Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1924 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
THE HAPPINESS OF UNCLE SAMBO
The happiest man we eer saw was an old negro. He lived
in a shack upon a river bank. He couldn't read or write. He prob
ably never in his life saw a $10 bill. His simple wants he supplied
by pottering toil. Between tasks he fished or slept or sang quaint
melodies to the accompaniment of an old banjo.
It is not our wish to hold this up as the picture of an ideal life.
Uncle Sambo surely lacked ambition. If all of us took things as
easily as he did there wouldn't be many mountains pierced, many
continents riveted by bands of steel, or many great skyscrapers flung
upward to challenge the sun. In the matter of what our rushing
civilization looks upon as progress too largely the progress of a
few to shove their property rights ahead of the welfare rights of the
many we humans would have little on the clams.
But Sambo's case points one moral. He shows us that hap
piness depends less on things than on interests, on spirit. He was
interested brimful in the little happenings within his ken. He loved
the fields, the flowers, the wild birds, all the living, growing things.
The free joys of nature kept his spirit sweet. Had Rockefeller
come along and offered him a cart load of money he would merely
have grinned and asked instead for a new pipe and a fresh pack
age of tobacco. For these were all he needed.
We think of Uncle Sambo as we read about the multi-millionaire
inner guards of the money trust. How many of them sleep as
he sleeps, eat with the keen zest which attends his appetite or get
from the great Giver of all good as much sunshine and cheer and
unaffected human fellowship as that poor old negro?
No, it isn't things that count for happiness. It is spirit. And,
thank God, no trust has yet put a monopoly noose about human
Doctor's Wife You wish to
consult the doctor. Couldn't you
come tomorrow instead? Patient
Why, isn't the doctor in? Doc
tor's Wife Oh, yes, he's in, but
vou see you're his very first pa
tient and I want to give him a
surprise tomorrow, because it's
Guest Look here, waiter. The
portion of chicken you served to
me was not one-third the size of
the portion you just gave to that
fat man over there. I'm going to
make a complaint. Where's the
manager? Waiter (indicating fat
party in the foreground) That's
"I once met a man who called
himself Judge Green," said a Eu
ropean who had spent many
years in America, "and I ven
tured to ask him if he were a
United States judge or a Circuit
Court judge. 'I ain't neither,' h
said- 'I'm a judge of horses.' "