05 January 2014

Dame Pye Was Robbed

From Stagecoach And Tavern Days:

"Our heroine, Dame Pye, certainly deserved a better and braver husband, and it is pleasant to know that she outlived Pye and found, if not a more courageous mate, certainly a very fine young one—her bar-keeper*, forty years younger than herself."  *William Nutt

The story of Dame Pye was found in Stagecoach And Tavern Days came from "...the book...The Robber, or Pye and The Highwayman..." (the "Pye" book)."

My synopsis:

A highwayman (identified as Robert Johnson) went to the tavern of John Pye on the West Troy road [Watervliet Turnpike between Troy and Albany, New York] and broke in. When the keys to the till were refused to the robber, a shootout ensued. A trail of blood was followed and icy waters were plunged into while on his spectacular horse. Captain William B. Winne, after hand-to-hand combat with the bad guy, captured the injured highwayman, and put him in jail.

Another quote:

"The highwayman escaped the tree, for he died in jail. There is reason to believe he was a Southerner of good birth. The horse was so widely described and exploited that his story reached a Virginia gentleman, his real owner, from whom he had been stolen. The sagacious animal had been trained to follow a peculiar whistle, and to jump at anything. The gentleman proved his ownership and took the splendid animal-hero home."

Below is how the "Pye" book is shown in the Earl Gregg Swem Library catalog:

The robber, or, The narrative of Pye and the highwayman : being a detailed and particular account of an attempted robbery of the inn of John Pye, between the cities of Albany and Troy in 1808, and of the outlaw's final capture and end : as related by Mrs. Pye herself and others, who were intimately acquainted with the whole tragical affair : together with, a history of the old men of the mountain, or, the gold hunters of Joes Hills:
Main Author: Priest, Josiah, 1788-1851.
Published: Albany [N.Y.] : Printed by Stone and Munsell, 1836
Subjects: Pye, John.
Nutt, Elizabeth Pye, > 1745 or 6-1843.
Brigands and robbers > New York (State) > Biography.
Taverns (Inns) > New York (State)

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