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Book: The Locusts of Padgett County by Bert Goolsby

Book: The Locusts of Padgett County by Bert Goolsby

categories: Book, Deep South, Southern Literature, Courtroom Drama, Lawyers, Prosecutorial Discretion, Early Twentieth Century, Historical Drama, Racial Prejudice, Judicial System, Law, Justice, Criminal Prosecution


Bert Goolsby

Author Bert Goolsbyabout this book: Prosecutors possess a wide discretion when it comes to the selection of which offense or offenses with which to seek a criminal indictment against an alleged wrongdoer. THE LOCUST OF PADGETT COUNTY focuses upon Andrew Beauchamp, a Deep South prosecutor during the early part of the Twentieth Century, a time when racial prejudice shaped much of the laws and administration of justice in America, particularly in the Old Confederacy. He undertakes to prosecute Tobias Erscan, a black tenant farmer and janitor, who allegedly touched the person of Lily Cato, a white teacher, while she practiced the piano in a school auditorium.

An actual case, State v. Johnson, 84 S.C. 45, 65 S.E. 1023 (1909), inspired the story told here.

• "In his new book, [Bert Goolsby] takes one of those legendary court cases (from 1909) and weaves a tale from it that is moving, powerful, and brilliant. In fact, everything about this novel is brilliant--from the writing, to the characters, to the title to the cover."
— Cynthia K. Robertson,

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Video 1: South Carolina author and judge speaks about writing and shares stories at the South Carolina State Library's Center - part 1
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