Society & Culture

Author and Alumnus Richard Hutto to discuss A Peculiar Tribe of People

Athens, Ga. – Richard Jay Hutto, author of A Peculiar Tribe of People, will discuss the book and participate in a book signing Nov. 11 at 4 p.m. in the University of Georgia Libraries first floor Reading Room. The event is open free to the public.

The book, his third and one with ties to the UGA libraries, details a case of murder and deception in Macon. It is described on the book jacket as “a true Southern tale of racism, murder and taboo sex.”

According to the story, “In early 1960, Chester Burge’s wife was murdered.” Accused of the murder, he would later be acquitted. The book takes many twists and turns before coming to what has been called an explosive conclusion.

Burge was a cousin of the prosperous Dunlap family. The bequest of one of the daughters, Ilah Dunlap Little, paid for the building at UGA which bears her name but is referred to as the main library. A dispute over Little’s will led to one of the most stubborn legends about the library: that the columns Little requested encircle the building were replaced with faux columns except for those across the front portico.

According to the legend, UGA led Little to believe it had begun construction of the building by only allowing her to see it from a safe distance. The truth is, Little died before construction began.

Hutto is a member of the UGA Libraries Board of Visitors. He served as White House appointments secretary to the Carter family and was chairman of the Georgia Council for the Arts. One of the foremost historians of the Gilded Age, he compiled and edited Accepted Fables, the autobiography of Jordan Massee, and wrote Entitled: American Women, Titled Husbands, and the Pursuit of Excess, as well as Crowning Glory: American Wives of Princes and Dukes, and Their Gilded Cage: The Jekyll Island Club Members.

He is a frequent international lecturer and an elected member of the City Council of Macon, where he currently lives.