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North Carolina Yeoman: the Diary of Basil Armstrong Thomasson, 1853-1862

by Escott, Paul D. A Thomasson, Basil Armstrong

  • ISBN: 9780820317557
  • ISBN10: 0820317551

North Carolina Yeoman: the Diary of Basil Armstrong Thomasson, 1853-1862

by Escott, Paul D. A Thomasson, Basil Armstrong

  • List Price: $50.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publish date: 08/01/1996
  • ISBN: 9780820317557
  • ISBN10: 0820317551
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Description: North Carolina Yeoman offers a rare personal look into the world of a nonslaveholding, small farmer in the Old South. Thomasson's diary covers the last nine years of a life spent almost entirely within a three-county area in western North Carolina. Writing as a farmer, husband and father, teacher, entrepreneur, and aspiring church leader, he shows himself to be conventional in his simple way of life, humble economic circumstances, and steadfast independence. At the same time, however, he was an avid reader and debater who showed an openness to such concepts as evolution. Driven by conscience more than community sentiments, Thomasson thought slavery and secession to be the heights of folly, considered moving to the Midwest to avoid the imminent war, and did not serve in the Confederate army. Although he taught school to supplement his income, he put far more time and energy into his work than his meager salary indicated. Perhaps most remarkable were Thomasson's egalitarian attitudes toward women. Writing in early 1854, he said, "there are more slaves in the U.S. than most of us are aware of. Freedom is a great thing, but woman cant be alowed to enjoy it; they are slaves to men & fashion". A companion, rather than patriarch, in marriage, he taught his wife to read and write and had an active role in childrearing and household chores.
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