George Washington Harris
Date of Birth : Mar 20, 1814
Date of Death : Dec 11, 1869
George Washington Harris was an American humorist best known for his character, "Sut Lovingood," an Appalachian backwoods reveler fond of telling tall tales. Harris was among the seminal writers of Southern humor, and has been called "the most original and gifted of the antebellum humorists." His work influenced authors such as Mark Twain, William Faulkner, and Flannery O'Connor.
Harris moved to Knoxville as a child, where he worked variously as a silversmith, riverboat captain, and farmer. His earliest works were political satires published in the Knoxville Argus around 1840, and his earliest attributable works were four sporting stories published in the New York Spirit of the Times in 1843. He wrote his Sut Lovingood tales for various newspapers in the 1850s and 1860s, twenty-four of which he compiled and published as his only book, Sut Lovingood: Yarns Spun By a Nat'ral Born Durn'd Fool, in 1867. Harris died in Knoxville in 1869 after mysteriously falling ill on a train ride.