A Faulkner Glossary
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daughter who took care of Miss
Jenny Du Pre in "There Was a
black boy who works for Will Varner
in The Hamlet.
farmer who in As I Lay Dying let the Bundrens
sleep on his place overnight when Addie's
body has reached its most offensive state of decay. He served as narrator of
one of the chapters. He appears also in Sartoris/Flags
in the Dust.
Rachel: Samson's wife in As
I Lay Dying who was outraged over the treatment of Addie
bridge]: A bridge across the Yoknapatawpha
River near Samson's house, about 40 miles from Jefferson,
according to Tull in As
I Lay Dying. Tull recommended that Anse
go that way because a closer bridge
had been swept away in a flood, but when the Bundrens
arrived, they found that Samson's bridge was gone too. It is also referred
to in Sartoris/Flags in
the Dust (where it appears to be on the Tallahatchie
River) and in Light in August.
An old, and one of the most ubiquitous, family names in Yoknapatawpha
County. The family name is referred to briefly in the opening chapter of
Requiem for a Nun. The once-aristocratic
Sartorises, slaveholders before the Civil War, appear as principal
characters in two novels, Sartoris (later
released in an unexpurgated form under Faulkner’s preferred title, Flags
in the Dust) and The Unvanquished,
and a number of short stories; they also appear as minor or background
characters in many more works. The name is also often frequently used to
refer to the family plantation, which on the Yoknapatawpha
County map published in Absalom, Absalom!
is located four miles north of Jefferson
along the Sartoris Railroad. A Sartoris
Family Genealogy is available.
Bayard, I: (ca.
1838-1862) Brother of Colonel John Sartoris
and Virginia Du Pre, who was
born around 1838-39, presumably in "Carolina." He was apparently
named for Seigneur de Bayard (Pierre Terrail), 1473-1524, a French military
hero called "le chevalier sans peur et sans reproche"
("the knight without fear and without reproach") for his
fearlessness and chivalry in the Italian campaigns of Charles VII, Louis
XII, and Francis I. He lived up to his namesake during the Civil War as a
horse soldier and aide-de-camp in Jeb Stuart's
cavalry. He was killed in April 1862 by a Union Army cook in a fooldhardy
attempt to capture some anchovies. He appears in Sartoris/Flags
in the Dust and is referred to in The
II (Colonel): (September 1849-December 1919) Third child but oldest
son of Colonel John Sartoris, born at
the family plantation north of Jefferson
in September 1849, and named for his uncle.
Roughly the same age as the family's black slave Ringo,
Bayard grew up playing with Ringo at around the time the Civil War began to
encroach upon the Sartoris family's home in northern Mississippi. Though
their play begins innocently, it turns serious when first, they wound a
Union Army soldier's horse (they were aiming for the soldier), and later,
they must track down and exact vengeance on Major
Grumby, who has murdered Bayard's grandmother, Rosa
Millard. As a young adult, Bayard shuns violence as a solution to
problems when he is expected to avenge the death of his father by killing B.J.
Redmond, his father's former business partner who killed Sartoris in a
fit of rage. Unarmed, Bayard faces Redmond, who fires two shots at Bayard,
both of which miss; soon thereafter, Redmond leaves Jefferson, never to
return. Bayard narrates these events in The
Bayard is a key
character also in Sartoris/Flags
in the Dust, where he is frequently called "Colonel" or
"Old" Bayard. He married and had a son, John,
who died in 1901. He became one of the leading citizens in Jefferson,
serving as mayor around 1894 and later founding the Merchants and Farmers
Bank and serving as its president until being forced to resign because of
his age. His attempts to presever tradition and heritage is exemplified both
in his household, by the carriage in which he is driven, as well as in town,
where under his leadership laws were passed prohibiting automobiles and
(according to "A Rose for Emily")
requiring Negro servants never to appear in public without an apron.
