Morgan Photo Archive


Black Stallion

Foaled Apr 1, 1833
Progeny   270 Total
Gelding 4
Stallion 266
Black 121
Brown 19
Chestnut 45
Gray 7
Unknown 31

From American Morgan Horse Register Volume 1 BLACK HAWK, son of Sherman Morgan, was bred by Benjamin Kelly of Durham, New Hampshire, and foaled April, 1833, the property of Ezekiel Twombly of same place. His color was full black, and he had no marks. His height was fifteen hands and his weight about one thousand pounds. His dam was a black mare whose breeder is unknown and whose breeding is doubtful. Mr. Linsley states that she was bred in New Brunswick and was half English or thoroughbred. A son of Benjamin Kelly says that his father traded for her with a pedlar at Haverhill, Massachusetts, and thinks the pedlar called her a Narragansett. Other testimony concerning this mare will appear in letters published within. She was a fast trotter and a superior mare. Black Hawk passed from the estate of Ezekiel Twombly to a grandson, Shadrack Seavey, who traded him, when coming five, to Albert R. Mathes for another horse and fifty dollars. Mr. Mathes sold him to Messrs. Brown & Thurston at Haverhill, Massachusetts, for two hundred dollars. Mr. Benjamin Thurston soon bought out Mr. Brown's interest, took the horse to Lowell, Massachusetts, and in 1844 sold him for eight hundred dollars to David Hill, Bridport, Vermont, where he was kept until his death, December 1st, 1856. In the fall of 1885 Mr. S. W. Parlin of Boston, Massachusetts, made a very through examination into the history of Black Hawk and his dam, the substance of which appeared shortly after in the "American Cultivator", as follows: ''Wishing to learn something definite concerning the man who bought Black Hawk from the estate after the death of Ezekial Twombly, and thinking that an interview with Wingate Twombly might open some trail that would, if followed up, give more light upon the early history of Black Hawk than had appeared in any account of that distinguished animal yet published, the writer visited the extensive farm of Mr. Charles H. Hayes, which is located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, about two and a half miles from the station. Fortunately, the proprietor was at home, and from him it was learned that Mr. Wingate Twombly was living in a house on a part of Mr. Hayes' estate, and, although well advanced in years, his memory of facts which occurred in his younger days was tolerably clear, and that he would undoubtedly be glad to give any information in his power concerning the early history of Black Hawk. "Mr. Hayes also suggested that Mr. Shadrack Seavey, an intelligent, wide-awake, well-to-do farmer, whose statements could be implicitly relied upon, was living in the adjoining town of Greenland, and might be able to give some information concerning the horse in question, as he was a grandson of Ezekiel Twombly and was living at his grandfather's at the latter's death. Following the direction of Mr. Hayes, Wingate Twombly was soon found, and although suffering somewhat from rheumatism, was up about the house, and quite as nimble as most men who have passed the line of four-score years. Making known at once the object of the visit, the following information was elicited from the old cr e ntleman, who stated that he was a son of Ezekiel Twombly, and was born in Durham, New Hampshire, October I, 1806. He had four brothers, named James, Isaac, Stephen and Shadrack, all of whom have been dead for years. He (Wingate) lived at home with his parents several years after he was of age. In 1832 his father, Ezekiel Twombly, traded an eight-year-old mare with Benjamin Kelly, who then kept a hotel in Durham, for a large black mare, agreeing to give Kelly a load of hay in case the black mare, which Mr. Kelly stated had been bred to Sherman Morgan, should prove in foal. "This mare he describes as being a large, handsome animal, with wide nostrils, good-sized head and ears (the latter well set and 'always carried upright, as straight as a stick'), neck of good length and well cut up under the jowls, strong back, good loin, hips of good width, rather straight and very smoothly turned, handsome croup and good legs, which were clean, flat and free from hair. She was well shaped, but not what would be called snug-built. Her color was black, with a white stripe in her face about the width of three fingers, extending from the middle of her forehead to her nose. This stripe was the only white about her excepting a few hairs growing in places where she had been galled by the harness. She had no white feet, and there were no white hairs mixed through her coat. After shedding her coat in the spring she was as black as jet one of the blackest he ever saw. " She stood about sixteen hands in height, weighed eleven hundred pounds, was as square a trotter as ever wore harness, never paced a step while he knew her, and was very fast for those times. Before trading with Mr. Twornbly, Kelly drove the mare a measured mile on the turnpike in three minutes to a gig when carrying Black Hawk. She was a mare of good courage, great endurance and excellent wind. He once drove her ten miles coming home from muster, over very muddy roads, with five in a heavy wagon. The distance was traveled in a very short time, but the mare's courage was as good the last rod as when she started. In traveling she carried her head fairly well up, or a little higher than her body ; was by no means a low-headed animal. " Although a free driver, needing no whip, she was a very kind-dispositioned animal, and safe for any one to use on the