Google+ Georgia On My Mind: March 2007

Saturday, March 31, 2007

A New Tool!

Recently BlogNetNews contacted me about their worthy endevor. They offer an aggregator that can focus on certain areas of the blogosphere such as state blogs.

Their introductory email to me stated they don’t have a political ax to grind and they promise they are a generation ahead of other aggregators that just reprint posts and tell you which ones get clicked on the most.

BlogNetNews will use Georgia blogfeeds to create new content and information that will help to organize it.

The Georgia page at BlogNetNews will provide the top news according to what Georgians are linking to the most.

They provide a Georgia Blog Search engine that you can place on your site. I’ve already done so here, but I need to play with the color a bit. You can find the code to add the search engine to your search engine.

They provide a quick guide to the hottest blog comment sections in the Georgia blogosphere.

They provide an index of the days most active Georgia news and politics and a guide to the most linked to posts by other Georgia bloggers.

I already see this as a terrific tool and it will only get better as more of us link to it and provide the content.

I’m pleased this has come along because I see it helping the Georgia Carnival to grow!

So go on over....check things out... and introduce yourself HERE.

All you have to do to be listed on the blogroll at BlogNetNews is to email the editors at and let them know you have added this link to your blogroll as well as provide them with your feed address.

So simple!

I think the returns on this service far outweight the one email you have to send.

BlogNetNews receives this teacher’s gold star of the day!

Friday, March 30, 2007

It's Carnival Time!

Run don’t walk to the Sixth Edition of the Georgia Carnival over at Blog for Democracy. Melanie did a fantastic job and we have some newbie submissions to enjoy.

There is a little bit of something for everyone in this edition…there’s a little history, literature, and self-examination concerning what being Southern is.

Throw in a famous Atlantan, the beauty that is Georgia, and dealing with cancer along with the future of education, small town photos, and big city politics and you end up with a well rounded carnival that won’t take you all weekend to read.

The next Georgia Carnival will be returning to Georgia On My Mind on April 13th. Posts can be submitted to

Thanks for linking to the carnival and for mentioning it at your site to let more people know about it. :)

Monday, March 26, 2007

A Georgian Gave the Lone Star to Texas

The little of town of Knoxville, Georgia is so small you wouldn’t have heard of it even if you drove right through it. It’s the county seat of Crawford County, but it only has about 800 people living there. Even John Pemberton, the founder of Coca-Cola left town as a young boy and moved to Columbus.

Who knew that small, unassuming Knoxville, Georgia would be the birthplace of one of the most recognizable state icons in the nation…dare I say the world?

Who knew that particular state icon would be the brainchild of a seventeen year old girl?

Earlier I wrote about the formation of the Georgia Battalion. As it moved through the Knoxville area on the return trip to Texas Johanna (Joanna) Troutman was moved by the romanticism of the moment and the fervor for independence….so much so she took one of her silk white petticoats and fashioned a flag…the FIRST Lone Star flag.

A San Antonio newspaper from 1934 mentions:

“on each side of the flag, in the center, was placed a large azure star of five points. Above the star on one side was the inscription, ‘Liberty or Death,’ and on the other the Latin motto ‘Ubi Libertas Habitat Ibi Patria Est’ (Where Liberty dwells, there is my country).”

Troutman presented the flag to Col. William Ward and it was raised high about the American Hotel at Velasco, Texas on January 8, 1836. Later it flew as the Georgia Battalion flag at Goliad. Col. James W. Fannin raised it as the Republic of Texas flag upon hearing the Texas Declaration of Independence had been signed.

Troutman never set foot in Texas, but an article by A.C. Greene advises two pieces of silver belonging to Santa Ana was sent to her after his capture in appreciation for her efforts. (Wouldn’t you like to know where the silver is?)

She died in 1879 and was buried next to her first husband near Knoxville. In 1912 her body was moved to the Texas State Cemetary where a bronze statue stands to honor her.

Johanna (Joanna) Troutman’s portrait also hangs in the Texas State Capital.

