Characters Discussed

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Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 408

Sayward Wheeler

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Sayward Wheeler, called Saird, a strong pioneer woman who wants many children; but after having eight, she decides that seven living and one dead are enough, and she leaves her husband’s bed. She lives through a period when the forest disappears as the pioneer settlement grows. She contributes her share to this growth and donates land for a meeting house. She realizes that she has neglected her husband and that he has been sleeping with the schoolteacher in the community. When the schoolteacher must quickly marry another man because she is going to have Portius’ baby, Sayward is very much ashamed and is reconciled with her husband.

Portius Wheeler

Portius Wheeler, a backwoods lawyer and schoolteacher, Sayward’s husband. He has a hand in making Ohio a state and in making his community thrive and grow. Having no desire to return to his family in Boston, he tells them so. Portius wants to move his family into the new town, but Sayward refuses to be parted from the country. Portius has an affair with the schoolmistress but later returns to Sayward.

Genny Scurrah

Genny Scurrah, Sayward’s sister, who is a fine singer and who helps Sayward deliver her first child.

Wyitt Luckett

Wyitt Luckett, Sayward’s brother, who realizes that he is a woodsman, as was his father. When he finds that all the game is gone from the woods, he moves on west.

Resolve Wheeler

Resolve Wheeler, Sayward’s eldest son. He breaks his leg on a trip with his father and, while recuperating, he discovers that he has a great love of learning and books. When he returns home, he again breaks his leg in order to have time to read.

Sulie Wheeler

Sulie Wheeler, Sayward’s daughter, who is named after Sayward’s lost sister. The young Sulie is burned to death.

Mistress Bartram

Mistress Bartram, a schoolteacher, to whom Portius turns when Sayward refuses to sleep with him. Because she is pregnant with Portius’ child, she is married rather hurriedly to Jake Tench.

Jake Tench

Jake Tench, the man who builds the first keelboat in the township.

Judah MacWhirter

Judah MacWhirter, a neighbor of the Wheelers who is bitten by a dog and dies of rabies.

Guerdon Wheeler

Guerdon Wheeler,

Kinzie Wheeler

Kinzie Wheeler,

Huldah Wheeler

Huldah Wheeler,

Sooth Wheeler

Sooth Wheeler,

Libby Wheeler

Libby Wheeler,

Dezia Wheeler

Dezia Wheeler, and

Mercy Wheeler

Mercy Wheeler, Sayward and Portius’ other children.

Bibliography

Download PDF Print Page Citation Share Link

Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 109

Barnes, Robert J. Conrad Richter. Austin, Tex.: Steck-Vaughn, 1968.

Carpenter, Frederic I. “Conrad Richter’s Pioneers: Reality and Myth.” College English 12 (1950): 77-84.

Cowan, William. “Delaware Vocabulary in the Works of Conrad Richter.” In Papers of the Twenty-ninth Algonquian Conference, edited by David H. Pentland. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1998.

Edwards, Clifford D. Conrad Richter’s Ohio Trilogy. The Hague, Netherlands: Mouton, 1970.

Flanagan, John T. “Conrad Richter: Romancer of the Southwest.” Southwest Review 43 (1958): 189-196.

Gaston, Edwin W., Jr. Conrad Richter. Rev. ed. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1989.

Johnson, David R. Conrad Richter: A Writer’s Life. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2001.

Kohler, Dayton. “Conrad Richter’s Early Americana.” College English 7 (1947): 221-228.

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