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Copyright 1913 

UNCLE REMUS MEMORIAL 

ASSOCIATION 



Appeal Publishing Company 
Atlanta. Ga. 



Sold for the lifiicfK 
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J OKI. (HANDLER HARRIS was 
1)1)1-11 Decembtr 9, 1818, in the 
c|ui(t lit; If village of Eatonton, Putnam 
County.. (ia. His father died in his in- 
f'anev. His mother was young and very 
poor. She did tlu' best she could for 
her little hoy. raising him carefully, and 
sending him to the Eatonton day school. 
That was before the public school era. 
and schools were pay institutions. 

Joe was a red-haired, freckle-faced 
little boy, sturdy, active, fond of play, 
hut marked by that shyness and reserve 
which he carried through life. "He 
was probably the least noticed boy in 
the neighborhood," relates a friend who 
./()(/ cliaiiillrr Ihiiri.s knew. "He was such a clever little fel- 

At the Aye of S'lxli'en. low!" reports another who chose liim for 

playmate. He develo))ed early liking 
for literature, listening intently to the "Vicar of Wakefield." which 
his mother read to him when he was six. That hook inspired him 
with a desire to write. 

He was fond of animals. "His mother told me,' relates his 
wife, "how he befriended stray cats and dogs. He kept that up. 
I have been often perplexed to know what to do with our excess of 
kittens. He was always finding another jnippy and bringing it 
home. Our children were allowed to keep any pets they pleased. 
They had .-i pony, donkey, chickens, pigeons, rabbits, cows, calves — 
almost everything! His mother said .Joel alwaj-s had a wonderful 
way witii horses. Old Uncle Bob Capers, the negro stage-coach 
driver at Eatonton. used to let Joel sit on the box with him. Once, 
she saw Joel sitting alone on top the stage, driving the horses him- 
self — such a little fellow! and she was nearly frightened to death!" 
The Civil War eaiiie, making times harder for every one and no 
easier for this struggling mother and her child. Of the period 
when he became fourteen, he once gave this account in casual talk: 
"There came a time when I had to be up and doing. I was in 
the postoffice. reading the newspapers when the first number of the 
Countrvniaii was laid on the counter. I saw in it this advertise- 



iiKiit: 'All ac'ti\f, iiitfllifj,tiit lioy. 1 l- or 1.5 Vfars of age, is wanted 
at this office to Itani tin- ])rintiii^ l)UsiiiL-ss. March Itli, 18(i2.' 

"This was my opportunity and I seized it with both hands. I 
wrote to tlie editor, whom I knew, and the next time he came to 
town, lie sought me out, asked if I liad written the letter witli my 
own liands, and in three words, the bargain was concluded. 

"The Countryinan w.is imblished nine miles from any post office, 
on tile ])]antation of Mr. .loseph A. Turner. On the roof of the 
printing office, squirrels scampered and blue jays chattered. I used 
to sit in the dusk and see the shadows of all the great problems of 
life flitting about, restless and uneasy, and I had time to think about 
them. What some people call loneliness was to me a great bless- 
ing; and the printer's trade, so far as I learned it, was in the nature 
of a liberal education. Mr. Turner had a large private library, 
especially rich in English literature, in translations from the Greek 
and Tatin, and works on ornithology. It would have been remark- 
able if, with notliiug to do but set a column or so of type daily, 
I had failed to take advantage of this library. Mr. Turner took 
an abiding interest in my welfare, directed my reading, gave mc 
good advice, and the benefit of his wisdom and experience at every 
turn, P"or the rest, I got along as any boy would, I was fond of 
setting tyjie. and when my task was done I used to go to the negro 
cabins and hear their songs and stories." 

One of these cabins was that of "Old Uncle George Terrell." 
who made ginger-cakes and ])ersimuioii beer, and told <|uaint 
stories to little .loe and the Turner children clustered around his 
cabin fire. "Uncle Remus" of Mr. Harris's books and world- 
wide fame is a compo.site of "Uncle George Terrell, " "Uncle Bob 
Capers," .nul other kindly black "uncles." 

If the master of Turn wold had a wonderful library and the little 
boy was welcome there, the mistress liad a wonderful garden where 
he was welcome, too. In it was a plot where only wild flowers 
grew, and Mrs, Turner knew as much about wild flowers as her 
husband knew .about birds. The Countryman was a scholarly little 
sheet, resembling Addison's ".Spectator," Goldsmith's "Bee," and 
,Iohnson's "Rambler." .Mr. Turner welcomed contributions in 
prose and verse from bis young printer, and jiredieted a bright 
future for him. At the close of the war the ]iaper 
ceased ])nblie.ition. 

Harris, adrift at tile .age of sixteen, found work 
successively at Macon, Cia,. as typesetter .ind writer 
on the Telegraiih; New Orleans. La., as editor's as- 
sistant on the Crescent; Forsyth. Ga.. as typesetter. 
writer, editor, and wra))])er-up and mailer of the 
Advertiser, owned bv Mr. .lanies Harrison; at Savan- 




iiali, associate editor on the News with W. T. Thompson, author of 
"Major Jones's Courtship." At Forsyth lie was a member of the 
Harrison home eircle; Mrs. Starke, Mr. Harrison's sister, exhibited a 
kindly interest in him. He left Savannah for Atlanta in" 1876 
with his wife and 
two children. 

He had married 
E s s i e L a R o s e. a 
young lady of French 
ancestry and Cana- 
dian birth, a sea- 
captain's daughter, in 
.Savannah, April 21. 
1873. Of her sur- 
name he was fond of 
saying: '" 'Twas a 
pity to change it — 
hut I just had to!" 
and p r o v i n g bv 
Shakespeare that :i 
rose by another name 
were just as sweet! 
It is said of him that 
lie never liked to be 
out of sound of his 
wife's voice. Her 
congenial and sym- 
pathetic companion-, 
ship and his ap- 
preciation of it con- 
tributed nnich to liis 

success. "Evening Tales." a translation _of Ortoli\ folklore tales, 
was their joint production, her familiarity with French assisting 
iiim greatly. 

In Atlanta, as an editor of the Constitution, he was a member 
of that charmed circle which included Evan P. Howell, X. P. T. 
Fineli. Henry W. Grady, ^^'allace P. Reed, Sam Small and Frank 
I,. Stanton. An interruption came to Small's "Old Si " stories, 
which were making a hit. Howell said: ",Ioe. wliy don't you 
try your hand ;it this sort of thing? " .and the Constitution jirinted 
the first of the "L'nele Remus" tales. Their ])opularity was in- 
stant. Northern publishers began to call for Mr. Harris's sto- 
ries — greatly to his surjirise. He always seemed inclined to take 
his fame as a joke — a sort of humorous accident. He was very 
seriously industrious, however. His wife thinks "Free .Toe " m;is 
his favorite amoni; his stories. 





riu- |ii)|)iil;irity of liis dialect work lias obscured 

his value as novelist, historian, poet, and essayist. 

.Many of his unsigned editorials and articles might 

lie identified by the quaint, sweet humor of his style, 

,i were tiiere no otiier way. As this in 'Must Rain 

,, Knough": "People say that there lias beei.i too much 

t^ niin. But has the grass coni))lained .'' Have the 

i^W» uKirning-glories entered protest?" And this, in 

".Midsununer Madness." (ui the weather: "The motto 

for summer is: Keep cool .■ind don't i'ret : we ma\- be li;i)ipv vet." 

Mr. Harris's home, paid for with his pen. was tiie first fruits 
of his literary success, the Constitution enabling him to take earlier 
possession by arranging easy terms of payment for him. 
His daughters. Lillian and .Mildred (Mrs. Fritz Wagener and 
Mrs. Edwin Camp), and .loel Chandler, Jr.. were born here. He 
brought three little sons with him — Julian, Lucien, and Evelyn. 
He lost three children. Of his home Rev. Dr. Lee, his friend for 
years, has said: "You could never enter his door without a sense 
of a subtle, genial presence resting on evirything about the house. 
Every child he had did seemingly as he pleased, but grew up to 
express in orderly conduct and attention to duty the sweet music 
of his father's house." 

It must have been a proud day for him. whose early life had 
been such a struggle with untoward conditions, when he here in- 
stalled his wife, his mother, and his family of young children. It 
was never a jjretentious dwelling, but always roomy, sunshiny and 
comfortable; it wore the air of being the abode of a man who loved 
home, wife, mother, and children; who loved trees, tlower.s, and 
birds ; and who was a good neighbor. The children of the vicinity 
knew the ta.ste of the apples that fell from the old a])ple trees in 
his garden, and of the persimmons that were to be found among the 
ru.stling leaves inside of his fence when autumn winds shook them 
from their boughs ; and everybody knew the color and smell of his 
flowers. Neighbors received "messes" of vegetables from "Snap 
Bean Farm," as he humorously called the lot overlooked by his 
veranda, where honeysuckle vines and other things besides edibles 
grew and domestic animals found pasturage. In his magazine he 
wrote as "The Farmer of Snap Bean Farm" and "Mr. Billy San- 
ders of Shady Dale." 

