The Journal
The Latest from the History Center
Journal Newsletter October 14th - 18th
October 20, 2019

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By Director of Education Ken Johnston

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Ken Johnston portrays Paul Revere for students during a Live Webcast in the Cottrell Digital Studio

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Students ask Paul Revere their questions live during the Webcast

This past week Paul Revere was back in the saddle; but instead of going to Lexington & Concord, it was a digital ride courtesy of the Cottrell Digital studio down to 5th grade students in Fayette County – for FIVE Webcasts! With such a concentration on one figure with a large number of students, it was interesting finding out what they didn’t know, knew, and thought they knew about Mr. Revere. So – let’s try our newsletter audience! Keep a tally of which of the following aspects of Paul Revere’s life you did or didn’t know (or thought you knew!):

While you may have heard of Longfellow’s poem about the “midnight ride of Paul Revere”, there was actually a poem about the ride written during Revere’s lifetime in 1795 by one Ebenezer Stiles – but while Longfellow’s is at least good poetically, Stiles' is horrible! The thing they have in common? Both are wildly inaccurate!

To wit: Revere did not say “the British are coming”, as being British American he was British – what he said, by his own recollection, was “the Regulars are turning out”, meaning that units of the actual British Army were on the move.

He did not own the horse he rode, but rented it from a stable. It’s name is completely unknown – you can’t factually say it was “Brown Beauty” or “Black Beauty” or any other “Beauty” variation.

Paul Revere did not make it all the way to Concord. He was detained, along with William Dawes and Samuel Prescott (the other two riders performing the same mission as Revere) by a British Army patrol at Lexington – though at least that was after they’d warned John Hancock and Samuel Adams the Regulars were on the way. Samuel Prescott escaped by spurring his horse over a wall and did spread the word to Concord.

An interesting thing to ponder: the British Patrol confiscated Revere’s rented horse; what did he tell the stable owner the next day? Stable Owner: “Morning Paul, where’s the horse with no name I rented you last night?” Paul Revere: “Uhhh…okay….so, you see the Regulars turned out and…”

Revere was a member of, though not leader of, the Boston Sons of Liberty. As such, he took an active part in an event they called at the time (1773) “The Destruction of The Tea”. They DIDN’T call it the Boston Tea Party – it wasn’t called that until the 1830s.

The Destruction of The Tea WASN’T a protest against high taxes on tea, as the Tea Act of 1773 had taken the tax down to the lowest it had ever been. In fact the price of tea was so low that illegal smuggled tea (some carried in ships owned by Sons of Liberty leader and man with a big signature, John Hancock) was more expensive than the legal British East India Company tea.

And that’s what Revere was protesting with the Sons of Liberty about – officially: the Government giving preferential financial treatment to a large multi-national company to keep it from going bankrupt…hmmm. And oh, eliminating competition for illegal smuggling. Call it Enlightened Self-Interest – it’s very 18th century!

So, the British aren’t coming, but Digital Outreach is - as a matter of fact it’s here!

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Our Travel Trunks are like a "museum in a box" filled with artifacts, primary sources, and GSE-based lessons plans that offer a hands-on experience for students. These are great for classrooms and homeschool groups alike with a wide array of topics: Native American Cultures of Northeast Georgia, the Civil War, World War II, and the American War for Independence. Travel Trunks can be rented for just $25 per week. Email to schedule your pick up!

native american travel trunk

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By Archival Media Assistant Lesley Jones

This week From the Archives is a NuGrape bottle from The National NuGrape Company. In 1906, pharmacist John James Mangham of Brenan, Georgia created the formula for the drink. The National NuGrape Company was founded in 1933 in Atlanta, Georgia and by 2008, the rights to the NuGrape drink were sold to Dr. Pepper. NuGrape is still sold in novelty stores as well as Cracker Barrel restaurants.


The 10 oz. bottle of NuGrape was manufactured in Atlanta and shipped from the NuGrape Company until the 1960s. We have a few bottles in our archives; all are from Atlanta. Have you been lucky enough to have a NuGrape before?

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Roma in Italia est – and so is this second of a two-parts episode on Rome. In this episode, Ken and Glen continue the discussion on the verisimilitude and accuracy of HBO’s “Rome”, and segue into the history of Rome itself, from just another village on the Italian peninsula to the longest lived super-power the world has ever seen…and you better believe they get Constantinople in there.

Listen at this link: Roma Pars Duo

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Thanks for listening! Questions? Comments? Talk to us at

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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

October 26th & 27th at 8 PM

Suggested Donation $5-$10

Join us for a dramatic reading of our favorite spooky tales from the popular series Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. The Big Toe, Room for One More, The Hook, The Viper, and -- AAAHH! So much more!

Admission to this event is a suggested donation of $5-$10 but no one will be turned away if they cannot make a donation. While all of the stories are family-friendly, please consider that these stories will be told in a dark setting and may not be suitable for children under 8 years old.

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Family Day: the War of Jenkin's Ear

Sunday, November 10 from 1-4 PM


Newly established Georgia, settled for only 6 years, the smallest of Britain’s North American colonies in both size and population faced a fight for its very existence in 1739 – in the War of Jenkin’s Ear. Learn about the threat to Georgia from forces in Spanish Florida, General James Oglethorpe’s siege of Saint Augustine, and daily life in the colony through living history interpretation and hands-on activities.

Family Days are free to the public thanks to the Ada Mae Ivester Education Center

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Forum: The Berlin Wall

Tuesday, November 12 at 7 PM

$3 General Admission or Free for Museum Members

Though it might not seem that long ago to SOME of us, it has been 28 years since the Berlin Wall, symbol of a divided Germany and the Cold War, went away. History Center Board Member Ron Stowe, retired pilot who has flown all over the world, will tell the history of the wall, what it meant, and what effect its removal had on Europe and the world.


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



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A band in Monroe, Georgia poses for a photo in their ornate musical wagon. Taken sometime in the late 1800s. A true bandwagon! Some names of the band members are available at the source link below.


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