My book Bowie Knife Fights, Fighters, and Fighting Techniques is available from Paladin Press. This blog contains additional information about the bowie knife, as well as the fighting knives of other nations.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Col. Jack Chinn vs John Dowling

There was some interest in the article on Col. Jack Chinn I posted recently, so I thought I'd post this report of his fight with John Dowling, identified in the previous article as "Dowlan." It appeared in the Chicago Daily Tribune, October 6, 1888.
SENSATIONAL CUTTING AFFRAY

John M. Dowling of Kentucky Attacked by a Prominent Kentucky Turfman.


A sensational cutting affray took place on the Latonia race track this afternoon. Jack Chinn, a prominent Kentucky turfman, owner of the Leonatus Stock Farm at Harrodsburg, a former proprietor of Ban Fox, Jacobin, and other noted horses, stabbed John Dowling, the Chicago sporting man and owner of the place known as the Opera in that city. The cutting occurred just before the last race, in the pool shed. Chinn entered the place evidently in search of someone. He soon discovered Dowling and jumped at him with a knife, and struck him twice in quick succession. The first blow penetrated the arm, cutting an ugly gash near the shoulder, while the second thrust penetrated the clothing near the heart. After the first stab Dowling fell to the ground and Chinn struck at him twice more without doing any damage. The wounded man, who will, however, recover, was brought to this city after his wounds had received attention. Chinn was arrested and locked up in the Covington jail but released tonight on his own recognizance. The cause of the trouble today is an old feud dating back eight years ago, when Chinn and his partner Morgan ran a gambling establishment in St. Paul, Minn.

This afternoon a colored tout went to Chinn and said that Dowling was looking for him. Chinn at once replied, "I'll find him first."

He went to the pool shed and met Dowling with the tragic result indicated. After he had stabbed Dowling, Chinn attacked Tucker, a friend of Dowling, suspecting that Tucker might have a revolver in his possession. The infuriated Kentuckian was, however, prevented from doing any damage. Dowling's version of the affair was that he was attacked by Chinn without the slightest provocation. He declares that he has borne no grudge against him. He asserts most positively that he did not know Chinn was at Latonia or anywhere around. Dowling denies that he made any sneering remarks about Kentuckians, as charged by Chinn in his statement of the affair. Dowling says his adversary approached him without warning as he was looking through an opera glass at the horses. Leading horsemen think the end of the feud is not yet, and that before the trouble is settled either Chinn or Dowling will bite the dust.

Jack Chinn, J.M. Dowling, and R. Tucker, in consequence of their altercation on the Latonia Jockey Club grounds, have been suspended from the Latonia Jockey Club course.

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