Training Bloodhounds, Saint Domingue (St. Domingue, Haiti), ca. 1800


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This record was last updated on 14 Jul 2010

Image Reference
LCP-44

Source
Marcus Rainsford, An historical account of the black empire of Hayti (London,1805), facing, p. 423. (Copy in Library Company of Philadelphia)

Comments
"The Mode of Training Bloodhounds in St. Domingue and of exercising them by Chasseurs." The author, a British military officer who visited Haiti, writes: " As they [the dogs] approached maturity, their keepers procured a figure roughly formed as a negro in wicker work, in the body of which were contained the blood and entrails of beasts. This was exhibited before an upper part of the cage, and the food occasionally exposed as a temptation, which attracted the attention of the dogs to it as a source of the food they wanted. This was repeated often, so that the animals with redoubled ferocity struggled against their confinement while in proportion to their impatience the figures was brought nearer, though yet out of their reach, and their food decreased till, at the last extremity of desperation, the keeper resigned the figure, well charged with the nauseous food before described, to their wishes. While they gorged themselves with the dreadful meat, he and his colleagues caressed and encouraged them. By these means the whites ingratiated themselves so much with the animals, as to produce an effect directly opposite to that perceivable in them towards the black figure; and, when they were employed in the pursuit for which they were intended, afforded the protection so necessary to their employers "(pp. 426-27).