Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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HAYS, Jacob, high-constable, born in Bedford, Westchester County, New York, 5 May, 1772; died in New York city in June, 1850. He received a common school education, and soon afterward came to New York city, where he became a policeman. In 1801 Edward Livingston, then mayor, appointed him high-constable, which office he held forty-nine years, until his death. Mr. Hays became a noted thief-taker, and was known throughout the Union for his many captures of criminals. His name was a terror to evil-doers, and it was a common custom of the day to threaten unruly boys with his attentions. On " Evacuation day" and "Fourth of July" parades, "old Hays," as he was called, headed the city officials, shouldering a drawn sword, his hat decked with a flaming cockade, and his person decorated with the glittering insignia of his office, Hays was a small, thin, comic-looking old gentleman, with a well-marked Jewish visage, set off by an amusing strut.--His grandson, William Jacob, painter, born in New York city, 8 August, 1830; died there, 13 March, 1875, was self-taught in the art of painting, and began on fruit and flower pieces. Later he visited the western territories, where he painted landscapes and animal life. In 1850 he exhibited his first picture, "Dogs in a Field," at the New York academy of design, and in 1852 his " Head of a Bull-Dog." On the merits of the latter he was elected an associate of the academy, His largest painting is "The Wounded Buffalo." Among the best of his works are "The Stampede," "A Herd on the Move," "Setter and Game," and "Noah's Head." Some of his pictures have been engraved.
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