Ironically, however, he died of a heart attack while riding in his grandson Bayard's
automobile. In addition to the two principal Sartoris
family novels, he narrates "My
Grandmother Millard" and appears in The
Hamlet, Requiem for a Nun, The
Town, The Mansion, The
Reivers, "The Bear" in Go Down,
Moses, "A Rose for Emily,"
and "There Was a Queen."
Bayard, III: (March 16, 1893-June 5, 1920) The twin brother of John
Sartoris, III, and son of John and Lucy
Cranston Sartoris, and grandson of "Colonel"
or "Old" Bayard. He attended the University of Virginia and
then taught flying in Memphis, where he met and married Caroline
White. During World War I he joined the Royal Air Force and served in
Europe, where his brother was shot down and killed in July 1918, and whose
death he believes is his fault. While he was still overseas, his wife and newborn
child, whom she had named "Bayard" months before his birth,
died on October 27 that same year. He returned home in 1919 and married Narcissa
Benbow. He inadvertently caused the death of his grandfather when the
old man suffered a heart attack while riding with him in his automobile.
While test-flying an aeroplane he knew to be unsafe in Dayton, Ohio, he
crashed and was killed on June 5, 1920, according to the date on his
tombstone in Sartoris/Flags
in the Dust. That same day, Narcissa gave birth to his son, Benbow
(Bory) Sartoris. He also appears in The Town,
The Mansion, "Ad
Astra," and "There Was a
Bayard, IV: Infant son of Bayard and
Caroline White Sartoris, named for
his father months beforehand. He died, along with his mother, because of
complications during childbirth on October 27, 1918. He appears in Sartoris/Flags
in the Dust.
Benbow (Bory): Second son of Bayard
Sartoris, III, but his first child with his second wife, Narcissa
Benbow. Though Aunt Jenny
had named him "John" prior to his birth, eventually Narcissa
rejected the name in favor of her maiden name. The sole surviving male
Sartoris, and the first male in generations not to be named "John"
or "Bayard," he was born on June 5, 1920, the same day his father
died crashing an experimental airplane in Dayton, Ohio. He appears in Sartoris/Flags
in the Dust, Sanctuary, The
Town, The Mansion, "Knight’s Gambit," and "There Was a
Caroline White: ( -October 27, 1918) A Memphis
girl who married Bayard Sartoris, III when
he was teaching flying lessons there. She and her newborn son
died in childbirth while her husband was fighting overseas in World War I.
She appears in Sartoris/Flags
in the Dust.
Colonel John: (1823-September 4, 1876) Legendary progenitor of the Sartoris
family in Yoknapatawpha County,
Mississippi. Born the eldest male in "Carolina," he had a brother,
Bayard, and apparently several sisters, the
youngest of whom, Virginia Du Pre,
came to live with his family in 1869. He arrived in Jefferson
around 1837, where he built a large plantation home four miles north of
town. He married a daughter of Rosa
Millard, with whom, according to Sartoris/Flags
in the Dust he fathered three children, two daughters whose names
are never revealed (born, judging from the three children's ages as revealed
in Flags in the Dust, around 1847 and
1852), and a son, Bayard, who was born in
September 1849. In The Unvanquished,
however, no mention is ever made of these sisters and Bayard says that his
mother died when he was born. At any rate, John Sartoris is a widower at the
time of the Civil War, when in 1861 he and Thomas
Sutpen raised the first regiment of Confederate soldiers in the county
and went to Virginia to fight. Elected colonel at the outset, a year later
he was voted out by the troops and returned to Mississippi, where he raised
another unit of Partisan Rangers and joined the cavalry of General Nathan
Bedford Forrest. His success in raids caused the Union Army to put a
price on his head. After the war, he was forced to marry Drusilla
Hawk, a cousin of his first wife, but on the day of his wedding he
killed two carpetbaggers, Calvin
Burden and his grandson
(also named Calvin), who were in Jefferson
petitioning for civil rights for recently freed slaves; by killing them,
Sartoris was able to prevent the election of Cassius
Benbow, a black man, from being elected U.S. Marshal. During the postwar
years, Sartoris grew in stature as a politician and businessman, building a
railroad and when that was completed in 1876, he ran for the state
Legislature, defeating his former business partner, B.J.
