George Higby Throop (1818 – March 2, 1896) (born Higby Throop) was an American schoolteacher and novelist. Under the pseudonym Gregory Seaworthy he wrote three novels, Nag's Head: or, Two Months among "The Bankers." A Story of Sea-Shore Life and Manners; Bertie: or, Life in the Old Field. A Humorous Novel; and Lynde Weiss. The first of these was the first novel in the United States to deal with then-contemporary life in North Carolina.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.
Throop was a native of Willsboro, New York; his father, George Throop, Sr., was a manufacturer and storekeeper, whose second wife, George, Jr.'s mother, died soon after giving birth to the boy. Initially named "Higby", he later took his father's first name as his own.He was a student of classics and an avid reader from youth. Throop attended the University of Vermont for one year, from 1835 to 1836, and may have attended another college afterwards. He married, unhappily, and soon the union broke up. Following this, he spent much of the 1840s as a schoolmaster and mariner.
Willsboro is a town in Essex County, New York, in the United States, and lies 30 miles (48 km) south of the city of Plattsburgh. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 2,025. The town is named after early landowner William Gilliland.
The University of Vermont (UVM), officially The University of Vermont and State Agricultural College, is a public research university in Burlington, Vermont. It was founded in 1791 and is the state's land-grant university. UVM is among the oldest universities in the United States and is the fifth institution of higher education established in the New England region of the U.S. northeast. It is also listed as one of the original eight "Public Ivy" institutions in the United States.
Throop is known to have come to the coastal plains of North Carolina by 1849, and he may have traveled there earlier. It is possible that he taught at a plantation near Hertford, but by March of that year he had moved to Scotch Hall, the plantation of Cullen Capehart located near Merry Hill in Bertie County. He remained there until October; during the summer he accompanied the family and servants to Nags Head, where the Capeharts had a summer residence.He then is supposed to have spent some time in Philadelphia overseeing the publication of his novels.
Hertford is a town and the county seat of Perquimans County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 2,143 as of the 2010 census. Hertford is located in North Carolina's Inner Banks region and is part of both the Elizabeth City Micropolitan Statistical Area and the Hampton Roads region. It is named after the county town of Hertford, England.
Scotch Hall is a historic plantation house located near Merry Hill, Bertie County, North Carolina. It was built about 1838, and is a large 2 1/2-story, five bay by four bay, frame dwelling in a transitional Federal / Greek Revival style.
Merry Hill is a rural unincorporated community located in Merry Hill Township in Bertie County in the U.S. state of North Carolina. This area is composed of mostly farm land. Within the town there are two schools, John P. Law Elementary School (Public), and Lawrence Academy (Private). John P. Law Elementary School was shut down in 2006 due to a diversity issue. Lawrence Academy was founded in 1968 and is located on Avoca Farm Road. This small private institution prides itself on being "uniquely different". In the middle of the town is the post office, with the zip code 27957. Avoca Incorporated is a large company, located where the original Avoca Plantation existed, that profits from botanical extraction. Salmon Creek twists and turns through the wooded area of Merry Hill and opens up to the Albemarle Sound. This is known as the Mouth of Salmon Creek. There is currently a golf course under construction in Merry Hill that overlooks the Mouth of Salmon and reaches out into the Albemarle Sound. The course was designed by retired professional golfer Arnold Palmer. It is expected to reach completion in the near future.
Throop was not a success as a writer, and continued to work as a schoolmaster, traveling wherever he could find work. He is known to have been in Georgia in 1853, but by the American Civil War he had settled in what would later become Hampshire County, West Virginia.There he was a well-liked member of the community, an accomplished singer, composer, and lyricist; however, suffering from alcoholism, he eventually ceased teaching. Around 1888 he discovered a previously unknown son from Boston, Massachusetts; the man, Edward H. Palmer, had taken his stepfather's name. Palmer gave his father twenty dollars a month, which allowed Throop to board with various inhabitants of Bloomery, the town in which he had last taught, until his death. He was buried in the cemetery of the Presbyterian church on Bloomery Run, his grave finally receiving a marker in 1955 through the efforts of the Pioneer Teachers Association of Hampshire County.
