Where does the expression “a gone goose” (or beaver, chick) come from and What does it mean?

In a previous post, we repeated a couple of amusing but legendary yarns that might account for the expression “a gone coon,” but we have been reminded that the coon is but one of various specimens of animal life which, in American speech, have and are similarly “gone” or hopelessly done for.

The expression “a gone goose” dates from 1830; “a gone chick” from 1834; “a gone beaver” from 1848; “a gone horse” from 1840; “a gone gander” from 1848, and James K. Paulding, in Westward Ho! (1832), even gave us “gone suckers.”

But there are no legends to account for the hopeless state in which these creatures found themselves.