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Living on the Georgia Tidewater


(Echoes June 1998)   Charles Oliver Fulton (1848-1911) and his wife Harriet Clifford Townsend (1854-1938) were the grandparents of Natalie Fulton Webb and Patricia Fulton Skipper.  The following is just a portion of their living experiences on the Georgia Tidewater.

Charles Oliver Fulton’s parents William James & Amelia Andrews Fulton are buried in the Little Flemming Cemetery in Liberty County.-------   His great grandfather, John Fulton is buried in Midway Cemetery in Liberty County.-------  His great great great grandfather was  Samuel Fulton.    In February 1762  Samuel Fulton ,  was one of a group of inhabitants of Williamsburg District in the Province of Carolina who migrated to Georgia, he brought his wife, 6 children (3 sons and 3 daughters), and 23 slaves.  He settled upon land granted to him on a stream which flowed into the north side of the Altamaha River in St. Andrew Parish  (Now McIntosh County), some 30 miles southwest of Midway settlement.   It is not known how Samuel Fulton came to Georgia.  Historians say many early settlers in Carolina who had come from some of the northern colonies drove their livestock overland, and Samuel Fulton may have done the same.  Shortly after reaching Georgia, Samuel Fulton was appointed Esquire (Justice of Peace) for St. Andrew Parish and Commissioner of Roads for the town of Darien.

During the years between 1762 and 1777 there were several Fultons residing in both St. Andrew Parish and St. John Parish .  Some of these participated in the patriotic meetings in the Province of Georgia.  In 1777,  the parishes of Georgia  were  formed into counties. The county formed from the parishes of  St.John, St.Andrew, and St.James was called  Liberty County.   At this time most of  the Fultons were found in Liberty County.  In 1793 the former Parish of St. Andrew was cut off  therefrom to form McIntosh County.

A century later, in 1873, Charles Oliver Fulton marries Harriet Clifford Townsend in McIntosh County.  In 1875, he purchases Black Island from Marsden C. Mints.  Charles Oliver was a  “LAND-LOVER”.   He purchased large tracts in Belvedere Plantation, Marengo, Jones, Jones Station and Mosquito Plantation.

Charles Oliver Fulton was one of the most enterprising merchants in McIntosh County during the Reconstruction and postbellum periods.  He owned considerable acreage in the north western section of McIntosh County at Jonesville on which he raised cattle to supply his meat business.   In 1873 Fulton opened the Darien Market, in which he specialized in meats and vegetables.  In October 1877 it was reported in “The Darien Timber Gazette” that Mr. Fulton has sold out his interest in Fulton Market to Capt. C. H. Steadwell.  Fulton has embarked in a new business that of a Wholesale Butcher.  Capt. Steadwell will manage Fulton Market

Charles Oliver purchased 1030 acres at Marsh Landing on Sapelo, from Mrs. Nellie Spaulding.  On October 1, 1898, the hurricane, tidal wave devistated McIntosh and the islands.  Charles Oliver’s daughter, Effie and her husband Lee Russell and their small child, were living on Sapelo with Effie’s unmarried brother Charlie when the storm covered Sapelo.  Along with visiting friends and neighbors they took refuge from the storm by climbing a large live oak tree.   These adult children of Charles Oliver and Harriet Fulton managed their fathers crops, live stock  and vegetable & meat store on Sapelo.

Charles & Harriet Fulton lived on Black Island.  Their house, as described by their daughter, Minnie, was a big “barney” structure, with 4 rooms up and 4 downstairs.  It had a hallway in the center, and a big fireplace in every room.  The Fulton’s had nine children, three of them were girls, six of them attained adulthood.    Natalie and Pattie’s father was James Wilbur.  Som of the children  attended private school.  Most of the time they would ride to and from school.  If the horse was being used for some work on the place, they would walk, a good two miles to school.  Minnie describes the isolation and beauty of Black Island.  It was three miles to town.  “There was first ashort strip of  causeway, then a  bridge over the river, then more causeway --the road winding with a few curves, very narrow and no way to pass another vehicle if you met one.  Then add to that a dark night, maybe a hightide which would wash over parts of the road, or a skittish horse, liable to put you in the ditch.  Or perhaps a few cows “parked” at the gate end of the bridge hoping for a chance to get out.  All of this and maybe more, so no wonder a girl living in such a place, had few boyfriends and was likely to die an old maid.”.  


(Echoes September 1998)  Buddy Sullivan
Buddy Sullivan was born and raised at Cedar Point, McIntosh County. His forbearers came to McIntosh County, the Georgia tidewater in the nineteenth century.

The following is about the Hunter-Johnson-Sullivan Family of McIntosh County.

In the spring of 1894, young Thomas Marshall Hunter graduated from the Southwest Seminary of Clarkesville, Tennessee. In the summer of that year, Hunter was ordained as a Presbyterian minister and immediately accepted a call to fill the pulpit of the Darien Presbyterian Church, effective July 1, 1894. The journal of John Girardeau Legare notes that Rev. Hunter arrived in Darien to begin his pastorate, and took a brief leave in the fall of 1894 to return to Clarkesvllle where he married Miss Sallie Owen of Charleston, South Carolina.

Sallie Owen and her sisters, Mary and Kate Owen , were daughters of the prominent Owen family of Charleston. Kate Owen (died 1977) married Willie B. Ravenel of Charleston. Mary Owen married into the Geer family of Charleston.

During his Darien Presbyterian pastorate, Thomas Marshall Hunter and his new bride, Sallie, lived in the Presbyterian manse and, for a time, at the Ridge. A year into their pastorate at Darien, a son was born to the Hunters, Howard Owen Hunter (1895-1964). The Legare journal and other sources indicate that Rev. Hunter was a highly popular minister in Darien and was active in the community while making numerous friends in the county. In 1897, T. M.. Hunter resigned his pastorate from the Darien church. According to the Legare journal, Rev. Hunter accepted a call to the Presbyterian church in Trenton, Tennessee. There, in 1898, a second child was born to the Hunters, Marshall. Marshall Hunter married J. 0. Peery of New Orleans. She died in 1973. Thomas and Sallie Hunter later moved to Beaumont, Texas where he served the Presbyterian church there until his death in 1954.

Dr. Henry Herbert Johnson (1862-1937) of Macon, Georgia, married Wilhelmina Polhill Wheeler (1872-1955) of Macon. They had three children, Wheeler Johnson, Herbert Johnson, and an adopted daughter, Mary Jackson (1893-1968). In 1908, the Johnson family established a vacation home at Cedar Point, McIntosh County. Dr. H. H Johnson was a pioneer in the field of dentistry and was president of the Georgia Dental Association for many years. In 1925, the Johnson's built a two-story frame house at Cedar Point, overlooking Cedar Creek and Creighton Island. It burned in 1973 alter serving as a home for three generations of the Hunter-Johnson-Sullivan family.

In 1920, Mary, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. H. H Johnson, married Howard Owen Hunter at a time when young Hunter had recently graduated from Louisiana State University and was the Southeast Executive of the Boy Scouts in Macon. To them were born two children. Howard Owen Hunter, Jr. (1922-1983) and Mary Kate Hunter(1924-1954). Mary Kate was named for her two Charleston great-aunts.