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Georgia is the 24th largest in area and 8th-most populous of the 50 United States. Georgia is bordered to the north by Tennessee and North Carolina, to the northeast by South Carolina, to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by Florida, and to the west by Alabama. The state's nicknames include the Peach State and the Empire State of the South. Atlanta, a "beta(+)" global city, is both the state's capital and largest city. The Atlanta metropolitan area, with an estimated population of 5,949,951 in 2018, is the 9th most populous metropolitan area in the United States and contains about 60% of the entire state population.
The American Civil War, one of the most studied and written about episodes in U.S. history, was a civil war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people. War broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North, which also included some geographically western and southern states, proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights in order to uphold slavery.
Hampshire County is a county in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 23,964. Its county seat is Romney, West Virginia's oldest town (1762). The county was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1754, from parts of Frederick and Augusta Counties (Virginia) and is the state's oldest county. The county lies in both West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle and Potomac Highlands regions.
Throop is memorialized by a state historic marker indicating the location of Scotch Hall and noting his authorship of Bertie. The marker is along U.S. Route 17 in Bertie County, about eight miles southeast of the house itself, which still standsand is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
U.S. Route 17 or U.S. Highway 17 (US 17), also known as the Coastal Highway, is a north–south United States Highway. The highway spans the southeastern United States and is close to the Atlantic Coast for much of its length. The highway's southern terminus is at Punta Gorda, Florida, at an intersection with US 41. Traveling north, US 17 joins up with US 50 in Paris, Virginia, and the northern terminus of US 17 is in downtown Winchester, Virginia. This is also the point at which the portion of US 50 called the Northwestern Turnpike begins.
The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historical significance. A property listed in the National Register, or located within a National Register Historic District, may qualify for tax incentives derived from the total value of expenses incurred in preserving the property.
Throop's first book, published under the pseudonym "Gregory Seaworthy" in 1850, was the novel Nag's Head; or, Two Months Among "The Bankers": A Story of Sea-Shore Life and Manners, based on his time with the Capeharts at their summer residence.It was published in Philadelphia by A. Hart, but bears a dedication signed from Merry Hill. Strictly speaking, the book is not a novel, but rather a memoir, in fictional form, of Throop's summer on the Outer Banks. The book has no plot, and no sustained characterization, but is valuable for capturing the spirit of a seaside vacation of the era and for offering glimpses of the region, its natives, and its lore. It was also the first novel concerned with contemporary North Carolina life.
The Outer Banks are a 200-mile-long (320 km) string of barrier islands and spits off the coast of North Carolina and southeastern Virginia, on the east coast of the United States. They cover most of the North Carolina coastline, separating Currituck Sound, Albemarle Sound, and Pamlico Sound from the Atlantic Ocean.
Gregory Seaworthy is presented as the narrator of the book; he is described as a Northerner, a former sailor, tutor to the children of a planter. He is said to be familiar with North Carolina literature, alluding to several other writers from the state, such as Calvin Henderson Wiley.Seaworthy records local history and folklore, and provides his impressions of the people and customs he sees. He also describes shipping traffic, ferries and schooners, along the coast and sound. The book is claimed to be a story of life among inhabitants of the Outer Banks, but very little is said about them; the narrator concerns himself chiefly with the planter population and their recreational activities, including swimming, fishing, and dancing.
Nag's Head received scant literary attention, but it was noticed by Washington Irving, who sent Throop a letter expressing interest in the book.More recently, the book has been praised for its value as social history and for its humor. It was republished in 1958 with an introduction by Richard Walser.
Irving's letter, coupled with a handful of other favorable notices, inspired Throop to try his hand at a second work of fiction. This was the novel Bertie: or, Life in the Old Field. A Humorous Novel, which was published in 1851, again in Philadelphia and again by A. Hart;Irving's letter was presented as a preface to the book in the first edition.
