The Jersey in America.
[John S. Linsley: Jersey Cattle in America. New York 1885]
It is the province of the historian to give due credit and honor to the individual or the
commonwealth whose genius or wisdom has engaged in the initiation of any grand enterprise
which, once entered upon and developed, causes results of beneficence to accrue in
measureless flow to a nation and to mankind.
Connecticut is a small territory, and occupies but a speck upon the map of the world, yet
how great has been the influence of her people upon American events and history. To the
sterling character of her sons and daughters we may attribute much of the power and glory
of national progress and the honor of the AMerican name, as her people have ever been
characterized in history for wisdom, inventive genius and patriotism. Among the honored
names of her sons to whom we owe grateful remembrance may be mentioned Silas Deane ,
"through whose efforts Lafayette, Rochambeau, and others were induced to engage in
the cause of independence" during the darkest days of the Revolution. It was "by
the learning and eloquence of William Samuel Johnson, the genuine good sense and
discernment of Roger Sherman, and the didactic strength of Oliver Ellsworth, that the
Federal Constitution came to be adopted, thereby giving to the people of the United States
the best system of government upon the face of the earth."
It was Jonathan Trumbull, the great war governor, who, being the bosom friend and
confidential adviser of Washington, received from him the appellation which has since
become the patronymic for every AMerican, "Brother Jonathan."
John Trumbull, a son of the governor, became the earliest of AMerican historical painters.
In poetry no modern writer has appeared "who dared commit his fame to the keeping of
so few lines, and no poet has seemed so well aware that to write little and well is to
write much "as Fitz-Greene Halleck. Eli Whitney invented the cottongin, which
developed the production of the material and manufactures of a great fabric staple
throughout the world. "John Fitch was the first to apply steam to the uses of
navigation," and "Junius Smith was the originator of the grand project for
navigating the ocean by the same motive power," "Samuel F.B. Morse, of
Connecticut parentage and culture, invented the magnetic telegraph, and thus gave to the
world a courier swifter than the light." "Jared Mandsfield originated the
present mode of surveying public lands."
"Ephraim Kirby published the first volume of Law Reports ever issued in the United
"Joseph Bellamy founded the first Sunday-school in the world. The first
Temperance Society in Christendom was formed in this state. The first Asylum for the Deaf
and Dumb ever instituted on this continent was established upon Connecticut soil; and the
seeds of almost all the colleges in the Union have been carried from Connecticut fields
and planted by Connecticut citizens."
"The first British flag that fell into the hands of the American pariots during
the Revolutionary War, and the first British flags upon the land as well as on the
sea that did homage to our valor in the war of 1812, were all struck to sons of
Jonathan Edwards was the most eminent theologian of the eighteenth century in this
or any country.
Noah Webster, the great lexicographer, by his Spellingbook and Dictionary became the
schoolmaster of this Western World, and thus made it possible for the people of a
continent to speak one common tongue.
Thomas B. Butler wrote The Atmospheric System, the first and only work that gives a
rational and philosophical exposition of the organization of the atmosphere and the
changes of the weather.
Elihu Burritt, blacksmith and farmer, who never went to college, was the first man
in the world to acquire a thorough grammatical knowledge of more than fifty languages.
Maltby Fowler invented the ingenious machine which makes pins for all the world.
Alexander C. Twining was the inventor of the only feasible machine for the
manufacture of ice.
E.E. Matteson was the inventor of the dydraulic process for washing out gold in the
tertiary deposits, a system which has immensely increased the yield and profitableness of
goldmining in California.
From Connecticut people, emigrating to other States of the American Union, have
descended many of the most illustrious character of modern times, including the greatest
soldier and military commander of the nineteenth century, Ulysses S. Grant; the scholarly
statesman, brilliant soldier, and martyr President, Garfield, and many others pre-eminent
for patriotic service to their country, be devoted labors in the times of peace or war.
The people of Connecticut are also noted for longevity. From
Perkins`"Encyclopædia of Longevity" it appears that in the number of
centenarians and in length of human life, the United States leads all the countries of the
world, while the State of Connecticut, in the proportion of centenarians and i humand
longevity, reaches a higher average thann any other portion of the globe.
It was fitting that Connecticut, the State of the oak and the vine, whose people are
no less renowned for their interest in agriculture than all else that tends to build up a
State - it was pre-eminently fitting that such a people should be the first in AMerica to
admire, appreciate and adopt the Jersey cattle.