Howard and Mary J. Hunter were divorced in 1932. That same year, Mary Hunter moved into the Cedar Point home of her parents with her two young children. Except for two brief periods when she resided in a home on Vernon Square in Darien, Mary Hunter lived at Cedar Point for the rest of her life, until her death in 1968. For many years she was McIntosh County Nurse. Her children, Owen and Mary Kate, both attended the Darien school.

Howard Owen Hunter, Sr. become a key figure in the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was a friend of both President Roosevelt and his aide, Harry Hopkins. Hunter played a key role in the Roosevelt Administration’s efforts to bring America out of the Depression of the 1930’s. Hunter entered government service in 1931 and later became Acting Commissioner of the federal Work Projects Administration (WPA), while Hopkins was administrator. From 1939 through 1943, Hunter was the head of the WPA’s Federal Writer’s Project, in which he was directly involved in the nation’s first comprehensive effort to gather and record local and state history. Many of the well-known state guidebooks were published during Hunter’s administration as head of the WPA. A complete set of these 48 volumes, once owned by H 0. Hunter, are in the special collections of the Ida Hilton Public library in Darien, being donated to the library by Wanda A Hunter, wife of Hunter’s son, Howard Owen Hunter, Jr. H. O. Hunter, Sr. left government service and served as president of the American Institute of Baking in Chicago, Illinois from 1949 to 1963. He and his second wife, Edna Hunter, who he married in 1945, resided in Chicago where they were intimate fiends with the writer John Steinbeck who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. Howard 0. Hunter never forgot his McIntosh County roots, returning often to the county of his birth. He died unexpectedly in early 1964, shortly after he and his wife Edna had moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The daughter and second child of Howard 0. And Mary J. Hunter, Mary Kate Hunter, married Roy Earl Sullivan (b.1921) of Tifton Georgia in February 1945. Mary Kate was nurse and Earl was an officer in the U.S. Army, having seen combat in World War II campaigns in North Africa and Italy. He was a descendant of the Sumner family of Worth County (Sumner), Georgia and the Sullivan family of Decatur County (Bainbridge), Georgia. Earl and Mary Kate Sullivan spent the first six years of their marriage at Cedar Point where he and his brother-in-law, Owen Hunter, and their fiend Bill Hubbard, were partners in the oyster and shrimping business at Cedar Point. They owned the shrimp boat White Rose, the rotting remains of which are in the marsh behind the Point. For a time, the three men managed the Cedar Point Canning Company, one of the most active oyster canneries on the Georgia coast in the post-World War II period. One child was born to Earl and Mary Kate Sullivan in McIntosh County during this period-Roy Earl (Buddy) Sullivan, Jr. in July 1946. The seafood partnership broke up when Earl Sullivan rejoined the Army to serve in the Korean War and Owen Hunter began a career at the Brunswick Pulp and Paper Company. Later Owen and his wife, Wanda Atwood Hunter, moved back to McIntosh County where they lived at Valona He died in 1983.

Mary Kate Sullivan died of cancer, the age of 29 on Valentine’s Day, 1954 in Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, D.C. Wilhelmina Polhill Johnson (d.1955), Mary Kate Hunter Sullivan (d.1954) and Mary J. Hunter (d.1968) are all buried in Darien’s St. Andrew’s Cemetery.


(Echoes January 1999) Dr. Samuel Pellman Boyer was a 23-year old Pennsylvanian who joined the US. Navy in 1862 after his graduation from medical school. He was stationed aboard the U.S. barque Fernandina assigned to blockade duty in company with the gunboat Wamsutta in Doboy Sound starting in February 1863 The following excerpts are from Dr. Boyer’s personal diary kept while he was living on the Georgia Tidewater during the ‘War Between The States”.

“Feby 19,1863—The islands forming this sound [Doboy] are Doboy, on which is a beacon light; Sapelo, on which is a lighthouse—and a beautiful one at that; and Wolf Island.

“Feb. 20, 1863—Took a tramp on Sapelo Island; While there, I mounted the lighthouse, ascending the steps, each one 12 inches high, and ere I reached the cupola I had to ascend a ladder 12 feet high. The cupola is about 14 feet high. 156 panes of glass form the lights of the said cupola, outside of which is an iron railing. The tower is built of brick, In short, it is a splendid affair. The carpenter killed a snake in the vicinity of the tower. Some call it a ‘calico snake,’ for it looks very much like a fancy calico pattern. I preserved said snake in alcohol and intend to take it North with me. 5p.m., the Wamsutta arrived in port, having been to Sapelo Sound...

“Febv 21. 1863—Took a tramp in the interior of Sapelo Island. After traveling six miles through swamps, briars, etc. we arrived at an old hut inhabited by 7 superannuated contrabands [former slaves] and one cripple-all as poor as Job’s turkey. From them I learned that a man by the name of Randolph Spalding used to live on this island and occupied the large mansion, which is built in the Corinthian style. He was in possession of 300 darkies ere the war, but they have been removed to the mainland....

‘Feby.27, 1863—Two contrabands all the way from Darien, Ga. Made their appearance today on board, having cut the Southern Confederacy....

“March 8 1863—Sand flies are as plenty as politicians up North; whether they are as dangerous or no I cannot tell.

‘March 9, 1863—My steward, R.D. Adams, is taking a stroll on Sapelo Island. The captain at my request granted him leave to do so . Adams is some what indisposed—cause, homesick. Poor d—l—he is tired of the service and wants to go home.. .The Wamsutta arrived this morning at 11 o’clock. At 2p:m. all hands to quarters for the purpose of target practice with our heavy guns. Some fine shots were fired. All passed along merrily...

‘March 16, 1863.Took a stroll on Sapelo Island.. The doctor and paymaster were on shore on a rabbit hunt and returned at 3p.m. with 27 rabbit—rather a good day’s hunt..

“March 17, 1861 At 2 a.m. Captain Moses and myself.. proceeded on board of the steamer Wamsutta. . .and started up the River Darien.. .5:30 a.m. we arrived opposite the deserted town of Darien (save for a few contrabands). Ere any of us landed, we first trained our port battery on said place, after which Executive Officer Bryant of the Wamsutta and Mr. Gibson of the Fenandina with 20 armed men landed and entered said town of Darien and found one man skedaddling like thunder. , , Six superannuated darkies, hogs thickens, cattle, and sheep, beside plenty of fine buildings, which were locked, was all that remained in the one-flourishing and striving town of Darien.. .We ascertained from some of the contrabands that a squad of men, Rebel pickets, were camped at the Ridge... and that some of them had been in town early in the morning hut took to their heels upon the approach of our gunboats..! The darkies appeared to have an unholy horror of us Yankees, supposing us to be vandals. Etc. I suppose the Rebs poisoned their minds against us... Not finding anything of any account, nor being bent on a plundering expedition, we left Darien as we found it, at 7 a.m.. I counted as many as 15 warehouses or stores on the river bank, all large buildings painted with a solution of lime, which we Yankees at home call whitewashing. Upon one is the name “Mitchell and Smith” painted in large black letters.. .4 or 5 large sawmills were on the river bank. The houses comprising the town were principally built of lumber, all painted white, and green shutters.. .Upon the door of the residence of the former consul of Mecklenburg,Carl Epping, was posted a notice, signed by said Carl Epping, consul,,, “warning all civil and military authorities from molesting said building, the wharves on the river of the Darien side,” etc. as they belonged to and were under his control. From the tenor of said notice I suppose that the said Carl Epping * must have been a man of some”pumpkins” in Darien. In short,! think that in times of peace Darien must have been a beautiful, flourishing, and striving town

