Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Thomas Probert Was a Good Shot

On January 17th, 1866, the Cincinnati Enquirer  reprinted this notice that had been printed in the Frankfurt Yeoman.

I don't know much about shooting, but my husband assures me that this is a pretty big accomplishment. He shot them "off hand" which according to "google" is defined as "keeping all of the shots in a space between the nipples horizontally, and keeping them between the base of the sternum and base of the collarbone vertically." So he wasn't using a "gun sight." 

But this is Thomas Probert we are talking about. He didn't just demonstrate his shooting expertise -- he took bets on it. An indictment followed.

The indictment is hard to transcribe, but here is my attempt.

The Grand Jury of Montgomery County in the name and authority of the Commonwealth of  Kentucky, accuse Thomas Probert of the offense of gameing (sic), committed as follows: The said Thomas Probert on the 10th of March, 1867 in the County and Circuit aforesaid, did unlawfully engage in a game of chance and hazard by shooting with a gun and pistol at turkeys and at which money, property and things of value were bet now and lastly by the said Probert to the amount and value of over twenty dollars.
Against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

What does this guy have to do to catch a break? Well, at least his accomplishment was recorded in multiple newspapers.

Can anyone decipher the script that I could not? Thanks to Amy Hartman who could read the script.

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