A true full-blooded Buck

Most everyone should know about Project Gutenberg, the site that types up and publishes free old literature that has lost its copyright, or never had a copyright. One such book is the “Journal and Letters of Philip Vickers Fithian“. In it, Fithian graduates college in New Jersey and then moves to Virginia to teach some wealthy planter (this is in the 1700s) children.

Fithian was a divinity student and evidently later on minister, but his tutoring or teaching was not specifically religious. He mentions things like arithmetic and languages. Notably he is displeased with several people for slave-holding and their treatment of their slaves, including his employer.

I will have to reread this to point out every part of it, but one thing I remember specifically, was this:

In Dr Thomsons Room there was hanging against the Wall a Skeleton!—Balantine, either to shew himself a true full-blooded Buck, or out of mere wantonness & pastime turned the Bones (as they were fixed together with Wires) into many improper and indecent postures; but this officious industry met with such reception from the company as it Justly merited, and as I wish’d might happen; for they gave visible signs of their contempt of his Behaviour

To me, the reading is so much enjoyable because of the archaic and unique wording, although the image of this person (who is the head of a firm!) playing around like this is amusing as well.

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