Mortal Remains: Death in Early America

Hope Leslie, Or, Early Times in the Massachusetts

Customs and Fashions in Old New England

This scheme was doubtless carried into effect, for in 1686 Dudley and his associates ordered thirty horses to be seized in Narragansett and sold to pay for building a jail.

In a late' letter Hull accuses William Heiffernan of horse-stealing, and shows that a different and more gentle method than Western lynch-law was pursued by the Eastern settlers. He writes:

"I am informed that you were so shameless that you offered to sell some of my horses. I would have you know that they are by Gods good Providence, mine. Do you bring me some good security for my money that is justly owing and I shall be willing to give you some horses that you shall not need to offer to steal any."

Whatever the means may have been that tended to the establishment of a distinct breed of horses, the result was soon evident; by the early years of the eighteenth century the Narragansett Pacers were known throughout the colonies as a desirable breed of saddle-horses.

It is said that the progenitor or most important sire of this race was imported from Andalusia by Governor Robinson. Another tradition is that this horse, while swimming off the coast of Spain, was picked up by a Narragansett sloop and brought to America. Thomas Hazard contributed to the quality of endurance in the breed by introducing into it the blood of "Old Snip." So celebrated did the qualities of this horse become that the "Snip breed" was not only spoken of with regard to the horses, but of the owners as well, and Hazards who did not possess the distinguishing race-characteristic of self-will were said not to be "true Snips." Old Snip was said to have been imported from Tripoli; others assert (and it is generally believed) that he was a wild horse running at large in the tract near Point Judith.

In the year 1711 Rip Van Dam, a prominent citizen of New York, and at a later date Governor of the State, wrote to Jonathan Dickinson, an early mayor of Philadelphia, a very amusing account of his ownership of a Narragansett Pacer. The horse was shipped from Rhode Island in a sloop, from Which he managed to jump overboard, swim ashore, and return home. He was, however, again placed on board ship, and arrived in New York after a fourteen-days' passage, naturally much reduced in flesh and spirits. From New York he was sent to Philadelphia by post -that is, ridden by the post-rider. The horse cost £32, and his freight cost fifty shillings. He was said to be "no beauty though so high priced, save in his legs." "He always plays and acts and never will stand still, he will take a glass of wine, beer or cyder,

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