So which characters in Four Summer Days are real, and which ones are fictional?

     The answer is, all of them are fictional. But some of them are based on real people:

  • Tom Morgan - my great-grandfather

  • Sue Morgan Baker - my great-great-grandmother

  • Jem and Cart Morgan - my great-grandfather’s brothers

  • Hannah Morgan - my great-grandfather’s only sister

  • Ginny - Sue’s step-daughter whom she raised

  • Randolph - Sue’s younger brother who married Ginny

  • The man/also referred to as He - the stepfather

All the rest of the characters are products of my own imagination.

     Hoag and Sam, the ex-slaves, are a composite of the woman whom the stepfather “ran off” because of his meanness. She loved the children, having had a large hand in raising them, and didn’t want to leave them. But now free, she left the mountain and the family for her own safety. I don’t know if this story is actually true, but I heard it along with the story about “the killing”, and felt it belonged in the novel.

The real life characters

  • My great-grandfather came to Texas, married, and fathered a family of seven, including my paternal grandfather.

  • My great-great-grandmother, who did not die at the hands of her second husband, came with the two other sons (neither of which was shot or was mentally disabled) to Oklahoma and died there. She actually had three children by the second husband, twins and a baby daughter. The twins ended up in Oklahoma, too, and the youngest daughter married but died young.

  • The sister was, according to what I’ve heard, sent to live with her aunt in Texas where she married.

  • The step-daughter raised by my great-great-grandmother did marry the former’s younger brother but died in childbirth with her second child.

  • The man was buried with his own family in a cemetery some distance from the family cemetery at the base of the mountain.

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