Submitted by scott on Sat, 05/28/2022 - 12:50

A Farm of 240 acres, never referred to as a plantation.  John Quarles had owned six slaves in 1840 and eleven in 1850, "many of them too old or too young to have been of much use on the farm."  One in particular, Uncle Dan’l, might have been an inspiration for Twain’s character Jim.

Searching for Jim

An archaeological dig at the Quarles farmstead

Scharnhorst has suggested that the description of the Phelps farm in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn fits Quarles Farm:

Phelps’s was one of these little one-horse cotton plantations; and they all look alike. A rail fence round a two-acre yard; a stile, made out of logs sawed off and up-ended, in steps, like barrels of a different length, to climb over the fence with, and for the women to stand on when they are going to jump onto a horse; some sickly grass-patches in the big yard, but mostly it was bare and smooth, like an old hat with the nap rubbed off; big double log house for the white folks — hewed logs, with the chinks stopped up with mud or mortar, and these mud-stripes been whitewashed some time or another; round-log kitchen, with a big broad, open, but roofed passage, joining it to the house; log smoke-house back of the kitchen; three little log nigger-cabins in a row t’other side the smoke-house; one little hut all by itself, away down against the back fence, and some out-buildings down a piece the other side; ash-hopper, and big kettle to bile soap in, by the little hut; bench by the kitchen door, with bucket of water and a gourd; hound asleep there, in the sun; more hounds asleep, round about; about three shade trees, away off in a corner; some currant bushes and gooseberry bushes in one place by the fence; outside of the fence, a garden and a watermelon patch; then the cotton fields begins; and after the fields, the woods.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn  Page 276-7

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