road. Mrs. Twombly frequently drove her alone after that lady was eighty years old. Mr. Kelly, from whom his father had the mare, claimed he got her of a pedlar, who represented that he brought her from Nova Scotia, and stated that her dam was imported. She was about eight years old when Mr. Twombly got her. He always said she was the best animal he ever drove. So good was her wind that after the most severe exertion she never puffed, but would fill her lungs once, give a long breath, and then breathe naturally. "When two years old Black Hawk gave them some trouble by breaking out of the enclosure where he was kept and visiting a neighbor's pasture. The following year the first of his produce was dropped, which at four years of age was sold for one hundred and seventy-five dollars. A similar event occurred in his four-year-old form, the result being a fine filly, which at six years of age was sold for six hundred dollars. " Black Hawk, when a colt, was a square-gaited, easy-moving, natural trotter, and very fast for that day. He was broken to harness at the usual age, and driven upon the road, where he soon distinguished himself by trotting past everything that he encountered, including the fastest trotters of the best horsemen in the vicinity of Greenland. He was at first quite light in the quarters, and at five years of age was quite peaked behind, but after being owned by Thurston awhile he filled out and improved considerably in this respect. He was always a very spirited driver, yet remarkably kind and tractable. In many respects he resembled his dam closely, especially in the shape of his head. ''Black Hawk was called The Morgan while owned intheTwombly family. When questioned in regard to the time of year that Black Hawk was dropped, Mr. Twombly had evidently been impressed with the idea, from some source, that it was May 23d, and so stated. He was also very confident that his father died in 1838, and so stated to Mr. Hayes, but the records show it to have been 1837. The dam of Black Hawk had two foals by Flint Morgan ; one of them, a mare, was heavier at four years of age than her dam ; neither of them became noted. Mr. Twombly did not remember what became of them. Flint Morgan he describes as a taller horse than Sherman Morgan. The dam of Black Hawk was owned in the family nearly ten years. After Ezekiel Twombly's death the colt, afterward known as Black Hawk, was appraised at sixty dollars and taken at the appraisal by Shadrack Seavey, a son of Wingate Twombly's sister, who lived with his grandparents. Seavey traded the colt with Albert Mathes, when it was five years old, for a mare and fifty dollars in cash. " Leaving Mr. Twombly, the writer drove at once to the home of Mr. Shadrack Seavey, about two and a half miles from Greenland Parade on the turnpike to Newburyport. Fortunately, Mr. Seavey was at home, and his appearance fully verified the statements of Mr. C. H. Hayes. Mr. Seavey stated that he was born in 1816, and went to live with his grandfather, Ezekiel Twombly, father of his mother, at a very early age, making it his home there until after his grandfather's death, which occurred in 1837. Sometime in 1832 Ezekiel Twombly, who was then living on a farm in Durham, New Hampshire, traded with Benjamin Kelly, a hotel-keeper in Durham, and got a mare, claimed at that time to be eight or nine years old, and in foal by Sherman Morgan. Mr. Kelly stated that he had the mare of a man who claimed to have brought her from Nova Scotia, and said she was of English blood. She was a large, black animal, with stripe in face, and no other marks ; would weigh, in his judgment, about eleven hundred pounds ; had a good head and ear, long, slim neck, medium mane and tail, round barrel of good length, hand- some, smoothly-turned hips, quite a straight rump, legs smooth and free from shaggy hair. Not being accustomed to measuring horses, he could not tell very nearly as to her height, but thought it mightbe fifteen hands. " She was a very pleasant, free driver, did not pull on the bit in the least, was a square trotter, never showing any inclination to pace, and was very fast. In harness she carried her head pretty well up ; needed but little checking. Although a free driver, she had a pleasant disposition, and would not run away if touched with the whip, yet she needed no encouragement from the lash. It was afterwards stated that she had been used one season on a butcher's cart in Concord, New Hampshire, before Kelly got her, but he never took pains to learn, as but little attention was paid in those days to tracing the breeding of animals. Early in the spring of 1833, not later than the middle of April at latest, this mare dropped one of the homeliest colts that he ever saw from that day to this. He remembers the event well. The ground was bare, but there was no grass. The mare had the liberty of the field and he was keeping lookout to see that she did not get away. Suddenly she left the field and went back of the barn into the pasture. About twenty minutes later Mr. Seavey went to look for her and found her in the pasture with the above mentioned colt. They got them to the barn; and not long afterwards a neighbor named Thompson came to buy some hay to feed his cows upon until grass grew. Mr. Thompson thought the colt would come out all right and make a hundred dollar horse. The colt improved in looks as he grew older, and in the fall, though considerably under size, a Dr. Downs who saw him prophesied he would some day be worth one hundred dollars. "Mr. Twombly finally gave the colt to him (Shadrack Seavey) and