There's more information about "The Betsy Ross of Texas" here.

Friday, March 23, 2007

A Few Good Men

The Alamo, San Jacinto, Goliad…Captain William Travis, Sam Houston, and Stephen Austin…all worthy moments and memorable people in Texas history.

Texas history?

Now why would I write about Texas history when my mind is most certainly on Georgia?

Trust me…I’ve not lost my senses. Georgians were very instrumental in Texas independence, the Texas Republic, and the eventual statehood of Texas. Yes…..that same Georgia that someone recently characterized as "almost landlocked, not-found-by-Europeans-until-the-17th-century and having only peaches instead of peppers history."

Perhaps this person didn’t realize that many Georgians played pivotal roles in the formation of the Republic of Texas…

Colonel James Walker Fannin, Jr. was born in 1804 and was was brought up on his maternal grandfather’s property near Marion, Georgia. In 1834 he moved his family to Velasco, Texas where he continued to be a planter and partnered in a slave-trading syndicate. He was one of the more outspoken planters in favor of Texas independence and he returned to Georgia to solicit other Georgians for money, weapons, and volunteers for the independence movement. While in Macon, Fannin collected three thousand dollars and oversaw the formation of the Macon Volunteers with the help of William Ward and many others. On their way back to Texas, Fannin and his new revolution-minded Georgians picked up more volunteers along the way in Columbus and Milledgeville. At Goliad men of the Georgia volunteers were captured. Rather than letting them go at some point they were basically executed by the Spanish. Close to 300 Georgians and others who had volunteered to fight for Texas independence were slaughtered. Fannin was also captured; however, he was executed seperately and was shot in the head. Later his body was burned.

Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar served as the third president of the Republic of Texas, however, he was born on his father’s plantation, Fairfield, located in Louisville, Georgia. Lamar was a poet and authored such pieces as “An Evening on the Banks of the Chattahoochee”,“Thou Idol of my Soul”, and many others. Lamar was a newspaperman by trade and began the Columbus Ledger which is still in existence today. After hearing about the Alamo and Goliad Lamar moved to Texas and joined the army of the Texas Republic as a private. He advanced in rank very quickly after he rescued two Texans who were surrounded the day before the Battle of San Jacinto. It is also interesting to know that Lamar and Sam Houston did not get along and rarely agreed on the issues surrounding an independent Texas. Lamar never favored annexation into the United States, and actually invisioned a Texas Republic that stretched westward to the Pacific. Many schools are named after Lamar since he is considered to be the Father of Education in Texas.

Thomas J. Rusk was not born in Georgia but he did live here for awhile in Clarksville. He went to Texas in 1832. His prime reason for going was to catch up with some crooked business partners. He settled in Nacogdoches and served the Texas Republic by organizing a company of volunteers that joined up with Stephen Austin’s army and helped them keep a strategic cannon from falling in the hands of the Mexicans. When the Alamo fell it was Rusk who helped the president for the Texas Republic, Daid Burnet, to move the republic’s government to Harrisburg. He also signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. After Fannin’s men fell at Goliad Rusk, via Burnet’s orders, it was Rusk who asked Sam Houston to make a firm stand against Santa Ana. He also participated in the Battle of San Jacinto as commander-in-chief of the Texas Republic Army. He remained steadfast as he followed the Mexican army as they retreated back across the Rio Grande River. In remembrance of the lost men at Goliad Rusk organized a funeral ceremony to remember their sacrifice.

William Ward, who organized the men from Macon, Columbus, and Milledgeville into three companies, was also instrumental in helping the Texans with some weapons. They happened to be guns he borrowed from the arsenal of the state of Georgia. This fact makes Georgia unique in that it might be the only state in the Union that supplied arms to the Republic of Texas. Ward continued recruiting men on the march to Texas until his ranks swelled to over 200. Along with Fannin Ward was also executed by the Mexicans. A Texas Scrapbook recounts:

"After all the men had been shot the time of the officers came. Colonel Ward was ordered to kneel, which he refused to do; he was told if he would kneel his life would be spared. He replied, they had killed his men in cold blood, and that he had no desire to live; death would be welcome. He was then shot dead." [D. W. C. Baker, A Texas Scrap Book, 249]

A truly brave man...You can read more about Ward here.

