The Hamlet [title]: In his preface to Mans, the final volume of the Snopes trilogy, Faulkner calls that work the “final chapter of, and the summation of, a work conceived and begun in 1925” (Mans xi). During the long gestation of Ham, Faulkner experimented with several titles. The title of his original attempt to tell the Snopes story, FA, alludes to the Biblical patriarch’s leading his people out of bondage and sets the pattern of progress that carries Flem, and his clan along with him, from tenant farming to bank presidency. This interpretation is reinforced in Flags: “With this foothold and like Abraham of old, he led his family piece by piece into town” (154). Kibler suggests that Faulkner may have been thinking not of the Biblical model but of the American Abraham (Kibler 5–6). If his memory is accurate and the Snopes work was incepted in 1925, Faulkner may have been living in New Orleans when he conceived the trilogy. While there, he saw Sherwood Anderson, who was working on a biography of Abraham Lincoln, regularly. Anderson, in the surviving fragment of the biography, refers to Lincoln as “Father Abraham” and stresses his impoverished background as the son of a “no-account” and a “shiftless” father. Dimino mentions Benjamin Franklin’s Father Abraham, who, in the preface to Poor Richard Improved, tutors the American colonists in strategies for success, in spite of the British tariffs that deplete their profits (noted 164). Dimino sees the allusion as one of a number of references to colonial economies that run through the novel.