My Dear Mr.Ezell, Dec. 22, 1904
Am just in receipt of a letter from Will Davis stating his bad luck with the half Sugarloaf blood (Bill Reid and Bullet pups). I sent Mr. Council of Americus, Ga. a full "Sugarloaf" hound (by Bill Reid) this dog killed 10 reds in 10 sucessive races-ahead of his pack of eleven good Julys and did it from 50 to 500 yards ahead of all others. Thirty-six hounds were with him in 3 races and he did the work without noticing the others, none were in his class. He wrote for a dog to match this one(Bullet is his name)and I sent his full brother, named Bill, a white and red marked hound, which I think will keep his brother(Bullet) busy.
Mr. Council is under obligation to allow no one(except those few authorized by me)to cross on this strain and Will Davis assured me that you would do the same with your Bill Reid pups and from what all of your friends (who were my friends too)say of you, I feel that you will keep this trust. The dog peddlers who breed for market(you know those I refer too)shall not profit by my time, money and labor in behalf of the fox hound. It would amuse you to know how they have tried to get this strain from Green of Tennessee and the letters(using Baldwins name of Madison, W.W. Barron's, etc.)to side track my plans, all letters fall into my hands and if I ever hear of them getting the Sugarloaf blood, then not another hound will go to Georgia from me. The one who breaks this pledge will do all the others an injustice and me likewise. sincerely, Geo G Garrett, Midland, Ga.
(having grown up in Georgia, and having known many of the older breeders of this era, this is the reason it made it extremely difficult to acquire good blooded July hounds, when one of the older breeders became deceased, the dogs eventually disappeared, without anyone getting any of their bloodlines or dogs. Many, many good bloodlines are lost forever because of the attitudes of the older breeders, its a shame. Al Smith)
The Henry strain of hounds was founded by Dr. Thomas Y Henry of Charlottesville, Va., who was a grandson of Patrick Henry of Revolutionary times. His stallion hound was Captain, he by Traveler out of Sophy, both by Mountain out of Muse. Mountain and Muse were imported from Ireland in 1830 by Mr. Bolton Jackson of Maryland. The American Turf and register volume six, February, 1832, describes Mountain as follows:He was a very compact hound of medium size, and what in England is called freckled,not spotted, with large blue splotches;he was highly prized as a stud dog as well as for his hunting qualities. Mountain passed successively through the hand of Bolton Jackson, Governor Ogle of Maryland, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, to Dr. Buchanan of Sharpsville, Md. Dr. Henry while a medical student heard of these famous Irish hounds and went to see them. Dr. Buchanan offered him the choicest couple of his pack. Dr. Henry refused to accept his generous gift, but did accept two younger hounds called Captain and Jim. Captain was a white dog with black saddle and tan ears, a powerful speedy hound that was rarely satisfied with anything less than an all day hunt and was never anywhere except lead dog of his pack. He was death on curs and when his edge was not dulled by an adequate amount of running was of a restless, devilish disposition. If returning from an unsuccessful hunt, Captain was apt to be in a quarrelsome mood and without fear, favor or mercy was likely to attack anything that crossed his path; he was finally killed as a canine felon. Before this however, he was bred twice to a small, but beautiful black and tan bitch called, Brenda, from the kennels of Dr. Bruse of Charlottesville, Va. From these two came Willis, Lizzie, Bilbo and Tropper. All four were heavy coated hounds and had a particular flesh mark or feather curl on each shoulder. All were black and tan except Lizzie, she being spotted as had been her sire, Captain. Lizzie was bred to a black and tan hound named Streaker that was imported from Great Britain in 1840, by Elliot Yullie of Charlotte Co. Va. and was a Kerry Beagle, 22 inches high. From the Lizzie and Streaker mating which was whelped April 12, 1847, came Ringgold, Ruth, Patrick, Wickham, Porter and Virginia; all six of these were 22 inches high and had black bodies, tan legs, white ring necks, white feet, white tips on tails and had feather curls as had their dam. The characteristics of the Henry hounds were unusual. They had great speed, endurance and a habit of hunting and trailing with a looking forward expression as if expecting to see their game. If they