McCaslin-Edmonds Place in Go Down, Moses (Location)

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McCaslin-Edmonds Plantation
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This is a large cotton plantation seventeen miles northeast of Jefferson, Mississippi. It includes a mansion, a number of cabins, outbuildings like a blacksmith shop and a smoke house, and a commissary. The plantation's big house is described in two conflicting ways. In "The Fire and the Hearth," it began as a modest structure with "two long wings which Carothers McCaslin had built," connected by an open passageway, and it is "old Cass Edmonds" who, in his "pride," drastically enlarged it" (44). Cass' alterations were made after the Civil War. The novel does not explicitly provide the date when Carothers built it, but we presume that happened before 1807, when according to the ledgers he traveled to New Orleans to purchase Eunice (253). In "The Bear," however, the narrative calls that same house "the tremendous cavern which Old Carothers had started but never finished" (286). It sits on top of a knoll covered with oaks and cedars; Sophonsiba Beauchamp's dowry provides the means to finish it after the Civil War. One of the novel's major thematic concerns revolves around ownership of this property. It was originally founded by Lucius Quintus Carothers McCaslin, then belonged to his two sons. Carothers (Cass) Edmonds gained ownership of the plantation when Ike McCaslin repudiated his inheritance. In the later parts of the novel it belongs to Carothers (Roth) Edmonds, Cass' grandson. The work on the plantation is still done by blacks: McCaslin's slaves have been replaced by the tenant farmers, or share croppers, who work for Edmonds.

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