Redmond, who in a final act of desperation stemming from years of
rivalry decides to kill Sartoris. Though Sartoris is aware of Redmond's
intentions, he chooses to meet his fate unarmed, telling his son in The
Unvanquished, "I am tired of killing men, no matter what the
necessity nor the end. Tomorrow, when I go to town and meet Ben Redmond, I
shall be unarmed." True to his suspicions, Sartoris is shot and killed
by Redmond on September 4, 1876. (In Sartoris/Flags
in the Dust, his last name is "Redlaw," and the date he
killed Sartoris carved on Sartoris' tombstone is "Aug. 4, 1876.")
conscientiously modeled the character of Colonel John Sartoris on his own
great-grandfather, William Clark Falkner, and several of the events that
befall Sartoris — most notably, being deposed by his own troops, building
a railroad, and being shot and killed by a former business partner —
likewise happened to Falkner. In addition to the two major novels about the
Sartoris family, as one of the most prominent denizens of Yoknapatawpha
County, Colonel Sartoris appears or is referred to in a number of works by
Faulkner, including The Sound and the Fury, Light
in August, Absalom, Absalom!, The
Hamlet, Go Down, Moses, Requiem
for a Nun, The Town, The
Mansion, The Reivers, "Barn
Burning," "Shall Not Perish,"
"My Grandmother Millard,"
and "There Was a Queen."
Mrs. John: First wife of Colonel
John Sartoris, and daughter of Rosa
Millard. Little is known of her, except that she died giving birth to
her only son, Bayard, in September 1849,
according to The Unvanquished. In Sartoris/Flags
in the Dust, however, Colonel John Sartoris is said to have three
children, two of them daughters who, judging from their ages compared to
Bayard, were born around the years 1847 and 1852. The inconsistency
regarding the missing daughters in The Unvanquished, which was
written years after Sartoris, is never resolved in Faulkner.
John, II: ( -1901) Son of "Colonel"
Bayard Sartoris. He married Lucy
Cranston, with whom he fathered twin sons, Bayard
and John. He fought in the Spanish-American
War and died in 1901, succumbing to yellow fever and a wound suffered during
the war. He appears in Sartoris/Flags
in the Dust and "There Was a
John, III (Johnny): (March 16, 1893-July 5?, 1918) The twin brother
of Bayard Sartoris, III ("Young
Bayard"), son of John and Lucy
Cranston Sartoris, and grandson of "Colonel"
or "Old" Bayard. He attended the University of Virginia and
Princeton University before joing the Royal Air Force as an aviator in World
War I. He was shot down and killed behind enemy lines in July 1918.
According to his grandfather's inscription in the family Bible, he died July
5, 1918, but his tombstone in Sartoris/Flags
in the Dust reports his death as July 19, 1918. He appears also in The
Mansion, "All the Dead
Pilots," and "There Was a
Lucy Cranston: Wife of John Sartoris, II
and mother of twins, Bayard and John.
Little else is known about her, except that on her sons' seventh birthday
she gave them both New Testaments with a written inscription. She is
referred to in Sartoris/Flags
in the Dust.
Sartoris, Narcissa Benbow:
See Benbow, Narcissa
Sartoris, Mrs. Virginia:
See Virginia Sartoris Du Pre.
Bank, The: See Merchants
and Farmers Bank.
Rifles: A company of soldiers from Jefferson
during World War I organized by Captain
McLendon in honor of the original Colonel
Cecily: The flapper-like fiancée of Donald
Mahon in Soldiers' Pay. Surprised by his
miraculous return — Mahon was thought to have been killed in France —
she was repulsed by his horrible scar and could not bring herself to marry
him. She eventually gave herself to George
Farr, a love-stricken young man with whom she had been associating while
her fiancé was away fighting.
Minnie: The mother of Cecily Saunders
in Soldiers' Pay.
Robert, I: The father of Cecily Saunders
in Soldiers' Pay.
