Joseph Glover Baldwin left his native Virginia as a young man in 1836 for the booming frontier of the Old Southwest, settling first in DeKalb, Mississippi, and then in 1839 in Gainesville and later Livingston, Sumter County, Alabama. Blessed with a lively imagination and a good library, Baldwin prospered as a local officeholder and attorney and produced a series of sketches for the Southern Literary Messenger. These essays were gathered with others into this collection of 26 and published as a book in New York by D. Appleton and Company in 1853.
Joseph G. Baldwin, subsequent to publication of this book, contracted California fever, and made his way west to a judgeship and an untimely death in that state in 1864. Bert Hitchcock is Professor of English at Auburn University and coeditor of American Short Stories (7th Edition).