“March 24, 1863.The Wamsutta went up the Ridge River for some lumber. Arrived at the Ridge. Subsequently, the party was attacked by Conftderate cavalry and it retreated back to the Wamsutta. The gunboat then stopped at the Palmetto Mills on Hird’s Island for lumber. The proprietor of said mill was Isaac M. Aiken~—at least he was on January l’~, 1860 as shown by ...Rules and Regulations.. .found.. posted up in what used to be his office ,,..,We obtained plenty of lumber, several gnndstones, chains, etc. Arrived on board the Femandina at 12 am., tired and weary.

March 26, 1863. Steward took a run on shore.. .The lighthouse lookout signalized a schooner in the offing sailing northward. He supposes it to have been the Hope returning from St. Simons Sound.. .Took a run on shore.

‘June 10, 1863... Large fire seen on the mainland. The Rebels are burning cotton, etc., for I have no doubt but what they have an idea of an expedition, etc.

“June 11. 1863. The Army boats Harriet A Weed, Sentinel, and John Adams arrived in Doboy Sound this morning.. The U.S. steamer Paul Jones arrived at 9a.m.. .The Army steamers then left for Darien, after which the Paul Jones brought up the rear The Army boats shelled the various mills, etc as they passed along.. We remained at quarters until 5:15 p.m....At 3p.m. the Army troops—i.e  Colonel Montgomery’s regiment of contrabands, set fire to Darien, and in a short time the whole place was one mass of flame. The sight was beautiful. Whether it was proper and pat to burn the place! know not, but I do know that the place was reduced to ashes. “The Harriet A. Weed managed to capture a schooner loaded with cotton which intended to run the blockade tonight. Thus the rose was nipped m the bud.. We are only sorry that an Army instead of a Navy vessel captured the prize. She is valued at $25,000 Colonel Montgomery landed his troops at Darien and captured about 20 contrabands, after which the place, as stated above, was set on fire.. We did not ascend the river all the way to Darien on account of our vessel, the Paul Jones, being too large a craft. Consequently, we have nothing to do with the burning of Darien, being merely spectators. “At 9 p.m. we made tracks for Doboy Sound again. The Army boats returned at 10 and 11 p.m. They succeeded in obtaining contrabands. furniture, cotton, etc.,etc. Darien, Georgia is amongst the things that was. Those beautiful mills, houses and stores are no more. All that remains of a once beautiful town is one mass of smouldering ruins—one of the effects of civil war...


Early Days on the Georgia Tidewater [pg.310]

by Buddy Sullivan 

NAVAL SURGEON—Blockading the South-1862-1866
Edited by Elinor Barnes and James A. Barnes


(Echoes April 1999) Capture of 23 old men in 1864
Living on the Georgia Tidewater— There is a Georgia Historical Marker, located on US 17,8.8 miles north of Darien, titled: CAPTURE OF 23 OLD MEN IN 1864. The following account of this incident is from Early Days on the Georgia Tidewater by Buddy Sullivan.

After the destruction of Darien in June 1863, the courthouse and a loosely-organized civil government of McIntosh County was relocated to Ebenezer Church north of Darien about eight and a half miles on the road to Sapelo Bridge. A controversial incident there on the night of August 3, 1864, perpetrated by Union naval forces, created almost as much furor among McIntosh Countians and their coastal neighbors as the burning of Darien by the Yankees the year before.

On the night of August 2-3, a Union naval force of 115 men landed at Sapelo Main (Baisden’s Bluff), marched overland several miles and made prisoners of 26 McIntosh County men who were holding a meeting at the church at Ebenezer. (Ebenezer was a branch of the Presbyterian Church at Darien at one time.) Union naval officers kept abreast of local developments by reading the Savannah newspapers, and it was through this source that they learned of the meeting of the McIntosh men. The men. most of whom were too old for front line service in the Confederate Army, were meeting to discuss the defense of the coast in light of increasing pressure from the offshore federal naval forces. The men, along with others captured at nearby Sapelo Bridge, were subsequently marched southward to Blue and Hall’s landing at the Ridge, transferred to Union warships and transported to Union prisons in the North.

Following is the report of Commander George M. Colvocoresses of the U.S. sloop of war Saratoga, regarding this incident.

"Doboy Sound, Ga. August 6, 1864. Sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of an expedition which left the Saratoga. on the evening of the 2d instant:

It was to surprise and capture the male inhabitants who had been ordered to meet at the court-house of McIntosh County, Ga., on the 3d day of August, for the purpose of forming themselves into a coast guard, which order I read in the Savannah Republican of the 27th of July, 1864... The expedition left the ship on Tuesday, August 2, 4:40 p.m. in seven boats, and reached the mainland shortly after 9 o’clock p.m. The night was very favorable to our design, there being no moon by which the enemy could discover our movements as we approached the landing. As soon as the expedition was landed [at Baisden’s Bluff], I sent all the boats back to the ship, with an order to the executive officer to let them meet me the next day at the landing called the Ridge, some 7 miles distant from the first landing but nearer to the ship.. .we began our march. We did not meet with any persons or see any house until 12 o’clock.. When the signal for attacking was made we immediately charged at a double quick and completely surrounded the meeting, and all who composed it were captured except 3, who succeeded in making their escape. .1 gave the order.. .for the expedition to again form into line and placing the prisoners in the center, we started to return.. The expedition arrived safely at the Ridge at sunset, but as my order in regard to the boats had been misunderstood we did not reach the ship until about noon next day. The following is a summary of what the expedition accomplished: We took 26 prisoners, 22 horses and buggies, destroyed 2 bridges, and burned a large encampment which the enemy greatly needed for the protection of his forces, and we did this in broad daylight and 15 miles from our boats without losing a single life or meeting with any unpleasant accident..."

