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D.H. Pierce ( of Histories Of Game Strains)
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Ask the seller a question. Signed books Why settle for an ordinary copy of your favorite book when you could have an autographed copy? A special order item has limited availability and the seller may source this title from another supplier. Pierce but he would not sell him, so I returned him in good shape in the fall of I mated this Pierce cock to one of the old dark-blue hens that Nick left with me when he moved to Chicago and from this mating I got dark-blues and dark-brown reds. Fought the stags and refought them and only one lost his first battle. I then bred one of my Blue cocks over one of the half blood hens and the quarter-bloods win a good majority of their battles.
I have two dark-blue hens today that are daughters of the Pierce cock. They are over nine years old and are strong and healthy brood hens yet. In , Henry Flock sent me a blue-red, white leg, red eyed, straight comb cock from El Paso, Texas and wanted me to breed him. Said if I did not want him to just send him to his daughter at home and that she would care for him until he returned.
Flock had won twice with him and had pronounced him a wonder. He said that Jas. Oakley had bred him out of a Smith Blue cock that he got off Smith Bros. I bred this cock single mated on one of my old Blue hens and he nicked well with my blood. I bred back to my Blues and the quarter bloods won a larger percent than did the half bloods. I am saving some of the quarter-blood hens. Denham and both were good. I traded some of my Pierce cross and of the Oakley cock cross to Hasel for some of his Whitehackles and Shawlneck crosses and breed a few each year carrying this blood.
This concludes the history of my straight comb blues. The feather color of the Nigger Roundheads now are Black, Black Red, and Dark Red, the eye color is black or red, leg color has been dark but with the Sheldon Roundhead blood in them I am sure one day I will get some lighter legs out of them. But, when Sam Wactor first started breeding his Nigger Roundheads he got some BLUE feathered ones but sent them to another yard away from his main farm. And over the years he bred out the BLUE colors.
However, in doing research on many breeds of fowl you will find that many had a blue in them some where. I talked to Jack Wactor Sr. However, Jack Wactor SR. I will continue to raise and test the Nigger Roundheads as they cross very well with my other fowl. I hope you enjoy the history of the Nigger Roundheads as much as I did. Burnell Shelton had country walks near my father's farm and he began using him to help catch his chickens.
Shelton gave him a yard of chickens that same year which he bred and kept pure for years. As much as he liked his Sheldon Roundheads he still was not dominating at the pits. He thought if he found a sure enough outstanding cock he would breed him over some of his roundhead hens.
Charlie Knapp a New Orleans banker, close friend and supporters of Sam's told him if he ever saw the rooster he wanted he would buy it for him. The rooster was fought twice that day and won both fights quickly. The rooster was a dark brown-red with a dark face, eyes and legs. Sam bred the cock over 9 Sheldon Roundhead hens some yellow legs and some white and all the biddies came dark. He only bred the Grimme cock for one season because he was killed by his offspring and he never bred back to the Roundhead side.
Out of this breeding he raised an outstanding rooster he called Trotter. Trotter proved to be such an exceptional rooster he continued to breed him over his daughters and then granddaughters and so on for twelve straight years and he always bred to the black side. No out-crossing was ever attempted. Fresh blood was added within the family using the dominant stag over the yard and Trotter in the brood pens. Eventually they picked up the name Nigger Roundheads and this name stuck with them over the years. My belief is the name Black Travelers is just a deviation of the Black Trotters. The Nigger Roundheads of Sam Wactor have been kept pure and have maintained their absolute gameness, body structure and feathers.
No infusing of out side blood to date. Jack L. Wactor also stated on the phone that Sam Wactor did in fact sell many of the "Nigger Roundheads" to William McRae and that they were sent to the Islands. In picture's that have been traded between Jack and I, I am of the belief that the Black McRae's are of mostly "Nigger Roundhead" blood with other strains of fowl being added to the Nigger Roundheads from time to time by William McRae.
But that the Nigger Roundheads are the dominate strain of fowl used in the make up of the Black McRae's. From that time on the once great family of fighting cocks that he had built decined. Though many may boast of having them today, old timers know that the claims have little or no foundation. Back in , Wingate brought over from north of Ireland a single comb strain of chickens, in color they were mostly brown red, some showing ginger color and all showing dark legs and hazel eyes, the hens were sharp and stylish looking a dark brown or ginger some showing straw neck feathers.