Robert, II: The youngest brother of Cecily
Saunders in Soldiers' Pay. He clamored to
get a sight of Donald Mahon's
scar, and he spied upon Joe Gilligan
and Margaret Powers
A salesman of ladies' underwear in Soldiers' Pay.
On the train to Buffalo, he was one of two men the conductor asked to keep
an eye on the drunken Joe Gilligan
and Julian Lowe. Soon, though,
Schluss became intoxicated himself and was mistakenly picked up by Buffalo
police who had been called to arrest Gilligan and Lowe.
Reverend: A black preacher from St. Louis who preached an Easter
sermon in Dilsey's church on
April 8, 1928, in The Sound and the Fury.
Described as "undersized ... [with] a wizened black face like a small,
aged monkey," whose voice "sounded too big to have come from
him," he nonetheless delivered a sermon which moved Dilsey to tears and
provoked in her an epiphany of the inevitable devastation of the Compson
Sheriff" (The Sound and the Fury): The sheriff of Yoknapatawpha
County in The Sound and the Fury whom Jason
Compson called when he discovered "his" money had been stolen
by his niece. Jason went
to the sheriff's house to get him to track down his niece and the carnival
worker with whom she'd run away, but the sheriff refused to help Jason.
He suspected that the money truly belonged to Jason's niece.
General William Tecumseh: (February 8, 1820-February 14, 1891)
Battle of: A major battle in the western theater during the Civil
War, fought near Pittsburg(h)
Landing on the Tennessee River, about 20 miles north of Corinth,
Mississippi, on April 6-7, 1862. Confederate forces under General Albert
Sidney Johnston launched a surprise attack against the Union forces under
General Ulysses S. Grant, driving
them from their camps toward the river, but Johnston was wounded and bled to
death before a medic could arrive and save the general's life. The next day,
Grant received reinforcements from General Carlos Buell and successfully
drove the Confederates, now under the command of General P.G.T.
Beauregard, off the field and back toward Corinth. One of Faulkner’s
fictional characters who "failed" at Shiloh was General
Jason Lycurgus Compson, II, according to the appendix
to The Sound and the Fury.
Herman: A man who swapped Pat Stamper a
horse and buggy for the horse that he later sold to Beasley
Kemp for $8.00 in The Hamlet (and
"Fool About a Horse").
Dr. Carl S.:
Shumann, Laverne: See Laverne
The man from whom Jason
Compson got the key to the old opera house in Jefferson
where records from the failed Merchant and Farmers Bank were being stored in
The Sound and the Fury. Jason was searching
for a blank check which he could fill out and fool his mother
into thinking was sent by Caddy
(which Mrs. Compson burned) so he could pocket the money from the real check
of Joby and father of Ringo
in The Unvanquished. Though he was trained
as a house servant, he accompanied his master, John
Sartoris, during the Civil War as a body servant. In Sartoris/Flags
in the Dust, he was named "Simon
Strother" and was said to be Joby's grandson.
(The Sound and the Fury): A little Italian girl who followed Quentin
Compson during his wanderings around Boston on the day he committed
suicide. Her presence reminded him of his own sister, Caddy.
The little girl's brother, Julio, tried
to have Quentin arrested for kidnapping.
One of the most pernicious families in all of Faulkner. Led by
patriarch (or anti-patriarch) Ab Snopes, a barn-burning
sharecropper and former horsethief, the seemingly endless number of Snopes
who parade through Faulkner’s fiction, most especially in the Snopes trilogy
(the novels The Hamlet, The
Town, and The Mansion) represent an
affront in some ways to the "lost cause" aristocratic ideals
espoused by Yoknapatawpha County's
leading families, such as the Compsons
and the Sartorises. With the planters' decline in
wealth and prestige in the decades following the Civil War, the upwardly
mobile Snopeses are best exemplified by Ab's son Flem
Snopes, whose progress from sharecropper's cabin to town to mansion is
charted through the trilogy that bears his name. A partial Snopes
family genealogy is available.
