Ringo

Character Key: 
Display Name: 
Ringo
Sort Name: 
Ringo
Parent: 
AKA: 
Marengo
Race: 
Black
Gender: 
Male
Class: 
Enslaved Black
Rank: 
Major
Vitality: 
Alive
Family: 
Strother
Family (new): 
Date of Birth: 
Saturday, September 1, 1849 to Sunday, September 30, 1849
Biography: 

Ringo, the grandson of Louvinia and Joby. was born a slave, though by the end of this novel, as a result of both the Emancipation Proclamation and the South's defeat in the Civil War, he is legally free - or, as he puts it in the story, "I ain't a nigger any more. I done been abolished" (199). Even as a slave he occupied an intimate place in the Sartoris family, and plays a large role in all The Unvanquished stories, as both Bayard's personal servant and his friend. He and Bayard are the same age; they play together in make-believe Civil War battles and fight together in the ambush of the Yankee soldier. He encourages Bayard with chants of "Shoot the bastud! Shoot him!" as Bayard aims and fires the musket (26). He plays a particularly important role in Rosa Millard's mule-trading business: eventually Bayard comes to see that Ringo becomes practically an equal partner with Rosa, and in some ways is even superior to himself: he freely advises both of them and at one point orders Bayard to fetch paper and ink. He is the one who realizes Ab Snopes has betrayed her, and he tries to talk her out of confronting Grumby; after her death, he tracks down her killer with Bayard, and along the way reverses the usual racial dynamic by whipping Ab. Despite his emancipation, he remains very loyal to the Sartoris family, and actively participates in the actions taken by the white men of Jefferson to keep other freedmen from voting. Bayard acknowledges that Ringo is "smarter than me" (125). "Ringo's father" is Simon (17), although like Bayard, Ringo calls Rosa Millard "Granny" (7); the novel makes no mention of Ringo's mother.

Individual or Group: 
Individual
Character changes class in this text: 

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