An Annotated List of Historic Newspapers Published in Bartow County
Recently Tom Hanks starred in a 2021 movie entitled, News of the World. It was the story of a well-educated, former Civil War soldier who earned his living as an itinerant reader of the news at public gatherings. For the admission price of 10 cents, he read sensational excerpts from various state, regional and national tabloids to news hungry audiences.
News of Bartow County
While the practice of reading news to Bartow citizens by an itinerant reporter likely did not occur in our communities, a plethora of newspapers were available and there was a market demand for them as well. The golden age of tabloids thrived in Bartow County, and as a result our history has been well preserved. One only need to do a little research using modern research tools such as Newspapers.com to find rich returns for his/her efforts.
Few people realize that Bartow County has been home to over three dozen newspapers that have printed our history for almost 200 years. Even today these tabloid pages live in the form of brittle hardcopies, microfilm and digital files that serve as a window to our past. Here we can find creditable first and secondhand documentation in the pages of dozens of papers that validate our history. These pages are the historic archives of our past.
We have come a long way from the days of Horace Greeley, paper boys and itinerant readers to a communications explosion of an on demand, 24/7, digital news culture. Today the public gets its news instantaneously via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, text, internet, cable and satellite platforms. Now newspapers take a back seat to mobile options. However, the news of Bartow’s yesteryears still speak from vintage paper and ink that ruled those days.
It is no secret that newspapers are suffering from these technological advancements as the public prefers instant and interactive social media options. Even our local community newspaper curbed its editions from 6 issues per week to three in September 2020, reduced page size and opted to deliver the paper by the U.S. Postal Service. Gone are the days when one could enjoy their cup of morning coffee while reading hot off the press news.
The following research mustered an impressive list of forgotten or faded newspapers that once operated in Bartow County. Some of these papers only survived for a year or two while others merged with competitors, spun off sister papers or went out of business only to surface again under the same or similar name. Research often uncovered early newspapers aligned and deliberately sided with a political party or candidate to gain readership.
A quick survey of other surrounding counties reveal that Bartow County has a vastly greater history and number of newspapers than any other surrounding county with the exception of Clark County with 47. According to the Digital Library of Georgia archive most counties averaged less than ten historic newspapers with Bartow exceeding three dozen. Tabloids thrived in Bartow suggesting that Bartow may have been a hotspot for political, religious, industrial, and commercial activity.
1. Cassville Gazette 1835
Established in the 1830’s as a weekly publication, advocated for the preservation of the Union and published in Cassville, Georgia. Publisher/owner possibly John B. Hood
2. The Georgia Pioneer and retrenchment banner 1835
Established in 1835 by S. M. Hood & Co. (Title shortened in 1840’s to Georgia Pioneer) Publisher/owner S. M. Hood,
Established in 1849 as a weekly and operated until 1864 as a democratic newspaper. It printed primarily democratic news and was not in favor of secession from the Union. Multiple proprietors: John Burke, Leeke & Benjamín Bennet, William Wofford, Sam Smith, and John Rice. (John Rice founded the Cherokee Baptist College in Cassville)
Established 1875 as a weekly. The Cartersville Express and Cartersville Standard would consolidate as the Standard and Express (See Cunyus) Publisher/owner C. H. C Willingham (Not to be confused with the 1858 Express)
Established 1878 as a weekly and became a fierce supporter of Dr. William Felton and opposed conservative bourbon Democrats. Other papers rallied against the Free Express and its political position. Publisher/owner C. H. C. Willingham (& sons)
Established 1918, in 1920 M. L. Fleetwood became sole owner of the Tribune News becoming the Daily Tribune News in 1946.
Source: Google, Library of Congress
36. The Bartow Herald 1929
Established 1929 under W. R. Frier (also established WBHF radio in the 1940’s )
Source: Google, Library of Congress, The Historical News, July 2021, pages 20, 21
37. The Daily Tribune News 1946
Established 1946, Fleetwood, Currently operating. Publisher/owner Cartersville Newspapers
Source: Google, Library of Congress
38. The Herald Tribune 1969
Established 1969, Currently operating. Publisher/owner Tribune Publications
Source: Google, Library of Congress
It became apparent that the lineage, ownership, mergers, name changes and consolidations were confusing and entangled as proprietors angled to survive in a highly competitive field. A number of entrepreneurs appeared multiple times in a variety of newspapers and by sheer frequency surfaced as local giants in the tabloid industry.
A scattering of other tabloids existed in the history of Bartow County papers such as the Methodist Way of Life first published in 1832. It was not uncommon for existing newspapers to criticize new upstart papers and declare the field too crowded. One such article appeared in the December 4, 1890 North Georgia Citizen located in Dalton, Georgia. It condemned Cartersville’s North Georgia News as being “one horse journalism.” Not all such papers are reported in this research. Currently there are specialty papers in operation such as the Cartersville Patch, North Bartow News, Bartow Trader and Bartow Neighbor.
To learn more history about newspaper owners, publishers and mergers listed in this article visit the Georgia Digital Library web site printed below.
A tip of the hat to Mr. Sam Graham for his keen research skills to ferret out miniscule details and uncover remote information that escapes most individuals.
History of Bartow County, Cunyus, Lucy, 1933, pp 155 – 159
Digital Library of Georgia, Historic Newspapers
Georgia Historic Newspapers
Library of Congress
Roadside Thoughts, Newspapers Published in Bartow County
The Way of Life, 1882, W. A. Dodge publisher, Cartersville, Methodist Episcopal Conference
The Historical News, July 2021, Newspapers of Bartow County
The Atlanta Georgian & News, April 6, 1907, Cartersville Carriers are Young Hustlers
The Georgia Constitutionalist, Cassville Gazette, May 13, 1834
Augusta Chronical, March 10, 1854, Etowah Valley Star
The Standard and Express, April 1, 1874, Sentinel
Savannah Morning News, September 29 1894, Signal
The Free Press, August 22, 1878, The Free Press
The Hawkinsville Dispatch, November 4, 1875, Fighting a Cotton Ring
North Georgia Citizen, December 4, 1890, Too Many Newspapers
The News and Courant, July 25, 1901, Some Things Said About the Press
The Daily Tribune News, August 23, 2020, DTN to Reduce Print Frequency
“If I would study any old, lost art, I must make myself an artisan of it.”
F. H. Cushing (1895)
I have very fond memories of looking for arrowheads and fossils as a boy. My friends and I would walk dry North Texas creek beds and look for these treasures. Fossil ammonites were almost as common as the river stones themselves, and petrified wood nearly so. The real treasure was finding an arrowhead. These were our prized possessions, and I still have an old cardboard box somewhere with a few of these in it. As I reflect on it some 40 years later, I’m fairly certain that the excitement and wonder that I felt as a boy contributed to my desire to study archaeology.
While pursuing my degree, I quickly focused on lithics. I find these artifacts particularly compelling because these are the things that last the longest. For example, the Oldowan tool industry is dated via potassium-argon methods back to 1.9 million years BP (Bordes 1968, 39-48). Lithics are often the only tangible remnants of a culture that survive to the present. They and the artifacts of their production in the form of debitage are certainly the most numerous artifacts of the past. For me, there is also something incredible about holding these artifacts in my hands. I constantly appreciate that I am literally touching something that another human made – in some cases – thousands of years ago. It is a tangible and personal connection to the past.
I had seen demonstrations of flintknapping done several times and admired the resulting tools (Figure 1). In a natural progression, I wanted to learn to work chert myself. It is my opinion that having a practical knowledge of how these tools are produced and the effort it takes to produce them informs our understanding of the original culture. If we understand how the tools may have been made, then we can begin to understand the resources required and the manufacturing process. Of course, we have very little in the way of a written record on how these lithic artifacts were produced. We, as experimental archaeologists, are reproducing the tools based on the evidence we find in the debitage and the finished artifact. Of course, we cannot be certain that the methods we use today are identical to those used by the original craftsperson, but we can gain insight into their culture by examining and approximating the manufacturing process.
I began trying to learn to work chert in 2019 after I attended a Kennesaw State University archaeological field school located at the Cummings site near Cartersville in Bartow County. I was encouraged by my professor, Dr. Terry Powis, to pursue the skill and explore its value as it pertains to archaeology. As a good 21st century scientist, I began my research with a simple Google search – “flintknapping videos”. I don’t recall how many results I returned on my first searches, but as of this writing you will receive approximately 73,200 results. I watched multiple of these and combined what I learned there with the knowledge I had gained during formal classroom instruction. I also read several articles and books, particularly by the deans of modern flintknapping, Francois Bordes and Don Crabtree. I also studied the case of Ishi, in particular his tools and their construction. When I felt I had a good understanding of the basics, I began to try to work pieces myself.
I quickly learned several hard lessons. First, do not wear shorts and flip-flops while trying to work a piece. Razor sharp pieces of debitage do not feel good in between your toes or in your knee. Second, no matter how hard I tried and how many videos I watched, I could not duplicate the nice flakes that I saw other people making. I would either produce short stubby flakes that ended in what knappers refer to as a hinge fracture, or I would shatter the piece completely. I spent a great deal of time over a period of months attempting simply to make a nice preform with no success.
I had reached a point where I felt I had exhausted the books and online resources, and I was not making any progress. During my archaeology field school, I was fortunate enough to meet a master knapper, Carl Etheridge, who was willing to donate his time to teach me flintknapping. Specifically, Carl would watch what I had learned online and tell me where I was making mistakes. With support from Dr. Powis, we agreed to meet weekly in Bartow County, once again at the Cummings site. We would have multiple training sessions at the Cummings site near Cartersville. During our first session together, Carl was able to point out several key mistakes that I was making. It was quickly made apparent to me that there are “tricks of the trade” that aren’t adequately relayed in online resources or books. I made more progress in that single session than I had in almost a year of my own study. Appendix A contains a pictorial sequence of the lithics I produced over the course of the research and demonstrates the rapid progression I made under direct instruction.
In this paper, I will discuss my applied research learning the lithic reduction sequence and manufacturing process. A brief overview of key figures in lithic experimental archaeology is provided for context. A comparison of the various learning methodologies follows, and the paper concludes with a critical analysis of my own progress as a novice knapper.
This research attempted to evaluate the efficacy of various learning modalities as they apply to teaching a novice the lithic manufacturing process. Sources evaluated included books, academic journal articles, web sites, and online multimedia resources such as YouTube videos. I had previously received formal training in archaeology including a field school and laboratory courses. I reflected on my prior training to filter sources to those relevant to the research.
H. Bernard Russell tells us “People will know it if you don’t” (2006, 96). With the research goal of actually learning the lithic reduction sequence and replicating it in mind, I began my research by searching specifically for books that dealt with the subject from a practical application approach. In this research, I was not particularly interested in typologies or classification methods, but rather the manufacturing process required to produce lithic tools and the resources required for that process. I also needed resources that approached the subject at a beginner level. I quickly settled on John C. Whittaker’s Flintknapping: Making and Understanding Stone Tools (1994) as a primary literary resource.
Whittaker is very readable for a beginner and explains important basic concepts including conchoidal fracture and Hertzian cone theory early on in the book (1994, 12-13). The book contains a brief history of flintknapping, as well as chapters dedicated to each of the major knapping techniques including both hard and soft percussion techniques as well as pressure flaking. Whittaker also provides important information on procuring raw materials and the necessary tools. Most importantly, the book emphasizes safety with a short, but detailed chapter on the obvious dangers of flintknapping like getting cut and the not-so-obvious such as silicosis (Whittaker 1994, 79-83).
I traced additional sources from Whittaker including Francois Bordes’ The Old Stone Age(1968) and Don E. Crabtree’s Introduction to Flintworking (1972). Both are considered classics in the field of flintknapping. The Old Stone Age is an exhaustive typology that covers the period from the Lower Paleolithic to the Upper Paleolithic and includes geographic maps of finds as well as excellent illustrations of lithic artifacts. Crabtree’s monograph is a much more practical explanation of the process of flintknapping and is mainly concerned with practical mechanics of working stone.
At this stage, I systematically moved on to scholarly journals and articles. I consulted articles on the history of flintknapping experimentation (Johnson et al. 1978), the life and times of Ishi (Torres 1984), and heat treatment of chert (Mandeville 1973, Mercies and Hiscock 2008). I familiarized myself with the geology of chert from an archaeologist’s perspective (Luedtke 1992), and with Georgia’s chert geology from a geologist’s point of view (Goad 1979).
I also viewed over 40 hours of YouTube videos of varying quality and usefulness. My goal here was to be able to observe the movements of knappers and variations in their technique. I quickly found that the quality of the material is directly related to the search terms used. If, for example, the search term “make an arrowhead” is used, a large number of results will be returned, but the majority are useless in an archaeological context. Experience quickly showed that searching for the terms “primitive technology” and “flintknapping” yielded the best results for my research. However, it was still necessary to be discriminating while watching the video.
Having a firm intellectual background and grasp of the basic skills and techniques required, I began my research in earnest by entering stage one of the manufacturing process – acquisition of raw materials (Collins 1974). I began by collecting glass bottles to use as raw material as recommended by Whittaker (1996, 67). In addition, I made my own flintknapping tools (Figure 2). I constructed a percussion tool, or billet, from a wooden dowel and a copper pipe end. I cut the dowel down and sanded it to make a serviceable handle. I melted lead fishing weights, outdoors of course, and poured the molten lead into the pipe end. I then attached that heavy weighted portion to the handle with epoxy. In an ill-advised attempt to replicate Ishi’s tools, I inverted the handle of the tool and attached a pressure flaker made from a copper nail to the end opposite the weighted billet (Torres 1984). Later experimentation showed that this was not an efficient tool configuration for the techniques that I eventually adopted. Finally, I constructed a leg pad from an old pair of denim jeans and a hand pad for pressure flaking from the same denim material. A couple of oven pads sewn in as a lining provided sufficient padding and protection for my flintknapping experiments.
With unbridled enthusiasm, I moved on to stage two of the lithic reduction sequence – core preparation and initial reduction (Collins 1974). I began experimenting with knapping in my back yard using the bottoms of glass bottles as raw material. In short order, I got very good at knocking the bottoms of those bottles out in whole or nearly whole pieces and cleaning up the rough edges with the billet. At that point, my accumulated knowledge failed me. I had an academic understanding of what was required, but I could not produce an adequate preform.
In May of 2021, I began to attend in-person instruction with Carl Etheridge in Bartow County at the Cummings site. Under Mr. Etheridge’s direction, I was quickly able to understand where I was making mistakes in my technique. I gained a deeper comprehension of selecting the proper material, having the correct tool configuration, and using different techniques to accomplish specific tasks such as removing a hinge fracture. I also learned the importance of “practice, practice, practice…” (Carl Etheridge, personal communication, June 12, 2021) (Figure 3). There is no substitute for simply picking up tools, grabbing raw material, and practicing. With Mr. Etheridge’s vast knowledge and patient assistance, I was eventually able to progress through primary trimming of the preform, considered stage three in the manufacturing process, and finally stage four or secondary trimming. In my case, a complex technique was used in stages three and four that involved both percussion and pressure flaking.
The final experiment was to reproduce one or more points previously excavated in Bartow County from the Cummings site. I was provided twenty points as a catalogue to choose from. The experiment required that I use the techniques and knowledge I had acquired to reproduce the point as closely as possible in terms of length, width, and thickness, as well as type. The raw material used would be as close to the original material as was readily available to me. I was not required to spall my own cobbles and was allowed to use previously created spalls as a starting point. The reproduction point I produced was then compared against the original for accuracy.
A Brief History of Flintknapping in Archaeology
Flintknapping has a long history in the field of archaeology. The study of worked lithic artifacts and their manufacture has been ongoing for over 150 years. The first published scientific work on the topic of flintknapping and its importance in the study of human history dates back to 1868. L. Lewis Johnson et al. (1978, 337) quote the following passage from Sven Nilsson’s The Primitive Inhabitants of Scandinavia:
“When, more than forty years ago, I first began to collect, I found here and there stones which had evidently been fashioned by the hand of man for some special purpose, and which showed distinct traces of strokes or knocks against some other equally hard, but more brittle stone. Having from my earliest youth made a practice of chipping flint-stones, and giving them any shape which I desired, I was able to recognize in these stone hammers the instruments by means of which the flint weapons had in ancient times been made.”
Although Nilsson did not attempt to duplicate the artifacts he found, the publication of his work is credited with beginning the scientific analysis of lithic tool manufacture via flintknapping (Johnson et al. 1978).
The recognition of the importance of flintknapping as it pertains to ancient cultures continued through the 20th and continues today. Interest in the study of flintknapping ebbs and wanes, but it never becomes obsolete. Below, I summarize the main figures in the history of the field with a focus on those that I attempted to emulate during the course of my research.
