A pickle for the knowing ones, or plain truths in a homespun dress


“Lord” Timothy Dexter (1748 – 1806) was an eccentric American businessman noted for a series of lucky transactions and his writing. (…)

He made his fortune by investing in Continental Dollars during the Revolutionary War, when they could be purchased for a tiny percentage of their face value. After the war was over, and the U.S. government made good on the dollars, he became wealthy. (…)

His 1802 memoir A Pickle for the Knowing Ones, or Plain Truths in a Homespun Dress is entirely misspelled and contains no punctuation. At first he handed his book out for free, but it became popular and was re-printed in eight editions. In the second edition Dexter added an extra page which consisted of 13 lines of punctuation marks. Dexter instructed readers to “peper and solt it as they plese.”

Dexter announced his death and urged people to prepare for his burial. About 3,000 people attended his mock wake. The crowd was disappointed when they heard a still-living Dexter screaming at his wife that she was not grieving enough.

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading | Literary historian Paul Collins discusses Lord Timothy’s lasting appeal | NPR | Life of Lord Timothy Dexter }