The Sign of the Wren's Nest, gradually abbreviated to its pres- 
ent name, acquired this title years ago. when a pair of wrens built 
a nest in the mail box at the gate, and Mr. Harris protected them in 
their occupation, saying to human protest: "Make other arrange- 
ments for mail. We must not break uj) a home. " When Mr. Harris 
built his house here, this part of Atlanta was in the woods. Of a sap- 



ling beside his door, he said to his wife when lie forbade its be- 
ing cut down: "This tree shall be my monument." That sapling, 
now a lordly tree, shades the entrance. 

I recall my first visit to this home. The happy wife and chil- 
dren, the venerable mother, and even the household jjcts reflected in 
their air of peace and content, the spirit of tiie master. In the hall, 
an unobtrusive stair ran up. "Where to?" I asked. "Mr. Harris's 
study among the treetops — at least, he built it for that," his wife 
said. "But he doesn't do much writing up there!" interpolated his 
son, .Julian, then a lad, with twinkling eyes. "He can't stay away 
from us!" "But doesn't your laugiiter and t.ilking disturb him?" 
"He likes it! He writes most of his stories with us around hiui. He 
reads them to us and asks wh.-it we tliink of them." 

The engaging manner in wliieli .(ulian "gave away " his sire in 
small bits of information was delicious exposure of Mr. Harris's 
comradeship with his children. "Come! " said he, with the genuine 
Harris friendliness, "and I will show you the Mockingbird Tree." 
.\nd he pointed out the lofty |)oplar where warbled the songster that 
inspired Mr. Harris's ])rose idyl. Tlsit y.ird .uid garden, and the 
trees and vines ! One 
could easily imagine 
Uncle Remus here, 
and Brer Rabbit 
hopping eontidential- 
ly from leafy covert 
to hold confab with 
him — and hopping 
back hastily if a 
s t r a n g e r hove in 
sight. 

Whimsically wise 
was Uncle Remus 
about his wild things. 
One day. when in 
the C o n s t i t ution 
building. I wanted 
to ])eep in on Uncle 
Renuis. But on what 
errand of impor- 
tance? T crept into 
his den, where he sat 
busy at his desk. 
))ai)ers all around. 
"Uncle Remus," 1 
said, "I want to ask 
you something about I'rijiliin/ o/fici' nl rmuu-nld. Whirr ilr. 

Hitrrix Leiirni'O fu Set Tjipe. 





•\ 



Hrcr li.-ibbit. " I liad his tar — and his twinkling 
eves. "Mr. Harris, you know rahhits can't climb. 
Xow. you .say, in your story. Brer Rabbit 'clonib a 
tree' How could he?" "He was bleedzed to!' 
1 luicklrd Uncle Remus. By like unanswerable re})ly. 
In- is said to have stopped the mouth of grave natural- 
ists calling on him for explanation of the prowess 
of liis wild creatures, and to have demolished Presi- 
dent Roosevelt in "nature study " controversy at the 
White House. "The Blue Jay." "The Mockingbird," "The Self- 
Educated Dog." and other essays of their class reveal him, however, 
as a serious and accurate observer of animal life. "The scientists 
are a very unhappy lot ; they deny everything, they doubt every- 
thing," he remarked during the "nature study" controversy. "A 
creature hunted and a creature at jilay are not the same, though 
each may be identical with the other. A hunter must have blood, 
and a naturalist must have specimens, whereas an observer needs 
only his patience and sharj) eyes." 

"How's ole Sis Cow.'' " was Andrew Carnegie's greeting to him as 
they met in the middle of his walk. "Poly," chuckled Uncle Remus. 
"Sis Cow" had put them on easy terms at once, and they sat down 
on a bench under the Mockingbird Tree and "had a mighty good 
time," joking and chuckling, the one in Negro dialect, the otiier 
in broad Scotch brogue. "Andrew Carnegie is just a i)lain ordi- 
nary fellow, and mighty good com|)any, too," Uncle Remus is 
said to have reported of his guest, and the millionaire ironmaster 
reported of him, "He has given a helping hand to all the world. 
He's won the hearts of all the children, and that's glory enough for 
any man." 

His friendsiiips were deep and lasting. He never forgot the 
Turners and others who were kind to him in his early years. After 
Evan Howell's death, when inviting Clark Howell, then candi- 
date for Governor of Georgia, to hold a campaign r.ally on the 
lawn at the Wren's Nest, he wrote: "I have lived here thirty years 
in concealment, and if I do not make myself cons])icuous at this 
meeting of your friends, it will be because I have never made myself 
conspicuous anywhere. You never really knew the relations existing 
between your father and myself. They were something finer than the 
things poets write about. We were together for nearly thirty years 
and there was never a ripple in the strong stream of our confidence 
and faith in each other." 

The Wren's Nest is truly classic ground. James Whitcomb Ri- 
ley was its guest for weeks. Joaquin .Miller, Dr. Lyman Abbott, 
members of the Gilder family, \Valter H. Page, A. B. Frost, Rich- 
ard Alalcolm Johnston and many other famous folks of our own 
land and some from over seas have visited it. The master received 



witli tiR- grace of tin- warm litart all who laiiii- in simplicity, seeking 
him simply, be tlie visitor great or lowly. When sought as a ce- 
lebrity, he hardly knew how to meet the situation, and escaped if 
he could. 

It was impossible to lionize him. Once, when he and Henry 
Grady were in New York, Grady engaged to have him at a banquet 
in his honor. He slipj)ed out of his hotel and fled to Atlanta. 
-Mrs. Harris gives the sequel: "Before I expected his return, I 
saw a man that looked like him on a street car crossing one on 
which I was going down tow-n. 'If I didn't know he was in New 
York/ I said to myself, 'I would be sure that was he' At the Con- 
stitution I asked ^Ir. Finch, Managing Editor, when he had last 
heard from Mr. Harris. 'Why, don't you know he is in town? 
Haven't you seen him? He came by here and then went home,' said 
Mr. Finch. Home I went. Mr. Harris was walking contentedly 
about the lawn. Joel,' I exclaimed, 'why are you hack so soon .''' 
'Ain't you glad to see me?' he asked. I reassured him on that jjoint I 
'I got so homesick,' he explained, 'I couldn't stand New York any 
longer. I just had to come home as quick 
as I could get here!' 0])portunities for Turin 

F.uroijcan tours ottered. 'No!' said he. 
'f.urope's too far from home. Georgia's 
good enough for me I' 

In Eatonton they once thought they had 
him cornered for a speech. He was on the 
platform with Grady, and when his turn 
came they called: "Harris! Harris! " "I'm 
coming!" he answered, and walked down 
among them. With some such remark as, "I 
have never been able to make a speech with- 
out taking a drink of water; so you must 
excuse me till I go and get a little water," 
he escaped while they laughed and cheered. 
That was his one jiublic sjnech. 

The one person who succeeded in bring- 
ing him into tile limelight was the President 
of the United 
.States. Or. was 
it a little boy? 
The reader can 
decide, ^^'ht■n 
coming to At- 
lanta in 190.5. 
Theodore Roose- 
velt, then Presi- 
dent, wrote that 




lie and liis wift- wanted to meet Uncle Remus. When the reception 
committee insisted that Uncle Remus ride in the presidential carriage 
from the Terminal S;ition to the Governor's Mansion, he meta- 
phorically "clonib a tree," like Brer Rabbit, because he was 
"bleedzed to." "I can't," he said. It was then arranged that he 
should quietly pay his respects to Mrs. Roosevelt at the Gov- 
ernor's Mansion after her reception. Her little son, Kermit, 
had written Uncle Remus a letter, saying he was ill, and plead- 
ing for an autograph; Mr. Harris had responded with an au- 
tographed book ; further correspondence had ensued. Mr. Harris 
was at his ease with ^Irs. Roosevelt; here was no grand lady seeking 
a celebrity, only a mother whose little boy loved him. At her request, 
he stepped with her on a balcony overlooking the parade where her 
husband was chief figure. "There's Uncle Remus ! Caught at 
last! " cried the people, cheering merrily, while he blushed furiously. 
He went to the Piedmont Driving Club to pay his respects to 
the President |)rivately. The President, at a state luncheon, sum- 
moned him to the seat of honor. So there was Uncle Remus at a 
banquet in spite of himself! "I am going to cause acute discomfort 
to a man I am very fond of," said the President, and spoke at length 
of Mr. Harris's virtues as author and citizen, and declared that, "as 
many great things as Georgia had done for the Union, she had never 

done a greater than 
when she gave .loel 
Chandler Harris to 
American literature." 
His visit to the 
White House, in obe- 
dience to the Presi- 
dent's invitation, fol- 
lowed. "I was afraid 
111- would not go un- 
til Julian got him on 
the train," laughed 
his wife afterwards. 
"He liked the Roose- 
\elts very much. But 
his nervousness about 
m e e t i ng strangers, 
who might take him 
for a celebrity — 
.iliout being conspic- 
uous — was distress- 
ing. It was an afflic- 
tion." As "Mr. Billy 
Sanders of Shady 

Tunncold (in rtiiiiti). Harriti Ocru pird Cp^H'V 
Jjf f/-JJ'tnd Conicr liiujtn. 






