Friday, February 03, 2017

The History of Big, Bad Jacks

February 3, 2017
   Studying big, bad jacks:

Daily Whip Out: "Big, Bad Jack Sketch"

Whoa-Haws & God Damns
When the Shoshoni and Paiutes encountered their first white immigrants in 1846, they saw their first oxen and mules. Heinrich Lienhard remembered, "The Indian vocabulary in the Humboldt Valley was rapidly enlarged by contact with the white immigrants, for Shoshoni and Paiutes were soon referring to oxen as 'whoa-haws,' and to mules as 'god damns.'"

Daily Whip Out: "Mickey Free Rides A God Damn"

Mules vs. Missionaries
   "It is my honest opinion, founded upon much observation, that so long as and considerable numbers of mules are employed there, it is utterly useless for missionaries to go to the Rocky Mountains."
—Ernest Ingersol, 1870s

Daily Whip Out: "Mickey And His Big Jack Near Hell"

Three Times Is A Charm
"J.W. Wilson was thrown from his mule three times! Which excited a good deal of merriment and fun. . ."
—Madison Moorman, along the Platte River, June 6, 1850

Daily Whip Out: "Mickey Sees The Light And Makes The Switch"

The Superior Endurance of Mules
"The total distance today was 36 miles. The horses were now falling away in an alarming manner, but the mules seem to require the stimulus of distention, and nothing else: this the dry grass affords."
—Lieutenant W.H. Emory, a topographical engineer on Kearny's expedition to California, 1846

Daily Whip Out: "Mickey's Big, Bad Jack"

Free Falling
"Mule rolled downhill for five hundred feet, yet was uninjured."
—Charles Preuss, German cartographer on John C. Fremont's first, second and fourth exploratory expeditions, December 16, 1843

Daily Whip Out: "Mickey's Mule Climbs The Ridge"

Jackass Bill Cody
"Bill Cody, one of our scouts and one of the best shots on the plains,. . .gets $60 per month and a splendid mule to ride."
—George Armes, army officer

Daily Whip Out: "Mexican Mule Days"

"Horses were worth from fifty to one hundred dollars, and mules from seventy-five to one hundred and fifty."
—Dr. George Keller, St. Joseph, Missouri, 1849

All of these quotes are from the wonderful book "The Mule Alternative: The Saddle Mule in the American West" by Mike Stamm, Medicine Wolf Press

   We are going to feature the history of the mule in the West in an upcoming issue.

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