852 RARE: The Weekly Special – The Adventures of Pewter-Stick and Lord Bowser

“Our invasion of this territory being due largely to its reputation for mint juleps we promptly seized a be-diamonded barkeeper and kept him busy. The arrival of General Hamilton Stuart Browne, “just up from my plantation, sir” led to the annexation of another bar tender. The General insisted that “the mixture of Virginia mint and Kentucky rye by a Virginia gentleman, sir, produces a poem sir! A symphony, sir. Nature can no further go, sir! When you rest your nose, sir, gently on these fragrant leaves, sir, old age turns to youth, sir”. The Pewter-Stick said this wasn’t war, this was damned rot, whereupon the General’s friends led him gently off to bed.
(Lord Bowser’s Field Notes)

The above is an excerpt from “The Campaigns of Her Ladyship’s Chaucerian Expeditionary Forces; 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916”. This volume contains daily reports from Her Ladyship’s Pewter-Stick-In-Waiting (aka Baron Sponge) plus field notes from The Lord Bowser, Commander-in-Chief. Lord Bowser is, as of yet, unidentified. The person referred to as Pewter-Stick is also known to some as Roscoe Pound.

Pound’s “expeditionary force,” which consisted of Lord Bowser and other friends traveled through Virginia and Pennsylvania visiting Civil War battlegrounds. In the Roscoe Pound Papers there is a bound volume (noted above) that contains the collected reports of both Pewter-Stick and Lord Bowser. All of the reports were written in the spirit of a true military campaign, though a campaign that was intent on fun and mischief. The following is an excerpt from a report written by Pewter-Stick while “headquartered” near Harper’s Ferry in April, 1913 on the subject of obtaining supplies.  It reads, in part, “About this time, however, Bowser requisitioned a quart of milk and half a dozen slices of bread and butter from a Pennsylvania Dutch farmer’s wife and these welcome rations, served on the parapet of Burnside’s Bridge by three bashful little girls, on who carried the supplies and two who looked on and sucked their thumbs, save the day. As they appeared to be loyal citizens, the supplies were paid for.”

Pewter-Stick and Lord Bowser(?) on R&R

Roscoe Pound’s  first appointment at Harvard Law School was as the Story Professor of Law on May 9, 1910. He would go on to teach at the Law School for nearly four decades before retiring and becoming a University Professor, Emeritus, on July 1, 1947. Judging from the amount of fun he had on these spring campaigns, it is fortunate for the Law School that he did not become a historian and subsequently deprive the school  of one of its most highly regarded and enduring figures.

The Roscoe Pound Papers are available on microfilm in the Library’s microform room. The journal was not microfilmed but can be requested by researchers for use in the Historical & Special Collections reading room.

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