They were medium stationed and many grew spurs. He had her set up and mounted when she died. This mounted hen is in existence today but looks nothing like the hens of the so-called Wingates you see in these later days. The cocks of this family were not big cocks being in condition 5. Broad backed and not heavy, though strong boned. They were single stroked cocks fast and strong in the mix-up not high flyers, rushing wild hitting cocks they now want to call Wingates. Did Wingate add any new blood to the above family? Of course he did he added the blood of an English hen he brought over a mahogany colored hen with hazel eyes and dark lead colored legs.
He bred this hen under the Irish cock and then bred some of those cross back into the original line. The infusion of the English hen's blood increased the poundage until off and on a cock would weigh 6. Holly Chappell enters the picture, Chappell while down in Alabama on one of his trips to the south got hold of a standout cock and brought him home. He bred him over his hens that were understood to be north Britain and brown red crosses. Wingate and Chappell were friends, Wingate got one of the cocks out of this cross and bred him over a brown red hen.
After reducing the cross some more, he put the blood of the Chappell line into the Irish family. That is the layout of the Wingate Irish brown reds as the old-timers up here in the hills recall it. The Kearney and Duryea fowl There can be but little doubt in the minds of the students in the cocking fraternity that the gamest fowl in this country, not only today but as far back as any of us now living can remember, come and came from the vicinity of New York City. Lest some of the readers get gamest confused with best.
Let us hasten to assure you we used the former. Ever in the short fast heels of today. We believe a main could be selected from among the better long heel fowl that could take the gamest fowl in or around New York. We won't go into the whys and wherefore of that statement just now. With hardly an exception the gamest families we can recall when their pedigree is traced back leads right to New York City. The few we can think of that were not descended from New York City were from not very far away and did a big share of their fighting against the New York crowd.
The gamest fowl it has been this writers privilege to see in the past 25 years were the so-called Hardy mahoganies, the Hatch fowl the Albany's the Jim Thompson fowl and very few others that is which filled the bill as deep game fowl in our book.
The Albanys were half Hardy through a cock called "the sneak" and on the other side of Albany family there was some Hatch blood, Hatch too came from and lived all his life in or very near New York City. His fowl were said to have been the result of a cross between an Adam Schreiber, Albany,NY, hen that Thompson had a man name Squealer Murray steal for him, and some old game stock down near New York City. There are plenty of winning fowl in both the North and South that seldom show bad factor, yet, we have not included then in our list of the gamest families. Those who are familiar with deep game fowl will understand why.
And when deep game fowl and New York are mentioned, Mike Kearney sticks out like a sore thumb. Kearney is said to have arrived in this country from Ireland in about He brought fowl with him and in a comparatively short time, was in the midst of cocking activities in and around New York. Either at or soon after his arrival, the type of heels preferred in that section were what later came to be know as slow heels.
They where a regulation heel with a blade, but, one and one-quarter inch long in length. The blade was thick with the point more or less blunt. The rules used were known as New York rules, ten tens required to count out a cock and peck would break the count at any time, under such conditions, deep game cocks were an absolute necessity and fighting ability and cutting ability were a secondary consideration, just the opposite, incidentally, from today with our modern rules and faster heel.
The Mike Kearney whitehackles, brown reds and others were used to a certain extent as a standard to go by in measuring gameness, Mike Kearney has been dead for many years, yet even today most of our gamest fowl can be traced back to his fowl. Rogers published the warrior, , its pages were constantly filled with stories of the Kearney and Duryea fowl.
Nearly all of this was written by A. In the past fifteen years we have at every opportunity questioned anyone we thought might have some information of this regard to either the Kearney or Duryea in the following we are going to tell you a few of the things we learned. Several years a go in Troy, we met a Boston cocker who's name we have forgotten and who has since passed away.
Meaning of "cockfighting" in the English dictionary
He was well-known on the game and was an ink salesman. Tom Kelly of Watertown knows who I mean. At any rate this man told me he visited Kearney on Long Island one time and told him he would like to see a pure Kearney white hackle, Mike reached in a peb and brought out a typical white hackle exept he had a round head and pea comb, he told mike he didn't know white hackles came pea comb.