Dale," he described this visit, giving; 
this impression of our National dwell- 
ing: "It's a home; it'll come over you 
like a sweet dream the minnit you git 
in the door." And: "To make it all 
the more iiatchel, a little boy was in 
the piazzer waitin' to see me, an' what 
more could you ax than that a little 
boy should be waitin' for to see you 
before he was tucked in bed?" 

His charities — he would never have 
called them that ! — were performed in 
a manner that was all his 
own. When his' wife left 
home, she never knew what 
property might be miss- 
ing — or added — on her re- 
turn. She relates: "I was 
o\erlooking his wardrobe 
for a coat I had put away. 
'Joel.' I asked, 'what did 
you do with that coat ?' He 
replied, 'An old man came 
here one day, asking if 
there was an old coat I 
could give him. Why. yes. I told him 
ing for you. He seemed surprised.' " 

Disturbed by a peddler ottering soap, he said he needed none. 
"But I am on the verge of starvation, " pleaded the peddler. "Why, 
man," laugiied Harris, "your clothes look better than mine ! " "If 
you knew how my poor wife bruslied and smoothed them — " Harris 
studied him anew, noting that his garments were old and their 
wearer of genteel bearing. "I answered hastily, " he said. "I need 
soap. Here is a five dollar bill. I'll take it all in soap. " The ped- 
dler left his entire stock. 

He was observing his Ramie plant one day when an Oriental 
woman, bearing a bundle, timidly entered "the gate that is never 
closed, " as he described the entrance to his grounds. She came bow- 
ing and smiling. Would the so nice gentleman buy some shawl or 
some of the most beautiful lace for his lady? And if not so, would 
he graciously allow one who was prostrate at his feet, to look at the 
— oh, so pretty tree? Receiving cordial invitation, she fixed her 
eyes, all her homesick soul in them, on the Ramie plant, like herself, 
a wanderer from her native land ; and forgot her bundle ; but he did 
not and his lady acquired more shawl and lace than she knew what 
to do with. 



Joel 

( 'hiunUri' 

Ilarrh 

at the 

itije of 

Twentii- 

Oiie 



{Fro in ff 
glided 
I'luito 
i/i-npli) 



Here's one I've been keep- 



13 



A 



Joel 

Chandh'i 

/fiirris 

III the 

iige of 

Tweiiti/- 

Fii II r 



( 'I'hne of 

His 
iliirriaiji') 




Strict railway i iii[)l(>yfrs oi; tllf 
line runiiinjr |)ast his lioust- found 
liiiM a friend. In horse car days he 
oftrii relieved tile driver wliile the 
latter went inside the car to warm 
or eat his iuneh. His interest in his 
fellow craftsmen was unfailing, and 
lie never forgot that printers were of 
this class. The resolutions passed on 
his death hy the Atlanta Typograph- 
ical Union was ])erha{)s its first 
triliute of the kind to anyone. He 
helped many struggling 
writers. Need where or- 
ganized charity does not 
look, lie relieved witli touch 
too delicate to wound. The 
following instances are 
characteristic: 

"Our young friend, X," 
he wrote his absent son, "is 
here on a visit. I found him 
on the .street, down and 
out, and brought him 
home with me — wiiat I would have some one do for you were you to 
happen on such hard luck." X is a man of mark today — and not the 
only one who, in the hour of youthful struggle, met the genial grasp 
of Uncle Remus's hand and sat down at his board. A gentleman he 
knew became partially jiaralyzed, and his family suffered. Mr. Har- 
ris, seeking work this man could do, consulted a mutual friend about 
obtaining for him the postmastership of a new sub-station. The 
friend exclaimed. "No chance for him against applicants with strong 
pulls. ' "Strong jnills !" retorted Harris. "You forget he Is a ])ara- 
lytic! ' "What's that got to do with getting him a government |)osi- 
tion.''" "Everything! Amos Fox. our ))ostniaster, and Senator Col- 
quitt have both been paralyzed." He saw Fox .and wrote to C'ol- 
quitt. The paralytic got the job. 

His dealings with a number of humble ))eiisioMirs of both races 
was a composition of humor and ])athos. There were some old men 
on the retired lists of labor who looked to him for sti|)ends as war 
veterans look to the Ciovernmeiit. A specially pathetic instance was 
that of a Frenchman, a l.mdscape gardener, a little old man who 
went blind; his daughter came to the Wren's Nest every week for 
her father's allowance. To Negroes he was ever kind. 

He did not try to build u)) a large estate, although with fame 
came profits. His wife relates: "He used to say. 'Let s enjoy things 



as we go along, and while we are all together. I j ust want to leave 
enough when I die to take care of you and the girls. The boys can 
take care of themselves.' He was generous in his home, although he 
discouraged extravagance and advocated simple living by precept 
and exanipK'. He kejit a cabinet of small change which was open to 
the household at their convenience. While indulgent to his chil- 
dren, he was firm. 'This is thusly.' he would say, laying down tlie 
law. He kej)t up hi.s country habits, rising and retiring early. He 
liked to go out in the morning and trim rosebushes and cut flowers; 
would bring in great baskets of roses. He liked to look after his 
raspberry and strawberry vines and his collard patch." 

Who that is familiar with his essays as "The Farmer," will not 
recall the way in which he served "eornpone and collards" to his 
readers? There is the little story that his young friend, Don Mar- 
quis, told of him. Don, going to see him one morning, was greeted: 
"I want to show you a poem of mine!" Don expected a manuscript. 
Uncle Renuis took him out in the yard and exhibited a wistaria vine 
in full bloom ! 

"He liked old tilings, old-fashiontil things," says his wife. 
"He did not like new furniture, new carjjets; said he didn't like 
the new smell and was glad when the new wore off; he liked things 
that had served us; wanted things to stay put. Once, soon after 
we began housekeeping, when I had been house-cleaning and moving 
furniture around, he came in and exclaimed: '\\'hy, Essie, you've 
been changing things around How is a man to know if he is in his 
own house or some other man's if you change things around so. " 

As an editor, he was "deeply interested in the tremendous move- 
ments of the present, the onward rush of things. " As a man he un- 
derstood the heart of youth, the heart of a girl. Witness these ex- 
tracts from letters to "Billy " (his ))et name for Lillian) at .school: 

"A new set of furnitun — birrlncood : think of that! — is to be 
])laced in your room, and it is to be yours all by yourself; everything 
spick and span, everything new; all the cobwebs knocked down, all 
the dust blown out." This was anent her home-coming. Inviting 
her call ui>on his purse: "If you arc to read an essay, you will need 
a piece of bhit- riblxui to tie it with, and a fan to hide your embar- 
rassment." Praising her excellent school record, he warns: "But 
listen, Miss Pods: don't study too hard. Take care of your healtli." 
"Your report is horribly good. It makes cold chills 
run over me to think of the amoimt of vitality you 
must expend to get a perfect report. " "Mamma isn't 
joking about coming to see you; she'll come." he 
Ijromises. "My dear, I hoi>e vou'll look at the world 
as I do as you grow older," he counsels. "If you do, 
it will be a mixture of mince pie and |)lum ])nd- 
ding the year rouiul." "Learn to l.iugli .it things 




15 



/i 




tliat irritate you. And be generous 
and kind, and you'll soon tind that 
the most beautiful part of life is that 
which you spend in doing good to 
others." 

"Billy" is home, a young lady 
grown, and "Tommus" (iSIildred) 
continues at school. He writes 
"Tonunus" about "Billy's" aft'airs: 
"Now, what do you reckon.'' and 
what do you think ? says I with a 
nod, says I with a wink. It's noth- 
ing to eat, it's nothing to drink. Oh, 
no. indeed, it's better than that; for 
Billy has bought her a 
lirand new hat! It's partly 
a hat, and partly a bonnet, 
with fluffy white chiffon 
and roses upon it!" And: 
"Fritz and Billy Ann tried 
hard todaj^ to wear out the 
old red bench in the yard. 
They sat, and sat, and the 
breezes blewed, and the 
birds flewed, and the chick- 
ens shoed, and the cows chewed, and the pigeons cooed, and the kit- 
tens mewed, and the road rewd and Stewart stewd. And that ain't all 
nuther, but I've forgotten the rest. That's always the way. When 
I get hold of something interesting. I sit right down and forget it." 
"Bilh'" is now Mrs. Fritz. 

