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  • Annette Austin


Here is a little background on the nastiest man ever to grace Havers End, Preston Carmichael.


Preston Carmichael was born in the small town of Cornby in Georgia on 15th June 1820, the oldest son of Luke and Rosemary Carmichael. Preston has two younger brothers, Tab and Caleb. Rosemary gave birth to two more children, a boy and a girl, but they both died during childbirth.


From an early age, Preston was surrounded by violence. His grandfather, Tobias Carmichael, was hanged for his part in the murder of two men. As a young boy, Preston watched as his father beat his mother mercilessly, sometimes even when she was pregnant. As Preston witnessed his mother unable to fight back, instead of supporting her, he grew to dislike her, before hating her. He thought his mother was weak for not standing up for herself. This is where his pathological dislike for women stems from.


In his early years, Preston’s family lived on a farm. The family were poor, struggling to pay the bills while his mother wasn’t allowed to work. At a young age, Preston’s father forced him to work on the farm. Secretly, Preston hated it and would tease the pigs by setting their tails on fire. At school, Preston was bullied for wearing cheap-looking and worn clothes. When he was beaten up at school, Preston would go home and face a further assault from his father. After several beatings, Preston began to turn the tables on the boys that bullied him, before becoming a bully himself. He had a fearsome reputation for handing out vicious beatings. When his father found out about it, he didn’t lay a hand on Preston again.


After the failure of the farm, Luke moved his family to Tullah Valley in Georgia to find further work. Unfortunately for him, the only work available was labouring, which he hated. It wasn't long before Luke resumed taking his frustrations out on his wife. Now a young man, Preston decided to travel in order to gain employment. After trying his hand at being a store clerk and a shoemaker’s apprentice, Preston started to work on a plantation as an assistant overseer. In a short time, he was promoted to the chief overseer's position. This is when Preston realised this job was his true calling. He enjoyed the power he had over the slaves, inflicting as much pain as possible on them, humiliating or beating them if they dared to show defiance. After working on two different plantations, Preston started to work as a chief overseer at a plantation in Georgia. There, Preston became more interested in the female slaves. While there, he received some correspondence from Mitchell Davis, the attorney of Edward James, owner of Havers End, one of the largest plantations in the South. The letter detailed that the chief overseer’s position was vacant and whether he would like to meet with the owner of Havers End to discuss this further. Preston now had a choice to make – to stay in Georgia or head for Havers End?

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