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(Strange Justice) In 1916, a Circus in Tennessee Sentenced an Elephant to Death by Hanging
IO9 ^ | May 24, 2012 | Cyriaque Lamar

Posted on 05/24/2012 2:07:33 PM PDT by DogByte6RER

In 1916, a circus in Tennessee sentenced an elephant to death by hanging

Photobucket

In the early 1900s, it wasn't uncommon for humans to use their waxing technological prowess for the express purpose of torturing the hell out of animals. In one particularly mind-boggling incident, a five-ton circus elephant named Mary was condemned to death by hanging after her owners nixed executions by firearms, dismemberment, and electrocution.

After Mary killed her handler in St. Paul, Virginia because of abuse/poor training/a toothache/some nebulous combination thereof, the proprietors of Sparks World Famous Shows executed the pachyderm in the railyards of Erwin, Tennessee on September 13, 1916. As Blue Ridge magazine recalled in 1993:

Mary didn't perform for the matinee performance the day she died. She was chained outside the circus tent, and folks say she spent the entire performance time swaying nervously. The crowd's dissatisfaction with her absence was mollified by the announcement that Mary would be hung in the Clinchfield Railyards later in the afternoon — with no additional charge for admission.

More than 2,500 people gathered to watch Mary swing near the turn-table and powerhouse on that drizzly afternoon; perhaps the number of eyewitnesses, as well as the unforgettable, sad spectacle of the event, explains the consensus on this part of the story [...] Wade Ambrose, who was 20 at the time Mary was hung, recalls that the roustabouts chained Mary's leg to the rail, then drove her companions back around the roundhouse.

"They had a time getting the chain around her neck. Then they hooked the boom to the neck chain, and when they began to lift her up, I heard the bones and ligaments cracking in her foot. They finally discovered that she'd not been released from the rail, so they did that."

It doesn't seem surprising that the chain from which Mary hung snapped shortly after she was raised off the ground. It was, after all, just a 7/8" chain, and Mary weighed 10,000 pounds. She hit the ground and sat upright, immobilized from the pain of a broken hip.

Once the crowd realized that Mary wasn't going to bolt, she was again hoisted up and left on display for 30 minutes. The infamous photo above might be a real snapshot of this incident — there's also a chance she was hung again postmortem for a photo opportunity. For a similar (but far less depressing) affair, see the time idiot humans thought it would be a grand idea to put an elephant on a German monorail.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; History; Local News; Miscellaneous; Society; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: circus; elephant; execution; hanging; justice; pachyderm; tennessee
"Murderous Mary" the Elephant ... reminds me of watching the Disney cartoon Dumbo when Dumbo's mother is locked up.
1 posted on 05/24/2012 2:07:50 PM PDT by DogByte6RER
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To: DogByte6RER

This makes me sick.


2 posted on 05/24/2012 2:33:01 PM PDT by CatherineofAragon (Time for a write-in campaign...Darryl Dixon for President)
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To: DogByte6RER

:(


3 posted on 05/24/2012 2:40:36 PM PDT by blueyon (The U. S. Constitution - read it and weep)
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To: DogByte6RER

Never heard of this one...there’s an infamous movie in existence of another mankiller elephant that was executed by electrocution.


4 posted on 05/24/2012 2:46:00 PM PDT by M1903A1 ("We shed all that is good and virtuous for that which is shoddy and sleazy... and call it progress")
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To: CatherineofAragon

Youtube has a video of an elephant being electrocuted in the early 20th century for killing people here in the US.


5 posted on 05/24/2012 2:48:04 PM PDT by packrat35 (When will we admit we are now almost a police state?)
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To: packrat35

You just have to wonder why anyone would want to record such a thing.


6 posted on 05/24/2012 2:50:40 PM PDT by CatherineofAragon (Time for a write-in campaign...Darryl Dixon for President)
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To: DogByte6RER
Erwin is a great little mountain town. One time I asked a couple of people in an Erwin restaurant about the hanging. One was an old man who claimed his father witnessed it. For anyone interested, the late great Harry Crews wrote about the incident in an essay back in the 70's that appeared in his collection Blood and Grits. I believe the essay was about a backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail that took him to Erwin.
7 posted on 05/24/2012 2:54:30 PM PDT by .45 Long Colt
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To: CatherineofAragon

Apologies ... I posted this for historical reference. It reminds me of something out of Ripley’s Beleive It Or Not. Yes, I too find this disturbing.

I think people a century ago viewed these things differently. Elephants and other wild animals at circuses and zoos were just by and large, considered wild and savage beasts.

Since then, we have learned that elephants, and many other animals, have lots of intelligence, personality, etc.


8 posted on 05/24/2012 3:02:56 PM PDT by DogByte6RER ("Loose lips sink ships")
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To: CatherineofAragon
You just have to wonder why anyone would want to record such a thing.

Maybe they were trying to worm their way into the "in-crowd" on a conservative websight.

Smacktards like that will say any damned thing.

N00bs.. even more so.

9 posted on 05/24/2012 3:25:35 PM PDT by humblegunner
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To: M1903A1

At Coney Island they electrocuted and elephant that killed a person. It was highly advertised at the time and was set up by Thomas Edison’s company. At the time we were at a crossroads between a national electrical grid of DC or AC. Edison wanted DC, his invention. So the whole electrocution of the elephant at Coney Island was to demonstrate the dangers of AC power.


10 posted on 05/24/2012 3:31:01 PM PDT by TheShaz
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To: DogByte6RER
Elephants and other wild animals at circuses and zoos were just by and large, considered wild and savage beasts.