To one of the daughters who was a very little girl at the time, 
he wrote: "The little yellow kitten is dead. It just died it- 
self and Mama didn't have anything to do with it. All the other 
cats are alive and well, and would send love if they knew how 
nice you are. The little calfy is well. At any rate, it chewed a 
button off my coat while I was scratching its back. The chickens 
are all in the ]5en, and they seem to like it. The little children in the 
neighboriiood have been having birthday jjarties. They are all six 
years old this year, but nobody knows how young they'll be 20 years 
from now. Why should they be six this year instead of some other 
year? " 

To both his daughters at school: "Here comes the old man a- 
writing to his gals with nothing whatsomever for to write about. 
Things are very bad about the house when Mama is ailing. It does 
no good for me to put on old Chloe's frock and try to keep things 
straight. They will go wrong. And I can't sit down and listen to 




the gossip with the neighbors who 
call. I can listen, but that doesn't 
satisfy them. Xo, everything goes 
wrong when Afania is ailing, and 
even gossij) gets stale. But as I 
told you, she is getting better now 
and things will brighten up — noth- 
ing more so than poor me." 

"The trees are just one mass of 
bloom," he writes to "Tommus" in 
springtime. "The roses are begin- 
ning to bloom. I saw a thrush today. 
Just now, I hear a catbird singing. ' 

Christmas is coming; the 
girls at school are eager for 
the holiday at home. "If 
my dear gals will collect 
their thoughts, put them in 
a bag, and shake them up, 
they will see that Christ- 
mas is only twentj'-three 
days off," he reasures them; 
and "Tell Mildred to write 
at once to Mama and tell 
her what presents she wants 

bought to give to otiurs. Mama will not write this week, as she 
is so busy fi.\ing for Christmas. We have the cutest present for you 
both that you ever saw. Fine! Some of us will meet you at the 
train. — Your loving Daddv." 

1 know of nothing to compare with ]Mr. Harris's letters to his 
daughters unless it be ]Mark Twain's tribute to his daughter Jean. 

Letters to his sons, lengthy, intensely personal, and intimate, 
were written with pencil on copy paper usually; began, 'My dear 
Boy," and ended, "Your affectionate Dad." They show that his 
sons poured themselves out to him as sons rarely do to fathers, and 
that they loved their home as his girls did. To I.ucien, in Canada, 
he wrote: "I am lonesome without you, but not selfishly so. I want 
you to have all the enjoyment you can. But don't stay away from 
us simply to show that you are not homesick. There is nothing un- 
manly in such a feeling. I should think there was something wrong 
about your mother and me if you were not homesick. " 

To "our little affair, " his son's heart-entanglement, he devotes a 
series of such letters as women write to women but men rarely write 
to men. Besides the delicacy, freedom, and intimacy, there is the 
masculine touch, however. As for the girl herself, who maybe is 
jilting his boy, he handles her as if she were n flower. "The im- 



17 




(P)io(o^r(ipiit'(J (jy Stephensuii ir/ii/i- RiKy irus at the \\'reii'» JVt'sf.) 

JOEL CHANDLER IIJHHIS AM> JAMES WHITCOUli RILEY. 

Riley ■was a ■welcome mnl helari'd iiiie.it itl Ihe Wren's Neat, lie diid 
Uncle Remus xeere conifen'uil .•:jiirit.i and affertionate friends. On Mr. Har- 
ris's death Rileij ■wrote Julian Harris: '■The ■world is bo^wed with you in 
your great berearement. Thiinyh his voice is stilled forever, forever icill 
it be heard yladdeninii alike the hearts of age and childhood. Airways I 
think of his I'lirislnias I'riiiier and say amen, as I try to say it nine:" 



18 




( By Inn 



Bciiiiiiiiifi J(»/iMs(i)ii. ) 



TBI-: I'OKTR.IIT WITH ■■Till-: I'W I XK Lli" 

"I have now fniinil mil for tlu' first linif -,cli(it iimi meant hjl the twinkle. 
The twinkle seem.*! to l>c nu . niifnelf, after ail. and I have been (faint/ on all 
these qeavK, not knaicint/ ichaf Teas misninff from the }thotoifrtt jths I had 
taken hi) peojile who knew nolhinr/ about the twinkle. .l/r.v. Harri.i deelares 
that i/oiir portraitu rejyre.ient me o.s" .ihe see.i me." — K.rtract from letter by 
Mr. Harris to ,l/i.«.v .lohn.iton. Deeemher. 1901!. Mi.'i.i .lohn.tton had sent Mr. 
Harris a collection of photof/ritjdiic .studies made h(/ herself durinff a visit 
to the Wren's Nest. 



19 



Met II ' pii,s-,'<inn ill de roiitl. 

Brer Possum, whar i/oii (iwine? 
I bless my life, I thank mij stars. 

I'm hinitiiiii fer de mnscodine. 



To St. Andrew: 
Thus saith the prophet Joel: 
"Hit tiikes de Bee fer ler yit sweet- 
ness 
(hit'n de hoarhminil hinssom." 




(Courtesy Ladies' Home Journal.* 



ANDREW CARNEGIE AND UNCLE REMUS AT THE 
WREN'S NEST. 

"Happi/, indeed, that I ean subscribe mi/self not onlii an admirer, but 
a loving friend of that rare soul. Uncle Remu.'i" — so Mr. Carnegie auto- 
graphed Ills portrait given to the Wren's Nest. Mr. Harris presented sev- 
eral of his books to Mr. Carnegie after the tatter's risit to the Wren's Nest 
in 190G. His inscriptions on .lonie of these appear on this page. 




" Ren-eittiititu : 

Thinking of 

thintjn and 

lending liix 

ruse.':. Lii'es in 

the sniiufh of 

Wcft End. 
where he has 
If comfortable 
Jiintie Itnilt to 
a reroniUt. on a 
p're-ftrre tot 
full of thirds. 

fhncers. 

ehildreii and 

collard.i." — 

I'ngli.ih "Who's 

Who." 190S. 



(Cuiiru'.s)' llw World's W urk.t 

WHERE HE WROTE il.iyv OE HIS STORIES. 

portant tiling," he saj'S, "is not so nuicli lur attitude to vou as yours 
to her." His first care is tliat his son may treat love and woman no- 
blj'. He is concerned lest his bov may doubt a sincere afl'ection 
hiding under girlish inconsistencies. With humorous philosophy, he 
says: "It ought to teach you what I learned long ago — that you 
can't understand the female sex. I've been knowing your ]SIama tor 
more than 20 years, but do I know her as well as I do you.^ Well, 
I can stand up in the floor, and say, I reckon not, by jing!" And: 
"Love is like a hummingbird's nest — very nuieh in the air. Don't 
take it too seriously. " 

This love story had a happy ending (as Mrs. Lncien Harris 
niiglit tell) ; and this may have been somewhat due to Uncle Remus, 
tiiat good genius of true lovers. He (]nalified charmingly as a fath- 
er-in-law, and the world may yet hear of him in that capacity in a 
memoir by Julian's wife, who was one of his chums, and whose lit- 
erary gifts he encouraged. A slender girl at his side, she used to 
roam with Uncle Remus about the grounds at the Wren's Xest for 
many liapjiy hours; and she can tell the loveliest stories about their 
connnunings. Lucien's wife, standing with me under the Mocking 
Bird Tree at the last May Festival, mentioned among other remi- 
niscences of "Father": 

"Sometimes when I'd run over here I'd tind none of the family 
in but Father. He'd come in the living-room and talk with me — 
sometimes for a whole afternoon. I know I'.ither loved me for my- 
self, or he wouldn't have done tli.it. He'd bring me iiresents — a 




hook, a box of candy, 
■1 pair of gloves — 
iiid say: 'This is 
for 3'oii i)fr.sonally — 
it's just between me 
;in(l you — it's none 
of 'Tootsi'e's' busi- 
nt'ss. ['Tootsie' was 
his pet name for Lu- 
fien, you know.] 
Don't let's tell any- 
body.' I'd find ten 
dollars or something 
of the kind tucked 
away in the gift. 
That was Father's 
way with us all. " 

His letters about 
iiis grandbabies, some 
of whom were born 
at the Wren's Nest, are delightful in tiuir fun. wisdom, and tender- 
ness. Here is the wa_v he writes to Billy .iliout a new grandbaby in 
1897: 

"The news is so scattered that it is hard to gather it uj). In fact 
there's nothing but the baby. You remember I told you he was very 
old. Well, it's a fact. He is bald-headed, and all his teeth have 
dropped out, and his head is wabbly and he is too decrepit to walk. 
And he's irritable too, just like an old man. When he j'clls for his 
food, he talks as the donkey does, only not so loud. But he sleeps 
most of the time, and this is another sign of extreme old age; he can 
hold nothing in his hands. He may grow younger as he grows older, 
and I hoj)e he will. You said something about mj' being a grandpa. 
But the way I look at it, this baby is too small and wrinkled to 
count. If I'm to be a grand])a, I want to be one sure enough. I 
want to be the grandpa of something that you can find without hunt- 
ing through a bundle of shawls and blankets. If this is what you 
call a grandpa, anybody can be one, for all you've got to do is to get 
a squall and wrap it up in a shawl, and there you are ! Mama hov- 
ers around and looks wise, and seems to think that every time the 
clock strikes, the squall ought to be smothered with a quart of 
catnip tea. No name has yet been found that is quite good 
enough." 