Today, Harry Kearney confirms the fact that their whitehackles came from Ireland with both pea and straight comb just as mike previously to the ink salesman. Further more and this came indirectly from Harry both him and his dad, Mike, preferred their brown reds to their white hackles, because they were gamer, stronger, and harder hitters, although the whitehackles were better cutters.
They ran a saloon and had nowhere but a small back yard in which to breed and raise fowl. Until Mike hooked up with Duryea and took complete charge of the breeding and fighting of his fowl. Duryea had the fowl on his estate at Red Bank, New Jersey, and he, himself maintained a large racing and breeding stable in France. He spent considerable time there. Mike mated the yards at Red Bank and generally ran things with the fowl to suit himself.
Duryea very much disliked a brown red chicken and forebode Mike to have any of then on the place. However as Duryea liked them, they bred some and used them along with their white hackles and some crosses of the two. As we stated above for a period of five or six years the warrior contained reams and reams about the Kearny and Duryea fowl. Gamest on earth, best winning family in history, etc.
Blue Face fowl Lum Gilmore got a cock from Ted McClean it was a small stationed cock ran around Gilmore's place for some time and there where no hens with him.
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He was said to be a hard hitter, and when cockers stopped by they sparred him to show how hard he could hit. When sparred or exerted in any way he turned blue in the face, hence the name blue face. Some stags and pullets were raised from that mating. Sometime before that two hens where stolen from Hatch on Long Island and given to Sweater, and, not long after that Sweater was inducted into the service. He put the two Hatch hens with E. Law to keep for him until he returned. When he got out, he immediately got in touch with Law to get the hens.
Law told him one had died, but he sent Sweater the other one. These chickens were bred by Jim Shy of Lexington,Ky. Shy lived near the racetrack at Lexington and bred his chickens on the farm of Jim Price, who lived near Pinegrove, Ky. Their farm join the land owned by Mr. Gay on which he lived and bred his chickens. The cocks came red, brown red ,pyle and blue red. Gay had an uncle who lived near Pinegrove who remembered walking cocks for Prive and Shy in the fifties. Soon after the war of the sixties Sid Taylor got chickens from Shy. Gay that they were the first real good, dependable, winning, cocks he has ever had.
Although he had been breeding and fighting cocks before that time. Taylor was closely associated with Shy until his death in Shy was said to be nighty years old when he died. He became blind eight or ten years before his death. When his eye sight became very bad he gave Mr. Taylor all of his gaffs and all his chickens. The first cross Mr. Taylor made on the Shy chickens was in the early seventies. In , George Cadwallader gave Taylor 6 black importer Irish hens, of the 6 black Irish hens Taylor put a blue cock that came from Shy.
The Wadle Irish came dark or mulberry color faces the hens were black cocks being dark red. Since that time Mr. Taylor had one yard of his chickens that showed dom color, and Mr. Gay had done the same thing since. The dom blood has never been bred into the other families and they never showed dom markings. The other families were bred into the dom family from time to time, the dom color had been kept up, but they do not always breed for color. The brown red family Mr. Gay developed himself. In Mr. Gay fought a brown red stag from the red family, that he liked so much that he bred to him and contented to breed to him until when he died.
This cock was kept at a log cabin on the farm and he came to be know as "log cabin" and the children from him called "log cabin". Today the log cabin family are largely the blood of this first cock. Log cabin had 21 full brothers, nineteen of them won their first fights. Many won more. Log cabin was a 6 time winner. The progeny of log cabin have been largely responsible for the Sid Taylor winning the National Tournament at Orlando in and again in the tournament. Gay has used this cock for two seasons as a brood cock.
The Sid Taylors are purely a Kentucky product, the foundation stock being old Shy chickens into the chickens Mr. Taylor put import Irish blood from Hudderson in the early seventies. In the early eighties Taylor again crossed import Irish blood from Wadle. There has been no other blood put into the Sid Taylors since these crosses where made by Taylor a period of over forty years.
