CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Each month, something new and exciting is going on at AGS - in addition to our Monthly Programs, we schedule frequent Workshops, Research Tours, and other very special events. Some recent workshops include ones on German Research, English Research, and Photography. We also conduct research tours to the South Carolina Archives and the Caroliniana Library in Columbia, SC, the Georgia Archives in Atlanta, GA, etc. It's necessary to register ahead of time for most of these events, so please check with AGS about registration deadlines for Workshops, Tours, and of course the Homecoming Seminar by sending an SASE or self-addressed postcard to Augusta Genealogical Society, Inc., P.O. Box 3743, Augusta, GA 30914-3743. Please check, too, for any late changes in the calendar.
The regular monthly programs are free and open to the public.
SOURCES FOR RESEARCHING ANCESTORS IN AMERICAN REVOLUTION SOUTHERN CAMPAIGN DESCRIBED IN STUDY BY NANCY LINDROTH
Most of us as high school scholars learned about the American Revolution from a point of view that barely acknowledged the role of the southern colonies outside of Virginia. It all seemed to start with the dissatisfaction over tariffs and tea, focused on far-away skirmishes in New England or New York, and ended with the British surrender of Cornwallis to General Washington, thus proving the superiority of colonial militiamen over the redcoats. Many Americans never think beyond those nuggets of instruction, with the exception of those who pursue the fields of history and genealogy. Of course, Americans actually lived in the vast wilderness that stretched from Canada to Spanish Florida and became united in defense of common principles. In recent times, sources for study about the American Revolution Southern Campaign have become available.
Nancy Lindroth, our speaker in November, discussed resources that helped her trace the story of her husband's ancestor, Sgt. Hugh McMillan of the Maryland Line troops, who fought in the battle of Eutaw Springs, the last engagement of the war in the Carolinas. Wouldn't he be amazed to know that descendants two hundred years later have traced his military career after wondering about the cause of the delay of his departure from Carolina back to Maryland? McMillan was still in the low country around Charleston two years after the surrender at Yorktown. Many years later when he sought a pension for his war service, he wrote of fever and a wound and returning to Annapolis in a "sick ship." A 1785 letter by Sgt. McMillan concerning his pension was found in 2003 in the Maryland State Archive while Nancy was searching for proof of a marriage noted in McMillan's g-g-granddaughter's 1923 DAR application. The search continued to the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore and the Library of the Society of Cincinnati and the DAR Library in Washington, DC. She attended a conference commemorating the 225th anniversary of the Eutaw Springs battle in September, 2006, where she met the editor of several volumes of the Papers of General Nathanael Greene of the Southern Army. That pivotal encounter introduced her to a whole series of primary documents relating to the American Revolution and to a group of researchers in South Carolina, several of whom maintain websites with searchable records transcribed online.
Nancy shared many of her primary documents and the methodology to find them in handouts. Official records such as Journals of the Continental Congress held at the Library of Congress are available from the LOC website, the website Fold3 (formerly Footnote), and the National Archives regional branches. She used State Archives records in MD, PA, and SC and records left by individuals (founding fathers, congressional delegates, commanders, soldiers) found in manuscript collections at state universities. Journals, diaries, public papers, and letters were used in addition to government documents such as rosters and pension applications. She cautions that primary sources may be prejudiced by an author's age, location, and point of view, but they are important as accounts close to the actual events.
Books should be examined carefully and copies made of their prefaces, legends, glossaries, and bibliographies. Prefaces explain the records and methodology used, while legends denote the sources and types of documents. Glossaries are helpful for military terms. Bibliographies are treasures with listings for unpublished and published documents, some of which may be obscure and unusual.
Many historic newspapers with workable search engines are readily available online now, and articles can be isolated and printed easily.
When combined in chronological order, all events gathered from various sources tell an amazing story of the conditions in which a soldier such as Sgt. Hugh McMillan lived and fought on the southern colonial front in the war for American independence.
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY FROM LINDROTH PROGRAM
SCAR is Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution--an informal group of persons interested in the American Revolution in the South. Activities are periodic roundtables and Corps of Discovery walk/drive carpools at battle/skirmish sites. http://www.southerncampaign.org/cod.php
Speakers walk the group through the sequence of the battle and present information on commanders and actions, usually with both perspectives that make discussions quite lively. Participants are professors, attorneys, authors, cartographers, park rangers, etc. Only entry requirement is desire to learn and share. http://www.southerncampaign.org/ Past issues of SCAR magazine are at http://www.southerncampaign.org/mag.php and pension transcriptions, over 12,000 to date by Will Graves of NC, are at http://southerncampaign.org/pen/ See an online Gazetteer with specific info on each battle at http://gaz.jrshelby.com/.
Published Sources [* Especially Helpful]
Bass, Robert D. Ninety-Six: The Struggle for the South Carolina Backcountry. Orangeburg: Sandlapper Publishing Co., 1978.
Gordon, John W. South Carolina and the American Revolution: A Battlefield History. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2003.
*Kilbourne, John Dwight. A Short History of the Maryland Line in the Continental Army. Baltimore: For the Society of the Cincinnati of Maryland, 1992.
*O'Kelley, Patrick. Nothing but Blood and Slaughter: The Revolutionary War in the Carolinas. 4 vols. Blue House Tavern Press, 2004, 2005.
*Moss, Bobby Gilmer. The Loyalists in the Siege of Fort Ninety-Six. Blacksburg, SC: Scotia-Hibernia Press, 1999.
*Parker, John C., Jr. Parker's Guide to the Revolutionary War in South Carolina: Battles, Skirmishes and Murders. Patrick, SC: Hem Branch Publishing, 2009.
*SCAR Online Magazines. Charles Baxley, editor.
*Schweitzer, George. Revolutionary War Genealogy. Knoxville, 1997.
Swager, Christine R. The Valiant Died The Battle of Eutaw Springs September 8, 1781. Westminster, MD: Heritage Books, 2006. [Maps by John Robertson]
Swisher, James K. The Revolutionary War in the Southern Back Country. Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing Co., Inc., 2008.
*Wildes, Harry Emerson. Anthony Wayne Trouble Shooter of the American Revolution. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1941 [Chap XIII: The Georgia Desert, pp. 268-272]
Prepared by Nancy Lindroth, Augusta, GA. "Sick Ship" Research Sources, Nov. 2011
BUILDING UTILIZATION, HISTORICAL RECORDS, AND LIBRARY CATALOG ARE ON-GOING PROJECTS
The September monthly meeting focused on moving forward with large projects undertaken by the Society when a new slate of officers assumed duties in the fall of 2010. Building space utilization, preservation of historical records, and developing a library catalog have been major projects headed by enthusiastic committee chairs and executed by industrious volunteers.
Vice-president Nancy Lindroth assumed a Herculean task when she began to review and categorize the contents of the building which houses the Adamson Library. She first identified locations of materials, equipment, supplies, and furniture with photo documentation to develop a space utilization plan. Council and other committees were consulted in the analysis and planning, sorting and relocating, reviewing and revising policies, and centralizing library functions.
The library collection had grown to approximately 17,000 books, thousands of periodicals, donations of collections, duplicate books, maps, government records, and court ledgers. An analysis of shelf space revealed a severe lack of space within the Library for un-cataloged inventory. Many special collections remained in boxes in storage areas and were not inventoried or processed.
It was evident to everyone on Council that the library needed some serious attention, and everyone rolled up their sleeves in 2011 and went to work. Members answered the call to help with time and financial contributions. A sale of duplicate books in the back parking lot was our baptism into sales, and we learned quickly that selling over the internet was more efficient. Removal of obsolete equipment and maintenance of the building and grounds were addressed. along with immediate concerns such as HVAC repairs, pest control, interior and exterior cleaning, illegal parking in our back parking lot, simple vandalism on our premises, and inconsiderate dog owners on our lawn.
The past year's efforts have resulted in a neater and better organized facility where volunteers are able to work on the stacks, vertical files, special collections, and historical records, and where workshops can be held more frequently.
Nancy Lindroth presented a Building Utilization Report. She compared the building to a sliding puzzle that is solved by sliding one piece at a time in various directions in order to arrange the tiles in the desired sequence. She described the AGS library as a gridlock with no blank space to maneuver the tiles. That "space" has now been created, and other committees are able to function more effectively.
Jule Rucker spoke on behalf of the Historical Records Committee, formerly known as the Loose Papers Committee when it was formed in 1996 to sort thousands of loose Richmond County Superior Court records dating back to the mid-1700s. The Loose Papers Project produced an all-name database and microfilm of all documents through 1899. The committee also produced all-name indices for eight early Richmond County court records books and placed them on CDs along with images of actual pages of the books.
Gracie Joyce now heads the Historical Records Committee, which is working on three major projects. AGS was given custody of copies of microfilms of old Richmond County Probate Court records and is currently surveying the collection in an effort to produce finding aids. The Committee is also cataloging and inventorying Special Collections and has recently assumed a project involving old Bibles. Twelve special collections are ready for use by appointment.
Lawren Hammond discussed progress made with the digitization of library books into a data base. She is offering training sessions for volunteers to receive instruction to help with the library catalog project.
2011 HOMECOMING SPEAKERS INSPIRE ADDITIONAL RESEARCH AFTER SEMINAR
When you read this September issue of Southern Echoes, our annual Homecoming seminar with its dynamic speakers will be over, but the bibliographies in their syllabus material offer new avenues of research in libraries and on internet sites concerning the theme "Our Civil War Ancestors: Show Us the Records."
Dr. Lee Ann Caldwell's lecture on women in the Civil War cited a number of references that are available at the Adamson library, including The Secret Eye: the Journal of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas, 1848-1889 edited by Virginia Ingraham Burr, A Confederate Lady Comes of Age: The Journal of Pauline DeCaradeu, 1863-1888 edited by Mary D. Robertson, and A Northern Daughter and A Southern Wife: Civil War Reminiscenses and Letters of Katherine H. Cumming written by Cumming when she lived in Augusta. Dr. Caldwell also introduced us to the Duke University website with many references for researching women during the war.
As always, Robert Scott Davis supplied bibliographies with his three lectures that are chock full of sources for records in state and national archives and for both free and subscription sites on the internet. Also cited by Davis are extensive compilations of Civil War records, such as the multi-volume ORs (Official Records), also available in the Adamson Library.
Only days after her lecture at the seminar, Pat Kruger emailed to thank us for asking her to participate in Homecoming! She also sent more info on one of the websites from her lecture on the use of newspapers and periodicals to expand family history. She included the URL for the Library of Congress web site and their Chronicling America project in the syllabus, but she added info for a news directory. Because the information is useful for the study of any period of U.S. history and not just the Civil War, we think it will prove helpful in genealogical searches for family names and places.
The Library of Congress site has on the right hand side of that "Historic Newspapers" page a link for US Newspaper Directory. If you look at http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/search/titles, you can select state, county, and town information. You can also select a newspaper by title if you know the name of the publication. You will find publisher, date and place of publication, geographic coverage, libraries that have the publication (plus a click to find more titles at the same institution) and dates of the newspaper that are available through microfilm copy service.
Of course, I was eager to try this resource. I put in a few titles of interest beginning with the Abbeville Banner published in the South Carolina hotbed of the Confederacy between 1847-1869. I found it available at Duke University, the University of Florida and the University of South Carolina, but also at a place I would never have thought to look, the American Antiquarian Society Newspaper Project of Worcester, MA.
Looking for a family in Georgia, I clicked on The Forest-Blade published in Swainsboro with a geographic coverage listed as Emanuel County. The family I sought was in Toombs County abutting Emanuel. The paper was available for 1911-1979 at the University of Georgia. But Pat had told me that the repositories list at the Library of Congress site was not comprehensive because she had recently found a paper on microfilm in an Indiana town. I had also found The Forest-Blade on microfilm in a local public library. However, using the Library of Congress site to find titles in a geographic area and time has other benefits. The Paris Kentuckian, for example, is shown available at the University of Kentucky for 1882-1886, but if you click on "Preceding Titles" the Paris True Kentuckian in 1869-1882 and The Western Citizen from 1808-1886 are shown, perhaps giving new repositories to search.
In addition to the US Newspaper Directory, the Library of Congress site has a box shown as All Digitized Newspapers 1836-1922 that can be searched by States, Ethnicity, and Language. Newspapers for African Americans, Germans, Indians of North America, Irish, Jewish, and Pacific Islanders are in the Ethnicity box. Choctaw, English, French, Hawaiian, and Spanish are choices under the Language category.
