Tomey's Turl

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Tomey's Turl
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Tomey's Turl
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In Go Down, Moses Tomey's Turl is both the son and the grandson of the white man, Old Carothers McCaslin, who owned his grandmother and mother. The name by which he is known, Tomey’s Turl, instead of simply Terrel, underscores his ties to his mother, Tomey, but Hubert Beauchamp puts in words the paternal identity that makes white men nervous around Tomey's Turl: he is "that damn white half-McCaslin" (7). And actually, as Ike discovers in the plantation ledgers, he is 'three-quarters' McCaslin, though his incestuous origin is not ever mentioned explicitly. Tomey’s Turl is a slave on the McCaslin plantation owned by his half-brothers/uncles Amodeus and Theophilus. Tomey’s Turl marries Tennie, from the Beauchamp plantation, with whom he has six children, including Lucas Beauchamp. In Intruder in the Dust, where Lucas is a major character, his father is referred to - but not named - as "one of old Carothers McCaslin's" slaves and "his son too" (7); the darkest part of his story, that as a result of incest as well as miscegenation he is also the grandson of old Carothers, is not mentioned. (There is also a "Tomey's Turl" in Faulkner's later novel, The Town [1957], but he was born about 50 years later; the relationship between these two characters, if any, is not explained.)