Commander Colvocoresses furnished Rear Admiral Dahigren with the following list of the McIntosh County men he captured in the raid:

Joseph S. Durant, 33. planter and tax collector for McIntosh County
William Summerline, 57, planter.
Converse Parkhurst, 51, merchant.
William Donnelly, 53, farmer & coroner McIntosh Co.
William Nelson. 51, farmer.
Charles Trezevant, 50, farmer.
William Townsend, 58, farmer.
William J. Cannon, 60, fanner and salt maker.
William Thorpe, 46, farmer and justice of the peace for McIntosh County.
James R. Webber, 55, sawyer and farmer.
C. Bennett, 51, shoemaker.
George Young, 51, farmer and wheelwright.
Macgregor Blount, 52, farmer.
William Sallet, 58, planter.
William D. Rowe, 52, farmer
James D. McDonald, 50, farmer and saltmaker
B. LeSeur, 32, saltmaker at South Newport
Samuel R. J. Thorpe, 40, farmer
John Hendrickson, 51
George Johnston. 16
Daniel Lane, 16
Obed S. Davis, 20
John Chapman, 55, planter.
Isham L Johnston, 36, planter and justice of inferior court, McIntosh


(Echoes June 1999) McIntosh County Academy
Living on the Georgia Tidewater—The following are excerpts from a book: McIntosh County Academy, McIntosh County, Georgia—Minutes of the Commissioners 1820-1875--Account Book of Students 1821-1834--Edited by Virginia Steele Wood, 1973.

. People generally assume that public schools, providing free education for everyone, have always existed. During the greater part of the 19th century, education in Georgia was very much a local affair, with its quality dependent on the initiative and enthusiasm of local support. McIntosh County Academy was typical of the locally sponsored efforts during this period.

On 1 July 1783, the general assembly of Georgia enacted legislation to promote county academies. In 1784 commissioners of academies were empowered to sell confiscated property. An academy was managed by a board of commissioners or trustees who obtained a charter, corporate power and who promoted interest in education in their community. Buildings varied in design. Children usually boarded with some family in the town or in a school boarding house. Many of the teachers were from New England. The most frequently taught subjects included Latin, English grammar, arithmetic, Greek, writing, geography, reading and French. In addition to these traditional subjects, higher mathematics, surveying, rhetoric and social sciences were gradually added to the curriculum. Chemistry, natural philosophy, astronomy and other science courses were offered in the 1830’s.

McIntosh County Academy was chartered in 1794, one year after creation of the county itself. Apparently the academy at Baisdens Bluff was established prior to 1815, for in 1825 it was recorded that.. ."the academy of this county has been established at Baisden's Bluff more than ten years, and during that period the best exertions of the commissioners have failed to keep it in operation more than half of that time." On 2 July 1820, all Academy records were lost in a fire at the store of their secretary, and that fall the commissioners were hard pressed to ascertain the balance due the Academy for sale and interest of land lots. Nevertheless in December certain alterations were planned for the Academy at Baisdens Bluff. In addition, the ambitious undertaking of establishing four branches of the Academy in various parts of the county for poor children was resolved by the Commissioners, with the Darien branch located at the Masonic Hall. These free schools were suspended in January 1822. At the end of January 1831, the Commissioners announced that two children attached to the Female Asylum (Presbyterian) in Darien could receive instruction at the Academy free of charge.

Under Matthew Lindon, principal, the Academy at Baisdens Bluff appears to have prospered during the period 1822-1823. The building, a two story structure, measured thirty by sixty feet. A large classroom on the first floor, with twelve foot ceilings, also served as a place of worship on Sunday. The second floor, with nine foot ceilings, had eleven "lodging rooms." A chimney with four fire places on the south side had been added in 1820-21, along with a school room for boys.

Disaster struck in July 1823, when heavy rains undermined the bluff on which the Academy was situated. Nearly one third of the lot was washed away and the building itself fell into a ravine. Matthew Lindon died as the result of exposure while trying to save the school. School was resumed in January 1824 and on September 14-15, coastal Georgians experienced a disastrous hurricane The "tabby" building at Baisdens Bluff, which had been used for a school was abandoned as unfit and unsafe. A new site was chosen two miles from Darien, and the commissioners were again faced with collecting all money due and paying all demands against the Academy.

The next decade was one of upheaval for the Commissioners. In January 1831 a proposal was made and accepted to build a boarding house, complete with kitchen, for the Academy. That same month, the Commissioners were faced with misconduct of their principal. Censored for visiting billiard tables, his action was considered "entirely incompatible with the character and conduct which aught to distinguish an Instructor of Youth." Although reprimanded and fined for intoxication, the principal was evidently considered valuable for his connection with the institution was not severed until three years later.

In November 1836, Commissioners reported that "in consequence of the damaged state of the Academy funds" school would be suspended on the first of February. By December the picture had changed, and a new principal was engaged on condition that he accept all tuition money as payment. His resignation before the end of term in 1838 was viewed by the board as a violation of their agreement and they considered it "inexpedient" to purchase his chemical apparatus. In August the Commissioners with drew their charge against their former principal and set about finding a new headmaster. At this same time they were faced with the possible prosecution of a teacher who had married without obtaining a proper license. Although the Board of Commissioners was legally entitled to a five hundred dollar fine, they dropped their case. The ceremony had been performed by the Presbyterian minister in Darien, a former Commissioner of the Academy.

The last meeting of the Commissioners, prior to the Civil War, was recorded in January 1861.


(Echoes January 2000)– Robert Austin Young, Jr.
Living on the Georgia Tidewater— Robert Austin Young, Jr. (1900—1988) and Armanda Lloyd Harrison (1907—1982 ) were the parents of Lloyd Young Flanders of Darien and Meredith Young Rogers of Statesboro. Robert was descended from several generations which were born and reared in McIntosh County. Lloyd Flanders has written the following sketch of her father. She quotes some of his words as given to his grandson Robby Flanders in 1981 for Ebbtide Magazine

Robert A. Young , Jr. was born in Darien on February 25, 1900. He was the third child of Austin and Rosalie Gardner Young. His elder brother was named for their maternal grandfather, Warren Gardner and his sister was Edna Rosalie, two years older. Rosa Young died in childbirth, when Robert was less than two years old. Austin Young arranged for housekeepers to care for his home. They lived for a time in Darien near the Presbyterian Church and at Ashantilly in the "Old Tabby". Robert always said Ashantilly was where he first remembered himself He learned to swim at a early age because Captain Dolbo took him out into the creek holding him on his back. Austin remarried in 1906, to Ruth Middleton. They had two daughters, Edith and Winnie.

Ebbtide-- "We had a pretty good little timber shipping business here from 1900 up until 1912 or ‘15. I remember as a boy seeing sailing ships come up into Darien. I remember four-masted schooners come into Darien, and down at Lower Bluff where the museum is now. Lower Bluff originally was the Fort there and that was originally the first mainland you hit. Later Pico Cut was cut and this river started to fill up. But I remember, as a small boy, a four-masted schooner could turn around because the river was large enough."

Robert Young attended Darien Public Schools and then followed his brother Warren to Georgia Tech. It was 1918, WWI, and Robert enlisted in the Navy. When the Armistice was signed, there was a big Parade in Atlanta. Austin Young became ill and Robert came home to help his father. Austin owned the Meat Market on Broad Street across from the Adam Strain building. The cattle, which supplied the market were kept on the islands. Austin owned Egg Island, which was one of the islands used to raise cattle. Austin was Tax Receiver for McIntosh Co. from 1893 through 1928. In 1930 he became Darien’s first elected Mayor. Austin Young (1866--1967) lived 101 years.

In 1920, Robert went to work with the highway department constructing Highway 17. He was timekeeper and assistant paymaster.

