Wylie 1

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Wylie 1
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Wylie 1
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The man whom Lucius refers to in The Reivers as the "first Wylie" seems to have played a major role in shaping Yoknapatawpha County (71). When he set up his store at a crossing over the Tallahatchie River, the Indians still lived in the area. Because his place was "the head of navigation" - the furthest "small steamboats" could travel upriver from the Mississippi - the "whiskey and plows and coal oil and peppermint candy" that Yoknapatawpha imported from Vicksburg and the "cotton and furs" that it shipped out to the world were loaded or unloaded at his place (72). And it was the ferry that he ran at the site of the crossing that soon carried even more freight to and from Memphis by "mule- or ox-drawn" wagon (72). According to this novel, the road that runs north from Jefferson to Memphis in the Yoknapatawpha fictions was built where it is to reach Wyott's ferryboat. When the first Ballenbaugh arrived sometime before the Civil War to take over the store and ferry, this Wyott "moved four miles back from the river and became a farmer" (72). (In earlier editions of the novel, his name was "Wyott.")

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