Chapter 1 - Allusions
Andrew Jackson: 7th President of the United States (1829-1837). Find out more about Andrew Jackson.
Battle of Hastings: a decisive battle in the Norman Conquests of England in 1066. Find out more about the Battle of Hastings.
Cornwall: a country at the southwest tip of England. Find Cornwall on a map of the United Kingdom.
disturbance between the North and the South: The Civil War (1861-1865) Find out more about the Civil War.
Dracula: the 1931 film version of the famous vampire story. See a storyboard from the film.
flivver: another name for a Model-T Ford.
Jamaica: an island country in the West Indies, south of Cuba. See a map of Jamaica.
John Wesley: (1702-1791) Founder of the Methodist Church. See a picture of John Wesley.
Meridian, Mississippi: Meridian is a city in east Mississippi. Find it on a map of Mississippi.
Merlin: King Arthur's adviser, prophet and magician. See a picture of Merlin and a picture of Merlin with the baby Arthur.
Mobile: a city in southwest Alabama. Find Mobile on a map of Alabama.
no money to buy it with: an allusion to the Great Depression. Find out about the stock market crash that led to the Depression, and see a timeline for the Great Depression.
nothing to fear but fear itself: an allusion to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's first Inaugural Address. Read the speech.
Pensacola: a city in northwest Florida. Find Pensacola on a map of Florida.
Philadelphia: a city in southeast Pennsylvania. Find Philadelphia on a map of Pennsylvania.
stumphole whiskey: illegally made and sold whiskey that would be hidden in the holes of tree stumps.
Tuscaloosa: a city in central Alabama. Find Tuscaloosa on a map of Alabama.
Chapter 2 - Allusions
Bullfinch: an allusion to Bulfinch's Mythology, a famous collection of Greek myths. Jem is kidding, of course, but his reference to Bullfinch's Mythology is another indication of how much of a reader Scout has always been. Discover Bulfinch's Mythology online.
Dewey Decimal System: A system for organizing books in libraries devised by Melvil Dewey. Contrary to what Jem tells Scout, this Dewey has nothing to do with John Dewey, a theorist of progressive education.
diaries of Lorenzo Dow: Lorenzo Dow (1777 - 1834) was a Methodist preacher who travelled throughout the country, including the state of Alabama. Find out more about Lorenzo Dow.
Here's a quarter: If a quarter doesn't seem like enough, remember that, during this portion of the Great Depression, a nickel bought a loaf of bread, a movie was a dime, and gasoline could be had for sixteen cents a gallon. Take a look at more prices during the Great Depression.
the crash: the Stock Market Crash of 1929 which led to the Great Depression. Learn more about the Great Depression.
union suit: a one-piece garment of underwear with a buttoned flap in the back. See a picture of a union suit.
Union: one side in the Civil War (the North)
Chapter 3 - Allusions
man who sat on a flagpole: Flagpole sitting was one of the stranger fads of the 1930s. See a picture of a flagpole sitter.
Chapter 4 - Allusions
Indian-heads: Before the Lincoln penny, there were Indian-head pennies. See a picture of an Indian-head penny.
One Man's Family: a radio serial (like a soap opera) which began in 1932 and proved to be enormously popular for almost thirty years. By acting out their version of the Radley story, the children are playing in their own version of the drama. Find out more about One Man's Family.
Chapter 5 - Allusions
Old Testament pestilence: Pestilence refers to a condition or disease that causes massive damage or death. One example of pestilence in the Old Testament of the Bible is a plague of locusts, such as the one described in Exodus 10. See a drawing of a locust plague.
Second Battle of the Marne: a battle in World War I. Read and see more about the Second Battle of the Marne.
Chapter 7 - Allusions
Egyptians walked that way: Jem's assumptions as to how Egyptians would have walked is probably based on pictures of Egyptian art.
Chapter 8 - Allusions
Appomattox: a former village in central Virginia. On April 9, 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Court House, ending the Civil War.