he had the whole care of him. He was the first one to bridle him, the first to mount him on the back, and the first to break him to harness. The colt was a pure-gaited trotter from the first, very spirited, yet wonderfully kind. When breaking him the harness he used was so old and weak that nearly every time he started out some part of it gave way, yet the colt never ran away or did any damage. In those days farmers did not think of feeding grain to colts, and Black Hawk never ate a feed of oats so long as Mr. Seavey had charge of him. "In the fall of 1835 Ezekiel Twombly, with his family and stock, moved from Durham to Greenland, where he died in 1837, after which his property was appraised, and although the colt had been given to Mr. Seavey, it was decided to appraise that also, the value being fixed at sixty dollars, and at this figure he was taken by Mr. Seavey, to whom the estate was indebted for labor. "Besides the foals already mentioned from Black Hawk's dam, she produced two others by her son Black Hawk, both of which died. The old mare finally became lame, and, in 1841, Mr. Seavey sold her for the family and lost track of her, so that he cannot tell when or where she died. "Black Hawk was a square trotter from the first, and after being fairly broken was never passed on the road while owned by Mr. Seavey. So strong was his inclination to trot that during all the time Mr. Seavey drove him he never made a break, and he never came across a team on the road, during the last year that he had him, that he did not go by. He was one of the prettiest driving horses that ever lived. "At one time Mr. Seavey made up his mind to have him gelded, and arranged with a Mr. J. Whitten to perform the operation and keep him until sound. The day was set and the colt was led down to Whitten, who urged so strongly against it that Mr. Seavey changed his mind. It was in the spring of 1838 that Mr. Seavey traded the colt with Mr. A. R. Mathes. The first time Mr. Mathes came to see him he drove a very smart traveling horse. The folks were away from home with the sleigh, and Mr. Seavey was compelled to show him in an old vehicle not suitable for the purpose. After driving past Mr. Mathes a few times, the latter wanted to drive him, to which Mr. S. consented, and they started for Greenland Parade with the colt in the lead. Arriving at the Parade, Mr. M. was inclined to chaff the young man, telling him in a manner that started Mr. Seavey's grit that the colt was no trotter. "Finally Mr. Seavey suggested to Mathes that he would accompany him part way home, that Mathes might start ahead, and if he could not pass him he would give Mathes the colt. They started, and after driving a short distance met a loaded team. Mathes reined to the right, but Seavey went to the left, drew up on the reins, shot by Mathes before he came into the road and drove away from him, but waited for him to come up, and at Mathes' urgent request let him take the colt home that night, Mr. Seavey taking the mare, which he returned the next day and got his colt. "A few days afterwards Mr. Mathes brought another mare, for which and fifty dollars in cash Mr. Seavey exchanged Black Hawk. Mr. Seavey saw Black Hawk once when owned by Mr. Mathes, and found him suffering from a slight lameness in one hind pastern, caused by driving him at speed over an uneven culvert. "The above statements of Messrs. Seavey and Twombly were obtained in reply to questions, the answers to which were carefully noted upon the spot. Noticing a descrepancy between the two statements concerning the date of foaling, a letter was addressed to Mr. Seavey calling his attention to the date given by Mr. Twombly, and asking if that was as he remembered the matter, to which came the following reply : "' GREENLAND, November 22, 1885. "'S. W. PARLIN. Dear Sir: Mr. Twombly is mistaken in regard to the time Black Hawk was foaled. It must have been before the middle of April, for I well remember there was no feed in the fields or pastures. He was foaled in Durham, in 1833, and we moved to this place in the fall of 1835. The following spring the colt was three years old. The mane of the mare was about medium, as was also her tail for length. As to her height, I told you all I knew or remembered about it. You are welcome to all the information I have been able to give you, and if I do not know about Black Hawk's ancestors, no one does. Respectfully, SHABRACK SEAVEY'. "Thinking if the dam of Black Hawk was of pacing stock, as has been lately suggested, Mr. A. R. Mathes, who is an experienced horseman, must remember something to that effect, a letter was ad- dressed to him, to which he replied as follows : "' STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT, November, 20, 1885. " 'EDITOR OF THE " AMERICAN CULTIVATOR" : Your favor of the 1 9th inst. is before me and I hasten to reply. Am just recovering from a severe sickness, but am always pleased to answer communications in reference to Black Hawk. I love to think about the splendid horse he was. I have owned and seen a great many good ones, but I do not remember one his equal. As to his dam, she was a mare that even in these times would be looked upon among horsemen as a superior animal, having a fine loin, clean flat legs, long neck, wide between the eyes, ears rather long but well set, and a very intelligent, bright-looking countenance. As I remember her, she had no resemblance to pacing form in any particular, having a straight rather than drooping rump. She was, I should judge, about sixteen hands, nice-shaped withers and all black, as you say