Ebbtide—: "I worked one month and I got off every Saturday and ran my father’s meat market. And the boss told me , "Young, we’ll have to let you go unless you can work on Saturdays." I said, "Well let me go. That’ll be all right." So he let me go and at the end of the first month he came back to me and said, "Young, if you’ll come back, we’ll let you off Saturdays." So I stayed and completed the job." The highway opened on June 15, 1921.

In 1927 a law was passed consolidating the offices of Tax Receiver and Tax Collector, making a full time job of Tax Commissioner. Robert Young was the first elected Tax Commissioner of McIntosh County. By re-election he served the people for 36 years, from 1928 until his retirement in 1965. He was always accessible in his office and was proud that he had advocated and helped in the passage of the Homestead Exemption Law, which reduced taxes for most of the people of McIntosh County.

Robert owned and operated Young Oil Co., the Gulf Oil Distributorship, from 1946 to 1974. He was an active member of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, having served in many capacities. He donated the land for the expansion of St. Andrew’s Cemetery.

Robert Young was adjutant of the Unknown Soldier American Legion Post #137 during most of WWII years. He donated the land for Live Oak Lodge # 137 F.&A.M. and was a continuous member of that Lodge from 1924 until his death on January 14, 1988.

Robert Young was well know and respected for his wealth of knowledge of local families —their ties and their properties. He was a rich source of information about McIntosh County and its history and was generous in sharing this information with other people.


(Echoes April 2000) John McIntosh Kell
Living on the Georgia Tidewater — John McIntosh Kell (1823 — I 900) was McIntosh County’s most celebrated participant in the Civil War, and one of the most distinguished officers of the Confederate Navy. Below are excerpts from Early Days on the Georgia Tidewater by Buddy Sullivan.

Born, January 23, 1823 at Laurel Grove plantation near Darien, Kell was a descendant of the founding Scottish Highlanders, being the son of John and Margery Spalding Baillie Kell. John McIntosh Kell’s closest friend was his cousin, Randolph Spalding.

In 1841, Kell received an appointment as a midshipman in the United States Navy and , by 1855, had advanced to the rank of lieutenant. His 20-year career in the U.S. Navy was one of distinction, highlighted by his participation in Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s expedition which opened Japan to American trade in 1853, and the Paraguay expedition of 1858. On Perry’s voyage to the Far East, Kell served as Master of the steam flagship Mississippi.

In 1856, John McIntosh Kell married Julia Blanche Munroe. He returned with his bride to McIntosh County that year and was entertained by Randolph Spalding at South End House on Sapelo Island.

Kell resigned from the United States service on the day Georgia seceded from the Union in January 1861. His younger brother Alexander Baillie Kell (1828 — 1912) also served the Confederate cause by joining a local cavalry unit as a lieutenant. John M. Kell served briefly in the tiny Georgia navy under Commodore Josiah Tatnall at Savannah until April 1861, after which he received orders to report to Commander Raphael Semmes, CSN, at New Orleans. Kell biographer Norman C. Delaney notes that Semmes "personally selected Kell to be his Executive Officer aboard the Sumter," one of the first Southern commerce raiders.

Sumter was decommissioned in 1862 after which Kell joined Semmes, again as second-in-command, of the new Confederate raider Alabama which had been secretly built and fitted out at Liverpool, England. Kell provided outstanding service aboard Alabama, and Semmes and other Confederate officers praised Kell for his efficiency in managing the ship and its crew of mostly English sailors.

After the Alabama sank USS Hatteras in a gun-duel off Galveston, Kell was promoted to Commander. Alabama went on to become by far the most successful of all Confederate commerce raiders, accounting for sixty-five Union vessels captured or sunk in less than two years.

His ship worn and in need of repair, and his crew tired and battle-weary from the constant attrition of time spent on the high seas, Semmes brought his ship into the French port of Cherbourg on the English Channel where the U.S. steam sloop Kearsarge finally caught up with him.

Although the two ships were almost evenly-matched, Alabama with eight guns to Kearsarge‘s seven, the Yankee vessel had the heavier armament, including two 11-inchers. In addition, Kearsarge‘s guns would be better served: she was a fresh ship with a crew at peak efficiency. Semmes would have been wise to seek accommodation with the French as long as possible and remain in port at Cherbourg. Nonetheless, he accepted the challenge of Winslow of the Kearsarge, and steamed to the outer harbor to do battle.

For just over an hour the two wooden steam warships maneuvered in concentric circles about 900 yards apart, firing broadsides at each other. The marksmanship of the Kearsarge, as expected, proved to be the most effective, and the Northern vessel began landing shots with telling effect on Alabama. The Confederate raider, holed several times below the waterline, sank, and Kell, Semmes and other survivors were plucked out of the water by a nearby English yacht and transported to England — much to the disappointment of Winslow who was hoping to capture Semmes and Kell and take them to the United States to stand trial for what many Northerners were convinced was piracy on the high seas.

After the war, Kell retired to a life of farming at his Sunnyside, Georgia home in Spalding County near Griffin. In 1886, he was appointed Adjutant-General of Georgia by Governor John B. Gordon, an event which focused new attention on Kell as a Confederate naval hero.

The final years of Kell’s life were greatly satisfying for him. His work in the state capital in Atlanta kept him active. The Kells also spent a great deal of time, in the 1870’s, with the well-known poet and flutist, Sidney Lanier, who was a close friend. Lanier , before his death in 1881, played his flute and read poetry on numerous occasions in the parlor of the Kells’ home at Sunnyside.

In his memoirs, published just before his death in 1900, Kell described the satisfaction of a man who has reached the end of a productive and fulfilling life:.

"I have reached three score years and ten. My life has been long, happy and eventful. Of course it has been checked with the grief and sorrows that fall to the lot of all, but nearing the sunset of my days, beyond which are the ‘hills of light,’ I can look backward into the past of holy memories without regret, and hopefully into the future, my lifeboat gliding on, no anchor dragging, Christ’s love at the helm, and God aloft."


(Echoes October 2000) – St. Catherines Island
Living on the Georgia Tidewater – Kelly Spratt, LAHS member and wife of Jeff Spratt who will present our November program , has contributed the following article for the Altamaha Echoes. Kelly worked with her husband Jeff on St. Catherines Island prior to the birth of their daughter Hannah. Through the years, those person’s living on St. Catherines Island , Georgia have truly experienced the magic of "Living on the Georgia Tidewater".

St. Catherines Island is a 14,000 — acre barrier island located approximately 4 miles east of Liberty County, Georgia. Like her sister islands, St. Catherine’s was formed as a dune ridge along a former beach shoreline some 40,000 to 25, 000 years ago. When the Ice Age glaciers began to melt and sea levels rose, the island chain we know of a the Golden Isles began to form. Sometime before 2500 B. C., the Guale Indians arrived on St. Catherines Island. Over the next 4,000 years, the Guale lived in various camps and settlements throughout the Island. In the late 1560’s a group of Jesuit missionaries were sent north from the newly established Spanish colony of St. Augustine to determine the feasibility of building a network of missions along the coast. Soon after, Franciscan monks established the Mission Santa Catalina de Guale on St. Catherines Island. In 1597, a Guale Indian rebellion took place and spread along the coast. Two Spanish priests were killed at Santa Catalina and the Mission was burned to the ground. By 1605, the Mission was rebuilt and remained until 1680 when English forces from Charles Town laid siege to Santa Catalina. The Spanish were able to withstand the attack, but abandoned the Mission shortly thereafter. For the next 300 years, the location of the Mission was a mystery.

