The Wrestling Match Between Harry Hill And Uzile Prickett, For One Thousand Dollars

The New York Times – August 18, 1864

UZILI PRICKETT, the Jersey wrestler, was born in the village of Cold Run, Burlington County, N.J., on the 5th of August, 1840, and was therefore 24 years of age on the 5th inst. His father was a farmer, who died some years ago, and the mother of UZILE lives on the old homestead, where the young wrestler was brought up, and has spent most of his youthful days, and also the last four years of his early manhood. When about 15 years old he was taken to Philadelphia by ANDY HIKES, who had discovered his early wrestling qualities.

He first commenced at the top of the tree in Philadelphia, and after throwing some eight or ten men when but 16 years old, he could meet with no one to make a match with. He has since had several more matches, but the present is the only one of note.

HARRY HILL was born in 1819 at Epsom, in Surrey, England, and is now 45 years old. HARRY is well known as an old sport knowing a little of everything in the sporting line, and generally respected, even by those whom he has bested, either by his superior, knowledge in sporting matters, or his physical and scientific acquirements as a wrestler. He has always been ready to accommodate any wrestler who fancied he could do his part in the game, and has generally thrown his man.

The present match was brought about by PRICKETT’s visit to this City, and a call upon HARRY, accompanied by JACOB ROOM. The conversation turned upon the wrestling point, and ultimately a match was made for $500 a side, two falls in three, side-hold. The money was duly posted, in deposits of $100 each — Mr. VARIAN being the final stakeholder — and yesterday afternoon was appointed for the decision of the match.

The Cremorne Garden, Seventy-second-street and Third-avenue, was the theatre of the display, and fifty cents the price of admission.

As an incentive for the sports to patronize the affair, sparring, jig and clog-dancing, club-swinging, and prizes in silverware for wrestling, were offered to be contested for. Some sparring and dancing, with club-swinging was gone through in good style, when Mr. LAWLER and Mr. JOHN FARLEY prepared for a wrestling bout, the prize being a silver cup, there being six such prizes for wrestling competitors. HARRY HILL was referee. The men wrestled collar-and-elbow, and were soon at work, both very anxious. LAWLER first made play with his right foot but FARLEY kept away, and being a powerful-built man, forced LAWLER’s head downward, and dragged him around the stage. After considerable play LAWLER was thrown a clear back fall, but still held on to his man, and in rising threw FARLEY. Considerable excitement now prevailed, and as day was fast departing, Mr. HILL decided that bets were off, and each should have a prize.

Preparations for the great combat was at once made. The stage was swept and sanded, and HARRY chose MIKE TRAINOR for his umpire, while PRICKETT appointed PETER MARTIN, (now matched against DOONEY HARRIS for $2,000, to fight in October.) Mr. IZZY LAZARUS was mutually agreed upon as referee. But little time was wasted in preparation, and the men at once got hold. After some little play, in which PRICKETT’s strength and superiority was evident, HILL was thrown a fair back fall amid the boisterous cheers of the Jerseyman’s friends.

An intermission of ten minutes was allowed. HARRY HILL appeared to be somewhat exhausted, and was evidently deficient in wind.

On laying hold the second time, PRICKETT claimed the under hold, and the men at once got to work. After some short play both fell flat on their stomachs, side by side, which was declared no fall. They got to work again at once, and in less time than it takes to write it, HARRY HILL was flat on his back, losing the match of $500.

Considerable odds were offered on PRICKETT previous to laying hold; $1,000 to $400 being offered on the Jerseymen, considerable money changed hands, and some of HILL’s friends lost heavily. Another rain storm commenced immediately after the finish, and the garden was quickly vacated. A youthful admirer of silverware purloined two of the silver prize cups, but was quickly arrested and locked up. A few portemonnais also mysteriously disappeared, but otherwise everything was very orderly.

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