Page 1. " it really began with Andrew Jackson "
Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans, by Edward Percy Moran
Public DomainJackson at the Battle of New Orleans, by Edward Percy Moran

Andrew Jackson was president of the United States from 1829 to 1837. Previously he commanded American forces in the 1812 Creek War against the 'Red Stick' Creek Native Americans, running "the Creeks up the creek", as Scout puts it. The Finchs' ancestor Simon Finch moved to Alabama as a result of this war.

Page 4. " mindful of John Wesley's strictures "
John Wesley
Public DomainJohn Wesley

 John Wesley was an 18th century English theologian, credited with founding the evangelical Methodist movement. He emigrated to American in 1735 with his brother Charles, and they founded a church in Savannah, Georgia.


Page 4. " the possession of human chattels "

Simon Finch was a slaveowner despite his 'teacher', John Wesley, denouncing slavery as "the sum of all villainies" in his 1774 treatise Thoughts Upon Slavery.

Page 6. " it had nothing to fear but fear itself "

Maycomb County has been told this by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his first inaugural address in 1932.

You can read his speech here.

Listen on Spotify: FDR First Inaugural Address


Page 8. " Oliver Optic,Victor Appleton and Edgar Rice Burroughs "

 These are writers from the late 1800s to the early 1900s.

Oliver Optic is the pseudonym for the noted academic, author, and state legislator William Taylor Adams. He was born on 30th July 1822 in the state of Massachusetts, and died on 27th March 1897. Adams used the pseudonym Oliver Optic to publish many books for boys, including Indoors and Out (1855), Hatchie, the Guardian Slave (1853) and The Boat Club (also 1855). See here for more about Adams' works.

 Victor Appleton was a house pseudonym (meaning it was used by many authors) of the company Stratemeyer Syndicate. Their most famous works are the novels of Tom Swift.

About the Tom Swift series 

 Edgar Rice Burroughs was born on 1st September 1875, and died on 19th March 1950. His best known work is Tarzan, and the Mars adventurer John Carter. Burroughs also wrote science fiction and fantasy stories involving adventurers from Earth being transported to various other planets and lost islands.

Edgar Rice Burroughs' unofficial site


Page 8. " Dill had seen Dracula "
Dracula film poster
Public DomainDracula film poster

 Dracula was a 1931 horror film based on the famous 1897 novel by Bram Stoker. It starred Béla Lugosi as the vampire, and was directed by Tod Browning.


Page 9. " where johnson grass and rabbit tobacco grew in abundance "
johnson grass
GNU Free Documentation Licensejohnson grass - Credit:
rabbit tobacco
GNU Free Documentation Licenserabbit tobacco - Credit: wildflowers.ed

Johnson grass, also known by its scientific name Sorghum halepense, is a weed native to the Mediterranean, although it also grows in the Middle East and America. It thrives in open, disturbed land, particularly in rich, cultivated fields.

Rabbit tobacco is also known as Gaphalium obtusifolium. It is a herb that can reach a height of 1-3 feet, with leaves 1-3 inches long. Fields, pastures, and disturbed areas are the sites of this common plant, native to the eastern United States. This herb can be used medicinally; for example, smoking the leaves is good for sinusitis and head colds. As a hot tea, it is used to treat illnesses like sore throats, diarrhea, pneumonia and asthma, as well as being a mild nerve sedative and an antispasmodic. My grandmother said it was most often used in her home as a salve made of lard and ground up leaves.

Page 18. " I am from North Alabama, Winston County. "
Winston County, Alabama
Creative Commons AttributionWinston County, Alabama - Credit: jimmywayne

Miss Caroline's isolation from her class is emphasised by her own origins. When Alabama seceded from the Union in the 1860s to create the Confederate States of America, before the Civil War, Winston County seceded from Alabama, making plain that it opposed the rest of Alabama's position in the war. To celebrate its strength during the war, it is now called The Free State of Winston.

Winston County, Alabama - official site

Page 18. " the class was wriggling like a bucket full of catawba worms. "
catawba worms
GNU Free Documentation Licensecatawba worms - Credit:

Catawba worms are caterpillars used as fishing bait in the Southern states of America, especially for catching bream. The head is bitten off and the body skinned inside out, then attached to the fishing rod. These worms can be frozen and preserved for months.


Page 20. " It's the Dewey Decimal System. "
Dewey Decimal System
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeDewey Decimal System - Credit: Unknown
The Dewey Decimal System (or the Dewey Decimal Classification) is a system of library classification developed in 1876 by Melvin Dewey. This system organizes books on library shelves in a specific order that makes it easy to find any book and return it to its proper place. The system is used in 200,000 libraries in at least 135 countries.
Page 23. " the crash hit them hardest "
Family hit by the crash

The "crash" was the Wall Street stock market crash of October 1929 that led to The Great Depression, a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade before the Second World War.

The Great Depression had devastating effects on virtually every country and every social class. Incomes, savings, tax revenues, profits and prices dropped, and international trade plunged. Unemployment in the US rose to 25%, and in some countries as high as 33%.

Construction was virtually halted in many countries. Farming and rural areas suffered as crop prices fell by 60%. Areas dependent on primary sector industries (cash cropping, mining and logging) suffered the most.

In America, the effects of the crash were eventually arrested by the policies of President Roosevelt's New Deal.

Page 23. " With Christmas came a crate of smilax and holly. "
GNU Free Documentation Licensesmilax - Credit:

Smilax is a plant found both in temperate zones and in the tropics. It is also called catbriers, greenbriers and prickly-ivys. The smilax is a flowering climber with thorny branches.

Like holly, smilax is commonly used in Christian countries for Christmas decorations, such as Advent wreaths.