Fiat Flux: The Writings of Wilson R. Bachelor, by William D. Lindsey

By William D. Lindsey

Winner of the 2024 Booker Worthen Literary Prize

Wilson R. Bachelor used to be a Tennessee local who moved along with his relations to Franklin County, Arkansas, in 1870. a rustic health care provider and common thinker, Bachelor was once impelled to chronicle his existence from 1870 to 1902, documenting the family's circulation to Arkansas, their settling a farm in Franklin County, and Bachelor's scientific perform. Bachelor was once an avid reader with wide-ranging pursuits in literature, technology, nature, politics, and faith, and he grew to become a self-professed freethinker within the 1870s. He was once pushed via an idea he referred to as "fiat flux," an know-how of the "rapid flight of time" that inspired him to regard the folks round him and the area itself as priceless and fleeting.

He wrote occasional items for an area newspaper, bringing his strangely enlightened views to the topics of women's rights, capital punishment, the function of faith in politics, and the domination of the yank political method by means of monetary elite within the Eighteen Nineties. those essays, in addition to kinfolk letters and the unique diary entries, are integrated right here for an unusual glimpse into the lifetime of a rustic surgeon in nineteenth-century Arkansas.

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Additional info for Fiat Flux: The Writings of Wilson R. Bachelor, Nineteenth-Century Country Doctor and Philosopher

Sample text

Park (1800–1841). After the marriage, Seaborn had moved his wife and family to various places as he sought to establish a medical practice. Letters of his mother document the moves in close detail. In August 1886, he bought land in Wills Point, Texas, hoping to set up a practice there, and in October his wife and children joined him. His parents were living with the family at this point, and Seaborn was studying surgery under his father, who had graduated from Philadelphia College of Medicine in 1850.

Harrison was to be expelled from Virginia for his Puritan affiliations, provoking an exodus of settlers with similar views from Lower Norfolk, Nansemond, and Isle of Wight Counties to the more religiously tolerant colony of Maryland. 99 The strong Puritan presence in Lower Norfolk and Nansemond Counties, and their close ties to the New England colonies, were already in evidence by the first half of the 1640s. 101 By this point, however, Harrison had come under fire for his nonconformist views. 102 In 1648, Governor Berkeley, who was bitterly opposed to religious nonconformists of all stripes, began to move against those with Puritan sympathies in the colony, and in May of that year, the Lower Norfolk County court ordered that illegal Puritan gatherings in Elizabeth River parish cease—though the parishioners resisted the order.

And so Bachelor’s life will undergo a decisive turn sometime in the latter part of the 1870s: from the point of his conversion to freethought forward, he’ll become something of an apostle for freethought in northwest Arkansas, writing at least one monograph, Fiat Flux, about the topic, and many essays and occasional pieces for his local 30 Introduction newspaper to spread his new gospel of science and reason in the community in which he lives. The diary, his essays of the 1890s, and his letters will sketch the life of his family from the establishment of his medical practice and his turn to freethought in no little detail.

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