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Code title biography
31 Horace Benbow

In the larger narrative of Yoknapatawpha Horace Benbow's place is a curious one. One of the two central characters in the first Yoknapatawpha fiction, Flags in the Dust, Horace becomes the first major recurring character in the canon when Faulkner casts him as the protagonist of Sanctuary. After that second appearance he essentially disappears.

30 Narcissa Benbow Sartoris

Narcissa is born into one of Yoknapatawpha's leading families and marries into another. She plays a major role in three early fictions, which together even form a kind of asymmetrical trilogy. In Flags in the Dust she is the most eligible young woman in Jefferson before she becomes Mrs. Bayard Sartoris. In that novel her role is essentially passive, as she is courted or stalked by men from three very different classes; by the end of it she is a young widow with a newborn son, whom she names Benbow Sartoris.

29 Julia Benbow

Julia Benbow, the wife of Will Benbow, and mother of Horace and Narcissa, is mentioned in both Flags in the Dust and Sanctuary. According to the first novel, she died when Narcissa was seven years old. Narcissa remembers her as "a gentle figure . . . like a minor shrine, surrounded always by an aura of gentle melancholy and an endless and delicate manipulation of colored silken thread" (172). She is not named in the second novel, and appears only in Narcissa's references to "my father and mother" (118) and "our father and mother" in conversations with Horace (184).

28 Will Benbow

Will Benbow is presumably the only son of Francis. He is mentioned in Flags in the Dust and Sanctuary. He married Julia, with whom he had two children, Horace and Narcissa, and practiced law in Jefferson. He died a few years before the U.S. entered World War I. Narcissa remembers him in the first novel as "a darkly gallant shape" - "a being something like Omnipotence but without awesomeness" (172). He is not mentioned by name in Sanctuary, but only appears in Narcissa's references to "my father and mother" (118) and "our father and mother" (184).

27 Percy Benbow

In the Yoknapatawpha fictions as a group, the Benbows are among the county's oldest and most prominent families, but the reference in Absalom! to Judge Benbow's son is "Percy" is the only mention of this character in the canon (172). Chronologically it is possible that Percy is brother of Will Benbow, the Benbow who is the father of Horace and Narcissa Benbow, major figures in Flags in the Dust (1929) and Sanctuary (1931), but that is speculation.

26 Francis Benbow

Francis Benbow is the father of Will Benbow, and grandfather of Horace and Narcissa. He is only mentioned in Flags in the Dust, where the narrative notes that he brought back a lantana tree "from Barbados in a tophat-box in '71 [i.e. 1871]" (164). When he went to the island, however, or what he did there, is not explained.

25 Judge Benbow

As a family the Benbows are one of the oldest and most prominent in Jefferson, but the fictions don't provide much detail about the first several generations in town. "Judge Benbow" is mentioned in three fictions from the middle of Faulkner's career. In Absalom! he is mentioned twice: first as a paragon of genteel manners (35), and later as the unofficial executor of the (non-existent) "Estate of Goodhue Coldfield" who chivalrously takes care of Rosa over the years (172); he also has a son named Percy.

24 Earliest American Sartoris

In Flags in the Dust Jenny Du Pre refers to the man who built the plantation where she grew up in "Carolina" (whether North or South is never specified) as her "great-great-great-grandfather" (50). That many generations back would make him more or less a contemporary of the fathers and mothers of America's 'Founding Fathers.'

23 Caroline White Sartoris

In Flags in the Dust, Caroline White is the Memphis girl who met and married (Young) Bayard Sartoris when he was teaching flying lessons in that city. She is identified mainly by her "wild bronze swirling" hair (45), but she is also recognizably a modern woman: she has no proper ideas about "keeping house," at least according to Jenny (51), and the narrator refers to "the brittle daring of her speech and actions" (73). She and her newborn son died, perhaps of influenza, in 1918, while her husband was fighting overseas in World War I.

22 Lucy Cranston Sartoris

In Flags in the Dust, Lucy nee Cranston is the wife of John Sartoris, II and mother of twins, Bayard and John. Little else is known about her, except that on her sons' seventh birthday she gave them both a copy of the New Testament with a written inscription.

21 Mrs. Bayard Sartoris

Old Bayard's wife, the grandmother of Young Bayard and Young John Sartoris, is never named, and mentioned only in passing in Flags in the Dust, when that novel sums up the history of the parlor in the Sartoris mansion over the decades. We're told that she and her daughter-in-law and Miss Jenny clean the room "thoroughly" twice a year. There are exactly two words devoted to her: "his wife" (55).

