Major James Brown of Franklin, Pennsylvania

Major James Brown was an excellent little man, who lived at the lower end of town, down toward Capt. Smith’s ferry. He was a drum-major of the land forces at Erie, in 1812, “who drummed up a tune that rushed the Americans right on to victory,” that “feared nothing of the face of clay.” Down near where the Union School building was what was in those days called “Parks meadow,” which was surrounded by a high board fence. The occupant of the meadow was an extremely cross and vicious bull that used to chase the young men and boys out of the lot on “a double quick.” The Major deprecated such consummate cowardice, and happening along there, said he would show them a lesson, that “he didn’t go through the war to come home a coward.” He went into the field toward the animal, which was surprised to see a man come so close and undaunted, crying out, “so boss, so boss, sukey! sukey! sukey!” in the most confident style, when suddenly the bull made a dive for him, roaring and bellowing. The Major turned quickly, threw up his hands, motioning back as he fairly flew across the field, saying as he went, “shoo there! shoo there!” just clearing the fence as the wild animal rushed against it with his horns.

—J.H. Newton, History of Venango County, Pennsylvania, and Incidentally of Petroleum (Columbus, Ohio: J.A. Caldwell, 1879) p. 478.

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