Ishi was the last surviving member of the Yahi, a small tribe of indigenous people located in the Sacramento Valley (Figure 4). The discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill and the settlement of the nearby valleys for agriculture resulted in a wave of slaughter that eventually eliminated the native cultures in the area. The Yahi managed to hold out longer than most of the local tribes. However, by 1908 we know that only four members of the Yahi tribe survived – an unknown man and woman, an old woman that was likely Ishi’s mother, and Ishi himself. A group of surveyors stumbled upon their encampment on November 10, 1908. The man and woman died while trying to escape across a creek, and the old woman died a few weeks later. Ishi lived alone in the wilderness until he was caught at a slaughterhouse near Oroville, California in August of 1911 (Torres 1984). Originally jailed, Ishi eventually came under the care of Dr. T.T. Waterman at the University of California Museum of Anthropology. Ishi demonstrated a number of Yahi traditional skills while at the museum, including his remarkable flintknapping ability. Ishi remained at the Museum demonstrating his skills until his death from tuberculosis in 1916 (Whittaker 1994).
Ishi was an expert pressure flaker and had mastered the expanded notch technique. Points made in his style are generally referred to today as Ishi points. During the period he lived alone, Ishi supplemented his native supplies by collecting other materials from the outskirts of settler’s camps. He used glass bottles for a blank just as readily as stone. Ishi likely used antler as his primary tool material early on during his evasion and survival, but when iron nails and rods became available, he quickly switched to iron tools because they required less sharpening. Today, a long pressure tool with a nail embedded in the distal end is called an Ishi stick amongst flintknappers. A surviving set of Ishi’s tools is curated at The Lowie Museum of Anthropology, University of California at Berkley (Torres 1984).
Born in 1919 in Southwestern France, François Bordes is an interesting and eccentric figure in European archaeology. He interests in geology and archeology began as a boy near his home in the Perigord. Bordes would tour the area on his bicycle and became intimately familiar with the geology and archaeology of the region. His enthusiasm and intellect allowed him to, at the age of fifteen-years old, be granted a permit to excavate a rock shelter at Le Roc de Givaudan. In 1936, Bordes enrolled at the University of Bordeaux majoring in geology and biology. At the outbreak of World War II, Bordes joined the French Resistance and eventually joined the French military until he received a serious wound from a grenade. After the war, Bordes pursued and received his doctorate in 1951 at the Sorbonne. In 1956, he returned to teach at the University of Bordeaux and would remain the titular overseer of Paleolithic archaeology in Southwest France until his death from heart failure in 1981 (Sackett 2014).
Within the field of archaeology, Bordes is primarily acknowledged for his revision of the approach to lithic typology. Traditionally, lithic specialists had approached typology rather rigidly. The focus of typology was on the systematics or quantifying the typological variation among assemblages. Little or no attention was paid to paleoethnological interpretation of these assemblages. Bordes reformulated this approach. His excavations focused primarily on increasing the quantity and quality of the data collected. All lithic materials including debitage were carefully collected and documented. Samples of related data in terms of stratigraphy, faunal, and palynological data were recorded along with the lithic artifact. The overall result was a more holistic view of the prehistoric archaeological record (Sackett 2014).
With regards to flintknapping specifically, Bordes is recognized as a pioneer in replicating Paleolithic tool assemblages. Bordes collaborated frequently with Don Crabtree during their careers. Their experiments and demonstrations in the 1960s and 1970s proved the value of experimental flintknapping as archaeological research (Whittaker 1994, 59).
Don Crabtree was born in Heyburn, Idaho in 1912. Crabtree began experimenting with flintknapping as a young man (Whittaker 1994, 59). Upon graduating high school, he moved to California and enrolled at Long Beach Junior College intending to study geology and paleontology. After one semester, he dropped out of school and continued his studies on his own. He remained self-conscious about his lack of formal education throughout his life and disliked public speaking. Crabtree worked at several California universities as a lab technician in both paleontology and archaeology. In 1939, he was diagnosed with cancer. He survived, and while recovering, he used flintknapping as an exercise to improve his coordination and muscular strength. In the spring of 1941, fully recovered, he demonstrated flintknapping at the American Association of Museums annual meeting. His performance resulted in several universities and museums requesting his talents as an advisor. With the outbreak of World War II, Crabtree returned to California and joined the war effort. After the war concluded, he became a country supervisor for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service from 1952 until 1962. He reentered the academic world in 1958 and remained at the University of Idaho until his death in 1980 (“Crabtree Lithic Technology Collection”).
Don Crabtree is widely considered the “dean of American flintknappers”. His skill and his collaborations with François Bordes are legendary amongst modern knappers. The majority of his written work is available only in articles in the journal Tebiwa, but it is possible to find copies of An Introduction to Flint Working which I personally consider a true treasure of information. The main thing that is impressive about his work is the level of detail. Crabtree exhaustively explores and describes artifacts to include the potential techniques used to manufacture them.
As related to me in personal communication, Carl Etheridge began flintknapping in the 1970s through an interest in collecting points (Figure 5). As Etheridge relates in his own words:
“I guess you say the impetus behind all this was – after collecting points for quite a few years – picking up a point and looking at it. I thought to myself that it wasn’t that finely made. It was one of your rougher points, but it was an original. Just holding it my hand, I looked at it and thought – that guy, hundreds or maybe a thousand years ago, made that. He was not educated, but he knew how to work this rock. Why can’t I learn how to do it?”
During the 1970s, there were very few books on flintknapping available. Etheridge started flintknapping by experimenting on his own. He eventually became skilled enough to be able to do demonstrations at the Etowah Indian Mounds. During a demonstration, while knapping a point, two men came up and watched him for a while. One of the men asked, “That’s not bad, but would you like to do it better?” That man was Ron Cloud. Cloud was a close friend of Don Crabtree and had learned flint working directly from Crabtree. At this point, Etheridge began to study under Cloud and learned how to heat treat stone, notch, and other advanced flint working techniques.
Over the ensuing years, Etheridge has continued to refine his technique and acquire new ones. He currently does demonstrations for the Department of Geography and Anthropology at Kennesaw State University and participates in regional “knap-ins”. Etheridge also sells reproductions of points, knives, lances, arrows, and other primitive technologies for the enjoyment of his customers (Carl Etheridge, personal communication, July 2, 2021).
Carl Etheridge is a master knapper. He has encyclopedic knowledge of various flint working techniques including both direct and indirect percussion, pressure flaking, notching, and hafting. He is also intimately familiar with lithic typology and can often type a point from memory. In addition, he has a firm grasp of the chert geology of North Georgia and Bartow County and can readily identify local areas with good sources of raw material.
The results of this research are presented below in two sections. The first section is a subjective evaluation of learning methodologies available to beginning knappers based on my own experience. The second section is a critical review of my own progress as a knapper. This appraisal took the form of a practical experiment to reproduce a projectile point excavated from the Cummings site in Bartow County. The Cummings site is a prehistoric Native American village that dates from the Middle Woodlands period to the Mississippian period (100 AD -1400 AD).
Evaluation of Learning Methodologies
I utilized three main resources to begin learning to work stone. The first method that I pursued was basic research in the form of books, both in print and online. I read multiple books by various authors with the intent of gaining a broad understanding of the manufacturing process and basic flintknapping techniques (Figure 6). Books and print media in general are an excellent way to gain a foothold and familiarization with the subject matter. In particular, books as a learning tool teach the beginner the proper jargon to communicate effectively within this highly specialized skill. It is vital for a novice to differentiate between a preform and blade, or understand the difference between a cobble and a spall. Books will also teach a beginner specialized vocabulary specific to flintknapping that are not in use in common language, with such terms as bulb of percussion and eraillure scar.
Second to vocabulary, the most important information that is effectively presented in print material is guidance regarding safety. When working with stone, there are important safety precautions that should be taken. It should be obvious that working with and around very sharp pieces of flaked stone requires caution. Hand and eye protection should be self-evident, but there are other hazards that aren’t so readily apparent. The dust produced during flint working can lead to a medical condition called silicosis. Silicosis is caused by inhaling dust generated during knapping. As such, a flintknapper should always work either outdoors or in a well-ventilated area (Whittaker 1994, 83).
Notwithstanding their value as a learning tool, books fall short in teaching actual technique. It is very difficult to effectively explain, in print, how to properly strike a platform or to describe a correct method of pressure flaking. Even books with extensive illustrations such as Crabtree’s Introduction to Flintworking fail to adequately demonstrate technique. Carl Etheridge has validated my own assessment and explained to me during a conversation that he had a similar experience with books. He had originally purchased a book when he first began flint working, but felt that it was not useful because the concepts were laid out in a fashion that made it difficult to comprehend (Carl Etheridge, personal communication, July 16, 2021).
After reading several books on the topic, I moved on to reviewing some of the available multimedia resources online. Specifically, I dove into YouTube. There are literally thousands of videos freely available on YouTube that show demonstrations of flintknapping. Most often, these videos are demonstrations of “how to make an arrow head” or something similar. It is important to be discriminating as to which videos are used as resources. It is equally important to view the video with a critical eye and evaluate the techniques demonstrated analytically or even skeptically. It is also imperative to have a grounded knowledge in basic technique and vocabulary prior to using online videos as a resource. Having that know-how allows the viewer to understand the presenter’s language and properly comprehend the context of the video.
The beauty of modern technology is that it is ubiquitous. YouTube videos are easily accessible on multiple devices including smart phones, personal computers, and smart televisions. This makes this particular learning resource portable and easily referenced even while working a piece. The other advantage is the sheer number of techniques demonstrated. Examples of working with modern materials as compared to original materials, referred to as “aboriginal knapping” in the flintknapping community, are common. In addition, lessons on both direct and indirect percussion, pressure flaking, and notching are all presented on various YouTube channels.
Similar to books, videos fall short in relating actual technique in a manner such that a beginner can translate the demonstrated procedure and replicate it. The main fault is that presenters on YouTube commonly leave out vital steps in the lithic reduction sequence in the interest of making a video that is of the appropriate length for the average viewer. This may lead a novice knapper to become frustrated when failing to replicate the resulting piece. There are very few videos that actually cover all the steps in the lithic reduction sequence from start to finish, and these are generally the same running time as a feature film.
As a caution, many videos that purport to teach knapping contain incorrect techniques. Once a beginner gains a certain level of skill, it is a fun and interesting exercise to revisit videos previously viewed. Mistakes and incorrect technique become glaringly obvious. In some cases, the presenter is even demonstrating a technique that is potentially dangerous. I have personally seen a video by a self-proclaimed survivalist in which the individual claimed to teach a person how to make a point from a glass bottle. I was shocked to see the presenter hold the glass bottle bottom up and even with his eye to pressure flake it. There is already a risk of a flake getting in a knapper’s eye, but to hold the raw material even closer to your face and then proceed to pressure flake without eye protection is foolhardy.
The final learning method that I had available to me was personal instruction from a master knapper. This is a traditional learning mode that has been used since antiquity to pass the craft of flintknapping from one craftsman to the next. There is a reason this learning methodology was and is favored by knappers. It is by far the most effective way to learn the skill.
The benefits of having a hands-on instructor fall into two categories. Unlike books and videos, there is no opportunity for gaps in the lithic reduction sequence. Working with an instructor, the pupil will necessarily be required to perform each step in the manufacturing process and become familiar with the technique required to perform each. The hidden “tricks of the trade” such as frequent abrading, planning piece layout, and the importance of choosing the correct raw material all go along with the basic instruction.
The other important benefit of being taught to work stone in a master-apprentice fashion is that the instructor provides an instant feedback loop to the student. The instructor can and should be providing constant direction to the student to correct both gross and fine mistakes in technique (Figure 7). Flint working leaves little room for mistakes when attempting to produce a final piece. It is not possible to put a flake back onto a core once it has been struck. The guidance of an in-person teacher can prevent miscalculations and errors on the part of the student. As a result, the beginner gains skill and experience at an exponential rate which in turn produces confidence.
In summary, all of the learning methods evaluated during the course of this research proved valuable in one manner or another. Books and other print materials are excellent primarily for grounding a novice in the vocabulary,
the academics of flint working technique, and, most importantly, safety. Online multimedia resources are ubiquitous and freely available. These video resources are also beneficial in that they demonstrate a wide variety of both tools and skills. As revealed during the course of the research, the most efficient learning modality is in-person instruction led by an experienced knapper. This learning method is unique in that the unseen skills either obfuscated or ignored by the other learning resources are expressly taught during the lithic reduction sequence out of simple necessity. In addition, the instructor provides an instantaneous assessment and correction of the student’s technique. Neither books nor videos are a substitute for the traditional modality of the master-apprentice relationship.
The final experiment for the research took place on July 16, 2021 in Bartow County. During a flint working session, I attempted to reproduce a point that had been previously excavated at the Cummings site near Cartersville, Georgia. As previously mentioned, the Cummings site is a Native American village that date to the Middle Woodland and Mississippian periods (100 AD – 1400 AD). I attempted the reproduction entirely on my own from a raw chert spall without any assistance. The objective of the experiment was to practically evaluate my own personal skill in flint working following eight weeks of in-person instruction by Carl Etheridge.
The point that I chose to reproduce was a leaf-style corner-notched projectile point. Prior to the experiment, I did a typology analysis on the point and identified it as a Jack’s Reef Corner-notched point (Jack’s Reef Corner-notched n.d.). Appendix B details the typology of the target point. The typology’s dimensions, style, and Middle Woodland cultural period are consistent with this artifact, and its location at the Cummings site in Bartow County.
I chose this point to replicate for several reasons. The point itself is of the best workmanship of all of the Cummings site points from which I was given as potential targets to reproduce. I had previously reproduced some of the less refined points provided, but the quality of this point demonstrated that it had been made by a craftsman of more than beginner skill. Gross visual analysis of the point shows that it had been made using a complex technique combining both percussion and pressure flaking (Crabtree 1972).
Other features that I was excited to attempt were the actual shape of the point and its style of notching. The point is leaf-like in shape and exhibits corner notches. My working sessions during training had focused on making Ishi-style points that are more acutely triangular shaped. I had done side notches and stemmed points prior to the experiment, but I had not previously attempted corner notches in any of my instructor-led or solo sessions.
In short, I chose a point that would tax my current level of skill to the limit. The point was of an unfamiliar shape and new style. It had also been created using a corner notching method that I had never attempted.
The result of the experiment was that I failed to accurately reproduce the point I had selected on the first attempt (Figure 8). I was accurate in reproducing the distinctive shape of the point. I was also relatively accurate in producing a point of the same length and width dimensions. Table 1 below illustrates the dimensions of the reproduction as compared to the dimensions of the original artifact. All measurements are taken with sliding calipers and recorded in millimeters.
Table 1. Comparison of dimensions
% Difference vs Original
The additional length of the reproduction is attributable to my plan to conserve some material in anticipation of length loss during the notching process. The slight reduction in width is due to the realization during pressure flaking that the point was too thick. I lost width in the preform while attempting to thin the point further using pressure.
The key error during manufacture was that I did not succeed in thinning the preform enough during the initial percussion of the raw spall in stage three of the manufacturing process. Once pressure flaking is begun, additional thinning becomes much harder because of the difficulty associated with creating a conchoidal fracture through the preform mass with pressure techniques. It is not possible to generate enough force via pressure to remove the required stone to further thin the piece without consuming additional material. At this stage, I could only thin the reproduction further through pressure flaking which would continue to reduce the overall length and width of the finished piece. While only two millimeters, the added thickness has follow-on consequences to the overall appearance of the finished reproduction. It should be immediately noticeable that the required corner notches are not observable on the reproduction. The additional thickness makes corner notching extremely difficult if not impossible. This additional thickness and its consequent impacts on the reproduction are the primary reasons I deem this reproduction a failure.
The additional thickness in the piece is a common mistake made by novice knappers (Carl Etheridge, personal communication, July 16, 2021). Nevertheless, I have gained enough knowledge and skill in flintknapping to recognize the problem and its follow-on effects in the overall piece. I also know what to correct and how to correct it. As a result, I do not consider the experiment itself a failure, but rather a reflection of the knowledge I have accumulated during my research. I will, of course, continue to attempt to reproduce the point until I have a viable replica of the original artifact.
From my perspective, future research in the field of lithic analysis in Georgia falls broadly into two categories. First, the geology of chert in Georgia is sparsely documented. There is a paucity of reference material available to geologists and even less from the perspective of an archaeologist. There is an immediate need for a collaborative study between archaeologists and geologists that documents the available chert resources in Georgia, catalogues the identifying characteristics of the raw material, and maps sites as prehistoric sources of raw material for lithic tool manufacture. Archaeologists and laypersons with experience in flintknapping are crucial to this study. They are uniquely qualified to evaluate the quality and workability of the raw material in terms of its value in the lithic manufacturing process and therefore its desirability.
Second, using the results of the study mentioned above, lithics recovered at various sites could potentially be traced to the origin sources of raw material. This would help establish trade and procurement patterns. As applied to the Cummings site, this information would aid in identifying the relationship between Cummings and other nearby contemporary archaeological sites.
In this research, I have explored flintknapping and how novice archaeologists can pursue this ancient and honorable craft. Flintknapping has a long and well-deserved history in academia. Practical application of the techniques required to properly manufacture stone tools informs our understanding of the manufacturing process. This is a relevant and applicable tool for archaeologists. In the process of learning to work stone, archaeologists also learn to recognize and analyze the distinctive tool marks left during the lithic reduction sequence – i.e. how the artifact was made. Being able to identify these tool marks as well as accurately evaluate the level of skill required to produce an artifact based on personal experience in turn advises our overall understanding of the culture that made the artifact originally and helps to answer why the artifact was made.