The struggle for Texas independence occurred through the hard work and sacrifice of many Americans from all over, however, I found it interesting that so many Georgians were clearly in leadership positions.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Battle of the State Blog Carnivals Has Begun

Ed Darrell over at Millard Fillmore's Bathtub noticed via David Parker’s Another History Blog that Georgia had birthed a carnival.

Then Ed had to go and say:

"If Georgia, with its dull, almost-landlocked, not-found-by-Europeans-until-the-17th-century and having-only-peaches-instead-of-peppers history can do it," Ed says, "Texas should be able to do it better."

Uh……what? Georgia is dull? My good man we are anything but dull.

My fellow Georgians, it seems we have been issued a challenge by my very worthy Texas friend.

You can see David's response to Ed here. And David shows that Georgia had European exploration going on as early as 1526….earlier than Texas in case you were wondering.

Are we going to let the newly formed Texas Carnival appropriately called Fiesta Texana have more submissions than our own? Do we want them to get ahead of us?

I am very grateful to all of you who have supported the Georgia Carnival as I have added your site to the blogroll (sometimes without asking first) and snagged some of your post for the carnival and told you about it later. I’m also so very pleased so many of you have requested to be added to the blogroll and proudly post the roll at your site. Thanks! We haven’t missed a posting date yet and so far we have had two guest hosts and a third coming up with a fourth waiting in the wings later in April.

Please give the carnival a shout out occaisionally at your site so other Georgians will know about it….and don’t forget to submit your posts.

Any Georgia blogger can submit a post to the upcoming Georgia carnival for March 30th including a post you have written yourself.

Email our next host…Melanie over at Blog For Democracy at or use the handy submission form over at the Blog Carnival site.

You can see the last carnival hosted by Provocative Church.

Don’t mess with Texas my foot……!

……Of course I hope you realize this is all good natured fun. Ed has been a huge supporter of History Is Elementary and has sent tons of people my way. I just saw an opportunity for some fun.

Really though… we want the Texans to have a better carnival than our own?

Monday, March 19, 2007

The State of State Blogs

I had a nice link over at History Is Elementary from Lucy who blogs at My Florida History. She was putting together a post with links to others who blog about state history so I decided I may eventually collect these sites on a separate blogroll to maintain here and over at that other place I spend some time at. The links might end up helping someone if they are looking for particular state or place history.

If you know of any blogs that devote the majority of their posts to specific state or place history please send them my way.

In the meantime here are some of the links Lucy from Florida found for us:

All Things Maine
Strange Maine
Cow Hampshire
My Hometown Ohio
Endangered Durham
Historic Ohio Iron and Streel Bridges
Old Virginia Blog
Boston, 1775
North Carolina and the Civil War

and of course don’t forget the Florida site mentioned above….

David Parker over at Another History Blog mentioned several state carnivals he found over at the Blog Carnival site…..Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, and the Tarheel Tavern….now where are those tarheels from? :)

….and while I’m blathering on and on about OTHER states I’ve had some email lately from folks wanting to be on the Georgia blogroll, but they aren’t residing in Georgia, etc. So I’m thinking of adding a special linky place just for folks who have Georgia roots. Maybe they have family here, vacation here, were born here, or well….you know.....

What do you think?

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Georgia Carnival---Edition Six

The Georgia Carnival remains on the road.

Edition Six can be found over at Provocative Church. Bill has done an excellent job of putting together posts and even added pop up comments along the way.

The next edition will be up Friday, March 30th. Melanie over at Blog For Democracy will be the host. You can submit posts to her at or you can also use the handy submission form.

Thanks for continuing to support the Georgia Carnival and the Georgia blogroll. In order for the carnival to grow it needs your support. Please link to it and let others know about it. I think it has a real valid place in the blogosphere.

