J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Samuel Adams: pet owner

According to a descendant writing in 1865, Samuel Adams owned:

a famous Newfoundland dog, named "Queue," a creature of immense strength and almost human intelligence. . . .

"Queue" was noted for his antipathy to British uniforms; and he bore on his shaggy hide the scars of wounds received from soldiers, and even officers, who repelled his attacks by cutting and shooting at him. But the dog seemed to bear a charmed life.
I've found no contemporaneous references to Queue, in either Adams's correspondence or complaints of British officers. The big dog makes an appearance in We Were There at the Boston Tea Party, a 1956 historical novel for kids by Robert N. Webb.

This canine fact came to mind after I saw an article in the latest Colonial Williamsburg magazine about a set of thirteen silver buttons engraved with the pictures and names of thirteen hunting dogs, presumably commissioned by a wealthy Tidewater planter in the first half of the 1700s. The magazine's website offers a slide show with a closeup of each button. For anyone seeking authentic colonial dog names, they are:
  • Trumpiter
  • Piper
  • Trumpiter (yes, again)
  • Noisey
  • Ringwood
  • Juno
  • Rover
  • Caesar
  • Tinker
  • Loiterer
  • Blossom
  • Tanner
  • Rainger

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