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David Ross Locke

Updated on October 15, 2009

David Ross Locke, American political satirist and journalist. Born Vestal, N.Y., September 20, 1833. Locke is remembered for the fiercely ironic attacks he made on slavery through the letters of his literary creation, the Rev. Petroleum V. Nasby. He pictured Nasby as an illiterate, prejudiced, and corrupt rural preacher, who turned people against slavery by his inept arguments in its favor. Nasby's fervent pro-slavery declarations, marked by stupidity, hypocrisy, and ridiculous misspellings, were printed in Locke's newspapers. Locke began his career as a printer's apprentice. He became editor of the Findlay, Ohio, Jeffersonian, which printed the first Nasby letter in 1861. In later years, Locke edited the Toledo Blade, in which the Nasby fetters continued to appear until 1887. David Ross Locke died in Toledo, Ohio on February 15, 1888.

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