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For an extensive article and list of works, see Chastain Central's Charles Waddell Chesnutt.
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As Lincoln became president and the southern states began to secede, Mary Chesnut realized that she was living in momentous times, that she was close to the day to day action, and that she was qualified by background and education to record it. On the day that Jefferson Davis was inaugurated president of the Confederate States of America, February 18, 1861, she wrote her first entry in the diary that would make her famous. She kept her diary intermittently throughout the war, and it was published by a friend in 1905, twenty years after Mary's death, as A Diary from Dixie. Readers, especially historians, were overjoyed. However, only part of the manuscript was included, so novelist Ben Ames Williams published an expanded edition in 1949 under the same title. Though fifty percent longer, it was still incomplete.
Two factors affecting both editions were misleading. First, it was not made clear in either edition that the editors were somewhat free in handling the text. Secondly, it was assumed incorrectly by the public, historians included, that the underlying text was Mary's day-by-day observations and notations. In fact, Mary Chesnut spent much of her later years repeated re-writing and polishing her diary, so that the result was more a literary work than a daily journal, even though it retained the daily entry format. It is generally considered the finest literary work of the Confederacy. Only since 1981 have we had access to the full text of Mary's literary project, along with the original diary, so far as the manuscripts are still available, through C. Vann Woodward's critical edition, Mary Chesnut's Civil War. Woodward's edition won the 1982 Pulitzer Prize in History and is by far the preferred edition. Not only is it more complete and transparent, but it is very readable and his analysis is quite helpful. In 1984 Woodward, and Muhlenfeld released an annotated edition of the original diary entitled The Private Mary Chesnut. In any of the editions, Mary Boykin Chesnut comes through as a fascinating individual, and she provides tremendous insight into an important time in United States history.
After the end of the war, the Chesnuts came home to devastation. The plantation was severely damaged in the war, they were in heavy debt, and had no money to put things back in order. James devoted himself to politics, but neither business nor politics went well for them. From about 1873 to 1875, Mary wrote three unpublished novels and repeatedly revised her diary manuscript. James Chesnut died of a stroke in February of 1885. Complications regarding the estate left Mary with basically nothing to live on, and she supplemented her small annual income by selling eggs and butter. She died on November 22, 1886 at age 63. She willed her diary manuscripts to her trusted friend, Isabella Martin, who saw to the publication of the first edition in 1905.
There are two good biographies of Mary Boykin Chesnut. The definitive biography is Mary Boykin Chesnut: A Biography by Elisabeth Muhlenfeld, the pre-eminent Mary Chesnut scholar, Louisiana State University Press, 1981 (271 pages). The other is Mary Boykin Chesnut: A Confederate Woman's Life (American Profiles), by Mary A. Decredico, Madison House, 1996 (192 pages). Decredico is a professor at the United States Naval Academy and a respected Civil War historian.
List of Mary's Writings:
A Diary from Dixie, edited by Isabella D. Martin and Myrta Lockett Avary, D. Appleton and Company, 1905 (See Electronic Edition)
A Diary from Dixie, edited by Ben Ames Williams, Houghton, Mifflin, 1949
Mary Chesnut's Civil War, edited by C. Vann Woodward, Yale University Press, 1981
The Private Mary Chesnut: The Unpublished Civil War Diaries, edited by C. Vann Woodward and Elizabeth Muhlenfeld, Oxford University Press, 1984
Two Novels: The Captain and the Colonel / Two Years, or, The Way We Lived Then, edited by Elizabeth Muhlenfeld, University Press of Virginia, 2002
An Excellent Brief Biography by Molly Nash
The Chesnut Cottage is Now a Bed and Breakfast
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Al and Ty Chestnut, The Chestnut Brothers, were born in Columbia, South Carolina and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Before billing themselves as The Chestnut Brothers, they were known as Brotherly Love, but the brothers began as The Chestnut Tree and released Super Lovin' on Melba Records in 1972. They were signed to Paramount Records and Super Lovin' was re-released. In 1990, as Brotherly Love they released Whole Lotta You In Me on Skyline Records, featuring Grover Washington, Jr. on soprano sax. Brotherly Love was released in 1993 on Skyline and Peace Suite in 2003 on Abdul. The Abdul label is headed by Al Chestnut's son, Abdul (see Abdul in photo wearing red), who is also a member of the Chestnut Brothers group. The Chestnut Brothers are very involved in the international peace movement and in anti-violence initiatives, and this is reflected strongly in their music, which also has a significant gospel component. They have performed in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, and the Middle East. Some of their notable performances include the inaugural Marian Anderson Humanitarian Award Gala (honoring Harry Belafonte), the 1996 Olympic Games festivities, the Miss Black America Pageant, and the opening of the Hard Rock Café in Philadelphia. Their parents, Alexander and Hazel Chestnut, had a big musical impact on the family. Alexander played a tenor sax, Hazel sang in a gospel choir, and their daughter, Patricia, was a featured vocalist in a jazz quintet. The Chestnut parents also imparted a spirit of humanitarianism that is very much a part of the Chestnut Brothers.
