Summary (Masterplots, Definitive Revised Edition)
John Fraser lived with his mother and father in the backwoods of North Carolina. Squire Fraser, a strict but kind Scotsman, was determined that his son should have a gentleman’s education, and so he sent John to the coastal town of Edenton to be tutored by Dr. Clapton, an English clergyman.
While there, John made many friends. Sir Nat Dukinfield, a young rake, asked John to go riding with him one afternoon. They parted close friends. Through Dr. Clapton, John met Captain Tennant, the Collector of the Port at Edenton. Captain Tennant took John home with him and introduced him to Eve, his daughter, who overwhelmed John and embarrassed him with her coquettish manners. Captain Flood, a riverboat skipper, was another of his friends. The old man taught him some sea lore and, on his trips up and down the river, acted as a messenger between John and his parents.
John went often to visit Captain Tennant and Eve. One evening, two other gentlemen arrived at their house, Mr. Hewes, a shipbuilder, and Mr. Battle, a young lawyer. A bitter argument began among the gentlemen over the new tax on tea. Autumn came, and Squire Fraser sent for John to come home for a short vacation. Captain Flood took John up the river to Halifax. There he stayed overnight at the plantation of Wylie Jones, a rich young landowner.
After three years of schooling from Dr. Clapton, John became a young provincial gentleman. The only cloud on his horizon was the report of...
(The entire section is 1143 words.)
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