Unnamed Slaves of Grenier|Old Frenchman

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Unnamed Slaves of Grenier|Old Frenchman
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Unnamed Slaves of Grenier|Old Frenchman
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The narrators of "A Name for the City" and Requiem for a Nun note that the first slaves brought into Yoknapatawpha belonged to Grenier, a man better known as the Old Frenchman. The slaves who worked on his huge plantation before the Civil War appear, though tangentially, in "Lizards in Jamshyd's Courtyard" and again in The Hamlet. None of them are given an individual identity, but the short story does say that they "raised cotton" before the War and "buried" the Frenchman's gold to hide it from Yankees during the War, and they would also have provided the labor for the Frenchman to "straighten the river bed" to reclaim the land for producing cotton (136). Apparently some of them are buried in the Frenchman's graveyard, though none of their descendants remain in Frenchman's Bend. When this information is repeated in the novel, it adds two details: the part of the river bed they straightened was "almost ten miles" long (4), and at least some of them are buried "beneath the weathered and illegible headstones" in a cemetery that sits on "a knoll four hundred yards away" from the plantation's big house (375).