Fayette County has a lot to do with “Gone With The Wind,” not so much the movie but with the book.
At the time Margaret Mitchell’s great-grandfather, Philip Fitzgerald, came to the United States from Ireland in the 1835, the property he settled on was Fayette County. The house sat about four miles southeast of greater downtown Fayetteville but in 1858 this property became Clayton County.
The Holliday family came from Laurens, South Carolina, about the same time and settled in Fayetteville itself.
Philip and Eleanor Fitzgerald had seven daughters, and being Catholic, even had their own chapel on their property.
Margaret Mitchell knew her ancestry and would come down from Atlanta to visit with her aunts and uncles and listen to their tales of living through The War Between The States in the 1860’s.
Pay attention now – did you know that “Doc” Holliday and Margaret Mitchell are “cousins”?
One of Doc’s uncles, Robert Kennedy Holliday, married Mary Anne Fitzgerald (her father was James Fitzgerald, brother of Philip). Mary Anne’s cousin, Anne Elizabeth Fitzgerald (her father was Philip) married John Stephens, Margaret Mitchell’s grandfather.
That’s how she became a kissin’ cousin, several times removed, to “Doc” Holliday.
Mitchell listened to the war stories of her Fitzgerald relatives, coupled with her born ability to write, her injury from falling off a horse when a young teenager that in later years kept her home in misery and thoroughly bored, which caused her husband to suggest she write a book, which caused her friends to tattle on her to a visiting publisher from Macmillan Publishers which all led to a book that sold so many copies only the Bible has sold more copies.
It was first published in May, 1936 and sold only to Macmillan subscribers and then sold to the general public in June, 1936. I purchased a June, 1936 copy, no book cover on it, a kazillian years ago for $25.00. I have since given it to my son. A few years later, a June, 1936 edition, with its original cover, was selling for $7,000. Oh well – – – –