"The Last American Man" by Elizabeth Gilbert begins by introducing Eustace Conway, American naturalist, preservationist, and owner/operator of Turtle Island Preserve outside Boone, North Carolina.
Gilbert refers to Eustace Conway as the last American man. Although Conway was raised in Gastonia, North Carolina, he chose to make his life in the woods. Conway's the first real foray into a life of a naturalist came when he was seven years old. By the time Conway was 12 he began to stay in the woods alone, living off the land. When Conway was 17 he moved out of the family home and lived in the woods in a teepee, surviving solely off the land and his own wilderness survival abilities.