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Maxcy Gregg’s Sporting Journals, 1842-1858

Suzanne P. Johnson


South Carolinian Maxcy Gregg was a lawyer, a classically educated scholar with mastery of many languages, a politician, and a veteran of the Mexican-American War. He was later a volunteer soldier for South Carolina during the War for Southern Independence. Sadly, Gregg was mortally wounded at the Battle of Fredericksburg in 1862 at the age of 48.

His primary interest, however, was the natural world, especially birds, more than 50 varieties of which he must have identified. Gregg was a self-instructed genuine expert and avid investigator of birdlife and wild plants and he had an astronomical observatory built into his house.

His “sporting journals,” long neglected sources of antebellum Southern history, were meticulous and are meticulously edited by Suzanne Parfitt Johnson. Gregg’s recorded trips cover most of South Carolina, portions of neighboring States, and a sojourn in Mexico—mountains, rivers, Upcountry, Lowcountry. In addition to the wildlife and his hunting prowess or lack thereof, he describes topography, weather, and natural phenomenon (a comet, a hurricane, immense flights of passenger pigeons).

The record also provides insight into city, country, and wilderness life. His hunting companions play a prominent part—dogs, horses, and men. Here is a realistic and unusual sample of antebellum Southern life as it was lived day by day.

The hardbound edition of this book was published in October 2019 and can be found at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and even Walmart with the original dust jacket cover.

SKU N/A Category Tag

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-947660-89-2

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-947660-25-0

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