The following tales have been selected from various journals of the South, and are deemed worthy of preservation in a more permanent and enduring form than that in which they first appeared. The compiler is not aware that any one of them has before appeared in any similar volume. If such be the fact in regard to any of them, it has escaped his attention, after an examination of a large number of the collections of humerous stories and anecdotes which have, from time to time, been given by various authors and compilers to the American public.
It is believed that the present volume contains as great a variety of mirth-moving and interesting matter, as any like work which has ever been published. The peculiar humor of the South, and its characteristic qualities of reckless daring and profuse generosity, are happily illustrated in many of these sketches. Those who love that innocent mirth which leaves no pain, and can relish the honey of wit without the poison which it sometimes leaves, will find in these pages ample sources of entertainment.
The character, as well as habits of a people, and the spirit of the times, may be more clearly and accurately discerned in fugitive newspaper sketches, than in elaborate essays or learned volumes. While the former may not possess the profound reflections and the polished style of the closet, nor smell so strongly of the oil of study, they will have a likeness to life and a truth to nature, which are not to be found in more elaborate productions. The one is a daguerreotype, which, in a moment, and almost without effort, presents before you the living man, no beauty heightened, no defect concealed : the man whom you will recognize at once, should you meet him at the next
corner. The other is a portrait by a professional painter, worked out by long and patient hours at the easel, and more excellent as a specimen of art, but which rarely, like its modern rival, brings the living, and almost breathing and speaking men before you.
With these remarks, the compiler commits his little work to the consideration of the public.
Source: Southern and Southwestern Sketches: Fun, Sentiment, and Adventure. Edited by a Gentleman of Richmond. Richmond: J.W. Randolph, n.d. 3-4. University of Virginia Alderman Library.
Erin Bartels prepared this typescript.
|We would like to thank the staff of the Library of Virginia Archives and Special Collections, Alderman Library, and Barrett Collection for their assistance. This page contains material in the public domain and it may be reproduced in its entirety or cited for courses, scholarship, or other non-commercial uses. We ask that users cite the source and support the archives that have provided materials to the Spirit site.|