Friday, March 6, 2015

Another Reason Why You Should Vote for Philip Vickers Fithian: He is a "Pompous Ass," an "Insufferable Prig," and a "Schlemiel"

Earlier today I made a pitch for why you should vote for Philip Vickers Fithian in the 2015 Junto March Madness tournament.  Here is the crux of it:

Needless to say, I am thrilled that Fithian has made it into the 2015 Junto March Madness tournament. But I am disappointed that he has landed a very poor 13th seed in the "Slavery, Captivity, and Bonded Labor" bracket.  It is clear that few of the tournament organizers have ever read Fithian's journal or else he would have been seeded much higher, certainly ahead of The Deposition of Robert Roule, Lord Dumore's 1775 Proclamation, the Diary of William Byrd, Richard Freethorn's letter, andThe Infortunate.  If I had my druthers, I would have actually placed him as a top five or six seed in the "US History Superstars" bracket.  This document is a wonderful teaching tool, just ask The Journal of American History.

I guess it's time to take up a longstanding offer I have had from a university press to do a new edited version of the diary.

As it turns out, Fithian's first round opponent is David Walker's Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World.  Walker is definitely tough competition and probably deserves its #4 for seed, but I smell an upset.  Let's make this happen.  It is the least we can do after Fithian's tragic death while camped at Ft. Washington, New York in 1776. (OK, I know I am laying it on thick here!).  Woops, I just gave away the ending of my book!

Vote for Fithian here.  I don't know what I will do if my entry suffers another first round loss similar to the one Was America Founded as a Christian Nation? suffered in the first round of last year's tournament.

When this post appeared on my Facebook page, historian Ben Carp brought Andy Shankman's review of The Way of Improvement Leads Home to my attention.  Some of you may recall that this was the review in which Shankman praised my book, but called Fithian a "pompous ass" and "schlemiel." Read this review and my response to it here.

If you like your primary sources to reflect the complexity of the human experience, then Fithian deserves your vote.