Bellingraths: Miss Maudie is referring to Walter and Bessie Bellingrath who, in 1932, opened their large, beautiful gardens to the public. The Bellingrath Gardens are located in Mobile, Alabama.
Lane cake: a rich white cake. Read a recipe for a Lane cake.
Rosetta Stone: Discovered in Egypt in 1799, the Rosetta Stone is a large block of basalt inscribed with a report of a decree passed in 196 BC. Written in three languages, the stone gave historians many clues as to the meaning of Egyptian Hieroglyphs. See a picture of the Rosetta Stone.
Chapter 9 - Allusions
Confederate veteran: a veteran of the Civil War who fought for the South.
General Hood: Lieutenant-General John B. Hood, a Confederate officer. See a picture of General Hood.
House of Commons: the lower branch of the legislature in Great Britain
Let the cup pass from you: On the night before his crucifixion, Jesus prayed to the Lord: "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done [Luke 22:42]." By asking the Lord to "take this cup from me" he was praying that he might avoid his fate (in Greek, one of the figurative meanings for "cup" is "fate"). Uncle Jack's comment to Atticus calls upon this reference because he understands that his brother was not looking forward to his fate: having to defend Tom Robinson.
Lord Melbourne: (1779-1848) Queen Victoria's first Prime Minister, Melbourne also had the reputation for being something of a ladies' man. See a picture of Lord Melbourne and Queen Victoria.
Missouri Compromise : The Missouri Compromise (1820) allowed Missouri to be admitted to the Union as a slave state but stipulated no more slave states would be allowed above the southern border of Missouri. See a map of free and slave states from the time of the Missouri Compromise.
Mount Everest: The highest known mountain in the world (29,028 feet), Everest is part of the Himalayas, on the border of Nepal and Tibet. See a picture of Mount Everest.
Ol' Blue Light: a reference to Stonewall Jackson.
Prime Minister: the head of a parliamentary government, such as Great Britain's.
Stonewall Jackson: a Confederate lieutenant-general. Find out more about Stonewall Jackson on the Stonewall Jackson Homepage.
Chapter 10 - Allusions
mockingbird: a North American bird known for its vocal imitations. See a picture and find out more about mockingbirds.
Chapter 11 - Allusions
Confederate Army: the Southern army in the Civil War.
CSA: Confederate States of America - the Southern side of the Civil War.
Dixie Howell: Millard "Dixie" Howell was a popular University of Alabama football player during the 1930s.
Ivanhoe: a novel written in 1819 by Sir Walter Scott set in the Middle Ages during the time of the Crusades. Got some free time? Read the novel online!
Sir Walter Scott: author of Ivanhoe . Find out more about Sir Walter Scott.
Chapter 12 - Allusions
Blackstone's Commentaries : One of the most important books ever written on British law. See the title page of this book.
Bootleggers: people who make and/or sell illegal liquor.
bread lines: During the Great Depression, thousands of people relied on charitable organizations for meals and would line up for simple meals often of bread and soup. See a picture of a bread line.
Brown's Mule: a brand of chewing tobacco. See an original advertising display of Brown's Mule.
castile: a type of soap, originally made in Spain
Garden of Gethsemane: the place where Jesus went to pray on the night before his crucifixion. See a painting of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Hoyt's Cologne: a strong, lasting cologne, originally made in Germany and popular during the first part of the 20th century. See an advertisement for Hoyt's Cologne.
Hunt's The Light of the World : a well-known painting of Jesus Christ. See The Light of the World .
Octagon soap: a very harsh, strong soap. See an advertisement for Octagon soap.
Shadrach: One of the three men whom King Nebuchadnezzar threw into a blazing furnace, as told in Daniel 3 of the Bible. Because of their faith in God, all three men escaped unharmed.
sit-down strikes: During the Great Depression, sit-down strikes became a real force in labor relations in the United States. Unlike "regular" strikes, workers in a sit-down strike would literally "sit down on the job;" that is, they would refuse to leave the building until their demands were met. One of the most famous sit-down strikes of this era was the Flint sit-down strike at the General Motors plant in Flint, Michigan. See a picture from that strike.
