Earliest Yoknapatawpha Families

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Earliest Yoknapatawpha Families
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Earliest Yoknapatawpha Families
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The Town contains two different kinds of lists of the old (white) Yoknapatawpha families. The first such list is constructed by Gavin Stevens as he reflects on the county's history, and unlike the second list in this novel or the kind of role Faulkner provides elsewhere, Gavin's thoughts include the early lower class settlers as well as "the proud fading white plantation names" like "Sutpen and Sartoris and Compson and Edmonds and McCaslin and Beauchamp and Grenier and Habersham" (332). These aristocratic families own the "rich plantation earth," while the lower class families settled in the "hill-country" (332). This group consists of the "McCallum and Gowrie and Frazier and Muir" families (332). He characterizes the first group mainly in terms of their social roles: "generals and governors and judges, soldiers . . . and statesmen"; the second, in terms of their Gaelic background (332). These families often occupy central roles in other Yoknapatawpha novels, though Muirs are not mentioned elsewhere. The white Beauchamps who own a plantation live outside Yoknapatawpha; the only Yoknapatawpha Beauchamps are descended from the white planter Carothers Edmonds and Tomey, his enslaved daughter. (See also the entry for "Major Yoknapatawpha Families," in this novel and elsewhere.)