Samuel Worsham Beauchamp

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Samuel Worsham Beauchamp
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Beauchamp, Samuel Worsham
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In "Go Down, Moses," and again in the chapter with that title in the novel Go Down, Moses - the only texts he appears in - Samuel is the grandson of Lucas and Molly Beauchamp. As he tells the census taker, to whom he identifies himself by his real name, Samuel Worsham Beauchamp was "born in the country near Jefferson, Mississippi" (256, 351). Like well over a million rural black southerners by the 1930s, he has relocated to the urban north. According to him, his "occupation" in Chicago before he shot and killed a policeman was "getting rich too fast" (256, 352); according to Gavin Stevens, he was a criminal involved in the numbers racket. Gavin calls him "Butch Beauchamp" (258, 354). According to the narrator, in the brief firsthand account he provides of the character, Beauchamp is a flamboyant dresser (his "Hollywood clothes" are probably a zoot suit), with "treated" hair, eyes that "had seen too much" and a voice that was "deliberately and consistently not Southern" (257, 351). The texts present him as hardened and indifferent to his imminent execution. Stevens blames "some seed" he inherited from "the father who begot him," "not only violent but bad" (258, 354). His grandmother explains his life with a scriptural parallel, blaming his misfortune on Roth Edmonds, the white landowner who, she says, "sold him in Egypt" when he chased him off the plantation (258, 353).