bred in Sumner County at this same period, and wholly, or in part, from the above mentioned foundation stock were:
Between Oct. 1,1829 and May 8,1835, Black Maria won $14,900. Trifle, a nonpareil, and the most successful racer of her day, won $14,380; Post Boy won $12,700. In nine 4-mile heat races Boston won only $7,600 in purses. Atalanta in three races in New York and New Jersey won $1,500. Fanny Wright, "crack of the South," in six races won $9,000. Comparatively speaking the Sumner County stock made a very good showing.
(9) DANIEL O'CONNELL, foaled 1832; by Sir Henry Tonson, dam by imp Sir Harry; grandam by imp Diomed. Bred by G. W. Parker and sold to Col. Robert Smith of Murfreesboro for $1,200. Later he went south. After closing his career on the turf he became celebrated as a stallion. As a 2-year old he ran a mile in 1:49 an unusual feat for his period.
(10) QUEEN OF TRUMPS (Jesse Cage's); foaled 1835; by Leviathan, dam Fanny Maria by Pacolet; sold to Thomas J. Wells of Louisiana.
(11) FANNY BELL (Jesse Haynie's); foaled 1833; by Murat, dam by Tennessee Oscar; sold to Col. Robert Smith, of Murfreesboro, for $2,000; later was taken South and her promising career begun in Sumner County was cut short by incompetent handling.
(12) JOHN MALONE (formerly Dr. Duncan) (Jo C. Guild's); foaled 1836, by imp Leviathan, dam Proserpine by Tennessee Oscar.
(13) BOYD MCNAIRY (George Elliott's); foaled 1836, full brother to Sarah Bladen. After a successful career on the turf served as stallion in Kentucky.
Still other chips off these old foundation blocks, contemporaneous with those named above, were:
(14) HORTENSIA, by Pacific, dam Bet Bosley by Wilkes' Wonder; bred by Duke W. Sumner, of Davidson.
(15) NARRCISSA PARRISH, by Stockholder, dam by imp Eagle; bred by William McCrory, of Davidson.
(16) JIM POLK, by Stockholder, dam by imp Eagle; bred by Henry Smith, of Maury, and sold by him for $2,500.
All of these horses were sold to Mississippi and Louisiana and proved true to their family name and reputation, in the rivalries between their new owners.
EXPECTATIONS AND REALIZATIONS
The important place occupied by Sumner County in the estimation of sportsmen of the entire country is well illustrated by a letter written by Balie Peyton from "Station Camp" on July 1, 1837, to The Spirit of the Times, in which he said:
"The sweepstakes to come off over the Gallatin Course at the Fall meeting 1840, 2-mile heats, for $ 1,000 (each sub.) $250 forfeit, has closed with 23 subscribers. The nominations comprise ten of the get of imp Leviathan, three of imp Luzborough, three of imp Consol, two of imp Merman, one of imp Whale, one of imp Chateau Margaux, one of imp Priam, and two Bertrands. A more promising lot of colts, if we are to judge from their illustrious ancestry, has never been named for any stake, at least upon these waters. Large expectations are entertained. . . . We have in this stake entries of the most splendid turfmen in several of the adjacent states. One and a counter will be from the Old Dominion several from Alabama, Mississippi."
Other evidence without meaning to say it is all picked up at random is here given:
All of the six races run at the Nashville spring meeting, 1838; four of the five at the Nashville spring meeting, 1839; and four of the seven at the Nashville September meeting, 1841, were won by Sumner County horses; most of them wholly, and the others in part, descended from one or more of the foundation sires or dams, or both, named in this chapter. The four winners in 1841 were owned by Charles Lewis; three of the four were by Leviathan. Another of Leviathan's get, owned in another county, won at this meeting. In 1841 A. P. Yourie jogged out to Carrollton, Booneville and Dover, Missouri, with three samples of Sumner County "nags," won six races, lost one and paid forfeit in one. He "showed 'em" so well they thought he was a native of their own state.
The Barry Sweepstakes for 3-year olds, 2-mile heats, S 1,000 entrance, $250 forfeit, 23 subscribers, was run at Gallatin Sept. 14, 1840. Three started: Thos. Barry's Celerity, by imp Leviathan, dam Patty Puff; G. W. Parker's Flight by imp Leviathan, dam by Sir Charles; and Samuel Ragland's Lady Sherbrooke, by imp Priam, dam an imported mare by Woful. Celerity won the first heat in 3:49, but fell in the second and Lady Sherbrooke tumbled over her. Flight then went home and pulled down the $8,000, which was $900 more than the " Great Inauguration stake " at the opening of Jerome Park, New York, in October, 1866.
WAGNER AND ALBION
In 1843 Maj. Geo. A. Wyllie brought Wagner, by Sir Charles, dam Maria West by Marion, to Sumner County; and after Leviathan's death Col. Elliott put Albion at the head of his stud.
Wagner played a leading role in two of the most memorable contests in the annals of Kentucky racing. At Louisville, on Sept. 30, 1839, he met the great Kentucky champion, Grey Eagle, by Woodpecker, in a 4-mile heat contest for a sweepstake, $14,000. Wagner was 15J hands high, a handsome chestnut with a blaze in his face and white hind feet. Grey Eagle was "one of the f1nest looking horses that ever charmed the eye. He was 16 hands high, a beautiful gray, with flowing silver mane and tail." Wagner was owned by John Campbell, of Maryland, and run by James S. Garrison, of Louisiana; Grey Eagle was owned by A. L. Shotwell and run by Oliver and Dickey. All Kentucky witnessed the race and not a dollar of Kentucky money was bet against Grey Eagle; that would have been an unpardonable sin. Wagner won the first heat; the close of the second is thus described by Editor Porter of The Spirit:
"From the Oakland House home it was a terrible race. By the most extraordinary exertions, Wagner got up neck and neck with the gallant gray, as they swung round the turn into the quarter stretch. The feelings of the assembled thousands were wrought up to a pitch absolutely painful. Silence the most profound reigned over that vast assembly as these noble animals sped on as if life and death called forth their utmost energies. Both jockeys had their whip-hands at work, and at every stroke each spur, with a desperate stab, was buried to the rowel-head. Grey Eagle, for the first hundred yards, was clearly gaining; but in another instant, Wagner was even with him. Both were out and doing their best. It was anybody's race yet; now Wagner, now Grey Eagle, has the advantage. It will be a dead heat. ' See, Grey Eagle's got him!' ' No Wagner's ahead.' A moment ensues the people shout hearts throb ladies faint a thrill of emotion, and the race is over. Wagner wins by a neck in 7:44, the best race ever run South of the Potomac."
Kentucky made a motion for a new trial, which was granted, and the horses met again five days later on the same course, same distance, same crowd or larger and more excited. Grey Eagle won the f1rst heat, Wagner the second; in the third Grey Eagle broke down and so did Kentucky.
Of 20 races run, Wagner won 14, n of them being of 4-mile heats; his earnings $36,200.
Wagner's fame, therefore, preceded him to Sumner. But with Albion it was quite different he had no fame to precede him. It was not known who imported him. He was landed at Charleston, South Carolina, in the ship China, in January 1839, and was purchased at auction by Col. Geo. W. Polk for $1,600. He was trained awhile at Richmond and was later sold to Lucius J. Polk who kept him in the stud several years and then sold him to Col. Elliott. Tradition, supported by the records, is that Albion was a failure in the stud until he went to Elliott's. At any rate Wagner and Albion (and imp Sovereign who also stood at Elliott's) well sustained the reputation which their predecessors had given to Sumner County as a producer of fine stock. Albion's dam was Panthea, by Comus or Black lock.