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Authors: Charles J. Shields


BOOK: Mockingbird
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To my wife, Guadalupe



A number of institutions made their archives available: the Alderman Library at the University of Virginia; Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections; the New York Public Library, Manuscripts and Archives Division; the Hoole Library and Bounds Law Library at the University of Alabama; the Huntingdon College Archives and Information Center; the Columbia University Rare Book and Manuscript Library; the National Archives and Records Service, College Park, Maryland; the University of Montevallo Carmichael Library; the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University; the University of South Alabama Archives; the Library of Congress Manuscript Reading Room; the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin; the Oxford University Archives, Bodleian Library; the Special Collections and Archives, Ralph Brown Draughon Library, Auburn University; the Alabama Department of History and Archives; the University of Iowa Special Collections; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Special Collections, Randall Library; the Wisconsin Historical Society; the Fales Library and Special Collections at New York University; the Evergreen Public Library, Lucy C. Warren Heritage Section, Evergreen, Alabama; the Finney County Public Library, Garden City, Kansas; and the Johnston County Genealogical and Historical Society, Smithfield, South Carolina.

In particular, I thank these people for their assistance: Phillip Alford, former senator Maryon Pittman Allen (D-Alabama), Emily H. Anthony, Mary Nell Atherton, Mary Badham, Joy Hafner-Bailey, Mary Anne Berryman, the Hon. Otha Lee Biggs, A. B. Blass, Jr., Joseph Blass, Bill Brown, Joy Brown, Martha Brown, Gerald Clarke, Donald Collins, Sarah Countryman, Caroline Crawford, Jane Benton Davis, Nicholas Delbanco, Carney Dobbs, Sarah Dyess, Dorothy and Taylor Faircloth, Emma S. Foy, Tom Gardner, John Greaves, Wayne Greenhaw, Jay Grelen, Peter Griffiths, Ralph Hammond, John T. Hamner, R. Philip Hanes, Catherine Helms, James Hood, Cliff Hope, Delores Hope, Holly Hope, Roy E. Hranicky, Mildred H. Jacobs, George Thomas Jones, Olive Landon, Vincent Lauria, Katie Law, Gus Lee, Jimilu Mason, John N. Maxwell, Ernest Maygarden, Sara Anne McCall, Kathy McCoy, Betty McGiffert, Daniel J. Meador, Barbara Moore, Mike Nations, Helen Norris, Jeanne Foote North, Dr. Grady H. Nunn, Claude Nunnelly, Harold Nye, Emma Medlock Panske, Darryl Pebbles, Sue Philipp, Thomas Hal Phillips, Mary Ann Pickard, L. Reed Polk, Thomas Radney, Sr., Emily Wheelock Reed, Ann Richards, Freda Roberson, Douglas Roberts, Tina Rood, Marie Faulk Rudisill, Elise Sanguinetti, Marion Goode Shirkey, Louise Sims, Charles Ray Skinner, William Smart, Mary Lee Stapp, Florence Moore Stikes, Harriet Swift, Polly Terry, Alden Todd, Mary Tomlinson, Elon Torrence, Mary Tucker, Kay Wells, Ray E. Whatley, Jane Williams, Carter Wilson, and Robert Woolridge.

Jeff Kleinman at Folio Literary Management and Serena Jones, senior editor at Henry Holt, were instrumental in seeing this revision through to the end.


If nothing but the bright side of characters should be shown, we should sit down in despondency, and think it utterly impossible to imitate them in

, on the writing of biography



1880 July: Amasa Coleman Lee born in Georgiana, Butler County, Alabama: model for Atticus Finch in
To Kill a Mockingbird.

1890: Frances Cunningham Finch born in Finchburg, Alabama.

1901: Monroeville, Alabama: population 215 white and 215 black; no paved streets or sidewalks; no streetlights; dwellings unpainted.

1905: Lillie Mae Faulk born in Brewton, Alabama.

1910: Frances and Amasa marry.

1911: Alice Finch Lee born.

1913: A. C. Lee: Monroeville law firm hires him to come to Monroeville.

1915: A. C. Lee admitted to the bar.

1916: Francis Louise Lee born.

1916: Law firm changes its name to Barnett, Bugg & Lee.

1919: Brown and Frank Ezell defended by A. C. Lee on charge of murdering a white man; both are hanged and mutilated: partial basis of
To Kill a Mockingbird.

1920: Edwin Coleman Lee born: Jem in
To Kill a Mockingbird.

1920 Alfred R. Boulware, Jr., age 9 (model for Boo Radley), listed on the 1920 federal census; father, Alfred R. Boulware, age 47, merchant of a general store; mother, Annie, age 45; sisters Mary A., age 18, and Sally C., age 15.

1920–1930: A. C. Lee on the Monroeville city council.

1923: Monroeville gets electricity.

1923: Arch Persons and Lillie Mae Faulk marry at the Faulks' home.

