Original Document
Original Document
The Phelan vs. Benjamin billiard championship match, Philadelphia, PA, 1858

The encounter between these two champions of the cue came off as previously announced in the CLIPPER on Wednesday, 30th ult., at Philadelphia, at the rooms a Mr. Wm. Otter, Twelfth Street below Chestnut. As part of the condition of the match it was understood that there should be no showing of balls, every shot to be made by the point of the cue; also that no part of the body should be outside of the line of the table when playing from the string, and that a ball touched should be a ball played. The referees for the occasion were the "Albany Pony," of New York, for Benjamin, and Chris. Bird, of Philadelphia, for Phelan, who, with the umpire, were to decide all disputes. At 6 p.m., all preliminaries being arranged, they "pulled off their coats and rolled up their sleeves" and went at it, each one seeming determined to do their best "by Jing or die."

Caution was the word for the first game or two, when in the third Benjamin redoubled his exertions and won his first game by 9 points. The fourth, the most severely contested game of the match, occupying over 30 minutes, was won by Phelan by 4 points. This gave Mr. Phelan fresh courage, and the way in which he managed the cue amounted almost to a miracle, caroms of the most indescribable description being made apparently with the greatest ease. He came out victor in all the subsequent game except the 9th, which was won by his opponent by 8 points. The most counts made in a run were 6 by Phelan in the 6th game, which for brilliancy of play was the most remarkable of any. He also made a run of 6 and another of 5 in the 11th and conquering game, a feat seldom accomplished in the kind of game played, (French carom,) and but for the proper though stringent regulations, would no doubt have brought down the thunder.

At the conclusion of the match, a grand time all around was indulged in, and a merry hour spent in discussing the quality of the viands, provided by Mr. Phelan friends for all who chose to partake. The feelings of the company were of the most amicable nature, and the whole affair was carried through in such a manner, as will render this beautiful game far more popular than it already is. The table used was one of O'Connor and Callender's manufacture, six pockets, with Phelan's combination cushions attached, and proved itself to be very correct in every particular, a great desideratum when matches so important are to be played.

Credit: New York Clipper, January 9, 1858.
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