The Journal
The Latest from the History Center
Newsletter July 8th - July 12th
July 14, 2019


A Different Perspective in July’s Chautauqua
By Director of Education Ken Johnston

This past Tuesday, July 9, the History Center presented its second program of the 2019 season with performer, writer, and comedian Matt House portraying Choctaw Chief Greenwood LeFlore. While the general public is more familiar with the story of the Cherokee and their Chief John Ross in how the Indian Removal Act of 1830 played out, the story of Choctaw and the negotiations made by Chief LeFlore for their Removal was an interesting and compelling contrast – for LeFlore on behalf of the Choctaw, knowing resistance would not end well, wasted no time in agreeing to a Treaty, getting the best land and most favorable terms of the Native Nations. Newcomer to the Chautauqua series Matt House, who is of Choctaw heritage, did an outstanding job in portraying Greenwood LeFlore, both with his scripted performance and in the in character Q&A afterwards. We hope you’ll join us for our final program of the Indian Removal series on August 13 when we’ll hear from the architect of the Indian Removal Act himself – President Andrew Jackson!

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Matthew House portrays Choctaw Chief Greenwood LeFlore

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Audience members ask LeFlore questions about his life and times

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Matthew House answers questions about his research and experience portraying LeFlore


Members of the Clermont Historical Society visited the History Center this week for our Hernando De Soto Expedition program. This program explores contact between De Soto and his conquistadors and Native American cultures, the weapons and technology of 1540, and the repercussions of this expedition on the native cultures. The program is certainly "edutainment" with weapons demonstrations always ending it with a bang. Groups of 20 and up can schedule one of our On-Site Educational Programs. Check them out for a truly unique family and friends experience!



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Our podcast Then Again with Ken & Glen will now release episodes weekly! Check out our latest episode on the evolution of travel at this link. Make sure to subscribe and leave us a review!

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As Libba (our Director of Communications) was leaving the History Center, she heard meowing coming from the bushes and found a little orange kitten! Libba and her family have decided to keep the kitten, who's name is Max. "He's such a sweetie! It wasn't a hard decision to keep him. And our dog Henry loves him already!" We're happy that Max decided to visit the History Center, and we bet he is too!

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From the Archives this week is a Shoe-Fitting Fluoroscope. The fluoroscope was essentially an x-ray machine found in many shoe stores from the 1920s to the 1950s that was used, ostensibly, to find the best fitting shoe. The machine was more functional as a sales tactic, often an attraction to children. The use of the fluoroscope dwindled as concerns arose about radiation being a potential harm, and by the 1960s they were no longer found in stores.

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New Gainesville Chautauqua 2019 Season: The 1830s – a Decade of Removal
August 13th at 7:00 PM
$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.

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.

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



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Watermelon from the Little Farm in Franklin County, Georgia being loaded for the wholesale market sometime in the 1930s.

The Northeast Georgia History Center at Brenau University - 322 Academy St NE Gainesville, GA 30501 - 770.297.5900 -