Col. William Morgan of East Orange, New Jersey bred and fought some of the best Whitehackles as a pure stock gamefowl, which were pure Gilkerson cocks sourced from North Britain.
In 1858, George Gilkerson, an English farmer living in Cortland County, NY, imported some fowl from Cumberland, England from a man named Lawman a relative of Billy Lawman of New York State. Called North Britain at first and later known as Gilkerson Whitehackles.
The North Britain gamefowl were duckwing red, brown red and pyle. Before his death, Gilkerson gave many of his fowl to Col. Morgan, among them a little imported Scottish hen, maybe a Lawman, which Gilkerson prized most highly. Col. Morgan bred this hen with the old Gilkerson fowl and her blood is in all the strains of Whitehackle he created. The Morgan Whitehackle became more famous than the Gilkerson fowl, winning against Kearney, the Eslins, Mahoney in the Pennsylvania coal mining district.
Morgan only infused two outcrosses into his strain of Whitehackle pure bloods. Morgan got a ginger hen from Perry Baldwin, and put her in the yard of Sonny Stone of Newark. Stone bred her, her grand-daughters and great grand-daughters with the Morgan cocks.
The Whitehackles resulting from the mix, had the bloody heel and fighting ability of the pure Morgan’s as well as the aggressiveness of the ginger [newbold fowl]. Morgan then took a fifteen-sixteenth Morgan and a sixteenth (Ginger) newbold hen from Stone, and bred her on his own gamefarm. John Hoy of Albany purchased gamefowl from Billy Lawman, and he and Morgan exchanged broodcocks freely, so the Whitehackle was continued as a pure strain.
Morgan bred the Lawman Whitehackle, reduced to one quarter in his own farm. In the early nineties Morgan gave a small pen of his fowl to a Colonel in Virginia. The colonel inbred the fowl and when he died, the Whitehackles became the roosters of a professor at Georgetown university, who knew nothing about breeding or cock fighting, but he kept the stock pure. Neither the pure Morgan Whithackle or inbred birds have changed in twenty-five years.