William Alexander Caruthers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
William Alexander Caruthers
Born 1802
Rockbridge County, Virginia
Died 1846
Savannah, Georgia
Education Washington and Lee University
University of Pennsylvania
Occupation Novelist
Relatives Archibald Alexander (uncle)

William Alexander Caruthers (1802–1846) was an American novelist.


Early life[edit]

William Alexander Caruthers was born in 1802 in Rockbridge County, Virginia. His uncle, Archibald Alexander, served as the fourth President of Hampden–Sydney College.[1] He was educated at Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) and later in medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.[2]


Caruthers' first novel, The Kentuckian In New York, published in 1834, is important for expressing skepticism about slavery, as well as arguing that termination was impractical at that point. The novel includes a subplot about a narrowly avoided slave revolt, which was likely influenced by Nat Turner's rebellion. Some credit a short inclusion of a letter by a slave in Arabic as influencing a similar subplot in Edgar Allan Poe's Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym. His later and somewhat better known works include The Cavaliers of Virginia, or the Recluse of Jamestown and The Knights of the Horse Shoe.

The full text of The Kentuckian in New-York is available at the Internet Archive and the full text of The Knights of the Horse-Shoe is available at the University of North Carolina's Documenting the South archive.

Personal life[edit]

He resided in Savannah, Georgia from 1837 until his death.[3]


He died in 1846.


  1. ^ Hurt, M., & the Dictionary of Virginia Biography. William Alexander Caruthers (1802–1846). (2014, February 6). In Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved from http://www.EncyclopediaVirginia.org/Caruthers_William_Alexander_1802-1846.
  2. ^ Encyclopedia of Virginia Entry on William Alexander Caruthers.
  3. ^ Caruthers Roadside Marker in Savannah,.

External links[edit]