Loving children and at ease with them as they were with him, 
he was unable to encounter even them in any ceremonious way. 
His fifty-eighth birthday was to be celebrated in Children's Room, 
Carnegie I.ibrarv. and he was asked to address the children. The 



Iiour arrived, and this note from Uncle Remus to Miss Anne ^^'al- 
lace, Librarian: 

"I do not know how I can ever e()n\ey to you my grat- 
itude for making my poor birthday an occasion for celebration by 
the chihlrcn of Atlanta. No higher tribute could be paid than this; 
and I am far from being sure that I deserve it. Yet what a great 
thing it would be if, after all. I did deserve it. 

"I should like to be there — but how can I face the children — 
their beauty, their sweetness, their innocence — how can I appear be- 
fore these little ones without bursting into tears of gratitude ^ How 
could I, knowing what they are there for, behold them without mak- 
ing great displ;iy of what Brer Rabbit would call his big boo-hoo ? 
I de])end upon your woman's heart — which ne\er fails to know — to 
sympathize with what I mean — ;ind what I feel. Your faithful and 
affectionate friend, Joel Chandler H.\rris. 

That note might be read as a part of the ceremonial in every cel- 
ebration of his birthday. Its sjiirit of reverence for woman and 
childhood — a s))irit that marked him always — makes eternal appeal 
for our reverent memory of him and all that concerned him. It is 
fitting that to a band of women should be entrusted the charge ot 
keeping his memory green by preserving his home as a shrine. 



His last Christmas editoria 
like a tender \.iledictory to 
all the world: it concludes: 
"The Farmer wishes for old 
and young the merriest 
Christmas and the happiest 
New Year the world has 
ever seen. He hopes the 
materialist may never be 
able to destroy in the minds 
of the children the buddini; 
faith in things luiseen. the 
kindling belief in things be- 
yond their knowledge; he 
hopes that Santa Claus will 
come to them while they 
sleep, and that real Fairies 
will dance in their innocent 
dreams." 

An editorial on "The 
Matter of Belief" ( writt. ii 
long before, but ajjpearing 
in strange coincidence with 
his death), reflects his 



1, "Christmas and the Fairies," reads 




ICiiiirli'sy Kimk N<-i:s Vfimllily) 

.Vr.v. JiH'l ChaiuUrr JltirriK mid 
Ilir (Jraiidrliililriii. 



own simple faith: "We must become as little children;" we must be 
In-otlurly; and "The I'arnier knows that He who created life, which 
is tiie greatest mystery of all. is fully equal to the production of all 
other mysteries and miracles. ' "His faith in Providence was always 
very strong," says his wife. "Whenever we were in trouble, he 
would say, "God will take care of us.' He was always sure of that." 
He was not a member of the church visible until shortly before his 
death when he was received into the Catholic communion, that of 
his wife; but he was always deeply religious. When he was a little 
boy, his mother took him to his grandmother's funeral. In a letter, 
written when a young man, he describes the impression made upon 
him by these words of the service: "I am the Resurrection and the 
Life;" they rang in his ears continually; he wrote them in his copy- 
book; they abided with him as the strongest in his soul's experience. 

He was only sixty when death touched him — before the years 
could bend him or the sunshine of his days could dim. "Humor is 
a great thing to live by," he once wrote, "and other things being 
equal, it is a profitable thing to die by." He met death sweetly, reso- 
lutelv, genially, knowing for several days that the end was near. 
The old playful, whimsical manner of his intercourse with his fam- 
ily was preserved until he sank into unconsciousness. To his son's 
greeting one morning, "How are you, leather.''" he replied, his eyes 
striving for their merry twinkle, "I am about the extent of a tenth 
of a gnat's eyebrow better." Once, Julian said, "Father, your time 
has not j'et come to be no more." He answered: "Rather when a 
man dies, instead of saying, 'He is no more,' say, 'He is forever!' " 
In his own quaint words, he went in childlike faith, "to see what is 
on the other side," jiassing away July 3, 1908. at 7:58 in the evening. 

Sunday, July i, he was borne from his home to St. Anthony's 
Church nearby, and after the last rites, simple as he would have had 
them, were performed by Father Jackson, he was laid to rest in 
Westview Cemetery. Rev. Dr. J. W. Lee preached a memorial ser- 
mon to him in Trinity M. E. Church. Protestant and Catholic thus 
united to do him honor. His grave is marked by a granite boulder 
on which these words selected from his writings by Julian, are in- 
scribed as his epitaph : 

"I seem to see before me the smiling faces of thousands of chil- 
dren — some young and fresh and some wearing the friendh' marks of 
age, but all children at heart — and not an unfriendly face among 
them. And while I am trying hard to sjjeak the right word, I seem 
to hear a voice lifted above the rest, saying: 'You have made some 
of us happy.' And so I feel my heart fluttering and my lijis trem- 
bling and I have to bow silently, and turn away and hurry into the 
obscurity that fits me best. " 

Never into obscurity, O sweet, brave soul I The sun shines — and 
it shines for us all — wherever you are ! 

President Theodore Roosevelt wrote to Julian: "His writings 



will last. To very few writers is it given to create one of the un- 
dying characters of story, and this was given to Joel Chandler Har- 
ris in the creation of Uncle Remus. But his yncle Remus stories 
are but a small part of his writings which have great and permanent 
value. _ _ _ From the standpoint of our common American 
citizenship, it seems to me that the ethical quality of your father's 
writings was quite as important as their purely literary value. _ _ _ 
Your father was a genius ; and furthermore, he was a man who in 
his private life, in its modesty, its simplicity, its kindliness and re- 
finement, illustrated the verj' quality which we must all of us like to 
see typical of the homes of the Nation; and finally, he never wrote 
anvthing which did not make the man or woman reading it feel a lit- 
tle better, feel that his or her imj)ulses for good had been strength- 
ened ; feel a more resolute purpose to do with cheerfulness and cour- 
age, with good sense and charity, whatever duty was next to be done.' 

President Woodrow Wilson paid this tribute, in a recent letter 
to ISIrs. A. McD. Wilson: "I am one of the very enthusiastic admir- 
ers of the man who has given us at once so much instruction and so 
much pleasure in his depicting of the character of the old-fashioned 
Negro of the South." 

This sketch, issued by the Association which preserves his home 
as his monument, deals, and fitly, with his home life rather than with 
his work as a man of letters. The world has been and will be re- 
minded in many other ways of his position in literature, which must 
strengthen with the years. He ranks with its finest and sweetest 
humorists, and as one of its greatest masters of folklore, a science 
which has come to be recognized as such only within a century. 

He is grouped with St. Francis of Assissi, who preached sermons 
to birds ; with Hans Christian Andersen, the Griuun brothers, and 
others of their cult who, in preserving the world's folklore, have pre- 
served its prehistoric literature. In Negro dialect, he has no equal. 
The service which he performed could not now be rendered by any 
other, for the plantation life of the old South and the old Negro 
have passed away. His popularity is extensive. An American tour- 
ist in F.gypt. saw, on a boat on the Nile, a grouj) of children around 
a story-teller's knee, listening to "Nights with Uncle Remus " told 
in a foreign tongue. A traveler in Australia reported that the 
"Uncle Remus" classics greeted him in bookshops wherever he 
turned. In Anglicized Africa, the Negro's native habitat, they are 
much read. Several Georgians dining in London with a nobleman, 
made casual reference to Atlanta. "Oh, " exclaimed a chorus, "that's 
where Uncle Remus lives!" In the University of Berlin, a lecturer 
on American Literature, pronounced "Uncle Rennis, His Songs and 
Sayings." the "most important individual contribution to American 
literature since 1870." As an estimate, sincere and rounded, we 
give this, written by one of his associates at the time of his death: 

"He was the articulate voice of the wonderful folklore of that 



25 



liiiiiil)K-r race whose rwry mood and ttiise he knew with coiii|)lete 
eonij)reliensiveness. His .shrewd, kindly, and humorous delineation 
of the Xejjro. and the reasoning; life he has given the simple animals 
of the fields and forests make him known wherever people read and 
think. His mission was — and is — broader. For his folklore and 
his no\els. his short stories and his poems breathe consist( ntly a dis- 
liufiuishinif ])!iilanthro])y. It is the creed of o])tiniism. of nuitiial 
trust and toh'ranci for .all things living, of common sense .and of 
idealism that is worth wiiile because it tits the un\arnished duty 
of e\erv liour." 