I would like to thank Ann Cummings, for whom the Cummings site is named, for allowing both myself and other students to excavate sites on her private property as well as study the artifacts that are recovered there. I don’t believe the number of students that have been positively affected by the field schools held at the Cummings site can be overestimated.
I would also like to thank Dr. Terry Powis who has acted graciously as my research sponsor and mentor. I am in his debt for sharing his knowledge, time, and research materials. Without his guidance and direction, this research would not have been possible.
I want to acknowledge my other professors within the Department of Geography and Anthropology at Kennesaw State University as well. Each course I’ve taken has been both educational and entertaining. I applaud your efforts at introducing students to this fascinating field of study.
I suppose I must also thank my family and my parents. They have been subjected to hours of documentaries with only the occasional sigh and rolling of eyes. They have had to suffer with chert flakes in their clothes and shoes. They have been my forced audience while I opined on the difference between a “good” knapping rock and a “bad” knapping rock. In particular, I need to thank my son, Devin, whom I have hauled to excavations, knapping sessions, and museums – often with no more reward than a chicken biscuit.
Finally, I must thank Mr. Carl Etheridge. Carl selflessly volunteered his time and energy to teach me flintknapping. He has been a sometimes tolerant and sometimes cantankerous mentor who has generously shared his knowledge, tools, materials, and time with a very slow learner. I hope I can do him justice some day and pass this craft on to a new generation.
Bernard, H Russell. 2017. Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Lenham: Rowman & Littlefield.
Bordes, Francois. 1968. The Old Stone Age. World University Library. McGraw-Hill, New York.
Collins, Michael Bruce. 1974. “A Functional Analysis of Lithic Technology among Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers of Southwestern France and Western Texas.” PhD diss. University of Arizona, 1974.
Crabtree, Don E. 1966. “A Stoneworker’s Approach to Analyzing and Replicating the Lindenmeier Folsom,” Ariel 129, vol. 129, pp. 92-114.
Crabtree, Don E. 1972. “An Introduction to Flintworking,” Occasional Papers of the Museum, Idaho State University 28, vol. 28, pp. 1–98.
Cushing, Frank Hamilton. 1895. “The Arrow,” American Anthropologist 8, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 307–49.
Glock, Waldo S. 1920. “The Use of the Terms Flint and Chert.” Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 167-173.
Goad, Sharon I. 1979. Chert Resources in Georgia: Archaeological and Geological Perspectives. University of Georgia.
“Jack’s Reef Corner-notch Projectile Point.” n.d. www.Projectilepoints.Net. University of West Florida. Accessed July 5, 2021. http://www.projectilepoints.net/Points/Jacks_Reef.html.
Johnson, L. L., Jeffery A. Behm, François Bordes, Daniel Cahen, Don E. Crabtree, Dena F. Dincauze, Conran A. Hay, et al. 1978. “A History of Flint-Knapping Experimentation, 1838-1976 [and Comments and Reply],” Current Anthropology 19, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 337–72. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2741997.
Luedtke, Barbara E. 1992. An Archaeologist’s Guide to Chert and Flint. University of California, Los Angeles.
Mandeville, Margaret D. 1973. “A Consideration of the Thermal Pretreatment of Chert,” The Plains Anthropologist, pp. 177–202.
Mercieca, Alison, and Peter Hiscock. 2008. “Experimental Insights into Alternative Strategies of Lithic Heat Treatment,” Journal of Archaeological Science 35, vol. 35, no. 9, pp. 2634–39. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2008.04.021.
Sackett, J. 2014. “François Bordes and the Old Stone Age,” Bulletin of the History of Archaeology 24, 24 (January): Art. 3. https://www.archaeologybulletin.org/articles/10.5334/bha.243/.
Torres, Dennis. 1984. “Ishi,” Central States Archaeological Journal 31, vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 175–79. http://www.jstor.org/stable/43137417.
Whittaker, John C. 1994. Flintknapping: Making and Understanding Stone Tools. University of Texas Press.
Appendix A – Pictorial Sequence
Appendix A is a pictorial sequence of the points made during the research period from May 21, 2021 to July 9, 2021.
Understanding Early 20th Century Tenant Farming in Bartow County, Georgia
Practicum in Anthropology, Kennesaw State University, Dr. Terry Powis
The Adams family house is a historic building situated in Cartersville, Bartow County, Georgia located only a few miles northwest of the Etowah Indian Mounds. The house was constructed on the Walnut Grove Plantation, owned by the Young family since the early 1830s. Abandoned for nearly six decades, my research focuses on rediscovering what we know about the daily life of the Adams family through archaeological investigation, archival study, and oral history. Uncovering the lifestyle and mode of production of this specific tenant farming family adds to the understanding of tenant farming in general. I was interested in studying this family and historic site in particular to document the information before it was lost forever.
Tenant farming is an agricultural production system in which farmers cultivate crops or raise livestock on rented land. In order to work the rented land, tenant farmers generally provided their own tools and plow animals and were allowed to retain half of the harvested crops. Landowners provided shelter, food, and other necessities that were to be repaid from the tenants share of the crop. So, although they were allowed to keep half of the crops they sowed and reaped, the money earned from their personal bounty ultimately went back to the landowner (Boundless 2018). Tenant farming became prominent directly following the American Civil War due to the bad economy former slaves and poor whites faced. Following Reconstruction, tenancy became the way of life in the Cotton Belt (Conrad 2007).
The Walnut Grove Plantation is located in Cartersville, Georgia, neighboring the Etowah River and Pettit Creek. For this, its original landowners Dr. Robert Maxwell Young and his wife Elizabeth Caroline Jones Young regarded the property as “the beautiful rolling land in the horseshoe bend of the Etowah River” (Cummings 2009, 5). Native to Spartanburg, South Carolina, the Young’s began their search for property in 1832, specifically looking to speculate in Native American land (Billingsley 2020). They searched for land throughout Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana before finally applying for a land grant in Georgia for Walnut Grove.
It was only due to the forced relocation of Native American people in 1832 that the Young family was able to obtain this property. Prior to this, Cherokee government heavily resisted the push for white settlers inhabiting their land. However, once Andrew Jackson was elected president in 1828, he immediately declared the removal of eastern tribes to be a national focus (Davis 1973, 312-17). Several factors accelerated the push for Cherokee removal, most notably the demand for arable land during the rampant increase of cotton agriculture. Cherokee land plots were then divided out to white Georgians in what is known as the Georgia land lottery (Garrison 2004).
Bartow County, formerly known as Cass County, was thriving at this point, producing iron, tobacco, corn, wheat, and of course cotton. It wasn’t until the end of the Civil War in 1865 that the American South in its entirety was left in devastation. Over four million slaves were emancipated as a result of the Civil War, much to the dissatisfaction of slaveholders in Bartow County (Hebert 2017). Economic reconstruction had to happen quickly, as the problems the south faced were more severe than just damaged equipment and neglected fields. This social revolution reorganized the labor force, creating a free-labor social system in which neither blacks nor whites were familiar with. As the south still heavily relied on agricultural production, the transformation from a slave society to a society based on free labor began (Woodman 1975, 319-20).
Figure 1. Before and after site clean-up. The top photo shows the overgrown Adam’s family house. The bottom photo is after I removed foliage.
Data collection for this study included a combination of field and lab work along with oral history and archival research. The first step on site was to clean up overgrown foliage that prevented a clear view of the surviving architecture. Utilizing loppers and a hand saw, I devoted four weeks to the removal of trees, branches, vines, and other dense shrubbery that veiled the site (Figure 1). Once the structure was clearly visible from all cardinal directions, I was accompanied
by Dr. Terry Powis and Kong Cheong in creating a site grid in order to map the house. The five-meter grid was coordinated using a transit level to position stakes exactly five meters apart extending north-south and east-west. Due to the precision of the transit level, we knew that the grid was positioned to true north with exact 90-degree angels in relation to the other directions. A 50-meter open reel tape measure was then spread along the grid lines to begin mapping. Arbitrary
points were selected on the house every one to two meters, where the distance from the
grid line to the structure was measured. Figure 2 shows a digital rendition of the completed map.
While this method created a two-dimensional map of the houses orientation, it doesn’t provide any information on the height range of the structure. In order to map height differences throughout the structure, I created a profile running a leveled line running north-south directly through the center of the house. Similar to the previous mapping method, A 50-meter open reel tape was positioned on the line and points on the house were measured vertically from the fixed line. After spanning the entirety of the house, I then fixed a line running east-west through the house and measured vertically once again. This approach allowed for the mapping of actual features of the house like the front stairs, porch, floor, chimney, and root cellar. I then composed a third map measuring the distance of the house to other major elements surrounding the site including the cotton field and a well. Creating a map with the surrounding features provides more context to the house in relation to the landscape.
Due to the house’s close proximity to a prehistoric Native American village (dating from AD 1200-1300) known as the Cummings Site, all of the artifacts collected through dirt screening were combined with prehistoric artifacts including pottery sherds and chert flakes. Therefore, the first phase in the lab was to discern historic artifacts from prehistoric. There were around 50 two-gallon zip lock bags containing artifacts that needed to be sorted. First, I poured out the contents of the bag onto a tray and carefully examined every piece to determine its placement whether historic, prehistoric, or rock. Once the entire bag was sorted, I put the historic artifacts in their own bag with the parent bags provenience information as well as the prehistoric artifacts in their own bag with the provenience information. After completely sorting through all parent bags, I was left solely with historic artifacts.
In order to accurately view and date the artifacts, they first needed to be washed. Using a tub of water and a toothbrush, I scrubbed every individual artifact clean and left them out to dry, always making sure to keep them with their corresponding bag. Once all the artifacts were cleaned, I began sorting them into like groups using Stanley South’s 1978 Artifacts Classification System. Stanley South is regarded as the “Father of American Historical Archaeology” as he pioneered the process of pattern recognition to group artifacts from historical sites (South 1978, 223). The classification system is based on the original intended function of the artifact. South deliberately fashioned this model to historic sites in order to allow intersite comparisons using group regularities. The concept of combining artifacts into functional groups for investigation remains a fundamental in historical archaeology (Sewell 2004, 23). While the lab work is based off of South’s classification scheme, I modified the groups in order to properly fit my assemblage of artifacts. I organized all the artifacts into the following groups: Kitchen, Architecture, Furniture, Clothing, Tools, Arms, Personal, Activities, Utilities, and Miscellaneous. Ensuring that each artifact retained connection with its appropriate provenience data, I put the separated artifacts in their own bags and placed them into their designated group. Once all the artifacts from every bag had been organized and placed into their categories, I began to date them utilizing online resources and reference books. I then compiled an excel spreadsheet detailing the category, artifact, quantity, date range, material type, and color (Appendix 1).
Although analyzing the archaeology of the house was the primary focus, oral history and archival research were pivotal in supplementing what the archaeological data communicated. Due to the fact that only three people still alive today have any association to this house and its inhabitants, the information was limited yet revealing. I conducted three informal in-person interviews with an informant that resides about 50 meters east of the Adams family house on the Walnut Grove Plantation. Some questions of interest were:
What year was the house constructed?
What were they farming? Did they farm the same crop year-round?
What was their mode of transportation?
Did they have electricity?
What year was the home abandoned and for what reason?
The other two informants were contacted via email to fill in any potential gaps or add additional information. Archival information was also narrow, however Georgia’s Natural, Archaeological, and Historic Resources GIS web-based registry (GNAHRGIS) was utilized to find any cataloged information on this historic site.
Figure 3. Elements of the Adam’s Family House. Photo (a) shows the firebox portion of the brick chimney. Photo (b) is the root cellar. Photo (c) is a supporting brick wall in the root cellar. Photo (d) shows the central stairs leading to the front porch.
Results from the field work illustrate that this is a 1,020 square foot home with a cinderblock foundation, cement porch with central stairs, brick chimney, and a root cellar (Figure 3). The house also features a back porch with cinderblock stairs on the north west side. There is evidence of a gravel drive extending from the southwest side of the house northward. The house is situated about 17 meters north of a cotton field. There is also a well located around 30 meters
west of the structure. Similarly, there is a parking area about 75 meters from the structure to the west.
A total of 1,969 artifacts were collected and dated, generating a time frame spanning from the 18th century to the present. The artifacts were categorized into ten groups: Kitchen, Architecture, Furniture, Clothing, Tools, Arms, Personal, Activities, Utilities, and Miscellaneous. In the Kitchen Group, a total of 1,360 artifacts were collected, in which 780 were bottle glass, 411 were ceramics, and seven were bottle caps. In the Architecture Group, a total of 445 artifacts were collected, in which 91 were square nails, 161 were window glass, and three were barbed wire. In the Furniture Group, a total of six artifacts were collected, in which one was a door knocker and two were latches. In the Clothing Group, a total of seven artifacts were collected, in which two were belt buckles and two were buttons. In the Tools Group, a total of four artifacts were collected, in which one was a combination wrench and one was a horseshoe. In the Arms Group, a total of 21 artifacts were collected, in which six were shotgun casings and 10 were cartridges. In the Personal Group, a total of seven artifacts were collected, in which six were pennies and one was a pen knife. In the Activities Group, a total of 31 artifacts were collected, in which 28 were flowerpot pieces and two composed a child’s toy. In the Utilities Group, a total of 15 artifacts were collected, in which two were coal, three were insulators, and seven were light bulbs. In the Miscellaneous Group, a total of 73 artifacts were collected, in which one was a spark plug and one was a Purex bleach bottle cap.
The information gathered from oral history further clarifies that this house was in fact inhabited by a tenant farming family. The local resident I spoke to grew up on the property and has resided there for decades. “Informant O,” as he wishes to remain nameless, explained that this house was occupied by a tenant farmer by the name of Charles Adams and his mother, Eleanor Adams. He recalls that Eleanor was a nurse by trade and would oftentimes visit people when they were sick. When asked about children being present in the home, Informant O claimed that there were never any children, although artifactual evidence conflicts with this statement. According to Informant O, Charles Adams was responsible for farming several sections of cotton fields, in which each field was composed of 20 acres. He stated that they farmed cotton exclusively and removed burrs in the off season. He recalls them operating John Deere tractors but didn’t know where they were stored when not in use. He was unsure what year the house was built and also unaware of the year or reason of its abandonment.
Informant O describes the dwelling as originally having wood paneling and plank floors, but sometime after its construction updating to sheetrock walls. He explains that there was a garden adjacent to the home on the east side as well as a space for the chickens they kept for eggs. When questioned about a vehicle, Informant O recalls that they had either a 1950 or 1951 Ford truck. While he was aware of the existence of a barn, he did not know what was kept inside or what it was used for. Finally, when asked about their bathroom situation he didn’t recall there being an outhouse, but really wasn’t aware on how they handled their waste as it “wasn’t any of his business.”
Landowner Ann Cummings, as well as Andy Dabbs who grew up on a piece of land bordering the Cummings Site, were contacted via email for any additional information they could add. Dabbs explained that to his best memory the house was empty around 1964-65. He remembered a farmer by the name of Buddy Tatum who farmed the Cummings and Dabbs farms. According to Dabbs, Tatum and a crew put a new tin roof on the house in the mid 1960’s while the house was vacant. He went on to say that no one ended up inhabiting the house and a tree limb fell on the roof letting water in and accelerating its deterioration. In terms of Ann’s memories of the house and its occupants, she recalls when she first married her husband Skip in 1957, she would come to the Walnut Grove Plantation house to visit and Skip’s mother would be visiting with Eleanor in their kitchen.
According to Georgia’s Natural, Archaeological, and Historic Resources GIS web-based registry, the Adams family house was constructed in 1910. It was a single-story, L-shaped gabled wing cottage with two rooms. The archival document provides a black and white photo of the house from some meters away, but it is virtually impossible to make any details out due to lack of clarity. This type of home structure is consistent with the house Informant O still resides in today that was built in 1920.
The field and lab work combined suggest that the Adams’ were a typical tenant farming family that lived to work and worked to live. However, they may have been a little wealthier than average, due to Eleanor Adams working as a nurse and supplementing their income. Similarly, physical evidence and oral history solidifying that they had a vehicle could further indicate excess money. Tenant farmers generally didn’t produce extra capital as the harvest they retained was minimal following deductions from landowners for living expenses. This begs the question, was it actually out of the ordinary for tenant farmers to have a vehicle? Could a vehicle possibly have been considered a living expense that was purchased by landowners and then repaid by tenants? Through oral history I discovered that the Adams’ had either a 1950 or 1951 Ford truck. That is to say that the soonest they possibly could have had a vehicle was 1950. It is known from archival resources that this house was constructed in 1910. Therefore, Charles Adams and his mother Eleanor lived here for 40 years without a vehicle. So, it would be plausible to say that any left-over income they had after paying living expenses could accumulate over 40 years to be able to afford a vehicle themselves. It could also be discussed, however, that a vehicle was simply provided to them by the Cummings family.
Artifactual evidence and oral history suggest the Adams family house had electricity, although there are still questions surrounding its introduction to the house. The house was designed and built with a root cellar, known to be utilized for cold storage. Although if the house had electricity at the date of construction, a root cellar for cold storage wouldn’t have been necessary. The typical Georgia farm family had no electricity, no running water, and no indoor bathrooms (Zainaldin 2007). However, legislature introduced by Roosevelts New Deal brought electricity to rural residents by 1936. Rural electrification was crucial in Georgia where in 1930 almost 70 percent of the population lived in rural areas (Dobbs 2016). While electricity wasn’t readily available to rural areas at the date of construction, the Adams family house could have had electricity as early as 1936.