Homecoming presented the opportunity to hear outstanding lectures, browse among vendor sales and displays, socialize with old friends and meet new ones, and celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the Society with a beautiful cake decorated in a Civil War motif. Photographs of speakers and participants at the seminar depict an enjoyable August day on the campus of Augusta State University. The legacy will be enjoying the research suggestions through the rest of the year.
5 MAY 2011
UNUSUAL CLUE LEADS TO CONSPIRATORS IN PRESIDENT LINCOLN'S ASSASSINATION
Because the year 2011 marks the Sesquicentennial of the beginning of the Civil War, several of our programs continued to center around the conflict with its far-reaching effects into the lives of families of both the Union and the seceded southern states. By its very definition, the war consumed the nation in every way and changed lives as nothing ever had in the history of the young United States republic. Causes and many events are still subjects of consideration and speculation.
Dr. Marshall P. Waters opened our minds last August to suggestions about the fate of the missing Confederate treasury specie. Using maps and contemporary sources to track the gold from the fall of Richmond, Virginia in April, 1865, to Washington, Georgia, he discussed a wagon train raid in Chennault, Georgia where approximately $250,000 (1865 value) in gold and silver was successfully stolen, some of which was later accounted for and some not. The 1865 value equals nine million dollars today, of which $3.6 million remains missing. What happened to the Confederate gold is still debated, and theories abound as to who profited from the stolen cargo.
Waters chose another fascinating tale for our program in May when he introduced the story of John Wilkes Booth's horse and how federal government detectives linked it to the Lincoln assassination conspirators within hours after the murder. He explained how Dr. Samuel A. Mudd, the Charles County, Maryland doctor who set Booth's leg after his leap from the balcony at Ford's Theater was implicated in the conspiracy. Booth traveled from Washington, DC to Dr. Mudd's house in Beantown, Maryland to Virginia's Northern Neck and Port Conway, and finally to a barn on Richard Garrett's property near Port Royal, Virginia before he was killed.
Researching, writing, and speaking about events in Civil War history have been interests since Dr. Waters retired from the Naval Reserve as a Navy Captain in 1996 after a career of over 39 years of enlisted and commissioned service. He was Associate Professor of Meteorology at the US Naval Academy. As a civilian, he worked for the National Weather Service, National Meteorological Center, Camp Springs, MD.
Now living with his family in Washington, GA, he is active on the city Planning Commission and Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Civil War Round Table in Washington and in Augusta. He is on the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails and a member of the Georgia Historical Society Speakers Bureau.
14 APRIL 2011
SLAVE SONGS OF AUGUSTA: HOME AGAIN AFTER 145 YEARS
Bob Hester is currently a history major at Augusta State University where his primary academic interest is in musicol¬ogy and music history, especially antebellum black music of Augusta. He presented “Slave Songs of Augusta” at our monthly program, which was rescheduled for the second Thursday in April because of conflicting activities of our local members during the week of the Masters Golf Tournament.
Hester grew up in Madison, TN just north of Nashville and earned degrees in chemical and metallurgical engineering from the University of Tennessee. He served in the U.S. Army as an ordnance officer and attained the rank of captain. Coming to the Augusta area in 1973 to assume a position with DuPont, he retired from the Savannah River Site in 2005 after 33 years. He and his wife Susan make their home in Augusta and are the parents of three grown children and one granddaughter. After retirement, Hester enrolled at ASU and graduated with a B.A. in Music last year. Now enrolled in the history program, he combines his interests in both areas of the humanities.
Hester’s lecture explained how six songs attributed to slaves from Augusta, GA became part of an 1867 anthology of 136 spirituals entitled Slave Songs of the United States (Slave Songs). Spirituals were predated by work songs and folk songs, but the spread of Christianity in the South at the turn of the nineteenth century through camp meetings and church revivals influenced the development of music toward hymns. The movement receded at the end of the Civil War when blacks began to have freedoms that took them away from prewar restraints. The general public inaccurately associated spirituals with minstrel songs such as “Old Black Joe” written by white composers imitating the styles of blacks.
Federal occupation troops composed of units of white soldiers on the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina became aware of the songs of praise and longing sung by the thousands of field hands left behind on abandoned plantations. In Augusta, some of the occupation troops were black men greeted ecstatically by the black community and cautiously by white residents. Fears about violence were much more prevalent than incidents. The black soldiers mixed with local black residents in the summer of 1865 at a picnic on Shultz Hill, a Fourth of July gathering, church services, and camp meetings. They would have heard the spirituals (slave songs) sung on numerous occasions.
Economic and humanitarian aid came to the freedmen of the former slave-holding states through relief agencies and schools. Northern teachers, ministers and missionaries heard the unique music of the South. They contributed to the collecting and therefore the preservation of the songs heard at “praise” meetings after emancipation.
Hester’s title for his lecture refers to the slave songs of Augusta and their return home after 145 years. As he walked the campus of Augusta State University to attend his history and music classes, he remembered that it is on the site of the old federal arsenal, and that the troops occupying Augusta in 1865 quartered at the “Arsenal hill” --and walked to the churches where they heard the spirituals that he wrote about in 2010.
Com¬plementary to the presentation, AGS past president Gloria Lucas will be on hand to vend copies of her recently pub-lished book Slave Records of Edgefield County, South Carolina which was reviewed in the March issue of Southern Echoes.
3 MARCH 2011
WHAT MYSTERIES LURK IN THE SHADOWS OF AUGUSTA'S PAST?
If you're a purist who can appreciate historical events only when they are told on authority by a learned professor whose name is followed by a string of degrees, the March program may not be your cup of tea. If an author's work has to be documented by numerous footnotes and references to a bibliography of exhaustive sources, you may become frustrated and probably irritable. But if you like stories, legends, myths, and maybe a few downright but memorable untruths, then you'll enjoy hearing repetitions of our local Augusta stories that have survived through generations of story tellers.
Popular history embellishes the truth, but it sure is a lot of fun. The story of the last duel fought at the Sand Bar Ferry (over a woman) and the legends of ghosts on the campus of Augusta State University are entertaining fodder for the friends of curiosity. I know from teaching history and leading students on field trips, from volunteering as a docent at the Museum of History, and from conducting tours for the Augusta Tourist and Convention Center. Not one person would ever volunteer to touch that haunted stone pillar at the corner of Fifth and Broad Streets!
Ken Moore, our speaker for the March program, grew up in Augusta and was entranced with the local legends. He has formed a video production company to keep the stories alive. "Shadows of Augusta" is the second documentary produced by his team of researchers who work with freelance technology professionals to make DVDs. The first was about the old automobile racetrack in South Augusta, where drivers like Richard Petty raced beside locals before going on to win championship titles and national fame. The film, released at a drivers' reunion event in February of 2010, was titled "Augusta International Speedway: A Race with Destiny." The track was on the site of the current Diamond Lakes Recreation Park where monuments tell the history of the old raceway.
Moore is a native of Augusta and a graduate of Richmond Academy. He attended Augusta College, coached Little League, and played for and partly owned the Augusta Eagles. He worked for over twenty years at Pontiac Master and has been in aircraft sales management at Augusta Aviation for almost fifteen years. He researched his family history to join the Sons of Confederate Veterans. For as long as he can remember, he's been a history buff.
3 FEBRUARY 2011
JEAN STRICKLAND RECALLS ENJOYABLE ADVENTURES IN DESKTOP PUBLISHING
Virginia (Jean) Bowe Strickland offered suggestions to those who have completed and organized research but are wondering about the next step, publishing a family story, at the most recent AGS program. Realizing that "serious publication" is cost prohibitive for most, she used her own books as examples in explaining her successful journey in desktop publishing, an experience that combines computer and language skills with marketing techniques.
Long before the arrival of her first Macintosh back in 1984, Jean had been writing family tales and assembling scrapbook collages for her children and cousins. Her first attempts at devising a plan to preserve the genealogy "without boredom for everyone" were told in one of the AGS publications, Ancestoring III and it is a delightful article to read. When Carrie Adamson asked Jean for German Lutheran burial records to use in Ancestoring XII, a volume devoted to Augusta's ethnic history, Jean embarked on a ten-year project that eventually culminated in the publication of four volumes of Lutheran records in Augusta, 1859-1921. These were the first books that Jean advertised and sold, and she realized that their titles should be indicative of content conducive to internet searches.
By 2000, internet sites picked up the most prominent names in her book Five Fortune Tellers of New Windsor: Tobler, Zubly, Meyer, Sturzenegger, and Nail, Swiss Pioneer Families of South Carolina. The book told the story of the settlement of the New Windsor (Beech Island) SC area across the Savannah River from Augusta and contained illustrations to accompany the narrative. By 2009, the book was out of print and Jean has recently had it reprinted with additional Nail Bible and cemetery data. (See Marguerite Fogleman's book review in this issue of Southern Echoes.
Jean expanded her readership from family members to architects, builders, and historians with the publication in 2008 of Four Builders in Augusta, Georgia, 1850-1950: Bowes and Markwalters in Construction. She again improved her computer skills while writing the book but also worked with a professional printing company to enhance the multitude of photos of both her maternal and paternal family members involved in the construction business over several generations.
As an AGS member from the early days of the Society, Jean has contributed generously to our monthly programs, seminars, and Homecoming events as a speaker and has allowed AGS to share in profits from vending her books.
The regular monthly programs are free and open to the public.
7 OCTOBER 2010
"OCTOBER PROGRAM DOCUMENTS TUBMAN LIFE AND LEGACY"
The October program was presented by Program Chair Janice Johnson on the genealogy and life of Richard Tubman, Augusta resident and entrepreneur whose decisions made in the early nineteenth century are influential almost two hundred years later. If his name is known today, however, it is probably as the husband of philanthropist Emily Tubman, founder of the First Christian Church on Greene Street and the first public high school for girls in Augusta. But Richard TubmanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s arrival in Georgia from Maryland preceded that of his wife by over two decades, and he was part of the first generation of Augustans after the Revolutionary War to bring development to the city.
Tubman's genealogy was documented by published sources found in the AGS Adamson Library and confirmed by the discovery of a plat of the property owned by his Maryland forebears. He came to Augusta along with his brother Charles about 1793 and is listed on Richmond County and Georgia tax records in the 1790s. His name appears in numerous court documents found among the Richmond County Superior Court loose papers from the early 1800s that were abstracted by AGS volunteers. He was an incorporator of the Episcopal Society, the Bank of Augusta and the Augusta Savings Bank, and civic activities included raising relief funds after fires in Augusta and Savannah and helping to start what is now the public library and literary and thespian societies. He was well established as a large planter and exporter of tobacco, indigo, and cotton and as a businessman when he married Emily Thomas in 1818.
Documents and illustrations shown by the speaker explained the lifestyle experienced by the Tubmans as they traveled to White Sulphur Springs resort in the Virginia mountains and attended balls such as those held to welcome the Marquis de Lafayette on his return visit to the United States in 1825.
Richard Tubman's will executed after his death in 1836 began litigation that eventually stretched into the next century. He intended to leave a large sum to the newly founded public state college (now the University of Georgia) contingent upon the state legislature allowing the emancipation of slaves on his Georgia plantation. The denial of Mrs. TubmanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s petition to the legislature resulted in a larger settlement of cash to the slaves for relocation and expenses to Liberia in Africa. Relocation after emancipation through colonization societies was popular with many large planters in slave-holding states during the first half of the nineteenth century. The emancipation of the Tubman slaves thus preceded the action of the Emancipation Proclamation by sixteen years.
The disposition of Tubman property after the death of Emily Tubman in 1885 also left a lasting legacy when the Broad Street holdings were sold and proceeds used to construct the Tubman Home, actually eight double-tenant dwellings for the indigent. When these became obsolete and were sold, funds went for the construction of community Christian facilities, the YMCA-YWCA. Security income used to operate the incorporated Tubman Home was distributed to the local Shiloh orphanage and to the Salvation Army, which opened its Richard Tubman Social Services Center on Greene Street in 1977.
The speaker concluded with the suggestion that the Tubman legacy to Augusta be remembered because of contributions made in an era of individual achievement and unselfish charity.
3 JUNE 2010
"PRESIDENT LUCAS RELATES BASICS FOR SUCCESSFUL AFRO-AMERICAN RESEARCH"
AGS President Gloria Lucas used personal examples in her family history at the 3 June 2010 meeting to illustrate "Basic Afro-American Research: Methodology and Resources." She was close to her father, Walter Ramsey, while growing up in New York but also to an aunt who lived in Georgia, Eula Mae Ramsey Johnson. Father and aunt were the last two surviving children of her paternal grandmother, and both told her stories to preserve the family history.
