George Washington Cable Biography


Who is George Washington Cable? Information about George Washington Cable biography, life story, works and books.

George Washington Cable; (1844-1925), American author, who was one of the best local color writers to emerge after the Civil War. He was also a social reformer and an early advocate of rights for the freed Negro.

Cable was born in New Orleans, La., on Oct. 12, 1844, and served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. From 1865 to 1879, while on the staff of the New Orleans Picayune, he discovered a wealth of romantic material in the history of his native city. Encouraged by Edward King, a journalist then touring the South for Scribner’s Monthly, Cable published his first story, ‘Sieur George, in October 1873.

Cable was prominent as a public speaker. In 1884 he and Mark Twain billed themselves as the Twins of Genius and toured the United States. In 1885, Cable settled his large family in Northampton, Mass., where he became involved with several reform movements and where he mainly lived for the rest of his life. He died in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Jan. 31, 1925.

Cable’s best fiction recreates the picturesque world of the Creoles in antebellum New Orleans. His first book was a collection of stories entitled Old Creole Days (1879). The novels The Grandissimes (1880), Madame Delphine (1881), Dr. Sevier (1884), John Marsh, Southerner (1894), and Gideons Band (1914) established his literary reputation. Cable also wrote historical nonfiction, including The Creoles of Louisiana (1884) and Strange True Stories of Louisiana (1889). In essays later collected in The Silent South (1885) and The Negro Question (1890), he discussed the betrayal of Negro aspirations by the denial of social and civil equality, and the duty of the government to protect civil rights.


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