Sam McVey's Death

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by mcvey, Sep 15, 2020.


  1. Arminius1

    Arminius1 Member Full Member

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    It is a great story about a truly great Boxer and apparently nice man. Too young to die after giving fans his best efforts.
     
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  2. SolomonDeedes

    SolomonDeedes Active Member Full Member

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    Interesting. The earliest reference I could find to "Sam McVea" was from 1908, which would be while he was in Paris, so maybe it's true.
     
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  3. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti A Being of Inexplicable Inclinations Full Member

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    This is where it says it, but I've never found reports of any of these fights
     
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  4. Chuck1052

    Chuck1052 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Sam McVey listed his birthplace as "Welder," Texas on various documents. There is a town named Waelder, which is located in Gonzales County, Texas. There were a number of people with the last name of "McVea," both black and white, living in Gonzales County during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. On various records, the last name of Sam's father, Andy, has several different spellings.

    While Sam was fighting in California and other parts of the United States, his last name was almost always spelled as "McVey." But while he was fighting in Australia, his last name spelled as "McVea." One interesting note is that Same spelled his last name as "MacVey" on two U.S. passport applications.

    - Chuck Johnston
     
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  5. ecto55

    ecto55 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I'm very keen to explore this avenue from here (Australia) for a number of reasons....the main being that most local libraries in Australia are still using microfiche.

    I'd always suspected that McVey was Australian, and this goes a long way towards rectifying his misappropriation by Texas and the US.

    One key feature about McVey that has always stood out to me was his education and breadth of knowledge - indicative to me of being a 'colonial subject' of the Empire like Australia rather than progeny of freed slaves of southern America (most of whom were illiterate).

    To illustrate, I've met young indigenous kids who seem ordinary until they hit you with a concept like 'immaculate conception' - "hey, how bloody old are you?!"....my guess is its probably the influence of the missionaries who ran the Australian missions with a genuine 'civilizing benevolence' and this doubtless rubbed off on McVey before he began his travels north.

    Coupled with the mystery surrounding his birth and his obviously Australian Aboriginal appearance, it starts to make sense why he would keep continuing to return to Australia in 1900, 1911, 1912, 1913 etc from his northern hemisphere tours.

    Although I wish he'd never done it, I can see the benefits for McVey of adopting a US background / identity; like Peter Jackson, a prizefighter must go where the prizes are.

    Sounds like a potential book idea correcting the record.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
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  6. JWSoats

    JWSoats Active Member Full Member

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    Regarding census records, it is very possilbe that whoever took down the information for the census may have misspelled his name. I know that for my family the census taker really mangled the spelling in the 1860 census He may be in the 1900 or 1920 census after all .....
     
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  7. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti A Being of Inexplicable Inclinations Full Member

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    The early reports of him I've seen all seen to call him Australian. I've looked on the online archives, but there can be various issues with that. I've not found any of the named Australian opponents either, so finding a any of them fighting in Australia at the time would help back it up.

    I guess another question would then be the name McVey, would that suggest catholic missionaries? Do we know anything about his religous beliefs?
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
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  8. Chuck1052

    Chuck1052 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    According to one newspaper, Sam McVey sailed to Australia from the United States while working on a ship as a teenager, but I didn't see any mention of it in any other source. In regards to McVey being from Australia, that is very doubtful.

    - Chuck Johnston
     
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  9. he grant

    he grant Historian/Film Maker Full Member

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    Fascinating .. his life has always deeply intrigued me ... his diversity of knowledge , love of culture , almost a beauty / beast thing going on .. I've collected some very cool photos of him through the years dressed beautifully, playing musical instruments including the piano .. there is obviously quite a bit on this man to be discovered ..
     
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  10. Chuck1052

    Chuck1052 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    The Trove is a website which has a huge number of old Australian newspapers in digital form. There was plenty of coverage on Sam McVey in the Australian newspapers when he was fighting "Down Under."

    - Chuck Johnston
     
  11. WAR01

    WAR01 In the 7.2% Full Member

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    No
     
  12. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti A Being of Inexplicable Inclinations Full Member

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    Khosai Galaxy
     
  13. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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  14. Mendoza

    Mendoza Hrgovic = Next Heavyweight champion of the world. Full Member

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    Did he ever marry or have children?
     
  15. ecto55

    ecto55 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Yes, Trove is the electronic interface of the National Library of Australia in Canberra - as an Aussie, I know it well.

    The issue with Trove stems from Australia's history, which federated its various colonies into states and so a nation in 1901. Canberra itself wasn't founded until 1913, and so there's a paucity of pre-Federation records in the NLA.

    Instead, one needs to go the old colonies' libraries (eg. NSW's Mitchell Library) for anything 1788-1901, really up to about WWI.

    A fair bit of material has been migrated over to the NLA (and then a good deal of that has been digitalized onto Trove) but it cannot be said that because there's an absence of records in Trove that they don't exist elsewhere - many of the smaller / local newspapers aren't available.

    From my own genealogical studies into my own family in both the state Sydney and Melbourne libraries, I know that there's no substitute for going in person and going through the microfiches or looking through the Stacks.

    As such, if McVey was fighting in the colonies of Queensland, New South Wales or Victoria in 1898, 1899, 1900 or the newly federated 'Australia' in 1901 or 1902, the details would be hidden waiting for discovery in those old colonial (now state) libraries.