Gloria enjoyed the urban cultural diversity that existed in New York, where she spent her childhood. She earned education degrees from Arizona State University and Hofstra University and had a thirty-year career in public education and a second career in real estate. She moved to Georgia and learned more about her roots in Richmond and Lincoln counties when she joined AGS as a volunteer in 1997 and began researching her own family. She continues to work with the Research Roundtable and the Historical Records Committees. She also became an active member of the Old Edgefield Genealogical Society, where she has abstracted slave records for publication.
Her aunt had long been a connecting link to the familyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s southern roots, and she was an inspiration to her niece. Eula Mae gave Gloria the only photo she has ever seen of her grandfather, William Joseph Ramsey, which was taken at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Lincoln County. A devout Christian as well as family historian, her aunt attended church services and many funerals, and she kept the programs that were distributed to attendees at funerals. Such programs often contain biographical and genealogical information, and the programs now make up the Ramsey-Johnson Collection of Funeral Programs that Gloria gave to the Augusta public library after her auntÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s death.
A handout of helpful information includes a research check-list of the various kinds of records a researcher might use, examples of a family chart and census form, and addresses and information on obtaining birth and death certificates and social security cards in Georgia and South Carolina. The handout is useful for any researcher, but the bibliography is especially designed for Afro-Americans. It contains almost four pages of titles of books available to members in the AGS Adamson Library.
4 MARCH 2010
"MYSTERIES AND LEGENDS OF GEORGIA"
At the 4 March 2010 AGS meeting our speaker was Don Rhodes, honorary member of AGS and well-known local writer and publications editor for the Augusta Chronicle newspaper. In his years of interviewing people while gathering material for his column, RamblinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Rhodes, Don has encountered a number of mysterious legends and unexplainable phenomena associated with Georgia. He recently published a book, Mysteries and Legends of Georgia, True Stories of the Unsolved and Unexplained, in which he tells the story of fourteen different mysteries. Rather than merely listing the known facts, he reports the names of people associated with the phenomena and their opinions about them.
Beginning with a strange stone monument in Elberton, granite capital of Georgia, Rhodes describes a Stonehenge-like structure known as Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Georgia Guidestones.Ã¢â‚¬Â The stones are engraved with ten different admonishments in eight different languages. These precepts seem to be advice about how people should behave to cope with the future. The design and sponsors of the project are unknown. Several conflicting stories have been told about its origin, but no one has established the truth. Visitors from all over the world visit the site annually.
The Three Faces of Eve, a book written by Augusta psychiatrists, Doctors Thigpen and Cleckley, portrays the story of a local patient, Christine Sizemore, who suffered from multiple personality disorder. The book later was made into a movie and attracted worldwide attention. The disorder was of mysterious origin at the time and disconcerting to observe. Pseudonyms were used in the book and movie. Rhodes relates the life story of Ã¢â‚¬Å“EveÃ¢â‚¬Â after her recovery revealing that she had suffered from some twenty-two different personalities while ill. She currently is mentally stable and lives in Florida.
In Colonial America, Europeans carried on a lively trade with the Indians. A prominent European group of traders were the Scots who dealt personally with the Indians. They not only moved from place to place in the Indian lands but some established residences and intermarried with the natives. One such union produced John Ross, born 3 October 1790 near present day Center, Alabama. He was educated by Scots settlers, but was immersed in Cherokee culture. At age twenty he was a trader with the U.S. government. He joined General Andrew Jackson in fighting the British-allied Creeks and was a lieutenant in the war of 1812. Ross returned to north Georgia and engaged in several businesses and operated a ferryboat at RossÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Landing (which later became Chattanooga). The federal government continued to push for Indian removal. To combat the federal government the Cherokees created their own structured government with John Ross as leader. In October of 1828, John Ross became the first constitutional chief and leader until his death 38 years later.
Jacksonborough, Georgia was once the county seat of Screven County. It was a thriving town that carried on a brisk trade with Savannah by way of the nearby Savannah River. The town prospered for a while although it contained a few lawless rowdy elements. In 1820 a traveling preacher, Lorenzo Dow, a famed evangelist of his time, came to town and began to preach against slavery, drinking, and sin in general. To break up his meetings, rowdies threw rocks into the church where he was preaching, shot firearms, and shouted insults. Dow followed his tormentors to a saloon, broke open a whiskey barrel and tried to pour out the contents. The crowd began to beat Dow unmercifully and continued until Seaborn Goodall, at whose house Dow was staying, came to his rescue. Dow managed to escape his tormentors. He stamped the dust from his feet, pronounced a curse on the town and asked the Almighty to destroy it, but to spare Mr. GoodallÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s house. Soon the houses in the town began to experience fires, tornadoes, and lightning strikes. Nearby Beaverdam Creek flooded the town and destroyed crops and buildings. The town became deserted. In 1847, the county seat was moved to Sylvania. Today, only Seaborn GoodallÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s house remains where Jacksonborough once stood.
Unidentified flying objects have been reported frequently over Georgia. The most famous incident was reported by President Jimmy Carter in 1969. He reported the incident to the international UFO Bureau in Oklahoma City in September of 1973. He refrained from speculating as to its identity. A copy of his report is included in Don RhodesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ book.
Florence Margaret Martus , better known as the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Waving Girl,Ã¢â‚¬Â created a mystery by making it her business to wave at every vessel entering or departing the port of Savannah for a period of forty four years. Using a white cloth by day or a lantern by night, she saluted every vessel from outside her home on Elba Island where she lived with her brother who was the lighthouse keeper. She was reputed to be the internationally best-known woman in Georgia. Many have speculated on the reason for her waving but she always remained non-committal and thus preserved a mystery. She was honored at several ceremonies. A bronze statue of the girl with her faithful collie stands on a river bluff in downtown Savannah.
The graveyard of St. PaulÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Episcopal Church in Augusta is the burial site of many notable early Americans. One grave that evokes curiosity is that of George Steptoe Washington, said to be the favorite nephew of our first president. He was a native of Virginia. He had contracted tuberculosis and traveled to Augusta to improve his health, but died ten days after his arrival at age 39. As he had requested, he was buried near his Ã¢â‚¬Å“dear friendÃ¢â‚¬Â Ambrose Gordon, a man 20 years his senior. Ambrose Gordon fought in the Revolutionary War under Lt. Col. William Washington. He settled in Augusta after the war, married Betsey Mead, and became a justice of the peace, Lt. Col. in the Georgia militia, and GeorgiaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only U.S. Marshal. One of Ambrose and Betsey GordonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s great-granddaughters was Juliette Gordon Lowe, founder of the Girl Scouts of the U. S.
Actress Susan Hayward is quoted as saying her happiest days were spent at her ranch home in Carrollton, Georgia. RhodesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ book presents a short biography of the movie star. The mystery surrounding her life is that she associated with the rich and famous, but found most happiness in a small north Georgia community while married to Eaton Chalkley, a businessman.
Georgia is filled with mysteries related to artifacts left by the native Americans. One such site is Rock Eagle near Eatonton, Georgia. Measuring 35 feet wide and 102 feet from head to tail with a wingspan of 120 feet, it is composed of pile of milky white stones placed on the ground in the shape of a giant bird. Use of a three-story observation platform nearby is needed to obtain a good feel for its shape and size. The mystery about this structure is that no one knows who built it, or what purpose it served. Fifteen miles away in Putnam County is Rock Hawk, a similar structure with no clue as to its origin or purpose. Several other mounds, both burial and ceremonial are scattered throughout the state. The most notable are Etowah near Cartersville, Kolomoki near Blakeley, and Ocmulgee near Macon. Fort Mountain in north Georgia has an 850 foot stone wall that predates the Cherokees. The builders and purpose are not known.
Lula Hurst was a popular performer billed as the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Georgia Wonder.Ã¢â‚¬Â She supposedly received miraculous powers after an electrical storm passed. She was fourteen years old and weighed 120 pounds, but could drag strong men while holding walking sticks, umbrellas, and cue sticks around a stage. Much speculation occurred among the public as to how she could perform these feats of strength, but no satisfactory answer was advanced during the two years of her stage career. She supposedly revealed her secrets in her autobiography published in 1897. Lula married her manager from Madison, Georgia where she lived and raised a family. She is remembered as a kind and loving parent and grandparent and is buried in Madison.
The burial place of Button Gwinnett, one of GeorgiaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s signers of the Declaration of Independence, continues to be an item of speculation. The Signers Monument in Augusta has crypts containing the remains of the other two signers George Walton and Lyman Hall, but the location of GwinnettÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s grave has not been found. Various Ã¢â‚¬Å“authoritiesÃ¢â‚¬Â have suggested SavannahÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Colonial Park Cemetery or St. CatharineÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Island which he owned on the Atlantic coast of Georgia.
An unsolved mystery persists as to the final disposition of the gold and silver from the Confederate Treasury. Beliefs include the idea that the treasure is buried near Washington, Georgia where the last meeting of the Confederate cabinet was held. The Savannah River is suggested as a possibility. Rumors persist that unknown raiders stole the gold and silver and deposited it in foreign banks. Accounts written by various individuals tell of their roles in transferring gold and silver to U.S. government officials. No one knows for sure whether it was all transferred or not.
Several strange and unique homes are found in Georgia. Each seems to reflect the eccentric character of its owner. Near Buena Vista, Eddie Owens Martin who called himself St. EOM, created a bizarre home site named Pasaquan with carved wooden statues, brightly colored concrete and hammered aluminum pieces. He never cut his hair and wore turbans and brightly colored robes. Locals accepted him as just an eccentric. Near Toccoa, country music entertainers Frankie and Tommy Scott built and furnished an Asian-styled home. Neither had ever been to the Orient. They used the home as a getaway from a busy show business schedule. The Lapham-Patterson house in Thomasville is a nineteen-room home with no room rectangular. Each room opens to a porch or balcony. The house was built by Charles Willard Lapham, a survivor of the great Chicago fire. It is now operated as a museum by the city of Thomasville. In Summerville, stands the WorldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Folk Art Chapel, a creation of Howard Finster, preacher and folk artist. Constructed of cast-off bottles, mirrors, bathtubs, bicycle frames, etc., the site has achieved international recognition.
In Moultrie at Pleasant Grove Primitive Baptist Church, a five-foot tall marble statue of a baby elephant marks the grave of William F. Duggan, owner of Duggan Brothers Circus. In Riverdale Cemetery, Columbus Georgia, a monument representing a circus tent commemorates lives lost in a headÃ¢â‚¬â€œon railroad crash between a circus train and another train near Columbus in November of 1915.
4 FEBRUARY 2010
"CIRCLING THE SAVANNAH"
Local objects of historical interest are often overlooked by local people who do not realize their significance. The Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) comprising the trade area surrounding Augusta, Georgia, and Aiken, South Carolina, is no exception.
Dr. Tom Mack, professor of English at the University of South Carolina-Aiken, has written extensively about American history and culture. He writes a weekly column for The Aiken Standard that describes interesting cultural sites and relates anecdotes about people and events in the area. He has recently compiled a book entitled Circling the Savannah that is a compendium of his newspaper articles.
Dr. Mack was the speaker at the 4 February 2010 AGS monthly meeting. His presentation described the contents of his book and allowed him to comment in more detail about some of the more interesting parts.
The book is presented in four sections: Aiken, Augusta, Edgefield, and "Beyond."
In the first section, the life and works of antebellum poet, artist, and inventor, James Legare (pronounced Le-gree), are described. The cottage he lived in still stands in Aiken. The "Battle of Aiken" in which Union General Judson KilpatrickÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s forces attempted to take the city is addressed. Confederate forces under General Joe Wheeler in a battle taking place in downtown Aiken defeated the Union troops and stopped their advance on the Augusta gun powder factory. Union dead are buried in the graveyard of First Baptist Church. A single marker commemorates the Confederates who died in battle. The dead were removed to their home areas for burial. A re-enactment of the battle is staged annually and attracts spectators from all over the country. A monument to the Confederate cause was erected in front of the Aiken courthouse. Notable characters connected to Aiken include the celebrated pianist Josef Hofmann, who lived for a time in Aiken. His first wife, Marie, established a school for girls that was located at the present site of the Fermata Club on Whiskey Road.
