If you think that modern people are crazy about their pets, then you might be fascinated by the strange and wonderful creatures owned by some of history’s biggest personality.
Lucius Licinius Crassus and His Eels
Lucius Licinius Crassus was considered the greatest orator of Rome. He was Cicero’s teacher as well as a Roman consul. His pets didn’t just encompass dogs or cats, he also kept a group of eels. The Roman orator keep moray eels in his backyard garden ponds. Crassus even gave his favorite eel a necklace and earrings, considering it on the same level as a beautiful maiden.
George Washington and His Canines
George Washington had a group of beloved dogs, like many men of the Revolutionary Era. His core group of hounds included spaniels, terriers, Dalmatians, sheepdogs and Newfoundlands. Washington was far from dour when handling his pups, giving them nicknames like Truelove, Tipsy, Madam Moose, Sweet Lips and Drunkard. He also became an experienced breeder. Washington bred French foxhounds – a gift from Marquis de Lafayette – with English foxhounds. This developed a special breed called the Black and Tan Virginia Foxhound. Washington’s diaries are filled with thousands of pages devoted to his exploits as a dog breeder.
Andrew Jackson and His Dirty Parrot
Andrew Jackson was known as the first American populist president. He emerged from the South with the common touch and did not have the gentlemanly background of many of America’s founding fathers. Jackson was a brutal fighter in his days as a war hero, where he surely swore up a storm. How do we know? When Jackson died, his parrot named Polly attended the funeral, and she swore up a storm. In fact, Polly swore like a sailor so loudly that she had to be removed from the solemn proceedings.
John Adams and His Alligator
John Quincy Adams was known as a staid man with stately manners. However, President Adams kept a pet alligator who hung out in the Oval Office. When the Marquis de Lafayette returned to the United States more than 25 years after his exploits in the Revolutionary War, he embarked on a two-year tour of America where he was given many gifts. When he arrived in Washington DC he re-gifted an alligator to President Adams. The gator took up residence in the East Room, complete with adjoining bathroom. Adams used the gator to scare unsuspecting visitors.
Lord Byron and His Bear, Wolf, Dogs, Monkeys, Cat, Eagle…
English poet Lord Byron had many passions and was always open to new experiences. That’s why Byron kept a wide variety of animals in his home. He had a tamed wolf named Lyon and a huge bear who accompanied him to college at Cambridge. Byron’s friend Percy Shelley wrote about his experience visiting Byron in Venice, where Byron had a huge stable of animal friends:
“Lord B’s establishment consists, besides servants, of 10 horses, eight enormous dogs, three monkeys, five cats, an eagle, a crow and a falcon… I have just met on the grand staircase five peacocks, two guinea hens and an Egyptian crane.”
Originally posted 2016-07-30 17:35:21. Republished by Blog Post Promoter