Settle, Mary Lee. Know Nothing. New York: Viking, 1960. In print: University of South Carolina Press, 1996.
During the years 1837-1861, two generations of a western Virginia family deal with financial panic, the decay of the plantation economy, the slave trade, miscegenation, and the pull of the frontier. The novel ends with several main characters taking part in the 1861 West Virginia campaign.
Impressively detailed, exceptionally complex social study as well as a sharply told narrative of a family's desires and defeats.