Thomas Nelson Page was born on April 23, 1853 at the Oakland plantation in Hanover County, Virginia, a descendent of the prominent Nelson and Page families. A mere boy of eight when the War Between the States erupted, his once-wealthy family was impoverished by the war and especially the Reconstruction era. He graduated from the University of Virginia Law School in 1874 and was admitted to the bar in 1876. He practiced law in Richmond until 1893, when he moved to Washington, D.C. and began his career as a writer. Many of Page's boyhood experiences on the plantation and during the tumultuous years of the 1860s and 1870s would later find their way onto the pages of his literary works, both fiction and non-fiction. He popularized the "Plantation Tradition" of writing, which told a stylized version of antebellum Southern life. His 1887 collection of short stories entitled, In Ole Virginia, is considered the quintessential work of the genre. Under President Woodrow Wilson, Page was appointed as U.S. ambassador to Italy and he served in that capacity from 1913 to 1919, when he resigned due to failing health and returned to live out the remainder of his years at his birthplace in Virginia. He died at Oakland plantation from heart and kidney disease on November 1, 1922, and was buried at Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C.