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March 6, 2017 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County Humor


The following humor piece ran in The Farmville Mercury (published 1873-1881) on March 5, 1874.


They are strong, staunch, steady, stayed, stout, strapping, swift, spry, spruce, sprightly, smiling, smart, spirited, spunky, shiny, showy, sparkling, spicy, supportive, superlative, slightly, suitable, serviceable, well made, sized and shaped man, with steps free from strain, sprain, spavin, secretion, or sickness of any sort.


They are spur-galled, star-footed, string-halted, slight-carcassed, saddle-backed, shell-toothed, short-winded, slab-sided men, they slip, start, stop, shake, shackle, strike, and stop in stall or stable.

                The above description was repeated to me by the inimitable Sam, the famous Buckingham joker. Thinking it might be relished by the public I send it to your paper. Mr. Jas. S. Garnett who claims to be the originator of the above is a man of brilliant wit, and has always on hand an endless fund of admirable jokes; he was a gallant soldier, and lost a limb at “Cedar Mountain.” The old man would not consent to my sending his description to print unless I suggested that it might be the means whereby he could procure himself a wife, an article of house furniture he has been craving for, these many years. His face beamed up while I spoke, and he said, “You just put at the end of that thar piece if any middle aged female, who owns a yoke of oxen, in her own right, and wants Sam, all she has to do is to signify the same in a few lines directed to Gravel Hill, and she can git the original sure.”


Sent from “Saratoga,” on February 12, 1874.


“Saratoga” was owned by the Hubard family.

If a Slate River ramblings reader knows more about Mr. James S. “Sam” Garnett, please comment.

Interested in reading more in The Farmville Mercury?

Visit: Virginia Chronicle at the Library of Virginia





Leave a Comment
  1. ahuntca / Mar 6 2017 12:47 pm

    fun! 🙂

    • Joanne Yeck / Mar 6 2017 2:59 pm

      I agree but poor Cumberland County. Joanne

  2. Joanne Yeck / Mar 6 2017 10:22 am

    I couldn’t say about this relations; however in 1880, he is living in Curdsville, Buckingham County.

  3. James A. Figg III / Mar 6 2017 9:55 am

    I’m assuming he’s a relative of Muscoe and James Mercer Garnett of “Elmwood” near Rappahannock…

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