A Sad Tale from Hampton of Old

You can find some very interesting stories in the local papers of the 19th century. This one comes from the Exeter News-Letter of 1892. If you're an animal lover you might not want to read this story, as it has a very sad ending. It's not a story you'd be likely to see in today's paper, as I think the situation would have been handled very differently. Sometimes things do change for the better.

The Exeter News-Letter, September 23, 1892

Hampton, September 2. -- A mad dog scare on Sunday afternoon, probably was not a case of hydrophobia. Some ladies making a neighboring call, left a baby carriage at the door and on starting for home found a strange dog under it so furious that they dared not take the carriage, and several men were unable to drive him away. They sent for Police Officer Curtis DeLancey, who was attacked by the dog and obliged to defend himself by shooting with a small revolver. The maddened brute then rushed at a student of Exeter Academy and was driven back wounded by a fine shot from a fowling piece. After a chase of a mile or two through woods and fields the dog was shut up under a small building and may bleed to death.

The Exeter News-Letter, September 30, 1892

Hampton, September 26. -- The story of the savage dog as told last week by your correspondent "Star" occasioned general astonishment. Let us tell the story "as others see it." We have here a young dog, whose only fault is that he does not always wish to stay at home. One Sunday he goes to church with his master, who leaves him in the horse shed. Pretty soon Mr. Dog gets tired of his quarters and concludes to take a stroll. He has gone only a short distance when he spies a baby carriage, which looks exactly like the one used by his mistress. Thinking he has a clear duty to perform he lies down by the carriage to guard it. Next come the real owners with the baby. They call in several men, to drive the dog away. The men stood in the distance and threw sticks and stones at the dog. Had the dog been shown his error he would have gone away peaceably, but as he thought it his duty to stay he had no notion of leaving. Then comes the policeman, armed with revolver and shot gun. They stand at a distance from the "maddened brute," lying quietly beside the carriage and began to shoot. His owner was obliged next morning to have him killed.

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