Cody ChesnuTT capitalizes the last two letters of his last name. Cody was born in Atlanta. He began playing drums when he was five, learned piano when he was eight, and started playing guitar as an adolescent. By the time he was 13, he was playing in shows, and by the time he was twenty he had formed a band and they signed with Hollywood Records in 1998. However, after spending two years putting together an album, the deal fell through and the band split up. After that bad experience, Cody created a homemade studio in his bedroom and produced a raw double album called The Headphone Masterpiece that blends elements of rock, pop, R&B, rap, and neo-soul. He wrote all the music and lyrics, did all the singing, and played all the musical instruments. The Headphone Masterpiece put Cody solidly on the map. After it began to get favorable airplay, he was approached by several top labels who wanted to release it, but they all insisted that it be re-recorded in a professional studio. Cody refused. Instead, he released the album in 2002 with independent label Ready Set Go, which he co-owns. Part of the charm of The Headphone Masterpiece is its authenticity, and the imperfections from being recorded in a non-professional environment without state of the art equipment adds to its genuineness. However, there is considerable crude language in the album, and some accuse Cody of misogyny. The Roots recorded one of his cuts The Seed for their album Phrenology, with Cody on the vocals. He toured with them some and performed with them on Jay Leno and David Letterman. Cody ChesnuTT formed a new band and tours frequently in the USA and in Europe.
Review of The Headphone Masterpiece
Cody ChesnuTT Videos
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Cyrus was born January 17, 1963 in Baltimore, Maryland. His father, McDonald Chestnut, played piano for their Baptist church, and it had a tremendous impact on Cyrus. He relates, "I heard my father playing hymns on the piano and I heard the congregation singing. It's an integral part of me and the music I play. My whole spirit of joy started right there." Peabody Preparatory Institute by age nine. His gospel sound is still apparent on a number of his recordings. His introduction to jazz was through A Charlie Brown Christmas. In high school, Cyrus was known for playing the Peanuts theme score. The album was released by Vince Guaraldi and his trio in 1965 as the soundtrack to the Christmas television special. Cyrus released his own version on the 2000 album, Cyrus Chestnut & Friends: A Charlie Brown Christmas. After Cyrus graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston with a degree in jazz composition and arranging, he worked with a number of top musicians such as Jon Hendricks, Terence Blanchard, Donald Harrison, Wynton Marsalis, and Betty Carter before recording his first solo CD in 1989, a self-produced Gospel album, There's a Brighter Day Comin'. He recorded several albums for the Japanese label Alfa before becoming an Atlantic artist in 1994. His latest release, Genuine Chestnut, February 28, 2006, is with Telarc.
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James Chesnut, Jr., South Carolina Politician and Civil War General
(1815-1885) James, Jr. was born January 18, 1815 in Kershaw County near Camden, South Carolina, the youngest of thirteen siblings. His parents were James Chesnut, Sr. and Mary Cox Chesnut. The Chesnuts were wealthy South Carolina land owners with five square miles of plantation. When James' older brother John died in 1839, James became heir to the entire estate, one of the wealthiest in the state.