lacked scenting ability, it did not hinder them from carrying a difficult trail as they cast ahead so constantly, recovering even a faulty line. They had broad heads, small ears, sharp noses and oblique rather wolf-like eyes, their tougueing note was sharp and easily distinguished; all were great tree dogs. In 1846 Dr.Henry being threatened with that dreaded disease, consumption, was ordered south by his physician; he started traveling leisurely by wagon accompanied by a party of friends, carrying his kennel of hounds with him, stopping at different points putting in time hunting and fishing as it suited their fancy. Mr. George L.F. Birdsong of Thomaston, Ga. being informed of his movements intercepted Dr. Henry enroute, spending some time with him. On reaching Florida, where deer were plentiful, Dr. Henry's dogs frequently ran them when they would always take to bayous and lagoons. When swimming after the game, the dogs would be killed by alligators that infested these waters. Dr. Henry soon realized that his much prized pack would be exterminated if something was not done. He wrote the facts to his friend, Mr.Birdsong, telling him that he might have the remnant of his famous pack if he would come after them. Mr. Birdsong, while sympathizing with his friend in his misfortune, was glad of the opportunity to secure these much coveted dogs, and at once started for them. After disposing of his pack, Dr. Henry settled at Quincy, Fl. where he became active in politics and served as a state legislator and held other public offices. One month prior to his death on June 1, 1869, his home burned and all that was saved was a clawfoot bookcase and a mahogany writing desk. The sportman of America should always honor the memory of Dr. Henry for breeding one of our oldest strains of hounds. Some of our most noted strains of today carry quite a percentage of this once famous Irish blood. My information has been gleamed from exerpts from letters and articles by Messers. Birdsong, Fred Streever, H.C.Trigg, C.B.Doyle, and H.E.C. Bryant.(by Paul E. Shanor, Rochester, Pa.
Dear Friend Fountain,
I appreciate you sending me the old letters and old pedigrees very much. I have studied them throughly, some I have copied for future reference. Did you notice that the pedigree of Vick and Maggie trace back to old July thirteen times. Although, Mr. Garrett did not mention Mr. W. F. White in his book, Mr. White must have had some true July hounds. However, it seems his mind was somewhat centered on the commercial side of the hound business. It seems to me quite a number of the breeders of that era drew on Mr. R.P. Ezell for high class July hounds. Evidently he was one man they all trusted. He also seems to have uncanny wisdom in making just the right crosses. Who was this Steve Thurman, after reading the letters I am of the opinion that he was a negro or perhaps a white man that lived for a long time on Mr. Ezell's farm. Some of Thruman's hounds appear in my Amos II pedigree.
It seems to me that the two July hounds, A.G. Jordon's Roy and R.P. Ezell's Rhea exercised as much influence or perhaps more than any other two, during the twenties on the July strain. I don't recall any record of Roy having been bred to Rhea but the intermingling of the blood of the progeny of these two, seems to have produced many great hounds, whose blood permeated the July strain. This seems particularly true in regard to the Weaver x Rhea cross. I would like to write an article on these bloodlines for the Hunters Horn. I would title the article "Roy and Rhea". Wonder if you could trace these two way on back for me, it would not be neccessary to go to the trouble to fill out long pedigree forms but give me their breeding in the manner the fox hunting magazines list them. I already have the Joe Miller line in the Rhea pedigree, but I stop at Thad Murphy's Hattie, James W. Green's Jim Green and W.P. Davis' Fannie. Also, would like to have any information you might be able to give me concerning these two families of hounds of Mr. A. G. Jordon and Mr. Robert Ezell. Who would I have to write to get permission, to let the Hunters Horn use one of the Rhea pictures that is in the collection of pictures you sent me and have been returned to you. The picture would have to be away for some time, for instance the picture I borrowed from you of Culpepper's Willis has not been returned to me from the Hunters Horn office. However, they have definitely promised to return it to me when they have finished with their engraving. I have already returned the pictures I borrowed from Mr. Asa Marshall.
