Characters (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Penn Hapgood, a young Quaker schoolmaster in a Tennessee town. It is 1861, and Penn’s antislavery convictions make him unpopular among the Secessionists. He steadfastly defends his convictions and aids others with antislavery and Unionist leanings, though his reversals include being tarred and feathered, having to hide out in a secret cave, undergoing capture and just missing hanging, and being captured again and almost bayoneted. At last, his chief enemy is taken and forced to sign a safe-conduct pass for Penn and his party. Reaching Pennsylvania by way of Ohio, Penn enlists in the Union Army; his heroism earns him the name “The Fighting Quaker.”
Mr. Villars, a blind clergyman who shelters Penn and thus incurs the enmity of the Secessionists. His trials include imprisonment. He escapes and is guided to the cave, where he hides with the others. The safe-conduct pass gets him to Ohio.
Salina Sprowl, Mr. Villars’ older daughter. Her vacillating attitude toward her estranged Secessionist husband constantly puts her friends in jeopardy.
Lysander Sprowl, Salina’s worthless husband. Her weakness informs him that the antislavery group is safe in hiding. In order to undo her mischief, she has to set fire to her father’s house to create confusion. Later, she makes it possible for Sprowl to...
(The entire section is 569 words.)
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