Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Boys Will be Boys?? Needed - Historical Context

Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

I found the following article quite some time ago.  I recently ran across it again while doing computer backups and cleanups.  Have to say, I am a bit confused by it.  I cannot decide if it is a story of "boys will be boys", or if there is some significance to "capturing" four young eagles.  Was there some financial reward for doing so in 1893?  I have no idea, I did do a bit of net searching, but the google hits I have looked at so far have not answered my question of, WHY??  Maybe because the mother was not seen it was felt that the capture was actually an act of humanity, saving the 4 young eagles??  When the mother attacked, why not just leave the scene?  Here, read it for yourselves.

Published in the Oregonian, Portland, Oregon, on July 9, 1893.

Captured Four Eagles,
Spokane Review

Four young American eagles were captured early in the week, near Central Ferry, on the Columbia river, by Johnny Lashbrook, the 11-year-old son of Edgar Lashbrook. Father and son, in company with J.J. Phelan, all of whom reside in Coeur d'Alene City, were on a prospecting tour, with teams and camping outfit. Johnny is rather small for his age, but as full as courage as a lion. The eagle's nest was sighted early in the afternoon. It was in a craggy butte about 30 feet from the ground. On a projecting rock 200 feet high the mother bird perched, but was unnoticed by the party until the boy had almost completed his perilous ascent. Then the old bird suddenly came to life and with a piercing cry of rage circled in the air and swept down upon him. Phelan was holding the horses, who became restless at the mother bird's shrieks. The elder Lashbrook ran for his rifle. The bird in the meantime struck viciously at the boy, who clung to his precarious footing and fought it off with his hat. Three times the bird swooped down angrily. The last time a bullet from Mr. Lashbrook's rifle reached its target and the boy was saved. Johnny proceeded to the nest and brought down all four birds safely. During the ride into Spokane he held them alternately on his knee and fed them from his hand.

Still asking WHY??  Do you have any ideas or comments??

* Photo courtesy of


Heather Rojo said...

All I can think of is how at the time Victorian museums were full of stuffed animal trophies, and men loved to hang heads of dead animals above the fireplace. Think of Teddy Roosevelt, and of scientists "collecting specimans" for museums and science. No wonder eagles are endangered!

TennLady said...

There was a lot of money in shooting and stuffing eagles for display for hunters. BIG MONEY.

Nita said...

Might have been difficult for him to get away from it, as I would think the eagle may have been very fast. Also, times were different back then. Eagles were not considered endangered and hunting and killing animals was very common as a means of survival as well as sport.