Category Archives: 1932


Marjorie Hill Allee. The Road to Carolina. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1932.

Tristram Coffin was just a young man looking for adventure when he left Indiana heading south to the Carolinas.  However his traveling companion, Uncle Tommy, is anything but lighthearted.  Old Tommy Pearson is a Quaker and a committed abolitionist.  All through Kentucky and Tennessee Uncle Tommy took his message straight onto plantations and into a a crossroads general store.  Uncle Tommy has been doing this for many years, and he has a network of friends and kin who give him hospitality while on his annual circuit.

In Randolph County Tristram and Uncle Tommy stop at the home of Jesse Coffin, a Quaker who works his land by himself, and later at the plantation of Braxton Lewis, a cousin who has left the Quaker fold.  Tristram is initially attracted to the comforts of the plantation big house and stays with the Lewises through the summer.  Only when cousin Braxton cannot pay him does Tristram turn to the Coffins for help.  When the Civil War breaks out, Tristram is unable to return home.  His life and those of all his relatives change in unexpected ways as the war comes to Carolina.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1930-1939, 1932, Allee, Marjorie Hill, Children & Young Adults, Historical, Piedmont, Randolph

Grace Lumpkin. To Make My Bread. New York: Macaulay Co., 1932.

To Make My Bread follows the McClure family during the years 1900-1929.  Initially, they are mountaineers, self-sufficient on their small plot of land.  Most of their neighbors live as they do, except for the Swains, who own the store in their community.  When the family is swindled out of their land by timber speculators, they move to a mill town forty miles away.

Not all family members adjust to the move.  The two younger children, John and Bonnie become the primary breadwinners, and they are radicalized by their experiences. Bonnie also struggles with the conflict between the demands of industrialized work and traditional expectations for women.  She becomes an important figure in the nascent labor movement in the town.

Part family saga, part political novel, To Make My Bread is one of six novels from the 1930s  based on the Gastonia textile strike of 1929.  The book has been the subject of academic study, and it is still in print from the University of Illinois Press.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1930-1939, 1932, Gaston, Historical, Lumpkin, Grace, Mountains, Piedmont