First name unknown. A cousin of Flem Snopes,
he was a farmer living near Armstid. In
As I Lay Dying, he traded a team of mules
to Anse Bundren for Jewel's
horse and other considerations. He may also be one of the volunteer workers
in "Shingles for the Lord."
Mrs. Byron? (Apache woman):
Colonel Sartoris (Sarty):
Eula Varner: See Eula Varner.
Flem: (?-1946) Son of Ab Snopes, and a
monumental figure in Faulkner’s fiction of "Snopesism." He and his
family first came to Yoknapatawpha
County and became tenants farming for Major
de Spain about thirty years after the Civil War, according to "Barn
Burning" (though he is not named in the story).
Hamlet, the Snopeses moved to the area near Frenchman's
Bend and signed on as tenants on one of Will
Varner's farms; shortly thereafter, Varner hired Flem to work in his
store to insure that none of his barns would be burned by the Snopeses. Flem
rose rapidly in the business, superseding Varner's son Jody.
He lent money at a high interest rate, affording him the capital to buy a
herd of cattle, and he opened a new blacksmith shop in town. He married
Varner's daughter Eula, who was
pregnant by another man, and received as part of the dowry the Old
Frenchman's Place. By burying some coins on the estate, he was able to
trick V. K. Ratliff, Odum
Bookwright, and Henry Armstid
into buying the place in hope of finding more. After doing so, he moved to Jefferson
in search of bigger prizes. He was the first Snopes to live in Jefferson.
Town, he got a job as a superintendent at a power plant, but when he
became vice president of the Sartoris Bank, his ambitions began to rise.
Dreaming of respectability and stature, he began working to attain his
goals, dreaming even of one day being bank president. When he was able to
get Linda Snopes (his wife Eula's
illegitimate daughter) to sign over her shares of bank stock to him, he set
his sights on seeking revenge because of his wife's eighteen-year affair
with Manfred de Spain. Eula
committed suicide, leaving Flem to gaze upon her tombstone on which he had
had engraved "A Virtuous Wife is a Crown to Her Husband."
Flem met his
end in The Mansion. Now president of the
Sartoris Bank, he lived in the ancestral home of Manfred
de Spain. His only real concern now was the day when his relative, Mink
Snopes, would come to kill Flem to fulfill a deep and heartfelt desire
appears frequently in Faulkner’s fiction, appearing also in Sartoris/Flags
in the Dust, As I Lay Dying, The
Reivers, "Centaur in Brass,"
"Spotted Horses," "The
Hound," and "Lizards in
I. O.: A first cousin of Flem Snopes and
bigamist, who in The Hamlet became
blacksmith and later succeeded Labove
as schoolteacher in Frenchman's
Bend. He served also as counsel to his kinsman Mink
Snopes, a murderer. He disappeared one day when his first
wife showed up in town with a six-month-old baby who, according to Eck
Snopes, was I. O.'s son, Byron. In The
Town, having failed as blacksmith and schoolteacher, he suceeded
Flem as manager of the Snopes restaurant, where he again failed. In a
business venture with Lonzo Hait, he
was able to swindle the railroad company out of damages for mules killed by
the train (which had been placed there by Snopes and Hait). He was finally
able to get some money from Flem, but with the condition that he leave Jefferson.
He is the father of two children by his first wife, Byron and Virgil,
and of six children by his second (and
possibly third?) wife: Clarence, Doris,
twins Bilbo and Vardaman,
Montgomery Ward, and Saint
Elmo. He appeared in The Sound and the Fury
as a cotton speculator who had a conversation with Jason
Compson. He appears also in Flags in the Dust,
The Mansion and "Mule
in the Yard."
Mrs. I. O. (first wife):
Mrs. I. O. (second wife):
Wallstreet Panic (Wall):
Watkins Products (Wat):
The brother of the chief whom Doom
poisoned in "A Justice."
fox-hunting dog owned by Buck
and Buddy McCaslin in Go
Down, Moses (named in the last section of "Was").
senior at Harvard from South Carolina and an acquaintance of Quentin
Compson, whom Quentin called the "world's champion
sitter-around" in The Sound and the Fury.
