north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program



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      Literally millions of readers have learned about North Carolina history from the novels of Inglis Fletcher (1879-1969). A world traveler, Mrs. Fletcher, in what might otherwise have been retirement years, became one of the state’s leading citizens and its best-selling author.

      Minna Towner Inglis Clark, born in Illinois, married John Fletcher, a mining engineer, and with him moved frequently, living for the longest periods in Alaska and San Francisco. In 1928, she spent seven months in Africa; from that sojourn came her first three published works. Her search for forebears led her to the Colonial Records of North Carolina from which she drew inspiration and research material for Raleigh’s Eden (1940). This was the first in her “Carolina Series,” all twelve volumes of which were set in colonial and revolutionary North Carolina. The books were popular internationally and were translated into eight languages.

      In 1944, upon her husband’s retirement, the Fletchers bought “Bandon Plantation” on the Chowan River. There she developed the routine of one year of research followed by one of writing. Her research led her to the North Carolina State Archives, to the Library of Congress, and to the British Museum. Professor Hugh Lefler commended her work, finding Raleigh’s Eden to be “remarkably free from historical errors” and ranking it with Drums by James Boyd, as the best novels based on colonial or revolutionary North Carolina history.

      Mr. Fletcher died in 1960 and on October 6, 1963, “Bandon” was destroyed by fire. Mrs. Fletcher died on May 30, 1969, and was buried in Wilmington. The acreage around “Bandon” has since been developed. The Bandon schoolhouse was moved to Edenton.

Richard Walser, Inglis Fletcher at Bandon Plantation (1952)
Roy Thompson, Mrs. Fletcher’s Eden (1975)
Jerry L. Cross, “Bandon Plantation” (unpublished research report in Research Branch, North Carolina Division of Archives and History, 1986)
Maurice C. York, “The Inglis Fletcher Papers,” North Carolina Literary Review, I, no. 2 (1993), pp. 176-179
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north carolina highway historical marker program

Inglis Fletcher

© 2008 North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources