Sam Fathers' Unnamed Father

Display Name: 
Sam Fathers' Unnamed Father
Sort Name: 
Sam Fathers' Unnamed Father
Race: 
Black
Gender: 
Male
Class: 
Enslaved Black
Rank: 
Minor
Vitality: 
Dead
Date of Birth: 
Saturday, January 1, 1785
Other Texts: 
Biography: 

Sam Fathers' Unnamed Father is forced to marry a pregnant slave (Ikkemotubbe's lover who has come with him and Chevalier Soeur-Blonde de Vitry from New Orleans). In the 1940 version of "The Old People" published in Harper's Magazine, Faulkner creates confusion by initially identifying Ikkemotubbe as Sam Fathers' grandfather, but in the same paragraph, Faulkner also writes that Ikkemotubbe forces his pregnant slave lover to marry "one of the slaves which he had inherited" from Moketubbe (203). This male slave is the father who raises Sam and is, therefore, also Sam Fathers' Unnamed Father. As the Unnamed Boy Hunter Narrator of the 1940 version of "The Old People" points out, the Chickasaw meaning of Sam's indigenous name means "Had-Two-Fathers" (203). This name makes more sense in the 1942 text of Go Down, Moses, where Faulkner tries to clear up the problem of Sam Fathers' paternity by stating that Ikkemotubbe is Sam's father, and that Ikkemotubbe forced Sam's slave mother, already pregnant, to marry the male slave Ikkemotubbe inherited slave from Moketubbe. Thus, the inherited slave is the second of Sam's two fathers in the 1942 version of the story.

Note: 
Paternity Forced Marriage Inherited Slaves
Individual or Group: 
Individual
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Character