While the artifacts collected from this site supply a time frame spanning from the 18th century to the present, the majority of artifacts date between 1830 to 1940. So why would there be so many artifacts that drastically pre-date the 1910 construction? One reasoning could be that since these tenants were extremely poor and only given what the landowner at the time provided, their house was furnished with dated leftovers the landowner had readily available. Another theory is that this is the location of a log cabin the Young family lived in from 1835-1837 while their house was being built. It is a fact that the Young family lived in a log cabin while their house was being built, however its exact location is still a mystery. The close proximity of the Adams house to Walnut Grove Plantation could have proven beneficial to Dr. Robert Maxwell Young as it is said he required all the building materials were to be made from resources found on the property (Billingsley 2020). Young could have easily supervised his hired help by residing only a mere 200 meters from the construction site.
Additional evidence to support the notion that the Young family’s log cabin was positioned in the same spot as the Adams family house is the presence of square nails collected from the site. Square nails were produced by hand and utilized from 1820 until 1890. It wasn’t until the introduction of machine-made round nails in 1890 that square nails became antiquated. At that point, houses started to be built using round nails rather than square nails. However, 91 square nails and 96 round nails were recovered on site. By 1910, the year of this house’s construction, it can be anticipated that round nails would have been used exclusively. Although that isn’t the case, whereas there is almost as many square nails as there are round. This could be due to left over materials the Young family had on hand after the construction of their house was built, or it could imply the location of their log cabin.
Several other artifacts equally support the idea of a preexisting structure in the same location. Heavy duty nuts and bolts were recovered that could have been required materials to hold together and support logs. Likewise, most of the dinnerware ceramic dates to around 1820-1830, which lines up with when the Young family would have been residing in a log cabin. It is a fact that tenant’s houses were furnished by landowners, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that when the Young family provided the farmers this house in 1910, they simply supplied it with their outdated dinnerware. It’s probable that after years of the same dishes they would have been ready for an updated set anyways.
The presence of a well 30 meters from the house further insinuates they did not have indoor plumbing and rather got their water from the well. Likewise, the parking area not too far
from the well provides more evidence to the addition of a vehicle (Figure 4).
Parking area and well in relation to Adams family house. Illustration courtesy of George Micheletti
The barn is another associated feature of this site that not a lot of information could be collected on. When asked about the barn, Informant O told me that he did not know what was kept in the barn. However, he did inform me that somebody by the name of Charlie Dabbs hanged himself in the barn. This is interesting because Andy Dabbs, the other local that was interviewed, revealed that Buddy Tatum, as previously mentioned, committed suicide years after putting the new roof on the house. I searched several Cartersville and Bartow County obituaries for a “Charlie Dabbs” or “Buddy Tatum” to no avail. It’s possible they could be referring to the same person or there is misremembering on someone’s part.
Animal bone, pig teeth, and horseshoe artifacts imply that the tenants had access to animals. Informant O mentioned they kept chicken for eggs but did not recall the presence of any other animals. The pig teeth can be explained by the creation of Pettit Creek Farms in 1945, a family-owned farm with pigs, cows, llamas, and other farm animals. As Pettit Creek Farms is only five miles from Walnut Grove Plantation, it’s likely a pig could get loose and wander to the site. A horseshoe however implies they may or may not have had plow animals in addition to the John Deere tractors. These animals and equipment would have needed to be stored somewhere. It has been established that the people living here were definitely farmers, but there are not many artifacts found that relate to farming in terms of equipment or paraphernalia. Would it have been normal for tenants to have separate lodgings for their equipment? The two-story barn was big enough to have housed animals as well as all the farming gear.
Another interesting aspect of this tenant farming family was their relationship with the landowners. As Ann Cummings remembers, Eleanor Adams would visit with Skip’s mother in her kitchen. This sort of interaction implies a relationship beyond solely employer and employee. Perhaps they were friendly with each other due to close proximity in age, or that there was simply no one else around to converse with and entertain. It’s unclear whether this would have been a normal landlord-tenant relationship, as by 1925 popular sentiment of the relationship mirrored that of master and slave. Although it is said that this mindset changed throughout the years due to many viewing tenant farmers as having a fundamental place in the economic order (Buechel 1925, 336).
While oral history explained that the house was vacant in the mid 1960’s, it did not elaborate on why that would have been. None of the three informants knew exactly why the house was abandoned in the first place. In the 1960’s, mechanized farming became cheaper and more reliable (Church 2009), which could have been a possible reason for the displacement of the Adams family. The timeline of machinery taking over for human farmers lines up with when the house was abandoned.
Future directions for this study could be continued archival research. As archival research was not my main focus on this project, there might be more information available, such as a deed to the house. Similarly, if there is any way to get ahold of the negative roll number 29 from the Georgia Historic Resources offices for a clearly picture of the Adams house. There could be archival information on Eleanor Adams if she was in fact a registered nurse. Any additional information on her could certainly enhance what we already know about her story. How did the family end up at Walnut Grove Plantation, was there ever a Mr. Adams, are they still alive, and if not, where are they buried? It would also be interesting to further investigate if there are any actual studies that have been done on landowner and tenant relationship. Would it be safe to say that visitation was a one-way street, meaning Eleanor only visited the landowner’s home but the landowner did not visit the tenant house? Additional investigations to address questions relating to electricity and transportation would also be valuable.
The Adams family house was a residence for tenant farmers Charles Adams and his mother Eleanor Adams. It was occupied from its construction in 1910 until the mid 1960’s. The Adams were extremely poor, only retaining a small portion of their harvested crops after living expenses were deducted from their share. They were a hardworking family that had to adapt and navigate through post-Civil War reconstruction, the great depression, and several other political and economic revolutions throughout the decades. Considering what we now know about how the Adams’ lived could reshape what is known about tenancy in general. Was a vehicle common for tenant farmers to have? Was the relationship between landowner and tenant friendlier than previously assumed? Only three individuals alive today knew anything about this house and the people who inhabited it, so without their contributions in oral history, all that information would have been lost indefinitely. I’m lucky to have been able to speak to locals, work in the field and lab, and browse archives to preserve the history of this tenant farming family forever.
Thank you so much to Dr. Terry Powis for all of his knowledge, assistance, and resources in conducting this research! It truly wouldn’t have been possible without his efforts and expertise. Thank you to the Cummings Family for allowing me to do research on their property. Thank you to Kong Cheong and all the other student researchers that assisted me in the field. Thank you to George Micheletti for digitally rendering the map.
Billingsley, Jennifer. “Walnut Grove and the Young Family.” Etowah Valley Historical Society, May 21, 2020. https://evhsonline.org/archives/48922.
Boundless. “Tenant Farmer.” Definition of tenant farmer in U.S. History., 2018. https://oer2go.org/mods/en-boundless/www.boundless.com/u-s-history/definition/tenant-farmer/index.html.
Buechel, F. A. “Relationships of Landlords to Farm Tenants.” The Journal of Land & Public Utility Economics 1, no. 3 1925: 336-42. doi:10.2307/3138901.
Church, Jason. “NCPTT | Documentation Of Tenant Farming Houses.” National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, October 29, 2019. https://www.ncptt.nps.gov/blog/documentation-of-tenant-farming-houses/.
Conrad, David E. “Tenant Farming and Sharecropping: The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture 2007 https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=TE009.
Cummings, Skip. “Etowah Valley Historical Society.” History of Walnut Grove Plantation 70 January 2009: 5–5.
An Inventory of American Indian Mound Sites Located in Bartow County
By Scot Keith and Joe F. Head
Etowah Indian Mounds, formerly Tumlin Mounds
It is the intention of this research to promote an educational understanding and awareness of American Indian mounds within Bartow County. Readers are alerted to be aware of state laws pertaining to the disturbance or removal of American Indian sites, burials and artifacts. Policies about American Indian Sites and Objects in Georgia are listed under The Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) 44-12-260 and (OCGA) 12-3-621 and specifically address protocol and violation consequences. Specific mound locations are omitted to protect sites from unauthorized and illegal plundering. As many of these locations have already been negatively impacted, please join the advocacy to protect and preserve these significant American Indian sites from further damage.
This work offers a fresh perspective of the presence of American Indian mounds and earthworks within Bartow County based on a review of archaeological survey data from the late 1800s and middle 1900s. A reexamination of this data highlights the fact that the area within Bartow County was a hub of mound building activity in the state for well over a millennium. While many people are aware that Bartow County is home to the Etowah Mounds, many may not know that the county once contained over two dozen individual mounds and earthworks. In fact, Bartow County contains more documented mound sites than any other surrounding county. These mounds were constructed during the Woodland and Mississippian periods, roughly from 200 B.C until the era of European arrival in the 1500s.
Why were mounds and earthworks constructed? The construction of mounds and other earthworks in the Eastern Woodlands of the US began as early as 5,400 years ago during the Middle Archaic period in the area of northern Louisiana. American Indians relate that mound sites are sacred places. Mound sites are an expression of the cosmological and ideological beliefs of the people who built them, and often served as places of aggregation for those who shared similar beliefs. Similar to a church community, people congregated to pool their time, labor, and other resources to create these places. Mounds were built in various forms, from conical to flat-topped, circular to elliptical, and these forms likely had specific connotations now known only to those who constructed them and their descendants. Mounds were often constructed in successive stages, with a new stage corresponding to the end of an era and beginning of a new one. They often buried people in or around mounds. Archaeologists have found evidence that they were places where both local and non-local peoples gathered and lived, places of pilgrimage, trade, ceremony, and cultural interaction.
In Bartow County, construction of the earliest known mound was begun during the Woodland period at the Leake site circa 2,100 years ago, while two additional mounds and a ditch enclosure similar to the one at Etowah were built at the site over the next 600 years. Across the river from Leake during this same period, people enclosed the summit of Ladd’s Mountain with a stone wall, buried a person in a log tomb and covered this tomb with stones, and used the large cave in the end of the mountain. Mound construction continued in the valley through much of the Mississippian period (1050-1541 AD), as exemplified by the well-preserved Etowah Mounds. Thus, mound building was practiced in the county for at least 1,500 years prior to Euroamerican settlement, and perhaps longer. This is a remarkable span of time when one compares that to the timeline of the United States, officially established just less than 250 years ago.
The primary concentration of mounds is in lower southeast Bartow County along the Etowah River. Mounds dotted both sides of the river westerly from the area of the Allatoona Dam continuing to Cartersville, Old Alabama Road, Pumpkinvine Creek, Highway 113, Ladd’s Mountain, and Raccoon Creek to Kingston. A smaller number of mounds have been documented as far north as Pine Log. While the Etowah Mounds offer a significant view of these stunning earthen constructions, many of the mounds in Bartow County (and other counties) have largely disappeared due to historic era land modifications and activities, including land clearing, farming, road construction, commercial and residential development, along with erosion that is often spurred by such activities. However, to the trained eye there remain telltale signs of ancient mounds that simply appear as humps, hills and outcroppings camouflaged in plain sight among trees, weeds, and fields. In other cases, level ground conceals the subsurface remnants of mounds.
The earliest known systematic documentation of mounds in Bartow County was conducted by researchers working for the Smithsonian Institution’s Bureau of Ethnology Division on Mound Exploration under the supervision of Cyrus Thomas (1891, 1894). The goal was to survey and document mound sites throughout the United States in the late 1800s. In sum, the Smithsonian documented 17 mound and earthwork sites, which consists of 26 earthen mounds, two stone enclosures, a stone mound, and a “vault”.
Anonymous , 1917 Indian Mound on Leake Property, 4 Mi. S.W. of Cartersville. Hu-52, Nov. 1917. Photograph mmg01-0052, State Geologist Photographs and Negative Files, Department of Mines, Mining, and Geology, RG 50-2-33, Georgia Archives, Morrow.
The following mound and earthwork sites in the county were documented during the Smithsonian’s effort:
Table 1. Mound and Earthwork sites documented by Cyrus Thomas (1891, 1894)
# of Mounds/ Earthworks
3.5 miles west of Cartersville on north bank of river
Opposite Tumlin Farm and Etowah Group on south bank
Ben Akerman Mound
7 miles west of Cartersville on east bank of Etowah River
Summit of Ladd’s Mountain
Southeastern part of county on Euharlee Creek
3 or 4
South bank of river 4 miles west of Cartersville
3 miles west of Cartersville next to Cherokee RR
Community/town of McGinnis
Adairsville Mound & Enclosure
2 miles east of Stilesborough
2 miles from Stilesborough on William Burgess’s farm
Near RR crossing at Pettit’s Creek
Northern part of the county on Sim Mumford’s property
North of Cartersville, site location not reported
Lewis Sam’s property across from Tumlin
* “Rowland Mounds” currently known as Leake Mounds. “Leap Mounds” likely the same as Rowland Mounds.
**Likely the Shaw Mound
In the late 1930s prior to World War II, Robert Wauchope, an archaeologist then with the University of Georgia, conducted a survey of mounds and other significant American Indian sites in the northern portion of Georgia. Due to the war and his career afterward, his fieldwork was delayed until he returned to complete it in the late 1950s. The results of his work were not published until well after WWII by the Smithsonian Institution in 1966. Wauchope was able to relocate many of the mound sites recorded by the Smithsonian, but not all of them. The following is a list of existing and previously existing American Indian Mississippian Mounds found in Bartow County.
Table 2. Mound and Earthwork sites documented by Wauchope (1966).
# of Mounds/ Earthworks
Two Run Creek
between Cass Station and Kingston
Ben Akerman Mound
Smithsonian site near Akerman Ferry on river not relocated
Smithsonian site on Euharlee Creek not relocated
across from Etowah Mounds, not to be confused with Conyers Mound; may equate to Smithsonian Edwards Mound
On Shellman Farm near Raccoon Creek, likely equates to Thomas’ Shellman Mound
South bank of river on Hwy 113 near Ladds Mt
South bank of river west of Free Bridge, opposite Lewis Mound
North bank of river near, opposite Free Bridge Mound
Not relocated – corresponds to Thomas’ location for Lewis Mound but mound description differs
North bank of river
Erringly reported as southeast of Cartersville, did not realize it is the same as Leake Mounds
Not relocated, may equate to Smithsonian Lewis Mound
Br-24 (Shaw Mound)
Stone mound at base of Ladds Mountain near quarry
Br-17 (Indian Fort)
Stone wall enclosing summit of Ladds Mountain
Interestingly, Wauchope (1966:xvii) describes how the landscape had changed in the 20 years between his initial fieldwork (1938) and his terminal fieldwork (1958):
“I had expected that in twenty years a few old things might have changed, a footpath here or a fence there, perhaps a new highway cutting across my old familiar roads. But I was unprepared for the wholesale changes that had taken place; archaeologically speaking, we were lost most of the time. The old roads were almost all gone, or so improved as to be unrecognizable. New bridges spanned the rivers and creeks, with new approaches from different routes…our survey of the ‘thirties served another purpose: it located sites that might never again have been discovered”.
Even during their survey, the Smithsonian researchers occasionally noted the effects of years of plowing had on reducing the size of the mounds (e.g, Thomas 1884:312). Unfortunately, many of the mounds and earthworks built and used by American Indians in the county unfortunately have been largely erased by historic era activities. For example, the mounds at the Leake site were used for road fill of Highway 113 when it was rerouted to its current location, running directly over one of the mounds. The stone burial mound at the base of Ladd’s Mountain was dismantled, with the stones run through a rock crusher to generate gravel for road building. While the preserved Etowah Mounds are a highly visible reminder of the long history of people in the valley, there are remnants of other mounds across the county that are not visible above ground but rather are still present under the ground surface.
Currently, the repository for the state’s archaeological sites – the Georgia Archaeological Site Files housed at the University of Georgia – lists 19 American Indian mound and earthwork sites in Bartow County. Excluding the 10 mound sites recorded by the Smithsonian that archaeologists have since not been able to relocate on the ground, there are nine mound sites in the county with a known location. We know that the preservation and protection of these places is an important component of honoring an area’s heritage and history, of passing knowledge of the past to the younger generations, of keeping history alive. New technologies, such as ground penetrating radar and magnetometer, now provide archaeologists with powerful tools that can help detect subsurface deposits such as mound and earthworks, and one can only imagine what yet-to-be-developed technology will allow us to identify and learn about these places in the future. This is all the more reason to preserve and protect the remaining portions of mound and earthwork sites in Bartow County, and to be proactive in conducting archaeological studies prior to land development, for one never knows what bit of history may be hidden beneath our feet.
Although nearly 30 mounds and earthworks once defined the landscape now known as Bartow County, very few of the mounds documented within the county are still visible today. While they may not be visible on the surface, some portions of them may remain below the ground surface, which archaeological investigation can help determine. Far after their active life, these mounds stood as testament to a center of cultural development and interaction, a pilgrimage destination for over 1500 years for American Indians from near and far as they created and built these extraordinary sites. Due to their historical significance at local, regional, and even national levels, these American Indian sites not only deserve attention, but deserve additional documentation, preservation, and protection. As more land gets developed within the county, Bartow should promote this American Indian heritage and preserve what remains of these sites to help keep this unique legacy alive so that it can be enjoyed by future generations.
