Photograph: Werner Schmidt

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Professionals

So, who were these professional oarsmen who had signed an agreement to boycott Charles Courtney “in order to protect” themselves and not row with or against him in any regatta, which I wrote about in yesterday’s entry? On the web you can find information about Wallace Ross and James A Ten Eyck on Wikipedia. (Ten Eyck’s son, Edward Hanlan Ten Eyck, would become the first American to win the Diamonds at Henley in 1897; the Henley Stewards’ did not invite him back the following year, due to the fact that his father had been a professional sculler.) Rowing historian Bill Miller has written an introduction to Fred Plaisted (seen down on the left) as the National Rowing Foundation has Plaisted’s scrapbook at Mystic Seaport Museum. George Hosmer (seen up on the left), John Teemer (seen up on the right), and James Riley (in The New York Times article mentioned yesterday spelled 'Reilly') are all in Bill Pickelhaupt’s eminent article “Professional Rowing in the United States and Canada” in the magazine Maritime Life and Traditions, No. 17, winter 2002. Both Plaisted and Riley seemed to have been real characters.

Two books that have interesting information about professional oarsmen in America are Rowing (1923) by R.A. and R.J. Glendon and American Rowing (1932) by Robert Kelley; both books are not easy to find, but do try from time to time.

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