I have bred my old Kate bitch to Red McDougal. I have a pup out of Kate's Half sister down at Shiloh, Ga. This pup is sired by Amos II and is a stud fee pup. If I remember correctly, this pup is out of a bitch sired by Dr. Stuckey's Henry. This bitch does not carry the Little Jim cross that Kate carries.
Did you ever get any futher information on L.H. Lumus' Light or Lightfoot pedigree. You wrote in your letter that you might be able to give me futher information concerning the bloodlines of Rapp, the Henry Harris blood. If I would inform you just what I wanted to know. The primary object of my interest was, just what could be expected from a concentrating of this blood in a breeding program. Would there be any way of determining how much of the second importation blood in this family and if any is it of the Maryland Nip blood or the Sugarloaf crosses. Is there any significant family characteristics fixed in the line(like large hounds, small hounds, heavy coats, speed, ect.) on back in remote generations. I have reason to believe that close up generations have fixed characteristics of (stingy mouths on trail, medium to large in size, heavy coats, solid color predominating.)
It is my bed time and I have already asked you more questions than you can answer. It seems I am always asking and never contributing anything, anyway you can rest assured that I appreciate any historical information you may be able to give me in any way concerning the July hound.
Your friend, Jack
Dear Dr. Fountain,
In answer to your question,"what do you think in regard to hounds carrying the Dorsey's Big Boy or H. L. Marshall's Casper crosses". I think the descendents of these hounds should be accepted if either Casper or Big Boy is far enough back in the breeding to enable one to determine that the product of these crosses consistently intensifies or reflects in a more pronounced degree than the average July, the true July characteristicsand true July appearance. It seems to me that these two things are the key that should unlock the door of acceptance of any breeding that does not carry but a slight amount of outcross or smear. After all the principal thing we are trying to do is produce a hound that is truly a July Maryland in the fullest sense of the meaning of the word, in deed and in truth, not just a hound that can legally be called a July in name. If the product of the use of such hounds as breeding hounds are not above the average or stand a good chance of not just maintaining the virtues of the strain but improving it, the hounds carrying the smear or outcross blood, should be rejected. In other words if we are going to compromise a bit on breeding, we should demand a twofold payoff in strain improvement. You will notice I underscored the word consistently. Now I do not believe that any line of breeding that carries a strong infusion of the blood of another strain whose fixed characteristics are in direct conflict with the fixed characteristics of the July hound will consistently produce hounds that are truly July in their characteristic performance. There will be too many throw backs along the line to the conflicting characteristics of the strain used as an outcross. The nature of the outcross and the nature of the smear should have a direct bearing on any decision.
Now this discussion leads to an even more important question perhaps, and that question is, "what is the standard for July characteristics and performance and appearance". If there is too great a conflict among breeders on this question, we will find ourselves traveling in different directions and the July strain would be in danger of degenerating into a nondescript mongrel strain. Yes, it seems to me that a very important question before us is what is the standard of July appearance and performance. I touched this subject in my article in "The Hunters Horn" titled "Quick to jump, run to catch". It seems to me these old bywords set forth what the standard July characteristic performance should be. These were the characteristics that set the July strain apart from other strains, when we turn away from this we are turning toward other strains.
Now it seems apparent that speed is not the only thing required to enable a hound to be quick to jump and run to catch. Speed is essential, so is a good nose, natural fox sense, strong body, good feet and legs.
It is my belief that Mr. Garrett thought the original Julys to be too fast of their noses and too frail for their nerve and energy and that was the reason he made the outcrosses he made. He once stated that it had been his ambitition to secure suitable English blood to cross on the July, to combine the physique of the English hound with the nerve force and energy of the July or words to this affect.
