The Leopard's Spots

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The Leopard's Spots: A Romance of the White Man's Burden - 1865-1900
The Leopard's Spots.jpg
First edition cover
AuthorThomas Dixon
IllustratorC. D. Williams
CountryUnited States
PublisherDoubleday, Page & Co.
Publication date
Media typePrint

The Leopard's Spots is the first novel of Thomas Dixon's Ku Klux Klan trilogy that included The Clansman: A Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan and The Traitor.[1] In the novel Dixon offers an account of Reconstruction in which he portrays a Reconstruction leader (and former slave driver ), Northern carpetbaggers, and emancipated slaves as the villains; and heroes as members of the Ku Klux Klan. The novel served as one of the sources for D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation.

The title refers to a passage from the Biblical Book of Jeremiah 13:23 "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil" (KJV). The title conveyed the idea that as leopards could not change their spots, people of African origin could not change what Dixon, as a racist and white supremacist,[2] viewed as inherently negative character traits.


Charles Gaston – A man who dreams of making it to the Governor's Mansion
Sallie Worth – A daughter of the old-fashioned South
Gen. Daniel Worth – Sallie Worth's father
Mrs. Worth – Sallie's mother
The Rev. John Durham – A preacher who threw his life away
Tom Camp – A Confederate soldier
Flora – Tom's daughter
Simon Legree – Ex-slave driver and Reconstruction leader
Allan Mcleod – A scalawag (Union sympathizer)
Everett Lowell – Member of Congress from Boston
Helen Lowell – Everett's daughter
Major Stuart Dameron – Head of the Ku Klux Klan
Hose Norman – poor white man
Hon. Tim Shelby – Political Boss
George Harris, Jr – An educated Negro


Further reading[edit]

  • Bloomfield, Maxwell. "Dixon's "The Leopard's Spots": A Study in Popular Racism," American Quarterly, Vol. 16, No. 3 (Autumn, 1964), pp. 387–401 in JSTOR

External links[edit]