20 Dennison Hawk II

Drusilla Hawk's brother Denny - a nickname for Dennison, their father's name - is ten years old when he first appears, in "Raid." He lives at his family's plantation, Hawkhurst, in Alabama, and shares his cousin Bayard's fascination with the railroad. His small size is used as a point of reference in "The Unvanquished," but he himself does not appear in that story. In "Skirmish at Sartoris" he accompanies his mother on her trip to Yoknapatawpha, and on the day of the election, without her permission, goes into town with Ringo.

19 Du Pre

The husband of Virginia Sartoris (Aunt Jenny) is a man named Du Pre. According to The Unvanquished, one of the two fictions in which he is mentioned, he was "killed at the very beginning of the War, by a shell from a Federal frigate at Fort Moultrie" (235). Fort Moultrie was one of the forts in the harbor at Charleston, South Carolina, and it's very likely that Du Pre, like the Sartorises, was from "Cal-lina" - as Elnora calls it in "There Was a Queen," the other text in which Jenny's husband is mentioned (732).

18 Louisa Hawk

This sister of Rosa Millard appears or is mentioned in three of the Unvanquished stories. When she first appears, in "Raid," she is named "Louise"; her husband and son have both been killed in the Civil War, and the large Dennison plantation has been burned by the Yankees. Louise tries, ineffectually, to keep her daughter Drusilla from helping Rosa conduct her non-military raid on the Union troops in the area.

17 Millard

First mentioned but not named by Will Falls in Flags in the Dust when he mentions that Bayard's two sisters went to stay with his "gran'pappy" in Memphis during the Civil War (20), he comes into a little more focus in "My Grandmother Millard" when Bayard notes that his grandmother's dead husband owned a "supply house" in Memphis, where he knew Nathan Bedford Forrest (688). One of his customers was Nathan Bedford Forrest, who (although the story never mentions it) was a well-known Memphis planter and slave-dealer at that time.

16 Virginia Sartoris Du Pre

Virginia Du Pre - or as she is called more frequently, Aunt Jenny - is the sister of Colonel John and the first in the series of formidable dowagers in the Yoknapatawpha fictions. She traveled to Yoknapatawpha a few years after the end of the Civil War that saw her father and husband killed and the family mansion in Carolina burned down. She brought with her a handful of flower cuttings from the ancestral estate which in Mississippi's less congenial soil she nurtures into an equally lush garden.

15 Rosa Millard

Rosa Millard - "Granny" to two boys, one white and one black - is one of Faulkner's most formidable old women. As John Sartoris' mother-in-law, she runs his plantation while he's away fighting in the Civil War.

14 Colonel John Sartoris' Daughter 2

Faulkner's first Yoknapatawpha fiction, Flags in the Dust, explicitly mentions the two daughters of Colonel John Sartoris. This is the younger one, who is two years younger than Bayard; with her older sister she was sent to Memphis during the Civil War, but is back at the Sartoris plantation at Christmas time, 1869, to hear Aunt Jenny tell the story of "Carolina" Bayard's death. Other than that, like her sister she remains very elusive as a character.

13 Colonel John Sartoris' Daughter 1

Like their mother, John Sartoris' two daughters are almost invisible members of the family. This is the older of the pair, Bayard's older sister. She is twenty-two when Jenny Du Pre arrives in Mississippi in 1869; beyond that she is not named or described. From one of Will Falls' stories in Flags in the Dust we learn that she and her younger sister were sent to Memphis during the Civil War; the narrator tells us later that she is planning to marry in June, 1870.

12 Drusilla Hawk Sartoris

Although she only appears in the Unvanquished stories, Drusilla Hawk Sartoris is one of the more memorable women in the Yoknapatawpha fictions. She was born in Alabama into the plantation aristocracy, where her role as a lady seemed clearly defined - until the Civil War gave her the opportunity to redefine it.

11 Dennison Hawk I

Like John Sartoris, Dennison Hawk was a large plantation- and slave-owner who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War; he was killed at the Battle of Shiloh. He never appears directly in the fictions, but is mentioned in "Raid" and "Skirmish at Sartoris" and again in The Unvanquished. His Alabama plantation, Hawkhurst, was burned by the Yankees sometime after his death. He is the husband of Louisa, who is Granny's sister, and hence he is Bayard's uncle as well as Drusilla's and Denny's father.