They have only been in the hands of two men, Taylor and Gay. History of the Morgan Whitehackles Col. William l Morgan of east Orange, NJ bred and perfected this strain of gamefowl, and it takes its name from him. As the Morgan fowl are practically pure Gilkerson North Britains, it is necessary to go somewhat into the history of that strain. In this country they were known as North Britains and later known as Gilkerson whitehackles. North Britains contained duckwing red, brown red and pyle. On and before his death Gilkerson gave many of his fowl to Col.
Morgan among these fowl was a little imported Scottish hen, which gilkerson prized most highly. Morgan bred this hen with the old Gilkerson fowl and her blood is in all his fowl. Morgan did not know the history of this hen but expressed the opinion that she was nothing more or less than a Lawman hen that had been bred across the border in Scotland. All her stags looked and acted just like the Gilkerson fowl.
The Morgan whitehackles became famous than the Gilkerson fowl had ever been. He whipped Kearney, the Eslins, Mahoney and many of a less note in many mains in the Pennsylvania coal mining district no man has ever approached this record in short heels, and the backbone of all these mains was pure Morgan whitehackles Col.
Morgan never made but two permanent outcrosses in the straight strain. He had Stone to bred her her grand-daughters and great grand-daughters under Morgan cocks. The resulting progeny had the bloody heel and fighting quality of the pure Morgan's and still retained some of the excessive courage of the ginger [newbold fowl].
That is the blood in all Morgan fowl. About the beginning of the century John Hoy of Albany obtained possession of the fowl of Billy Lawman. Morgan and Hoy exchanged brood fowl freely and as the fowl were identical in general make-up and characteristics the offspring bred on as the pure strain. Morgan bred the lawman cock when reduced to one quarter in his favorite pens at the time of his death there was a small percentage of this blood in most of his fowl. In the early nineties Morgan gave a small pen of his fowl to a Col. The Col. He kept the family pure breeding his favorite cock to the whole flock on hens.
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When he died the fowl were still inbred in NJ. Neither the family Morgan bred or the family that had been inbred had changed appearance or quality in twenty-five years. Although kept absolutely apart bred together the young cannot be told from the parents on either side except that they are larger and stronger that the offshoot family Ed Pine, Frank Stryker and the Albany Combine Ed Pine was born and lived all his life at South Cairo, New York in the foothills of the Catskill mountains.
Jack lived in New Jersey and had fowl of various kinds, including greys. Frank Stryker eventually became a member of what some refereed to as the "Albany combine" that is Billy Lawman, John Hoy and others who controlled the Lawman whitehackles and muffs: considered by men living today, who saw them in their prime, as the greasiest fowl ever to land on these shores.
This was in what cockers have always referred to as "eastern" New York State and the vicinity, which included South Cairo. Stryker was very successful with his Shawlnecks and was considered quite a cocker. Along about this time, John Hoy moved to Albany, N. Hoy was an outstanding cocker and feeder, and he and Lawman soon began going to town with their fowl, one of their early victims was Frank Stryker and his shawls. He said the cocks that beat him were the best he ever saw, that he would not only never try to beat them again, he was going to try to get in with Hoy and Lawman and get some.
That is exactly what he did, he crossed them over his Charley Brown shawls and began going to town with the cross. They where outstanding fowl in every way Lawman and Hoy fought some of them and did equally well with them. Shawlnecks and whitehackles have always been almost identical in appearance and the cross made a family outstanding, typical whitehackles. In referring to these fowl, I say the cross made the Stryker whitehackles, but I may be and probably am, in error there for this reason, after Stryker got in with Hoy and Lawman, he could get anything from them he wanted.
Exactly how he bred from then on no one would know for sure, all that is known for certain is that the Stryker whitehackles were a combination of blood of Lawman whitehackle and Charley Brown shawl. Probaly, if the Lawman blood was as outstanding as it was claimed, he leaned in that direction with his breeding and put in more Lawman blood, cutting down on the shawl. The combine went to town to beat everyone as Billy lawman said, from New York City to Buffalo, NY it has been said they beat Kearney and Duryea five times out of six and Dennis Mahoney and many others old-timers.