Chapter 13 - Allusions
Lydia E. Pinkham: a maker and manufacturer of patent medicines in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Most of Pinkham's medical concoctions were aimed at women, and the majority of them contained liberal amounts of alcohol. See a picture of Lydia E. Pinkham from the cover of one of her pamphlets.
Reconstruction: the period of time, roughly between 1867-1877, when the Southern states were reorganized and reestablished after the Civil War.
Rice Christians: Christian converts from third-world nations, especially those in parts of Asia.
War Between the States: the Civil War.
Chapter 15 - Allusions
battlement: a low wall with open spaces built on top of a castle wall or fort. See a picture of a battlement on Dinefwr Castle in Wales.
flying buttressess: a buttress (support) connected to a building by an arch. See the flying buttressess of Chartres Cathedral in France.
Gothic: a style of architecture developed in Western Europe between the 12th and 16th century. An excellent example of the Gothic style is Notre Dame Cathedral in France.
Jitney Jungle: a supermarket chain. Supermarkets were still relatively new to America in the 1930s. Most shoppers did business at smaller grocery stores. See a picture of a grocery store in Alabama in the late 1930s. Also, see a 1930s advertisement for a Jitney Jungle
snipe hunt: a practical joke. The "victim" is taken on a hunt deep into a forest at night and told to look for and capture "snipes," small, flightless birds that, in actuality, don't exist. While the hunter searches, the rest of the party leaves.
Chapter 16 - Allusions
Braxton Bragg: The commander of the Western Confederate Army during the Civil War, Bragg led a less-than-distinguished career in the military, and his army unit was eventually defeated. Find out more about Braxton Bragg.
Ethiopia: During the time of the Old Testament, Ethiopia was a kingdom in Northeast Africa. Today, Ethiopia is a country in Eastern Africa. See a map of modern Ethiopia.
Greek revival columns: a form of architectural columns. See a picture of Greek revival columns.
straight Prohibition ticket: Prohibition was a period in U.S. history (1920-1933) when the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages was against the law. By voting the straight Prohibition ticket, Mr. Jones always votes for those political candidates who support Prohibition and were likely members of the Prohibition Party.
William Jennings Bryan: (1860-1925) Bryan was a lawyer, a politician (he ran for the Presidency three times), and a famous orator. His speeches were major events, especially in the South and along the Bible Belt, and would draw huge crowds. See a picture of and read more about William Jennings Bryan.
Chapter 17 - Allusions
fountain pen: a pen with a special nib at the end that allowed the pen to be refilled with ink from a bottle. See a 1930s advertisement for fountain pens.
icebox: Before refrigerators, people used iceboxes, large wood cabinets kept cold on the inside by blocks of ice that would be delivered to the home. See a picture of an icebox.
Model-T Ford (on blocks): The Model-T (also known as a "tin Lizzie" or a "flivver") was Henry Ford's first popular success. Originally produced in 1909, it was affordable and relatively reliable. See a picture of a 1926 Model-T coupe and find out more about the history of the Model-T Ford. A car is put up on blocks for two main reasons: either it no longer has any tires, or the owner can't afford to drive it and putting it on blocks saves the tires from the damage caused by having to carry the weight of the car.
shotgun hall: A hallway that leads directly from the front door to the back door.
Chapter 18 - Allusions
cotton gin: a machine used to separate seed and other debris from cotton. See a picture of a cotton gin.
Mr. Jingle: A character in Charles Dicken's novel The Pickwick Papers, Mr. Jingle usually expresses himself in sentence fragments. Got some extra time? Read The Pickwick Papers online!
Chapter 20 - Allusions
all men are created equal: A phrase from The Declaration of Independence. Read the text and see a picture of the original document.
distaff side of the Executive branch: a reference to Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt (the Executive branch is the President, and distaff, in this case, means wife). Eleanor Roosevelt often came in for much criticism, especially in the South, for her views on civil rights.
