A Virtual Discussion with Jim Farmer | An Edgefield Planter and His World

A Virtual Discussion with Jim Farmer | An Edgefield Planter and His World

September 24th 2020 | 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Calling all history buffs! Please join us virtually on September 24th at 6 p.m. to discuss the life of an elite family and their social circle during a crystalizing decade of the Antebellum era. RSVP here!
Author James Farmer’s book, An Edgefield Planter and His World, depicts the story of Whitfield Brooks--one of the richest men in a South Carolina district known for its cotton-and-slave-generated wealth. 
“James Farmer is a master of his sources and a meticulous editor, and in the daily journal of this upper-class planter he has found a treasure worthy of his talents.” -Philip Racine, Author of Backcountry Slave Trader

While expanding his land holdings, Brooks promoted the developing economy of his state and region, and also had a hand in his state's politics, in concert with or opposition to leading public figures (some his relatives). 

“With remarkable depth and insight, James Farmer places the man in the context of his time. Farmer's introduction and annotations fill in the tantalizing details of other persons of interest. This is an essential primary source for those interested in the history of this period.” -Orville Vernon Burton, Matthew J. Perry Distinguished Professor of History, Clemson University

The mercurial temperament of Brooks’ first-born (future Congressman Preston Smith Brooks), was a source of anxiety as well as pride for him. Herein lies the unique dimension of this document--its insights into the relationship between a father and the son whose archaic sense of honor would provoke perhaps the most sensational instance of Antebellum intersectional violence, the caning of Senator Charles Sumner in 1856.

“A leading expert on pre-civil war South Carolina, Farmer provides the expertise to help readers develop an understanding of Brooks' large network of connections and he contextualizes Brooks' life with consummate skill. These are content-rich journals edited with knowledge and aplomb.” -Lacy K. Ford Jr., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, University of South Carolina

James O. Farmer Jr. is the June Rainsford Henderson Chair in Southern and Local History Emeritus at the University of South Carolina Aiken. His book, The Metaphysical Confederacy: James Henley Thornwell and the Synthesis of Southern Values, won the Brewer Prize. 

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