Mary Boykin Chesnut, author of perhaps the important personal account of the American Civil War, was born at Mount Pleasant plantation near Statesburg, South Carolina on 31 March 1823. She was the first of Stephen Decatur and Mary Boykin Miller’s four children; she also had an older half-brother, from her father’s first marriage. Mary’s father, a successful attorney, planter, politician, and leading proponent of Nullification, served at various times as South Carolina congressman, governor, and U. S. Senator before leaving politics in 1833. Mary’s mother was the daughter of Burwell Boykin, a prominent planter in the Camden, South Carolina area.

Mary’s early education, in learning to read as well as …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Meats, Stephen E.. "Mary Chesnut". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 August 2005
[, accessed 07 July 2015.]