The Journal
The Latest from the History Center
Newsletter July 29th - August 2nd
August 02, 2019

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Executive Director Glen Kyle presented at the Kiwanis Club of Gainesville last week offering insights on Gainesville's history. Kiwanis International was founded in 1915 by a group of businessmen in Detroit, Michigan. It was originally focused on business networking but soon focused on community service, specifically serving children. The name "Kiwanis" was chosen in 1915 under the belief that "NunKeewan-is" was a Native American phrase meaning "we trade." Research later revealed that the phrase meant "We have a good time - we make noise." Kiwanis members certainly do have a good time through community service, and their efforts in fighting child hunger, improving literacy, and offering mentorship is something we should all make some noise about!

To learn more about Kiwanis Club of Gainesville, visit

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Part Two – Becoming Old Hickory – Andrew Jackson Before Indian Removal

By Director of Education Ken Johnston

With Andrew Jackson being the featured historic character in the final performance of this year’s Chautauqua, last week we began a look at his life and career leading up to the decade of Indian Removal - leaving off in the year 1800, with the nation’s 18th century founding in the past and its 19th century expansion poised to begin in earnest, with the now established (and still fiery and controversial!) Andrew Jackson in the thick of it.

In 1801, he was appointed Colonel of the Tennessee militia and was elected its commander the following year. He led troops during the Creek War of 1813–1814 and the wider war it was part of, the War of 1812. It was during the rigors of the marches from Tennessee into Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, and the maneuvers through those states that he got the nickname; he was critically ill for the majority of these campaigns, but refused to leave the field and thus came to be called “Old Hickory” for his toughness - and stubbornness!

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Depiction of the Battle of Talladega fought between the Tennessee Militia and the Red Stick Creek Indians

In his victorious Battle of Horseshoe Bend we find the ambiguity that repeatedly clothes Jackson’s dealings with Native Americans. He goes to war against the Lower Creeks but welcomes (and praises) as allies the Upper Creek, Cherokee, and Choctaw. The subsequent Treaty of Fort Jackson required the Creek surrender of vast lands in present-day Alabama and Georgia – foreshadowing his policies to come. In the concurrent war against the British, Jackson's victory in 1815 at the Battle of New Orleans made him a national hero – and once again it was a victory secured with the help of Native American allies, with the Choctaw fighting with him once more. Jackson then led U.S. forces in the First Seminole War, which led to the annexation of Florida from Spain and brought the people of the Seminole Nation under the jurisdiction of the United States – and ultimately subjecting them to the Indian Removal Act to come.

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Depiction of Creek Chief William Weatherford surrendering to Andrew Jackson during the Creek War

During these years Jackson alternated negotiating treaties with Native Americans, fighting them and, once more demonstrating his equivocal nature towards them, adopting two Native American boys as sons. Jackson briefly served as Florida's first territorial governor before returning to the Senate. He ran for president in 1824, winning a plurality of the popular and electoral vote – but as no candidate won an electoral majority, the House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams in a contingent election. In reaction to the alleged "corrupt bargain" between Adams and Henry Clay and the ambitious agenda of President Adams, Jackson's supporters founded the Democratic Party. The stage was now set for the election that would propel Jackson to the Presidency in 1828, and with him his complicated relationship with Native Americans and his very concrete ideas on their future.

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By Archives Management Apprentice Lesley Jones

From the Archives this week is a Queen Elizabeth Coronation Coloring Book. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor ascended the throne in 1953 when she was 25 years old after the passing of her father, King George VI. The ceremony of Queen Elizabeth, under the supervision of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, took 14 months to prepare, cost £1.57 million (£43.4 million or $52.2 million USD today), and became the first televised coronation. Queen Elizabeth is still Queen today and is the longest reigning British monarch and the longest serving female head of state in history.

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The coloring book was published on April 29, 1953, three days before Queen Elizabeth’s coronation on June 2, 1953, with the intention that children could color while watching the ascension on television. The book is 32 pages and includes images of Queen Elizabeth’s horses, Westminster Abbey, Windsor Castle, and the Golden Coach she rode in to the ceremony. Someone colored in a few of the pages in the book we have and made sure they stayed in the lines!


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The latest episode of our podcast Then Again with Ken & Glen explores the term "Dark Ages" and its misleading implications. Listen and subscribe at this link!

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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.

Family Day - Past Times, Pastimes

September 8th from 1-4PM

Free to the public thanks to the Ada Mae Ivester Education Center

It’s hands-on fun front and center in September with Past Times, Pastimes – a look at entertainment in Georgia from the 18th to 20th centuries. Hands-on activities, living history interpretation and demonstrations, and audience participation in games, song, and dance will make the past come alive with fun!

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



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Children participate in the May Day celebration in downtown Clarkesville, Georgia ca. 1969.

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