"The Original Tom Owen" (no title given in original)
The " Louisiana Chronicle" published at Bayou Sara, (or St. Francisville,)
sets a contemporary right with regard to one of our popular correspondents after
this wise :--
" The original TOM OWEN, and the author of " Tom Owen, the Bee Hunter," we would inform the " Picayune," are quite different and distinct persons,--the former having a " local habitation and a name" in East Feliciana, where he has just been elected a police juror ; whilst the latter gentleman is a respected citizen of our own parish of West Feliciana. Tom Owen has the name of being, and certainly is, the most extraordinary man of the age in his own way. We are not sure that he spells his name with the letter ex (x), but certain it is that he is not very deeply initiated into the mystery of his books, and is very far from laying claim to authorship. His fame is predicated solely upon his singular dexterity in bee-hunting. Locke, with the aid of a telescope, pretended to see and watch the movements of the " man in the moon." But Tom can actually see and describe a bee in the woods at the distance of two miles, and he is willing to take a " bible oath!" This might appear unaccountable to a stranger, who would sooner bet, frequently, upon Tom's capacity for seeing double, than upon any clearness of vision."
Source: New York Spirit of the Times 112: 17 (25 June 1842): 198. University of Virginia Alderman Library.
Erin Bartels prepared this typescript.
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