— Davy Crockett
, Context: I don't know of any thing in my book to be criticised on by honourable men. Is it on my spelling? — that's not my trade. Is it on my grammar? — I hadn't time to learn it, and make no pretensions to it. Is it on the order and arrangement of my book? — I never wrote one before, and never read very many; and, of course, know mighty little about that. Will it be on the authorship of the book? — this I claim, and I hang on to it, like a wax plaster. The whole book is my own, and every sentiment and sentence in it. I would not be such a fool, or knave either, as to deny that I have had it hastily run over by a friend or so, and that some little alterations have been made in the spelling and grammar; and I am not so sure that it is not the worse of even that, for I despise this way of spelling contrary to nature. And as for grammar, it's pretty much a thing of nothing at last, after all the fuss that's made about it. In some places, I wouldn't suffer either the spelling, or grammar, or any thing else to be touch'd; and therefore it will be found in my own way.
But if any body complains that I have had it looked over, I can only say to him, her, or them — as the case may he — that while critics were learning grammar, and learning to spell, I, and "Doctor Jackson, L. L. D." were fighting in the wars; and if our hooks, and messages, and proclamations, and cabinet writings, and so forth, and so on, should need a little looking over, and a little correcting of the spelling and the grammar to make them fit for use, its just nobody's business. Big men have more important matters to attend to than crossing their ts—, and dotting their is—, and such like small things.
Preface (1 February 1834)