From a Hartford correspondent of the Country Gentleman I quote the following
"The first importation of Jerseys recorded in the American Jersey Cattle Club
Herd Register was made in 1850, in the ship Splendid, by a little club of gentlemen in
"The suggestion was made by Daniel Buck, Jr. He was familiar with their
reputation as dairy cows for quantity, and especially for quality of butter, and in
putting this before his friends had no difficulty in getting the order at once for an
experimental herd. This was put into the care of John A. Taintor, also of Hartford, who
was then importing Merino sheep. It is believed to have been the first attempt to breed
pure Jerseys in AMerica, and Splendens 16 was the first bull purchased on the Island of
Jersey for importation into the United States.
"No better agent could have been found than Mr. Taintor. A perfect gentleman,
with a good knowledge of human nature, a good judge of cattle also, a thorough business
man, and a cool, judicious buyer, he was exactly the right man to execute a commission of
this nature. This was to buy about a dozen of the best animals, including the best bull on
the island, without limit in price, and without restriction as to color and fancy points.
"The importation was a great success. It is doubtful if, with all the supposed
improvements in breeding during the past few years, there has ever been one of more
uniform excellence. Nearly every one of these cows had the reputation of making over two
pounds of butter a day, and each gentleman thought his own the best. The quality was even
more of a surprise than the quantity. The firmness, and the rich color, even in winter, on
ordinary feed that was then thought the proper allowance for a cow, was something quite
"The superior dairy quality of the breed soon attracted the attention of the
most advanced farmers, and other importations were made.
"John T. Norton, of Farmington, was one of the first to recognize their merits.
He was fortunate in having a friend in Mr. Stetson, of the Astor Haouse, New York, who
apprciated and was willing to pay for such a superior article any price which Mr. Norton
thought he ought to charge for his butter.
"Mr. Buck`s product found ready sale in Hartford, far above the prices of what
were then the best dairies. I believe that Mr. Buck`s was the first and Mr. Norton`s the
second herd established in this country. Since that time the number has constantly
increased, until there are herds in nearly every town.
"Mr. Taintor saw Splendid 2 on one of his trips to the Island of Jersey, and on
his return reported him to Mr. Norton as a perfect animal.
"He was ordered at once, and for a number of years stood at the head of
"Mr Norton highly prized him for the rich yellow skin which showed through the
hair of his white patches."
I suppose that the two bulls Splendens 16 and Splendid 2 were thus named because of
the brig "Splendid," which brought them across the ocean. This was indeed a
happy augury, both in the vessel and her rich cargo, as has been well verified, not alone
in the descendants of these famous bulls, but in the rich exhibit which the following
pages show as the result of a genesis so auspiciously heralded, whose golden fruitage
glows, as the seasons come and go, with ever-increasing splendor!
Of the near descendants of Splendens 16, none have recorded butter tests. His great
granddaughter Pansy 1019 made a record of 574½ pounds of butter in a year. Splendid has
left a much stronger and richer impress upon the American Jersey records. Among his
descendants, both immediate and remote, are the names of some of the richest cows ever
known, one of them having produced a pound of butter from 5 7/11 pounds of milk, under an
official test, and she has also made the largest yearly record in the world.
In the first cargo of Jerseys, along with the bull SPlendens, were the cows
Dot 7, Violet 23, Jessie 28, and the Ives Cow. Splendens 16 and DOt 7 produced Dolly 1021,
the granddam of Pansy 1019.
In the year 1851 Mr. Taintor imported the bull Premium 7, in 1854 the bull Commodore
56 and the (afterward) noted bull Czar 273 in his dam Jennie 686. In 1855, among the noted
ones, Mr. Norton imported the wonderful cow Pansy 8, whose tested descendants outnumber
those of any other Jersey. Among the noted bulls of later importations were Splendid
2, by Mr. Norton, St. Helier 45, by Mr. O.S. Hubbell, of Stratford, Rob Roy 17 and Pierrot
636, by Mr. S.C. Colt, of Hartford. Of the imported cows, sometimes owned in the State,
that have become famous, are Dandelion 2521, Nancy Lee 7618, Coomassie 11.874, Ona 7840,
and Princess 2D 8046. Some of the noted bulls bred in the State are McClellan 25, Sam 980,
Tom Dasher 420, Wethersfield 966, Living Storm 173, Monitor 878, Pierrot 2D 1669, Pierrot
7th 1667, Ralph 957, Champion of AMerica 1567, Beeswax 1931 Bristol Chief 1496, Hurrah
2814, Lord Bronx 2D 1730, Oxoli 1922, Rex 1330 and Super 1956. Among the many famous
Connecticutbred cows may be mentioned Pansy 6th 38, Pansy 1019, Ladt Ives 1708, Couch`s
Lily 3237, Lucky Belle 2214, Volie 19.465, Hazen`s Bess 7329, Hazen`s Nora 4791, Chroma
4572, Evelina of Verne 10.971, Value 2D 6844, and Landseer`s Fancy 2876. The first butter
test reported in Connecticut as of Rose 240, by Mr. JOhn T. Norton in the year 1853,
yielding seventeen pounds of butter in seven days.
