Source: Inglis Fletcher Papers, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #16
Staff Person: Maury York
Minna Towner Englis Clark Fletcher
Minna Towner Englis [Inglis?] Clark Fletcher (1879-1969), known to readers of her books as Inglis Fletcher, was born in Alton, Illinois, the eldest of three children of Maurice William and Flora Deane (Chapman) Clark. Minna Clark studied sculpture under Robert Bringhurst at Washington University in St. Louis, but was not graduated. She married John George Fletcher on April 16, 1902, and the couple moved to California.
Peggy, as Mrs. Fletcher was known, followed her husband as he worked in several mining camps in California, Oregon, and Alaska. While living in Spokane, Washington, during and after World War I, Mrs. Fletcher performed considerable volunteer work for the Red Cross. While in Washington she met Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson, who encouraged her to write.
Mrs. Fletcher’s success as a writer came only after years of unremitting work. In 1920 Robertson-Cole Studios purchased her movie script, The Western Gate. It was not until 1931, however, that she published her first book. The White Leopard, a work ofjuvenile fiction, was based on material she gathered during a trip to Africa and the Near East in 1928. Red Jasmine, a novel published in 1932, also dealt with African themes. Another eight years passed before her first Carolina novel, Raleigh’s Eden, was deemed publishable by The Bobbs-Merrill Company. Thereafter Mrs. Fletcher produced novels regularly: Men of Albemarle (1942), Lusty Wind for Carolina (1944), Toil of the Brave (1946), Roanoke Hundred (1948), Bennett’s Welcome (1950), Queen’s Gift (1952), The Scotswoman (1955), Wind in the Forest (1957), Pay, Pack, and Follow and Cormorant’s Brood(1959), The Wicked Lady (1961), and Rogue’s Harbor (1964).
The Fletchers in 1944 purchased Bandon Plantation near Edenton, N.C. Subsequently, Mrs. Fletcher devoted much of her time to historical activities. She served on the Tryon Palace Commission, the Roanoke Island Historical Association, and the boards of other organizations. She remained active until the early 1960s. Mrs. Fletcher died in Edenton and was buried in the National Cemetery in Wilmington. Further biographical information may be found in Richard Walser, Inglis Fletcher of Bandon Plantation (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Library, 1952); Inglis Fletcher, Pay, Pack, and Follow (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1959); and Who’s Who in America, vol. 34, p.692. All of these sources should be used with caution.