I know there are more of you out there. Where are you?

Head on over and thank Bill for putting the carnival together and don’t forget to submit something for the next edition.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Shameful Part of Georgia's History

When I teach students about the U.S. Constitution they are generally appalled when I explain the Three-Fifths Compromise.

“Elementaryhistoryteacher, what do you mean? How can a whole person not be a whole person?” somone invaribly asks.

It does seem strange, doesn’t it? In the effort for compromise though that’s exactly what the delegates to the Constitutional Convention did. They agreed that a slave was only worth three-fifths of a person and then had the audacity to totally ignore the opportunity that was there for them to eradicate slavery from the young United States. Instead the delegates decided to let slavery go on for some 20 more years and then Congress would take the matter up.

I like for young students to notice the missed chances….the opportunties missed due to ignorance, pride, an unwillingness to innovate, and selfishness. I generally bring these matters to the forefront to build background for students once we get to the Civil War so that students can look all the way back to the Constitutional Convention and see a chain of missed opportunties.

Congress did follow through after 20 or so years and in 1808 their actions did not end slavery, but did end the importation of Africans for the purpose of slavery. Once again a compromise had stalled progress and led us one more step closer to the Civil War.

Last week over at History is Elementary I posted the image you see here and asked you to guess the importance of the ship. I’ve decided to post the explanation here because it involves a Georgian and Georgia history.

Some slave traders and large plantation owners across the South were very upset about the end of the African slave trade because they saw a huge loss in income. By 1857 Charles Lamar of Savannah was determined to reopen the slave trade and was willing to do whatever it took. He initially found plenty of investors from Georgia to New York.

Lamar’s actions were suspect by U.S. officials from the beginning as he tried to get the necessary travel papers for a boat called the E.A. Rawlins. The book, The Slave Ship Wanderer, by Henderson Wells (1967) mentions Lamar entered into partnership with a Louisiana sugar plantation owner and a Charleston gentleman to scheme to use a ship that Lamar would have built up north. In this way the ship might be under less suspicion.

The ship named The Wanderer was built in Setauket, Long Island and was to be outfitted as a very luxurious racing yacht. It could reach speeds of 20 knots. In fact soon after the ship was completed it was sailed down the east coast to New Orleans and entered yacht competitions along the way. Thinking they had sucessfully diverted attention from their true intent one of the other partners took control of the ship and outfitted her with 15,000 gallon water tanks.

At one point, however, the U.S. Revenue Marine did become suspicious after the entire crew had been replaced….one hint among many others. Officials gave chase and overtook The Wanderer. Finding nothing amiss they let it go---later it was thought that officials had been bribed or the lavish accomodations of the yacht completely fooled everyone.

Once The Wanderer headed out to open sea Lamar contacted a New York investor:

“I have as you know, a vessel now afloat…If she gets clear of the Coast they can’t catch her…and all the negroes can be sold as fast as landed at $650 a head…If you know of any who would like to take an interest, mention it to them confidentially and let me know who they are. I want none but reliable men and men who will have money the moment it is called for.”
The vessel was totally changed as it sailed up the Congo River. The crew of The Wanderer built pens on deck and below that would eventually hold between 400 and 600 Africans. Once the ship reached the coast of Georgia it landed at Jekyll Island where the Africans who did not die during the passage where quickly hustled away and sent to all parts of the South.

Eventually word got out about what happened and there was a trial. Lamar was brought up on charges along with others, however, everyone was aquitted.


Erik Colonius recently published a book called The Wanderer: The Last American Slave Ship and the Conspiracy That Set Its Sails.

You can read about it in an article published in a Memphis paper titled Rescue Effort and there’s even More from Mike's Civil War Musings.

If you followed these two links you see that this April there will be walking tour in Savannah that will educate people about this often forgotten aspect of slavery in America. For example, the Owens Thomas House will be a stop on the tour since John Owen who lived in the house represented Charles Lamar in the infamous lawsuit.

