The Journal
The Latest from the History Center
Newsletter July 22 - 26
July 28, 2019

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Our Archives Management Apprentice Lesley Jones and her Intern Jonathan Houston have curated a new special exhibit for the History Center! One Giant Leap for Mankind: 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission explores our fascination with space exploration from ancient times up to the moon landing 50 years ago. The exhibit includes items from the 1960s including the living room of a family that would have watched the moon landing from their television. This special exhibit will be on display until October.

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Lesley Jones, Archives Management Apprentice

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Becoming Old Hickory – Andrew Jackson Before Indian Removal

By Ken Johnston, Director of Education

The final presentation in this year’s New Gainesville Chautauqua series The 1830s: A Decade of Removal is coming up in just two weeks, and the season comes to a close with Old Hickory himself – Andrew Jackson! Though often portrayed as a one dimensional villain during the period of Indian Removal, Jackson – like so many others of this tempestuous time – is a complex individual who was shaped by powerful forces, and came to powerfully shape others in the decade of Removal.

Born in 1767 in the Waxhaws Region straddling the North and South Carolina border, Jackson’s influences began even before his birth date – his father died 8 months before the event. In addition to never knowing his father, he lost his mother to cholera – as well as his brother to smallpox – through what he considered British malignity during the American War for Independence. His burgeoning hatred for the British wasn’t calmed when a British officer ordered him to polish his boots and when he refused he was struck across the face with the flat of the officer’s sword.

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After the war as a young adult with few prospects, no money, but with boundless energy, ambition and no small intellect, he did what tens of thousands other such young men were doing – he went West, and for him this meant Tennessee. He read law and became a successful lawyer, then land (and slave) owner, State Attorney General, Congressman, Senator, and State Supreme Court Judge – with the “only” scandals marring these achievements being inadvertently entering into a bigamous marriage with Rachel Robards (who thought her previous marriage dissolved) and then fighting a duel with a man who publicly questioned her honor – which resulted in Jackson carrying his opponent’s bullet in his chest (where it lodged after striking him) for the rest of his life, and in Jackson killing the other duelist.

So, by the eve of the War of 1812 and 1813 Creek War – which were to shower him with glory – Andrew Jackson was a man who had learned to fiercely protect his family and interests, was unmerciful with enemies, and had exceptional drive and ability. Next week we’ll see where that leads in the two decades before Removal.

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We have lots of new content, programs, and events coming up this Fall! With teacher planning coming up soon, we're highlighting our new and favorite programs for the school year.

From our Cottrell Digital Studio you'll find new educational Webisodes for younger audiences in our Hands On History series. This series introduces young folks to figures like Sacagawea, Abraham Lincoln, Juliette Gordon Low, Benjamin Franklin, and more through fun finger puppet characters. Check out all of our available Webisodes at this link!

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Our popular live Webcasts will be back in action and with even more characters to choose from! "Rosie the Riveter" will teach students about the contributions of women during WWII, abolitionist Frederick Douglass will share his journey to freedom, and Paul Revere will deliver his message to the people! Webcasts are such a unique experience for students. Historic figures video conference with students live in their classrooms, so students are able to ask these figures questions about their life and times. All free thanks to the Cottrell Digital Studio! Learn more about our Webcasts at this link.

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Our On-Site Programs were busier than ever last year and we can't wait to have even more students experience the History Center! On-Site Programs offer students a way to learn about history through Living History demonstrations with historians and interactive exhibits. These programs are designed to entertain and educate at the same time, and some even end with a bang! These programs and their affordability are made possible by the Ada Mae Ivester Center. See all of our field trip options at this link.


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Our Family Days are great educational experiences for all ages. With hands-on activities, Living History demonstrations, Museum Theatre performances and more, these events are the perfect family outing. Family Days are free to the public thanks to the Ada Mae Ivester Education Center. Check out our upcoming Family Days at this link.

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For our adult audiences, we have educational Forums on various topics in history with historians, educators, and other experts. Our first Forum this academic year is about Dr. Crawford Long of Jefferson, a Georgian who became the first physician who used ether for surgical anesthesia in 1842.

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We have a new history quiz ready for you! Find out how much you know about Habersham County and learn what you never knew. We'll have more history quizzes about counties in Northeast Georgia, so brush up on your history! Take the Habersham County History Quiz at this link.


(If you haven't taken our Hall County History Quiz, you can take it at this link!)

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By Archives Management Apprentice, Lesley Jones

From the Archives this week is a 1927 pamphlet in collaboration with the Good Housekeeping Institute entitled Training Your Maid to be a Waitress by Bertha N. Baldwin. The Good Housekeeping Institute was founded in 1902 and is located at Hearst Tower in New York City, New York. The Institute is responsible for evaluating thousands of products for Good Housekeeping Magazine,, and the Good Housekeeping seal. Currently 1,802 products have the coveted seal and the process to obtain one is incredibly extensive.

Mrs. Baldwin’s pamphlet, Training Your Maid to be a Waitress, is a guide to ensure a women’s role as hostess goes smoothly. As Mrs. Baldwin states, “smooth service at the table is the ambition of all hostesses.” It includes how photographs on the perfect table setting, how to seat your guests, and how to plan a menu.

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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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Clara Belle McCrary (left) poses for a photo with two children at the library named in her honor. The library was once located on Fair Street across from the Fair Street School.

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