The second section of the book deals with Augusta, Georgia. An early explorer of the CSRA, William Bartram, traveled through the countryside along the Savannah River observing and recording plants and animals that he encountered. His travels are commemorated by the establishment of the Bartram Trail in the area. In downtown Augusta the Signers Monument stands over crypts containing the remains of two of GeorgiaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s signers of the Declaration of Independence, George Walton and Lyman Hall. The home of George Walton, Meadow Garden, is preserved by the DAR as a house museum and stands at the corner of Walton Way and Thirteenth St. The boyhood home of Woodrow Wilson at Telfair and Seventh St. is restored to the 1860 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 1870 period with some of the original furnishings included. The restoration has been described as an example of how restoration should be done. In 1845 the Augusta canal system was constructed, and the Confederacy constructed a factory on it that supplied huge amounts of gunpowder used in the war. A tall brick chimney remains at the site today as a memorial to the Confederate dead. Also in Circling the Savannah, Augusta writers Erskine Caldwell and Frank Yerby and YerbyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s restored home relocated to the campus of Paine College are described.
Edgefield County, South Carolina, has one of the most concentrated areas of South CarolinaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s historical and notable citizens. Willowbrook Cemetery contains the family plots of Thurmonds (Senator Strom and others), Butlers, Brooks, and Pickens. Dr. Mack noted the need for refurbishing this historical site. Also, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Dave the PotterÃ¢â‚¬Â is mentioned as a famous Edgefield resident. Dave, a slave, was known for making large clay pots and for inscribing his name, date, and a witty or poetic phrase on the outside of his creations. This practice was considered daring and remarkable because slaves were prohibited from learning to read and write. DaveÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pots have become expensive collectorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s items today. Edgefield is also the locale of Oakley Park, home of General Martin W. Gary and his nephew John Gary Evans, that is operated as a museum by the UDC. General Gary was a supporter of Wade Hampton and his Ã¢â‚¬Å“Red ShirtsÃ¢â‚¬Â who sought to wrest power from Reconstruction Era Republicans and restore the old order. They regained control of the state government after removal of federal troops in 1877.
The fourth section of the book contains information on several distinguished South Carolinians. Robert Mills, born in Charleston in 1781, became known as the first American-born architect. He designed the Washington Monument and numerous public buildings throughout the country. James Henry Hammond, owner of several plantations, built a mansion named Redcliffe in Aiken County. Hammond served as U. S. Representative 1834 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 1836, Governor 1842 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 1844, U. S. Senator just before the Civil War, and is remembered for a speech to Congress in which he declared Ã¢â‚¬Å“Cotton is king!Ã¢â‚¬Â Jim Harrison, internationally known painter, maintains a gallery in Denmark, South Carolina. He is noted for his scenes of rural landscapes with country stores and Coca Cola advertisements.
Dr. Mack stated that he had to leave out several subjects to comply with publishersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ requirements. He also acknowledged that quite a few other people and places need to be written about. Perhaps another book is in the making? His presentation was entertaining, informative, and enjoyed by all.
Dr. Tom Mack
7 JANUARY 2010
"MAPPING THE COLONIAL ABBEVILLE - SOUTH CAROLINA DISTRICT "
The area designated in Colonial times as the Abbeville District of South Carolina was the area from which modern day Abbeville County and parts of McCormick and Greenwood Counties were formed. The district was originally Cherokee Indian land but began being settled by Europeans as early as 1738, the date of the oldest royal land grant found by our speaker at the 7 January 2010 AGS regular meeting. Nancy Lindroth, one of our members researching in McCormick County, SC, had previously presented a program to the society relating her unfortunate experience of losing her genealogical records and other irreplaceable objects in a house fire. In that presentation she made suggestions as to how to prevent such a tragedy.
Dr. Mack was the speaker at the 4 February 2010 AGS monthly meeting. His presentation described the contents of his book and allowed him to comment in more detail about some of the more interesting parts.
The book is presented in four sections: Aiken, Augusta, Edgefield, and "Beyond."
Being an avid student of local history and genealogy, Nancy became involved in a project to locate the sites of Revolutionary military actions in South Carolina. As the Abbeville area was where several battles and skirmishes took place, finding the actual physical locations seemed to be an attractive and accomplishable goal. As she began research, numerous impediments began to present themselves. Colonial era maps were scarce and of questionable accuracy. Names of some natural and man-made geographical features changed over the years. Descriptions of places were often vague. To locate as much information as possible Nancy began to look for existing compilations and sources. Libraries, archives, reference books, journal articles, courthouse records, and internet resources were identified and compiled into a list with notes as to significant holdings of each. Copies were distributed to attendees.
Nancy also compiled several lists of useful information derived from the sources. She has located some 1700 plats for land grants in the area. Important information included in the description of land parcels was the name of watercourses adjacent or nearby. Over the years, many of the Colonial names changed. Nancy compiled a list of the principal streams comparing modern and colonial names.
Some of the more valuable existing maps of the Abbeville District include HamiltonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s great survey, a grant of 200,000 acres made by King George II to William Livingstone and associates on 17 June 1752. Three townships were established in the Abbeville District in Colonial times: two in 1762, Boonesborough and Belfast for the Scots-Irish, and one for French Huguenots, Hillsborough. A fourth township, Londonborough, is referenced in plats of land granted to Palatine immigrants, but no records of a separate township for them has been found.
The value of land records to the genealogist is, of course, the names associated with the land. The Abbeville District, among the first settled in the upcountry, continues to be a rich source of information on early settlers in South Carolina.
Nancy displayed maps and other materials she has collected. Her presentation was much appreciated by those present and some suggested a workshop on the subject would be appropriate as a future seminar.
3 SEPTEMBER 2009
MARK ALBERTIN PRESENTS "DISPLACED - THE UNEXPECTED FALLOUT FROM THE COLD WAR"
Mark Albertin, owner of Scrapbook Video Productions, will speak at the September 3 AGS program at 7 PM at the Augusta Museum of History and will also show selected portions of his new video, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Displaced - The Unexpected Fallout from the Cold War.Ã¢â‚¬Â
A graduate of Milwaukee Area Technical College in 1985, Albertin started his career in the printing and publishing industry as a color specialist involved in detail-oriented color corrections and photo manipulation for national publications. In 2000, he started Scrapbook Video Productions, a video documentary company to record oral histories throughout the nation. He is employed with Morris Communications Company of Augusta, GA and has produced six feature-length documentaries between 2000-2006, five of which aired on public television.
“Displaced” is his latest film and was produced solely by Scrapbook Video Productions over a period of three years when the personal stories of people in several South Carolina communities were recorded. The farming towns of Ellenton, Dunbarton, and Meyers Mill were demolished when the Savannah River Site, one of the largest nuclear weapons facilities in the world, began acquiring thousands of acres of land in the late 1940s and 1950s. Five thousand residents of these little towns across the Savannah River from Augusta were required to abandon their homes. Many, living on land held by their families for generations, were fearful and angry of the big government takeover. Locally, the enterprise was known as “The Bomb Plant,” an epithet still heard among people who lived in that mid- twentieth century era.
When Albertin first heard the stories of the towns and their displaced residents, he realized that those who had lived through the adjustments were aging and that the firsthand accounts would be lost forever is not soon recorded. Seeing their acceptance of relocation as acts of patriotism, he interviewed many of the displaced, and a story filled with nostalgia, grief, humor, and love of the land emerges. Reminiscences blend with archival photographs and narration by regional historians. Betty Johnson of the North Carolina Family Singers of the 1940s-1950s is a narrator. The original musical score was produced and performed by Eryn Eubanks and the Family Fold, popular regional musicians who entertained at the AGS 25th anniversary celebration in 2004.
When not editing video for documentaries, Albertin enjoys riding his recumbent bicycle on excursions throughout the Southeast, always stopping to hear stories, record history, and remember places “off the beaten path” where a story might be waiting.
1 NOVEMBER 2007
"AUGUSTAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢S LT. COLONEL JIMMIE DYESS WAS TWICE A HERO DURING HIS LIFETIME"
How many people in the United States have won both the Carnegie Medal for civilian bravery and the Medal of Honor awarded by Congress for military heroism?
And he was from Augusta, GA.
Among our fall celebrations, Veterans Day is a special public holiday designated to reflect on the sacrifices of our military. Long known as Armistice Day because Germany accepted the terms of the armistice offered by the Allied Forces on November 11, 1918, the name was changed to the more comprehensive Veterans’ Day to honor those who made sacrifices in World War II and Korea. Those who were in Vietnam and later conflicts are also remembered.
Our program in November will be a documentary about the one man, the Augustan, who earned both the highest medals awarded in our nation. Marine Lieutenant Colonel Jimmie Dyess was a hero in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific in February, 1944 when he saved the lives of four men in his battalion during combat before being killed by enemy fire the next day. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in July, 1944.
Receiving the Medal of Honor is a remarkable achievement in itself, but Dyess differs from all the other recipients because sixteen years earlier, while an undergraduate at Clemson University, he had been awarded the Carnegie Medal, the highest award for civilian bravery, for saving the lives of two women who would have drowned in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Jimmie Dyess Sullivan’s Island near Charleston, SC.
Neither the Carnegie Commission nor the Medal of Honor Society was aware that anybody had ever won both awards until research by Major General Perry Smith in the 1990s revealed the unique situation. Smith is married to Dyess’ daughter, Connor Dyess.
Young Jimmie Dyess was over six feet tall, a high-spirited red-haired athlete who enjoyed sports, especially football, but was not the most outstanding player. He also enjoyed Boy Scouts, horseback riding, military drill, and marching and marksmanship competitions. During his childhood in Augusta in a strict Presbyterian family and during his years in attendance at Richmond Academy and Clemson, he developed his strong work ethic, commitment to his team, a sense of justice, and an ebullient love of life that was contagious to those around him.
The Marine Corps in which he was to distinguish himself later was not his first career choice. He majored in architecture at Clemson, but his graduation in 1931 coincided with the deepening of the Depression, and he went to work for his father‘s business, the Augusta Lumber Company, and joined the Army Reserves
While still in college, Dyess had become interested in the field of aviation but could not become an aviator because of imperfect vision. All his life he recalled the thrill of his first experience in an airplane. He and a buddy, Campbell Vaiden, were taken up for a ride by Frank Hulse, then the young manager of Daniel Field in Augusta and later the president of Southern Airways. Hulse strapped them in the front cockpit, a tight squeeze for two young men, and himself in the rear cockpit. The bi-wing plane with open cockpits provided the feeling of exhilaration as they soared from the sod runway into the air toward the Savannah River. Hulse decided to provide acrobatic entertainment—flying upside down, performing loops and rolls, and finally diving toward the ground and sharply pulling out before going back to land at Daniel Field. Dyess loved the excitement, but Vaiden was terrified, according to the story Vaiden told for a biography of Dyess written over forty years later by his son-in-law, Major General Perry Smith.
Smith wrote A Hero Among Heroes and the documentary Twice A Hero, which we will see at our November program. After a thirty year career in the U.S. Air Force, General Smith became an internationally known author and speaker, a military commentator for CNN, and president of Visionary Leadership of Augusta which has conducted seminars on strategic planning and ethics for hundreds of organizations, including Microsoft, Texas Instruments, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Harvard’s Kennedy School.
When General Smith, a member of the Augusta Genealogical Society, spoke to us at a program last December, he recounted his experiences as a child living at Pearl Harbor during the attack in 1941 and also addressed his involvement with the work of the Medal of Honor Society. His admiration for the father-in-law he never met inspired the research about Lt. Colonel Dyess, and the decade he spent interviewing Dyess’ family members, survivors from the 4th Marine Division, and many others enlightened his discovery of the depth of the character of his subject.
Twice A Hero will be shown at our meeting on Thursday , 1 November, at 7 p.m. at the Augusta Museum of History, which has a well-lighted parking area and entrance. The program is free and open to the public. The museum has a permanent exhibit of the life and career of Lt. Colonel Dyess in an area located next to the theater in which the film will be shown. It contains the two special medals, the Carnegie and the Medal of Honor—be sure to see them while you’re there for the program.
4 OCTOBER 2007
"BILL BAAB SPEAKS OF AUGUSTA ON GLASS"
Bill Baab, former Outdoor Editor of The Augusta Chronicle and current editor of the sports page that features a weekly fishing column, will speak in October on his hobby of collecting bottles and other forms of glassware. He is the author of Augusta On Glass, a volume that captures in photos and text over thirty-five years of research and collecting in Augusta and in other GA and SC locales.
