Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/174

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144
SAWDUST AND SPANGLES

losing one or two on the way they finally landed in New York, about 1850, with ten elephants, and they proved a very great attraction.


THE FIRST DROVE OF CAMELS

The first drove of camels was, likewise, brought into this country by S. B. Howes, and, being broken to drive in harness, they also proved a powerful drawing card. This first drove he imported in 1847 from Cairo, Egypt. Mr. Howes then sent Augustus Crane to the Canary Islands, in 1848, in search of camels, and in 1849 he landed in Baltimore with a drove of eleven. No more camels were brought in after this for several years, until a lady in Texas, the owner of a "slaver" or slave ship, brought some over as a subterfuge. Her excuse was that she wanted them to use as beasts of burden on her plantation; but, although the camels were on deck, she had a lower deck on which were huddled together, after the inhuman fashion of the time, many poor blacks, who were really the "beasts of burden" of greatest value to this feminine slave trader.

The government also imported a lot of camels and made the experiment of carrying the mails from Texas to California by "Camel