Major Butler’s Legacy
Five Generations of a Slaveholding Family

Malcolm Bell Jr.


"By any measure, Major Butler's Legacy is a wonder . . . Bell uses the Butlers to tell America's story. . . . From the Constitution-maker Pierce Butler himself, through the grandson's generation, which included the great actress Fanny Kemble, down through the great-great-grandson, the famous novelist of The Virginian, Owen Wister, the family occupied center stage of U.S. history for 150 years"
Miami Herald

"Major Butler's Legacy is a great contribution both to our knowledge of the world created by Southern slaveholders and to the much-celebrated but too often obscure legacy of that hot and humid 1787 Philadelphia summer. . . . Bell is everything a popular historian can be: informative, entertaining and a storyteller who makes the tragedy of the past real in the lives of his readers"
Cleveland Plain Dealer

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Master of vast rice and cotton plantations in South Carolina and Georgia, delegate to the Constitutional Convention, Major Pierce Butler bequeathed his family and nation a legacy of slavery—an inheritance of immense wealth sown with the seeds of Civil War. In Major Butler's Legacy, Malcolm Bell charts the unfolding of the Butler patrimony, an epic story that reaches from the eve of the Revolution to the first decades of this century and includes in its course such figures as George Washington, Aaron Burr, Fanny Kemble, William Tecumseh Sherman, Henry James, Theodore Roosevelt, and Owen Wister.

Page count: 704 pp.
Trim size: 6.125 x 9.25

Read more about the Butler family at the New Georgia Encyclopedia.


List price: $38.95

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Malcolm Bell Jr. spent eight eight years researching and writing Major Butler's Legacy on retiring as president and chairman of a Savannah bank. He has published articles and books on Savannah and Georgia history, and with his wife Muriel made the photographs for Drums and Shadows (Georgia).