Early American humor, courtesy of Henderson’s 1812 Almanack for North Carolina

Henderson's 1812 Almanack title page

A person about to open a dram shop asked another what he should put on his sign. “Beggars made here” was the reply.

Two men happening to jostle each other in the streets. Says one,”I never permit a blackguard to take the wall.” “I do,” said the other, and instantly made way.

From Henderson’s Almanack for the Year of Our Lord 1812….Calculated for the State of North Carolina. The almanac, whose predictions included a hard frost on February 22 and thunder on July 23, marks the 10,000th book digitized from the University Library’s collections using a high-speed scanner and software application known as the “Scribe.”

The North Carolina Collection is especially proud to have a book from its collection selected for the honor. As NCC curator Bob Anthony points out,”Two centuries ago, an almanac was often the only book in many North Carolina homes, along with a Bible. Selecting this work for digitization gives a very direct glimpse into daily life in the Tar Heel State.” It’s also proof that, over the past 200 years, Americans may not have changed as much as we would like to think.

P.S. Wondering what a blackguard is? Try 2a.

3 thoughts on “Early American humor, courtesy of Henderson’s 1812 Almanack for North Carolina”

  1. Kevin,
    Yes, indeed. You are correct. I had never seen the word spelled that way, so I had to look it up when I came across it.


  2. When John Randolph encountered Henry Clay on a narrow Washington sidewalk, Randolph supposedly said, “Sir, I do not step aside for a scoundrel.” Clay, however, did step aside, replying, “On the other hand, I always do.”
    Don’t have a date on this episode, but Secretary of State Clay and Randolph, senator from Virginia, went through the motions of a duel in 1826.
    True or apocryphal? Who knows? How did the exchange become public knowledge?
    And then there’s this twist: More than once, the story is written with Randolph as the one stepping aside.

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