George Wilkins

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George Wilkins
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Wilkins, George
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Like Lucas Beauchamp, George Wilkins is a tenant farmer on the Edmonds plantation who is at times Lucas' rival and at others his assistant; he is also Lucas' son-in-law, though the time at which that happens is hard to pin down. He appears first in "A Point of Law," as competition for Lucas' moonshine business; Lucas' attempt to foil him lands them both in essentially comic trouble with the law. Their get-out-of-jail card is the (possibly forged) certificate of marriage between him and Lucas' daughter Nat. In "Gold Is Not Always" he obeys Lucas' orders in a successful scheme to manipulate a white man. In the first story the judge who oversees the case against him and Lucas calls George a "jimber-jawed clown" (223), and that is essentially the way the stories and then the novel Go Down, Moses depict him. He 'appears' one last time, in absentia, in Intruder in the Dust: after his mother-in-law's death George and Nat move to Detroit, making him part of what social historians have called the Great Migration, the movement of six million African Americans from the South to the cities of the North and West.