Calvin Burden II

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Calvin Burden II
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Burden, Calvin II
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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 younger of these men is her half-brother, Calvin Burden II; Joanna calls him "a boy who had never even cast his first vote" (249). 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 moves with his family to Jefferson after the War, and is working with his grandfather (Calvin I) for the rights of the newly emancipated slaves, presumably as an agent of the Federal government - which is admirable from Joanna's perspective but outrageous from 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).