Thomas, Cyrus 1891 Catalogue of Prehistoric Works East of the Rocky Mountains. Bureau of Ethnology Bulletin 12:1-246. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Washington, D.C.
1894 Report on the Mound Explorations of the Bureau of Ethnology. Twelfth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution 1890-1891. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Washington, D.C.
Wauchope, Robert L. 1966 Archaeological Survey of Northern Georgia. Society for American Archaeology, Memoir 21. University of Utah Printing Service, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Thanks to David Archer, Sam Graham and Jim Langford for their in put.
About the authors:
Scot Keith is a Senior Archaeologist with Southern Research, Historic Preservation Consultants. He is a respected and innovative scientist specializing in Woodland period peoples of the Southeast and Midwestern regions of the United States and collaborates frequently with the Etowah Valley Historical Society.
Joe Head is Vice President of the Etowah Valley Historical Society and retired Dean of Enrollment Services at Kennesaw State University. He lectures, researches and writes frequently about Bartow County history.
In the interest of learning more about the various mounds that were constructed in Bartow County, the EVHS would like to ask if you may have any old family photos that show mounds, or perhaps artifact collections from mound sites that could be used to determine the age and affiliation of mound sites.
Fond high school memories of a local diner enjoyed by generations
By Philip D. Bridges
I can remember eating at the 4-Way after Cartersville High School football games probably around 1968 or so. If I was lucky enough to find an unattended stool, I would sit down and take in the surroundings. My eyes would always drift to the hamburger meat stacked in pyramid fashion in round balls on a platter over the grill. Each round ball of hamburger was soon to be grabbed from the stack and thrown on the grill by the cook to be flattened out by a spatula for the next hamburger order. The hamburger meat would sit out on that platter perhaps for hours in the open air until all orders were filled. Sometimes, I might order a chili dog. Mr Garrison would place several naked hotdogs in the bun onto his arm/wrist and would then scoop up a ladle of chili while holding his arm over the large pot of chili so that the excess chili would return to the pot for use on the next order! Someone once asked Mr Garrison if he could add lettuce and tomato to his hamburger order to which Mr Garrison replied ‘this ain’t no salad bar’! Those patrons that finished eating learned very quickly that no loitering was allowed and were asked to pay and hit the road. One of my friends once requested a bowl of beef stew. When the order was ready, the cook delivered the stew with one hand filled to the brim with the cook’s thumb hanging over the bowl in the stew! There was nothing better than thumb-flavored stew! I don’t recall anyone ever getting sick after a meal at 4-Way. While sitting on a stool at 4-Way with a friend one day, I wondered how many coats of paint might be on the inside wall at the 4-Way. My friend suggested that each coat of paint helped to hold the building up and preserve a landmark! After a fire at the 4-Way caused extensive damage back in the 1990s, the owner decided to repair the damage and add a new coat of paint so that the crooked roof line could be maintained and in order to avoid compliance with the existing building code requirements.
Miss Jessica Hopkins Daves Parker (1894-1974) established an outstanding career as Editor-in-chief of the well-respected international publication Vogue Magazine. Miss Daves taught school in Cartersville (with 1 year in Hawkinsville) from 1911-1920. Then in 1921 at age 27 she made a bold move to New York City to start her career as a copywriter in the fashion industry.
After several years as advertising and marketing editor in a number of different New York department stores, she gained recognition among the fashion publications society. The then editor enticed Jessica to join the Vogue staff in the marketing department. She served in increasingly responsible positions until she became editor of Vogue (U.S.) from 1946-62 . Her contributions to the magazine introduced the readers to more content on fashion, home, and entertaining. Her unique abilities to spot talented photographers and writers are often cited as important improvements in the publication. After she retired, she continued to work publishing three books with Conde Nest Publications.
Miss Daves was born and educated in Cartersville, graduating from the West School in 1910 with “First Honor” (now known as valedictorian). She attended Agnes Scott College on a scholarship for just one year, then returned to Cartersville and began her 9-year teaching career. Some of her descendants continue to live in Cartersville. She and her husband Robert Allerton Parker are buried in Oak Hill Cemetery. For more information read the full article.
(The inspiration for this article came while looking through the EVHS website for Women’s History Month ideas. There was a one-sentence description containing the name Jessica Daves indicating her position as editor of Vogue. I wanted to know more. In April 1997 EVHS, Professor DeDe Yow from Kennesaw State University presented a program on Miss Daves to the EVHS Membership. The focus here is to provide a deeper, more intimate look at the Cartersville roots of Miss Jessica Daves.)
Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Magazine from 1952-1962. (The World of Vogue, 1963)
Jessica Hopkins Daves (1894-1974) ventured from Cartersville, GA to New York City and thrived through some of the most difficult times in US history. Her intellect, her skill, her strength, and determinedness must have made her career possible.
Jessica Daves grew up in Cartersville, taught school, and ultimately chased her dream. She spent her well-respected career and life in New York City where she socialized with the rich and famous of the times. She still has family in Cartersville who remember visiting her in New York.
Having spent her childhood in Cartersville, Georgia, living on Market Street (now Cherokee Ave) and Erwin Street among her educated family with 6 siblings, Jessica was an exceptional student and perhaps a popular socialite in town.
She was most definitely an accelerated student, graduating from the West School in Cartersville (sometimes known as Westside School in the old Sam Jones Female Academy) at age 16.
With graduation exercises at the Sam Jones Tabernacle on May 25, 1910, Jessica graduated, along with her older sister Emily, in a class of only 11 students. The graduating class consisted of 9 young women and 2 young men. Quoting from a local paper, “Miss Jessie Daves, the First Honor of her class, delivered the valedictory bidding her class and school mates a fond and impressive farewell adieu. Miss Daves is one of the youngest members of her class and deserved much credit for taking the highest honor of her class.” (Cartersville News, “Graduating Exercises Were Interesting,” June 2, 1910.)
After high school graduation, she enrolled at Agnes Scott College in Dekalb County, GA on a one-year Federation scholarship for the academic year 1910-11. In a short personal interest article from a news clipping the author stated that she was “one of Cartersville’s brightest young ladies and we predict for her future honors.” (Cartersville News, Sept. 15, 1910).
Her Career Start
After her Agnes Scott studies, Miss Daves returned to Cartersville in 1911 where she taught briefly at the West School, but primarily she taught the lower grades at the East school during her teaching career (1911-1920). Resources indicate she taught first, second and third grades during her teaching profession.
In the summer of 1913, Jessica attended the Summer Normal School in Euharlee. Euharlee provided the classrooms as well as dormitories for the students at forty cents per day. To help teachers get to the school, Euharlee school administrators arranged for pick up from the train depot in Stilesboro. Even back then, the Cartersville and Bartow education systems were focused on making better teachers. The Normal School lasted for 4 weeks and instructors were brought in to help teachers learn to teach better and become current with the newest curriculum. Miss Daves may have taken courses that included domestic classes taught by representatives from the State College of Agriculture. Ms. Daves was commended in the Cartersville News for attending. (By definition: Normal Schools are classes provided to improve teacher and prospective teacher skills.) (Cartersville News, “Summer Normal School at Euharlee,” May 8, 1913; May 28, 1913)
It appears that continuing education was an expectation in Jessica’s profession. Once again, she and another teacher traveled to Knoxville, TN to attend a summer training institute in 1915. Perhaps her aptitude for learning served her well in her career as a copywriter and editor.
She also served as an assistant at the Emerson school and even taught in Hawkinsville, GA for just a couple of months in 1918 until their schools were suspended. (perhaps due to the Spanish Flu?) (Bartow Tribune, October 17, 1918) Newspaper articles suggest that she must have returned to Hawkinsville to finish the school year. (Bartow Tribune, June 26, 1919)
From the newspaper articles that list the faculty for each school year, it appears she continued to teach until 1920, giving her a total of 9 years as a teacher in Cartersville. In 1921, as an active member of the Ladies Auxiliary, Jessie Daves is recognized as one of the members “coming to the rescue of the High School and securing the necessary books for its library to keep the school on the accredited list.” (Bartow Tribune,“Supt. Evans Very Grateful for Response,” January 13, 1921)
But teaching was not her professional goal. In July 1920, Jessica made a 3-month visit to Detroit where she stayed with her uncle J.P. Daves. According to one news report, she accepted a position in Detroit, Michigan as a copywriter for a short time, but then in February 1921 she visited her Aunt Jessie in NYC and while there she found her niche. (Pou, 1970)
In February 1921 (just after World War I and at age 27), she moved to New York where she enrolled in an advertising/copywriting course. After completing her course, she began work at the Best & Company where she remained for 3 years. She continued to develop her skill and joined the Kurzman Shop as an advertising writer and director of fashion. In her next career move she was a fashion promoter at Saks Fifth Avenue. She was beginning to receive recognition as something of a fashion expert in the very competitive and close group of fashion reporters and designers.(Tuite, 2019.)
Introduction to Vogue
In 1928, Edna Woolman Chase, a widely celebrated Vogue editor-in- chief, convened a group of well-known women inviting Eleanor Roosevelt, Elizabeth Arden, Edith Head, Helena Rubinstein and others including Jessica for a tea. And in 1930 that group of powerful women would eventually evolve into the Fashion Group International that served to keep current on trends and generate ideas for upcoming fashion shows, publications, writing and art. (https://www.jessicadaves.com/the-woman-jessica-daves)
Even as her career was moving quickly, Miss Daves married Robert Allerton Parker on December 20, 1930 and they lived on Park Avenue in New York. Mr. Parker was also an accomplished writer and authored 3 books, along with being secretary of the Pulitzer Prize board. (https://www.jessicadaves.com/the-woman-jessica-daves)
Jessica’s move to Vogue came when Ms. Chase requested her to join the magazine as a shoe merchandise editor in 1933. Within 3 years, she was promoted to managing editor where she served for 10 years before once again being tapped as editor in 1943. (https://www.jessicadaves.com/the-woman-jessica-daves)
Her accomplishments as Editor-in-Chief
Even though Mrs. Chase officially remained editor-in-chief of Vogue US, France and Italy, Jessica was the managing editor of Vogue U.S. on a daily basis. In 1952 (at age 58) Jessica was appointed as Editor-in-chief, making her only the second female editor in the history of the magazine. (Tuite) Jessica continued her conservative and business-minded leadership of the popular magazine. One example of her conservatism is she continued the Vogue campaigns started under editor Chase condemning open-toe shoes for women in the 1950s, even if the Queen of England was wearing them. (Pou, 1970.)
Jessica focused not only on publishing the latest fashion trends, but also in bringing intellectual information to her readers. She continued displays of fashion that were deemed high designer fashion and priced as such, but she provided the “low” end so her readers could find similar looks at much more affordable prices. (Pou, 1970.)
She sought to open the western USA market with the California sportswear style and expanded the fashion arena for a more casual look. In a way, her attention and promotion (as well as that of others, of course) of the ready-to-wear market facilitated the use of sewing machines across the country creating new jobs and accessible clothes. Fabric was ordered in huge quantities creating another economic impact. For example, Jessica stated “one company would buy ‘as a starter’, 20,000 yards of one fabric – eleven and one-third miles, or about a quarter of a mile shorter than Manhattan Island.” (Pou, 1970.)
Her creation of a store guide educated readers on the available sources for the clothes presented in the magazine. Eventually she answered the readers’ desire for home and interior fashion along with the “ready-to-wear” accessibility.
Jessica exemplified a keen sense for recognizing photographers, writers and artists. Her Voguetenure ventured into a myriad of topics including celebrity photos (including Jackie Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe). She was professionally recognized by being awarded The French Legion of Honor in 1959, the Italian Order of Merit, Who’s Who in America and was the only woman in Esquire’s Decisive Dozen in 1960. (Pou, 1970.)
Her career gave her access to highly influential designers such as Coco Chanel, Yves St. Laurent, and Christian Dior with whom she was friends and colleagues. (Pou, 1970.)
“Chanel says she loves Jessica Daves. “I put off my vacation to have lunch with her, because that was the only day she was free.” Mark Shaw, Fashion Photography, on Liz O’Brien site. https://lizobrien.com/product/coco-chanel-lunches-with-jessica-daves-at-the-ritz-1957/
Not so retiring
After almost 30 years at Vouge, she did not walk away from her love of fashion and writing. In her retirement years, she worked at Conde Nest, authored “Ready-Made Miracle: The Story of American Fashion for the ‘Millions” as well as co-authoring 2 additional books: “The Vogue Book of Menus and Recipes”, and “The World in Vogue.”
Additionally, she started and co-authored with Candance A. VanAlen a newspaper column called “The Sophisticated Slant,” in the Chicago Tribune. She continued her work and speaking at the Fashion Group International. She served as president of the fashion-focused organization from 1964-65. (https://www.jessicadaves.com/the-woman-jessica-daves)
Influential Through the Times
So, from Cartersville to New York City, Jessica Daves influenced national, even international, fashion lovers, readers and associates with her leadership, decision making, style and taste in fashion and publications. The background for her illustrious career included World War I, the Spanish Flu pandemic, the Great Depression, World War l l, the Korean War, the free-styling 60s and the Vietnam War It may be noted that the 1950s are especially exemplary and enviable for style and these were the years that Jessica was at the helm of the very popular and respected Vogue magazine. Many of her accomplishments and creations are still in use in the fashion iconic magazine.
Cartersville is Proud
The Cartersville local papers reflected in many articles just how proud the citizens were of Jessica. In The Bartow Tribune on February 1921, a brief paragraph relays the fact the she was bound for New York to stay with her aunt Jessie Hopkins, a librarian, as she prepared to learn advertising copy. Then in April of 1921, another article in The Bartow Tribune expresses how pleased all of Jessica’s friends are to learn that she was a member of the Best & Co advertising department. In December 1921, Miss Jessie Daves’ promotion was touted in The Bartow Tribune. One of her advertising copies was printed in The New York Times according to the Bartow Tribune “occupying six full columns, this space costing not less than one thousand dollars for the one insertion. The type is hand-lettered, while the drawings are exceptionally attractive, all of it being the work of this Cartersville girl, who has made good with a rush.” (The Bartow Tribune, December 1, 1921) And in 1923, while employed with Best & Company, Jessica sailed to Paris and other European cities to learn more about her fashion passion The Bartow Tribune reported.
There are articles too numerous to include that relayed the social and professional activities and energy of Miss Daves.
Her Family and Cartersville Connections
If family environment is influential in the outcomes of children, then Jessica came from an outstanding family, and she did not disappoint them in her achievements. Her maternal grandfather, Isaac Stiles Hopkins (1841-1914), was not only a Methodist minister and physics professor, but served as president of Emory University from which he graduated and then, as first president of Georgia Tech (1888-1896). The entrance gate at Emory University still honors Rev. Hopkins with one of the pillars named in his honor.
Her father Walter Weaks Daves (1864-1945) was an educator originally from Louisiana who was recruited from his teaching position in Texas to be the professor at East Cartersville Institute in 1886. A short time later, he was enticed to become Superintendent of the Cartersville Schools from 1891 to 1906. He also patented in 1903 a type of door or gate latch that was superior to spring latches.(https://patents.google.com/patent/US745042A/en)
An interesting occurrence in local newspapers of the day was the reporting of who was moving where within the city. There are several mentions of the Daves family moving from one location to another due to their home being sold by its owner or someone else was moving so they moved to another location. (Courant American, “Moving Time, November 12, 1896; Cartersville News, March 11, 1915)
Her grandmother Mary Hinton Hopkins (1881) and mother Annie Hopkins Daves (1868) both graduated from Wesleyan College in Macon, Ga. (A side note: it seems Annie Hopkins met her future husband- Jessica’s father- while Dr. Hopkins was president of Emory at Oxford and where Mr. Daves graduated with First Honor.)
One of Jessica’s brothers, Francis Daves, graduated from Georgia Tech as an architect and designed the Atlanta Westminster schools as well as the current (1953) Cartersville High School. The design by Francis Daves is now covered by the additions made to the high school, but his work is still there. (Dede Yow presentation, EVHS Members Meeting, 1997.)
Jessica and her siblings donated $100 each to Sam Jones Church to purchase a stained-glass window in memory of Walter and Annie Hopkins Daves. The window is the Woman at the Well. The windows were purchased around 1945.
Her sister Emily Daves Pittman has family who continue to thrive in Cartersville and are members of Sam Jones Church.
A Bartow Favorite Daughter
While the Jessica Daves name may not yet be familiar, she is a product of Bartow County of whom Bartow can and should be proud. She carried her religious upbringing, her intellect, her education and her skills of leadership, business and writing that she learned as a young lady in Cartersville with her to New York and beyond.
One of her great, great nieces, Ryann Ferguson, in her blogpost sums up her aunt quite well with “In fact, I feel certain Annee never hid behind anything in her life. She was the one who always said, “Don’t worry about what the dress code for an event is. If you wear a hat, a hat is the dress code. If you are casual, the dress code is casual. What you’re wearing is what everyone else should be wearing.”
Another family story from Ms. Burgess is that Miss Daves wore hats day and night because her hair was unruly. Hats were normally only worn during the day.
