William Tudor Yancey
From: Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia/Personal Histories of Bedford County" p.428
Memories of William Tudor Yancey of Bedford County, Virginia
Told by Rebecca Yancey Williams in "The Vanishing Virginian", pages 214-215
Ancestry: William Tudor Yancey, son of Joel, son of Joel, son of Archelaus, son of Charles, son of Charles Yancey
Beside the fact that he often got himself entangled in his own oratory my grandfather's absent-mindedness frequently interfered with the normal course of justice in the court at Lynchburg. One morning he was hurriedly getting his papers together to try a case when he missed his spectacles. He sat down and wrote Grandma the following note:
I cannot find my spectacles. I must have left them at the house somewhere. Please find and send them to me as quickly as possible.
Then Grandpa called his office boy, a young colored man named Jim-Ned:
"Jim-Ned, take this note up to my wife. Hurry as fast as you can. Come straight up to the court-house with the answer. I can't start trying my case until you get there"
Just at this moment, Grandpa found his spectacles parked on his forehead. He folded them up and put them in his pocket. Then in great haste he added a post-script to Grandma's note:
"P.S. Never mind about the spectacles, I just found them on my forehead. W..T.Y.
He handed the note to Jim-Ned: "Now, don't waste any time, boy. Don't stop on the way for anything. Meet me in the courtroom!'
Jim-Ned started off at a trot. Grandpa grabbed his papers and hastened up to the courthouse. When he arrived there, he still had the idea fixed in his mind that he could not begin trying his case until Jim-Ned returned. The court waited patiently for Jim-Ned.
After so long a time Jim-Ned appeared at the door of the courtroom. Grandpa called out to him impatiently:
"Make haste boy! You walk as if you were dragging a ball and chain. Did you give that note to my wife? What did she send me my spectacles?"
Jim-Ned shuffled bashfully down to the aisle toward Grandpa. In his hand her carried a short piece of rope.
"Naw suh, Mr Tudor, she didnt send no spectacles. Miss Lucy she jest bust out laughin when she read dat note I took her. She say ef you done already found yo' spectacles why in de world did you send me upo dar wit dat note? She tole me to bring you dis here little piece o' rope. She say you so forgitful shes fraid you gwine lose your britches".
Everybody in the room broke into loud laughter at this.