Tar Heel Editor
Tar Heel Editor
"A chiel's amang ye takin' notes,
And faith, he'll prent it."--BURNS.
The purpose of writing this story of a Tar-heel editor has been to put in durable form a plain account of what befell a Southern boy born amid the bursting of shells in a North Carolina town bombed by the Federal forces in the War of the Sixties; who spent his boyhood in a North Carolina democratic and Democratic town that had experienced none of war's material destruction; and who has devoted most of the years of his manhood to editing a newspaper in the capital of his native State.
It is believed that the pen pictures of the men of that period and the semi-biographical accounts of everyday events and the unfolding of how people lived and what they thought in Eastern North Carolina in his youth and young manhood are typical of what went on in most communities in the South during the years after Reconstruction. The book, therefore, has more than local significance. The story tells how the Southerners met the changed conditions without heroics or self-pity or hate (except toward carpetbaggers), how they were guided in their rebuilding upon sound foundations by simple faith and industry, and upheld by devotion to their convictions. The characters are real and drawn from intimate association with them as man and boy, and based on recollections of a wise mother who lived in stirring times. Through the warp and woof run the threads of a mother's wholesome life and teachings, and a wife's balanced judgment, unerring appraisement of men and measures, and inspiring partnership. I have been urged by many friends to write my Autobiography. For a time I hesitated, saying that if I should undertake to tell the story of the events in which I had participated and give appraisement of the great and neargreat with whom I have been associated, the story of my life should be properly called an "Aut-not-to-biography."
Recognizing my limitations and the dangers incident to undertaking to give sidelights of history from a full and busy life devoted largely to matters of public concern, I have finally yielded to the feel-