The program will consist of a slide presentation of vintage photos of businesses, advertisements and the glassware from the book followed by a question-and-answer period for those interested in this hobby. The subtitle is Ã¢â‚¬Å“Drops of history from pottery containers used by soda water manufacturers, whiskey distilleries, brewers, mineral water sellers and patent medicine men in and around Augusta, Georgia.Ã¢â‚¬Â The stories of where Baab found his treasuresÃ¢â‚¬â€from the drained Augusta Canal to some less savory structures Ã¢â‚¬â€- and the tales of the people involved in the manufactures -- offer a humorous approach to a subject that is a huge and growing subject among collectors and archaeologists.
A native of Glenside, PA, Baab came to the South as a small child when his fatherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s job in sheet metal products transferred him to Atlanta and then to Augusta in 1940. He attended Monte Sano and Richmond Academy with a buddy who became another avid collector, Joe Lee, our speaker in September. But Baab was not to graduate from the Academy as Lee did. Being in the first co-ed class in 1950 contributed to what he calls his Ã¢â‚¬Å“ruinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ when he failed both math and Latin. His father enrolled him in Boys Catholic High School, where he was graduated in 1953. Two years later, he joined The Augusta Chronicle as a copyboy and Ã¢â‚¬Å“worked his way upÃ¢â‚¬Â to the sports desk.
He worked for the Georgia Game and Fish Department, now the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and at the Thomasville (GA) Times-Enterprise but by the mid-1960s was back in Augusta as outdoor editor and sports writer for the Chronicle until retirement in 2000.
His wife, Bea, has helped with the Augusta On Glass book by printing and binding the self-published, print-on-demand book. Baab is currently working on other books about bottle collecting as well as a biography of a sportsman named George W. Perry, who set the record for catching a largemouth bass in 1932 in Montgomery Lake off the Ocmulgee River in Telfair County, GA.
The program is free and open to the public at 7 p.m. at the Augusta Museum of History.
6 SEPTEMBER 2007
"THE SAGA OF FLETCHERÃ¢â‚¬â„¢S CASTORIA"
So does the headline evoke childhood memories of being chased through your home until a parent finally caught up with you? And then forced a tablespoon of that putrid brown liquid through your tightly clamped lips?
That was my reaction when I met Joe Lee on the Sunday afternoon of Homecoming in August at the Adamson Library, and he explained what he had in mind for his September presentation to AGS. Joe laughed at my surprised expression, one heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s become used to when he starts telling one of his numerous tales about local history. More about the Castoria saga later. Joe has been researching, collecting, presenting, publishing, and sharing his discoveries for years. The last time he spoke to AGS was in the fall of 2005 when he took us on a visual tour of AugustaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s past through a slide presentation that emphasized the destruction of much of the historic architecture of the city and the drastic changes in the late twentieth century caused by highway construction. Time ran out when he got to the neighborhoods on the outskirts of Summerville-- the Daniel Village and Daniel Field areas, and at the time we hoped to have Joe back to complete the story.
Joseph Lee III grew up in Augusta, attended Monte Sano Grammar School, and explored most of Augusta by bicycle and on foot, always curious about the artifacts and relics of the past that he found in a city whose history dates back to the colonial period. A graduate of the Academy of Richmond County, the Junior College of Augusta (now Augusta State University), and Georgia Tech, he used his engineering skills as Deputy Director of the Roads and Drainage Department in DeKalb County, GA. He and wife Virginia have two adult sons and several grandchildren.
Since retirement, Joe has enjoyed spending more time with his hobbies relating to genealogy, history and photography. He is the author of Augusta in Vintage Postcards (1997) and Augusta and Summerville (2000) which contain hundreds of stereoviews, photographs, and postcards from his vast collections, and he is often consulted by researchers and writers who appreciate his expertise in photographic preservation.
Joe is a member of AGS, the Georgia Genealogical Society, and the Eighth Air Force Historical Society. His interest in military history was influenced by an uncle in Augusta, his motherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s brother, who was a B-17 pilot in World War II. William FletcherÃ¢â‚¬â€note the surnameÃ¢â‚¬â€ trained at Daniel Field, which had been Camp Hancock during World War I. Fletcher and his crew carried out many missions over western Europe with the 100th Bomb Group in a B-17 plane they named FletcherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Castoria! Fletcher returned to civilian life after the war and became a veterinarian and the owner of Aidmore Animal Clinic. Later he opened a clinic in Athens, GA where he now lives in retirement.
At one time Fletcher and his crew went down in a Dutch village, Spaarndaam, which, incidentally, is the village where Hans Brinker is said to have put his finger in the hole in the dike to keep back the sea. The village has a statue there of little Hans Brinker. Perhaps of interest as well is that Holland is now documenting the crashes of over 6,000 aircraft in that country. Lee has photos of the bombings over Germany that he plans to display and photos of Spaarndaam that were made in the 1980s to compare the terrain to that of the 1940s. The crew went down in Holland on their 20th mission. They were not in FletcherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Castoria on that mission because it was being repaired for damage it received on a previous mission. The Castoria was repaired and flown by other crews until the war ended. The available evidence indicates that it was flown on a total of one hundred missions. The last eighty missions were flown by other crews while Fletcher and his crew were POWs. Lee has other intriguing World War II connections to explain, such as FletcherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s meeting a German soldier in Holland who had once lived near Augusta, GA and knew people also known to Fletcher.
By now itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s clear that Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Saga of FletcherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Castoria,Ã¢â‚¬Â as Joe has titled his latest presentation, equates with serendipity in the way that genealogists appreciate! To hear more, come to the program at the Augusta Museum of History at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 6. The program is free and open to the public.
2 AUGUST 2007
"THE HARPER FAMILY FROM ANTRIM TO AUGUSTA "
Five years ago, Mikell Harper possessed an ancestry chart without substantiation and a family history written by an ancestor who lived in Philadelphia and Augusta in 1831. These were enough to pique his interest in his family’s roots, and after retiring from a career as an attorney often dealing with probate and real estate matters, he decided to pursue the field of genealogy, a hobby that has brought him much pleasure from his mountain home in Rabun Gap, GA.
His first adventure was a trip to Northern Ireland for several weeks of research at Queens University in Belfast, the Ulster Folk Park, and the Linen Hall Library. Just outside Belfast, he visited the family farm and Carmavy Cemetery. He discovered that not only his own ancestors but so many other residents of County Antrim in the late 1700s and early 1800s had fled harsh political and economic conditions for a better future in America. Many of them settled in Augusta, GA, and the city became Harper’s next stop on his genealogical journey.
“My next piece of good fortune was to find the Augusta Genealogical Society and Carrie Adamson,” Harper wrote to me in July, 2005 after being invited to speak to AGS that summer. Since the trip to Ireland, he had worked at the Adamson Library and the Richmond County courthouse as well as other libraries and historic sites where Harper ancestors had left their mark, especially those in Confederate service during the Civil War. He had shown Mrs. Adamson a bulging manuscript which she shared with the AGS Council, and all agreed that he had material for several books. Putting his earliest native Scotch- Irish ancestors “on hold” and focusing on the Civil War participants, Harper completed The Second Georgia Regiment as told through the unit history of Company D: Burke Sharpshooters.
“From Antrim to Augusta” is the title of a Power Point presentation that Harper will show to AGS about his research in Northern Ireland and Augusta that introduced him to his early Irish ancestors, some of whom are buried in Augusta’s historic Summerville Cemetery. Some of the Harpers were described in Southern Echoes (Vol. XXVIII, Nr. 10, June 2007) after Harper presented AGS a large framed ancestral chart. The chart may be read in the Family History area at CS 71 .H259 H7. Many early Augusta surnames are represented during the eras when families were large and nearby cousins and friends intermarried and spawned generations of similar given names and affectionate nicknames. The men in the Harper family were Augusta business entrepreneurs and civic leaders in such projects as the early factories, bridges, canal, and railroads. Their wives and daughters led societies and charity drives.
5 JULY 2007
"SHOW AND TELL CONTINUES IN JULY "
The spontaneity of our traditional July program allows our own AGS members to express the ways theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve expanded their genealogical research in their own unique ways and also to pass on some of their unique experiences. The program will be held at the Augusta Museum of History at 7 p.m. and anyone may participate. Just show up with your story and youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re guaranteed to be met by a friendly audience!
Stories in the past have been serious, entertaining, witty, incredulous, and diverse. Jerry Scott has told about her success in finding relatives in Vermont over the internet, and the group traveled together to Ireland and explored the villages and gravesites of their mutual ancestors. Elizabeth Dill and her sister found their grandmotherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s village in Italy. Dan Crumpton used a Ã¢â‚¬Å“Show and TellÃ¢â‚¬Â program in 2005 to introduce his methodology for creating maps based on original Georgia land patents and plats in found in county courthouse records and the Georgia Archives.
Last July, Marguerite Fogleman showed us her compact portable filing system that allows her to carry abbreviated family group sheets with essential information needed for research, thus leaving the bulk of her voluminous work at home while she travels. David McNorrill explained his use of DNA testing to clarify his ethnic background. Mike Joyce told of his many hours of computer research to look for family names before having success at the Adamson Library, when a fellow AGS member suggested using PERSI, the subject index to articles published in periodicals. Mike didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t find his ancestors at first, but he did find the name of a renowned English racehorse owned by one of them and from the information about the horse, he found his grandfatherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s equestrian pursuits.
Other subjects in the past have included a presentation by Peter Hughes, who has researched the biography and business interests of Henry Shultz, an early nineteenth century entrepreneur in Augusta, GA and Hamburg. SC, and a report by Jule Rucker on the early historical records from the Richmond County, GA Probate Court.
The program is free and open to the public. The meeting is held on the second floor in the theater of the Augusta Museum of History, and parking is easily accessed from both Sixth and Broad Streets.
7 JUNE 2007
"The New Bordeaux French Settlement Was A Haven in Colonial South Carolina "
The struggles of the French Huguenots who migrated to America to found the New Bordeaux colony in 1764 -- the unprecedented brutality suffered by the Huguenots before leaving France, the tumultuous voyage across the Atlantic, and the obstacles that confronted them upon arrivals as refugees in a raw, pioneer environment in the backcountry of South Carolina -- will be discussed at our June program by author and preservationist Bobby F. Edmonds of McCormick, SC.
Edmonds retired in 1992 after 41 years with the South Carolina State Highway Department where he supervised the maintenance of 440 miles of roads and bridges. A writer, photographer, and book reviewer for the McCormick Messenger for many years, he is now the president and chairman of the board of McCormick Media, Inc., publisher of the weekly newspaper. He has purchased and restored six early twentieth century buildings for commercial and residential use and established and operated a seafood restaurant in McCormick for over five years. A prodigious writer and publisher during the past decade, Edmonds wrote The Making of McCormick County, the first published history of the county, in 1999, and McCormick County Land of Cotton in 2001. These books were followed in 2004 by Destiny of the Scots-Irish that tracks the people from their arrival in Pennsylvania to the Long Canes in South Carolina, and The Huguenots of New Bordeaux in 2005. He edited and published The Neglected Thread and The British Partizan in 2006 and most recently was the author of a biography, George McDuffie: Southern Orator.
Interests include preservation of historical records, sites, and buildings and conservation of soil and water, for which he has received numerous awards for outstanding service in these fields. He was recognized by the SC Historical Confederation as state winner of the Robert N. Pryor Volunteer Service Award in recognition for preservation of local history through publication and in 2006 by the Order of the Palmetto, South CarolinaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s highest civilian award, which is presented by the Governor of the state. Other interests include photography and collecting Native American relics and handguns.
Edmonds was born at Cedar Hill, his familyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“century farmÃ¢â‚¬Â in McCormick County, where he continues to live with his wife Kathryn. Other family members are his daughter and son-in-law and two grandchildren. As the owner and operator of Cedar Hill Farms, a 345-acre tree farm, he has seen great changes since his birth during the depression in a two-room cabin on the farm. He is now on several boards and in organizations concerning farming, cattle, and forestry and combines his business interests with his love for historical preservation and writing. He is a member of the McCormick County Soil & Water Conservation District, Library Board, Forestry Association and charter member and past president of the McCormick County Historical Society.
5 APRIL 2007
"AUGUSTA IS A CASE STUDY FOR SOUTHERN HISTORY"
Georgia Public Broadcasting collaborated with several organizations in Augusta during 2006 to produce a six-part series entitled American History Through Southern Eyes. The episodes are “Living the American Revolution,” “Living the Civil War,” “King Cotton,” “The Road to Civil Rights,” “Making a Modern South,” and “World War I and the South.” The first two were shown at our February meeting, and the segments “King Cotton” and “The Road to Civil Rights” will be shown in April. Our members reacted favorably to the program in February, and one viewer expressed the opinion that “we can all use a refresher course in American History. Some of us haven’t been to school in fifty years!” AGS is grateful to Historic Augusta, Inc. for providing us with a copy of the DVD to show to our members.