Also, probably, the name of his son, a student from Charleston, South
Carolina, at Harvard in 1937, and a friend of Chick
Mallison. This Spoade's father, Chick said in The
Mansion, had been at Harvard in 1909 with Gavin
Pat: A shrewd horse trader. In The Hamlet
(and its precursor, "Fool about a
Horse"), he traded a pair of worthless mules to Ab
Snopes in exchange for Ab's doctored-up horse; when Ab realized he'd
been tricked and wanted to trade back, Stamper gave him back the same horse,
disguised, in exchange for the mules and his wife's
milk separator. Pat Stamper appears also in The
An old family name in the Yoknaptawpha
County area, referred to briefly in the opening chapter of Requiem
for a Nun.
Mrs. Melisandre Backus Harriss:
Mrs Temple Drake:
of the Compson farm in "A
Caspey: Son of Simon Strother in Sartoris/Flags
in the Dust who served with the U.S. Army in France during World War
I. When he returned home to Jefferson,
he had new ideas about racial equality which did not fit well with his
family or his status in the household of Bayard
Sartoris. See also Caspey.
Euphrony: Wife of old Simon Strother
in Sartoris/Flags in the
Joby: See Joby.
Louvinia: See Louvinia
Simon: An elderly black servant, father of Elnora
and Caspey, and the driver for Bayard
Sartoris in Sartoris/Flags
in the Dust. He continued to talk to his former master, Colonel
John Sartoris, even though Sartoris has been dead for more than forty
years. He was found murdered in the cabin of Meloney
Harris, to whom he had given Baptist church money entrusted to him for
her to open a beauty parlor. Simon is said to be Joby's
grandson. He appears also in "There
Was a Queen."
Jeb: (1833-1864) An actual historical figure, James Ewell Brown
Stuart served as the principal cavalry officer in the Army of Northern
Virginia under Commander Robert E. Lee during the Civil War. He appears in
Faulkner as the commanding officer of Bayard
Sartoris, I, who Stuart calls (according to Aunt
Jenny in Sartoris/Flags
in the Dust) "a good officer and a fine cavalryman, but ... he
was too reckless." In that same novel, Aunt Jenny also claims to have
danced a "valse" with Stuart in Baltimore in 1858.
Captain: Owner of the steamboat on which David
Hogganbeck was pilot in "A Courtship."
V. K.: A sewing machine salesman. This was the name used in Sartoris/Flags
in the Dust and As I Lay Dying; in
later novels, he is named V. K. Ratliff.
An old family name in Yoknapatawpha
County, referred to in the opening chapter of Requiem
for a Nun. The saga of the Sutpen family, beginning with its
progenitor, Thomas, is the subject of Absalom,
Absalom!. A Sutpen family genealogy
Clytemnestra (Clytie): (1834-December 1909) Mulatto daughter of Thomas
Sutpen and a Negro slave whom he had brought from Haiti, born at Sutpen's
Hundred in Absalom, Absalom! In the
novel, she represented the most stable force occupying the "dark
house" of Sutpen's Hundred, having lived there longer than anyone
else. Rosa Coldfield described
her as "the cold Cerberus of [Sutpen's] private hell — the face
without sex or age because it had never possessed either: the same sphinx
face which she had been born with...." When Rosa came to Sutpen's
Hundred after the murder of Charles Bon,
Clytie shunned the aristocratic social code for black servants by calling
her "Rosa" to her face. Clytie cared for the idiot Jim
Bond for twenty-seven years and Henry Sutpen
for the last four years of his life. When she believed people had come to
take Henry into custody for the murder of Charles Bon more than forty years
before, she set fire to the house, killing both Henry and herself.
Sutpen, Ellen Coldfield: See
Sutpen, Eulalia Bon: See
Henry: (1839-December 1909) Oldest son of Thomas
Sutpen and his wife Ellen,
born in Mississippi at Sutpen's Hundred in Absalom,
Absalom! As a student at the University of Mississippi, he met Charles
Bon, his half-brother, who became betrothed to his sister, Judith.