Mahoney died in , so many of these mains must have been between and when Mahoney died. I believe John Hoy fed most of their mains. There were no tournaments or derbies in those days. So when Stryker died suddenly, Ed Pine fell heir to all of the Stryker fowl. Lawman decided somewhere between and , and Hoy went along with his Lawman fowl and Pine with his Stryker fowl. Both did exceptionally well. Hoy died in , but had been inactive several years previous due to old age.
Pine, between and when for practical purposes quit the game. He probably fought more mains and won a larger majority than any cocker who ever lived in this county. Claibornes History of Jim Sanford and the Claibornes Jim Sanford was an English man and ex-pugilist, who left the east following a prize fight which resulted fataly to his opponent. He was brought up in New Orleans, Louisiana, bred and pitted cocks for a number of years for judge Claiborne of that city. The judge was one of the greatest sportsmen of his time.
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In fighting a main in the old Spanish pit, an English earl derby lost by having a heel broke off is in his back. Jim, Sanford got the broken heel out and bred him to a Spanish hen, as Jim could see the good points in this cock, this cross proven to be equal, if not superior to anything wearing feathers in the chicken line at that time. Here, in a few simple words, we have the make-up of the smooth head Claibornes, bred and originated by Jim Sanford, and named in honor of judge Claiborne eighteen or twenty years before the war of the north and south.
These smooth head Claibornes got into the handles of John Stone in this way. Stone and Saunders made a main to be fought in Richmond, Virginia. Stone took his Irish brown reds there to condition them about the same time judge Claiborne happen to be in Baltimore and saw the main advertised on the billboards of that city.
So, the judge went to Richmond to witness that main. He was introduced to Stone and Saunders and expressed a desire to see the brown reds, he looked the cocks over, examined them, and said "these are as fine a lot of cocks as I have ever seen, but they are too beefy i think you will lose the main," they did. Stone was living on a farm, and the judge asked him if he would breed chickens for him.
The agreement was that Stone was to kill all his pullets and ship the stags to judge Claiborne in New Orleans, which he did until after the war broke out. After the war began, stone could not hear from judge Claiborne as he had taken a bride who wished him to dispose of his games, Stone sold to John Mahar of Marblehead, Massachusetts the Jim Sanford smooth head Claiborne, that Mahar, should ship the stags to the judge as he had done. Stone also let John Daniel's have a trio and Tom Heathwood a pair.
Mahar being a cocker they made a name and fame that will live for generations to come, all though the United States. Mahar had good success raising the first year. The next winter, he took a main of ten stags to Boston and won every fight, and fought four of them the second battle and won. The Boston cockers were amazed at their success, so he made another main with Mahar, to show thirteen stags, nine pair fell in. Boston had forty of the best to be found to pick from.
Mahar won several straight battles. The other two were not fought as Boston had had enough. Boston then challenged Mahar to fight seven cocks, they were to name the weights Mahar accepted and Boston picked up a noted lot of winners. However, the great Claibornes were again victorious and won six out of seven battles.
Jim Sanford was also an admirer of the Baltimore top knots, a game and winning strain of bright reds which were originated in Maryland. They were almost invincible in long heel. Jim procured six full sister of the topknots and bred them to the same earl derby cock that he used on the Spanish hen.
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Jim bred both strains as long as he lived, the topknot cross proving to be as good as the smooth heads and a little stronger. A few years later, Louis Everett, Benton,Alabama. He sent them back to to Richard Harrison where Everett trained horses. Everett soon became interested in the topknots as Sanford was having as good success with the cross as the plain heads.
Tait with his brother, bred them as long as he lived, the remnants going to his daughter, Mrs. Pickins, major Felix Tait said we got our first from Sanford then from Everett, who sent smooth heads and topknots. We have bred them together always. Both strains are beautiful fowl and both show white in wing and tail, with both strains showing some spangle, some having red breast and some black, yellow and white legs and beaks red and dawn eyes ranging from low set to medium. There are several versions of how they originated.
It comes from Johnny Jumper and another respected cocker who knew the parent fowl; when, where and by whom they were bred. The following is their version how the Sweaters originated. Kelso bred this cock to his Kelso hens and the offspring from the mating proved to be outstanding pit cocks. Cecil Davis, who was a friend of Mr. Kelso, walked cocks for him and had access to Mr.