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Otsego Herald

October 17, 2013

Cooperstown Elephant!

From the Otsego Herald

Saturday, October 16, 1813

Compiled, with comments

by HUGH C. MacDOUGALL

Now or Never!

A FEMALE ELEPHANT, Thirteen years old, upwards of eight feet high, and weighs more than five thousand seven hundred pounds, to be seen at JOSEPH GRIFFIN’S [the Red Lion Inn, alias “The Bold Dragoon,”], in the village of Cooperstown on Thursday, Friday and Saturday the 21st, 22d and 23d inst. [October].

Those who wish to gratify their curiosity in viewing the wonderful works of nature, will do well to call on either of the above mentioned days, as she positively will be removed the next morning. Perhaps the present generation may never have an opportunity of seeing an Elephant, as this is the only one in the United States, and this, perhaps, the last visit to this place. -- Admittance 25 cents—Children half price.

Hours of exhibition from 9 in the morning until 5 in the evening.

October 16, 1813. [article accompanied by a large illustration of an elephant]

COMMENT: This was “Old Bet,” first heard of in Boston in 1804, and considered to be the first or second elephant brought from India to America. Hachaliah Bailey (1775-1845) bought her in Somers, New York in 1808 (where she is still remembered with both “The Elephant Hotel” and a statue), and toured eastern America with her. On July 24, 1816, she was shot by a farmer near Albert, Maine, who thought it was sinful for humans to pay to see an animal.

Merchandise Tax

An act laying duties on licenses to retailers of wines, spirituous liquors and foreign merchandize....

On retailers of merchandize, including wines and spirits, if in cities, towns or villages, containing, within the limits of one mile square, more than one hundred families, twenty-five dollars; of wines alone, twenty dollars; of spirits alone, twenty dollars; of domestic spirits alone, fifteen dollars; of merchandize other than wines and spirits fifteen dollars.... August 2, 1813...JAMES MADISON.

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