The New Student's Reference Work/Harris, Joel Chandler

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Har′ris, Joel Chandler, American journalist and author, editor of the Atlanta Constitution, was born at Eatonton, Ga., Dec. 8, 1848, and like not a few who have made names for themselves in letters, he had his first employment at the printer's case. He then studied law, and for a time practiced at Forsyth, Ga., but after a while he forsook law for literature, obtained a post on the Atlanta Constitution, and at length became its editor. By this time he had made a loving and faithful study of the negro in the south. Recognizing the darkey's artistic possibilities in literature, he set himself to portray negro-life and dialect, as he so intimately and accurately knew it. How admirable was the study is manifest from even his first book, which appeared in 1880, entitled Uncle Remus. Never before had the negro and plantation-life been so aptly sketched as in “Brer Rabbit” and his darkey brothers in Georgia. This and his subsequent writings gave the author a secure place in American literature. His later books include Mr. Rabbit at Home; On the Plantation; Sister Jane; Balaam and His Master; The Story of Aaron In the Wildwood; Plantation Pageants; and Chronicles of Aunt Minervy Ann. Among his works in a more serious vein are H. W. Grady and The Making of a Statesman. He also wrote Tales of the Homefolks; Stories of Georgia and Georgia. He died on July 3, 1908.


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JOEL CHANDLER HARRIS