And these iiiKs from I'r.ank I.. St.anton's beautiful tribute: 

"'He miidf the lowlif viihin-prcn 
Lifflil III!' fur 'idndow.i of tlic icarld!" 

And these from the poem in which Ke\-. (ieorge W. Belk voiced 
the plaint of the children for the loss of their wonderful stcn-y- 
teller: 



Thi' nihbit idll hUle 
.1.1 he alien i/x hid. 

.hid the fo.v will do 
.In III' <flxcai/.t did. 



J) III ic'ho mil tell its 
What fhfi/ anil 

Since l^iicli' Rrniit.i 
lilts jinssf'tl tticntt'^ 



26 



Cist of !!5ooK$ b^ Hoel <ri)an6ler Dfarris 

]'h()M the Hakhis 1?ii!i.1()(;i! AiMiv i!V Kathahink H. Woottex, 
Lihniilini. CanK-f/ic Lihrari/, Athnifn. On. 

Aaron in tlu- \\'ild\V()()ds — 1897. 

Halaam and His Mastir— 1 891 . 

Hislio)) and tlu- Boogcrinan — 1909. 

C'hronioKs of Aunt .Mintrvv Ann — 1899. 

Daddy .(akr. tlu- Runaway — 1889. 

Free Jot — 1887. 

Gabriel Tolliver— 1902. 

History of Cleorgia — 1896. 

Kidna))in<; of President i.ineoin — 19(19 ( piiblislied originally 

under tlu' title. "On the Wing of Oeeasions" — 1900). 
Little Mr. Tliimblefinger and His Queer Country — 1891'. 
Little Union Sc(^ut — 190i. 
Making of a Statesman — 1902. 
Mingo, and Other Sketches — 188L 
.Mr. Rabbit at Home (a sequel to "Little Mr. Thimblefinger") — 

189.5. 
Nigiits With Uncle Remus— 1883. 
On tile Plantation, a Story of a Cieorgia Boy's Adventures During 

tlie War— 1892. 
On the Wing of Occasions — 1900 (republished in 1909 under the 

title. "Kidnaping of President Lincoln"). 
Pl.iutation Pageants— 1 899. 

Sliadow Between His SliouUlir Bl.ides — e. 19(17. 
Sister Jane — 1896. 
Stories of Georgia — 1896 (also published under the title, "History 

of Georgia"). 
Story of Aaron — 188.5. 

Tales of the Home Folks in I'r.u-e .lud W.ir — 1898. 
■r.ir-Bal>y. and Other Rhymes— I 90 I-. 
Told by Uncle Remus -190.5. 
Uncle Remus and His Friends — 1892. 
LTncle Remus and Brer Rabbit — c. 1907. 
Uncle Remus, His Songs and Sayings — 1880. 
Uncle Remus and the Little Boy— c. 1910. 
Wally Wanderoon — 1903. 

In addition to the above. Mr. Harris was editor and translator 
of many books. Of chief interest is the "Life of Henry W. Grady," 
which he edited. 



27 




n^y ~7e st 1 1)^ ..^■'^^i# 




^t tl)e Sign of the Wren's litest 

Here in /his loreli/ wnnilerliiinl 

Of dreams and memories. 
It seems where'er I (/a or sloiid 

He also present is. 

I do no I see hint, ifet I feel 

That, somehow, he is tiiffh — 
1 dream. Iiul sometimes ilreams reeeal 

Thint/s hidden from the ei/e. 

Absorbed in thon()ht.i and dreams of liim, 

These pleasant paths I pare. 
When sudden, from some rorerl dim. 

Upon me smiles his fare! 

Perhaps a t/lint of sunshine, or 

Onlt) ml) fnnci/'s tchim. 
Yet in mi/ heart if rcoke onre more 

Old memories of him. 

These boui/hs xvhirh droop almre nii/ head 

Are ■whisperini) to me: 
It seems as thouijh the;/ soft It/ said: 

"We knew him. Where is he.'" 

From erert/ hloomini/ hush and sprai/ 

Past TC'hirh I sloich/ i/o. 
A murmur romes that .leems to sai/: 

"He's gone; we loved him so." 

A wren upon her nest J see: 

She eyes me unafraid. 
A sheltered plare of saueliti/ 

Here for her brood he made. 

The morkbirds sanr/ for him their liest : 

He knew their wild-life wai/s. 
Hark! One, even now, perrhed on its nest, 

Krstatic sinffs his praise. 

Wise was his iiiind; it'ide was his heart: 

Both took the whole world in. 
He chose the world's best for his art. 

Loved all — save onli/ sin. 

Ah, (jenius is a ijift divine. 

Revered wherever found. 
Harris! the world knmcs surh was thine: 

Hence here is hallowed f/round. 

The sun has vanished from the xcest. 

All but its i/olden rim: 
yir/ht comes, with stars upon her breast; 

The world (/rows slill ami dim, 

I, dreaminij still, mi/ steps retrace: 
Tears, too, have dimmed mine ei/es — 

Which star, friend, is thi/ dwellin;/ place 
In yonder splendid skies' 

— Charles W. Hubner, 



29 




(Pllolo. The .Missra Meml Sluiiio.) 

MRS. ARTHUR McDKRMOTT WILSON, 

President of the Uncle Retnua Memorial Association, the woman 
xt'ho, above and bei/ond all others, has assured the success of 
the memorial movement. insi>irin(/ her as-iociates at all times 
xeith hof>e and perseverance, and btf her personal initiative 
raising at h ast tico-thirds of titr i>urchase price of the Wren's 
Nest.' 



30 



"1 



Ol)e ^Inmns of tl)e Wren's yid^l 

TIIK inoveiiK'nt tor a immorial lo Jotl t'liamlK-r Harris came 
as naturally as a flower might upsin-iiiji' from a grave, and 
wliilc yet he lay at rest in his home, witii the hirds he loved singing 
unconscious requiem in his tre( s. 

Witli the announcement on July 1, of his jjassing away, the 
press voiced public feeling in calling for a monument to him. As is 
usual in the history of memorials, there was divergence of opinion 
as to the form tile monument should take. A statue ; an Uncle Re- 
mus |)ark; a drinking fountain; a bronze tablet; and the purchase 
and preservation of his home, were among suggestions as to its form. 

At a meeting, called by the mayor, .July 10, in the City Council 
Chamber, the Uncle Remus Memorial Association was organized; a 
committee, appointed to decid<' on the form of memorial reported, at 
a memorial meeting in the Grand Opera House, July 19, in favor 
of the home; $30,000, it was estimated, would cover purchase and 
equipment. A statue in a jniblic place, the more conventional type, 
might have been chosen but for Mr. Harris's own protest as often 
ex))ressed to wife and friends: "Don't erect any statue of marble 
or bronze to me to stand out in the rain and cold and dust. " It was 
remembered how he had loved his home; how characteristic of him it 
was. the house built according to liis own ideas, the grounds elocjuent 
of his ramblings and his tending. Tiie committee's decision was 
generally approved, yet there lingered, as is usual, some division 
of opinion. 

The gentlemen of the connnittee, who were burdened with per- 
sonal business resi)onsibilities, presently found that they could not 
give the movement the attention it recjuired, and welcomed the for- 
mation of the Ladies' Auxiliary in February, 1909; in October, they 
decided to retire as an organization, the ladies succeeding lo the title 
and office of the Uncle Remus Memorial Association, and themselves 
ai)pearing as Advisory Board. Colonel Frederic .1. Paxon, Chair- 
man of this Board, has been unfailing friend and counsellor to the 
ladies: they feel that the successful issue of the mo\ement is largely 
due to his readiness to give them his time, his advice, and his aid. 

The official board of the Association, as existing, is nearly the 
same as of the Auxiliary when formed, with Mrs. A. McD. Wilson 
for President. These annals are too brief to chronicle individual 
endeavors, but the Association would have mention made that 
next, in \alue of service, to their I'risident ranks Mrs. E. I,. Con- 



nally, wlio lias htcii ;; hap])y link in the work through hei long 
and close friendship with Mrs. Wilson and the Harris family. 
Her historic residence, "The Homestead" is in West End, and thus 
neighbor to the Wren's Xest. The daughter of Georgia's ^\'ar Gov- 
ernor, Joe Brown, and sister of Georgia's recent Governor Joe 
Brown, she brought the influence of these connections to the aid of 
the memorial interest. It is desired, too, that special and reverent 
tribute be paid to the lovely labors of Mrs. Marshall V. Eckford 
and Mrs. T. L. Stokes, two associates who have passed away. 

