Old Bet the Stoned Elephant

Something from the Devil?

Stoned Elephant departing boat at NYC

Jacob Crowninshield a representative in Congress from Salem purchased the first elephant to be shipped to America. On the journey there was a threat that the elephant would drink all of the water, so they gave all the beer to her and sailors got the water. By the time she got to NYC she was pink from being drunk so long; hence we have the term pink elephants.

The Stoned Elephant toured America and would drink a beer for a nickel and a keg for a dime. Later she was rescued by Hachaliah Bailey of Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey Circus and renamed Old Bet who became his star attraction. Then when traveling in Maine many years later, a farmer thought she was something from the devil and shot her.

Jacob came to a sticky end too; he would spit up blood on the Congress floor and die five days afterward. After a bloody campaign Joseph Story who was the Crowninshield personal lawyer would beat out Benjamin Crowninshield for the Congress seat who was on his brother-in-law Stephen White’s payroll. Story would later move on to become the Superior Court Justice who has shaped our interpretation the most of the Constitution and White would go on to become the man behind the assassination of President William Harrison.

To hear more stories like this on the best Salem walking tour book tickets for the Salem Smugglers’ Tour of the historic Salem Common today! Also read Salem Secret Underground and Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin.

http://www.salemtunneltour.com
More Than Witches!!!

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