The production was funded by the U. S. Department of Education Teaching American History Grant Program administered locally by the Richmond County Board of Education. Local organizations provided narrators, historical re-enactors, artifacts, period artwork, and archival photographs. Among the narrators are Dr. Edward Cashin, Professor Emeritus of History, Augusta State University, and currently Director of the Center for the Study of Georgia History based at the university, Dr. Michael Murray of Augusta State, and Dr. LeeAnn Caldwell, an Augusta resident and history professor at Georgia State University at Milledgeville.
The Augusta Museum of History, Historic Augusta, the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, the Morris Museum of Art, AugustaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s historic homes and buildings , and the Living History Park in North Augusta provided settings for the narrators and also permitted artifacts, paintings, and maps from their collections to be photographed for the series.
The series examines our national history in a chronological format, but uses the events and personalities of the South that affected this regionÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s development. Augusta was chosen as a case study to represent the southern perspective of the national story. The Department of Education has gone to other cities to present regional perspectives as well as the Southern one, making the new study of American History an opportunity for viewers to go beyond descriptions in books to see actual settings where historical events occurred. The idea is not unlike the series of books produced under the umbrella Images of America that uses photographs to depict an in-depth history of a city or region.
The program to be held at 7 p.m. at the Augusta Museum of History, 560 Reynolds Street, is free and open to the public. If you have guests in Augusta during Masters Week, or if you are a visitor to the city, AGS invites you to attend the program and to visit the Augusta Museum of History, which not only has its permanent exhibit of AugustaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Story and other displays, but also a special exhibition on golf and the Augusta National during April.
1 MARCH 2007
"THE WILHENFORD FIRST CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL IN GEORGIA AND THE SOUTH"
Dr. Lois Ellison, Medical Historian in Residence at the Medical College of Georgia, will speak on “The Wilhenford First Children’s Hospital in Georgia and the South” on Thursday, 1 March, at 7 pm at the Augusta Museum of History.
The Wilhenford opened in 1810 with funding provided by Mrs. Grace Shaw Duff, a New York resident who vacationed in winter with her husband at the fashionable Bon Air Hotel on the “Hill.” Mrs. Duff was grateful for the kindnesses shown by Augustans during her husband’s death and during her own illness while in the city. Her wish to show appreciation melded with a need that had long been recognized by the women of Augusta, a medical facility for treating children apart from the treatment center for adults.
Children in the Victorian Era and early twentieth century, according to the social mores of the times, were to be “seen but not heard,” and they had few advocates. However, the pathetically ill children housed among the adult patients at Augusta’s City Hospital caught the attention of a group of affluent and sympathetic Augusta ladies. After years of procrastination and disappointments to their organization caused by both city and state politics and gender discrimination, the organization accepted Mrs. Duff’s generosity to build a children’s hospital. One of Mrs. Duff’s few strings was the desire to name the building.
The perseverance and dedication to the negotiations concerning the hospital by Mrs. Mary G. Cumming, member and officer in the Children’s Hospital Association for over fifty years, was acknowledged by the use of her photograph as a two-year-old child on the seal of the hospital. The Cumming family had been dedicated to the city for many decades, with the patriarch, Thomas, providing the land for Summerville Cemetery and his son, Henry Cumming, conceiving the idea for the Augusta Canal. Civic responsibility was a family virtue passed to future generations.
How appropriate that the story of the Wilhenford has been preserved by another woman who loves children---and the medical profession! Dr. Lois Ellison’s biography is saturated with many successes but tempered by a huge setback that she overcame as a young woman. Completing her B.S. degree in Chemistry and Zoology in only three years at the University of Georgia, she was accepted into the Medical College of Georgia in 1943, studying insatiably until forced by the illness of pulmonary tuberculosis to take a leave of absence shortly after her marriage in 1945 to Robert Ellison, then a young resident at MCG.
In the 1940s, tuberculosis was not rare among physicians, and its cause and program of treatment were still being explored. Lois Ellison fought the illness for about four years with the determination of an athlete. This young woman had been the captain of her high school basketball and tennis teams and played extramural athletics in college. With her health restored, she completed her requirements and graduated as an M.D. from MCG in 1950. Her post-doctoral training was with Dr. William S. Hamilton in Cardiopulmonary Physiology between 1951-1954.
The Ellisons worked as a team in pulmonary and cardiac research, and they also became the parents of five sons born between 1955-1959. Academic appointments, administrative responsibilities, major committee assignments, memberships in scientific and professional societies, publications, and presentations spanned over five decades. The Ellisons were among the pioneers in open-heart surgery. She was the first Director of the MCG Cardiopulmonary Laboratory.
Dr. Robert Ellison has been deceased since January, 2006. In the year before his death, he and Dr. Lois Ellison were recipients of the MCG President’s Award, the Vessel of Life.
Currently, she holds the rank of Provost Emeritus, Professor Emeritus of Medical Surgery and Graduate Studies, and Associate Professor of Physiology at MCG. She is one of two women graduates from this institution who are subjects in an exhibit developed by the National Library of Medicine, the American Library Association, and the National Institutes of Health that is appearing in 61 libraries across the United States between 2005-2010 to honor women physicians across two centuries. The Website www.nlm.hih.gov/changingthefaceofmedicine contains the biographies as well as the itinerary of the traveling exhibit, which was in Georgia last year, but may be in a city near our out-of-state readers between 2007-2010.
Dr. Ellison’s title of Medical Historian in Residence has allowed her to write and speak on many subjects, but it only took her a few seconds to decide on one of her favorites for our AGS meeting. She asked me if I knew how the Wilhenford got its name and seemed delighted that I knew. My address for her to confirm the date and subject for the program brought renewed enthusiasm as she explained that her “best friend” and tennis partner in college was Clifford Lewis from Waynesboro GA.
“I was a good player, but we won the matches because of her. Clifford was the best!” A lifetime of achievement, teamwork, competitiveness, humor, and humility are in the statement.
The modern Children’s Center at the Medical College of Georgia is known internationally, but the start of quality treatment for children in Augusta and the South sprang from humble roots in the Wilhenford. The story---and the story-teller---are both remarkable.
1 FEBRUARY 2007
"AMERICAN HISTORY THROUGH SOUTHERN EYES"
Erick Montgomery, Director of Historic Augusta, Inc. and a member of the Augusta Genealogical Society, recently sent the Society a six-part documentary series in DVD format entitled American History Through Southern Eyes. The Society is grateful for this generous gift and has chosen to share it with the membership. Each 25-minute disk in the series examines our nation’s past from a Southern perspective by describing events and characters of the region through art, artifacts, archival photographs, and current views of historical locales.
Augusta is used as a case study where local historians describe and interpret events. Many local sites form the background for the narrators and for reenactors in period clothing and settings.
Our February program will consist of the viewing of the first two segments about the American Revolution and the Civil War in this region of Georgia where many of our ancestors lived. The featured narrators are historians and authors Dr. Edward Cashin, Dr. LeeAnn Caldwell, and Dr. Michael Murray, and museum curators Gordon Blaker and Benjamin Baughman. Blaker is former curator at the Augusta Museum of History and the recipient of our AGS Arthur Award for his contributions to the Society. Baughman is the curator of the Ezekiel Harris House, a house museum from the late eighteenth century, that is located in Augusta. The viewer may recognize scenes from the Revolution that were filmed at the Colonial Living History Park in North Augusta, SC, where Lynn Thompson is Director and her volunteers have given this region a unique treasure for displaying colonial arts and crafts. Meadow Garden, home of the Declaration of Independence signer George Walton, is also shown in the film.
Augusta’s many ties to the Civil War era consist of reminders ranging from the Confederate Monument on Broad Street to the graves of both Confederate and Union soldiers and monuments to generals in Magnolia Cemetery. The campus of Augusta State University was the location of a federal arsenal that surrendered to local Confederates when the war began. The Powder Works and factories on the Augusta Canal produced the gun powder, ammunition, fabrics for uniforms, and other military needs. Again, the narrators explain and interpret the events and personalities and use Augusta as a case study for an understanding of the war.
The documentary series was funded by the U. S. Department of Education through the Teaching American History Grant program. It is a valuable resource for helping people from high school students to the general public acquire a better understanding of regional history. One may read in a book about our ancestors with their large families who lived in their simple log cabins and about the conditions where soldiers camped in tents or slept on the ground between marches and battles. Visual documentation via the artwork of the periods and the structures used by the reenactors of events form more vivid impressions and reinforce the written works.
One would expect a project of this scope to involve many organizations that required the cooperation of many skilled professionals. Partners in the production were the Richmond County Board of Education, the Augusta Museum of History, Augusta State University, the Georgia Humanities Council, Georgia Public Broadcasting, Historic Augusta, Inc., the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, and the Morris Museum of Art. The documentary has been aired by Georgia Public Broadcasting.
Additional programs in the series are King Cotton and The Road to Civil Rights, which will be shown at our program in April. The final two segments, Making a Modern South and World War I and the South, will be shown in the future on an appropriate date.
4 JANUARY 2007
"HENRY SHULTZ: GRATITUDE FOR KINDNESS, RESENTMENT FOR INJURIES"
AGS member and active volunteer Peter J. Hughes will speak on Thursday, 4 January, at the Augusta Museum of History on the exciting life and career of Henry Shultz, developer of enterprise on both sides of the Savannah River in the early nineteenth century. Shultz built bridges between Augusta and South Carolina and was a large stockholder in the early steamboat lines on the Savannah River.
Shultz was an eccentric and volatile man who broke traditional social customs in his personal life and threw caution to the wind in many of his commercial schemes. Considering himself slighted by some of the prominent businessmen in Augusta for trade on the river and tolls on the bridges, he decided to create a town to rival Augusta, a development he advertised in the newspapers of the day as Hamburg, named for his native city in Germany.
Hughes impersonates Shultz in his carefully researched presentation entitled “Henry Shultz: Gratitude for Kindness, Resentment for Injuries.” He allows Shultz to tell his story from a time that the developer “has worked through his recent financial difficulties and is once again able to offer opportunity for advancement in his town of Hamburg across the river from our fair city of Augusta. ”
That Hughes, a mechanical engineer with degrees from Georgia Tech and the University of Texas, would discover Shultz for biographical research is an interesting academic alliance. He has created a Web site that presents the life and times of Henry Shultz that grew out of an idea for a portfolio showing flooded rivers and swept-away bridges, natural disasters that Shultz would have witnessed in the early nineteenth century. Hughes decided that Shultz was a fascinating historical figure with a remarkable story.
“I couldn’t believe nobody had written a book – just articles repeating the same stories over and over,” Hughes said recently. He decided to search for more and has uncovered new facts to enlighten the biography.
“I seek hints and tips, access to documents, low gossip, artifacts, and anything else that leads to a ripping tale for all to enjoy! ”
One might speculate what Shultz would have thought about engineering positions in the 21st century. Hughes worked as a Product Development Engineer with Schlumberger Inc. in Houston and retired from a 25-year career in the energy industry. He has since held a position at Fort Gordon as an illustrator and internet multimedia expert creating training material for the U.S. Army.
The Hughes family moved from Houston to Augusta in 2000 when there was illness in the family. Tricia is a native of Augusta and a homemaker who home schools their son John.
You can read about Shultz and the dead town of Hamburg, SC at http://arete-designs.com/hamburg.
And just look what you've missed ...
7 DECEMBER 2006
"PEARL HARBOR: LESSONS FROM HISTORY"
Every generation seems to have its defining moment when one news event overshadows all others. Many of us remember where we were when we heard that President John F. Kennedy had been shot in 1963 or what we were doing on the September morning five years ago when the World Trade Center in New York was attacked. One of General Perry Smith's most vivid memories is witnessing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, when he was a six-year-old little boy riding with his sister in the back of a U. S. Army truck on the way to Sunday School in Honolulu.
General Smith will speak to AGS on the 65th anniversary of the event on 7 December at the Augusta Museum of History at 7 p.m. on the topic "Pearl Harbor: Lessons from History." Brought up in a military family that lived in Hawaii and then in Italy after World War II, Smith is a graduate of the U. S. Military Academy and earned his Ph.D. in International Relations from Columbia University. A retired Air Force Major General, he commanded an F-15 fighter wing and served as the top Air Force planner and the commandant of the National War College. In 1968-69, he flew 180 combat missions over North Vietnam and Laos.
