"Old Carothers" McCaslin

Display Name: 
"Old Carothers" McCaslin
Sort Name: 
McCaslin, Carothers
AKA: 
Lucius Quintus Carothers McCaslin
Old Carothers
Carothers McCaslin
Race: 
White
Gender: 
Male
Class: 
Upper Class
Rank: 
Major
Vitality: 
Dead-ghost
Family: 
McCaslin
Family (new): 
Occupation: 
Management
Specific Job: 
Planter
Date of Birth: 
Wednesday, January 1, 1772 to Thursday, December 31, 1772
Origin: 
Carolinas
Cause of Death: 
Old Age
Biography: 

Lucius Quintus Carothers McCaslin - "Old Carothers" - was one of Yoknapatawpha's earliest and wealthiest white settlers, a slave-owner, and the patriarch of the family that comprises McCaslins, Beauchamps, and Edmondses. Although he never appears directly in the narrative, the larger narrative and much of the cast of Go Down, Moses originate with him. He has three legitimate children: the twin sons Amodeus, a lifelong bachelor, and Theophilus, father of Ike McCaslin; and an unnamed daughter, from whom Cass, Zack, and Roth Edmonds are descended. He also has two illegitimate, "black" children; from them descend the novel's many "Beauchamps" - and from his relationships with them descends the "curse" on the land that leads Ike to repudiate his inheritance (283). The descendant who is said to resemble him most is Lucas Beauchamp, who is both Old Carothers' grandson and great-grandson, although Lucas' "negro" race rather than his ancestry defines his place in the social order. The "old man" whom Ike calls "evil and unregenerate" is a much more negative representative of the planter aristocracy that ruled Yoknapatawpha before the Civil War than the examples in Faulkner's earlier fictions: Colonel Sartoris or General Compson, or even Thomas Sutpen (280). And Ike is not the only one who repudiates his legacy: James and Fonsiba Beauchamp, Carothers McCaslin's grandchildren and Lucas' siblings, flee the plantation on which their father was a slave of his own half-brothers.

Note: 
The biographical information comes from the ledger entry for LQC's death, with just "Callina" specified for his birthplace (252)--TMT Original Bio: Lucius Quintus Carothers McCaslin was one of Yoknapatawpha's earliest and wealthiest white settlers, and the patriarch of the family that comprises McCaslins, Beauchamps, and Edmondses. Although the narrative of <em>Go Down, Moses</em> begins with his twin sons, Amodeus and Theophilus (he also had a daughter, from whom Cass, Zack, and Roth are descended), Old Carothers McCaslin is presented as the potent original; all of his descendants are treated as dilutions of that strain. The stories that concern Lucas Beauchamp present Lucas as the most like Old Carothers, who is Lucas’s grandfather and great-grandfather, the likeness perhaps the result of this double inheritance. Although the novel emphasizes the scope of Carothers McCaslin's legacy, it does so in less than glowing terms; Ike McCaslin, Carothers McCaslin's grandson, repudiates the plantation that is his inheritance because he recognizes that Carothers McCaslin bought and sold slaves and had a child by his own unacknowledged daughter, who was a slave like her mother. Ike is not the only one who repudiates the legacy of the ancestor he calls "an evil and unregenerate old man" (280)"; James and Fonsiba Beauchamp, Carothers McCaslin's grandchildren, flee the plantation on which their father was a slave of his own half-brothers.
Individual or Group: 
Individual
Character changes class in this text: 
Date of Death: 
Tuesday, June 27, 1837

digyok:node/character/10192