The Ives COw, in the first imporation of 1850, Splendens 16, and Splendid 2 each
appear twice in the pedigree of Landseer`s Fancy 2876, the champion cow of the world, she
having made the largest annual yield of butter ever yet recorded.
According to the Herd Register, the first importation of adult bulls into
Massachusetts was made by Mr. Thomas Motley, in the year 1851. This importation included
Colonel 76, Typhoon 77, and "Gen. Lyman`s bull" 833, with such noted cows as
Flora 113 and Countess 114. In the previous year Mr. Samuel Henshaw of Boston, had
imported the cows Daisy 382 and Buttercup 557; and Daniel Webster imported for Mr. F.
haven, of Boston, the cow Jenny Lind 552. The bull Sailor 169 was dropped on shipboard for
Mr. Henshaw, June 12th, 1850.
Of the late importations, Sam Weller 271, Cæur de Lion 318, Mr. Micawber 556,
Broker 873, Lopez 313, and Landseer 331, are worthy of celebrity.
Of imported cows, Dazzle 379 deserves to be held famous.
Among noted bulls bred in the State are DIck Swiveller Jr. 276, Cliff 176, Victor
3550, and Homer H. 3683.
Of the famous Bay State bred cows are Maud Lee 2416, Meines 3D 7741, Mink 2548, and
Jersey Belle of Scituate 7828, the choist model of perfection ever known.
The first butter test ever reported was made in Massachusetts of the cow Flora 113,
by Mr. Motley, in February 1853, when at three years old, eight months from second calf,
and two and a half month before third calf, upon average feed, she made fourteen and a
half pounds in seven days. After third calf, Flora made five hundred and eleven pounds two
ounces of butter in fifty weeks.
It appears from the Herd Register that John Glenn, of Baltimore, was the pioneer
breeder of Jerseys in Maryland, having imported cows in 1851.
In the state of New York Samuel Thorne, of Thorndale, imported Jerseys in 1855, as
did also R.L. Colt, of Paterson, in the state of New Jersey, and E.M. Hopkins, of
From these apparently feeble beginnings the growth of the Jersey interest has
gradually extended, until it now permeates nearly every State of the Union. At the first
there were many hindrances to rapid popularity and success; for although the earliest
breeders were men of culture and high character, and possessed with perseverance and
persistency of purpose, yet not until 1868 was there any movement for establishing a pure
Herd Register, nor any well-organized effort to insure community of interest and establish
pure pedigree breeding upon an infallible basis. The cattle were misnamed Alderney, in
England and the same appellation was applied here, no race distinction being made between
the cattle of the various Channel Islands, except as they were sometimes called
"Jersey ALderney" and "Guernsey ALderney". The majority of American
breeders, however, greatly preferred the cattle of Jersey, and bred them pure. There had
been importations of cattle from those islands into Pennsylvania as far back as the year
1817, or earlier, but the cows were bred to native and mongrel bulls, and the value of the
animals for all purposes of thorough breeding was dissipated and lost.
The pioneer breeder of Canada was Mr. S.S. Stephens, of Montreal. An importation of
Jersey cattle made by him August 17th, 1868, consisted of the bull Victor Hugo 197 and
five cows from the Island of Jersey, besides the bull Defiance 196 and the cows Pride of
Windsor 483, Amelia 484, and Juliet 485, from the "Shaw Farm," Windsor Park,
England. The Island cows, including Hebe 489, dropped island-bred calves, all heifers,
Hebe`s calf being the since famous cow Pauline 494.
Yhese cattle, whose blood has been combined with the blood of stock imported from
England into Vermount, by Peter Leclair, has resulted in the St. Lambert strain, that has
become so far-famed for great butter tests, in the herd of Mr. Valancey E. Fuller,
The American Jersey Cattle Club.
The organization of the American Jersey Cattle Club began in the year 1868, with
forty-three members, but not until the year 1875 did the first volume of the Herd Register
appear in print, containing the names of 539 bulls and 1427 cows, to date of 1871.
In December, 1874, the number of Club Members was 94. The organization was
incorporated by statute of the State of New York passed April 19th, 1880. The Club has
been very prosperous, and on August 15th, 1885, had an active membership of 370,
distributed as follows:
New Hampshire.... 3
South Carolina... 2
West Virginia.... 1
Since its origin in 1868, four members have resigned and fifty have died.