At present, General Smith is the President of Visionary Leadership, Ltd., a consulting firm that provides leadership training and resources, and he teaches leadership, ethics and strategic planning to corporations, non-profits, and government organizations. His recent clients have included the Georgia Bankers Association, the Georgia Police Chiefs, NASA, the Secret Service, the Peace Corps, and Morris Communications. He served from 1991-1998 as a military analyst for CNN, resigning in 1998 after the cable network ran a bogus and unethical special on nerve gas. Since 1998, he has been a special correspondent for CBS Radio News. He is also the author of six books, including Rules and Tools for Leaders, which has over 300,000 copies in print.
Connor Dyess Smith, the generalÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s wife, has an impressive military background. She is the daughter of Colonel James (Jimmie) Dyess, the only person to have been awarded AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s two highest awards for heroism. As a young man he received a Carnegie Medal, and he was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for leading his marines in an attack at Kwajalein on the Pacific front in World War II. The Dyess Parkway, a highway in Augusta that leads to a gate into Fort Gordon, is a memorial to Colonel Dyess, as is a permanent exhibit in the Augusta Museum of History. Connor Dyess Smith is a noted soprano who has performed for Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and at General James DoolittleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 90th birthday celebration. The Smiths live in Augusta and are the parents of two children and two grandchildren.
General Smith has honored his father-in-law by writing a biography entitled A Hero Among Heroes: Jimmie Dyess and the 4th Marine Division and by producing a DVD. He is on the board of the Congressional Medal of Honor foundation and assisted in editing the best-selling Medal of Honor by Peter Collier. A second edition by Collier, with SmithÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s editing assistance, is now out with additional biographies of Medal of Honor recipients and a DVD.
What are the "lessons from history" to be learned from the American experience at Pearl Harbor? One idea is that the terrorism that plunged the world into chaos was overcome, and every town in the nation produced its local heroes who rose to the occasion. Please come to the AGS program on the anniversary of this event which changed history. Bring a friend; our meetings are free and open to the public. The Augusta Museum has a comfortable theater and a wellÃ¢â‚¬â€œlighted parking area off Broad Street.
1 DECEMBER 2005
"JIM MCGAW PRESENTS MUSICAL SELECTIONS ON HAMMER AND MOUNTAIN DULCIMERS"
Jim McGaw grew up in southeastern Ohio, where he found a musical heritage of bluegrass, country, and mountain music. He has turned that heritage into a career as a composer and performer for the past 25 years, and has been featured in a nationally syndicated PBS series. His music has also been used for Emmy Award winning documentary films and commercials.
Jim will perform for AGS on 1 December in a program entitled Ã¢â‚¬Å“Musical Selections from the Hammer Dulcimer and the American Mountain Dulcimer.Ã¢â‚¬Â Dressed in Colonial clothing, he enjoys talking to his audiences and telling the history of his instruments in addition to playing. Because many of our members have Celtic backgrounds, he will play Irish and Scotch music, and he will also entertain us with selections of Christmas music.
On his website, www.jimmcgaw.com, Jim describes himself as a Ã¢â‚¬Å“Christian, Composer, Musician, Recording Artist, Performer, Elementary School Music Teacher, Father, Husband, and Presbyterian Deacon.Ã¢â‚¬Â He and his wife, Dr. Myrtle McGaw, live thirty miles west of Augusta in Thomson, and Jim teaches at Dearing Elementary School.
Jim plays the six- and twelve-string acoustic and electric, nylon and steel string guitars, hammered and mountain dulcimers, autoharp and banjo. He has given numerous seminars and workshops about the instruments. He has played locally at the Partridge Inn, Appleby Library, Augusta Mall, the Colonial Times Celebration in North Augusta, and at many receptions, weddings, childrenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s parties, and festivals at Stone Mountain and many of GeorgiaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s state parks.
His CDs will be available for $10 each on the night of our program. His latest is Hammerhead, a jazz fusion album of Caribbean-South American style original compositions. Another is Old Time Mountain Joy that contains fourteen mountain hymns celebrating his mountain heritage, songs such as IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll Fly Away and Amazing Grace. Jim has standing orders each year at this time for the CD Hammer Dulcimer Christmas Card which contains both secular and religious selections. These are also available from JimÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s website.
The name Ã¢â‚¬Å“dulcimerÃ¢â‚¬Â is derived from Latin and means Ã¢â‚¬Å“sweet sound.Ã¢â‚¬Â The hammered or hammer dulcimer is an ancient trapezoidal instrument with several courses of strings. It is played by striking the strings with hammers. The dulcimer was popular in England during the reign of King James I, when the Bible was translated into English as the King James Bible. It is mentioned in the book of Daniel along with the cornet, flute, and psaltery. It is the ancestor of the pianoforte and the piano.
The mountain dulcimer is a purely American instrument born in the Appalachians to pioneers who read the King James Bible and were familiar with the name Ã¢â‚¬Å“dulcimerÃ¢â‚¬Â mentioned in Daniel 3:5.
Both styles of the instrument have merited revolutionary new interest in the past decade, and workshops are filled with new players.
We invite AGS members, guests, and the general public to this free program of Ã¢â‚¬Å“sweet soundsÃ¢â‚¬Â at 7 p.m. on 1 December at the Augusta Museum of History located on the corner of Reynolds & 6th Sts. There is a spacious and well-lighted parking area, and the museum has an elevator to the second-floor theater.
3 NOVEMBER 2005
"A VISUAL TOUR OF AUGUSTA'S VANISHED PAST"
AGS members Joe and Virginia Lee attended Homecoming last August, and we were delighted when Joe accepted our invitation to speak at one of our regular meetings. He has more tales about Augusta than Aesop had fables and enjoys sharing his stories with listeners. Genealogy and local history are his favorite hobbies, and he has been researching and collecting material for over thirty years. Whether you are a native Augustan or have adopted the city as your home. You will enjoy his slide presentation which he has entitled “A Visual Tour of Augusta’s Vanished Past.”
The plan is to have two projectors, one to show a scene from Augusta’s distant past, and another to show the same scene in a later timeframe. Since August, Joe has been going through his vast collection of postcards and photographs to plan his program.
Joe grew up in Augusta and is a graduate of Richmond Academy, the Junior College of Augusta, and Georgia Tech. He lives in Covington and is retired from DeKalb County as Deputy Director of the Roads and Drainage Department. He is a member of AGS, the Georgia Genealogical Society, and the 8th Air Force Historical Society. He and Virginia have two adult sons and four grandchildren.
Joe has a vast collection of stereoviews, photographs, and postcards of Augusta. He is the author of two books that showcase portions of his collections. Augusta in Vintage Postcards (1997) has 200 of his postcards that show images of Augusta in the first two decades of the twentieth century. This was the period when collecting postcards was a national fad, and cards of buildings, homes, businesses, transportation, workers, amusements, sports, events, and disasters were made, thus preserving views that might otherwise be lost.
The second book, Augusta and Summerville, (2000) consists of photographs from 1859-1900 and contains the works of the first photographers in Augusta.
Business and civic leaders have promoted the commercial aspects of the city since the nineteenth century when Augusta built the first factories on the canal and referred to itself as “The Lowell of the South.” Photographs and postcards were used later to create an impression of a commercial center that was also “The Garden City” that preserved the genteel was of the South. Broad Street bustled with business, but the residences that lined Greene Street and the civic buildings and churches on Telfair had beautifully landscaped gardens behind their Victorian wrought-iron fences. Even the city cemetery called Magnolia reflected a park-like atmosphere and was photographed for its beautiful foliage amidst the elaborately carved stones.
The small independent village of Summerville, which was later incorporated into Augusta as a neighborhood, held some of the area’s most historic sires: homes of Augustans who were prominent in state and national politics, and the property of the federal arsenal that is today the site of Augusta State University.
Without the early photographs, much of the story of Augusta would be lost. In the decades between 1950-1980, leaders promoting what was then considered progress destroyed much of the historic architecture to expand highways, parking areas and new construction. The historical significance of the nineteenth century residences downtown was forgotten or ignored. An example is the Turner Clanton home on Greene Street, the home of one of the wealthiest planters during the Civil Was era and later the home of a prominent physician, Dr. Thomas Coleman. After housing the Richmond County Board of Health, the columned mansion was torn down in 1956 and replaced with an office building.
Joe plans to show us many of Augusta’s historic homes, churches, public buildings, mills and factories, and markers and monuments. Steamboats on the Savannah River, electric streetcars, and trains that carried passengers through Union Station are reminders of transportation during earlier eras. Views of what is now Daniel Field show a busy military training installation during World War I when maneuvers were held in the fields that today are populated neighborhoods along Wrightsboro Road and Highland Avenue.
29 OCTOBER 2005 - Following Footprints is Fun! Seminar
1 SEPTEMBER 2005
"JEWS OF AUGUSTA; PEOPLE, PLACES, GENEALOGY"
Jack Steinberg's name is synonymous with the history of the Jewish people in Augusta, and AGS was delighted when he accepted our invitation to speak.
Mr. Steinberg will describe the Jewish people who have come to Augusta since 1806, their institutions and activities, and the genealogy of some of the most well-known families.
Our speaker is the author of two family genealogical books, The Steinbergs of 1212 Broad Street, and The Steinberg Family Tree. He is a member of Adas Yeshuron Synagogue and Congregation Children of Israel.
He has written a portion of the history of the Jewish Community Center that will be used in the 150th anniversary celebration of that organization.
Mr. Steinberg also wrote an article, "The Jews of Augusta," for the AGS Journal, Ancestoring XII, in which he described the first families that came in the early 1800s. These families had roots in Poland, England, Charleston, South Carolina, and Newport, Rhode Island.
Many of Georgia's Jewish people came to Savannah in 1733 and settled there, but the first Jews to come to Augusta did not arrive until 1802. A fur trader from Charleston, Isaac Hendricks, and his family were followed by other families, to include two young men from different Levy families (no relation). Samuel Levy and Abram Levy married two of the Hendricks daughters and had large families. Other families were named Moise, Florence, Cohen, and others.
During the 1880s, Jews from Russia arrived in Augusta. Five founding families were named Edelstein, Steinberg, Fromberg, Shapiro, and Frank.
According to the Steinberg article in Ancestoring, many present-day Augustans are descended from the early families and have contributed greatly to the arts and to civic organizations. The first families have descendants living all over the world.
Mr. Steinberg is a native of Augusta and a life-long resident. He is a graduate of Richmond Academy and the University of Georgia. He was in the apparel industry for a number of years and is currently a practicing accountant and treasurer of the Central Savannah River Area chapter of the Georgia Association of Professional Accountants. He and Mrs. Steinberg are also members of AGS.
In conjunction with Mr. Steinberg's lecture, the program will offer an opportunity to view a special exhibit at the Museum. He and Jackie Cohen will conduct a tour of the highlights of "150 Years of Jewish History in Augusta" following his lecture.
1 JANUARY 2004
No meeting. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
5 FEBRUARY 2004
Genealogist and "enthusiastic ancestor chaser" Jack Bowie McKinney presented "A Genealogical Trilogy," a program dealing with the ideas of truth as applied to genealogy, acquaintance with ancestors, and the roads that pursuit may take.
21 FEBRUARY 2004
"WHO, WHEN, AND WHERE WERE THE LOYALISTS?"
Laughing that his family has always been on "the losing side" in conflicts, AGS President Russell R. Moores will speak on "The Loyalists."
He plans "a discussion of the true side of the rebellion against 'Mother England'" as he describes who the Loyalists were and where they were from. Only about 1/3 of the colonial population supported the "radical folk" who wanted to separate from Britain. It has been said that about 1/3 were loyal and another 1/3 were more or less politically indifferent.
In the North, New York and New Jersey were strongly loyalist, but the sentiment was also rife in the last and thirteenth American colony of Georgia.
As the youngest, with its large exposed frontier to the south and west, Georgia had a colonial population that looked to the British government for protection during Indian raids against its scattered rural settlements.
AGS has a wide veriety of sources available on the Loyalists in our Library for those searching in this field. President Moores presented an earlier lecture on a similar theme and the bibliography may be found in the August 2000 Seminar book "Drum Beats and Bugle Calls" (CS16.9 A7 2000).