10 Mrs. John Sartoris

Colonel John Sartoris' wife and (Old) Bayard's mother is a very elusive figure. In the Unvanquished series it emerges that her maiden name was Millard, and it can be assumed that she originally came from Memphis (where Rosa Millard and her husband lived before the Civil War). In "My Grandmother Millard" Bayard notes that Cousin Melisandre is married in the same wedding dress that both her grandmother and mother wore at their weddings, and says that "Mother wasn't much older than Cousin Melisandre even when she died" - and Melisandre is a very young woman (698-99).

9 Bayard Sartoris IV

This is the only child of young Bayard's short-lived marriage to Caroline White. According to Jenny Du Pre, Caroline named him Bayard "nine months before it was born" (51). He and his mother both died while Bayard was in France, though Flags in the Dust does not explain the cause.

8 Benbow Sartoris

The country boy who narrates "Shall Not Perish" notes that Sartorises "still lived in our county" in 1942 (112). In the collected fictions, however, there is only one Sartoris left by that time, the son of Bayard Sartoris III and Narcissa Benbow who was born on the same day his father died in 1920, at the end of Flags in the Dust, and given his name as his mother's attempt to avoid the apparent curse on the various Bayards and Johns in the Sartoris line of succession.

7 John Sartoris III

Johnny Sartoris, the twin brother of Bayard, is one of the two Sartoris ghosts who haunt the present in Faulkner's first Yoknapatawpha fiction, Flags in the Dust. Confederate Colonel John haunts all his living descendants. 'British' aviator Johnny is instead the shadow that his brother cannot emerge from. He is remembered very fondly by the novel's other characters, and with a great deal of survivor guilt by Bayard. Before World War I Johnny attended the University of Virginia and Princeton University.

6 Bayard Sartoris III

Although this Bayard, the third on the Sartoris family tree, has a son, The Mansion, the second to last text Faulkner published, is not wrong to call this Bayard "the last Sartoris Mohican" (210). He appears or is mentioned in seven texts.

5 John Sartoris II

Bayard Sartoris names his only son John, after his father the Colonel. This John II is a very minor character, even in Flags in the Dust, the only text to describe him or rather his life in any detail. He married Lucy Cranston, with whom he fathered the twin sons, Bayard (III) and John (III), who are both important characters in that first Yoknapatawpha fiction. Unlike his father, he followed the family's military tradition, fighting for the U.S. in the Spanish-American War. He died in 1901, succumbing to yellow fever and a wound suffered during the war.

4 Bayard Sartoris II

This Bayard Sartoris, the second on the family tree, is the son of Colonel John. In many of the eighteen texts in which he appears he is often called "Colonel Sartoris" too, even though he never fought in any war. In the larger story of Yoknapatawpha he is a transitional figure between the heroic past, when his father fought Yankees and built railroads, and modernity. His greatest achievement is to establish a bank in Jefferson, though it ultimately ends up in the hands of a Snopes.

3 Bayard Sartoris I

This is the first of the four 'Bayards' on the Sartoris family tree. When Colonel John Sartoris' sister Virginia (Aunt Jenny) Du Pre comes to Yoknapatawpha from Carolina, she brings with her the story she loves to tell the younger members of her family about her bother Bayard's death in the Civil War. To her, at least, and in these stories, this Bayard is an incredibly romantic figure, likened to "Richard First . . . before he went crusading" (11). During the Civil War he is Gen. J.E.B.

1 John Sartoris I

The first published Yoknapatawpha fiction, Flags in the Dust, begins by conjuring up the spirit of Colonel John Sartoris. Dead since 1876, he haunts much of that text and many of the others; the 21 texts he appears in is the most of any inhabitant of Faulkner's imaginative world. As Faulkner acknowledged, his story is basely on the life and death of Colonel William Falkner, the author's great-grandfather. His fictional biography is established in that first novel. He came from Carolina to Jefferson around 1837, where he built a large cotton plantation four miles north of town.

2 Colonel John Sartoris' Mother

The mother of John and (the first) Bayard Sartoris and Virginia Du Pre is never named, and only mentioned in three texts, each time briefly. "There Was a Queen" notes that the "Cal-lina" (Carolina, probably South) mansion she lived in was burned down by the Yankees during the Civil War (732).

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