THE LAST SOUL OF WITHERSPOON takes a “global” approach in its history of the school.
Readers will find this book to be autobiographical as well as a social history told on three levels.
Herein is a story of a person from Long Shoal in Lee County, Kentucky, whose childhood innocence collides head-on with adolescence while a student in the mountain settlement school of Witherspoon. Readers will find at the end of the story a battle-scarred but still standing youth, heading off to the next stage in his life, having gained much in the way of character development, one who “gave as much as he got.”
The second level of the story traces four generations of families from the Civil War to the 1950s, including their pedigrees, feuds, and religion.
Also included is a history of Witherspoon College itself, with an emphasis on benefactors from Brooklyn, New York. The story here provides a personal contrast of “old-time religion” versus what one writer has termed “denominational imperialism.” Religion is referenced a great deal, but this is not a religious book.