President Moores grew up in Louisiana and Arkansas. He received his M.D. from the University of Arkansas and spent two years in the navy as Staff Hematologist at Oakland Naval Hospital in California.
He has spent most of his life in Georgia and is in his 37th year at the Medical College of Georgia, where he is Professor of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology).
He is very active in the Arts and Humanities of the Augusta community.
President Moores resumed the office of president of AGS in the fall of 2003. He had formerly served for nine years as president.
6 MAY 2004
"COME FLY WITH LINDBERGH"
Augusta Genealogical Society members and guests used this month's meeting at the Augusta Museum of History to view their special exhibition, Lindbergh, a huge selection of approximately 400 artifacts owned by the Missouri Historical Society. The Augusta Museum of History is one of only five museums in the nation to host the exhibit, and the only one located in the Southeast.
15 MAY 2004
Footprints II - Annual Intermediate/Advanced Research Seminar
"Our Ancestors Day in Court" - An intimate look at old court records & how to use them. Sponsored by Augusta State University & Augusta Genealogical Society.
3 JUNE 2004
"GEORGIA'S NATIVE PEOPLES" will be presented by Dr. Joe Kitchen, Director of the Funk Heritage Center at Reinhardt College in Waleska, GA.
1 JULY 2004
"SHOW AND TELL: AN AGS TRADITION IN JULY"
A long-held tradition at AGS is to invite the membership to show their treasured research to others and to share experiences encountered while doing research. The 1 July meeting was one of relaxed conversation among members as they shared their genealogical treasures.
Members brought articles and books they have written, heirlooms they've inherited, and old photographs or artifacts or records to share. Of interest, also, was the manner by which genealogical materials have been acquired -- many because a grandparent or another relative left their treasured research because the member was known as this generation's "historian" who wants to preserve for the future.
5 AUGUST 2004
Dr. William S. (Bill) Brockington, Professor of History at the University of South Carolina-Aiken, will speak at the 5 August AGS general meeting. The program will be about the immigration patterns of the Scots-Irish into the Southeastern region of the United States and how they changed the face of southern culture.
A native of South Carolina who received his degrees from USC, Dr. Brockington is a recipient of the USCA Community Service Award and has been South Carolina Professor of the Year. The publication of Monro, His Expedition, a book about a Scottish professional soldier of the seventeenth century, earned him the USCA Productive Scholarship Award in 2001. He enjoys research trips to Britain to pursue interests in the Scots in Ulster and the immigration of the Scots-Irish to the American south.
He and his wife Celeste Williams, a math specialist at Ridge Spring-Monetta High School, have two sons.
The Scots-Irish are descendants of people who migrated from Scotland to settle on the more abundant and arable land found in Ulster, the northern region of Ireland. The English monarchs who controlled both Scotland and Ireland politically through military force encouraged the Scots emigration from the 15th through the 17th centuries. Rather than assimilation with the Irish Catholics, however, the Scots Protestants maintained their identity with the Presbyterian Church and prospered economically in the wool and linen industries. Subsequent English laws to eliminate the Scottish competition caused economic depressions. Unfair land-lease laws and religious discrimination combined with the seriously depressed economy led the Scots to look favorably toward settlement in the colonies of North America.
During the 1700s, five huge waves of Scots-Irish emigrants came to Pennsylvania. Many thousands from these groups continued their emigration southward through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, western North Carolina, and finally to the back-country of the South Carolina and Georgia frontiers. Joined by other Celtic groups from Scotland, the Border Region of England next to Scotland, and Wales, they spread to the south central and southwestern areas of the United States. By the 1840s the term "Scots-Irish" or "Scotch-Irish" distinguished them from the Irish Catholics fleeing the famine of Ireland.
The huge numbers of Scots-Irish who settled the American frontier made lasting contributions which Dr. Brockington will address. Rural, individualistic people with a distinct dialect, they brought their foods, crafts, music, appreciation of extended family, and ideas and fundamentalist attitudes about religion and education and patriotism.
21 AUGUST 2004
ANNUAL HOMECOMING - LINKING to the Past, LOOKING to the Future
For its Silver Anniversary, the Augusta Genealogical Society held a big Ã¢â‚¬Å“HomecomingÃ¢â‚¬Â weekend with activities offered to both members and the general public. Details can be found by clicking on the Homecoming link.
SOME OF THOSE HOMECOMING HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDED:
"AUGUSTA STATE UNIVERSITY'S SPECIAL COLLECTIONS"
John OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Shea, Special Collections Librarian at Augusta State University, will speak at the 7 October 2004 program of the Augusta Genealogical Society concerning the holdings of his department.
A graduate of ASU, John received his MasterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s degree from the College of Library and Information Science at the University of South Carolina. During his career, he has been a reference and a cataloging librarian. He has been Special Collections Librarian at Reese Library since 1999. John is a member of the Society of Georgia Archives and attended the Georgia Archives Institute in 2001. He is active in other library organizations and has collaborated with managers of local archival collections as well as a digital photo archives project with photos from ASUÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Special Collections. He is also a member of AGS, and is pursuing his own genealogical records.
The ASU Library established its Special Collections forty years ago. It includes collections of both the University and the Augusta Richmond County Historical Society (ARCHS), an organization with maintains an administrative office in the Library.
The CollectionÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mission is to serve the research needs of ASU students and faculty. IT also welcomes visitors who wish to use the materials on local history and genealogy. A large collection of non-circulating books, periodicals, manuscripts, photographs and other archival materials are available. The archival collection has recently been reinventoried. Some older fragile manuscripts, such as several Augusta Arsenal collections, are available on microfilm.
Artifacts in Special Collections remind the researcher that Augusta State University is located in the Summerville neighborhood of Augusta. The site of the University was once a plantation and later was occupied by a U.S. Arsenal. A small manual typewriter used by the poet Stephen Vincent Benet when his father was Commander of the Augusta Arsenal is in place on a filing cabinet. The cabinet contains a vertical file with many writings, records and photographs concerning historical figures in local history.
But records that appeal to researchers beyond the local level are also available. Special Collections is especially strong in the areas of Colonial and Civil War history and maintains area revolutionary War pension records.
Since 1962, Reese Library has been a U.S. Government Depository Library. The Government Documents section is on the second floor of the library.
During the AGS program, John will elaborate on the extent and content of the Collections.
A manuscript index is being revised to provide better access to titles of manuscripts housed in Special Collections.
Those who attended the AGS Homecoming Seminar in August on the ASU campus were treated to a special visit to the Collections. We were impressed by the beautifully renovated area on the third floor of Reese Library now housing the Special Collections.
Hours are 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. John encourages researchers to call ahead (706- 667-4904) or e-mail (email@example.com) to arrange for services. He added that visitors should first go by the Public Safety Office (706-737-1401) for a parking permit that will allow parking next to the Reese Library.4 NOVEMBER 2004
"GENEALOGY AND ENTERTAINMENT: WHAT MADE GRANDPA LAUGH?"
Why should genealogists study an area's entertainment history?
That is the question that our next program will address when author and editor Don Rhodes speaks at our 4 November meeting.
According to Don, Augusta was part of a triangle for entertainment that included Savannah and Charleston in the late 1700s. The first elephant ever to appear in America came through Augusta with a circus. Maybe your G-G-G-ancestor was in the audience!
Also, he says there was fun on the homefront during the Civil War, and "not everyone was being shot at."
Augusta has always been a crossroads as people moved south and west. The city has been a performing stage for many celebrities during its more than 250 year history and has been home to nationally and internationally known actors, athletes, musicians and writers.
Don Rhodes is one of our nationally known writers. His weekly "Ramblin' Rhodes" is the longest running newspaper column in the United States about country music (33 years). He is a publications editor of Morris Communications Company, an international business for which Don edits a publication that goes out to its 6,500 employees.
Locally, he has written for the Augusta Herald, the Augusta Chronicle, and Augusta Magazine. He helped create the "Applause" section in the Chronicle that keeps readers in the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) informed about artistic and entertainment events in Augusta and surrounding cities. He has won the Media Person of the Year award from the Greater Augusta Arts Council twice and is a past board member of the Augusta Museum of History.
Don is a lifetime member of the Augusta Genealogical Society. His skills in genealogy were more than evident when he researched the life of Emanuel Wambersie, a Belgian entrepreneur who emigrated to the United States in the 1700s. In presentations to AGS at a regular program and at the Homecoming Seminar in 2003, Don told how Wambersie brought musical entertainment to Augusta as early as 1786.
Don has also made genealogy researchers aware of a new research venue, the archives of the Augusta Chronicle. Although previously available on microfilm, the vast archives of the newspaper which dates back to 1785 are now available electronically from AugustaArchives.com.
Don presented a program to AGS about use of the electronic archives and used them extensively himself while writing a book that was published in 2004. His book, Entertainment in Augusta and the CSRA is part of the "Images of America" series published by Arcadia. This series publishes photographic histories of communities and cities throughout the United States.
Don's book was reviewed by Marguerite Fogleman in the July, 2004 issue of Southern Echoes. It will be available at our November meeting for $20, and Don will be happy to sign copies.
2 DECEMBER 2004
YELLOW FEVER EPIDEMICS IN AUGUSTA: "THE CITY CEMETERY LOOKS LIKE A PLOWED FIELD""
Dr. Daniel Hook, owner of the plantation Ã¢â‚¬Å“Richmond HillÃ¢â‚¬Â six miles south of Augusta, had gone into the city in the summer of 1839 on business concerning his Richmond Factory. Several times he was approached and asked to Ã¢â‚¬Å“look in onÃ¢â‚¬Â residents who had become suddenly ill. To Dr. HookÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s astonishment, he recognized the symptoms of Yellow Fever.
When he asked if there was much sickness, he was told, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yes, a great deal. It looks like everybody in the first and second wards of the City has some sickness in their families in the last few days.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The next day, Dr. Hook placed an announcement on a placard near the post office declaring the disease to be yellow fever in the two lower wards, and that in his opinion the illness would spread over the entire city. Dr. Hook warned that if treatment were not given Ã¢â‚¬Å“the hearses will not be able, in a week from now, to carry the dead to the cemetery, but drays and wagons will be needed.Ã¢â‚¬Â
How right he was! The Augusta Chronicle would comment on the epidemic situation in Augusta in the Ã¢â‚¬Å“plowed fieldÃ¢â‚¬Â headline quoted above.
Russell Moores will speak to us about Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yellow JackÃ¢â‚¬Â fever and other epidemics that terrorized our ancestors in the past. Dr. Moores has spoken to the Society on other occasions about diseases of the 1800s and about the history of the Medical College of Georgia.
Dr. Moores is an oncologist who has had a long teaching career at the Medical College of Georgia. He received his M.D. from the University of Arkansas. He served an internship in Rochester, NY; his Fellowship was done at the National Institutes of Health at Bethesda, MD, and his residency at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, MO. He was Staff Hemotologist at Oakland (CA) Naval Hospital before he came to Augusta.
Dr. Moores is in his eleventh year as President of AGS, having resumed the position in September 2003 after the resignation of Dr. George Christenberry and was elected to his present term in September 2004. Moores was first elected in 1982 and guided the young Society through nine years of major projects and publications.
Yellow fever was a horrible disease, with the first epidemic recognized as a Ã¢â‚¬Å“new pestilenceÃ¢â‚¬Â in the western hemisphere at Barbados in 1647. It reached as far north as the cities of Boston, Philadelphia, and New York. Mostly, however, it struck port cities of the southeastern U.S.
During the 17th through the 19th centuries, people did not know that the highly infectious disease was spread by mosquitoes that picked up the virus from bites to humans. One of its symptoms is jaundice, which causes a yellow tint to the skin. The victims experience headaches, high fevers, and vomiting as the disease attacks the liver and digestive tract. Vomiting of blood occurs before death.
Augustans had known malaria and connected it to low swamps and the Savannah River. Many sought safer summer homes on the Hill in Summerville. But yellow fever was a new disease with horrible symptoms that led to all sorts of speculation as to its origin.
Dr. Moores has studied the sextonsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ records for Magnolia Cemetery to examine the 1839 epidemic. He will discuss the wrong conclusions reached by the early physicians and Augusta residents as to the cause of the disease and the new evidence that came out of the 1854 panic when yellow fever struck again. He will explain how new technology in the 19th century brought the diseases inland to cities such as Augusta.
Dr. Moores is a gifted researcher and lecturer. His talk will be at 7 p.m. at the Augusta Museum of History, 560 Reynolds St., on Thursday, 2 Dec 2004. The program is free and open to the public.
Your Family Tree"