TRANSCRIPT AND SOURCES:
The image of the traveling snake oil salesman of 19th century America is by now a familiar trope. It is the image of the heartless huckster who preys upon the trust of the general public to swindle them out of their hard-earned savings. With a bottle of useless tonic and the help of a plant in the audience, the snake oil salesman made a living out of lies and deceit.
In these respects, William Levingston was your average snake oil salesman…