After I got my post all done, Metafilter says it wants a title!
November 25, 2009 6:51 PM Subscribe
The Life and Times of Major Jack Downing of Downingville, away down east in the state of Maine, written by himself.
posted by klangklangston (16 comments total)
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Seba Smith is oft-cited as America's first professional humorist, with his Jack Downing stories being published in 1833, two years before the first anthology of Southern humor appeared. Downing became an archetype almost immediately, representing the humor of rural Yankee life in letters.
While Downing made Smith famous, Smith was plagiarized widely by Charles Augustus Davis—whose Letters of J. Downing, Major, Downingville Militia
were more widely known than the original. He was also plagiarized less directly by the Canadian author Judge Thomas Chandler Haliburton, whose "Sam Slick" became the default term for Northeasterners in the popular press.