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Charles W. Chesnutt Timeline
1858-1932

(This page was created by a Berea College student as part of a course on Chesnutt.)

The Chesnutt Family Tree

1858-1869

1858: On June 20, Charles Waddell Chesnutt is born to Andrew Jackson Chesnutt and Ann Maria (Sampson) Chesnutt in Cleveland, Ohio.

1860: His brother, Lewis Chesnutt, is born.

1866: The family moves to North Carolina.

1870-1879

1871: His sister, Lillian Chesnutt, is born. Ann Maria Chesnutt (Charles's mother) dies.

1872: He publishes his first short story in a Fayetteville newspaper.

1873: Charles drops out of school and begins teaching to help support his family.

1877: Appointed as first assistant to the principal at the State Colored Normal School in Fayetteville, NC.

1878: On June 6, Charles marries Susan Perry.

1879: Travels to Washington D.C. looking for work and returns without job. His daughter, Ethel P. Chesnutt, is born.

1880-1889

1880: In November, he becomes the principal of the Normal School .

1881: In December, his daughter, Helen M. Chesnutt, is born.

1883: On June 22, he resigns as principal of the State Colored Normal School. Leaves Susan and the children and goes to New York to find work at Dow, Jones and Company and also writes a financial news column for the New York Mail and Express. In September, his son, Edwin J. Chesnutt, is born. In November, he leaves New York for Cleveland where he begins to work in the accounting department of Nickel Plate Railroad Company.

1884: In May, Susan and their children join Charles in Cleveland.

1885: Charles begins to study law.

1886: Begins to write for Family Fiction.

1887: In March, he passes the Ohio Bar Exam and joins the law offices of Henderson, Kline, and Tolles. In August, he publishes "The Goophered Grapevine" in the Atlantic Monthly.

1888: He opens a business of Attorney-at-Law, stenographer, and court reporter. In May, he publishes "Po' Sandy" in the Atlantic Monthly.

1889: In October, he publishes "Dave's Neckliss" in the Atlantic Monthly.

1890-1899

1891: Daughter, Dorothy K. Chesnutt, is born.

1896: Charles travels in Europe.

1898: In July, he publishes "The Wife of His Youth" in the Atlantic Monthly.

1899: In January, he publishes "Hot-Foot Hannibal" in the Atlantic Monthly.On September 30, Charles gives up his business of Attorney-at-Law, stenographer, and court reporter to write full-time. Charles publishes The Conjure Woman. He publishes The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line. He publishes Frederick Douglass. In November, he publishes "The Bouquet" in the Atlantic Monthly.

1900-1909

1900: He publishes The House Behind the Cedars.

1901: In January, he publishes "The March of Progress" in Century.In August, he accepts the chairmanship of the Committee on Colored Troops, for the 35th National Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic. In October, he publishes The Marrow of Tradition.

1902: Charles reopens his stenography business.

1904: In June, he publishes "Baxter's Procrustes" in Atlantic Monthly.

1905: In September, he publishes The Colonel's Dream. On December 5, Charles attends Mark Twain's 70th birthday party held at Delmonico's in New York City.

1910-1919

1900: He publishes The House Behind the Cedars.

1901: In January, he publishes "The March of Progress" in Century.In August, he accepts the chairmanship of the Committee on Colored Troops, for the 35th National Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic. In October, he publishes The Marrow of Tradition.

1902: Charles reopens his stenography business.

1904: In June, he publishes "Baxter's Procrustes" in Atlantic Monthly.

1905: In September, he publishes The Colonel's Dream. On December 5, Charles attends Mark Twain's 70th birthday party held at Delmonico's in New York City.

1910-1919

1910: In June, Charles collapses in his office and suffers a slight stroke. He is chosen President of the Cleveland Council of Sociology. In December, he becomes a member of the Rowfant Club, a prestigious literary club.

1912: He becomes a member of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce and tours Europe with his daughter, Helen.

1913: He receives an honorary degree from Wilberforce University.

1917: Charles becomes a member of the National Arts Club.

1920-1929

1920: Charles suffers from appendicitis followed by peritonitis.

1928: The NAACP awards Chesnutt it's prestigious Spingarn Medal.

1930-1932

1930: In May, he publishes "Concerning Father" in Crisis - his last short story.

1931: In June, he publishes an essay, "Post-Bellum - Pre-Harlem" in Colophon - his last work published in his lifetime.

1932: On November 15, Charles Chesnutt dies at home at the age of 74.

Bibliography