James graduated with honors from the law department of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1835. He was admitted to the bar the same year and established a law practice in Camden. In 1840 he married Mary Boykin Miller, daughter of former South Carolina Governor Stephen Decatur Miller. Despite all his accomplishments, James Chesnut, Jr. is known today primarily as the husband of Mary Boykin Chesnut. James was elected to the South Carolina state legislature in 1842 and served in the House of Representatives for twelve years before moving to the State Senate, where he served from 1854 to 1858. In 1858, he was elected to fill the U.S. Senate seat of Josiah J Evans, who died in office. James was among the first Southern congressmen to leave congress when he returned to South Carolina on November 10, 1860 to serve on the committee that drafted South Carolina's secession ordinance. He was a delegate from South Carolina to the Confederate Provisional Congress, serving from 1861 until 1862 and was known as one of the framers of the Confederate Constitution.
Before the bombardment Fort Sumter, as members of P.G.T. Beauregard's staff, Colonel James Chesnut and Captain Stephen Dill Lee delivered the formal demand for surrender to Robert Anderson, the Union commander in the fort. Prior to First Manassas, James was dispatched to Richmond to present Confederate President Jefferson Davis with Beauregard's plans. On April 19, 1862, James was appointed aide de camp to President Davis with the rank of colonel of cavalry. He was promoted to Brigadier General on April 23, 1864 and took command of the reserve forces of South Carolina. He remained in the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida for the remainder of the war. After the war, Chesnut returned to his law practice in Camden. He worked to end carpetbagger rule in South Carolina. In 1868 he was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in New York City. He died on February 1, 1885 at his estate near Camden, South Carolina.
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Jane Chesnutt, Editor-in-Chief, Woman's Day Jane graduated from the School of Journalism, University of Texas at Austin, in 1973. She first joined Woman's Day in 1978 as an Assistant Editor, and was Woman's Day beauty, fashion, and health editor before being appointed Editor-in-Chief in February 1991 at the age of 40. Prior to working with Woman's Day, she worked at the American Journal of Nursing. Woman's Day magazine is one of 18 titles published by Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., Inc., the New York-headquartered subsidiary of Hachette Filipacchi Medias, the world's largest magazine publisher. Jane Chesnutt is also Senior Vice President and Group Editorial Director for Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., Inc., serving as Editorial Director of Woman's Day Special Interest Publications and Home magazine. On November 9, 2004, For Me, a new lifestyle magazine targeted toward women between the ages of 25 and 35, released its first issue. For Me was created under the editorial direction of Jane Chesnutt. It was announced in February, 2006 that Hachette Filipacchi Media will reorganize, putting Woman's Day, For Me, Home, and the Woman's Day Special Internet Publications, into one division: the Women's Service Group to be headed by Jane Chesnutt.
Consistent with Woman's Day's strong emphasis on heart disease, Jane is involved in a number of charities and other organizations. She is Chairman of the Board of the American Heart Association in New York City, and she is on the board of Warm Up America!, a national charity program in Gastonia, North Carolina that provides afghans to people in need. Jane is also a member of Women's Forum, Inc..
A Day with Jane Chesnutt
Exclusive Interview with First Lady Laura Bush
Article: Red, Red Time
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Joey Chestnut, Competitive Eater
(November, 1983-) Joseph Christian "Jaws" Chestnut, a civil engineering student at San Jose State University, became interested in competitive eating at a Mexican restaurant in San Jose, California that offered a giant burrito challenge. After several attempts, Joey made it in seven minutes and won a few hundred dollars. In 2005, he exploded onto the competition eating scene at a deep-fried asparagus-eating contest, eating 6.3 pounds of asparagus in 11.5 minutes. That year, he set eating records for pork ribs, waffles, and cheese sandwiches. Since then the 6'1", 230 pounder continues to create excitement among enthusiasts, and, as of July, Joey had earned $50,000 in cash and prizes in 2006. He was ranked second top eater on the circuit worldwide by the International Confederation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE).
