Even in 1838, our ancestors were not without humor – here are a few gems

Humor from an 1838 newspaper


(Transcribed from Lexington union., Lexington, Mississippi, November 24, 1838)

Two means of driving off unpleasant people are recorded in the late London papers, which deserve to be classed with the inventions of the day

One man whose house was much beset with beggars, sent for a sign painter, and had the words Police Office inscribed in large letters over his door. The next morning, the beggars came as usual one after another, but on looking up at the inscription, they hurried off as fast as their legs could carry them.

Another, who had for some time, excluded the bailiffs, one morning finding they had stolen a march on him, and ware in his apartment, he received them with great presence of mind asked them to be seated thrust the poker into the fire, and detained them until it was heated. He then drew it out and thrust it on the top of a barrel, exclaiming with a terrible voice that he would blow them to atoms. The bailiffs imagining that the barrel contained gun powder, ran off without even looking behind, until fairly out danger, much to the amusement and gratification of the minor, the cask contained only a quantity of sand.


A useful invention to assist in eating such fish as the perch, caught in the Louisana lakes and brought into the Natchez market is said to work in this way: A spindle is passed through the head of the fish eater from ear to ear, at each end of which is a fly Wheel, turned by the foot. The fish is fastened on wires connected with flywheels, just before the mouth, and in connection with some machinery resembling a cotton gin. A rapid motion is given to the machinery by the foot; the bones of the fish are thrown over the shoulder and the meat into the mouth of the operator. We have not seen the machine in operation nor can we tell where it may be seen. – Natchez Free Trader

RIBBON OF LOVE: 2nd edition – A Novel of Colonial AmericaComing from diverse cultural backgrounds and separated from the mainland by the Chesapeake Bay, the real world of the settlers of “The Kingdom of Accawmacke” is revealed and secrets about America’s history are discovered in this well-researched novel. Actual court records dating back to the early 1630’s create historical accuracy as the reader is taken back to the primitive days of colonial America where the Pattendens encounter life-changing difficulties with Indians, ducking stools, illness, massacres, death, loneliness, love, and greed.

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She cohost the Podcast: Alabama Grist Mill and developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me

All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

She has authored numerous genealogy books.
RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE)
is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2)
is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series)
Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1)
is the continuation of the story. .

For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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