Because this collection is the result of happenstance, there are entire decades missing, and my last bit of doggerel is dated 1937. Frankly, it’s all a mess. But then—what are blogs for?
Here goes, a brief history of America in doggerel:
Found on the sign at a tavern, circa 1780, showing the American proprietor as a jack-of-all-trades:
I shoe the horse, I shoe the ox
I carry nails in my box
I make the nail, I set the shoe
And entertain some strangers, too.
In 1807, Jefferson announced his controversial and widely unpopular embargo:
Our ships all in motion once whitened the ocean,
They sailed and returned with a cargo;
Now doomed to decay, they have fallen a prey
To Jefferson--worms--and embargo.
Alcohol in the new republic was a regular part of daily life, and sometimes too regular:
There’s scarce a Tradesman in the Land,
That when from Work is come,
But takes a touch, (sometimes too much)
Of Brandy or of Rum.
In 1830, when Georgia state law extended itself over Cherokee lands, a popular song of the day was:
All I want in this creation,
Is a pretty little wife and a big plantation,
Away up yonder in the Cherokee nation.
There’s statues bright
Of marble white,
Of silver and of copper,
And some of zinc,
And some I think
That isn’t overproper.