Friday, February 19, 2010

Hey, I'm In Good Company...


There are just so many reasons to read the Farmer's Almanac, I can't begin to tell you!

I use the information for a lot of different reasons, and I'm not the only one. Folks have been using this book as a source of dependable information for a long, long time! Don't believe me? Well, here is a little story right out of the history books that will show just what I mean! Even Abe Lincoln agreed...!



The occasion depicted in the above Rockwell painting is the 1858 murder trial of an Illinois man named William "Duff" Armstrong. Armstrong was accused of murdering James Preston Metzker with a "slung-shot"—a weight tied to a leather thong, sort of an early blackjack—a few minutes before midnight of August 29, 1857. Lincoln was a friend of the accused man's father, Jack Armstrong, who'd just died, and so he offered to help defend young Duff Armstrong, without pay, as a favor to Jack Armstrong's widow.

The principal prosecution witness against Armstrong was a man named Charles Allen, who testified that he'd seen the murder from about 150 feet away. When Lincoln asked Allen how he could tell it was Armstrong given that it was the middle of the night and he was a considerable distance away from the murder scene, Allen replied, "By the light of the Moon."

Enter the Almanac!

Upon hearing Allen's testimony, Lincoln produced a copy of the 1857 edition, turned to the two calendar pages for August, and showed the jury that not only was the moon in the first quarter but it was riding "low" on the horizon, about to set, at the precise time of the murder. There would not have been enough light for Allen to identify Armstrong or anyone else, said Lincoln. The jury agreed, and Duff Armstrong was acquitted.


See, you just never know when you might need the Almanac to prove your case, schedule your planting, find the best time to go fishing, find out about the next full moon (ya know, for that special date!) or just to browse through on a cold Winter's night in front of the fire!

Now, my friends, how about some fresh coffee in the kitchen? I have chocolate or tea instead, if that's how you roll!

12 comments:

treesong said...

Dear Hermit,

What a way to start my morning - learning something new about dear old Abe! Gotta get me an Almanac! I'm on my second cup of coffee. Take care, Treesong

HermitJim said...

Hey Treesong...
Glad to see you again! Well, you know me...always happy to do my part to share these little tid-bits of almost unknown history!

I sure am glad you could come by today!

JoJo said...

Good Morning MY Special Friend, very interesting story, a new lesson learned by the Almanac and you our teacher of good things.
I will stick to coffee friend. I can brng the pot along. Sounds like more rain headed this way for tomorrow. Should be a beautiful spring in th desert.

HermitJim said...

Hey JoJo...
I think you're right about it being a very nice Spring in the desert this year. Should be, with all the moisture we've had this tear so far!

Bring on the second pot, Sweetie!

Thanks for coming over today!

Did it MY way said...

Guess I'll have to get one. Info on fishing would be worth it. I need all the help I can get.

Coffee is good this morning.

See Ya

Momlady said...

You tease us with so much info from the Almanac. I'm going to have to buy one. Hmmm, I wonder where I can find one. Good coffee, thank you.

mike said...

I read the almanac too.

HermitJim said...

Hey Tony...
Can't ever have too much fishing information! We could all use a little help in thoe regards from time to time!

Thanks, buddy, for coming by!


Hey Momlady...
You know how I like to tease...as far as the Almanac goes, you can read a digital version at www.almanac.com.

Thanks for coming by today!


Hey Mike...
Makes for great read, doesn't it?
Certainly is entertaining...

Hey, I appreciate your visit today!

Tatersmama said...

A Farmers Almanac is on my "want list", for when we go home in April.
You can't get them here in Oz, and I miss reading it from cover to cover! I know the planting guide probably won't do me much good, with me being *down under* and all, but who cares ... I just want one!

HermitJim said...

Hey Tatersmama...
Always fun tohav one around! Makes for some fun reading!

Thanks for coming over!

Conservative Scalawag said...

Was at a yard sale with the wife two years back while up in Michigan. Guy had a whole box full of old Almanacs and giving them away for free. I picked them up to much muse and displeasure of the wife.

HermitJim said...

Hey Scalawag...
Sounds like you made a great find! Imagine all the good reading you have ahea of you!

Keep an eye on the wife and make sure those almanacs does suddenly disappear!

I appreciate the visit today!