In 1748, the Creek Indian Mary Musgrove, who had served as an interpreter for General Oglethorpe, came to live on St. Catherines with her husband, the Reverend Thomas Bosomworth. This notorious couple lived there until their deaths and are buried somewhere on the Island. In 1765, Button Gwinnett purchased the Island. St. Catherines remained his primary home until his death due to wounds incurred during a duel with General Lachlan McIntosh in 1777. The house built on the Island by Gwinnett still stands today. During the antebellum period, the Island passed through a number of ownerships, eventually falling into the hands of Mr. Jacob Waldburg. Waldburg operated a thriving cotton plantation and built a cotton gin, the remains of which still stand on the north end of St. Catherines. During the Civil War, Waldburg abandoned the Island and many of the black slaves that lived there. The end of the War brought the charismatic and visionary Tunis Campbell to St. Catherines Island. Believing himself to be the appointed governor of the region, Campbell composed a constitution, a Senate and a House of Representatives to rule the freed slaves that occupied the area. His headquarters for the "government" was the Gwinnett House on St. Catherines. He also established two schools on the Island. Eventually, federal troops were sent down to remove Campbell and his kingdom fell apart.

During the Reconstruction Period, the Island again passed through several hands, while a population of slave descendants continued to live and farm there. In 1876, Jacob Rauers of Savannah bought the Island and established an elite private game preserve. By the end of WWI an oyster business was established on the south end of the Island by a Rauers descendent, Captain Umbler. This operation supplied oysters up and down the east coast. A store was built and a church established, which was largely attended by blacks from neighboring islands. In 1929, the Rauers family sold the Island to three investors from New York: Coffin, Wilson and Keys. Their intent was to build an exclusive vacation resort. The country was fast approaching economic crisis, however, and their dreams were never realized. The threesome was forced to sell the Island back to the Rauers family. The Island played a defensive role during WWII as army guards were stationed at points throughout the Island as lookouts for enemy submarines.

In 1943, Edward John Noble, a businessman from New York, purchased the Island from the Rauers family and began a cattle business there. Noble died in 1958, but the Island remained in his estate under control of the E.J. Noble Foundation. Noble’s daughter, June Larkin, along with her husband Frank Larkin, founded the St. Catherines Island Foundation, which operates the Island today. In 1974, the St. Catherines Island Foundation entered into an agreement with the New York Zoological Society to establish a breeding center for rare and endangered species. This Wildlife Survival Center remains in operation today with over 40 different species of birds, mammals and reptiles in its collection. The Center specializes in the reintroduction of endangered species back to their native habitats all over the world. In addition, the Foundation supports a large archeological project on the Island through the American Museum of Natural History. In 1980, Dr. David Hurst Thomas rediscovered the lost Spanish Mission site on the Island. Examination and interpretation of the site and its artifacts continue to this day. The S.C.I.F. continues to support a variety of scientific research and conservation efforts on the St. Catherines Island, a truly unique place.


(Echoes Jan 2001) "So Sings The Mighty River" Chapter 1
Bessie Lewis was editor of the weekly newspaper in McIntosh County in the 1940’s. She wrote a popular feature column called "So Sings the Mighty River". Below are some excerpts from her columns in THE DARIEN GAZETTE COMBINED WITH McINTOSH COUNTY NEWS.

"So Sings The Mighty River" BY BESSIE LEWIS

All through the centuries the mighty Altamaha has been singing — the words of its song are the story of the people who live in its basin, the music an ageless melody, changing in rhythm and tone with the shifting seasons and times.

The song of the Altamaha has been heard around the world, it’s music has drawn to the shores of the great stream people from near and far—the river has sung of romance and riches, the rise and fall of cities and fabulous enterprises—and it will continue to sing until the end of time.

No one will ever know all the words and music of the song of the Altamaha, parts of it have been buried forever in the years that are past—because they were unrecorded. "So Sings the Mighty River" is the score of the Altamaha insofar as I have been able to find it—it is written in the hope that it may preserve that score for those who may be interested and dedicated to the men who since the beginning of time have been lured by the song of the mighty river to follow its fortune.


The scene is Darien, the time a moonlit night in spring of the year 1874. Eight vessels are in port, loading with lumber from the mills and logs from the rafts in the river.

Negroes are loading the vessels, strong arms lifting, backs bending and rising to the rhythms of a river chantey:

Above the bluff and through the town, and out over the marshes the deep haunting tones of the melody filled the night, while the rhythm lifted the great timbers and lumber into vessels destined for northern and foreign ports.

Eight vessels in port— three barks, the Margararetta, the Saga, the Tegner; three schooners, the Stephen Burnett, the Sm. G. Mosely, and the Helen A. Bowen; one brig. The Der Prommer, and a ship the Melicite.

Those vessels meant a great deal more to Darien and other places in the basin of the Altamaha than the business involved— the checking and loading, the sale of the timber and lumber and of the supplies to the ships and all the other financial transactions which revolved about them— they were a symbol of the courage and ingenuity of men, with the resources of the Altamaha.
Only nine years before, at the close of the War Between the States, Darien had been an ash strewn waste, with only its blackened chimneys rising to tell of the busy little city it once had been. Nine years of toil and struggle, against obstacles and through trials that seem almost unbelievable when we read and hear of them today, and in 1874 Darien was again on the way to becoming a prosperous business city and port. A glance through the pages of the Darien Timber Gazette for almost any week during the summer of 1874 shows the general stores of A.&R. Strain and of Atwood and Avery advertising almost every item necessary for human comfort at the time, from china dishes to ship chandlery. O. Hopkins and D. B. Wing were timber inspectors; Wm. M. Young was the city watchmaker and Wm. Shenck made boots and shoes; Chas. 0. Fulton advertised a MI line of the best meats at his market and WA. Burney was a plasterer and bricklayer.

Of bar rooms, both as to number an character, there are still many tall tails, but one at least is on record—the Altamaha House operated by Mike Mahoney, who advertised.

AT. Putnam ran the livery stable and sold Black Sumatra Chickens on the side.

Down by the river front the Magnolia House, operated by A. E. Carr, was a favorite stopping place for travelers who came to Darien . A page of its "arrivals" for a day in 1874 is interesting. They were: Col. S. Spencer, Ridge; E. A. St. Clair, Doboy Island; Charles Belsighner, Cincinnati, Ohio; Thomas Spalding, (I. J.), Sapelo Island; Wm. Almo, Str. Ajax; Capt. John L. Day, Str. Clyde; H. E. Daniels, mate, E. E. Dorband, 1st Engineer, Thomas Bowher, 2nd Engineer, officer Str. Clyde; Burr Winton, Brunswick; P. T. Donnelson, Jacksonville, Florida; M. L. Mershon, Brunswick; James Roache, Savannah; Captain Thomas White, Str. Ajax; Milledge Carvell, New York; P. C. Brown, City; J. J. Robertson, Appling County; Joseph Tillman, Appling County; M. Danforth Macon; B. P. Mosely, City; Wm. C. Clark and wife, Ridge.

