Melanie's Reviews > The Quite Contrary Man: A True American Tale

The Quite Contrary Man by Patricia Rusch Hyatt
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's review
Mar 09, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: children-s-literature, picture-book, non-fiction, beards, joseph-palmer, dissenters, new-england, history-historians, traditions, politics
Read in March, 2012

A picture book tale of historic figure, Joseph Palmer. Palmer grew and maintained a beard when it was highly unfashionable to do so. In fact, it was preached against in church. Community members ambushed Palmer one early morning and attempted to shave his beard off. Palmer, however, fought so hard that the men went straight to the courthouse to report their injuries. Palmer was called to the courthouse and fined $10 for maintaining a beard and the injuries he caused the men by fighting them off. He of course refused to pay. So the judge threw him in jail for a year!

His son, Thomas, brought him his dinner every night and Palmer would sneak letters to the newspaper out with Thomas when he left. The guards finally caught on and moved Palmer into the dungeon. But that didn't stop him either. When he was finally released from prison he was presented with a bill for the food he'd eaten and coal used to provide heat while he was incarcerated. Outraged, and rightly so, Palmer refused to pay it. So he refused to leave the jail until the guards retracted the bill. Tired of waiting for Palmer to leave the jail, the guards finally moved Palmer and the chair he refused to leave out into the middle of the street in the snow. Well, of course, he didn't remain there!

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