Jan 16, 1884 Rockford IL Loves the Real Pit Bull

This appeared right under the masthead of the Rockford Daily Gazette supplement section in 1884.  They loved their pit bulls in Rockford and no one thought they were nanny dogs.
Fighting Dogs - Edwin Landseer (1802-1873)
After Victor Hugo: A Dog Fight as Viewed from a Heroic Standpoint.  [Pen and Press]

What is a bulldog?
It is a monster that transforms itself into a machine.  It is a battering ram.  It is the entrance of matter into Liberty.  It is a mad mass with the bounds of a tiger, the stelthiness of a mouse, the obstinance of an ox, the unexpectedness of the surf, the rapidity of lightening, the deafness of the tomb.  It weighs forty or fifty pounds, yet it rebounds like a child's ball.  Its attack is a wild whirl abruptly cut at right angles.
The tempest ceases, the cyclone passes, the wind falls, the broken mast is replaced, the leak is stopped, the fire dies out, but the bulldog never lets go.
He has more tenacity than a Stockton bill collector.
He is Old Tenacity itself.
Chapter II
You can make a mastiff hear reason, astound the bull, fascinate the boar, frighten the tiger, soften the lion, but there is no way to Christianizing the bulldog.
You cannot kill him.  He is dead, and at the same time he lives.  He lives with a sinister life bestowed upon him by Infinity.
Chapter III
The dogs were let loose.  Loose!  They were let fast.  There was a cloud of sawdust, a muffled roar, and Grip had Tug by the throat.
Two dozen shouted, "Bravo!"
One of the causille recklessly threw his hat into the air, and exclaimed: "Long live the republic!"
He was seized upon and thrown down stairs.
The unfortunate man had committed two offenses.  He had broken the peace of a dog fight, and had insulted the Democrats.
But still the dogs held on.  Grip tugged at Tug.  Tug gripped at Grip.  The red blood dampened the sawdust and smoked aggressively.
Chapter IV
"Do you believe in the Devil, Chevalier?" asked Mike MCarthy of Mike Mulrooney.
"Yes. No. Sometimes."
"In a tempest?"
"In a dog fight?"
"Yes; in moments like this."
"Then only the Devil can save Tug!"
Tug writhed in the cast-iron grip like a soul in despair.  A soul!  Strange thing!  You would not have thought that a bulldog had one–a soul full of hatred, and that there was cunning in that smoking, bristling, steaming mass of dog flesh.
Neither would let go.
Suddenly a noise was heard at the door.  Two commissioners of police entered with drawn clubs and cloves on their breath.
The crowd fled terror-stricken before the majesty of the law.
Chapter V
A pebble may stop a log; a tree branch may turn the avalanche, and the police can stop a dog fight.
The Pigmy had taken the Thunderbolt prisoner.
McCarthy approached the first officer.
"Sir, you have saved my dog's life."
The old man resumed his impassible attitude and did not reply.

Related posts:
Dec 07, 2011 Animal Services: Pit bulls attacked Rockford woman (fatal attack on owner)
Jul 07, 2011 Rockford man charged; pit bull killed in drug raid
May 01, 2011 Letter: Thanks for help with menacing dog
Dec 16, 2010 Officer shoots dog during burglary call
Nov 25, 2010  Rockford alderman, daughter bitten in pit bull attack
May 23, 2010 Rockford Police Shoot Two Pit Bulls in Separate Incidents
May 04, 2009 Pit bull bite sends 8-year-old to hospital