TBT: A Prankster of Historical Proportions

This Throwback Thursday is of a humorous nature taken from Memoirs of Stephen Burroughs. Stephen Burroughs was a thief, a counterfeiter, and a master prankster who memoirsofstephenburrowslived during the American Revolution Era.


Considering the memoirs were written by him, a man of dubious character, scholars are somewhat doubtful of the 100% truthful nature of the book. However, truthful or not, as a reader I enjoyed the read.


Mr. Burrough’s antics were downright hilarious, especially those of his youth. Perhaps that is why the book was published in more than 30 editions over the time span of  more than 216 years!


Being full of vivacity, Joseph and I were almost perpetually prosecuting some scene of amusement or diversion. Some of those pastimes were graduated upon a scale of innocence, and some I am sorry to say, embraced for their object the vexation and detriment of the neighbors. Our chief force was aimed at a neighbor, commonly known by the name of, Tyger, on account of his morose misanthropic disposition.


One night we repaired to his house, and took logs from his wood pile, about two feet in length, and piled them up against his door, until they reached the top, laying them in such a manner as to incline into the house. After arranging matters in this order, we made a noise as if attempting to get into the old man’s garden, sufficiently loud for him to hear ; immediately upon this the old man crept softly to the door, and opening it suddenly, down came the logs so rapidly as to knock him to the floor, and cover him over.


The noise which this had made alarmed the family universally, with an idea that they felt the shock of an earthquake, and that the last judgment had arrived, which set some a screaming and some a praying, and for a long time these ideas so wholly occupied the minds of the family, that the old man could not get any assistance from the load of timber under which he was buried.


I admit, it takes a little bit to get accustomed to the language, but can you imagine pulling a prank like that? Keep a look out in my future books, it is very likely some of Mr. Burroughs antics may make an appearance.


If you are interested in reading The Memoirs of Stephen Burroughs, Google Books has a free e-copy available at: Memoirs of Stephen Burroughs.


Come back next Throwback Thursday for another a glimpse of my novel research.

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