Joel Chandler Harris

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Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings

Joel Chandler Harris (December 9, 1845 – July 3, 1908) was an American journalist, fiction writer, and folklorist best known for his collection of Uncle Remus stories. Harris was born in Eatonton, Georgia, where he served as an apprentice on a plantation during his teenage years. He spent the majority of his adult life in Atlanta working as an associate editor at the Atlanta Constitution.

Harris led two significant professional lives. Editor and journalist Joe Harris ushered in the New South alongside Henry W. Grady, stressing regional and racial reconciliation during and after the Reconstruction era. Joel Chandler Harris, fiction writer and folklorist, recorded many Brer Rabbit stories from the African-American oral tradition and revolutionized children's literature in the process.[1]

Contents

Life

Eatonton: 1845 - 1862

Joel Chandler Harris was born in Eatonton, Georgia in 1845 to Mary Ann Harris. His father, whose identity remains unknown, abandoned his family shortly after Harris was born. The parents had never married, so Harris took the name Joel from his attending physician, Dr. Joel Branham. Chandler was the name of his mother's uncle.[2] Harris remained self-conscious of his illegitimate birth throughout his life.[3]

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