1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Harris, Joel Chandler

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HARRIS, JOEL CHANDLER (1848–1908), American author, was born in Eatonton, Putnam county, Georgia, on the 8th of December 1848. He started as an apprentice to the printer’s trade in the office of the Countryman, a weekly paper published on a plantation not far from his home. He then studied law, and practised for a short time in Forsyth, Ga., but soon took to journalism. He joined the staff of the Savannah Daily News in 1871, and in 1876 that of the Atlanta Constitution, of which he was an editor from 1890 to 1901, and in this capacity did much to further the cause of the New South. But his most distinctive contribution to this paper, and to American literature, consisted of his dialect pieces dealing with negro life and folk-lore. His stories are characterized by quaint humour, poetic feeling and homely philosophy; and “Uncle Remus,” the principal character of most of them, is a remarkably vivid and real creation. The first collection of his stories was published in 1880 as Uncle Remus: his Songs and his Sayings. Among his later works are Nights with Uncle Remus (1883), Mingo and Other Sketches in Black and White (1884), Free Joe and Other Georgian Sketches (1887), Balaam and His Master and Other Sketches and Stories (1891), Uncle Remus and His Friends (1892), On the Plantation (1892), which is partly autobiographic, Sister Jane (1896), The Chronicles of Aunt Minervy Ann (1899), and The Tar-Baby and Other Rhymes of Uncle Remus (1904). More purely juvenile are Daddy Jake the Runaway and Other Stories (1889), Little Mr Thimblefinger and his Queer Country (1894) and its sequel Mr Rabbit at Home (1895), Aaron in the Wildwoods (1897), Plantation Pageants (1899), Told by Uncle Remus (1905), and Uncle Remus and Br’er Rabbit (1907). He was one of the compilers of the Life of Henry W. Grady, including his Writings and Speeches (1890) and wrote Stories of Georgia (1896), and Georgia from the Invasion of De Soto to Recent Times (1899). He died in Atlanta on the 3rd of July 1908.