Overpowered

I have mentioned before my admiration for John A. Sealander, Professor of Zoology at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and his 1979 book  A Guide to Arkansas Mammals. I know very little of the man, except that his descriptions of mammals in Arkansas helped fuel in me an intense interest in Arkansas wildlife. I purchased the book in Fayetteville at the age of twelve while with my Aunt Linda Weems. I bought three books that day with money earned from delivering newpapers and all three books are prized possessions to this day.

Dr. Sealander sometimes comes to mind when I am puzzling over something in his realm of expertise. I was perusing old newspapers today when I came across the following in the May 9, 1866 edition of the Little Rock Daily Gazette newspaper. It says:

A negro man was attacked and eaten up by wolves in Arkansas, a short time since. He had defended himself with a knife which he had used in slaughtering hogs, and killed five wolves before he was overpowered.

I bring attention to this 146 year old paragraph because I’d like to know if it is true. Many modern writers on wolves would, I have no doubt, dismiss it as a fabricated event because as they often repeat, wolves do not attack humans. I know too little about wolves to have an opinion on this story, but I am curious what Dr. Sealander might have to say about it.

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