George E. Johnson 's ' Sam Patch : The Famous Jumper Uses A Mill Worker 's Personal Background

1312 Words Nov 10th, 2014 6 Pages
Paul E. Johnson’s 2004 book Sam Patch: The Famous Jumper uses a mill worker’s personal background to relay a series of socio-economic changes that occurred during the 1800’s. The Industrial Revolution, for many, was the beginning of something new. Due to the development and proliferation of technology, the economic gain from the Industrial Revolution was formidable. Unfortunately, the working class was forced to endure hazardous working conditions. For Sam Patch— a nineteenth century daredevil exhibitionist with nothing to his name— leaping from tall cliffs was a form of visual oppression designed to challenge the authority of well-respected political leaders of the upper class. The ideology that a simple man rose to fame by performing acts that, by many, was considered foolish, contradicted the beliefs of the upper class. This publication highlights several broad changes that occurred during this time period. Society’s perception of fame changed dramatically. Sam Patch went from being a simple mill worker to being a celebrity overnight. This work also highlights issues regarding domestic textile industries, including poor working conditions and child labor. Sam Patch began working at the age of seven; that was not entirely uncommon during this time period. Children were subjected to dust-filled rooms that were either “hot in the summer or cold in the winter.” Furthermore, this book also emphathizes the growing hostility between the Whig Party and the Jacksonian Party.…

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