Colonel John Sartoris

Display Name: 
Colonel John Sartoris
Sort Name: 
Sartoris, Colonel John
AKA: 
The Colonel
Race: 
White
Gender: 
Male
Class: 
Upper Class
Rank: 
Major
Vitality: 
Dead-ghost
Family: 
Sartoris
Occupation: 
Management
Specific Job: 
Planter, Soldier, Railroad Builder
Date of Birth: 
Wednesday, January 1, 1823 to Wednesday, December 31, 1823
Origin: 
Carolina
Cause of Death: 
Murder
Biography: 

Legendary progenitor of the Sartoris family, and one of the central characters in Yoknapatawpha's history. 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 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. At the start of the Civil War, 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. His success in raids caused the Union Army to put a price on his head. During Reconstruction he killed two carpetbaggers who were in Jefferson petitioning for civil rights for recently freed slaves. During the same postwar years, Sartoris grew in stature as a politician and businessman, building a railroad that was completed in 1876.  Soon after that, he ran for the state Legislature, defeating his former business partner, named "Redlaw" in Flags, who in a final act of desperation stemming from years of rivalry killed Sartoris in 1876.

Individual or Group: 
Individual

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