Now let us reason together, why was the outcross on Maryland Nip so readly accepted. Mr. Garrett states definitely that he considered this an outcross. According to my memory at the moment, Nip was 1/4 Brooke hound. Now you or I would not accept such a radical outcross today even if it occured as far back as the second or third generation. If you will think about this a moment I think you will agree with me. Now Mr. Garrett's Prestiege might have had something to do with the acceptance of Maryland Nip, but I feel sure the true reason was that it was quickly apparent that this cross produced and seemed to intensify the July characteristic performance,'quick to jump, run to catch". It gave the July a better nose enableing him to scent the game better and use the speed he already possessed to move up speedily on the game without losing the line of scent as often as he had before acquireing the sensitive Nip nose. Pehaps it gave him a stronger physique also.
Here is one of the things that leads me to believe that the product of the Nip cross intensified the July characteristic "quick to jump run to catch". Mr. Garrett sets forth the Milner pack to have been the most outstanding pack he ever knew about from a standpoint of consistant July Performance. In his book on page 248 he states what Hop Milner said about the performance of Hunt, son of Nip. Mr. Hop Milner said "Hunt took the fox away from my entire pack with ease during the first round and they had to cut in on him during the first turn. He did the same trick during the next circle and killed that fox more than a quater of a mile ahead of my hounds"
Now on the other hand why did Mr. Garrett reject the blood of the bitch Countess and why was it weeded out? Why was it that he personally could not see any reason to continue the blood of the Eskedales after giving them a trial? Why did he seek out the Sugar Loaf hound to cross on his Julys? Was any of these hounds produce accepted or rejected on the basis of pedigree or was it on the basis of desired performance? I realize these are extreme cases but I am relating them to emphasize the fact we could put too much emphasis on pedigree and not enough on progeny tested July performance.
Now Dr. Fountain, I am a pedigree extremist myself and it is hard for me to overcome it. I have received quite a bit of criticism because of it. It is reflected on the fact I have hounded Mr. Cunningham unmercifully in an effort to obtain the breeding of Cunningham's Joe. I will not tolerate any radical outcrosses in my breeding hounds, but when the strain characteristics can be enhanced and intensified by the use of hounds that might carry a little blood from a way back that might not be too blue, I am of the opinion we should accept them. Your friend, Jack Davis
(Letter sent to Dr. H.C. Fountain, Evergreen, Al. from Mr. Alva Bell, Walnut, Ms. Expressing sadness over the death of his long time hunting partner, Mr. T. M. Jamieson)
July 5, 1961
I am returning your page from the HH in regard to Trooper. I saw Trooper at Griffin, Ga. and heard Dr. Stucky tell about him. Bully is not his type; he won’t leave the country barking, he is a very restless dog, and he just yelps a little when turned out with other dogs. However, if you turn him out by himself, he doesn’t make a sound.
I very deeply regret to tell you that Mr. Jamieson was buried yesterday. He had a stroke one week ago while hunting with me, he only lived a week. I don’t know whether or not I will continue to hunt, since his passing. We hunted together 37 years and never had an argument. I think that is practically extraordinary. He was a true sportsman, always looking for something better. I will write his obituary later.
He had sold two of the Depriest dogs, (Streaker x Reddy), he still had the one,(Streaker x Freeman’s Beauty). He is what I call average. He might get better with more hunting. He has not been hunted much and we have some that outrun him now.
He had one by Bully, out of a bitch by Senator, he is one and half years old and has a nice cream color. I think he is going to be a good one. I have been watching him closely to see if he barks wrong, so far I have not seen him do anything except what he is supposed to do. I really like his style after a fox. The next pups from Bully might babble, but this one does not.
The bitch I bred to Blaze had eleven pups, she has ten left. They are a little small, but that is nearly always the case when you have that many in one litter. Seven of them look very much like Blaze. The other ones are gray.
Since Mr. Jamieson’s death I guess I will probably cut down my pack. I won’t have anyone much left in my section of the country.