Einstein: Albert Einstein (1979-1955), German-born physicist. See a picture of Albert Einstein.
Rockefeller: John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937), one of the richest men in America at the time. Find out more about John D. Rockefeller.
Thomas Jefferson: 3rd President of the United States (1801-1809) and author of The Declaration of Independence. Find out more about Thomas Jefferson.
Chapter 24 - Allusions
Birmingham: a city in Central Alabama.
Mrs. Roosevelt: First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
People up there set 'em free: in other words: the Northerners are responsible for the fact that the slaves were freed
tryin' to sit with 'em: in 1939, Eleanor Roosevelt attended a meeting for the Southern Conference for Human Welfare in Birmingham, Alabama where she defied state authorities by sitting in the center aisle, between whites and blacks, after police told her she was violating segregation laws by sitting with black people.
Chapter 25 - Allusions
English Channel: The English Channel is the waterway that separates Great Britain from France. It is also the avenue by which much trade is carried on between Great Britain and the European continent. According to Scout, Miss Stephanie is the avenue of gossip for much of Maycomb. Find the English Channel on a map of Great Britain.
Chapter 26 - Allusions
Adolf Hitler has been after all the Jews: a reference to the Nazi anti-Jewish policy. Read more about it in a timeline of the Holocaust.
Adolf Hitler: (1889-1945) Nazi dictator of Germany from 1933 to 1945. See a picture of Adolf Hitler.
Elmer Davis: a journalist and CBS radio commentator who went on to head the Office of War Information. Find out more about Elmer Davis.
holy-roller: a member of a small religious sect that expresses devotion by shouting and moving around during worship services.
Uncle Natchell Story: Uncle Natchell (along with his sidekick, Sonny Boy) was the cartoon mascot for a fertilizer product called Natural Chilean Nitrate of Soda. Many of the advertisements for this product were in comic strip or story form. Little Chuck Little has mistaken one of these advertising "stories" for an actual current event. See an Uncle Natchell advertisement.
Chapter 27 - Allusions
Bob Taylor: Robert Love Taylor, late 19th Century orator and politician. See a picture of and read more about Robert Taylor.
Ad Astra Per Aspera: Latin for "To the stars through difficulties"
Cotton Tom Heflin: J. Thomas "Cotton Tom" Heflin was an orator and Republican politician. Heflin was Secretary of State in Alabama at the beginning of the century and served in the U.S. Congress (1905-1920) and the Senate (1921-1931). Heflin's political support was drawn chiefly from rural voters and members of the Ku Klux Klan.
dog Victrolas: a reference to the advertising symbol of RCA/Victor; a dog, known as "Nipper," looking into the horn of a gramophone or Victrola. Find out more about Nipper.
Ladies' Law: From the Criminal Code of Alabama, Vol. III, 1907: "Any person who enters into, or goes sufficiently near to the dwelling house of another, and, in the presence or hearing of the family of the occupant thereof, or any member of his family, or any person who, in the presence or hearing of any girl or woman, uses abusive, insulting or obscene language must, on conviction, be fined not more than two hundred dollars, and may also be imprisoned in the county jail, or sentenced to hard labour for the county for not more than six months."
National Recovery Act: better known as the National Recovery Administration or the NRA. The NRA was a series of programs set up to help the nation, especially the nation's businesses, recover from the effects of the Great Depression. It was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1935. See an NRA Poster.
nine old men: the members of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court declared the NRA unconstitutional in 1935.
NRA-WE DO OUR PART: the motto of the National Recovery Administration (NRA).
Syrians: People from Syria, a country at the northwest part of the Mediterranean region, south of Turkey. See a map of Syria.
WPA: During the Great Depression, when millions of Americans were out of work, the government instituted the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and employed over eight million people.
Chapter 28 - Allusions
three-corner hats, confederate caps, Spanish-American War hats, and World War helmets: all references to the headgear of various soldiers from different wars. See a picture of men in three-cornered hats, a picture of a confederate soldier, a photograph of a group of soldiers from the Spanish-American War, and a photo of World War I soldier.