John [Preston] Arthur (1851-1916)


John [Preston] Arthur, "Through Southern Eyes.

Undated chronicle by John [Preston] Arthur (1851-1916), entitled "Through Southern Eyes. An Historical Novel of Secession and Reconstruction. By One Who Endured the Trials of Both." The typewritten manuscript, numbering approximately three hundred twenty-five pages, is comprised of loose sheets separated into thirty-seven chapters, with editorial corrections in the author's hand. The title page is signed by Arthur.

This unpublished historical and romantic account of the Civil War is set in South Carolina. Arthur makes note on the contents page—"The historical references are intended to be accurate and just. If mistakes are discovered or injustice is pointed out corrections will be gladly made in advance of publication—if, indeed, such an honor is to be accorded."

Born in Columbia, John Preston Arthur was the son of newspaperman Edward J. Arthur. Arthur taught school in Columbia, worked as an attorney in New York, and later moved to Asheville, N.C., where he worked with the railroad. He published two known works: Western North Carolina: A History, 1730- 1913 (1914); and History of Watauga County, North Carolina (1915). The revenue from Arthur's books was small, and he died in poverty.

History of Western North Carolina

By John Preston Arthur, 1914
HTML by Jeffrey C. Weaver, October 1998


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Chapter I - Introduction
Chapter II - Boundaries
Chapter III - Colonial Days
Chapter IV - Daniel Boone
Chapter V - Revolutionary Days
Chapter VI - The State of Franklin
Chapter VII - Grants and Litigation
Chapter VIII - County History
Chapter IX - Pioneer Preachers
Chapter X - Roads, Stage Coaches and Taverns
Chapter XI - Manners and Customs
Chapter XII - Extraordinary Events
Chapter XIII - Humorous and Romantic
Chapter XIV - Duels
Chapter XV - Bench and Bar
Chapter XVI - Notable Cases and Decisions
Chapter XVII - Schools and Colleges
Chapter XVIII - Newspapers
Chapter XIX - Swepson and Littlefield
Chapter XX - Railroads
Chapter XXI - Notable Resorts and Improvements
Chapter XXII - Flora and Fauna
Chapter XXIII - Physical Peculiarities
Chapter XXIV - Minerology and Geology
Chapter XXV - Mines and Mining
Chapter XXVI - The Cherokees
Chapter XXVII - The Civil War Period
Chapter XXVIII - Political


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