This week was our Museum Manager David French's last week at the History Center before transitioning to a new career in law. David has been an invaluable part of the team here at the History Center and we wish him all the best! Here's a special message from David:
A Heartfelt Farewell
I would like to extend a heartfelt farewell to all the patrons of the Northeast Georgia History Center. I am off on my next adventure to fulfill my ambitions in the legal field. But I will always recollect with great fondness the time I spent here. The staff, volunteers, members, and guests of the History Center are all linked by a passion for the history for our region. It has been a real honor to be a part of that passion, and to see it in the faces of many who visits our modest institution. That passion is the lifeblood of the History Center. Our dedicated patrons recognize that the story of our little corner of the world is one worth sharing. Thank you all for making the last two and a half years truly special. I am forever in your debt.
David French during a Living History event
This week we announced the winner of our Mascot Naming Contest. Educator and history-lover Sheri Turner won with her submission, "Franklin D. Roostervelt!" She received a free Sponsor-Level Membership to the History Center which also includes reciprocal membership to over 65 other museums in the Southeast Museums Reciprocal Membership Program. We hope you'll stop for a photo with Mr. Roostervelt during your next visit to the History Center!
Dr. Jamie Mize gave an insightful presentation on Indian Removal as part of our new traveling exhibit Court Cases of Cherokee Removal. The presentation focused on the politics and personal dynamics of the Treaty Party led by Major Ridge as well as the experiences of other tribes in the Southeast that were forced to remove. We invite you to visit the History Center for this special exhibit presented by the History Center, Georgia Humanities, and the Chieftains Museum. The exhibit will be on display at the History Center for a short time only, from July 2nd to July 10 when it will travel to the Chieftain’s Museum in Rome. It will return to Gainesville for Native American Heritage Month in October.
For this Independence Day, the Cottrell Digital Studio produced two videos starring George Washington! Washington taught viewers why July 2nd is our true Independence Day and why we celebrate Independence on July 4th. Watch both videos by clicking on the images below!
In this episode of Then Again with Ken & Glen, Ken and Glen play the historian's favorite game of What If? What if Brittain had defeated us in the American War for Independence? How would daily life change (or not change?) How would it affect the trajectory of future events? Listen in at this link!
And stay tuned for more episodes of this podcast. We're now releasing episodes on a weekly basis!
By Lesley Jones, Archives Management Apprentice
From the Archives this week is The Amended GI Bill of Rights booklet from 1945. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the “Servicemen’s Readjustment Act,” also known as “The GI Bill of Rights,” to provide rights and services to veterans of World War II. It passed unanimously in the House of Representatives and in the Senate.
The booklet contains four major kinds of help to veterans: education, guarantee of loans, unemployment allowances, and job-finding assistance. The complete amended Bill is inside, as well as repealed sections and a Question and Answer section for veterans to better understand their new rights. “The GI Bill of Rights” would later include all military and it is still in effect today.
Special Exhibit: Court Cases of Cherokee Removal in Georgia
July 2nd - 10th
The process of Indian removal in the 1830s that culminated in the Trail of Tears was not merely struggles between personalities and legislatures. Indeed, the mechanisms by which the United States enabled and justified removal were fundamentally in the judiciary. This exhibit will explore Georgia v. Tassels, Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, and Worchester v. Georgia. These three cases not only set the stage for Cherokee removal from Georgia, but in many ways defined the differences between two divergent, but often similar, cultures.
This exhibit will be on display at the History Center for a short time only, from July 2nd to July 10 when it will travel to the Chieftain’s Museum in Rome. It will return to Gainesville for Native American Heritage Month in October.
New Gainesville Chautauqua 2019 Season: The 1830s – a Decade of Removal
July 9th and August 13th
$6 cash/card at the door or Free for Museum 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, and the treaty negotiations between the Indian Nations and the Federal Government - whether perceived as realistic or perceived as forced. We’ll hear from a Chief who looked to make the best deal as quickly as possible, a Chief who delayed removal as long as possible, and the President who sought to ensure removal as essential to his view of the United States.
July 9 - Choctaw Chief Greenwood LeFlore - portrayed by Matt House
Chief Leflore 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 then 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.
August 13 – President Andrew Jackson – portrayed by Ken Johnston
Andrew Jackson, the man perceived in the popular imagination as being almost single-handedly responsible for the Indian Removal Act and the resultant Trail of Tears. Jackson could be ambivalent regarding Native Americans, treating the Red Stick Creek as enemies at Horseshoe Bend, while the Cherokee and Choctaw as allies at Horseshoe Bend and New Orleans, respectively. Whether Jackson viewed Indian Nations as enemies or allies, though, his first and overriding priority was White settlement and expansion; and as Jackson saw it the Nations had best accommodate Removal for their own good - regardless of how the Native American Nations themselves saw it.
For more fascinating photos and information on our region's past, follow our social media!
A woman poses as the statue of liberty on a parade float made by an African-American American Legion post in Gainesville, Georgia in 1952.