FROM THE HISTORICAL
SAILOR AND CANTON
The Story, The Ironmen and the
by Dyane Baldwin,
former ACC Historian
beginnings of the Chesapeake breed is generally attributed
to the following account by George Law, first published in
- January 7th, 1845
My DEAR SIR,
In the fall of 1807 I was on board of the ship Canton, belonging
to my uncle, the late-Hugh Thompson, of Baltimore, when we fell
in, at sea, near the termination of a very heavy equinoctial gale,
with an English brig in a sinking condition, and took off the crew.
The brig was loaded with codfish, and was bound to Pole, in England,
from Newfoundland. I boarded her, in command of a boat from the
Canton, which was sent to take off the English crew,
the brig's own boats having been all swept away, and her crew
in a state of
intoxication. I found onboard of her two Newfoundland pups,
male and female, which I saved, and subsequently, on our landing
English crew at Norfolk, our own destination being Baltimore,
I purchased these two pups of the English captain for a guinea
Being bound again to sea, I gave the dog pup, which was called
Sailor, to Mr. John Mercer, of West River; and the slut pup,
which was called Canton, to Doctor James Stewart, of Sparrow's
The history which the English captain gave me of these pups
was, that the owner of his brig was extensively engaged in
trade, and had directed his correspondent to select and send
him a pair of pups of the most approved Newfoundland breed,
different families, and that the pair I purchased of him were
selected under this order, The dog was of a dingy red colour;
and the slut
black. They were not large; their hair was short, but very
thick-coated; they had dew claws. Both attained great reputation
They were most sagacious in every thing; particularly so in
all duties connected with duck-shooting. Governor Lloyd exchanged
Merino ram for the dog, at the time of the Merino fever, when
such rams were selling for many hundred dollars, and took him over to
his estate on the eastern shore of Maryland, where his progeny
were well known for many years after; and may still be known there,
and on the western shore, as the Sailor breed. The slut remained
at Sparrow's Point till her death, and her progeny were and are
still well known, through Patapsco Neck, on the Gunpowder, and
up the bay, amongst the duck-shooters, as unsurpassed for their
purposes. I have heard both Doctor Stewart and Mr. Mercer relate
most extraordinary instances of the sagacity and performance of
both dog and slut, and would refer you to their friends for such
particulars as I am unable, at this distance of time, to recollect
with sufficient accuracy to repeat.
Yours, in haste,
inquiry since the date of the above, of Mr. Mercer and of Dr.
it is ascertained of the former, who owned Sailor,
. . . he
was of fine size and figure-lofty in his carriage, and built
for strength and activity; remarkably muscular and broad
across the hips and breast; head large, but not out of proportion;
muzzle rather longer than is common with that race of dogs;
his colour a dingy red, with some white on the face and breast;
coat short and smooth, but uncommonly thick, and more like
a coarse fur than hair; tail full, with long hair, and always
high. His eyes were very peculiar: they were so light as
to have almost an unnatural appearance, something resembling
termed a wail eye, in a horse; and it is remarkable, that
in a visit which
I made to the Eastern Shore, nearly twenty years after he
was sent there, in a sloop which had been sent expressly for
River, by Governor Lloyd, I saw many of his descendants who
were marked with this peculiarity.
is no recorded mating of the two dogs, tales of their hunting
prowess and that of their progeny abound in early sporting
books. In 1877 when strains from both the Eastern & Western
shores of Maryland met at the Poultry & Fanciers Association
Show in Baltimore, their similarities were sufficient to be recognized
as one breed—the Chesapeake Bay Ducking Dog.
been traced showing that the strains from Sailor & Canton
mingled in the breedings at the Carroll Island Kennels. Dr. Charles
Tilghman whose dogs descended from Sailor supplied many dogs to
various ducking clubs along the Chesapeake Bay including Carroll
Island. "Duck", who appeared in the Carroll Island records,
traced back to Turk, a descendent of Canton. It is very likely
that offspring of "Duck" were mated to those tracing
to Tilghman's breeding. The Carroll Island kennel was connected
with that of Dwight Mallory, the son-in-law of Edward Bartlett.
Barlett kept his own kennel of Chesapeakes at "Twin Oaks" on
his Back River ducking shore. In the next section, Barlett's connection
to the "Ironmen" and the Chesapeake will be clearly seen.
In 1832, George Hayward emigrated to Baltimore
and entered the cast iron stove business. In 1844, David Bartlett
moved his stove
business to Baltimore from Boston and in 1849 went into a partnership
with George & his brother Jonas. The Hayward, Barlett & Co.
was formed. They manufactured stoves, architectural iron works,
plumbing items, built locomotives and heating apparatus.
