A Legal Holiday Tradition

Attorney businessman, and part-time author, Williston Fish created the sentimental “Last Will of Charles Lounsbury” in 1897.  Also known as A Last Will, The Hobo’s Will or The Happy Testament, it first appearedChatto & Windus, The Happy Testament in Harper’s Weekly in 1898.  It was reprinted many times, often in a garbled or “improved” form. This fictional “prose-poetry” testament was often printed in the guise of an actual legal instrument, frequently without attribution, or at least accurate attribution

For generations of attorneys, it became a classic that circulated widely around the holidays as a gift-book or holiday greeting.

 

 

 

For more on Williston Fish visit the online exhibit.

Posted in Exhibits, Front Page News

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