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Sut Lovingood Travels
With Old Abe Lincoln

by George Washington Harris

new material in this book copyright © 2020


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An American Classic

George Washington Harris was a nineteenth-century American humorist who influenced Mark Twain, William Faulkner, and Flannery O’Connor. His most popular character was Sut Lovingood, a caricature of a southern Appalachian farmer who speaks an exaggerated version of Appalachian accent.

In addition to writing humorous pieces for newspapers, Harris worked as a riverboat captain, metal worker, sawmill owner, farmer, and alderman and postmaster of Knoxville, Tennessee.

In 1867, he published twenty-four of his stories as the book, Sut Lovingood: Yarns Spun By a Nat’ral Born Durn’d Fool. He was planning to publish a second book, but while taking the train back from a meeting with the potential publisher, he became ill and then unconscious; he revived briefly and said one word before dying: “Poisoned.”

After his death, three pieces attacking Abraham Lincoln were published as this book.

He is not much read today, perhaps because he was so obviously on the wrong side of history as a southern Democrat, opponent of the Republicans attempts to end slavery, and supporter of succession.

But, in addition to still being humorous today, his writing is of real historic interest, showing us the divisions of America at the time.