Mrs. H. G. Hastings has been the faithful Recording Secre- 
tary of the Association for its four years of existence; Mrs. 
Thomas T. Stevens for nearly that period its efficient Treasurer, 
and always its loyal and resourceful promoter ; her predecessor, 
Mrs. W. B. Price-Smith, served in several capacities, as has the 
present Auditor, Mrs. Heifner. The first large sum turned into 
the fund by an associate was $t()() realized from an enterprise 
handled by Mrs. Fred Stewart — it was an inspiration at the mo- 
ment that it came ! 

The ladies, from the first, limited operations to what they 
could do themselves, without one paid officer on their board. They 
made no active canvass for funds. Their idea was that as many 
loved Uncle Remus, many might have a share in his memorial with 
special opportunity for small aids from children. Assistance has 
been welcomed and utilized in whatever form it came, A gift of 
Greek coins from a friend in Illinois; $5 from a woman's club with 
request for violet roots from the home; tiny sum from a children's 
Sunshine Society in Florida; an offering from the Children of the 
Confederac}' in Marietta; a modest check from Matthew Page An- 
drews, President of the Randall literary Memorial Society; an- 
other from the Southern Club of Smith College — first Southern 
body in a Northern institution to remember their cause; one from 
Bessie Tift College in Forsyth where part of Mr. Harris's early 
struggles were made — these helped by the sympathy and interest 
thus evinced in the formative period of their undertaking. 

Cooperation from schools and colleges has been, and is, highly 
valued. Miss Hanna's school, Atlanta, was first to render aid. 
Next came schools and kindergartens in Ohio, Illinois. Carolina, 
Alabama, and in Athens, Albanj', and Coving-ton, Ga. Kentucky's 
children rank next to Georgia's in interest shown. !Mrs. Frank L. 
Woodruff", the Association's Field Secretary in that State, has sent 
several contributions from "Uncle Remus Circles" in Ix)uisville and 
Lexington; once •'t'lOO given in pennies. Among Atlanta institutions, 
the Boys' and Girls' High Schools. ]Marist College, "Tech" Boys' 
High School, ]Miss Woodberry's School and Washington Seminary 
have lent a read}' hand. 

The ladies gave several entertainments and essaved various 




I' rim- It till (J the Deed, Jim. IS, 1913. Left to E!(/ht~Mrs. Mi/rta Lock- 
ett Avari/, F. J. I'n.von. Mrs. E. C. Connalli). Mr.i. W. B. Price-Smith, 
Mrs. T. T. Stepen.1. Mrs. Wilson. Mrs. Harris. Eui/ene Black. Lncien Harris. 




Ortiup on Steps — Left to rif/ht. Aileen Harris. LnRose Wai/ener, Mary 
Harris, ifrandchildren of Uncle Remus: Mart/ Broin'ii Spatdini/. Second 
row, Lucien Harris. Mrs. Harris. Mrs. Wilson. Mrs. Connalli). Third row. 
Mrs. Lucien Harris. Mrs. Fritz Waf/ener, Col. Pa.von, Mrs. Stevens, Mrs. 
Ararij. Fourth row. Mr. A. McD. Wilson. Miss Katharine Wootten. Mr. 
li. T. Connalhj. Mrs. R. T. Connalli/, Mrs. J. .J. Martin. Mr. Euijene Black. 



feminine devices in the interest of the fund, all tending- to so- 
eial pleasure and good feeling. They felt that cheerfulness 
and sweetness of spirit must peri-ade all they did for .1 memo- 
rial to Liicle Remus. The teas in the Governor's .Mansion, by 
courtesy of the Governor's wife, Mrs. Joseijh iSI. Brown, merit 
more than passing note. Much more than passing mention must 
be made of the May Festival at the Wren's Nest, inaugurated 
by Mrs. Brevard M(mtgomery, which has passed into an annual cus- 
tom, having been observed every May since Mr. Harris died. Its 
growing beauty and popularity is a reward to the many ladies 
wliose diligent labors go to making it the pretty pageant it is. 

The May Festival at the Wren's Nest is in itself an appropriate 
memorial to the former master. His lawns and gardens must please 
Uncle Remus mightily on May Day if, in the sijirit, his eyes look 

on at the jNIaypole Dance, 
and the Crowning of the 
May Queen; the "Honey 
Bee Tree," "Thimblefin- 
ger \\'ell." "Miss ]\Ieadows 
and the Gals, " "Tar Baby 
Booth, " "Brer Rabbit and 
Brer Fox," and other 
materializations from his 
books, with flitting forms 
and merry voices of child- 
hood making all the place 
glad and g;iy- Besides 
the chief reason — its me- 
morial interest — for con- 
Small admission fees and 




{Courtesy Book Nejos .iMonlliiy.) (Pliolri by UImm.) 

Mrs. Wilson Recehini) thr A'^'i/.v 

frinii Mrs. Ihirrh. 

another 



uid souvenirs suj)ply revenue toward 



tinning the custom, there i' 
sales of simple refreshment,'- 
the su])port of the home. 

"Uncle Remus Day" was inaugurated by the ladies in U(UI. 
when through their efforts, seconded by Prof. ^^'. M. Slaton, Atlan- 
ta's Superintendent of Public Schools, the schools of the city held 
an Uncle Remus hour of song and story. Dec. 9, Mr. Harris's birth- 
day. Another year the interest was enlisted of the State Commis- 
sioner of Public Schools, Prof. M. L. Brittain. In 1912, observance 
extended throughout Georgia and to other States; to colleges, wo- 
men's and children's clubs, and public libraries. 

The most im|)ortant help the work ever received came in 1910 
from Theodore Roosevelt. Mrs. Wilson, basing request on his 
known friendshi]) for Uncle Remus, asked him to lecture in Atlanta 
for the memorial fund. His acceptance and the lecture that fol- 
lowed, Oct. 8, turned the balance of fate and public opinion in favor 
of the home's preservation, not only because of the money it brought, 
nearly $.5,000, but by this seal of approval from "the world's fore- 
most citizen " as imiversally acclaimed. Andrew Carnegie du))li- 




Liifii II ff iirris 
P rrsrii I ill 1/ 
L'lrtllif i'up 
1,1 

Mis. Wilson 
,il III, 

Wrrii's Xestf 
J nil mini IS, 
Jf-l/J. 



The formal transffrenct 
b}' deed occurred January 
room. After this cereiiioiiy, 
witli a hiving-cup in.serihed 



cated tile proceeds of tiiis lecture. The largest single contribution 
has been •i*.') ,()()() from the Harris family. Recital of these large 
gifts by no means minimizes smaller ones. The penny of a child he 
loved would be precious to Uncle Remus. The smallest aid to the 
movement eonnnands the respect of the Association; particularly 
when it comes from a measure which is, in itself, a memorial, as 
from "L'ncle Hemus Circles." "L'ncle Remus Parties," and "Read- 
ings from Uncle Remus." 

of the Wren's Nest to the Association 
1<S, 1913, in Uncle Rennis's favorite 
Lueien Harris presented Mrs. Wilson 
"To Mrs. A. Mel). Wilson in apjjre- 
ciation of her efforts in liihalf of the Uncle Remus Memorial — 
Essie I.aRose Harris, Julian Harris, Lueien Harris. Evelyn Harris. 
Mrs. Fritz Wagener, Mrs. Edwin Camp, Joel Chandler Harris," .i 
testimonial which the Association was happy to see bestowed upon 
its leader by those who loved Uncle Remus best. They realized 
with jjride liow deserved it was ; and that their President, above 
and beyond all others, had assured the success of their cause, in- 
spiring them at all times with hojjc and perseverance, and by her 
personal initiative, raising at least two-thirds of the purchase price. 
"This has been my home for a long time," Mrs. Harris said of 
the transfer, "and I hate to give it up, but I feel that this is for the 
best. If it passed into private hands, it might suffer change. Now, 
I know that our home will be kept as he left it and as he loved it. I 
know that you will cherish every tree, flower, and shrub that he 
spoki' ol and lovid. as I li/i\c cherished them. ^ ou will let the wild 



35 



tilings t'etl at home here as he did and as I have done. It would 
please him, if he could know, that little children will always play 
about the place. " 

His bedroom and ]i\ing room are to be kept as he left them. 
His widow donates the furnishings, among which are his fa- 
vorite chair, writing-table, inkstand, pen, and many rejics besides. 
Other rooms will be used for a public library, a branch of the Car- 
negie, already established; a free kindergarten, it is hoped; and sim- 
ilar public utilities as they may be developed, all in keeping with the 
memorial sentiment. ]Mrs. Harris has given for the library a num- 
ber of books which belonged to her husband. A valuable collec- 
tion of author's autographed copies and of autographed photographs 
has been secured for it by Mrs. Lollie Bell "W'vlie. A feature of 
Mrs. Wylie's collection is the bronze medallion portrait of Mr. Har- 
ris by the sculptor, Roger Noble Burnham, a contribution from 
members of the Boston Folklore Society and Authors' Club. "Brer 
Rabbit," drawn by A. B. Frost. Mr. Harris's friend and illustrator, 
is a recent gift from the artist, made through Miss Katharine Woot- 
ten. New evidences of interest reach us daily, and we hope to 
])resentl.y swell -the pages of our little book with fresh records of 
the many beautiful things done for the Harris Memorial by those 
who love Uncle Remus the wide world over. Also, we hope to keep 
their names on honor roll record at the Wren's Nest; thus will his 
memorial be their memorial too. 

