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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Caroline Lee Hentz (1800-1856)

Writing was one of the few acceptable ways for a married woman to earn a living in the nineteenth century. Caroline Lee Hentz, wife of language professor Nicholas Hentz, became a popular nineteenth-century novelist. She lived in Chapel Hill from 1826 to 1831, befriending the slave poet George Moses Horton and editing his work. Hentz supported slavery in her own writing. Her best known work, The Planter's Northern Bride (1854), offers positive descriptions of plantation life to refute Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. Her novel, Lovell's Folly (1833), has characters based on November and Venus Caldwell, slaves of President Joseph Caldwell.