David Ross Locke, consistent advocate

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Anita Dianne Taylor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
John Jellicorse

Abstract: David Ross Locke was a newspaper editor, novelist, satirist, and lecturer prominent during and immediately after the Civil War period. He gained widespread fame because of his creation, "Petroleum Vesuvius Nasby." In Nasby, Locke created a character to satirize the Northern Democrats who sympathized with the Southern point of view. On a weekly basis, Nasby wrote letters to the editor which chronicled his misadventures. Because of his bigotry and narrow, self-serving motivations, Nasby always came to bad ends. Locke's contemporaries considered the Nasby letters invaluable in maintaining Northern morale during the war. Because of the prominence he gained through Nasby, Locke was asked to lecture nationally. His three major lectures, "Cussid Be Canaan," "The Struggles of a Conservative with the Woman Question," and "In Search of the Man of Sin," proved very popular with his audiences. The lectures are comprehensive statements of his positions toward the major social issues of his day—slavery, women's suffrage, and corruption. These lectures are also satires. Humor, however, was not Locke's primary goal. He considered himself a reformer, and sought, through his lectures, to persuade. The analyst of his lectures must evaluate them in that light in order to properly assess their worth.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1978
Locke, David Ross, $d 1833-1888
Social reformers

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