The grounds are to be equipped as playgrounds for children 
and as a resort for the innocent recreation and happiness of youth 
in general. The Association plans to add "Snap-Bean Farm" to 
present holdings, both because they regard it as an essential part of 
tlie memorial and because of its availability for playground pur- 
poses. Its jjurchase will require $5,000. Readers of this booklet 
will bear this fact, we trust, in sympathetic remembrance. As yet 
there is no fund to sustain the memorial. Every purchase of this 
booklet will be a contribution to it. So will purchase of our post- 
cards and other souvenirs. We will welcome cooperation of any 
kind from all who loved Uncle Remus and who would like to share, 
in even the most modest degree, in our work. The preservation of a 
great man's home, where he made wife and children hajjpy for nearly 
thirty years, is an object lesson in the moralities and of very whole- 
some significance in many ways. It is a monument not to genius 
onh' but to the domestic virtues, a guarantee of the world's respect 
for faithful married love and the hearthstones of the world. 



ICnch ^emus Mlemorial Association 

Xbi)e. Wren's 5lcst. 214 (SorCioii Street. T2\.tlanta. <ba. 

President Mrs. Artluir McDermolt Wiisun 

First Yit-e-President Mrs. E. L. Connally 

Second Vice-President Mrs. Ilobert J. Lowry 

Uecordin(2^ Secretary M rs. H. G. Hastings 

Treasurer Mrs. Tliomas T. Stevens 

Auditor Mrs. F. P. Heil'ner 

Corresponding Secretary Mrs. Fred Stewart 

HONORARY VICE-PRESIDENTS 

Pi-esideiU WiM.diow \\'ilson ICx-l 'resident Tlieodoie liousevelt 

i'ix-Presulent William II. Tatt 
Andrew Carnegie Clarlv Howell Hoke Smith 

Henry Watterson W. R. Hearst A. O. Bacon 

H. H. KiiliLsaat .Tames U. Gra\ Walter H. Page 

PUBLICITY COMMITTEE 

Associate Chairmen. 
Myrta I.ocVcelt Avary Lollie Bell Wylie 

Iiorolliy l)ix Isma Dooly Mabel Drake 

Lililiie Mori-ow Mrs. Milton R. Anderson Mrs. Thaddeiis E. Hcirton 

.Mrs. William King i.i/.zie O. Tlionias Orline Arnold Shipman 

Mrs. Paul 10. Wilkes .Mrs. Frank L. Woodruff Mrs. T.yman .1. Amsden 

Honorary Members, 

.leannetle (Jilder Cori'a Harris Xurma Hright Carson 

SOUVENIR COMMITTEE 
Susan McClellau, Cliairmau 

Mrs. Roger N. Burntiam Ijouise Dooly Frances I.^enj. Johnston 

Estelle Garrett Baker Isabel Thomas .Josephine Earnest Purse 

Mrs. Henrv N. BuUington .Mrs. Brevard Jlontgomery Mary Carter Winter 

.Mrs. S. H. .\dams Mrs. H. H. Fudge 

Honorary Members 

Iv.v J>. ].,ee .\. P.. Frost Roger Nol)le I-Iurnham 

LIBRARY COMMITTEE 
Mrs. Howard 1.. Crumle.v, Chairnian .Miss Katharine \\'oiitten, \'ice-Cliairnian 

GROUNDS COMMITTEE 
^Irs. li. T, Cttnnally. Cliaiiinaii .\lts .1. .\l, .\Iail<le\. .Ir. \'ire-t.'liaiiinan 

HOUSE COMMITTEE. 

Mrs. .\. R. (^'olcord. Chairman .Mrs. .Tohn F. Purser, ^'ice-Chairnlan 

jNIrs. .Tolin R. I^lowden, liesident Hostess 

ADVISORY COMMITTEE— Ladies 

Mrs. .lolui Marsliall Slaton, Cliairman Mrs. Charles .J. Haden, \'ice-Chairinan 

Mrs. .los. JI. Brown .Mrs. Sam D. .Tones Mrs. W. P. Pattillo 

Mrs. Edward T. Brown Airs. Victor Kriegshaber Mrs. Arthur Powell 

Mrs. Warren A. Candler Mrs. Jno. E. Murphy Mrs Luther Z. I'^osser 

Mrs. W. .\. Crowe Mrs. St. Elmo Massengale Mrs. I-Iugh Ricliardson 

Mrs. W. A. Foster. Mrs. .1. N. McEachern Mrs. Andrew Stewart 

Mrs. .Ino. W. Grant Mrs. Augustus .McHan Mrs. Hoke Smith 

Mrs. W. I). Grant Miss .Jessie Muse Mrs. George Winsliip 

Mrs. J. C Greenfield Mrs. Frederic .1. Paxon Mrs. ^\^ Woods AA'liite 

ADVISORY COMMITTEE— Gentlemen 

Frederic .J. Paxon, Cliairman .Inhii M. Slaton, Vice-Chairman 

jr. 1-. Brittain Dunljar H. Ogden 

Asa G. Candler Rol)t. .T. Ij0\vr>' William Ij. Peel 

Daniel Carey Vl. F. Maddox Geo. S. Rapier 

John J. Eagan St. Elmo Massengale H. E, StocklnMdge 

.lohn Temple Graves Wilmer L. Moore W. M. Slaton 

Frank Hawkins Brooks Morgan A. P. Stewart 

I'Mwin F. .Johnson Jno. E. Murphy A. McD Wilson 

Henr.v S. Jolinson George Muse John E Wliite 

Victor Kriegsliaber W. W. Orr C. B. Wilmer 



37 



Afterword 



This iiiniuirial booklet is a lalicir of liivt- throuji'lioiit. All uiiu 
bnvv taken part in its making kziew and loved L'ncle Renuis. 'I'Ih- 
author has been inspired by her reverence for his character as a man 
and a genius; by the charm whicli the home-life at the Wren's Nest 
had for her while the master was li\ing; and l\v sympathy with the 
movement led by her dear friend, Mrs. Wilson, for the preservation 
of the \\'ren's Nest as Mr. Harris's monument. Sinn'lar sentiment 
inspired her young colleague. Susan McC'lellan. 

It is the most comprehensive biography of Mr. Harris yet ))ub- 
lished, brief though it is. It has been read and a])proved by his 
widow; and much of its data was secured direct from her. The 
collection of Harris jjortraits is the most complete in existence. 

A long list might he made of courtesies extended to it in the mak- 
ing, showing how com|)(isite a work of good will and loving memory 
of Uncle Remus it is. .Miss Wootten and .Major Hubner. who con- 
tribute to it. were Mr. Harris's personal friends and warmly at- 
tached to hiui. The Ladies' Home , Journal, Book News Monthly, 
the World's Work, the Outlook, and the Christian Herald, in lend- 
ing assistance, expressed the interest of friendship in .-inything con- 
nected with Uncle Remus and his Memorial. Special obligations 
are felt to these publications, to Ivy Lee's beautiful "Memories of 
Uncle Remus. " and to Mr. Harris's home papers, the Atlanta ,Iour- 
nal, the Atlanta Georgian, and the Atlanta Constitution; and to Mr. 
C. H. Pritchard. fcn-merlv of L'ncle Remus's Magazine. 

.Surely this little ship cannot fail of its mission — when its sails 
are winged with so many kindnesses and it carries the story of a 
beautiful life! 



Visitors are. "5jl?elcomc to the "Wren's ^cst 

Visitors from almost every ])art of the world have called since 
the Wren's Nest was ojicned to the |)ublic only a few months ago. 
Tourists passing through Atlanta usually pay their respects to the 
place. Children like to come. Sometimes, aged jMlgrims journey 
from a distance to bring their little grandchildren to see Lncle 
Remus's House. As our opportunities ])ermit, we hope to make 
L'ncle Rennis's House more and more a place of rest and recreation 
to the "children of .ill ages," as LTncle Remus described the "young 
in heart." 



38 



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