Jessica passed away in 1974 and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Cartersville along with her husband who died in 1970. Her funeral was at Methodist Christ Church, Park Avenue and 60th Street in New York. (Gravesites may be found in Oak Hill Cemetery, Section 12, Row 5, 188)
For further reading, there is a newly published book (2019) by Rebecca C. Tuite that provides detailed information about the Jessica Daves Years at Vogue: 1950s in Vogue: The Jessica Daves Years, 1952-62.
In any situation, it takes a team to make something happen. As with this paper, many helped research, edit, correct, find photos, make copies among other activities. Thank you to each one of you.
A very special thank you to Mr. Sam Graham for his research in locating and providing the newspaper articles used.
A gracious thank you and hug to Margaret Mathison, an accomplice, researcher and collaborator on sleuthing out many family connections, historic pieces and walking the city in search of homesites for this article.
Joe Head, not only VP of EVHS, is a premier researcher/writer and encourager who helped ferret out details on Jessica Daves that had not been found before.
Thank you to Patty Worley, genealogical researcher, who dug out census records, death records and grave sites along with some family history.
Bartow Tribune, “School Teachers Assigned to Duty,” August 27, 1914
Bartow Tribune, “Children Respond to call to “Books.”, September 7, 1916.
Bartow Tribune, Personals, August 22, 1918.
Bartow Tribune, Locals and Personals, October 17, 1918.
Bartow Tribune, “Teachers Chosen for Next Year,” June 6, 1919.
Bartow Tribune, Personals, June 26, 1919.
Bartow Tribune, “City Schools Open Monday Morning at 8:30,” September 4, 1919.
Bartow Tribune, “Supt. Evans is Very Grateful for Response,” January 13, 1921.
Bartow Tribune, Untitled, February 17, 1921.
Bartow Tribune, “Miss Daves Making Good in New York,” April 14, 1921.
Bartow Tribune, “Miss Jessie Daves Wins Promotion,” December 1, 1921.
Bartow Tribune, “Miss Daves Goes to Paris,” May 10, 1923.
Cartersville News, “West School Building” photo. October 28, 1909
Cartersville News, “Closing Exercises of the Public Schools’, May 26, 1910.
Cartersville News, “Graduating Exercises were Interesting,” June 2, 1910.
Cartersville News, “Woman and Society,” June 29, 1911.
Cartersville News, Personals, January 4, 1912.
Cartersville News, “Teachers for Public Schools for Ensuing Years are Elected,” June 12, 1913.
Cartersville News, “Summer Normal School at Euharlee”, May 8, 1913.
Cartersville News, untitled, May 29, 1913.
Cartersville News, “Teachers for the City’s Public Schools,” July 10, 1913.
Cartersville News, Personals, March 11, 1915.
Cartersville News, untitled, June 24, 1915.
Courant American, “Moving Time,” November 12, 1896
Daves, Jessica, Ready-Made Miracle: The Story of American Fashion for the ‘Millions, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1967.
Daves, Jessica, et al, The Word In Vogue, The Viking Press, 1963.
Daves, Jessica et al, The Vogue Book of Menus and Recipes for Entertaining at Home. Conde Nest Publications, 1964.
Daves, Walter Weaks. “Latch” Patent 745,042, November 24, 1903.
Please enjoy these family stories as shared by nieces of Miss Jessica Hopkins Daves Parker.
Phone Interview/Conversation with Mrs. Lelia Pittman Crowe Johnson. March 7, 2021
She knew her Aunt Jessica as Annee at Jessica’s request.
When Lelia was a young married woman, she visited Jessica in New York. Jessica introduced her to the Vogue staff, gave her tours around New York City and of course Lelia stayed in the Park Avenue apartment. Lelia recalls that Jessica sent a beautiful red velvet dress for Christmas one year, but it was about “4 sizes too small.” Mrs. Johnson thinks Jessica’s secretary picked it out with no idea of what size would fit!
Mrs. Johnson remembers her as a strong woman.
Phone Conversation with Emily Ferguson Burgess (great niece of Jessica). March 7, 2021
Emily recalls many visits to New York to visit with her Annee. Jessica took Emily to the Cosmopolitan Club for dinner with Ann Ford (Ford Modeling Agency). Although Emily knew her manners, she had not experienced a fork and a spoon at the top of her place setting until that time.
There is a family story that Miss Daves was born Jessie Hopkins Daves, but later changed her name to Jessica after her niece Mary Jessica Pittman was born in 1926.
During the World Fair 1960-61, Jessica let Emily’s family stay in the 1040 Park Avenue Apartment while she went to the Country (The Hamptons.)
Emily recalls a gallon size of Channel #5 on Jessica’s dresser, a gift from Coco Chanel.
From a brief meeting (March 10, 2021) with Ms Emily Burgess where she graciously shared the books, letters and stories of her aunt Annee.
In a cute story shared by great niece Emily Burgess, Jessica sent a car to meet her at the airport with a driver who took her to the apartment building. The driver asked Emily if she were there to visit the Roosevelts.
A beautiful picture frame on Jessica’s wall had a piece missing and Emily’s father Jim Ferguson offered to fix it for Jessica. With a little glue, he was able to restore the frame. It turns out it was a gift from Helena Rubinstein to Jessica.
See photo below of the inside cover of Jessica’s book, The World In Vogue, that she autographed and sent to her niece Mary Jessica Pittman Ferguson (mother of Emily Burgess) in 1963.
Partial Copy of patent awarded W.W. Daves in 1903.
Entradas and Exchange: De Soto, Etowah, and Patterns of Early European-Mississippian Trade
The importance of exchange to the survival of Hernando De Soto’s entrada into the US southern interior cannot be understated. As De Soto’s army marched through the diverse and dynamic world of the late Mississippian South, they depended heavily upon the network of Native chiefdoms they encountered for supplies and labor. De Soto and his men often had to engage in the complex rituals of diplomacy and exchange that characterized Mississippian political life in order to obtain such provisions. Through accommodating to Mississippian norms and occasionally interblending their own European traditions of exchange, the Spaniards were effectively able to engage, and if need be outmaneuver, their Native counterparts in order to procure the necessities for their continued expedition. De Soto would often enter into the principal town of a local chiefdom and exchange verbal promises and gifts for food, tamemes, and enslaved female captives. Diplomacy was not the only form of exchange by which relations were established and Native goods and services were procured. Occasionally, trade would take precedence. The Spaniards would sometimes barter European goods for Indian chattel. These kinds of exchange represent the first strands of a great tie which would bind Natives and Europeans to one another as major actors in their respective histories and bind each society in the ever-shifting dynamics of sovereignty and empire that characterized the colonial Southeast. One of the encounters between De Soto and the Mississippian Indians which best foreshadows these later developments occurred during De Soto’s encampment at the town of Itaba –located at the present day Etowah Indian Mounds–for more than a week in the summer of 1540. The Spaniards engaged in trade negotiations with the local populace of Itaba, bartering mirrors and knives for enslaved Indian women. As such, the Spanish-Mississippian exchange at Itaba represents the seeds of a pattern of European-Indian exchange that would develop into a vast trade economy which would transform the Mississippian world. The exchange of Spanish goods for Indian slaves at Itaba demonstrates the profound significance of exchange to Late Mississippian political culture and how European goods would enhance and transform Native perceptions of power. The Itaba exchange also exhibits the nature and role of slavery in Mississippian society, as well as acts as a prelude in miniature for the Indian slave trade of late seventeenth century. Thus, the trade negotiation at Itaba heralds many of the patterns of exchange that would create the Mississippian Shatter Zone of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
On August 20, 1540, after spending almost a month at the paramount town of Coosa, De Soto descended with his army out of the Coosawattee basin of the Blue Ridge Mountain and headed southwest in search of the chiefdom of Tazcaluza. They travelled for three days, passing through the abandoned Indian town of Talimuchisi near present-day Pine Log before arriving at night and amidst heavy rains at the town of Itaba . These rains had caused the section of the Etowah River near the town to run hard and swell its banks, thus making it unfordable. With no easy or ready means to bypass this obstacle, De Soto had his men bivouac at Itaba and wait until the floods of the river subsided. Itaba was described by the Spanish as a large town subject to the paramount chiefdom of Coosa. Yet, a century earlier Itaba (or Etowah) was the power center of the Lower Ridge and Valley. Throughout much of the Middle Mississippian Period (900-1350 A.D.), Etowah had been the paramount chiefdom of the region, dominating much of Etowah Valley into Eastern Alabama. Possessing one of the largest platform mounds in North America, Etowah has produced some of the most extraordinary Mississippian artifacts. Etowah reached its zenith of complexity and influence between 1250 and 1375. Subsequently, the Etowah was attacked and its palisade and temples were razed to the ground. The site then lay abandoned for nearly a century. By the time De Soto arrived there, Etowah had only been reoccupied for about 75 years and was a minor mound center under the hegemony of Coosa.
De Soto’s army spent nine days at Itaba waiting for the floodwaters of the Etowah to subside. While encamped there, the Spaniards engaged in trade with some of the local Natives, bartering European-made knives and mirrors for enslaved Indian women. While at first glance appearing to be a minor moment in De Soto’s entrada through the Native Southeast, the Itaba exchange provides profound insight into the importance of exchange to Mississippian political life and its foundational role in European-Indian interaction throughout the history of the colonial Southeast. The late Mississippian world which Itaba inhabited was marked by intense competition between highly stratified chiefdoms in which power was rooted in a sacred cosmology which undergirded and legitimized Mississippian political order. Mississippian cosmology perceived reality through the lens of a three-tiered cosmos and was characterized by rituals centered on world renewal through the exercise of spiritual and ceremonial power. Associated with this cosmology was a sacred iconography which imbued images and objects which possessed symbolic connections to this three-tiered cosmos with sacred power.
This three-tiered cosmos was composed of three worlds, each possessing its own distinctive character: the Upper World, This World, and the Lower World. The Upper World was the home of spiritually potent beings such as the Sun, Moon, Thunderers, and legendary creatures such as sacred birds like raptors. It was also marked by purity and perfect order. The Lower World was the realm of fish, amphibians, and reptiles and was characterized by infertility and disorder. It was also the dwelling place of fearsome monsters such as the Underwater Panther and Great Serpent. Between these worlds was This World–the home of animals, plants, and humans. Upper and Lower Worlds were inaccessible to humans, especially ordinary people who lacked the ritual and spiritual power to intervene in the Upper and Lower Worlds. Mississippian chiefs, however, asserted they possessed the ability to transcend the bounds of This World and maintain order in the cosmos.The central locus where chiefs exercised this cosmic power was the town, the basic political and social unit of Mississippian chiefdoms.
Accordingly, the greater access a chief had to sacred objects the greater prestige, security, and autonomy he and his community possessed. The principal means by which these prestige goods were obtained was through the complex dynamics of exchange. Diplomatic gifts were among the most prominent and powerful forms of exchange used by Mississippian communities. Gift between chiefs established, renewed, and reinforced bonds of amity, reciprocity, and mutual obligation between communities. Purpose of gifts is to foster interpersonal relationships, one in which the recipient often becomes indebted to the giver. As such, gifts could function as a means of conferring or reinforcing the power of the giver and the recipient. The gifts exchanged between chiefs were sacred prestige goods whose rarity often signified the power of the giver and recipient.  In return for continued fealty and tribute, paramount chiefs would often present sub-chiefs with items which would reinforce their power over their respective communities.
Such gifts demonstrate how the power of the foreign provided legitimacy and support to authority and political status of chiefs and their communities. Chiefs would sometimes enter into multiple exchange relationships with rival chiefdoms in order to leverage one against the other and cause them to compete for friendship and influence. Occasionally, chiefs capitalized on this competition and were able to advance the power, status, and autonomy of their communities at the expense of their exchange partners. The arrival of Europeans provided new opportunities for exchange and enabled ambitious chiefs to obtain greater independence from, if not authority over, their old chiefly overlords. Natives would often enlist these newcomers in aiding them in advancing their local ambitions especially against old political rivals.
Europeans like De Soto not only brought their force of arms into Mississippian exchange dynamics, they also carried European goods with them which their Native exchange partners would use as prestige goods to enhance their status and influence. The introduction of European goods into Mississippian dynamics of exchange also planted the seeds of profound change in Native society. Exchange in European goods, especially trade, democratized access to prestige goods and would gradually erode the chiefly monopoly on spiritual power, thus leading to a slow reorganization of Mississippian society. The Itaba exchange provides a glimpse into early European-Indian patterns of exchange as well as foreshadows the influence that trade in European goods would have upon Mississippian culture and society. The Spaniards’ bartering of knives and mirrors at Etowah and the Native interest in them as prestige goods heralds the inception of what would become a vast network of exchange in which European and Indian communities would increasingly be bound in a web of mutual influence and interest.
The Itaba exchange also possesses considerable import for European-Indian patterns of exchange in demonstrating the nature and role of slavery in Mississippian society and presaging the dynamics of exchange which would typify the Indian slave trade during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Native slavery had existed for millennia by the time De Soto had arrived at Itaba. Native slavery was intricately bound up in the patterns of warfare and violence in Indian society. Slaves in Native society were almost exclusively war captives. During the Mississippian Period, the presence of highly centralized and competitive chiefdoms meant warfare and violent death rate increased dramatically. Mississippian warfare was an essential element in securing a community’s political and material needs. Chief engaged hegemonic warfare in order to gain power over the resources and labor of rival chiefdom. Warriors would often steal or destroy an enemy’s food supply and seize prestige goods which often included captives. As noted above, prestige goods were integral to chiefly spiritual power by providing tangible proofs of his relationship to sacred distance. As such, captives served as spiritually potent prestige goods because as foreigners they were living objects which represented a chief’s mastery of the outside world.As with other prestige goods, captives demonstrated a chief’s knowledge of the world beyond his chiefdom and ritual power to harness the supernatural and thus ensure success in diplomacy, war, and agriculture. Thus, captives were an integral component in preserving Mississippian social order. In accords with their status as living prestige goods, captive slaves were valuable objects of exchanges especially if they were women. The gifting of captive women between old or new exchange partners was full of symbolism representing peace, fertility, and the giving of life in an otherwise violent world.
On several occasions during De Soto’s entrada, the Spaniards exchanged diplomatic promises with Native chiefs for enslaved Indian women as sex slaves and laborers. While possessing several similarities, the Itaba exchange distinguishes itself as an act of trade over diplomacy. Spaniards and their Native counterparts at Itaba bartered and haggled their respective prestige goods. Each sought an equal exchange of the commodities they possessed. The Indians desired Spanish mirrors and knives, which potentially possessed considerable spiritual power and consequent enhancement of social status. The Spanish sought female captives to satisfy their carnal inclinations and need for Native labor. As such, the Itaba exchange foreshadows the dynamics of exchange which characterize Indian slave trade of the seventeenth and early eighteenth century. The arrival of the English in the colonial Southeast in the late eighteenth century brought yet another European exchange partner to the political table as well as provoked considerable change in the dynamics of European-Indian interaction. The burgeoning plantation society of English South Carolina were desperate for deerskins and Indian labor and Native communities were glad to supply them in exchange for an ever-increasing list of European, cloth, tools, and weapons.
Exchange was foundational to all early European-Indian contacts in North America. De Soto’s entrada brought Europeans and Southeastern Indian into sustained contact for the first time and planted the seeds of a pattern and network of exchange which would bind Indian town and colonial settlement into the political and commercial region known as the colonial Southeast. Exchanges such as those which took place at Etowah demonstrate the ways in which Europeans and Indians asserted and accommodate their traditions of exchange and foreshadowed considerable transformation in Native society in the face of European colonization and trade. The European presence would bring with it conquest, disease, and commerce which would disrupt the hierarchical world of Mississippian chiefdoms and transform Native society into a more egalitarian realm of council houses, elders, and powerful confederations of Indian towns. In turn, this new Native world was far more adapted to both resisting and shaping the course of European empire in the colonial South.
An entrada, or entry, was a Spanish expedition of military reconnaissance and conquest into the interior of a region.
 Joseph M. Hall, Zamumo’s Gifts: Indian-European Exchange in the Colonial Southeast (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012), 10.
 Gentleman of Elvas, ‘‘True Relation of the Hardships Suffered by Governor Don Hernando de Soto and Certain Portuguese Gentlemen in the Discovery of the Province of Florida,’’ trans. and ed. James Alexander Robertson with footnotes and updates by John H. Hann in The De Soto Chronicles: The Expedition of Hernando de Soto to North America in 1539–1543, ed. Lawrence A. Clayton, Vernon James Knight Jr., and Edward C. Moore, 2 vols. (Tuscaloosa, Ala., 1993), 1: 94.
Rodrigo Rangel, ‘‘Account of the Northern Conquest and Discovery of Hernando de Soto,’’ trans. and ed. John E. Worth, in The De Soto Chronicles: The Expedition of Hernando de Soto to North America in 1539–1543, ed. Lawrence A. Clayton, Vernon James Knight Jr., and Edward C. Moore, 2 vols. (Tuscaloosa, Ala., 1993), 1:284.
Based on King’s interview with Eddie Lee Wilkins on November 15, 2018.
