Big Bill Otter was one member of the early American working class not preoccupied with republican principles or the heritage of the Revolution. Big Bill Otter-apprentice, journeyman, master plasterer-was a thug. Otter's autobiography, first published in 1835, provides a rare and fascinating counterpoint to romantic notions of virtuous, respectable craftsmen in the early republic. His Life and Adventures offer an inside account of the brawling racism common in the early nineteenth century and sharply detail the rowdy male subculture of the times.
History of My Own Times
Cornell University Press
Documents in American Social History