Seavey describes her. All in all, she was a good one, and I should like to own one now as she was when I knew her. I always understood that she came from Nova Scotia to Durham. In answer to your postscript, will say she was a fine-coated animal, with legs quite free from extra hair, showing superior breeding from some source. I 'forgot to mention the stripe in her face, otherwise remember no white about her. Seavey certainly ought to know about that. It is a pleasure to answer your letters, as it brings me back to pleasant recollections of old times. Very truly yours, A. R. MATHES'. "The original charge of John Bellows for the services of Sherman Morgan as obtained by Allen Thomson of Woodstock, Vermont, and lately published by the 'Middlebury Register' is as follows: '1882 May 14. Benjamin Kelly of Durham, Dr. To black mare as warrant $14.00 groom money i .00 "Underneath this charge at another time, Mr. Bellows inserted the following : ' This mare produced Black Hawk from this service Another article in the "American Cultivator", on Black Hawk, " In strength and beauty of form, elegance of carriage, ease and elasticity of action, and fine, cheerful disposition, combined with great endurance and all the other qualities requisite in a first-class roadster and trotter, Black Hawk far surpassed any other stallion of his day, and has probably never had an equal outside the Morgan family". We add the following letters : "STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT, June 30, 1885. "EDITOR OF THE ' AMERICAN CULTIVATOR'. "He was sired by Sherman Morgan, who was owned by a Mr. Bellows and stood in Durham at Kelly's hotel one day each week. The horse and dam I remember perfectly well. The dam was a good-looking, large-sized black mare, said to have come from Nova Scotia ; also said to have been from English stock, and from experience since I should think she was. Nothing was ever said or thought much of in those days about pedigree or speed. "I remember her as being a good-looking, easy-moving mare with long neck, large ear, full, large eyes, wide between eyes, strong, short back, good legs and feet. I could tell you many particulars referring to Black Hawk from the time I sold him to Brown and Thurs- ton until the horse died. It was at Brown's hotel, Haverhill, Massachusetts, that I sold the colt. They bought together, and Thurston afterward bought the other half. I will be pleased to answer any other questions would give you more information by seeing you. Truly yours, A. R. MATHES". "DEAR SIR: Yours of the 29th at hand. When I first saw Black Hawk he was poor, small, and long-coated, yet he had such a bright, intelligent look that I fancied him and asked the owner to harness him to his sleigh. I stood and saw him drive past me once or twice, and finally exchanged a cheaper horse for him. It was his style and easy, open gait that I admired more than any- thing else, and I never saw anything before or since more perfect. He was one of the kind that is always broken. I improved his speed and general appearance very much during the short time I kept him. I don't think he was ever away from the farm before I bought him, and I sold him directly to Brown and Thurston. Brown afterward sold his interest to Thurston, who gave the horse the name of Black Hawk". C. H. Hayes of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, writes of the dam of Black Hawk : "The dam of Black Hawk was a black, striped-faced mare from Nova Scotia, and would weigh one thousand pounds. She was a powerful animal of great endurance, and could haul two men to a wagon a mile in three minutes. Her dam was said to have been imported". Two statements as to the origin of this mare have been made, both purporting to come from the teamster who traded her to Mr. Kelly. They are contradictory. Nothing is known as to the knowledge of this teamster. One of these versions has been given ; the other is contained in the following letter of John L. Kelly, son of Benjamin Kelly, written to Allen W.Thomson, Woodstock, Vermont, and dated August 25th, 1876: "In answer to your inquiries about the dam of Black Hawk I will give you my best recollections, aided somewhat by a diary I kept at that time. I returned to Durham from a sea voyage in the fall of 1830. In the following spring I went to Boston with my father, with a lot of horses. We stopped over night at Brown's Hotel, Haverhill, Massachusetts, where we met a teamster from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with a team of four horses. In a hind span was a large gray horse and a dark bay mare. Among father's horses was one which was a good match for the gray horse. The man noticed it, and told father that the mare was too fast for the horse, worth two of him for speed and bottom, yet he would trade with father for this gray horse. After a good deal of talk, with the aid of Mr. Brown the trade was made, and we drove the mare in the carriage to Boston, leading the others. We found her to be a splendid roadster, and as she was not in good condition to sell, we took her back to Durham. At this time she was chafed and bruised up very badly with heavy hames, yet in a few months she came out of it with no traces of it except a few white spots on her back and head. The teamster said she was a Narragansett mare. She would weigh a thousand pounds. Father kept her as one of his stable horses. She was found to have great speed as a trotter and father was always bragging about her. One day late in the season, Israel Estey of Dover drove over to Durham with a trotter and bantered father to trot mile