By far the most exciting event so far was the 2006 Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest at Coney Island televised by ESPN. The annual Nathan's hot dog event is the pinnacle of the competitive eating circuit, and the winner for the previous five years in a row (starting in 2001) was Japan's Takeru Kobayashi. Kobayashi set a new record of 53.5 hot dogs in 2004, but Joey, who finished third with only 32 hot dogs at the 2005 contest, set a new American record of 50 during a qualifying tournament in Las Vegas. There was widespread speculation that Joey would take down champion Takeru Kobayashi in 2006. In fact, Joey led for the first nine minutes, but Kobayashi took over during the final three minutes, finishing at 53.75 hot dogs. Joey beat his own American record, setting the new record at 52, but was 1.75 short of Kobayashi, who was named champion for the sixth year in a row. Among the news coverage of the event:
You can bet on who wins Nathan’s Famous 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest!
U.S. Pins Wiener-Eating Hopes on Chestnut
Chestnut fails in quest to become hot dog-eating champ
Japanese eater crams down 53-plus hotdogs to wins 6th straight Coney Island contest
Few extra bites
Joey Chestnut's IFOCE Profile
Eating records set by Joey Chestnut:
Lee Chesnut, Real Estate Developer
Lee attended Phoenix College and Arizona State University. He almost became a professional singer in the early 1980s after an audition with a Christian quartet, but several of the members were having difficulty supporting their families financially, so he decided to go back to real estate. He started Chesnut Properties LLC, in San Diego in 1990 after working for other real estate firms for five years. He didn't intend to specialize in building lab space for bioindustry, but a few successful ventures led to a solid reputation in that area. His first biotech project was in 1999 when Chesnut Properties bought a company in default on a vacant lab building. He pumped $1 million into renovations and upgrades and found tenants. That led to other deals, including a signature project that moved Agouron Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Pfizer Inc., into a laboratory converted from a vacant industrial building. Recently, Lee announced plans to develop two buildings on 5 acres in a corporate center in Tempe, Arizona. The project may cost $65 million to complete. Lee and Sandra Chesnut have four children.
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Mark was born in Beaumont, Texas in 1963 and got his musical start in the country music clubs of Beaumont playing with his father, Bob Chesnutt--singer, record collector, and classic country music fan. Mark began singing with his dad's band when he was 15, and he began going with him to record in Nashville when he was 17. During the '80s, Mark released singles on local labels, many of which were compiled into an independent album in 1990, Doing My Country Thing. In 1989 he was signed to MCA Nashville. His first MCA single, Too Cold At Home, established him as one of country's most authentic and talented vocalists. His first album (1990) produced three hit singles, and he won the CMA Horizon Award. Since then, Mark has produced a string of number one hits and videos. He has fourteen number one hits, 23 top ten singles, four platinum albums, and five gold records. In 2002, Mark signed with Columbia and released an album. Mark released Savin' The Honky Tonk with Vivaton Records in 2004, and as of early 2006 he is working on a new album. Mark is a big fan of Elvis Presley and enjoys collecting his books, movies, and records, but he hates Elvis jokes. Mark's father, such a big influence in his success, unfortunately did not get to witness its full fruition, as he died before Mark experienced his greatest successes. Mark was married in 1992; he and his wife Tracie Chesnutt have three sons, Waylon, Casey, and Cameron.
NUMBER ONE HIT SINGLES: I Don't Want to Miss a Thing (released 1999); Thank God For Believers (1997); It's A Little Too Late (1996); She Dreams (1994); Gonna Get A Life (1994); Sure Is Monday (1993);Almost Goodbye (1993); I Just Wanted You To Know (1993); I'll Think Of Something (1992); Brother Jukebox (1990); Blame It On Texas (1990); Your Love Is A Miracle (1990). NUMBER ONE VIDEOS: Thank God For Believers (1997); It's A Little Too Late (1996); Let It Rain (1996); Gonna Get A Life (1994); Sure Is Monday (1993); Almost Goodbye (1993); I'll Think Of Something (1990); Ol' Country (1990).
Sample Cuts-Doing My Country Thing
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Mary Boykin Chesnut, Civil War Diarist
(1823-1886) Confederate Civil War diarist, author, and wife of a Confederate General who was previously a United States Senator.