The narrator of the novel is the same "Gregory Seaworthy" introduced in Nag's Head, but his history has been changed to make him the nephew of John Smallwood, an actual planter in the county. Other members of the Smallwood family are based on the Capeharts, with whom he had worked; the family home, "Cypress Shore", is almost certainly based on Scotch Hall.The plot of the novel concerns six couples and their various romantic adventures, but large swaths of the work are given over to descriptions of antebellum plantation society in the state and other bits of local color, such as holiday festivals and another summer trip to the sea. Cypress Shore is described in detail, as are neighboring estates, and much time is spent discussing their agricultural operations and products.
Much of the romantic action of the book is centered on "Professor" Funnyford Matters, a "Practical Hydrologist" from the North who builds cisterns for drinking water on local plantations. Matters is a typical "Yankee" caricature, full of negative assumptions about the South and frequently claiming that the north is superior. He also weighs in on slavery, stating that Northern claims about its injustice are exaggerations and claiming further that southern masters are too tolerant; he also observes that the sternest of plantation overseers are actually Northerners.
Bertie received a number of favorable notices; a reviewer for Godey's Lady's Book called it "one of the best American novels of the day".Even so, the work soon disappeared almost completely in the North. In North Carolina, it received almost no notice at all, even upon first publication.
Throop's third and last novel, Lynde Weiss: An Autobiography, was brought out under his own name in Philadelphia by Lippincott, Grambo and Company in 1852. It contains no references to North Carolina.
Locke Craig, a lawyer and Democratic politician, was the 53rd Governor of the U.S. state of North Carolina, serving from 1913 until 1917.
William Hawkins was the 17th Governor of the U.S. state of North Carolina from 1811 to 1814.
David Stone was the 15th governor of the U.S. state of North Carolina from 1808 to 1810. Both before and after his term as governor, he served as a U.S. senator, between 1801 and 1807 and between 1813 and 1814.
William Jones Lowndes was an American lawyer, planter, and politician from South Carolina. He represented the state in the U.S. Congress from 1811 to May 8, 1822, when he resigned for health reasons.
Somerset Place is a former plantation near Creswell in Washington County, North Carolina, along the northern shore of Lake Phelps, and now a State Historic Site that belongs to the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Somerset Place operated as a plantation from 1785 until 1865. Before the end of the American Civil War, Somerset Place had become one of the Upper South's largest plantations.
Thomas Fenwick Drayton was a planter, politician, railroad president, and military officer from Charleston, South Carolina. He served in the United States Army and then as a brigadier general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War.
Mary Boykin Chesnut was a South Carolina author noted for a book published as her Civil War diary, a "vivid picture of a society in the throes of its life-and-death struggle." She described the war from within her upper-class circles of Southern planter society, but encompassed all classes in her book. She was married to a lawyer who served as a United States senator and Confederate officer. Chesnut worked toward a final form of her book in 1881–1884, based on her extensive diary written during the war years. It was published in 1905, 19 years after her death. New versions were published after her papers were discovered, in 1949 by the novelist Ben Ames Williams, and in 1981 by the historian C. Vann Woodward. His annotated edition of the diary, Mary Chesnut's Civil War (1981), won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1982. Literary critics have praised Chesnut's diary—the influential writer Edmund Wilson termed it "a work of art" and a "masterpiece" of the genre—and the most important work by a Confederate author.
Aunt Phillis's Cabin; or, Southern Life As It Is by Mary Henderson Eastman is a plantation fiction novel, and is perhaps the most read anti-Tom novel in American literature. It was published by Lippincott, Grambo & Co. of Philadelphia in 1852 as a response to Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, published earlier that year. The novel sold 20,000–30,000 copies, making it a strong commercial success and bestseller. Based on her growing up in Warrenton, Virginia of an elite planter family, Eastman portrays plantation owners and slaves as mutually respectful, kind, and happy beings.