heats on Medbury Plain between Durham and Dover. I had great faith in the mare and pleaded with father to accept his offer, as he did, and fifty dollars was staked on the race. John Speed was father's hostler at the time, and he commenced getting the mare ready for the race. He had only three weeks to do it in. At the time specified, a large collection of people from Dover and Durham collected to see the race. Dr. Reuben Steele of Durham was one of the judges. The Estey horse won the first heat, the Kelly mare the next two, distancing the horse the last time. In the spring of 1832 John Bellows came to Durham with the old Sherman Morgan and I persuaded father to have the mare stinted to him, which he did. I saw the horse cover her. I was twenty-one in 1832. I went to sea again that fall. My recollection of the dam of Black Hawk is, she was a very fine pointed mare. When she was excited her nostril was so large one could put his fist in it. JOHN L. KELLY". George D. Bisbee of Buckfield, Maine, writes to the " Middlebury Register", July 5th, 1888, as follows: " Robert Burns, who bred and owned Burns' Trotting Childers, is now a very old man, and all the way to get any information from him is to go and see him. He was a leading political man and bred many horses; he was well acquainted with Hill, who owned Black Hawk, and took his mare there in person ; also to Maynard's. Burns claims to know all about the dam. Burns says Black Hawk's dam came from Frederickton, New Brunswick ; that her sire and dam were imported by Judge Saunders of Frederickton, and were the Wildair breed ; that Judge Saunders sold Black Hawk's dam to a traveling dentist when three years old, who took her to Providence, Rhode Island, after which Burns says she became the property of one Jacques of Charlestown, Massachusetts, who bred her to old Sherman Morgan. Burns says Judge Saunders' son gave him the above, and I give it to you for what it is worth. Burns also tells me that the owner of the dam of Maynard's Trotting Childers assured him she was of the purest Morgan blood and very fast, called Queen of the Neck, and could trot in the twenties. The 'American Cultivator' mentioned this mare last spring; and I think they called her Lady Forrest. Burns is a very reliable and intelligent man and if I can be of any assistance to you in seeing him I will do all I can in that direction". It will be perceived that in his letter Mr. Kelly calls the mare bay, in which he was certainly mistaken ; for every other witness, any one of whom was in as good position to know as Mr. Kelly, or better, says she was black. Again it is Mr. Kelly that, writing forty-five years after the event, says : " The teamster said she was a Narragansett mare". But none of the other witnesses mentioned above makes any such suggestion, and their description of the mare, with her pure trotting gait and want of any pacing conformation, squarely contrdicts it. The prabability, therefore, is that Mr. Kelly was as much mistaken in his recollection of what the teamster said about the origin of the mare as he was in her color. It is possible the teamster might have inadvertedly, or ignorantly, used the word Narragansett, referring to locality, and not blood, because the mare had recently come from Rhode Island, the Narragansett region. It is, too, unfortunate that this letter was in "answer to inquiries" of A. W. Thomson, who, as we have had occasion several times to know,has the unhappy faculty at times of coaching witnesses, or suggesting to them what he wants them to testify. Indeed, we are strongly of the belief that all these suggestions of Narragansett origin, color of the mare, and date of foaling as given by Wingate Twombly, are the handiwork of Mr. Thomson, who went into this investigation for the purpose of supporting certain peculiar theories of his own in regard to breeding. Unfortunately Mr. Kelly is dead and cannot correct any errors that Mr. Thomson led him into. In a similar caseconcerningthe dam of Ethan Allen, Mr. Justus B. Rising of Ticonderoga, New York, a gentleman of excellent memory, intelligence and character, indignantly repudiated, over his own signature, some testimony procured from him by Mr. Thomson through his peculiar methods. The statements that the dam of Black Hawk came from Nova Scotia are perfectly consistent with those of her having been bred in New Brunswick, as those two contiguous provinces are pretty much identified in the average New England mind. Moreover, if the parents were imported, they must have come to Nova Scotia. The statement that she came from one of these provinces, and was of English or thoroughbred blood, was doubtless the one that David Hill received when he bought the horse, as he always stated that Black Hawk's dam came from New Brunswick, and was largely of thoroughbred blood. Mr. Linsley doubtless got this information from Mr. Hill, and several gentlemen yet living in this county remember that Mr. Hill so stated, among them Mr. W. W. Moore of Shoreham, a relative of Mr. Hill and a liberal patron of Black Hawk. Mr. Hill was the person above all others who Had an interest to know the origin of the dam of Black Hawk. He was a horseman and a stallion owner from early life, having owned, among others, the celebrated and highbred horse, Sir Charles, son of Duroc, whose pedigree he always gave with much care in his numerous advertisements of him in different Vermont papers, showing that he appreciated the importance of pedigree. Doubtless he got as accurate a statement as possible, and that statement, " His darn was raised in New