Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1924 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
By Clarence Breoks
(Copyright, 1916, W. G. Chapman.)
Almost everybody knews -the story
of Rajah, the untamable elephant of
""the Bowdler circus. He was brought
from India in 1859, soon after the In
dian mutiny. He had belonged to a
native king, who had rebelled against
the English, and somehow the Dub
lin zoo got hold of him. Prom Dub
lin he passed to Hamburg, there, be
ing untractable and having killed his
keeper, he was sold to an American
circus. He passed from one- hand
to another and his history was as
bloody as his master's.
In 1916, when the snows Were
melting, the manager of Bowdler's
decided that he would have to be
killed. However, he was bought by
the zoo of a certain eastern city. It
was a sight to see the crowds watch
ing the chained monster as he glared
viciously about him out of his little
eyes and swung his trunk threaten
ingly. 'Little Jane Holt, a spinster of 60,
in reduced circumstances, timidly of
fered Rajah a piece .of her pound
cake. Rajah reached out his trunk,
took the morsel and lashed at the
"Naughty boy!" said Miss Holt.
Rajah looked at her in amazement.
Then the trunk went out once more
and received another morsel And
this time there was no comeback.
Rajah had found a friend.
Hiss Holt soon became a feature of
the zoo. Rajah watched for her and
showed his pleasure when she 'ar
rived. Once she came when he was
on the point of killing his keeper.
Her presence at once calmed him.
The zoo sent Miss Holt a letter of
Then came the day when Rajah
was sentenced to death. Miss Holt
heard of it, ghe went to the zoo
manager, arriving jnt as he had
scornfully tossed away a bundle of
hay containing a pound of' strych
nine. "Let me take him," she whim
pered. 'TH look fter him the rest of
The manager smiled. "How can,
you look after a rogue elephant, Miss
Holt?" he asked.
"I've got a 12-acre farm and I am
used to horses," said the old maid.
"Elephants are hardly horses," an
swered the manager. "You would
Knocked Him Senseless
be killed, Miss Holt It's absurd. Be
sides, those tusks are worth $2,000,"
"And my farm's worth $5,000," re
torted Miss Holt "IH mortgage it
and give the poor, harassed beast a
home for the rest of his days."
"I don't think" you've had much ex
perience looking after elephants,"
retorted the manager. "No, Miss
Meanwhile Rajah haft consigned a
bean of grain containing a dozen