1924: Truman (Persons) Capote born in New Orleans: Dill in
To Kill a Mockingbird.

1926: Nelle Harper Lee born: Scout in
To Kill a Mockingbird.

1927–1938: A. C. Lee serves in State House of Representatives.

1928: Truman's parents divorce; the four-year-old moves to Monroeville, where he lives until 1933.

1929: Alice graduates from high school.

1929–1947: A. C. Lee is editor and partner of the
Monroe Journal
. Alice Lee becomes associate partner and editor, along with two other partners.

1931: The first brick residence is built in Monroeville.

1931: New Monroeville Methodist Episcopal Church opens, where the Lee family worships.

1932: Monroeville's only library opens in the upstairs of Jenny Faulk's millinery store.

1933: Truman moves to New York to be with his mother and stepfather.

1933: Walter Lett arrested near Monroeville on charge of raping Naomi Lowery, a white woman: basis of
To Kill a Mockingbird

1934: Walter Lett pleads not guilty to rape; tried and found guilty. Jury recommends death by electrocution; judge sentences him to death.

1934 summer:
Monroe Journal
, “Mad Dog Warning Issued”; basis of rabid-dog scene in
To Kill a Mockingbird

1935: Truman's name changed to Truman Garcia Capote.

1936: New public high school for whites only completed in Monroeville.

1937: Alice goes to Birmingham, Alabama, to work for IRS; at night attends the Birmingham School of Law.

1940: Population of Monroeville fewer than 2,500.

1940 January: The Faulks' house burns down: basis of Miss Maudie's fire in
To Kill a Mockingbird.

1942: Alfred “Son” Boulware dies at home at age 42; “Boo” Radley in
To Kill a Mockingbird.

1943 August: Alice Lee admitted to the Alabama bar; joins father's law firm in Monroeville in January 1944.

1944: Nelle graduates from high school; starts at Huntingdon College in Montgomery that summer.

1945: Capote returns to Monroeville to begin
Other Voices, Other Rooms
: Nelle Lee is model for Idabel Thompkins.

1945: Nelle Lee enrolls at University of Alabama for law school.

1946: Monroeville Methodist Episcopal Church supports full-time missionary and family in Southern Rhodesia: basis for the “missionary ladies” in
Go Set a Watchman
To Kill a Mockingbird.

1946: Lee writes the column “Caustic Comment” for University of Alabama campus newspaper.

1947: Sara Ann McCall marries Edwin Coleman Lee.

1946–1947: Nelle Lee edits
Rammer Jammer
, campus humor magazine.

1948: Random House publishes Capote's first novel,
Other Voices, Other Rooms.

1948: Lee drops out of the University of Alabama, returns home.

1949: Nelle leaves Monroeville for New York City.

1950s: Union High School built in Monroeville for black students; Monroe County schools not integrated until late 1960s.

1951: Frances Cunningham Finch dies in Selma, Alabama.

1951: Edwin Coleman Lee dies at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery.

1952: Alice Lee and A.C. move into a brick home, six blocks west of their former home, where they will spend the rest of their lives.

Brown v. Board of Education
is decided by the U.S. Supreme Court; finds school segregation unconstitutional.

1955: Rosa Parks refuses to give up her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, leading to a bus boycott by African-Americans.

1956: Rev. Whatley dismissed from Monroeville Methodist Episcopal Church for sermons about social justice; joins St. Mark's in Montgomery; serves on civil rights board with Dr. Martin Luther King.

1956: Montgomery bus boycott ends.

1956 November: Nelle Lee brings short stories to the offices of Maurice Crain and Annie Laurie Williams, literary agents.

1956 Christmas: Joy and Michael Brown give Lee a full year of financial support to complete her novel.

1957 January–February: Lee brings sections of
Go Set a Watchman
to her agent, Maurice Crain.

1957 May:
Go Set a Watchman
is submitted to Tay Hohoff at J. B. Lippincott in New York City.

1957: Lee brings 111 pages of “The Long Goodbye” to Crain (no date of return).

1957 September: Federal troops sent to Little Rock, Arkansas, to protect nine African-American students at Central High School from the white mobs trying to block the school's integration, and to enforce court-ordered desegregation of schools.

1957 October:
Go Set a Watchman
sold to J. B. Lippincott; no title in contract.

1959 Spring: Lee completes third draft of manuscript; final draft accepted in November.

1959 November: Clutter family members found murdered in Holcomb, Kansas, home.

November 19: Capote and Lee arrive in Garden City, Kansas, to research
In Cold Blood

1959 December: Christmas parade in Monroeville canceled after threats from Ku Klux Klan.

1960 March: Perry Smith and Richard Hickock's trial begins.

1960 March:
To Kill a Mockingbird
chosen by the Literary Guild and
Reader's Digest

BOOK: Mockingbird
9.51Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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