Brunswick, and is described as a half-blood English mare, a very fine animal, black, and a fast trotter", is set down without qualification by Mr. Linsley, a careful and conscientious compiler. Comparing this with the statements of Shadrack Seavey, who had Black Hawk from the day of his birth till five years old, " Mr. Kelly stated that he had the mare of a man who claimed to have brought her from Nova Scotia, and said she was of English blood " ; of Wingate Twombly, son of Ezekiel, whose property Black Hawk was foaled, " Mr. Kelly claimed he got her of a pedlar who represented that he brought her from Nova Scotia, and stated that her dam was imported " ; of A. R. Mathes, who bought the horse of Seavey, "I always understood she came from Nova Scotia to Durham", and, "The dam was a goodlooking, large-sized, black mare, said to have come from Nova Scotia; also said to have been from English stock, and from experience since I should think she was"; and of C. H. Hayes, "The dam of Black Hawk was a black, stripe-faced mare from Nova Scotia. * Her dam was said to have been imported"; and it is seen at once that the evidence of this origin and blood of the dam of Black Hawk is about as strong as tradition can make it, even without the letter of Mr. Bisbee. The statements of Robert Burns, quoted in Mr. Bisbee's letter, are very striking. They are the only account we have of the origin of the dam of Black Hawk, purporting to be from personal knowledge, and this account, if there is no mistake in the identity of the animal, comes ultimately from the breeder himself. When we received this letter, as its purport seemed to be that Black Hawk was bred by Mr. Jacques, we did not consider it valuable and so did not at that time follow it up. But on reflection we perceived that the main fact, the breeding of the dam of Black Hawk, of w r hich alone Judge Saunders would have personal knowledge, might have been correct, though the statement of transfers after the dentist took her to Rhode Island, being matters of report, might be inaccurate; or, it is possible that the mare passed from the dentist to Mr. Jacques, and, whether mated with Sherman by him or not, from him to the teamster that sold her to Mr. Kelly. Mr. Parlin states that Mr. Bellows' stud-books of Sherman begin with 1831. It is not certain that the horse was not kept the season of 1830 by Mr. Jacques at Charlestown. We have followed Mr. Linsley's statement that he was at Dover, but the advertisement of Woodbury Morgan for 1832, by Jesse Johnson, one of the best-informed horsemen of his day, states that Sherman Morgan "was kept at Charlestown, Massachusetts, the last two seasons ". (See page 146.) But whether this statement of Mr. Burns is the true solution or not, the preponderance of evidence is overwhelming that the mare came from either the province of New Brunswick or Nova Scotia, and was, in part at least, of thoroughbred blood. The following article, entitled " Reminiscences of Black Hawk", written by the Hon. George B. Loring, appeared also in the " American Cultivator": " LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, ) LISBON, July 19, 1889. 5 " DEAR MR. PARLIN : Your interesting articles on Black Hawk carry me back to the time when this remarkable horse stood at the head as a sire of roadsters and trotters. I knew him well when he was owned by Benjamin Thurston of Lowell, and when he had just commenced his service. Not long before that he had been jointly purchased by William Brown of Haverhill and Thurston, who were greatly attracted by the speed of the colt, which his owner had brought to Haverhill for sale. In describing the young horse, Thurston once said to me: 'He trotted so fast that I was scared'. He soon became well known, on account of his style and power, in all that region. Once a week Thurston used to lead or drive him into my native town, North Andover, a graceful, resolute little horse, which attracted great attention, and he was used by owners of some good mares in that town, which had descended from old Bellfounder through a powerful son owned by Colonel Moody Bridges, named Roulston. " From a stylish and excellent Morgan mare owned by my father Black Hawk produced a most wonderful colt, known afterwards as the Reed Horse in Lowell, and the Johnson Horse in Salem ; a stylish, beautiful horse, about fifteen and a half hands, of the finest bay color, with an even, resolute gait of about 2 140. Black Ralph was sired about the same time, out of a Roulston mare, bred by Major Adams, a prominent farmer in the town So was Lady Lawrence, dam a smallsized, powerful gray mare, bred by Josiah Crosby, and which made her well-remembered and beautiful race at Cambridge, I think was owned afterwards by Jonathan Phillips of Swampscott, and was killed by lightning while in his possession. Were Lady Lawrence alive today she would be queen of the track. Her gait was perfect, her stride was great, and her action and style were magnificent. From that day until now I have been so fortunate as to keep a strain of Black Hawk blood in my stable, either from the old horse or from his son, Trotting Childers. "A son of Trotting Childers named Doncaster, which I sold to Mr. Paran Stevens, was a small horse of great speed and untiring endurance. He could trot better than 2 130, and I never knew him to be tired. He left colts in and around Salem which were remarkable for courage and power. Only two, I think, remain. A pair of old horses, one by Childers and one by a son of Doncaster, are now in my stable, with a great record of labor and merit. A brown mare out