Just prior to the Civil War, his father told Henry that Judith could not
marry Charles Bon, and as a result he repudiated his birthright. Henry and
Charles Bon served together in the University Grays during the Civil War; he
was wounded at Shiloh. Upon returning home from the war, Henry shot and
killed Charles Bon at the gate of Sutpen's Hundred to prevent Bon's marriage
to Judith and then disappeared, returning home only for the last four years
of his life. He died when Clytie set fire to
the house to prevent what she thought were authorities coming to take Henry
into custody for the murder of Charles Bon. He appears also in "Wash,"
where it is said he was killed in the war.
Judith: (October 3, 1841-February 12, 1884) Daughter of Thomas
Sutpen and his wife Ellen,
born in Mississippi at Sutpen's Hundred in Absalom,
Absalom!. She became engaged to Charles
Bon, but after her brother Henry killed
Charles in 1865, she remained at Sutpen's Hundred and never married. Only
when her father returned home seven months later did she break down in tears
over Bon's death. After the death of her father in 1869, she sent her black
servant and half-sister Clytie to New Orleans
to bring back to Sutpen's Hundred Charles Bon's son from his octoroon
Etienne de Saint Velery. When Etienne contracted yellow fever, both she
and Etienne died when she tried to nurse him back to health. She appears
also in "Wash."
Thomas: (1807-August 12, 1869) A planter in Yoknapatawpha
County in Absalom, Absalom!. Born of poor
white stock in what later became West Virginia, as an adolescent he moved
with his family to the Tidewater region of Virginia and for the first time
saw wealthy planters.
formative experience at the age of fourteen led him to realize the social
caste system of the antebellum South, and this experience led him to
conceive his "design": to create a dynasty of wealth and power. He
first went to the West Indies, working for a Haitian sugar planter, and
eventually married the planter's daughter,
but when he discovered she was part Negro, he repudiated her and his young
to start over, he appeared in Jefferson,
Mississippi in 1833 and purchased a hundred square miles of fertile
bottomland near the Tallahatchie
River from the Chickasaw chief Ikkemotubbe;
this area was later known as Sutpen's Hundred.
With the help of a French
architect and a band of "wild Negroes," he began building his
house and planting his first crop. Five years after first arriving in town,
he married Ellen Coldfield, the
daughter of a pious merchant
in Jefferson. They had two children, Henry and Judith.
brought Sutpen's son home to meet Judith, Sutpen told Henry that Judith
could not marry Charles; as a result, Henry repudiated his birthright and
departed. During the Civil War, Sutpen served initially as second in command
to Colonel Sartoris's regiment during
the first year of the war; he was elected Colonel the following year. When
he returned home in January 1866, he found that his wife had been dead for
three years and that Charles had
been killed by Henry.
Lacking a male
heir, he proposed to his wife's sister, Rosa,
then insulted her by suggesting they have a child first and then if it were
a boy they would marry; Rosa broke off the engagement. A final effort to
produce a male heir, with Milly,
the granddaughter of poor white squatter Wash
Jones, resulted in his murder by Wash Jones when Sutpen repudiated the
girl born to Milly.
He appears also
in Requiem for a Nun, and "Wash."
He is referred to in The Unvanquished,
"The Old People" section of Go Down, Moses,
The Town, and The
Hundred: The name which Thomas Sutpen
gave to the hundred square miles of fertile bottomland near the Tallahatchie
River in northern Yoknapatawpha
County which he bought from the Chickasaw chief Ikkemotubbe
in 1833. His plantation house, built by a French
architect and French-speaking slaves, was located twelve miles from Jefferson.
After Sutpen's death in 1869, part of the land was bought by Major
de Spain to be used as a hunting ground.
John: A young Indian who, like Owl-by-Night,
was interested in Herman Basket's
sister until Ikkemotubbe
expressed an interest in her in "A