|An image of "Grizzly Adams" & his pet bear from Wikipedia|
Mike Swartz and the Black Bear
A tame bear belonging to the family of Robert Stewart was missing one morning, whereupon a man by the name of Mike Swartz and Mr. Stewart went in pursuit of him. After a while he was discovered in a tree a short distance from the house. One of the men, who had a gun, fired at the bear, and succeeded in bringing him to the ground, but slightly wounded. In order to prevent Bruin from escaping Mike ran up and caught hold of the bear, which in turn Bruin caught Mike by the hand with his mouth, at the same time giving him a hug such only as bears can give; at which Mike called out to his companion, who was at a safe distance, to come to his assistance, but Stewart, who no doubt thought "self-preservation the first law of nature," coolly replied, "Mike, if you were my own born dear brother I could do nothing for you under the circumstances."
For Sale, Public Ledger, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 10 Sep 1845, page 2, column 5;
digital image newspapers.com, (http://www.newspapers.com: accessed 18 Sep 2014)
As I looked for any newspaper article about my ancestor and his bear, I came across a lot of pet bear stories even into the 1900's. As could be expected, many of them did not have happy endings. Above is one clipping from Pennsylvania in 1845 offering a pet bear for sale. I wonder if Robert bought his bear or found an orphaned cub and raised it.
My Line of Descent
- Robert Stewart (1773-1854) m Frances Quigley (1783-1869)
- John Quiggle Stewart (1825-1883) m Sarah Jane Watson (1826-1853)
- Alexander Stewart (1852-1922) m Catharine Jane McClintock (1852-1929)
- Andrew "Andy" McClinock Stewart (1882-1954) m. Bessie Waldron Merrill (1879-1959)
- James Edward Stewart (1910-1972) m. Hazel Lucille Peters (1910-1975) (my paternal grandparents)