Sam Tabb is described in the following passage from “Christmas Holidays, at Teddington,” Southern Literary Messenger (March 1841). “Sam Tabb, valet de chambre and factotum general, — a person of extensive experience in the article of seine-hauling, –“stood up to his waist in the waters of the James river many a bleak blustering night–captivated, in his day, lots of rocks, cats, alewives, herrings, shad, perch, sturgeon, and what not. Sam has had his day, –has now retired, and yeilded his place to other adventurers. He is now a mere laudator acti temporis still he indulges in an occasional desultory episode, and catches now and then, ad rem natuuam, an extemporaneous mess of fish for the Great-house.
“Peace gild the sunset of thy declining years, Sam Tabb, blessed with numerous progeny, and, to cheer thy winter evening, an inexhaustible stock of tender icthyological reminiscences!”