Jackson Haines (1840-1875)
Jackson Haines (1840-1875) was variously called the father of: figure skating, modern figure skating, international style, freestyle skating, the Viennese style, etc. His parents Alexander Frazee Haines and Elizabeth Terhune Bogart, his sister Elizabeth, and his children lived in the Village of Lansingburgh during the span of 1865-1873. The 1875 NYS Census shows Alexander F. Haines and his wife living with her mother, Maria (or Mary) Westervelt, on Peebles Island opposite Lansingburgh.
TROY GYMNASIUM—Haines, the great “star skater,” and who created so great a sensation on the Van Rensselaer Skating Park [in Albany] last winter, made his debut at the Troy Gymnasium last evening, on “rollers,” or parlor skates, and delighted a very numerous auditory, with his extraordinary and artistic movements.
Albany Morning Express. March 29, 1862: 3 col 3.
—Jackson Haines, the skater, well-known in this city, has recently been presented with a beautiful medal by the Grand Duke Constantine, of Russia. It is a very large circle of Siberian crystal, in which are set letters of gold, stating the object of the gift. The edge is of solid gold, and it is surmounted with gold straps, dotted with rubies and pearls. A very handsome ring, with a ruby centre and five first-water diamonds on either side, was also presented to Mr. Haines by the Czar Alexander.
Troy Weekly Times. July 8, 1865: 1 col 5.
Haines Alexander F. h. 218 Congress [3rd Ave.], Lans.
Troy Directory for the Year 1865: Including Lansingburgh, West Troy and Green Island. Vol. 37. Troy, NY: Young & Benson, 1865. 48.
An examination of more than usual interest occurred before Justice Lansing, of the ‘Burgh, on Saturday last, which originated as follows:
On Thursday of last week, a gentleman and lady, named William H. Bates and Almira Haines, of New York city, arrived in the ‘Burgh and engaged rooms at the Phoenix Hotel, for the ostensible purpose of making a short sojourn in the “Garden,” and which they did, as the sequel will show. The lady referred to proved to be the wife of Jackson Haines, the celebrated skater, who is now astonishing the crowned heads of Europe by his consummate skill as a skater, and whose father, William S. Haines, resides in Lansingburgh. Previous to her husband’s departure for Europe, his father, who was then a resident of New York city, who was appointed guardian for the children, consisting of three in number, and they were accordingly placed in his custody, as such guardian, for the purposes for which he was appointed, and upon his removal from New York he brought the children with him to Lansingburgh, as it would appear, without the consent of Mrs. Haines, their mother, but on the contrary against her will. Such at least was her statement.
The mother, desirous to regain the custody of her children, came to Lansingburgh for that purpose, and instead of proceeding in a legitimate way to obtain such custody, resulted in the arrest of both herself and her escort, Mr. Bates.
Some time prior to the afternoon of Friday last, the parties called at the residence of William S. Haines, apparently for the purpose of seeing the children and having an interview with them, the real object of the visit undoubtedly being to inspect the premises and decide upon [?] plan by which the custody of the children could be obtained. This belief is deduced from what subsequently transpired.
Upon the Friday afternoon referred to, between four and five o’clock, Mr. Bates and Mrs. Haines were seen in the rear of Mr. William S. Haines’ residence, by some factory girls who were employed in an adjacent building. The latter was leading two of the children toward the Phoenix Hotel, where she succeeded in conveying them.
As soon as this fact came to the knowledge of Mr. Haines, he proceeded to the hotel and demanded the children and the mother refused to surrender them—whereupon Mr. H. procured a warrant for the arrest of Mrs. Haines and her accomplice, Mr. Bates, on the charge of kidnapping. Officer Longstaff served the process, and the parties were arraigned before Justice Hearman for an examination, who, in consequence of the late hour in the day, declined to hear the same at that time, and bail was required for the appearance of the parties before Justice Lansing on the following day, Saturday, or by failure to procure said bail, be committed until such time. The re-dilivery of the children into the custody of Mr. Haines was accepted as a sufficient recognizance, and the parties were held to await the determination of the following day’s examination.
