In 1910 he again set forth for Antarctica, this time in search of the South Pole. His Terra Nova reached its base on the Ross Sea in 1911, and in November he started southward on foot toward the pole. Scott and his four companions pulled their heavy sledges by hand across the high polar plateau, proceeding in subzero weather the entire way. When they reached the South Pole on Jan. 18, 1912, they found that Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian explorer, had preceded them by about one month. On their retreat the heroic party was beset by illness, lack of food, frostbite, blizzards, and autumn temperatures 10 to 20 degrees lower than Antarctica's bone-chilling average. All five members died, the last three overwhelmed by a blizzard when only a few miles from their depot. Their bodies were later recovered, together with Scott's diaries, the records, and the valuable scientific collections. Scott's journey has been considered by many one of the epic events of British exploration, but many modern biographers and scholars have accused him of a fatal inexperience in polar travel and a general incompetence that doomed him and his men. Scott's diaries and the scientific findings of the expedition are contained in Scott's Last Expedition (2 vol., 1913).
See A. Cherry-Garrard, The Worst Journey in the World (1994); D. Preston, A First Rate Tragedy (1998); T. H. Baughman, Pilgrims on the Ice (1999); R. Huntford, The Last Place on Earth (1999); S. Solomon, The Coldest March (2001); R. Fiennes, Race to the Pole (2004); D. Crane, Scott of the Antarctic (2006).
See biography by A. C. Downer (1909).
See S. R. Kamm, The Civil War Career of Thomas A. Scott (1940).
After an apprenticeship in his father's law office Scott was admitted (1792) to the bar. In 1799 he was made sheriff-deputy of Selkirkshire. His first published works (1796) were translations of two German ballads by Bürger, followed by a translation (1799) of Goethe's Götz von Berlichingen. Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (2 vol., 1802; enl. ed., 3 vol., 1803) was an impressive collection of old ballads with introductions and notes. The Lay of the Last Minstrel, his first major poem, appeared in 1805 and was followed by Marmion (1808) and The Lady of the Lake (1810). In 1812 Scott received a court clerkship that assured him a moderate, steady income.
His first novel, Waverley (1814), was an immediate success. There followed the "Waverley novels"—romances of Scottish life that reveal Scott's great storytelling gift and his talent for vivid characterization. They include Guy Mannering (1815), The Antiquary (1816), The Black Dwarf (1816), Old Mortality (1816), Rob Roy (1818), The Heart of Midlothian (1818), The Bride of Lammermoor (1819), and The Legend of Montrose (1819).
Ivanhoe (1820), Scott's first prose reconstruction of a time long past, is a complicated romance set in 12th-century England. His public acclaim grew, and in 1820 Scott was made a baronet. Most of his following novels were of the Ivanhoe style of reconstructed history. They include The Monastery (1820), The Abbot (1820), Kenilworth (1821), The Pirate (1822), The Fortunes of Nigel (1822), Peveril of the Peak (1822), Quentin Durward (1823), The Betrothed (1825), and The Talisman (1825). With St. Ronan's Well (1824), Scott abandoned the historical style and attempted a novel of manners, but in Redgauntlet (1824) he reverted to the background and treatment of his early novels.
In 1825 Scott was ruined financially. He had assumed responsibility for the Ballantyne printing firm in 1813 (previously, for a brief time, he had run it as a publishing house), and subsequently he had met Ballantyne's expenses out of advances from his publishers, Constable and Company. In 1825 an English depression brought ruin to both Constable and Ballantyne's. Refusing to go through bankruptcy, Scott assigned to a trust his property and income in excess of his official salary and set out to pay his debt and much of Constable's.
The next few years' work included Woodstock (1826), a life of Napoleon (1827), Chronicles of the Canongate (1827), The Fair Maid of Perth (1828), and Anne of Geierstein (1829). Scott's health began to fail in 1830. After finishing (1831) Count Robert of Paris and Castle Dangerous, he went abroad, returning to Abbotsford, his estate, in 1832, the year of his death. The remainder of the debt he had assumed was paid from the earnings of his books.
Scott's narrative poems introduced a form of verse tale that won great popularity; his lyrics and ballads, such as "Lochinvar" and "Proud Maisie," are masterly in feeling and technique. He was a very prolific and popular novelist. Although his fictional heroes now seem wooden and his plots mechanical, Scott excelled in recreating the spirit of great historical events and in painting realistic pictures of Scottish life.
See his journal, ed. by W. E. K. Anderson (1972); his letters, ed. by Sir H. J. C. Grierson (12 vol., 1932-37); biographies by his son-in-law, J. G. Lockhart (10 vol., 1902) and E. Johnson (2 vol., 1970); studies by A. O. J. Cockshut (1969), R. Mayhead (1973), J. Millgate (1984), J. Wilt (1986), J. Kerr (1989), and A. N. Wilson (1989).
He briefly attended the College of William and Mary, studied law at Petersburg, and joined the military. At the outbreak of the War of 1812, Scott was made a lieutenant colonel. He was captured at Queenston Heights (Oct., 1812), but after his exchange he returned to the Niagara frontier and led a successful assault of Fort George (May, 1813). He was made a brigadier general in Mar., 1814. The thorough training he gave his troops paid off in July when his brigade bore the brunt of the fighting at Lundy's Lane, where Scott was severely wounded. Scott became a hero and was brevetted major general.
