Calvin Burden I

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Calvin Burden I
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Calvin Burden I
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Colonel Sartoris' killing of two Northerners during Reconstruction is told four times in the fictions. The first time, in Flags in the Dust, Will Falls refers to them as "them two cyarpet-baggers" (23). They are given names in Light in August, where the same event is retold from Joanna Burden's perspective. The oldest of these men is her grandfather, Calvin Burden I; he lost one of his arms fighting against slavery as "a member of a troop of partisan guerilla horse" in 1861 (244). The last two times this story is told, from Bayard Sartoris' perspective in "Skirmish at Sartoris" and again in The Unvanquished, he is one of "the two Burdens from Missouri" (66), but not otherwise described. He and his family move to Jefferson after the War to work for the rights of the newly emancipated slaves, presumably as an agent of the Federal government - which is admirable from Joanna's perspective but offensive to Falls. Bayard's perspective is more ambiguous. In a conversation with Drusilla about them that only appears in The Unvanquished, he calls them "carpet baggers," but also "men. Human beings" (223). Drusilla, on the other hand, calls them "northerners, foreigners who had no business here. They were pirates" (223). The second of these two men is Joanna's half-brother, also called Calvin.