He seems to have been particularly active in Essex and Orleans counties. He was reported to have thrown pinecones at an expedition in 1759.
The story is told that Governor Jonas Galusha (1753-1834) had a plan which he regarded as both novel and ingenious to catch Old Slipperyskin. He doused himself in a solution which stank of female bear and stationed a hunting party nearby. He entered the woods and in due course he exited them rather quickly, with Old Slipperyskin in pursuit. The hunters, who should have shot at the beast, instead fled, so the plan came to naught.
On another occasion a hunting party is said to have searched for him on the road leading to Elon Mountain. Old Slipperyskin is said to have rolled a large tree downhill towards them and they perforce had to scatter.
Writer Joseph Citro says there might be descendants of Old Slipperyskin still around.
There are some features about Old Slipperyskin which may make us doubt that he was a bear. First of all, he threw things, a task for which a bear's paws seem to me unsuited. Secondly, he always stood on his hind legs, which is not something a bear will do for more than a short time. He doesn't seem to have preyed on cattle, however much he annoyed them. Although the tales told about him may sometimes be mere yarns, he does definitely seem to have existed, though the endeavors of more than one animal may have been laid at his door. If he was a bear, he seems to have been a singular one. The question that must be asked is whether he was something else and, if so, what.
In Vermont they drink Old Slipperyskin Pale Ale, which may be purchased at Jasper Murdoch's Alehouse (The Norwich Inn).
|Galusha House, residence of Jonas Galusha|