James West Clark was a United States Representative from North Carolina. Born in Bertie County to Hannah and Christopher Clark, a successful sea captain and import/export merchant. James Clark graduated from Princeton College in 1797, was a member of the State House of Commons in 1802, 1803 and 1811, and was a presidential elector on the Madison ticket in 1812. He was a member of the North Carolina Senate from 1812 to 1814 and was elected as a Republican to the Fourteenth Congress, serving from March 4, 1815, to March 3, 1817. Clark was appointed chief clerk of the Navy Department by Secretary John Branch and served from 1829 to 1831. He resigned his appointment in protest as a result of the Petticoat affair, which rocked Washington society and the Jackson administration.
Charles Hooks was a United States Representative from North Carolina; born in Bertie County, North Carolina, February 20, 1768; when he was two years old his parents moved to Duplin County, North Carolina and settled on a plantation near Kenansville; became a planter; member of the State house of commons 1801-1805; served in the State senate in 1810 and 1811; elected as a Democratic-Republican to the Fourteenth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of William R. King and served from December 2, 1816 to March 4, 1817; elected to the Sixteenth, Seventeenth, and Eighteenth Congresses ; moved to Alabama in 1826, settled near Montgomery, and again engaged in planting; died near Montgomery, Ala., October 18, 1843; interment in the Molton family cemetery. Hooks was the great-grandfather of William Julius Harris.
Julia Peterkin was an American author from South Carolina. In 1929 she won the Pulitzer Prize for Novel/Literature, for her novel Scarlet Sister Mary. She wrote several novels about the plantation South, especially the Gullah people of the Low Country. She was one of the few white authors who wrote about the African-American experience.
Look Homeward, Angel: A Story of the Buried Life is a 1929 novel by Thomas Wolfe. It is Wolfe's first novel, and is considered a highly autobiographical American coming-of-age story. The character of Eugene Gant is generally believed to be a depiction of Wolfe himself. The novel briefly recounts Eugene's father's early life, but primarily covers the span of time from Eugene's birth in 1900 to his definitive departure from home at the age of 19. The setting is a fictionalization of his home town of Asheville, North Carolina, called Altamont, Catawba in the novel. Playwright Ketti Frings wrote an award-winning theatrical adaptation of Wolfe's work in a 1957 play of the same title.
William Hodge Kitchin was an American lawyer, Confederate soldier and politician who served one-term U.S. Congressman from North Carolina as a Democrat. A white supremacist, Kitchin spent much of his political career attempting to curb African American advances within the state, although he briefly was a member of the Populists which worked with African Americans.
Francis Donnell Winston was a North Carolina politician and judge who served as the tenth Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina from 1905 to 1909 under Governor Robert B. Glenn.
Plantations are an important aspect of the history of the American South, particularly the antebellum era. The mild subtropical climate, plentiful rainfall, fertile soils of the southeastern United States, and Native American genocide allowed the flourishing of large plantations, where large numbers of enslaved Africans were held captive as slave labor and forced to produce crops to create wealth for a white elite.
Mount Holly was a historic Southern plantation in Foote, Mississippi. Built in 1855, it was visited by many prominent guests, including Confederate President Jefferson Davis. It was later acquired by ancestors of famed Civil War novelist Shelby Foote, who wrote a novel about it. It burned down on June 17, 2015.
The planter class, known alternatively in the United States as the Southern aristocracy, was a socio-economic caste of Pan-American society that dominated seventeenth- and eighteenth-century agricultural markets through the forced labor of slaves of African origin. The Atlantic slave trade permitted planters access to inexpensive labor for the planting and harvesting of crops such as tobacco, cotton, indigo, coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar cane, sisal, oil seeds, oil palms, hemp, rubber trees, and fruits. Planters were considered part of the American gentry.
James Henry Ladson (1795–1868) was an American planter and businessman from Charleston, South Carolina. He was the owner of James H. Ladson & Co., a major Charleston firm that was active in the rice and cotton business, and owned over 200 slaves. He was also the Danish Consul in South Carolina, a director of the State Bank and held numerous other business, church and civic offices. James H. Ladson was a strong proponent of slavery and especially the use of religion to maintain discipline among the slaves. He and other members of the Charleston planter and merchant elite played a key role in launching the American Civil War. Among Ladson's descendants is Ursula von der Leyen, who briefly lived under the alias Rose Ladson.