Jefferson's Nephews: A Frontier Tragedy

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$19.44
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 92%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (27) from $1.99   
  • New (11) from $1.99   
  • Used (16) from $1.99   

Overview


The brutal axe murder and dismemberment of a Negro slave, committed in 1811 by two brothers, Lilburne and Isham Lewis, whose mother was Thomas Jefferson’s sister and whose father was his first cousin, form the core of this historical detective story and account of frontier life in western Kentucky in the first decades of the nineteenth century.

On the night of December 15, 1811, drunk and enraged over the breaking of a pitcher, Lilburne bound his seventeen-year-old slave, George, and, in front of the assembled household’s other slaves, cut off his head. The brothers were indicted for murder, released on bail, and attempted suicide.

Boynton Merrill Jr. explores the tragic combination of circumstances and social forces that culminated in this ghastly event: the lawlessness of the frontier settlements, the dehumanizing effects of chattel slavery, and the Lewis family’s history of mental instability and their ever-declining fortunes.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review

"Jefferson’s Nephews is superb. Mr. Merrill’s book is horridly fascinating, as absorbing, as gruesome, and as intelligent as Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood."—New York Times Book Review
Times Literary Supplement (London)

"One must be grateful to Boynton Merrill for having rescued this grim footnote to history from oblivion and for having guided us so well through all the twists of a very tangled tale. . . . Cecil B. de Mille! Thou shouldst be living at this hour."—Times Literary Supplement (London)
American Historical Review

"Celebrated in abolitionist literature. . . . This grisly story has finally been researched with sensitivity and in scholarly detail."—American Historical Review
New York Times Book Review

"Jefferson’s Nephews is superb. Mr. Merrill’s book is horridly fascinating, as absorbing, as gruesome, and as intelligent as Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood."—New York Times Book Review

Times Literary Supplement (London)

"One must be grateful to Boynton Merrill for having rescued this grim footnote to history from oblivion and for having guided us so well through all the twists of a very tangled tale. . . . Cecil B. de Mille! Thou shouldst be living at this hour."—Times Literary Supplement (London)

American Historical Review

"Celebrated in abolitionist literature. . . . This grisly story has finally been researched with sensitivity and in scholarly detail."—American Historical Review

Library Journal
The New York Times compared Merrill's 1976 volume to Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. It recounts in fine detail the December 1811 axe murder of a slave in western Kentucky by Liliburne and Isham Lewis, the sons of Thomas Jefferson's late sister, Lucy. Merrill re-creates the events of the crime and the social atmosphere of the time. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803282971
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 462
  • Sales rank: 1,003,050
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Boynton Merrill Jr. lives in Henderson, Kentucky. He acquired part of the original Lewis plantation in 1965 and spent more than ten years researching and assembling the pieces of this classic case study.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2007

    superb history

    This author has written a book that should be a must read for every student and lover of American history. As a reader of this genre, I have read many author's whose work is excellent, never have I read one that disserves to be a textbook for the hardships and misfortune of early patriots. Though the Lewis created their own misfortune it teaches so much more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)