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May 9, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

 Buckingham Notables: “The Western Sampson,” Part IV

Need to catch up? Click here: Buckingham Notables: “The Western Sampson,” Part I

One of the most famous stories about Peter Francisco is retold in the Alexandria Gazette and Virginia Advertiser, peppered with colorful “Kaintuck” dialect.  Our unknown author continued:

 “Ah!” returned the other, “you’re just the man I want to find”—at the same time, riding inside the fence, he dismounted and tied the animal—a rough, ungainly Indian pony to one of the posts.

“My name is Big Bill Stokes all the way from Old Kentuck. I am the Kentucky game chicken, I am. I can out run, out-hop, outjump, knock down, drag out, and whip any man in all them diggings. So, as I heard tell of a fellow down hereabouts could whip all creation, I thought I’d saddle Old Blossum, and just ride over and see what stuff he’s made of, and here I am. And now, stranger, I’m most starved for a fight, and I am bound to see who’s the best man before I go home. It’s all in a good feeling you know; but if you lick me, why, I’m satisfied. But—“

“Stop a minute, stranger,” said Francisco; “you’ve mistaken the man entirely: I’m no fighting man at all; and if I was, I’ve nothing against you to fight about.”

“Well I don’t know, is there any other Peter Francisco in these parts?”

“No—not that I know of.”

“Well then, you’re the man, and you must fight. I’ve come all the way from Old Kentuck, and I ain’t a-going back without knowing which is the best man.”

“But I won’t fight. I’ve got nothing to fight about, and I tell you I won’t fight.”

“Darned if you shan’t fight, stranger—I’m bound to lick you if I can; if I don’t you must lick me.”

By this time Francisco had become angry at the importunity of his visitor, and determined to put an end to the scene. Seizing his antagonist, therefore, by the seat of his buckskin breeches and the collar of his hunting shirt, he threw him over the fence into the road; then walking leisurely to where his pony was tied, he unfastened him, and taking him up by main strength, threw him after his discomfited rider.

The Kentuckian raised himself from the ground, perfectly dumbfounded by such an exhibition of strength, and, after rubbing his eyes as though he thought he might not have seen clearly, he mounted the poney—remarking, “Well, stranger, I reckon you’ll do. I reckon it’s about time for me to make tracks. If any body asks you about that great fight, you can tell ‘em you licked Bill Stokes most confoundedly.

Coming next: Buckingham Notables: “The Western Sampson,” Part V


Leave a Comment
  1. Joanne Yeck / May 9 2019 9:13 am

    Thanks, Paula. More about Peter Francisco coming on Monday.


  2. Paula sprouse meadows / May 9 2019 8:58 am

    Love reading these so much history and care put n it thank u.. I remember the store when I was a kid my grandma was Hattie newton sprouse…

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