Both Haywards & Bartlett were inveterate sportsmen who for
two generations owned three ducking shores (clubs)upon Chesapeake
Bay. One was the Taylor's Island Ducking & Fishing Co. on
the mouth of Mosquito Creek, whose marshes provided outstanding
of mallards, black duck and other river ducks. Another was at
Twin Oaks where Dwight Mallory kept his kennel of Chesapeake
The third was Otter Point located at the head of the Gunpowder
Neck, where much shooting of the favored canvasback was done.
In the 1850s it became fashionable to decorate
one's lawn with cast iron statues of animals. Small wonder that
with their interest
in duck shooting and the family connection to the breed, that
the Haywards & Barlett chose to portray Sailor & Canton
as emblems for their business. The first statue was placed at
Light Street office and later moved to join its mate at the ironworks
Scott & Pratt St. location. In 1899, new offices were built
and the "dogs" were thrown in the scrap heap. In the
early 1900s the company's fortunes came up short and the partners
felt their luck had changed when the mascots were removed. The
statues were rescued from the scrap pile and re-installed at
the entrance of the offices and prosperity returned.
statues similar to Hayward, Barlett & Co's "Sailor" and "Canton" can
be found at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (1 statue); the
Westfield Memorial Hospital in Westfield, NY (a pair); and at one
time, one could be seen near the Eagle Antique Shop in Eagle, PA.
The Westfield pair is painted completely black and was also rescued
from a scrap heap in April 1955. The following regarding the Westfield
pair was excerpted from Barbara Berry's article in the May/June
1978 ACC Bulletin.
The late Hubert Thompson, then Editor
of the Westfield Republican, organized the fund needed to purchase
back the dogs
from a Mr.
Oley Benson of 471 Delaware Aye, Buffalo who had in turn purchased
them from a Mr. Callahan. The dogs had originally been given
as a contribution to the scrap drive during the World War II
The Spencer home, which became the Westfield Hospital, was built
by Dr. John Spencer, a noted agriculturist, in1853. It is thought
the dogs, of a hollow cast iron, were apart of the original embellishments
of the Spencer estate as the home and the dogs, positioned now
in front of the building, are pictured in an 1881 atlas.
The hospital opened as a 17 bed facility
on August 29,1942. In the article of1955 when the dogs were
returned to Westfield, it
states, 'They will be painted black and relocated on the lawn
of the Westfield Memorial Hospital. If the time comes when
no longer wanted there they will be placed on the Westfield Academy
and Central School lawn.'
About every person who grew up in Westfield
can relate a tale told them about the iron dogs. "They bark
every time the fire whistle
blows" was a favorite story told the youngsters. Since they
were inanimate objects and never did hear the fire whistle
was not an untruth.
Many a youngster has sat astride the mastiffs
and as can be observed, the iron statuary was fashioned to
give the dogs a
1985 Jane Pappler located the Eagle, PA statue. It belonged at
that time to a Mr. Harvey Funderwhite, now deceased. Jane's
account from the May/June 1991 ACC Bulletin follows:
As I was driving north on Rt 100 in Downington,
PA, I was enjoying the different antique shops and beautiful
By this one older house I noticed several statues under a big
tree. One a deer and I thought the other a big dog of sorts.
this possibly be one of the long lost Chesapeake statues? I
knocked on the door of the house but no one was home. I knew
I'd be back
this way again twice a year for shows and promised myself I'd
bring my camera and also investigate this with the owners.
The next spring
I forgot my camera but got to talk to Mr. Harvey Funderwhite.
He was a very interesting gentleman of about 70 years. He had
the dog ever since he was a boy, telling me it always stood outside
of the local general store when he was growing up. About 15 years
ago he had the money and bought his dream dog, paying $1200–$1500
for it. Harvey also said he knew of another one only about
7–8 miles away in someone's yard. Look for him in Eagle, PA,
on the left, going north on RT 100, near Eagle antiques, standing
proud, just like his brothers.
Maritime Museum is located in St. Michael's, Maryland.
Besides the statue,
it features exhibits of various watercraft
used on the bay, displays of hunting equipment, a lighthouse
and decoys. Dogs are allowed on the grounds but not in
the buildings. Many a Chesapeake has posed and been filmed
beside its iron "ancestor". If you get the chance
stop in and enjoy the exhibits and be certain to look for
and see the statue.