Silver Flagon, The
DESCRIPTION: "'Lift high,' shouts Clarke, 'the Silver Flagon...The gift of good John Jacob Astor... I drink the curse of hated savage."" When the flagon is found missing, Clarke hangs an Indian, despite a lack of evidence
EARLIEST DATE: 1958 (Burt); supposedly written 1914
KEYWORDS: theft punishment execution Indians(Am.) discrimination
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Burt, pp. 133-134, "(The Silver Flagon)" (1 text)
NOTES: The John Jacob Astor of this song is of course not the man who went down with the Titanic, but his great-grandfather of the same name (1763-1848), who came to the United States in 1784 and founded the family fortune in the fur trade. As the song says, he founded the city of Astoria in 1811.
According to Burt, this piece arises out of an incident in one of Astor's fur expeditions. John Clarke, one member of the company, was responsible for transporting the flagon. On May 30, 1813, due largely to his own carelessness, it was stolen. Clarke saw an Indian sneaking about, and even though the unfortunate man did not have the flagon or any of the other items missing, Clarke hanged him. - RBW
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