May 4, 1937
Dear Mr. Bobbie,
I am getting along very well and Santa Claus is where she can walk again. I hope when this message reach you it will find you and Mrs. Fannie o.k. I have six prettiest little puppies you ever laid your eyes on. I lost Beauty, a car run over her and killed her dead. I got two saddleback, just like old Streak, only he has more dots on him than old Streak did. I got one like old Slash and one like old Playboy. The two I am going to keep is name Slash and Flash. If you want old Playboy come and get him and you can keep him just as long as you live and you die before I do I want him to be returned back to me. Ask Shed do he want a puppy or two and if he don’t want any see Mr. George Stinson and tell him I will let him has four puppies. If you all do come, after you get to Atlanta, inquire about Jonesboro Rd. and stay on it until you get to a little dirt road name Masdonia Rd. and you turn to your right and stay on it until you get on Gilbert Rd. and then you stay on it until you come to my house. If you come for those dog please come at once, don’t, I have to give them away. I think Playboy will make you a nice fox dog.
P.S. how the rain down there it rain up here so much that people can hardly plant anything. Bye, Bye, from Steve Thurman
(Steve Thurman was a highly respected, black man who owned a farm near Mr. Ezell. They hunted together and exchanged dogs for years, he is believed to have known as much about July hound bloodlines as anybody of that era.)
(Letter to Dr. H.C. Fountain from T.C. DePriest of Union Mills, N.C. dated February 4, 1960)
Dear Dr. Fountain, Freeman tells me he shipped the pups, they are nice ones. I sincerely hope you have good luck with them. No better blood than they carry here, possibly too much Streaker and Beauty in background, yet that is the best part of it. I am sending extended pedigree on the original foundation stock that is the best ever to come into this country, though badly contaminated, it was still the best to be had and I tried them all. Since Bryant wrote the stories about these hounds, I’ve gotten letters from all over the Eastern United States. I’ve been surprised that so many had some of this blood or once had it and wanted more of it. Captain Craig wrote me, (he bred the Queen line) the best blood of England and America was in them. Hold to that Scrape and Hetty blood, I’ve seen Scrape and him old and crippled, call the pack to the line of duty after a run over in the morning. It was his Lightfoot that cleaned the Walkers so bad on a camp hunt, they requested we tie him up, had corralled a red in a hollow log inside two hours and no Walkers were in hearing distance. I have a pedigree of him bred in Georgia.
I’ve accomplished after more than a year what I wanted to do in breeding for color. Reddy, mother of those fox killers, is red fawn color and Streaker, rich grey-tan in color. Christmas morning they delivered eight pups of that color, six blaze faces, as Streaker and two solid rich tan. I remarked to Mrs. D that no one could tell me there was no Santa Claus.
I told Dr. Nicholson when he was here, you had sent me some literature concerning the going on in this country and that I never told you where I stood, but I’m a dyed in the wool, hence I’ll say this. The Depriests migrated from Virginia after fighting through the Revolution, so did the Covingtons, my maternal side. Then both families fought all through the War between the North and South and they resisted the Yankee carpetbaggers. My Grandfather was imprisoned two years at Albany, N.Y., his farm confiscated and sold at public auction. My Grandfather and his brother had to flee and hide out two years in the vicinity of Rome, Georgia. I’ve never voted other than the Democrat ticket, a Methodist religiously, and my good friend and neighbor fox hunter, Mr. Vanney is a Walker dog fanatic, a Republican, and a Baptist. Furthermore, Mrs. D’s Great-Great Grandfather Preston, was killed on Kings Mountain fighting the British. His wife with their baby boy brought his body off the mountain lashed to a sled. This battle occurred forty miles Southeast of here, just across the South Carolina line. Do you accept my credentials? Must stop and get this in the mail. Kindest regards from Mrs. D and myself, fraternally, Thomas C. DePriest
(Letter from W.A. Hough of Havana, Fl., dated January 25, 1954 concerning breeding of dogs)
