Joel Chandler Harris was born in Eatonton, Georgia, the illegitimate son of Mary Harris. At 13 Harris became an apprentice printer on The Countryman. a plantation newspaper edited and published by Joseph Addison Turner, a highly literate planter, lawyer and writer. Harris then worked on newspapers in several Southern cities. In 1876 Harris began a twenty-four-year association with the Atlanta Constitution. He used folklore, fiction, dialect and other devices of local color to picture both black and white Georgians under slavery and Reconstruction.Harris's work as a columnist led to his creation of Uncle Remus, the black singer of songs and teller of stories. The tales, collected in Uncle Remus: His Songs and Sayings (1880) and elsewhere, are based upon folklore and are told by the venerable family servant to a little boy on a Georgia plantation. Remus, the old storyteller, is wise, perceptive, imaginative, poetic and gifted with a sly sense of humor. Their hero, Brer Rabbit, is "the weakest and most harmless of all animals," but he is "victorious in contests with the bear, the wolf and the fox." Thus "it is not virtue that triumphs, but helplessness; it is not malice, but mischievousness."