[Str. = Steamer]


(Echoes April 2001) – William Bartram
Living on the Georgia Tidewater – William Bartram was born in Philadelphia in 1739, Bartram and American Natural Science came of age together. At age 34 he set out on a pioneering botanical survey of the South. Four years later he returned home to paint his discoveries and write his epic "Travels ". By his late sixties he was teemed the grand old man of nature study in America. Today his book Travels is considered a classic in the literature of exploration. Though written in antique prose and peppered with Latin plant names, the book remains favorite with nature-loving, history-conscious people.

Below are some excerpts from Travels about Broughton Island and The Altamaha River: --------

Having completed my Horn’s Siccus, and made up my collection of seeds and growing roots, the fruits of my late western tour, and sent them to Charleston, to be forwarded to Europe, I spent the remaining part of this season in botanical excursions to the low countries, between Carolina and East Florida, and collected seeds, roots and specimens, making drawings of such curious subjects as could not be preserved in their native state of excellence.

During this recess from the high road of my travels, having obtained the use of a neat light cypress canoe, at Broughton land, a plantation, the property of the Hon. Henry Laurens, esq. I stored myself with necessaries for the voyage, and resolved on a trip up to Alatamaha.

I ascended this beautiful river, on whose fruitful banks the generous and true sons of liberty securely dwell, fifty miles above the white settlements.

How gently flow thy peaceful floods, 0 Alatarnaha! How sublimely rise to view, on thy elevated shores, you magnolian groves, from whose tops the surrounding expanse is perfumed, clouds of incense, blended with the exhaling balm of the liquidambar, and odours continually arising from circurnambient aromatic groves of illicium, myrica, larus and bignonia

My barque being securely moored, and having reconnoitred the surrounding groves, and collected fire-wood, I spread my skins and blanket by my cheerful fire, under the protecting shade the hospitable Live Oak, and reclined my head on my hard but healthy couch. I listened, undisturbed, to the divine hymns of the feathered songsters of the groves, whilst the softly whispering breezes faintly died away.

The sun now below the western horizon, the moon majestically sing in the east; again the tuneful birds became inspired: how melodious is the social mock-bird! the groves resound the unceasing cries of the whip-poor-will; the moon about an hour above the horizon; lo! a dark eclipse’ of her glorious brightness me slowly on; at length, a sliver thread alone encircled her temples at this boding change, an universal silence prevailed.---

But, before I leave the river Alatamaha, we will proceed to give a farther and more particular account of it. It has its source the Cherokee mountains near the head of Tugilo , the great west branch of Savanna, and, before it leaves them, is joined and augmented by innumerable rivulets; thence it descends through the hilly country, with all its collateral branches, and winds rapidly amongst the hills two hundred and fifty miles, and then enters the flat plain country, by the name of the Oakmulge; thence meandering an hundred and fifty miles, it is joined on the east side by the Ocone , which likewise heads in the lower ridges of the mountains. After this confluence, having now gained a vast acquisition of waters, it assumes the name of Alatamaha, when it becomes a large majestic river, flowing with gentle windings through a vast plain forest, near an hundred miles, enters the Atlantic by several mouths. The north channel, or entrance, glides by the heights of Darien, on the east bank, about ten miles above the bar, and running from thence with several turnings, enters the ocean between Sapello and Wolf islands. The south channel, which is esteemed the largest and deepest, after its separation from the north, descends gently, winding by McIntosh’s and Broughton islands; and lastly, by the west coast of St. Simon’s Island, enters the ocean, through St. Simon’s sound, between the south end of the island of the name and the north end of Jekyl island. On the west banks of the south channel, ten or twelve miles above its mouth, and nearly opposite Darien, are to be seen the remains of an ancient fort, or fortification; it is now a regular tetragon terrace, about four feet high. and bastions at each angle; the area may contain about an acre of ground, but the fosse which surrounded it is nearly filled up. There are large Live Oak, Pines, and other trees, growing upon it, and in the old fields adjoining. It is supposed to have been the work of the French or Spaniards. A large swamp line betwixt it and the river, and a considerable creek runs close by the works, and enters of the river through the swamp, a small distance above Broughton island. About seventy or eighty miles above the confluence of the Oakmulge and Ocone, the trading path, from Augusta to the Creek nation, crosses these fine rivers, which are there forty miles apart. On the east banks of the Oakmulge, this trading road runs nearly two miles through ancient Indian fields, which are called the Oakmulge fields; they are the rich low lands of the river. On the heights of those low grounds are yet visible monuments, or traces, of an ancient town, such as artificial mounts or terraces, squares and banks, encircling considerable areas. Their old fields and planting land extend up and down the river, fifteen or twenty miles from this site.

After a few days I returned to Broughton island. The Cherokees and their confederates being yet discontented, and on bad terms with the white people, it was unsafe to pursue my travels in the north western regions of Carolina. And recollecting many subjects of natural history, which I had observed in the south of the isthmus of Florida, when on a journey some years ago with my father, John Bartram, that were interesting, and not taken notice of by any traveller; and as it was then in the autumn and winter, having reason to think that very many curious subjects had escaped our researchers; I now formed the resolution of travelling into East Florida; accordingly, I immediately wrote to doctor Fothergill, in order that he might know where to direct to me.


(Echoes June 2001) Burning of Darien
Living on the Georgia Tidewater — The burning of Darien in 1863 is told in detail in many books. Below are excerpts from THEY CALLED THEIR TOWN DARIEN by Bessie Lewis and DARIEN, The Death and Rebirth of a Southern Town by Spencer B. King, Jr.

Came the 11th of June, 1863 — Darien lay still in the summer sun. No human being walked the oak-shaded streets. The few women, children and very old men who lived in the town had fled to The Ridge a few days before. There was an unearthly quiet in the town, the quiet of empty houses , of silence where there should be voices. The great mills at Lower Bluff and at Cat Head were still, the wharves were deserted, churches, schools and all business houses were closed.

Some time before noon, Captain John Lane, commanding a twenty-man detachment of cavalry which patrolled the coast and was the county’s only protection, sighted a gunboat and two steamers entering Doboy sound. He watched them from a thicket near The Ridge. The vessels moved rapidly, headed south until they reached the Altamaha and turned toward Darien.

The fleet was under the command of Col. S. C. Montgomery the Kansas Jayhawker, who brigade was stationed on St. Simons. Early that morning they had embarked "to present his compliments to the rebels of Georgia."

His force comprised five companies of the Second South Carolina, eight companies of the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts, Colonel Shaw, all Negro except the officers, and the Third Rhode Island battery, Captain Brayton. The gunboat John Adams, Captain Smith, and the transports Sentinel and Harriet Weed constituted the fleet.

