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Manners Of The Slavocracy--Cock-Fighting

Manners Of The Slavocracy--Cock-Fighting image
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Last veek we mentioned some pariiculars of the cu8tora of horse racing which prevnils so extensively among the slaveholders. Allied to that is another, stil] more barbaroi'8 - that of cock-fighting. 'Mains of cocks.' sajs Theodore Weid, with twenty, thiriy, and fifty cocks on each eide, are fought for hundreds of dollars a side. The fowls are armed with steel spurs. or 'gala,' about two inches long. These gefts are fastened upon the Ieg3 by sawing off the naural spur, leaving only enough of it to answer the purpose of a stock for the tube of the gafts, which are so sharp that at n stroke the fowls thrust them through each ethers necks and heads, and tear each others bodies till ore or both dies; then two others are brjught forward for the amusement of the mirltitude assembled, and this barbaroue pastime is often kept up for days in suceseion, hundrêds and thousands gathering from a distance to witness it.' This amusement is cuslomary through all the old slave States; and it prevails to so great anextent that authors notice it as a prominent truit in our national manners. Says Morse, in his Universal Geography, page 733: "The diversion8 of the Georgiana are various, With some, dancing is a favorite amusement. Othera take a fancied pleasure at the gaming table; which, however frequenlly terminatesin the ruin 01 their character, fortunes and constitutions. In the upper counties, korseracing and cock-jighting prevail, two cruel diversions imponed from Virginia and the Carolinas, from whence ihose who practise them are principally emigrants." Here four States are named in which the practice is common. Advertieementf of the sport appear in the mom'. respectnble papers in the South. The followin . is from the Raleigh (N. C. ) Register of June 18 1838, editcd by Galos & Son, fnther and brorhe to tlie Editor ofthe National InteHigcncer. "CHATHAM AGAINST NASH, or nn otlier courity in the State. I a:ii authorize I t lako a bet of nny anionnt ihat may be offercd, t FIGIiTA MAIN OF COCKS, at any plae ihat mny be ngreed upon by the parties - to b foutiht the ensuing spring. Gidboit Alston Chatham county, June 7, 1838." Two weeka aíter, this challenge was answer ed as follows: "TOMR. GIDEON ALSTON, of Chnthan couniy, N. C. "Sir: - In looking over the Nonh Carolina Standard of the 20th inst. 1 discover n challenge over your sicnalure, headed Chutham agnins Nash,' in which you state thnt you are 'authorizcd to take a bet of any amount ihat may be offercd, to figlit a main of cocks, at nny place tha may be agreed upon by the parties, to be fought the ensuing 6pring,' which challenge I accept: and do propose to meet you at Rolesville, in Wake cjunty, N. C. on the last Wednesday in May next. the parties to show thirty-one cocks each - fight four days. and be governed by the mies ns leid down in Turner's Cock Laws - which, if you (hink proper io neerde to. you will tignify through this or any other medium you nay select, and thrn I will name the sum for which we shall fight, as that privilege was surendered by you in your challenge. I ain, sir. very respectfully, &c. N. W. Aruingto.v. neár Hüliardson. Nnsh co. North Carolina. The following is from the Richmond Whig, ofJuly, 1837, one of the leading pnpers ofVirginin: "MAIN OF CÖCKS - A large 'MAIN OF COCKS,' 21 a side, for $23 'the fight.' and $500 'the odd.' will be fought between the coun ty of üinwiddie on one part. nnd thecounties of Hnnover and Henrico on the other. "The 'regular' íightiiig will be continued threz dats', and froni the lartre number of 'game uns' on both sides in the ad.jacent country, will be prolonged no doubt a foxtrlh. To prevent confusión and promote 'sport,' the Pit will be enclosed and furnished with seats; go that tho. e having a curiosity to witness a species of diversion originating in a better day (for they had no rag money then,) can have that ver y natural feeline eratified. "EPThe Petersburg Coistellation is requested to ccpy." Mr. Weid says: 'that those who can fasten steel spurs upon ihe legs of dunghill fowls, and goad the poor birds to worry and tear each other to death - and tliose who can crovvd by thousands to 7oilness such barbarity- 'that those who can throng the race course and with keen relish witness the het pantings of the liiestruggle, the lncerations and fitful epasms of muscles, swelHng through the crimsoried toam,as the tortured steeds rush in blood-weltenngs to the goal-tat such should look upon the sufTerings of their sla ves wiih indiffereoce i'b certainly email wonder.'


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