Morris L. Chestnut, Actor
(1969-) Morris was born January 1, 1969 in Cerritos, California. He studied finance and drama at California State University. Morris' first dream was to play professional football, but he went into acting instead. He was a hit in his very first professional acting role, the feature role of Ricky Baker, a promising young athlete in Boyz N the Hood(1991). Among his other work is the title role of Disney Channel's civil rights drama, The Ernest Green Story (1993); Under Siege II: Dark Territory (1995), with Steven Seagal; one of the Navy SEAL recruits with Demi Moore in G.I. Jane (1997); and with Steven Seagal again in Half Past Dead (2002). He has also played television roles. He earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for his 1999 starring performance in The Best Man. His first movie, Boyz N the Hood, grossed a very respectable $56,190,094 in the United States, but it was just the first of his $50,000,000+ films: The Last Boy Scout, Under Siege 2, Last Mike, and Ladder 49. Ladder 49 (2004) grossed $74,541,707 in the U.S. and $102,332,848 world wide. Morris plays the part of firefighter Tommy Drake, who has developed a powerful bond of friendship with fellow firefighter Jack Morrison (Joaquin Phoenix). The movie is about Jack Morrison becoming trapped in a huge warehouse fire after he goes in to save a civilian. Morris hosted the 1993 Miss Collegiate African American Pageant. He was able to live a slice of his pro football dream in 1998, when he was the winner of the 1998 Madden Bowl, beating other celebrity talent as well as NFL stars in a tournament of John Madden Football. In 1995, Morris married Pam Byse, and they have two children.
Ladder 49 Interview
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Roy Chestnutt, CEO of Grand Communications
Roy became CEO of Grand Communications on Feb. 13, 2006. Prior to that he was the Senior Vice President of National Field Sales and General Business for Sprint-Nextel. Before the Nextel-Sprint merger, Roy held various executive positions at Nextel Communications. Previous to Nextel, Roy worked in sales and marketing with PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Cellular. Roy earned his MBA from the University of San Francisco. His Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration is from San Jose University.
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Saralyn Chesnut, Director LGBT Life, Emory University Saralyn is Director of the Office of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) Life at Emory University and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Emory's Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts and the Emory Institute for Women's Studies; twentieth-century American history and literature. She teaches literary theory and criticism; feminist theory; and lesbian/gay studies. Saralyn earned her Ph.D. from Emory University in 1994. Her undergraduate degree was from the University of Georgia, 1972. The Office of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Student Life began operations at Emory University in the fall of 1991 in response to a university community demonstration over the unsatisfactory result in a gay harassment complaint. In 1992, it was re-named the Office of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Life in order to include faculty and staff and Saralyn Chesnut was hired as the first director. Saralyn began as director in January 1993. The office was renamed the Office of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) Life in 1996. As director, Saralyn is an ex officio member of President's Commission on the Status of Women.
Under Saralyn Chesnut's leadership, the office has made tremendous strides to make the university hospitable to gay and transgendered persons. In January 1993, sexual orientation was added to Emory's Equal Opportunity Policy. Domestic partnership (DP) benefits were added in July, 1995. At the time, fewer than thirty universities nationwide offered such benefits. In the same month, Emory and Duke became the only two Southern universities to offer DP benefits. During Chesnut's first year as director, the Office of LGB Life established two annual events: first the Emory Pride Banquet held near March 2 each to commemorate the campus-wide protest held on March 2, 1992 and to recognize the gains made since that time, and secondly, the Emory LGBT Film Festival held in February, which features the best of current independent LGBT films and brings in filmmakers to screen and discuss their work.
Saralyn Chesnut contributed a chapter, Queering the Curriculum, or What's Walt Whitman Got to Do with It? to Working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender College Students A Handbook for Faculty and Administrators by Ronni L. Sanlo, Greenwood Press, 1998, and she wrote an article with Amanda C. Gable, 'Women Ran It': Charis Books and More and Atlanta's Lesbian-Feminist Community, 1971-1981 in John Howard, Ed. Carryin' On in the Lesbian and Gay South, New York University Press, 1997.