Another interesting link that details this facinating story from the aspect of the slave and subsequent generations can be found in this Newsday article.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Carnival Submissions Are Due

Please remember that the Georgia Carnival will be posted this Friday. The Carnival is currently on the road. It will be hosted by Bill over at Provocative Church. You can submit your posts by emailing them to or use the handy submission form. Submissions should be received no later than 6 p.m. Thursday, March 15, 2007. Please include the title of your post and URL, if possible. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the carnival should be posted sometime Friday, March 16th.

Go here to see Bill's creative way to advertise the upcoming carnival.

Over at History Is Elementary I am in the process of remembering my mother. This will be her first birthday since her death. You can see the first post here.

Stuckey's Pecan Roll?

No, No, No No......not Stuckey's pecan roll. It's new additions to the Georgia Blogroll......

This week we have four new additions to the Georgia Blogroll.

Colors of Ink is an interesting site. Johnna, the blog owner, is an artist who shares and sells her art. She writes to make us more aware about the homeless problem and proceeds from some of her art sales goes towards her work as well.

Blog For Democracy is well known among Georgia’s political blogs and will be hosting the Georgia Carnival on March 30th.

Best Practices in Education was started recently by 30plus teacher. No, she’s not 30 years old……she has over 30 years in the classroom…..

Huffenglish is a blog written by Dana, a highschool English teacher. Her site includes issues, ideas and discussion about teaching English.

Well, those are the newbies to the blogroll. You may know some Georgians not on the roll. Encourage them to join in.

If you would like to present the blogroll on your site I can send send you the code. Just email me at Let me know if you want it in list form like you see here or if you want it in a scrolling box like I have it at History Is Elementary.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

A Night Out

Dear Hubby and I traveled to the beautiful square in McDonough, Georgia last night for dinner with his business partner, the partner’s wife, and another couple. I have a couple of family members that live nearby, my mother lived there for a time before she went into a nursing home, and back in my legal research days I frequented the courthouse often in McDonough.

The quaint town really does have a lovely square with actual green grass and real trees that haven’t been planted in the last five years like some town square do-overs. There are several old homes that are loved. There are also several that need to be loved, but there original grace and charm are still evident. McDonough really is a lovely town to visit.

We had a very nice dinner at Redz Restaurant. It’s right off the square. The website told me that the owner used to work with the Buckhead Restaurant Group which means he must know what he’s doing. We began with enough appetizers to share that including shrimp, beef, crabcakes, and stuffed mushrooms. The ceasar salad I had was great. The dressing wasn’t what I normally like…..creamy, but it was really good. Dear Hubby had the grilled tuna, I had a nice New York strip with Vidalia onion straws, and one of our companions had the lamb. Rather than a baked potato our meals were accompanied by half of a large peeled and roasted spud with grilled yellow squash paired with zuchinni. It was a nice change from the normal butter and sour cream ladened pile of starch I normally get. Everyone seemed to be really pleased with their meals.

The bar is downstairs and it looked like there were a few tables down there. We were directed upstairs where we sat at a very roomy corner booth. There was lots of red everywhere which I would imagine is where the name comes from. A group was braving the chill after such a nice day and was sitting out on the upstairs patio. It would seem that they welcome children as there was a rather large party across from us with several. They were celebrating someone’s birthday, but they weren’t overly loud.

They are only open for dinner and I would recommend making reservations since they are in a small location and they cater to large parties sometimes.

It really was worth the 45 minute drive to get there.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Pop Quiz: Georgians Who Deserve to Be Remembered someone from our state who painted with some of the top Impressionist painters in our nation during the earliest days of the twentieth century.

Need another hint?

This female was from Rome, Georgia. Her father was a minister.

She rubbed elbows with some very powerful people at the uppermost levels of our national government.

Still not sure?

Head on over to History Is Elementary and find out who I'm referring to.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Georgia Carnival-Edition Five

The Georgia Carnival is on the road. You can find it over at Got Bible?. Thanks Elisheva for posting a fine carnival.
The 49th History Carnival can be found over at History Is Elementary.
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