The Journal
The Latest from the History Center
Newsletter May 13-17
May 17, 2019

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We had a wonderful turnout for our Forum led by author and historian Janet Croon about her book The War Outside My Window. This book contains the diary of a young boy in Macon, Georgia during the Civil War. Croon presented her fascinating research about LeRoy Gresham, his perspective on the war (and how that changed over time), and the challenges of living with both an injury and an illness during this time. You can purchase this book at our gift shop, so please stop by!

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If you follow our Facebook page, you may have noticed that we have been "livestreaming" some of our programs. So what exactly is a livestream? A livestream allows us to broadcast in real time to a social media platform like Facebook or YouTube. We can be meeting with a class of students using our video conferencing technology and broadcast the same video feed that the students see online. It's a neat way to show the public what our digital programs are like and be an educational resource for anyone watching. Our first livestreamed Webcast was with Abraham Lincoln as he spoke with students of Tadmore Elementary. We had over 400 views (and counting!) on our first stream. You can watch it at this link!

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We also streamed two broadcasts of our popular Hernando De Soto Expedition program outdoors. Watch the first stream at this link!

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This is a wonderful way to connect more people to the History Center. Make sure to follow us on Facebook to see our future streams!

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In 1830 the U.S. Congress passed The Indian Removal Act, which President Andrew Jackson promptly signed, authorizing the Federal Government to enter into treaty negotiations with the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, Seminole, Wyandot, Kickapoo, Potowatomi, Shawnee, and Lenape nations for their relocation to lands west of the Mississippi River in exchange for giving up their homelands in east of the Mississippi for white settlement. While the Removal Act did not legally force the Native American Nations to sign treaties of relocation the social, economic, and cultural forces of the dominant White or European-American culture of “Manifest Destiny” exerted such tremendous pressure that refusing removal would have resulted in tribal extinction or disintegration – or so it was seen at the time, by many Native American and White leaders alike.

Our Chautauqua series for the 2019 season explores the decade of the 1830s, the years that saw the passage of the Indian Removal Act and its implementation, the negotiations whether perceived as realistic or perceived as forced, Chiefs who looked to make the best deal as quickly as possible and Chiefs who delayed removal as long as they could, and the President who sought to ensure removal as essential to his view of the United States.

We’ll meet Choctaw leader Greenwood LeFlore, who negotiated and signed the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek within four months of the passage of the Removal Act, thus securing the best lands in the Indian Territory for the Choctaw – and who stayed behind in Mississippi while his tribe went west, taking U.S. Citizenship and becoming a wealthy cotton planter who owned 400 slaves and 15,000 acres of land.

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Choctaw leader Greenwood LeFlore

We’ll meet Cherokee leader John Ross, who in his youth had fought with Andrew Jackson against the Red Stick Creek and who caused Jackson considerable trouble by fighting Removal vigorously and vehemently – and who afterwards approved the murder of fellow Cherokee leaders for signing the treaty of removal with the Federal Government, and who also made sure that his own brother got the Government contract to provide food, lodging, and transportation in the final phase of what became known as the Trail of Tears.

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Cherokee leader John Ross

And finally we’ll meet the man perceived in the popular imagination as being almost single-handedly responsible for the Indian Removal Act and the resultant Trail of Tears, President Andrew Jackson. While there is no doubt that Jackson could and did fight ruthlessly against Native Americans, as the Red Stick Creek could well attest, he also valued them as allies and acknowledged their contributions, as the Cherokee could attest. However, whether Jackson viewed Native American Nations as enemies or allies, his first and overriding priority was White settlement and expansion; and the Nations had best accommodate this with Removal - for their own good, as Jackson saw it, and regardless of how the Native American Nations saw it.

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President Andrew Jackson

archives 8

W. J. Ramsey was a prominent photographer in Gainesville, Georgia during the early 1900s. Many of the photos in our archives are Mr. Ramsey's work out in the field and inside his studio. His son, Otto Ramsey, continued the family photography business through the 1940s. If your family's history goes back to the 1920s in Gainesville, you may have a Ramsey photo yourself!

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A promotional calendar for Ramsey's business from 1908

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A young boy stands for his portrait inside the Ramsey studio

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One of our favorite Ramsey portraits of a woman from the 1920s

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A young football player poses for his portrait

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A color photo by Otto Ramsey sometime in the 1940s

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A color photo by Otto Ramsey of two pet dogs sometime in the 1940s

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New Gainesville Chautauqua
Tuesday, June 11th doors open at 6:30 PM
$6 or free for Members
Our Chautauqua series for the 2019 season explores the decade of the 1830s, the years that saw the passage of the Indian Removal Act and its implementation, the negotiations whether perceived as realistic or perceived as forced, Chiefs who looked to make the best deal as quickly as possible and Chiefs who delayed removal as long as they could, and the President who sought to ensure removal as essential to his view of the United States. Our first figure to take the Chautauqua stage will be Cherokee leader John Ross on Tuesday, June 11th at 7:00 PM.

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For more fascinating photos and information on our region's past, follow our social media!

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A family poses for a photo outside their home on the Wiley property in Social Circle, Georgia, c. 1900.

The Northeast Georgia History Center at Brenau University - 322 Academy St NE Gainesville, GA 30501 - 770.297.5900 - historycenter@brenau.edu