Thomas Dixon, Jr., was born in rural North Carolina during the Civil War. Educated at Wake Forest and Johns Hopkins Universities, Dixon was, among other things, a novelist, preacher, lecturer, lawyer, and state legislator. During his lifetime, he published twenty-two novels and several essays, plays, and sermons. Dixon's "Trilogy of Reconstruction" also included The Traitor and The Clansman and was made into D. W. Griffith's cinema masterpiece, Birth of a Nation. He has been named among both the most dated and most contemporary of Southern writers.