Eddie Lee Wilkins, a six feet ten inch soft spoken man, brings to mind, “gentle giant” both physically and in character. His focus in life is to inspire youth to be their best. He credits his family and mentors for the formation of his character, but perhaps it is innate, himself being one of humanity’s unique individuals with an extraordinary God given talent and a dedicated ambition for helping youth. To all who know his story, he is a living legend.
On May 7, 1962 Viola and Eddie James Wilkins gave birth to their eighth and last child, Eddie Lee Wilkins. With a full house, the Wilkins home was filled with love. There was also a deep-rooted foundation of faith in God, which a young Eddie depended on when he lost his father at the age of eight years old.
In spite of his father’s passing and losing that father figure in the home, Eddie had several male role models who helped him through his life’s journey beginning with his older and only brother, to whom he continuously looked for guidance.
Eddie Lee began his academic and sports career at White Elementary in 1966, the second year after the integration of schools, which at the time housed grades kindergarten through eighth grades. He indicated that racial discrimination was not a defining part of his school years. It was there that he found his love for basketball, and he attributes this esteem for the sport to his elementary school coach, Sammy Hood. Hood became a mentor and constant source of wisdom for Eddie, teaching him discipline, dedication, and team work. Apparently, the good natured young Eddie was a receptive student whose Christian character was strengthened by his coach’s training.
Going into Cass High as a freshman, Wilkins admits that he wasn’t “all that good” at the game of basketball, but playing was something he wanted and believed he could do and he thought he could be one of the best performers by giving it his all. With that motivation he worked day in and day out on his craft, perfecting the sport. By his senior year and thanks to a six-inch growth spurt over the previous summer, Wilkins was not only playing for the varsity team, he had become a teenage superstar.
Wilkin’s height of 6” 10” and skills on the court caught the eye of Gardner-Webb University that offered him a full scholarship. Wilkins was thrilled to continue his basketball career on a college level and was also enthusiastic to be playing for Gardner-Webb which is a Christian-based campus. This meant a lot to him, as the institution not only supported his sport but his morals. Wilkins does not drink alcohol or smoke and takes care of his physical health. Perhaps this is a way of honoring his creation. At the time of the interview, he was replacing some meals with nutritional juices in preparation for the upcoming Thanksgiving family food festivities at his home.
Eddie was able to showcase his talents on a larger platform while attending Gardner, with the help of his college coach, Coach Jim Wildes, and mentor Richard Buccalou. Wilkins went on to become a three time “First Team All American”. However, college wasn’t all about sports; course studies meant just as much to him. Wilkins prides himself for putting the same focus and dedication into his school work as he did into basketball, believing that an academic education was as important as excellence on the court. He believed a solid foundation in education would take him more places than sports alone.
Eddie Lee Wilkins caught the eye of several NBA scouts, and by 1984, the New York Nicks in particular eagerly sought his recruitment. He signed with them later that year. Although, Wilkins went on to play with the Philadelphia 76ers, it was during his years playing for New York that Wilkins found his passion for giving back when he began working with terminally ill children. He embraced this endeavor with dedication as it satisfied a longing desire and brought him back to where he came from; a small town in Georgia- Cartersville. In 1989 he began what is now called The Eddie Lee Wilkins Youth Association. It is a non-profit in which young children can be a part, and not only learn the fundamentals of the great sport of basketball but receive tutoring in academics like math and science as well. His youth organizations provide camps, meals, mentoring, and so much more for the children of the community in which he grew up. Wilkins is quoted as saying, “It was important to me to come back and give back to the younger generations the chance and opportunities to be successful. If I can do anything to change one person’s life, it’s all worth it.”
That he has done. With tens of thousands of children coming through his association over the past thirty years, Wilkins has helped many young men succeed in basketball; currently including Ashton Haggins, who plays for the University of Kentucky and Trey Dumes, who is at West Virginia. To many more, he has contributed not only to their love of and success in basketball, but also to being the best version of themselves that they can possibly be. He states that one of his greatest joys is to give new uniforms to youth groups. He observes that when team members look professional, they are inspired to do their best.
With his NBA career behind him, Eddie, along with his wife Dawn and their four children, work for the association continuing to motivate and inspire the next generation. Reported in the Cartersville Tribune News: On June 21st, 2017, at the invitation of Wilkins, the famous former NBA All-Star, Dale Ellis, visited and spoke to the youth at the Eddie Lee Wilkins Youth Camp in Cartersville, Georgia, located at the J.H. Morgan Gym on Summer Hill. The youth listened with rapt attention. Wilkins is quoted in this edition of the Tribune as saying, “I’ve had numerous NBA players come here. The thing we have in common is we’re a brotherhood. It’s a very special, very unique group and it’s a fraternity that play in the NBA. I was very fortunate to bring this type of people to Cartersville to meet these kids and inspire them to be great at whatever they do.”
Visit You Tube at Eddie Lee Wilkins Youth Association to see players in action and see Wilkins express his aspirations for the youth. Although Wilkins’ youth association has grown to reach communities across Georgia, he credits that growth and success to the backing of his hometown of Cartersville. With humility, determination and know how; for the past thirty years, Wilkins has consistently been on task to reach, inspire, teach and direct youth to be all they can be.
This living legend hopes to be remembered as someone who was honest, humble, and always there.
The Memory of the Great Locomotive Chase from Atlanta to Chattanooga
The Great Locomotive Chase is a prominent feature of the interpretive landscape in North Georgia. This paper examines the cause of the Chase’s popularity as well as how public historians have used the Chase for educational purposes. In addition, this piece explores museum exhibits as academic works and acknowledging the biases of curators as their authors. Sites, museums, and organizations examined are the Atlanta History Center, Marietta Museum of History, Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History, Etowah Valley Historical Society, Adairsville Visitor Center and Museum, Tunnel Hill Museum, the Chattanooga National Cemetery, several historic markers, and other public displays related to the Great Locomotive Chase.
The Great Locomotive Chase of 1862, abbreviated to GLC or simply the Chase, is a prominent fixture of the historic landscape in North Georgia. The path that Andrews’ Raiders took is now dotted with historic markers and museums that tell the story of the Chase. The story of the Chase itself is well documented and those interested in it will find sources such as firsthand accounts from the likes of William Pittenger, as well as narrative histories like Russell Bonds’ book Stealing the General. What is lacking is an examination of the way the Chase has been interpreted at places like museums. If one were to travel along the path that the General took toward Chattanooga one would find 9 roadside markers, 5 museum exhibits, 3 public displays, and a festival, all dedicated to the GLC. This begs the question, why is the Chase such a popular story? The answer of course is complex, but the most fundamental reason for the GLC’s continued popularity is its ability to adapt to the needs of the storyteller.
Historians and museum curators are alike in that they are both storytellers. Every article written or exhibit constructed has a purpose other than relaying basic information such as statistics or dates. There is a message being conveyed beyond the subject at hand and this message is influenced not only by the creator’s conscious choices, but also their inherent biases. Museums and other public historical sites are often rated by the public as trustworthy sources of information and are often seen as being unbiased. This is a common misconception about museums and their exhibits, for in actuality museum exhibits are created with clear goals in mind. Much like a written essay, text in an exhibit is trying to convince the reader of a certain point and is not simply a statements of fact. What does separate a museum exhibit from an essay, is the use of artifacts and interactive elements. Exhibits are also created for a broader audience than most essays are. Exhibits have to appeal to, and be digestible by, children of various ages and the adults who accompany them. As such, most exhibit text uses simple language and keeps the overall length of text short. A popular saying among public historians is that museum text is the Twitter of the academic world, keep it 280 characters or less. If text is too long or complicated visitors simply won’t read it. This environment incentivizes short and direct passages which in turn give the reader the perception of being unbiased. A curator’s intent is less obvious in any one specific passage, but becomes clear when the exhibit is taken as a whole and the way an event is framed is taken into account. Historical markers and other small public displays take this approach to the extreme, boiling down an entire event into a single paragraph of text. Word choice in such a monument is extremely important, and what is left unsaid can help reveal the author’s intent.
It is important to examine museums and public displays because the majority of people would rather visit a museum than read an academic paper. Museums in America have become an arm of the education system by partnering with schools for tours. They are also one of the main ways adults learn about history once they graduate high school. As such, evaluating the exhibits at a museum should be approached in a similar manner to an academic essay. The exhibit’s thesis analyzed, supporting evidence weighed, and its bias recognized.
Before looking into the markers, museums, and displays along the Raider’s path it is important to have a cursory knowledge of the GLC. The Chase took place on April 12, 1962, and involved twenty-two U.S. soldiers and two civilians infiltrating Confederate lines and stealing a train named the General. The leader of this group was named James Andrews, and after the GLC this group would be known as Andrews’ Raiders. The Raid was planned by Andrews and Brigadier General Ormsby Mitchel, commander of the Department of Ohio. The two men planned for the Raid to coincide with Mitchel’s attack on Chattanooga so that the destruction caused by the Raiders would make sending reinforcements north difficult. Two of Andrews’ men were detained and forced to join the Confederate Army, two more overslept and missed the departure of the General from Marietta. The remaining eighteen men boarded the train at Marietta, then when the General was stopped for breakfast in Big Shanty the Raiders detached the passenger cars and stole the train. Their plan was to take the stolen train north toward Chattanooga, Tennessee destroying bridges, parts of the railroad, and telegraph lines along the way. Both the attack on Chattanooga and the Raid would ultimately fail to have a significant impact on the outcome of the War.
The Raiders were unable to cause sufficient destruction to the railroad to make pursuit impossible. William Fuller, the conductor of the stolen General, gave chase after the Raiders, first on foot then by commandeering the trains Yonah, William R. Smith, and Texas respectively. Fuller eventually caught up with the Raiders just north of Ringgold Georgia. After they ran out of fuel they abandoned the General and attempted to escape on foot. All 22, including the four who missed the Raid, of the fleeing raiders were eventually caught and tried in Chattanooga. Eight of the Raiders, including Andrews himself, were hanged in Atlanta, Georgia. Of the other 14 Raiders, eight escaped and the other six were later returned to the U.S. as part of a prisoner exchange. The surviving Raiders would be the first to receive the newly created Medal of Honor for their part in the GLC. All but three of the soldiers involved in the Raid would eventually receive the Medal, with those that had died receiving it posthumously.
For those seeking to follow the path that the Raiders took, the most common starting place is the marker in Atlanta dedicated to those men who were executed as a result of their participation in the Raid. The marker is located at the intersection of Juniper St and Third St in downtown Atlanta, and was erected in 1952 by the Georgia Historical Commission as part of Georgia’s preparation for the centennial anniversary of the Civil War. The goal was to boost tourism by creating a historic driving trail that marked important events and troop movements during the Civil War. The marker is a logical place to start an investigation into the interpretive landscape as it is the southernmost monument dedicated to the GLC. The marker is named “James J. Andrews” and it primarily discusses him, where he was from, and his involvement in the Chase. Towards the end of the text on the marker it also mentions the other 7 men who were executed and how they received the medal of Honor.
This marker is significant because it was erected as Georgia was getting ready for the Civil War Centennial and as such, it gives a small insight into that time period. The placement of the marker is also significant; it is a monument to a Northern spy placed in the heart of the former Confederacy. In his book, William Pittenger quotes Andrews as saying he would “either make it to Chattanooga or die in Dixie,” and this marker is proof that Andrews’ prediction was correct. The time of construction along with its placement is indicative of a reunification mentality which in turn is a common aspect of the New South philosophy. In this context one sees Andrews not as a Union or Yankee hero but instead as an American hero, someone that everyone should be proud of. This shows that through the marker project the GHC was trying to make Georgia more attractive to Northern visitors and to boost the spirt of unification.
Though the heyday of the New South ideology was in the early 20th century with Henry Grady, markers like this one show that the spirit of the New South was still alive by 1952. After World War Two and the rapid industrialization to support the war effort, there was renewed interest in industrializing the South. In the 1950s there would have been an effort to make the South more appealing to investors, just as there was during the rise of the New South in the early 20th century. With this in mind the James Andrews marker in Atlanta is part of the revival of the ideas behind the New South movement, such as a push for unification and patriotism.
The next stop along the interpretive trail is the Atlanta History Center. Located just over five miles north of the Andrews Marker at 130 West Paces Ferry Road. The Atlanta History Center started out as the Atlanta Historical Society in 1926 and became the History Center in 1990. The AHC is a large museum in downtown Atlanta with a wide range of exhibits, but the one that pertains to the GLC is their exhibit on the Texas. The Texas is a steam engine built in 1856 and was one of the trains Fuller used to pursue the Raiders in 1862. The Texas was moved to the AHC in 2017 with an exhibit featuring the locomotive opening on December 17, 2018.
The exhibit at the AHC which includes the Texas does not actually focus on the GLC very much at all. Of the thirteen panels that are part of the exhibit, only three discuss the GLC with the rest focusing on the railroad industry in Georgia. The room in which the Texas is housed is dominated by the engine from the moment one steps foot into it. The first panels that a visitor encounters discuss how Atlanta was originally named Terminus and how the railways were what made Atlanta into a large city. The panels that follow continue to develop the narrative of Atlanta as a rail town and discuss the advancement of rail technology into the modern day. After this, one encounters panels discussing race and the issue of segregation in rail travel. Other panels discus how the railroad was built by different minorities such as Irish and African Americans, both free and enslaved men worked on the rail road. The exhibit continues detailing facts about the rail industry and it is not until the last set of panels before you board the Texas that the GLC and the Texas are even mentioned. One panel discusses what happened to the Texas from 1907-2015, the Chase itself is given one panel, and a third panel details the Chase’s impact on culture through movies. There is a final set of panels in front of the Texas which discuss the various parts of the train along with the modifications and restorations it has endured through its existence.
The choice to focus not on the GLC but instead on Atlanta as an early railroad hub is not a bad one, but is important to note that it was a decision made on the part of the curator at AHC. The Texas is most famous for its part in the Chase but had a long service career unrelated to the Chase. The exhibit examines the locomotive in its entirety and uses it more as an example of a train from the mid-19th century, than as the famous train that Fuller used to chase down Andrews. This exhibit is very recent and shows the trend towards telling more inclusive stories and not focusing on what is often called “Great Man History”. By including more relatable stories like those of the average railroad worker or traveler, the content is more accessible and has a greater impact on visitors. The GLC is an amazing story which is certainly part of the reason it has become such an iconic event, but at the AHC one sees how even these grand events can be used to tell the story of the average person and relate to visitors on a more personal level.
In Spring of 2020 Dr. Gordon Jones, a curator at the AHC, gave a talk to a group of KSU students regarding the exhibits featuring the Battle of Atlanta cyclorama and the Texas, which are closely linked due to both pieces being housed together since 1927. Dr. Jones spoke about how their audience at the AHC has changed and they can no longer simply tell a story like the GLC or the Battle of Atlanta. When they were designing these exhibits they wanted to address the entire life of the artifact not just a piece of it. The Texas had a long service life and the Cyclorama had an interesting history that had very little to do with the Battle of Atlanta. Visitors to the museum have come to expect interpretation that includes stories about minorities and the working class, not just rich white men. Dr. Jones discussed how in this day and age one must be cognizant of the Lost Cause and how it has influenced the public’s perception of certain events. He impressed upon the students the importance of recognizing what their audience’s needs are and responding to those needs.
This exhibit also shows how a museum’s audience shapes its design. Atlanta is a progressive and liberal city by Southern standards and an exhibit steeped in Lost Cause rhetoric which glorified the Confederacy would not be well received there. This points to the fact that unlike an article which could receive national or even international circulation, the primary audience for a museum exhibit is the community surrounding it. A curator must be attuned to the needs of their community in order to create a successful exhibit. The exhibit housing the Texas is a great example of this as it recognizes the GLC but frames it within the larger story of the railroad in Atlanta and how its development impacted the life of everyday Atlantans. This creates an exhibit which resonates much stronger within its community than one which focused on the GLC.
The next museum north of Atlanta which features an exhibit on the GLC, is the Marietta Museum of History. The MMH is housed in the historic Kennesaw House located at 1 Depot St on Marietta Square. The building was constructed in 1845 as a cotton warehouse before being turned into a Hotel by Dix Fletcher in 1855. The building also served as a hospital and morgue for the Confederate Army during the Civil War. The MMH’s connection to the GLC is that 20 of the Raiders stayed in the Fletcher Hotel the night before they boarded the General in Marietta.
The exhibit at the MMH is called the Andrews’ Room and is designed to appear as a hotel room contemporary to the GLC. The focus of the exhibit is three fold, it details the Chase giving a description of the story, it honors those who died in the raid and discusses how the Raiders were the first men to receive the Medal of Honor, and it informs the reader about the history of the building itself. Unlike the AHC the connection to the Raid is not minimized but instead it is a prominent portion of the exhibit. The MMH also chooses to use this exhibit to highlight the history of the building, with panels discussing its construction, its time as a hotel, and its use as a hospital during the war. The majority of artifacts in the room also pertain to the building’s use as a hotel, with a rope bed and hotel log books being a few examples.
