North Carolina Yeoman: The Diary of Basil Armstrong Thomasson, 1853-1862 (review)

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North Carolina Yeoman: The Diary of Basil Armstrong Thomasson, 1853-1862 (review)

by S. Charles Bolton
Southern Cultures, Vol. 3, No. 3: Sports in the South

University of Georgia Press, 1996.

Basil Armstrong Thomasson, known as Strong to his family, was a remarkable man whose diary is immensely valuable for what it tells us about the lifestyle of southern yeomen and equally interesting for what it reveals about Thomasson himself. He spent all his life in western North Carolina and his adult years in Yadkin and Iredell counties, dying in in the latter at the age of thirty-three. This diary covers the last decade of his life. It provides plentiful information about his daily activities as a farmer, his behavior and convictions as a deeply religious man, his feelings about his family and his involvement with the community, his experiences as a school teacher, and his relentless quest for knowledge about matters both practical and metaphysical.