James Vardaman

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James Vardaman
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Vardaman, James
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"Vardaman" is mentioned twice in Flags in the Dust, once by Aunt Jenny and once by Deacon Rogers (62, 122). Both of them express admiration for his character and politics. Known as "The Great White Chief," James K. Vardaman served one term as Governor of Mississippi (1904-1908) and one term in the United States Senate (1913-1919). A militant segregationist, he vowed to lynch every African American in the state if that ever became necessary. He opposed U.S. involvement in the First World War, and (as Aunt Jenny notes) argued against using "colored" troops in any way in the Army. Three 'poor white' characters in the fictions are named after him: Vardaman Gowrie in Intruder in the Dust, Vardaman Snopes in The Town and The Mansion, and Vardaman Bundren in As I Lay Dying, the best known of the three.

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