While this exhibit differs greatly at first glance from the one at the AHC, the MMH has also chosen to use the GLC as a shuttle for another message. The message in question being how the everyday life of historical figures differed from our own. This message may seem a bit odd, but the reason for it becomes clear when one familiarizes themselves with the Georgia Standards of Excellence. One of the first social studies standards in Georgia is describing how the everyday lives of historical figures are similar to and different from everyday life in the present. With this in mind, the MMH does a wonderful job of incorporating things like a chamber pot, washing bowl, and a rope bed that help young students grasp the idea that life in the past was very different to how we live our lives today. This speaks to the partnership between museums and schools, where teachers will often rely on museums to provide educational experiences that satisfy certain educational standards. The third aspect of the exhibit, informing visitors of the buildings history, also ties nicely into the themes seen thus far. As this was the place where the Raiders stayed, the building becomes an integral part of the story and just like the Texas at the AHC, the building has another story all on its own. By tying this into the GLC, visitors learn about a Marietta landmark as well as what the average person would have experienced when staying in a hotel in the 1860s.
Big shanty, now known as Kennesaw, is where the Raiders stole the General and it also features a museum dedicated to the GLC. The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History is located at 2829 Cherokee St in Kennesaw. The museum started out as the Big Shanty Museum in 1972 and as it grew and collected more materials and artifacts the name was changed several times before settling on the Southern Museum. The history of the museum is tied into the GLC as it was initially constructed to house the General after Georgia received custody of it from Chattanooga. The exhibit that exists at the museum today stands in contrast with the previous examples in that it is almost wholly dedicated to the GLC from beginning to end. While the rest of the museum explores the history of the railroad in Georgia, once the exhibit on the General begins almost all panels are dedicated to some aspect of the Chase. There are even large models of the Lacey Hotel and Tunnel Hill that visitors walk through. The entire exhibit takes up several rooms with one dedicated to the men who participated in the event, one about the details of the chase with maps and photos of various parts along the path, and another dedicated to the General. It is in the final room that a second narrative is introduced. There is an interactive panel which details how after the General was decommissioned from regular service, it was restored to tour around the country as a show piece in exhibitions. There is also a short film about the General which plays every thirty minutes in a theater just before one enters the exhibit.
The SMCWLH’s approach is similar to the AHC but on a museum scale rather than an exhibit scale. The General is the most famous piece of the museum’s collection but to see it visitors have to go through several exhibits on the history of the railroad and the Glover Machine Works. However, on an exhibit level it is heavily focused on the GLC to the point where one has to look for more information on the General after the Chase. From this it is clear that the SMCWLH is engaging with a different audience than the AHC. The exhibit at the Southern Museum portrays Fuller as the hero of the story. This is particularly noticeable in the short film about the Chase which ends with a toast to Fullers as a Confederate hero.
Across from the museum is the Kennesaw Depot park which showcases murals by Wilbur Kurtz, depicting highlights from the GLC. Accompanying the murals are text panels which describe the events of the Chase. The park along with the museum are examples of how the chase is part of the character of Kennesaw. Many cities base choose an identity with which to market themselves, one can see that one of the ways Kennesaw has chosen to market itself is as the start of the Great Locomotive Chase. This event has become engrained in the local narrative and is now used to generate tourism for the area. This helps to explain why the museum focuses so much on the chase, as it is a spot of pride for Kennesaw. The General is a prominent piece of local history and the Chase put Kennesaw on the map, making the name Big Shanty famous.
All along the journey to retrace the Raider’s path, one will find numerous historical markers that detail the Chase. There is of course the Andrews marker in Atlanta but there are also markers in Marietta, Kennesaw, Kingston, Tunnel Hill and Ringgold. Several of these live in what are called marker farms where several historical markers are placed in close proximity. The museum at Tunnel Hill has just such a farm outside of it, but the most noteworthy marker outside of Atlanta is the one in downtown Kennesaw. This marker gives a very brief description of the Raiders and primarily focuses on Fuller and the other Confederates that pursued the Raiders. This is noteworthy given the marker’s proximity to the Southern Museum as well as their mutual focus on Fuller.
The Etowah Valley Historical Society is based out of Cartersville and recently erected a plaque along the railroad tracks in downtown Cartersville commemorating the GLC. Joe Head, a member of the EVHS, spoke about his experiences with the GLC. Head first became interested in the Chase when, as a child, he missed the General when it was visiting Georgia as part of an exhibition. This missed opportunity piqued his interest in the Chase and when he was in college he researched the then-ongoing legal battle between Georgia and Chattanooga. The Southern Museum briefly discusses this issue but Head’s research into the subject is more extensive than what is portrayed there. Head pursued his research on the General into graduate school and beyond, publishing several pieces on it. Head has given over 200 talks discussing the legal battle for the General, and has turned his childhood interest into serious academic work.
Joe Head is an example of another reason for the continued importance of the GLC. The personal connection to the story inspires individuals who become champions of the story. A notorious example of this type of character is Wilbur Kurtz who, throughout the early and mid-20th century, ensured the GLC’s place in history. He created many works of art related to the Chase, he consulted on the GLC Disney film, and he advised many others on their own works. Head is a modern day example of Kurtz, as Head spread his own story about how Chattanooga attempted to steal the General for a second time and how it was returned to Georgia by the Supreme Court. This story is a product of his own research and more modern events, but it is linked to the GLC and the General and so long as he continues to proliferate it, he will keep the GLC in the public eye.
After Mr. Head and Cartersville, is the Adairsville Depot Museum and Visitors Center. Located at 101 Public Square, the Depot houses a small collection of artifacts relating to Adairsville. The interpretation at the Depot was a partnership between the KSU and the City of Adairsville. Students from one of Dr. Jennifer Dickey’s Public History courses conducted research on the Depot and wrote the series of interpretive panels that now reside there. The exhibit at the Depot focuses on Adairsville history showing it from its beginnings as a Native American town, to a small railroad town which grew into a major producer of cotton and peaches. The GLC takes a prominent role in the center of the Depots exhibit with a set of model trains rigged to repeat the Chase as one reads about the event below them.
The exhibit at the Depot frames the GLC as one of many significant events that happened in Adairsville while also including information about the Western & Atlantic Railroad and everyday life in Adairsville. The approach taken at the Depot appears to be a mixture of that taken at the Southern Museum and the AHC. The event is featured prominently but it is also used as a shuttle for other information about life in Adairsville and connects the viewer with more relatable experiences. Unlike previous exhibits on the matter, the depot discusses the fates of both the Texas and the General after the GLC and touches on the legal battle that surrounded the General’s return to Georgia.
Adairsville is also the home of the GLC Festival, a three-day long event which commemorates the events of the Chase. The Festival started in 1969 and combines a carnival and a fall festival along with a celebration of Adairsville’s part in the GLC. As mentioned in the promotional material for the Festival, Adairsville was the location where Fuller met with train engineer Peter Bracken and renewed his pursuit of the Raiders aboard the Texas driving in reverse. Much like in Kennesaw, the GLC has become part of the Adairsville story and is now intertwined with residents’ yearly traditions. The festival is as much a recognition of the GLC as a celebration of town’s history as a whole and way for the community to bond over a shared past, carnival rides, and fried food.
Tunnel Hill as previously mentioned features several markers as well as a museum and, as the name implies, a tunnel that goes through a hill. Both the Raiders and Fuller went through the railroad tunnel which still exists as a foot path at Tunnel Hill. The museum at Tunnel Hill dedicates one display case to the GLC with the rest of the museum being about related subjects such as the Western & Atlantic Railroad and the Civil War. The interpretation at Tunnel Hill stands out for being so light. The tunnel itself lacks any kind of text panels explaining the Chase with those that are present focusing on how the tunnel was built and operated. Tunnel Hill continues the trend of using the GLC as a means to educate on a related topic, in this case the railroads and the Civil War.
The final stop along the Raiders trail is a monument in the Chattanooga National Cemetery to those Raiders that were executed in Atlanta after the Chase. The monument consists of the Raiders’ graves and a large bronze casting of the General atop a stone base. The civilians James Andrews and William Campbell are buried alongside their fellow Raiders despite them not being soldiers. Upon visiting the monument, one would immediately notice the coins which decorate the tops of the Raiders’ grave stones. This is part of a military custom when visiting the grave of a fallen soldier to place a coin on top of the grave to let the family of the soldier know that you visited. The large piles of coins atop the raiders graves shows how actively visited this monument still is. The monument at the National Cemetery is important because it shows that despite being over 158 years old, the events of the Chase are still impactful enough to compel numerous people to visit the graves of the Raiders and leave offerings. Clearly the stories being told and the histories written about the GLC still have a wide audience in Tennessee and North Georgia.
There have also been two movies and several books made about the GLC, the most famous of which is the 1956 Disney film by the same name. While these films and popular books, like Stealing the General, have had a large impact on the perception of the GLC, they are more national interpretations and are therefore less relevant to the interpretive landscape of North Georgia.
The common denominator among all of the exhibits, markers, and monuments examined is the flexibility inherent in the GLC. It makes a compelling story which can be told in numerous ways based on the needs of the story teller. It can take the form of a pro-U.S. narrative which pushes the Raiders as the heroes of the story, as a means to boost unification sentiment and patriotism in a time when there was a push for industrialization and investment in the South. The GLC can also be used as a pro-Confederate narrative which portrays Fuller as a proud Southern hero who caught the invading Northern aggressors. Or, as is most often the case, the GLC can be used as an educational tool by public historians to educate visitors on important topics such as the history of the railroads or a commentary on race relations in a segregated South.
In closing, the interpretive landscape of North Georgia is littered with exhibits, monuments, and markers dedicated to the GLC and while all have similarities, they all approach the topic in a unique way. This is a result of them being produced by people with their own biases, who wanted to tell a certain kind of story and they used the GLC to do it. They were able to because the Chase is such a versatile narrative with numerous potential heroes and villains and it is surrounded by an important and rapidly advancing technology, the railroad. The GLC also has dedicated orators like Joe Head who have a personal connection to the Chase and continue to expose more and more people to it through the telling of their own stories. As long as historians continue to need interesting and flexible narratives to help them educate their audience, the Great Locomotive Chase will continue to stay relevant.
Exhibit text and audio tour. The Great Locomotive Chase. Tunnel Hill Museum, Tunnel Hill, Georgia.
Exhibit text panels. General History Gallery. Adairsville Rail Depot Age of Steam Museum, Adairsville, Georgia.
Exhibit text panels. Andrews’ Room. Marietta Museum of History, Marietta, Georgia.
Exhibit text panels. Locomotion. Railroads and the Making of Atlanta. Atlanta History Center, Atlanta.
Exhibit text panels. The Great Locomotive Chase. The Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History, Kennesaw, Georgia.
The General in Acworth, Georgia, April 1963, Save Acworth History Foundation collection, SC/A/003, Kennesaw State University Archives.
Georgia Historical Commission. Andrews Raid, 1954. Marker. Big Shanty and the Stealing of the General, Kennesaw, Georgia. November 4, 2020.
Georgia Historical Commission. James J. Andrews, 1954. Marker. Site of James Andrews’ Execution, Atlanta. October 19, 2020.
Georgia Historical Commission. Kennesaw House, 1952. Marker. The hotel the Raiders stayed in the night before the Raid, Marietta, Georgia. September 1, 2020.
Georgia Historical Commission. The Andrews Raid at Kingston, 1953. Marker. Raiders delayed in Kinston, Kingston, Georgia. November 4, 2020.
Georgia Historical Commission. Western & Atlantic Railroad Tunnel, 1992. Marker. Construction of the first southern railroad tunnels by W&A, Tunnel Hill, Georgia. November 4, 2020.
Great Locomotive Chase Festival Collection. 1979-2017. SC-G-008. Kennesaw State University Archives, Kennesaw, Georgia.
Hamilton, William J. Jr. Script for a play titled “An Epic of the Confederacy: The Great Locomotive Chase.” 1938. PS 3515 .A4165 E64x, Box 5. Pamphlet Collection, Kennesaw State University Archives, Kennesaw, Georgia.
Monument to the first Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, 1890. Monument and inscription. Andrews’ Raiders Monument, Chattanooga, Tennessee. November 4, 2020.
Alexander, Mary. Museums in Motion – an Introduction to the History and Functions of Museums. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017.
Bonds, Russell S. Stealing the General. Yardley, Penn: Westholme, 2009.
Hackney, Sheldon. “Origins of the New South in Retrospect.” The Journal of Southern History 38, no. 2 (1972): 191-216. Accessed December 9, 2020. doi:10.2307/2206441.
Head, Joe F. “The Heart of the Chase the Great Locomotive Chase in Bartow County.” Bartow Authors Corner Civil War and Military Activity (December 16, 2015). https://evhsonline.org/archives/42894
Head, Joe F. The General: the Great Locomotive Dispute. Cartersville, GA: Bartow History Center, 1997.
Horwitz, Tony. A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World. London: J. Murray, 2008.
Horwitz, Tony. Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War. New York: Pantheon Books, 1998.
Reid, Peter. “The Meaning behind the Tradition of Leaving Coins on Veterans’ Gravestones.” American Military News, March 14, 2017. https://americanmilitarynews.com/2017/03/meaning-behind-tradition-leaving-coins-veterans-gravestones/.
Pittenger, William. Daring and Suffering: A History of the Great Railroad Adventure. Philadelphia: J.W. Daughaday, 1863.
Pittenger, William. The Great Locomotive Chase: A History of the Andrews Railroad Raid into Georgia in 1862. 8th ed. Philadelphia: Pennsylvania Publishing Company, 1921.
Wood, Catherine. “Visitor Trust When Museums Are Not Neutral,” 2018.
 The General in Acworth, Georgia, April 1963, Save Acworth History Foundation collection, SC/A/003, Kennesaw State University Archives.
 Many Histories have been written about the GLC however few have addressed how the Chase has been remembered. Other pieces have covered different events such as Sarah Vowell’s Assassination Vacation which focuses on sites which interpret famous assassinations. And some like Tony Horwitz Confederates in the Attic have even covered the Civil War as a whole. But none of these investigative histories have covered the GLC and its impact on historic sites in North Georgia.
 Wood, Catherine. “Visitor Trust When Museums Are Not Neutral,” 2018.
 Mary Alexander, Museums in Motion – an Introduction to the History and Functions of Museums (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017).
 Catherine Wood, “Visitor Trust When Museums Are Not Neutral,” 2018.
 Russell S. Bonds, Stealing the General (Yardley, Penn: Westholme, 2009).
 Georgia Historical Commission, James J. Andrews, 1954, Marker, Cite of James Andrews’ Execution, Atlanta. October 19, 2020.
 William Pittenger, The Great Locomotive Chase: A History of the Andrews Railroad Raid into Georgia in 1862, 8th ed. (Philadelphia: Penn Pub. Co., 1921) 101.
 Robert Lewis, “World War II Manufacturing and the Postwar Southern Economy.” The Journal of Southern History 73, no. 4 (2007): 837-66. Accessed December 10, 2020. doi:10.2307/27649570.
 “Locomotion: Railroads and the Making of Atlanta: Exhibitions,” Locomotion. Railroads and the Making of Atlanta. (Atlanta History Center, November 21, 2020), https://www.atlantahistorycenter.com/exhibitions/locomotion-railroads-and-the-making-of-atlanta/.
 Exhibit text panels, Locomotion. Railroads and the Making of Atlanta, Atlanta History Center, Atlanta.
 Nikolas D. Kekel, and Gordon Jones, Dr. Gordon Jones on the Texas and Cyclorama, Personal, March 2020.
 Exhibit text panels, Andrews’ Room, Marietta Museum of History, Marietta, Georgia.
 “Grade 1 – Social Studies Georgia Standards of Excellence,” Georgia Standards (Georgia Department of Education, June 9, 2016), https://www.georgiastandards.org/Georgia-Standards/Pages/Social-Studies-Grade-1.aspx.
 “Museum History,” Southern Museum (The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History, 2020), https://www.southernmuseum.org/about-copy.
 Exhibit text panels, the Great Locomotive Chase, the Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History, Kennesaw, Georgia.
 Georgia Historical Commission, Andrews Raid, 1954, Marker, Big Shanty and the Stealing of the General, Kennesaw, Georgia. November 4, 2020.
 Nikolas D Kekel, and Joe Head., Joe Head on the Great Locomotive Chase, Personal, October 30, 2020.
 David O’Connell, The Art and Life of Atlanta Artist Wilbur G. Kurtz Inspired by Southern History (Charleston: The History Press, 2013).
 Exhibit text panels, General History Gallery, Adairsville Rail Depot Age of Steam Museum, Adairsville, Georgia.
 Exhibit text and audio tour, The Great Locomotive Chase, Tunnel Hill Museum, Tunnel Hill, Georgia.
 Peter Reid, “The Meaning behind the Tradition of Leaving Coins on Veterans’ Gravestones,” American Military News, March 14, 2017, https://americanmilitarynews.com/2017/03/meaning-behind-tradition-leaving-coins-veterans-gravestones/
 While these films have also been influential in the way the GLC has been remembered, there are key differences between them and the sites examined in this piece. The films are designed first and foremost for entertainment and were not created to be accurate representations of the event. The other key difference is that these films are aimed at a national audience and are not reflective of the attitudes in North Georgia. Written accounts of the Chase such as Stealing the General, while more so then the films, are also not as relevant to the memory of the GLC. While these books are aimed at an audience in north Georgia, they lack a wide readership and would not be used to teach children about the Chase. Works accessible to children are important because it is these types of pieces which have the type of lasting impact that is required to sustain the high levels of interest in the GLC.