Landon’s Day (Oysters in July Edition)

Published:July 22, 2011 by Brendan Wolfe

On this day in 1776, a Monday, Landon Carter entered the following into his diary:

Out of the 8 bushels oysters, I had six pickled and two bushels for dressing. But I was asked what Beale sent oysters up in July. I answered it was my orders. Who would eat oysters in July said the Mighty man; and the very day shewed he not only could eat them but did it in every shape, raw, stewed, caked in fritters and pickled. But he had a father to reprehend, and he would personate the Hypocrite rather than not do it […]

However incredible this relation may be of any animated part of the creation except the brutes, I hereby call God to witness the truth of it. Colo. Robert Wormeley Carter, who surely has been somehow changed since born of his mother, though this day at dinner, though at my own table and with my own victuals, seeing me take a little vinegar out of the cucumber plate called out to his daughter to put some more vinegar and pepper in, for his father had taken it all out as he always does. I vow to God I had not more than half a teaspoonful to acidulate some oyster broth. I have dreaded what this filial disobedience will get to. I must be provided with pistols; for I am certain no resolution of mine can otherwise guard against the consequence. Lord, is not the 5th command, honor thy father and mother, and is this honor, gracious God?

Read other entries from Carter’s diary.

IMAGE: Madness at the Dinner Table, 1816 by Thomas Rowlandson