Maybe because they were "wild and savage"


Not trying to pick a fight.
People back then didn't have the luxury of seeing wildlife from the safety of their Suburban TVs, it was in their "backyards" eating their crops or livestock or even their children.

I find it humourous when "nature lovers" get hysterical when coyotes invade their bucolic neighborhoods and snatch their cats, small dogs.

It's only "natural"
11 posted on 05/24/2012 4:29:18 PM PDT by RedMonqey (Men who will not suffer to self govern, will suffer under the governance of lesser men.)
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To: humblegunner

Okay, HG, listen up, because I don’t want to have to repeat this.

There may be an “in crowd” here. If so, I don’t give a damn about it. I don’t do cliques, and frankly, “in crowd” sounds like something from a bunch of high school girls. We’re adults, right? Since posting here, I’ve met a lot of cool people I like whom I enjoy posting to. I lurked here for four years before signing up, so I probably feel like I know them better than they know me. But——this is a forum. Jumping in and posting is what you do, and that’s what I will continue to do, and I thought I made that clear to you the other night.

I have a lot of respect for FR and for longtime posters. But don’t confuse respect with obeisance. We’re all just folks here, all hopefully donating members, and I have never met a butt worth kissing. That includes yours. I don’t have a single thing against you, although you clearly have a bug up your rear end for me. Your problem entirely, dude. I’d like to get along with you, but I’ll only meet you halfway. I won’t break my neck to do it.

You think you’re crusty and mean? You should see my father-in-law. I’ve dealt with the best.


12 posted on 05/24/2012 4:44:45 PM PDT by CatherineofAragon (Time for a write-in campaign...Darryl Dixon for President)
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To: DogByte6RER

No need to apologize. It’s true, animals were viewed much differently in those days. I had no idea things like that happened, though.


13 posted on 05/24/2012 4:46:50 PM PDT by CatherineofAragon (Time for a write-in campaign...Darryl Dixon for President)
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To: humblegunner

BTW, I think you mean “website”.


14 posted on 05/24/2012 4:52:33 PM PDT by CatherineofAragon (Time for a write-in campaign...Darryl Dixon for President)
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To: CatherineofAragon
I don’t give a damn about it. I don’t do cliques, and frankly, “in crowd” sounds like something from a bunch of high school girls.

I'm sorry you're a fat chick.

Since posting here, I’ve met a lot of cool people I like whom I enjoy posting to.

Yes, there are many cool people here.

I lurked here for four years before signing up

Lots of mouthy n00bs claim things like that.

you clearly have a bug up your rear end for me.

Perhaps you speak above your station.

I’d like to get along with you

That isn't out of the question. You still have be slapped around first.

You think you’re crusty and mean?

I'm all full of sunlight and rainbows. True story.

15 posted on 05/24/2012 5:00:13 PM PDT by humblegunner
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To: DogByte6RER

WTF ! I bet the elephant wondered what was going on other than being choked !


16 posted on 05/24/2012 5:11:17 PM PDT by CORedneck
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To: humblegunner
" I'm sorry you're a fat chick."

LOL. Well, I am a chick, but I'm not fat. "In crowds" are fine in high school, but a little weird coming from the keyboard of an old Texas guy, don't you think?"

"I lurked here for four years before signing up"

"Lots of mouthy n00bs claim things like that."

Could be. I couldn't care less what other noobs claim. I know what I was doing. My husband was watching the election returns in 2008, and I couldn't stand it. I was on FR, and when people started posting, "McCain can't win, it's over", I lost it.

"Perhaps you speak above your station."

Don't think so. If you earn respect, I'm glad to give it.

"I’d like to get along with you"

"That isn't out of the question. You still have be slapped around first."

Fair enough. Now consider your slapping done, because I slap back, and a PMSing woman will slap harder, I guarantee it.

"I'm all full of sunlight and rainbows. True story."

Yeah, yeah. And Obama's as straight as Chuck Norris.

17 posted on 05/24/2012 5:38:06 PM PDT by CatherineofAragon (Time for a write-in campaign...Darryl Dixon for President)
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To: CatherineofAragon; humblegunner
You really ought to take Gunner at his word about the sunlight and rainbows - especially the rainbows. It (partially) explains his fixation on Justin Bieber .....



In fact, as far as "The Bieb" (as Gunner calls him) is concerned, he might be thinking "rein-beau."

18 posted on 05/24/2012 7:28:31 PM PDT by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: DogByte6RER

I think that’s a “composed” (put-together) photograph...unless “Murderous Mary” was not that big of an elephant. I’ve seen and stood next to wrecker cranes like that one...an elephant would look a bit bigger compared to the crane.


19 posted on 05/24/2012 8:24:38 PM PDT by M1903A1 ("We shed all that is good and virtuous for that which is shoddy and sleazy... and call it progress")
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To: humblegunner
Our regular thumb sucking pussy, Humblegunner, is back.
20 posted on 05/25/2012 10:56:17 AM PDT by starlifter (Pullum sapit)
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To: starlifter

Uh oh.. we got a real tough guy here.


21 posted on 05/25/2012 11:05:38 AM PDT by humblegunner
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To: shibumi; humblegunner

Disturbing, that. Okay, sunlight and rainbows granted.


22 posted on 05/25/2012 11:06:17 AM PDT by CatherineofAragon (Time for a write-in campaign...Darryl Dixon for President)
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To: CatherineofAragon

Well written. Like you I find some people just tiresome here on FR. The notion that someone has more credibility just because they’ve been here longer sounds like something out of a union thug’s handbook.


23 posted on 12/08/2012 10:37:34 AM PST by GOP_Party_Animal
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