At two o’clock P. M. on Saturday the parties appeared, Justice Lansing’s Court, Francis Rising, Esq., appeared for the people, and James R. Stevens, Esq., as counsel for the prisoners. Several witnesses were examined on the part of the prosecution, and after the testimony was all in, the counsel for the prisoners moved for their discharge, on the ground that the evidence did not sustain the charge of kidnapping; that if they were guilty of any crime at all, it was one entirely distinct from that with which the prisoners were charged, and upon which they were arrested. The Court took half an hour to examine the law, and being convinced that the evidence did not sustain the charge of kidnapping, discharged the prisoners, who returned to New York on the same evening.
Lansingburgh Weekly Chronicle. August 8, 1866: 2 col 3.
“Local Department.” Albany Morning Express. August 9, 1866: 3 col 2.
[Jackson Haines’ father was Alexander Frazee Haines; Jackson Haines’ grandfather was Jackson Haines. It’s unclear why the newspaper reported the father’s name as William S. Haines. A William S. Haight, for what it’s worth, was the name listed just above Alexander F. Haines’ in the 1865 and 1866 city directories.]
Haines Alexander F. house 218 Congress [3rd Ave], Lans.
Troy Directory for the Year 1866: Including Lansingburgh, West Troy and Green Island. Vol. 38. Troy, NY: Wm. H. Young, 1866. 56.
☞ LANSINGBURGH.—A SON OF JACKSON HAINES DROWNED.—About 8 o’clock last evening a boy named [Abram] Haines, about ten years old, while rowing on the river with two comrades, fell over board and was drowned.
The accident was caused by the boys running against a yacht lying in the river. There being no breeze whatever, the party in the sail boat found it utterly impossible to avoid the accident by getting out of the way. The young men in the yacht are entirely without blame in the matter, as they used every means in their power to save the lad, who sank without rising to the bottom. The boy was a son of Jackson Haines, the celebrated skater.
Troy Daily Times. July 22, 1870: 3 col 3.
A SAD CASE OF DROWNING.—A son of Jackson Haines, the celebrated skater, was drowned in the river opposite Lansingburgh, on Thursday evening. The lad, who was about ten years old, was in a row boat with two others and when in the river opposite Haskell’s oil cloth factory, ran into a sail boat. The force of the blow thew H. into the water, and he sank to the bottom at once. The body was found about ten o’clock that night.
Hudson Daily Register. July 23, 1870: 2 col 4.
TROY, N. Y., 10.—Eugene Haines, nine years old, a son of Jackson Haines, the great skater, was drowned this morning at Lansingburgh.—His brother nearly the same age, was drowned this month last year.
St. Lawrence Republican and Ogdensburg Weekly Journal. July 11, 1871: 2 col 7.
Mrs. Jackson Haines, has, after a lengthy law suit, succeeded in getting possession of her daughter.
“Lansingburgh.” Troy Daily Whig. September 16, 1871: 3 col 4.
Haines Alex F. carpenter, h. 110 River, Lans.
Troy Directory, for the Year 1872: Including Lansingburgh, West Troy, Cohoes and Green Island. Vol. 44. Troy, NY: Wm. H. Young, 1872. 70.
The New York Clipper of this week contains a portrait of Jackson Haines formerly of this city, whose family now reside at Lansingburgh. Mr. Haines celebrity as a skater is enviable. The wood cut represents him as he appeared in the opera of “The Prophet” at Berlin. The Clipper thus speaks of him:
We present a picture of Mr. Haines the celebrated skater as he appeared when performing in “The Prophet” at Berlin. Mr. Haines is a native of America, and, with the exception of the Ravels, who first introduced roller-skating here, was the first to make a specialty of it for public amusements. Being at that time an expert skater upon the ice, he rapidly acquired the skill of using roller-skates, and a short time there-after he was enabled to exhibit upon the stage all those difficult evolutions which had made his name celebrated when performed on the ice. The entertainment was novel, and engagements were fulfilled in all the principle cities in this country. His fame extended across the broad Atlantic, and an advantageous offer having been made him to appear in England, he left America some years since. Success crowned his efforts in the United Kingdom, and he departed for Russia, where, both in roller-skating and upon the ice, he became a celebrity and surpassed all competitors in skill. For some years past he has been in Germany, where skating may be considered a national amusement, and his exhibitions during the winter season upon the ice, and at other times in large halls or theatres, have won for him the highest encomiums from the public. Skating carnivals, at which thousands of both sexes were present, have at various times been given in his honor, and his journeyings from province to province might be considered almost triumphal. The public press has everywhere been lavish of its praise of his skill, and Americans may well feel proud of the distinction that our countryman has won. He has partaken of banquets in the nobility, and decorations and medals almost without number have been conferred upon him.