Vic was born January 1, 1964, in Jacksonville, Florida, but was raised in Zebulon, Georgia, west of Macon in west-central Georgia. Vic played trumpet in a cover band during his teens, but in 1983, when he was eighteen, a car accident left him partially paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. However, he was still able to play guitar. Around 1985 Chesnutt moved to Athens, Georgia and joined a band for awhile before playing solo shows at the 40 Watt Club. He was discovered by R.E.M. vocalist Michael Stipe. Stipe produced Vic's first album, Little in 1990, and it was released by independent label Texas Hotel. The album was almost entirely acoustic guitar and vocals. In 1991, Stipe produced a second Vic Chesnutt album, West of Rome, with a band. New York filmmaker Peter Sillen filmed the recording of the album and from it produced a documentary on Vic Chesnutt called Speed Racer, which showed at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on PBS. The album and documentary together helped establish Vic's reputation.
Vic continued to release albums, but the 1996 release of Sweet Relief II: Gravity of the Situation-The Songs of Vic Chesnutt brought him to the attention of a much wider audience. The project was a benefit to assist musicians with medical and financial hardship, featuring artists such as Madonna, Hootie & the Blowfish, Smashing Pumpkins, and R.E.M. singing Vic Chesnutt's songs. The same year, Billy Bob Thornton saw the documentary and wrote Vic into a small role in his Academy Award winning film, Slingblade. After Sweet Relief Two was released, Capitol signed Chesnutt and released About to Choke, his major-label debut. Vic is an atheist and has written several songs about his atheism and his rejection of mystical/theological explanations. Vic Chesnutt has recorded ten albums, but his reputation is based even more on his live shows, which have a quality of intense honesty. Vic's wife, Tina, has been involved in some of his projects. She played bass on a number of his albums, including his second album and helped to create The Salesman and Bernadette project. In March, 2000 the Georgia House of Representatives honored Vic for his contributions.
Interview with Vic Chesnutt
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Al Chestnut, Inspirational R&B, Contemporary Gospel
Cody ChesnuTT, Contemporary R&B, Neo Soul
Cyrus Chestnut, Jazz and Gospel Pianist
Mark Chesnutt, Country Singer
Ty Chestnut (Inspirational R&B, Contemporary Gospel Singer)
Vic Chesnutt, Contemporary Folk-Rock Musician
Jerry Chesnut, Composer
FILM: ENGLISH TITLES
IMDb, "Earth's Biggest Movie Database" has a wealth of detail on television as well as movies. Information for this section is taken primarily from IMDb. You may search IMDb for information on your other film interests.
Wayne Everett Chesnut Bury Me an Angel (1972)
Cody ChesnuTT Block Party, Electric Purgatory (2005), Chastain Central Biography
James Chesnutt The Vanishing (1993) and others
Vic Chesnutt Sling Blade (1996), Chastain Central Biography
Dean Chesnutt Wedding Bell Blues (1996) and others
Morris Chestnut Boyz n the Hood (1991) and numerous other movies and TV, Chastain Central Biography
Film Staff and Crew
Bill Chesnut Director, "Truth or Consequences" (1950))
Moyra Chesnut Miscellaneous Crew, Empires: The Greeks - Crucible of Civilization (2000) (TV)
Charles Waddell Chesnutt Writer, The Conjure Woman (1926); Veiled Aristocrats (1932). Chastain Central Biography
Cody ChesnuTT Composer, Singer Various (2002-2004), Chastain Central Biography
Dean Chesnutt, Art Department, Lebensborn (1997)
Vic Chesnutt Composer, Sound, Speed Racer (1994) and others, Chastain Central Biography
Robert T. Chestnut Miscellaneous Crew, Sleepless in Seattle (1993) and others
Carrie Chesnutt Singer and sax player.
Charles Chesnutt Bankruptcy attorney.
Chesnut Properties Commercial Real Estate.
Chesnutt Photography, Inc. Elizabeth and Jim Chesnutt.
Chestnut Health Systems Serving Illinois since 1973.
Chestnut Hill Health System Serving Northwest Philadelphia and Eastern Montgomery County.
Don Chesnut General personal site.
Fritz Chesnut Artist.
Mark Chesnutt Official website of the country-western singer.
Sandy Chestnutt Artist.
Scott Chesnutt Design Portfolio Web design, graphic design, illustration, animation, and interface design.
Vic Chesnutt The musician.