Joel Chandler Harris was born in Eatonton, Ga., on December 9, 1848. Deserted by his father at an early age, Harris dropped out of school and began working as a literary apprentice to help his mother make ends meet. Soon after, he was writing humorous pieces for several Georgia newspapers and in 1876, Harris joined the Staff of the Atlanta Constitution as an editor. Harris is best remembered for writing the Uncle Remus stories. Based on traditional African tales and folklore, the stories feature animal characters, such as Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox, who are endowed with human characteristics. Some of the Uncle Remus titles include Uncle Remus: His Songs and Sayings, Night with Uncle Remus, Uncle Remus and His Friends, and Uncle Remus and the Little Boy. After his death on July 3, 1908, Harris's home in Atlanta's West End was preserved as a museum called Wren's Nest. The museum got its name from a family of wrens that were found nesting in Harris's rickety old wooden mailbox.
Library of Southern Literature: Compiled Under the Direct Supervision of Southern Men of Letters, Volume 14