Troy Daily Whig. January 24, 1873: 3 col 3.
A highly sensational and disgraceful affair, in which the arts of old women combined with the gullibility of followers and modern Spiritualism were interestingly exhibited, too place in the village of Lansingburgh yesterday afternoon. Miss Clementina Jones owns a large frame house on the corner of River [First Avenue] and Grove [118th] streets. She, with her mother, both aged and remarkably eccentric females, occupies the lower floors, the upper portion being rented by the Haines family, worthy and respectable people, the parents of Jackson Haines, the celebrated skater. Miss Jones considers herself a singularly persecuted female, and is constantly communicating her thousand troubles to either the police or the newspapers, who in common with others regard her as the source of all her own unhappiness, and of various annoyances and discomforts to her tenants and neighbors. Her latest idea is that her habitation is the abode of perturbed spirits, and the story appeared in a late issue of the Gazette. Her tenants, the Haines’s, seem for some unknown reason to have found great disfavor in her eyes, and several times of late she has announced by placards on her front door that “stolen goods were received up-stairs,” “performances every day,” etc. On Wednesday evening a number of persons held a spiritual seance in Miss Jones’s parlor, when the medium of the party discovered to the rest that silverware and bonds belonging to David Brewster, and stolen from the Waterford Bank, were secreted in Haines’s apartments and in the cellar of the house, the bonds being buried in a certain designated spot in the cellar. This seance was repeated at Dr. Benton’s rooms on Thursday evening. The result was that yesterday Mrs. Brewster appeared before Justice Davenport, who, upon the woman’s oath that she believed and suspected upon the best of grounds that her property was in the above mentioned place, furnished her with a search warrant. In the afternoon Mr. Brewster summoned an officer and searched a certain portion of Mr. Haines’s rooms. Trunks were ransacked and packages of private letters examined, but they disclosed no traces of bonds or spoons. With the aid of one of the seancers a great hole, large enough to bury the whole party, was then dug in the cellar, but the lost treasure would not turn up, although the precise spot had bene marked off, according to the “spirit’s” directions, two feet from the wall and three feet deep. The bonds didn’t appear but another officer did, who, at the instance of Mr. Haines, arrested Mr. Brewster for malicious trespass, and proceeded with him to the station house. Mr. Brewster at once sent word to Gen. Bullard of this city, who went up and, with Wm. Bradshaw, became his bondsmen in the sum of $100 before Justice Hearmans to appear before the next criminal court in Troy. As we have said Mr. and Mrs. Haines are people of the highest respectability and honor, and the proceeding of yesterday is regarded as shamefully outrageous. The whole affair seems to have been contrived by an addled minded and maliciously inclined old woman. As to the other actors in the performance their conduct can only be regarded as silly as it was unwarrantable. Even the police declare themselves ashamed of the part they were compelled to perform in the matter.
Troy Daily Times. February 8, 1873: 3 col 3.
—Mrs. Haines, a former resident of Lansingburgh and the widow of the late Jackson Haines, the celebrated skater, is in Lansingburgh to remove the bodies of her two sons, which are interred in the village burial ground, to Cypress hill cemetery, Long Island. Both the boys, it will be remembered, were drowned in the Hudson river at Lansingburgh, one in 1870 and the other in 1871. Mrs. Haines has married a second husband, who is in prosperous circumstances at Brooklyn.
“Lansingburgh.” Troy Daily Times. November 23, 1882: 2 col 5.
When a young man, Jackson [Haines] married Alma Bogart, daughter of Judge Abram Bogart of New York City. Three children were born to them—Clara Louise, Abram and Eugene. Later, during [Jackson Haines’] absence in Europe, his two sons were drowned in the Hudson River while visiting their grandparents who had moved from New York City to Lansingburg. His daughter died in early womanhood, and his wife in 1890.
Minnoch, Jack. “Dressing Room Chatter.” Amsterdam Evening Recorder. January 24, 1941: 12 cols 4-5.
“Jackson Haines: The Definitive Biography.” Skate Guard: the ultimate archive of figure skating’s fascinating and fabulous history. August 23, 2015. http://skateguard1.blogspot.com/2015/08/jackson-haines-definitive-biography.html