of a white mare, a daughter of Doncaster, is, I think, as nearly perfect as horse can be, and a great-granddaughter of Doncaster, by George Wilkes, Jr., dam by Smuggler, promises great speed, and has courage and energy. This mare, now four years old, has George Wilkes as a grandsire on her sire's side, and Smuggler as a grandsire on her dam's side. But it is Black Hawk blood in all these that I value, and I can safely say the best horses I have bred have possessed this strain. I do not mean to say they have all been fast, although some of them have been, but they have all those qualities which make a reliable, sensible, fearless, enduring horse. ''This is the kind of a horse that Black Hawk himself was. He was one of the strongest horses I ever knew. His dam was said to be of English blood. They used to say that Justin Morgan, small as he was, could at a dead lift pull more weight than any other horse in Vermont; and I have no doubt Black Hawk was capable of the same performance. He was admirably balanced. His stifles and gaskins were immense and beautifully formed. His back was short and strong. His shoulders and arms were very muscular. At the same time he was symmetrical and had no superfluous flesh. No horse ever had a handsomer head and neck than he had, and his intelligence was great. His power in harness was apparently equal to any weight. His gait was always level, and his break was an advantage rather than a hindrance to his speed. I have seen him pull an old-fashioned C-spring chaise at a rate almost speedy, and when he broke, even with this great weight behind him, he seemed to be running away, and he returned to his feet again as if he had only a sulky behind him. That a handsome, cheerful, powerful, well-made, good-gaited horse like this should have laid the foundation of a good family is perfectly natural. " It is not from cold-blooded horses that we get such a family as he founded. For while the Black Hawks may be second to the Hambletonians in 'producing turf performers', they are second to none in the production of sure-footed, intelligent and spirited animals for the road, in addition to their long list of trotters which you have so diligently and accurately made in the recent columns of the 'Cultivator'. Whatever may be said of other families, it can be truly said of the Black Hawks that they always improved the quality of the horse wherever they were introduced. If any horse has done better service to the stock of the country than Black Hawk, and Ethan Allen, and Daniel Lambert, and Gen. Knox, or if better brood mares than those you have named can be found, I am sure you would be glad of the list. For your presentation of the Black Hawk history and record, every lover of the horse should cordially thank you. Truly yours, GEORGE B. LORING". Mr. Benjamin Thurston of Lowell, who was for several years the owner of Black Hawk, under whose training he was brought out on the trotting course, and by whom he was sold to Mr. Hill, in 1844, in writing to Mr. Hill, under date of October /th, 1847, thus speaks: "I bought Black Hawk when he was five years old; for six years used him as my family horse, and think him, without exception, the finest horse I ever knew. I have owned many horses for the last twenty-five years, varying from ten to thirty-five at a time, and have also been in the habit of purchasing the best I could find for sale ; but if the choicest qualities of the best horses I ever owned were combined, I do not think they would produce an animal to surpass Black Hawk. In the first place, he is the best roadster I ever drew rein over. I have frequently driven him fifty miles in half a day, and once drove him sixty-three miles in seven hours and fifteen minutes. He did it with perfect ease, and indeed I never saw him ap- pear fatigued. At the time I owned him, I believe he could have trotted one hundred miles in ten hours, or sixteen miles in one hour, or one mile in two minutes and forty seconds. In the second place, he has the best disposition of any horse I ever knew, and is perfectly safe for any lady to ride or drive. Thirdly, he will draw as kindly as any team horse. His stock is unequalled". Black Hawk often participated in trotting contests, usually driven by his owner, Mr. Thurston, and, so far as known, was never beaten. Records of but few of these contests have been preserved. Chester records two, a five-mile race for one thousand dollars, at Boston in 1842, which he won in 16 minutes; and a race at the same place, October 3d, 1843, two-mile heats, best three in five, for four hundred dollars, which Black Hawk won in straight heats ; time, 5 143, 5 148, 5 147. This gives him a record of sixteen minutes at five miles, and 5 143 at two miles. Chester gives him a mile harness record of 2:51^, which, it may be observed, is just half the time of the two-mile record above noted. Mr. Linsley says (Morgan Horses, page 191): " Single miles he made at different times in 2 : 42 ", and such is his record in the Year Book. Early in 1847 the owners of Black Hawk, at the instance of Solomon W. Jewett, then a prominent breeder of Weybridge, Vermont, published a challenge to match Black Hawk against any entire horse in America, at the New York State fair the following autumn, on the following points : " First, perfectness of symmetry ; second, ease and elegance of action ; third, best and most perfectly broken to harness ; fourth, fastest trotting to single harness". The challenge was not accepted, but led to a trotting contest, at the fair last mentioned, between Black Hawk and the gray Morse Horse (son of European and sire of Alexander's Norman), which Black Hawk won, although in stud condition at the close of a very large season. This was his last regular race. Many sons of Black Hawk were sold at large prices. Wherever they went they were appreciated, and from them sprung families of surpassing elegance and the highest excellence for the general purposes of business and social life. The superiority of the family of Black Hawk as roadsters has, to a large extent, prevented their use upon the trotting turf. Never- theless from the ranks of the swift and stylish roadsters sprung from Black Hawk have been eliminated so many fast and enduring trotters that his fame as a progenitor of road horses scarcely surpasses his reputation as the founder of a trotting family. Mr. J. H. Sanders, in the" Breeder's Gazette", in April, 1 891, said: "The investigation into the pedigrees of the trotting horses of America, which we have been required to make in the preparation of the Breeder's Trotting Stud Book, has led us to put a higher estimate upon the blood of Black Hawk than has generally been accorded to him by writers upon the trotting horse. Indeed, speaking only from a general impression of the results, we are inclined to the opinion that the name of but one horse, Rysdyk's Hambletonian, will be found more frequently in the pedigrees of standard-bred trotters. "We run against this Black Hawk family in so many un- expected places in combination with other trotting strains, and find so many trotters scattered all over the country in whose veins no other recognized trotting blood is known to exist, that we are compelled to recognize him as a stallion of marked prepotency as a sire, and one in whose descendants the capacity and the disposition to trot fast exist to a very remarkable degree". The stud books of Black Hawk show the number of mares bred to him after he came to Bridport, Vermont. The books do not show the number of foals got after the second season. The price the first four seasons was ten dollars per season. It was then gradually raised and the last two seasons was one hundred dollars. The season that he had two hundred, sixty-four were bred the second time, twelve of the sixty-four a third time, two of the sixty- four the fourth time, and one of the sixty-four the fifth time. Three of these trotters are not certainly of the get of Black Hawk. On the other hand, comparatively few races in that period were recorded, and doubtless many of his get trotted, and won races, that are not in the above list. Mr. Linsley mentions the following as having made the time set against their names, viz. ; Stockbridge Chief 2 144, Black Hawk Chief 2 :48 and Maynard's Black Hawk 2:50; but whether in races or trials is not stated. A careful summary of the tables of 2 130 trotters, at the close of 1892, shows that nearly fifteenhundred trace to Black Hawk, of vhich over five hundred are in male line, thirty-one being by nineteen sons ; one hundred and seventy-eight by eighty-one grandsons ; one hundred and eighty-four by ninety-five great-grandsons ; ninety- one by fifty-six great-great-grandsons; and thirty-six by sixteen great-great-great-grandsons. Mr. Linsley says: " In size, compactness, style of action, great muscular development, temperament and endurance he exhibits the distinguishing traits of the Morgans to a high degree. His stock, though generally larger, being from larger dams, exhibit much the same characteristics, and their color, when not black, is almost with- out exception bay or chestnut, the latter color being quite common. Many of his colts have the same marks in the face and upon the feet that belong to Sherman and his dam. We never saw a gray, a white, or a cream-colored horse from him. " Black Hawk is a little under fifteen hands high, and weighs about ten hundred pounds. His compact, symmetrical and muscular form, and nervous, elastic style of action, give unmistakable evidence of the speed and endurance he has shown upon the turf and road ; and although twenty-three years old, his eye has lost none of its brightness, his health is still excellent, and his movements are still graceful and energetic. One of the chief excellencies of Black Hawk, and one which he possesses in a remarkable degree, is the uniformity with which he stamps upon his offspring his own distinguishing characteristics. Few colts were-sired by him previous to 1844, when he became the property of David Hill, and since that time he has been constantly kept at that gentleman's stable, in Bridport, Vermont ". Dear Sir: Yours of the 2/th inst. at hand. I will answer your questions as near as I can, and in order as they were asked. I bought the colt, afterward known as Black Hawk, of a nephew of Ezekiel Twombly. The colt was coming five years old. I kept him only a short time, perhaps four or six weeks. I used him only for practice, or teaching him to trot. He cost me eighty dollars. I sold him for two hundred dollars. The names of the Twomblys, as you state in your letter, I think are correct. Ezekiel is the one who raised the colt in Durham and moved to Greenland, died there and the colt came into possession of the nephew, whose name I do not recollect. I only knew or heard of the colt two or three days before I went to see him and bought. One of the Twomblys living in Durham told me of him. At the time I saw him he was in the cowyard with the cattle, thin in flesh, rough-looking, and small. Would probably have weighed not to exceed seven hundred and fifty or eight hundred pounds.

Custom Responsive Web Design by Propeller Media Works