His subsequent army career was long and varied. In 1815-16 he visited Europe, where he studied French army practices. In 1832, President Andrew Jackson dispatched him to Charleston, S.C., where Scott ably handled the potentially explosive nullification troubles. He served in the Seminole and Creek campaigns and in 1838 supervised the removal of the Cherokee to the Indian Territory (now in Oklahoma). His talent for peacemaking was displayed in 1838, when he was sent to the Canadian border in the Caroline Affair, and again in 1839, when he went to Maine during the so-called Aroostook War. In 1841, Scott was appointed supreme commander of the U.S. army.
In the Mexican War, Scott approved the northern campaign of Gen. Zachary Taylor; then Scott himself accepted command of the southern expedition. With the cooperation of the navy, he took Veracruz early in 1847 and began the long march to Mexico City. Cerro Gordo fell in Apr., 1847, and Scott's army entered Puebla, where it remained inactive for several months. In August the Americans resumed their advance. Fighting at Contreras and Churubusco preceded an attack on the outposts of Mexico City. An engagement at Molino del Rey was followed by the storming of Chapultepec, which fell on Sept. 13, 1847, clearing the way to the capital. The campaign was a triumph for Scott's daring strategy and confirmed his reputation as a bold fighter. Scott was now a national hero, but as a Whig he was disliked by the Democratic administration of James K. Polk. As a result Scott was recalled to the United States early in 1848. A court of inquiry, however, dismissed charges leveled at him by some subordinate officers, and he was brevetted a lieutenant general.
In 1852, Scott was chosen as the Whig candidate for president, but he made a poor showing against his Democratic opponent, Franklin Pierce. In 1859, Scott once more took a hand in a boundary disagreement, going to Washington Territory in an effort to settle the San Juan Boundary Dispute. The outbreak of the Civil War brought onerous burdens to the general, who, though a Southerner by birth, opposed secession and was loyal to the Union. He wished some delay before any military action was taken, so that the Union's civilian army could be more adequately trained, and the disastrous first battle of Bull Run, fought against his wishes, bore out his views. Old and in failing health, Scott was compelled to retire on Nov. 1, 1861.
Although vain and pompous (he was called "Old Fuss and Feathers"), Scott was also generous, fair-minded, considerate of his officers, and solicitous for the welfare of his soldiers. In nonmilitary matters—excluding his diplomatic ventures—his tendency to be quarrelsome and his faculty for "putting his foot in it" made him far less successful. However, he is generally considered the greatest American general between Washington and Lee.
See his memoirs (2 vol., 1864); J. S. D. Eisenhower, Agent of Destiny (1998).
In 1899, Joplin published the "Maple Leaf Rag," and its success was instantaneous. However, his next two major efforts, a folk ballet titled Rag Time Dance (1902) and a ragtime opera called A Guest of Honor (never published) were failures. Joplin continued to write ragtime music and moved (1909) to New York City, where he had considerable success until 1915, when at his own expense he produced a concert version of a second ragtime opera, Treemonisha (1911), a racial and spiritual parable that failed to gain recognition. This failure and the declining interest in ragtime are thought to have affected his personality, which became moody and temperamental. In 1916 he was confined to the Manhattan State Hospital, where he died the following year.
Joplin's rags were highly innovative, characterized by a lyricism and suppleness that elevated ragtime from honky-tonk piano music to a serious art form. Some of his compositions are "The Entertainer" (1902), "Rose Leaf Rag" (1907), "Gladiolus Rag" (1907), "Fig Leaf Rag" (1908), and "Magnetic Rag" (1914). A revival of interest in ragtime occurred in the 1970s. Several of Joplin's rags were used as background music for the Hollywood film The Sting (1973), and a Joplin Festival was held at Sedalia in 1974.
See R. Blesh and H. Janis, They All Played Ragtime (rev. ed. 1966); P. Gammond, Scott Joplin and the Ragtime Era (1975); J. Haskins and K. Benson, Scott Joplin (1978); E. A. Berlin, King of Ragtime (1994).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 6.1 square miles (15.8 km²), of which, 6.0 square miles (15.5 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (2.13%) is water.
There were 40 households out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 20.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. 20.0% of all households were made up of individuals and none had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.76.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 25.5% under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 37.2% from 45 to 64, and 4.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 84.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.2 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $24,821, and the median income for a family was $32,321. Males had a median income of $16,786 versus $19,464 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $10,912. None of the population and none of the families were below the poverty line.
Additionally, the history of Scott can be found at three other sites around the community. Near the county line is the Scott Plantation Settlement, a grouping of relocated buildings, which includes the wooden Cotton Belt Railroad Depot that served Scott, representing an example of a plantation-era community (much in the same fashion as Little Rock's Historic Arkansas Museum). Cotham's Mercantile Store, a widely-known community restaurant favored by former President Bill Clinton, is housed in a former general store building constructed in 1917, and still displays multiple antique farm implements. Marlsgate, the area's best known example of a plantation family home, was constructed by the Dortch family early in the 20th century and is a popular site for weddings and receptions today.