Dr. John Wilson's Stray Horse


Dr. John Wilson, Stray Horse, September 29, 1835 Advertisement, Vernon, Vermont.jpg


Dr. John Wilson, the reformed Scottish highwayman known as Captain Thunderbolt, always kept his Ayrshire county accent. In this advertisement for his stray horse, the country doctor spells out "Cornal," the Scottish pronunciation for "colonel," in referring to Col. Erastus Hubbard of the Fort Bridgeman farm in Vernon, south of Brattleboro.


Erastus Hubbard was the son of Rev. John Hubbard of Northfield, Massachusetts. Dr. Wilson was reported as well-liked, especially by children. It is very possible that Wilson was attending to the birth of Col. Hubbard's granddaughter Sarah---born to Laura Hubbard and Frederick Franks on October 4, 1835.


Dr. Cyrus Washburn of Vernon defended and praised his colleague---


Dr. Wilson, the famous "Thunderbolt," who lived in Brattleboro after a life as a highway robber, had not only the tolerance but the respect of Dr. Washburn. While other physicians would not recognize the man without his showing a certificate of some kind, Dr. Washburn recognized him by his ability to do good work. It is probable that the fugitive from justice was the ablest physician in the state at the time.


Owen R. Washburn's article, "Some Bits Of Vernon History. Incidents of Old-Time Residents---The Militia Company's Refusal to Train---Diary Extracts." This author was the son of Dr. Cyrus Washburn. He composed a long series of articles about Vernon history, published as a series in the Brattleboro Reformer during 1912. This quotation is from the July 19, 1912 issue.


"Sorrel" is from a very old word that indicated "the color of dried leaves." Feared as "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" in Scotland and Ireland during the strarvation years 1815 through 1818, Dr. John Wilson recovered the sorrel hunter quickly. His newspaper advertisement ran for only one week.


_______________________________


Dr. John Wilson, Captain Thunderbolt is a pictorial history of Thunderbolt's life and career in Boston and throughout Windham County, including eyewitness accounts and descriptions of his appearance and activity.


-


-


-


-


-


Site Design © Vermont Technology Partners, Inc.