Friend Fountain, Your letter received in regards to Top. I did not have anything to do with the Top breeding. He was a good, tough, fast dog, but he went back to a bitch named Smut, she did not have any breeding, at least no one was ever able to get it. Top also had one cross of A.J. Hill’s Ringwood, a dog Mr. Garrett imported from England. He got twelve of those dogs, only one of them was any good and that was Ringwood and he was tough and slow. Top also had three crosses of Jim Hogg’s Dan; Dan’s dam was a Hudspeth bitch. There is no need to bring up the mistakes of some of our older breeders. If you all have a good bitch, is bred right and has got good feet, breed her to Dr. J.H. Nicholson, Madison, Ga. dog that he calls Doctor Belcher, he is the best bred dog that I know of. Your friend, W.A. Hough
(Letter written to Robert Ezell, Hillsboro, Ga. from Dr. W.G. Carnathan M.D., Butler, Al. concerning breeding of old Speed-dated July 24, 1939)
Dear Sir: I own old Speed, bred by you, and sold to Dr. T.E. Rhine of Thornton, AR. Speed was whelped April 24, 1931, by your Andy out of your Nell. I have always heard of you as a very reliable man and an exceptional breeder of fine Julys. Old Speed is a most wonderful fox dog in every respect and throws his kind of fox dogs. He is straw colored, big brown eyes, strong, healthy and dead game. He is a large, tall dog, medium coat, weighs 60 lbs., good note and plenty of it at the right place and time.
I would appreciate your comments on his breeding and his individual ancestors as far as you know them. I have his pedigree for 5 or 6 generations, but if convenient would appreciate a pedigree from you on as many generations as you know. He traces to many of the noted dogs during the past thirty years.
If you so desire to breed to Speed, the service will be free, unless you have a large litter and you could spare me a pup or so at your pleasure.
We have been breeding and owning Julys for the past 40 years.
Any dog from you will be much appreciated.
Hoping to hear from you soon. Yours very truly, W.G. Carnathan
(letter written to Robert Ezell from James Green on Oct. 6, 1895)
As it has been a long time since I heard from you I concluded to write you a few lines once more. I’m under the impression that I wrote you the last letter and you owe me a letter, but it seems very much like you don’t care to hear from me. If I have said or done any thing to wound your feelings, I’m not aware of it and it was done unintentional, for I would not do any thing to hurt a friends feelings, especially one I hold value in my heart as I do for you and your family, for I look on you as my best friend in Georgia.
I said some very hard things about Mr. Ridley, but not until he made some very rough remarks about me and tried to put a friend of mine out with me without a cause and it may be that you have become offended at what I said of Ridley, if so I’m very sorry, but I have nothing to take back. I still stand on what I said of Ridley and his neighbor told me what I know. I’m in hopes you are not offended, if you are not, I will receive an answer to this and if you are, I don’t expect a reply.
How did your wife come out with the Berkshire gilt that I sent her. How did yours and your Uncle’s boars turn out, did they develop into fine animals.
Well we had very bad luck with our pack of dogs, last February a dog with hydrophobia got in our pack and we lost eleven, two eight month puppies, the rest were grown dogs, only left our seven running dogs, cleaned father up entirely, left Mr. Lindsey Rolland and Mr. Carter, one each, left me four good dogs and two old ones. I have seven good dogs now and two puppies, eight months old. The hydrophobia left Dan, Pepper, Bell, Barron’s old Streaker and old Flash McKay. Mr. McKay presented me four dogs or rather one dog and three bitches. They are by Dan, out of Flash, she by Ham Barron. Three of them are splendid fox dogs for their practice, never have been hunted a great deal. Tom, Daissie, Millie and Elba are their names. Tom is nearly white, a very fine young dog, Millie is a black and tan and a rather extra good young bitch for her practice, Daissie is a promising young bitch, color nearly white, Elba, black and white and she hasn’t proven to be much yet, they never had a seasons work on hunting. I can tell you more of them by March if nothing happens. My two Kentucky dog puppies are black, white and tan. The bitch is nearly white and has one glass eye, she is a beauty, fine form and has a beautiful head. I will let you know how they prove out. I lost the red bitch Marshall sent me by John.
Love to you and yours, your true friend, James W.Green