This body of men represents more wealth and influence than other similar
organization in the world. Besides the membership of the Club, there is a large and
rapidly increasing members of breeders - about three thousand -scattered in every portion
History of Butter Tests.
In a prize essay for the Cattle Club written by Colonel George E. Waring, Jr., and
published by the CLub in 1871, mention is made of only one butter test, and that one that
had been made eighteen years before the essay was written. The first butter test, as
before stated, was that of the cow Flora 113, in the year 1853. In the same year Rose 240
was tested, yielding seventeen pounds in seven days. From all the records and reports of
butter tests that have been published, the author of this work has compiled a table
numbering nearly 1100 cows, that have yielded fourteen pounds or more in seven days. After
Rose 240, in 1853, I find no dated test until a period of fourteen years later, when the
cow Eureka McHenry 8341 was tested by Mr. A.E. Kapp, Northumberland, Pa., from June 5th to
11th, 1867, yielding fourteen pounds of unsalted buttter.
After another interval of more than five years a test of the imported cow Jennie
766, from September 10th to 16th, 1872, by W.B. Dinsmore of Staatsburgh, N.Y., yielded
fourteen pounds nine ounces of butter.
About October 1st, 1872, began the test of the noted cow Pansy 1019, by Mr. John H.
Sutliff, Bristol, Conn. Pansy was five years old December 13th, 1871, the test being
concluded when she was a little more than six and a half years old, and the yield 574½
pounds of butter for one season between calves. The feed was, in summer, pastures and two
quarts of corn meal daily; in winter two bushels of cut hay and six quarts of meal daily,
divided in two feeds, besides a feed of dry hay at noon.
The cow Plenty 950 was tested in 1873, with a yield of 14 10/16 pounds at ten years
The tests of Pansy 1019 and Couch`s Lily 3237 gave a new impulse to Jersey breeding,
causing many to embark in what were styled "experimental herds."
Many of the tests that have become fixed in Jersey history fail to show the date of
the test, the amount of feed, weight of milk, or age and weight of cow.
Of the tests as dated there were,
in 1853............. 2;
in 1867............. 1;
in 1872............. 2;
in 1873............. 1;
in 1874............. 4
in 1875............. 5
in 1876............. 6
in 1877............. 5
in 1878............. 8
in 1879............. 4
The official tests made under the supervision of committees appointed by the
President and Directors of the American Jersey Cattle Club are dated as follows;
in 1882............. 1
in 1883............. 6
in 1884............. 8
Of the twenty-eight officially tested Jerseys, twentyfive cows gave larger yields
than previously made private tests, and three cows gave smaller yields than by private
tests, the latter under adverse conditions.
Quality of American Jerseys.
The American Jersey has been undergoing for many years a process of refining and
improving, by the selection of butter bulls containing finer qualities of fibre and
anatomical conformation better adapted to produce butter dairy cows of a high order. These
qualities can be heightened by continual selection and through better breeding, adhering
strictly to butter-producing families and close breeding to the best individuals in those
families. As an instance of selection, the bull St. Helier 45 was bred to order on the
Island of Jersey by Mr. Philip Quenault, of St. Martin, for Mr. O.S. Hubbell, of
Stratford, Conn., Mr. Hubbell having previously employed competent persons upon the island
to make private butter tests from milk purchased of the best breeders. These tests were
carried on for a period of five years, having continued from 1862 to 1867, when St. Helier
was bred, out of a family that had been started some forty years before and inbred
continuously, and constituting the best butter-bred herd on the island. The dam of St.
Helier tested over three pounds of butter daily. For the bull calf dropped in 1868 the sum
of $1500 was paid, which, with the previous expenses of testing cows and cost of
importation, brought the price up to $2500, then the highest price that had been paid for
a Jersey. The Jersey breed has been built up through centuries of selection, and in
certain families and strains has become such a grand type that it cannot be improved by
any cross with any other breed of dairy cattle; but it improves every dairy race upon
which it is crossed, so that the best dairy grades, cross-breds or fullbreds, may be
produced by the use of Jersey sires, whatever may be the race of the dam.
The finest examples of Jersey breeding have been produced in AMerica by American
breeders. The vicissitudes of our climate, ranging from the frozen regions of Labrador to
the orange-groves of Florida, the prairies of the West, and the mild climate of the
Pacific coast, will in time develop new types of the Jersey.
Already, under the magneto-electric intensity of our climatic conditions, the Jersey
of several generations of American inheritance is of larger size and possessed of a
stronger constitution, while the grand characteristic faulty of cream-secretive power has
been intensified and increased. Selection of rare individuals and their inbred
progeny, with regard to increase to constitutional vigor, will yet bring the average of
the Jersey breed to a much higher degree of perfection than has ever been thought
attainable by our best breeders.