As they steamed up the river, the John Adams threw a constant stream of shot and shell into the woods, along the shore and into the town as they came abreast of it. The Sentinel and the Harriet A. Weed eased up to the wharf, Colonel Montgomery gave the order to disembark and form a line of battle in the public square. Pickets were sent out to the edge of town, and the command was given to search it, take to the boats everything of value, then fire it. Colonel Shaw strongly objected to these orders, but to have refused to obey would have rendered him liable to court martial. In a matter of minutes every house was broken into. Fire had already begun — started by a shell thrown before the troops landed — and a high wind drove the flames down Broad Street.

An officer of the 54th Massachusetts later wrote of the scene: "Soon the men began to come in ... loaded with all sorts of furniture, stores, trinkets, etc We had sofas, tables, pianos, chairs, mirrors, carpets, beds, bedsteads, carpenters’ tools, coopers’ tools, books, law-books, account books in unlimited supply ..." An immense pile of lumber that lay on the wharf was loaded on the boats. Droves of sheep and cows were driven in and put on board. Others were shot in the streets.

The stores along the river front were fired last, then the troops hurried on board the ships — not a minute too soon, as the town was a sheet of flame, and heat at the water front was so bad the soldiers had to stay on the opposite sides of the ships. The rosin took fire, and as night came up a terrible thunder storm added to the fury of the blaze, the town was an inferno.

A traveler passing through later that summer wrote to a friend, "Darien is now one plain of ashes and blackened chimneys."


On the day after the burning of Darien Robert Shaw wrote to his mother telling her about the expedition which ended in the destruction of the undefended little town. The letter expressed not only his abhorrence of the deed but also his denial of responsibility for it. But even as he condemned his fellow officer, one senses , as he reads between the lines, a bothered conscience. The letter was more than a protest expressed in the privacy of correspondence with his mother, it was a confession of his inner thoughts.. Deep within himself he shared the shame of it. However, he did not go so far as to take on himself any blame for obeying General Hunter’s orders. Nevertheless, his humanitarian spirit which had shown so much concern for enslaved black men now rebelled against the inhumane treatment to which their masters were subjected.


Five Years after the war ended and seven years after her son’s death, Sarah Shaw sat one day in her North Shore home near the boat landing at Sailor’s Snug Harbor in the town of New Brighton on Staten Island. She was reading the New York World. In it was a plea for financial assistance to help the people of St. Andrew’s parish at Darien to restore their house of worship. It was signed by the Reverend Robert F. Clute, and his senior warden, William Robert Gignilliat. Sarah had followed intensely through her son’s letters the events of that June day seven years before when the church had gone up in flames in the destruction of Darien. And after Robert died at Fort Wagner she had kept and treasured his letters. They were tangible bits to give more substance to memory.

As she scanned the World, suddenly a sentence stood out vividly upon the page: "On June 11, 1863, without an engagement, the town of Darien, Georgia, was taken and burned by the United States Colored Troops, Colonel Shaw, Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Regiment, commanding."


Mrs. Shaw went hastily to her desk to write the editor of Harper ‘s Weekly asking him to aid her in correcting what she knew to be a grievous error. --------------

Setting the record straight in Harper s Weekly was one thing, but Sarah could not be satisfied until she had won the Darien people over to her side and proved to them that Robert should not be condemned ------


Thanks to Mrs. Shaw’s efforts, a total of fourteen hundred dollars was received in response to St. Andrew’s call for help. The Reverend Clute and his forty-four parishioners went to work immediately to build a modest little chapel on the Ridge. The building was completed and ready for consecration by May 1871. When first built it was a plain, square room, and the windows were of plain glass. Later, a porch was added, stained-glass windows put in, and the east end of the building made semicircular to provide for an enlarged chancel.

Within a year after the chapel on the Ridge was consecrated the congregation of St. Andrew’s began to make plans for a new sanctuary in Darien.

►► (Echoes October 2001) William G.(Bill) Haynes, Jr.
Living on the Georgia Tidewater — William G.(Bill) Haynes, Jr. August 10, 1908 — August 24, 2001

William G. Haynes, and Norman Edwards, at the urging of Hans Newhauser organized The Lower Altamaha Historical Society in 1979.

Genevieve Wynegar wrote the following tribute, which was published as the lead editorial in the August 30 ,Darien News.

The Loss of a Friend

An elderly man passed away last week in a small town in Georgia. Not a very newsworthy item in most towns or in most newspapers in America, but the town is our own town of Darien, and the man in question was William G. (Bill) Haynes, Jr. The news of his passing last Friday morning is still sending ripples to all parts of the world as his friends and fans learn of the loss of their dear friend.

Bill Haynes was so much more than the elderly, infirm, profoundly deaf man of his later years. Yes, his deafness isolated him from so much of the world later in life, and to a large extent, he retreated into his much-loved books and papers. But he was first, last, and always — an artist. His art manifested itself in several forms, but primarily in painting and printing.

He spent his life as a conservationist and preservationist of coastal Georgia, its wildlife and history, and was an early member of many of the organizations that today are established guardians of that preservation of Georgia’s scenery and history.

Bill Haynes loved more than coastal Georgia, and his world encompassed more than just our corner of the world. Bill traveled across the globe during World War II and immediately thereafter, and was stationed in New Guinea for several years during the -war.

His artistic bent took him to New York City, where he also honed his familially- inherited love of books working for many years in the New York City Public Library to support his art school classes. It was there that he met his beloved wife, Natalie, and discovered the fine art of hand-set typography.

in 1954, he came home to Darien for good, with Natalie , and spent many years designing and implementing improvements for Ashantilly, together with his sisters Frances and Anne Lee, and his wife. He founded the renowned Ashantilly Press in 1955.

Although Bill Haynes outlived all of his immediate family and most of his close friends, he made new friends everywhere he went, including many in recent months as he took up residence at Sears Manor Nursing Home in Brunswick. His friends, including board members of The Ashantilly Center, Inc., brought him home to Darien as often as possible to visit his home at Ashantilly and to see his many friends. His last visit home was for his birthday on August 10, when he was surprised on his 93rd birthday with a party held at The Darien Restaurant, where he ate lunch every day for so many years. He was obviously delighted to once again be in the company of a group of dear friends.

For most of his life, Haynes was an active member of Darien Presbyterian Church. Until 1995, he hand-printed and hand-typeset the weekly church bulletins, utilizing his stock of beautifully carved wooden type and his trusty hand press. Bill personally rang the church bell 11 times at 11 a.m. every Sunday morning to signal the start of the church service. He thoroughly enjoyed this duty, which he performed until the day he entered the nursing home after a fall at his home in 2000.

On Wednesday afternoon, August 29, at 2 p.m., the bell Bill Haynes so loved will be tolling once again, in his memory, to signal the beginning of his memorial service at that church. While all of Darien and McIntosh County mourns the passing of a friend, we will also celebrate the special achievements of a lifetime.

So long, dear friend.


(Echoes January 2002) Founding of Darien
Living on the Georgia Tidewater – In 1997, the University of Georgia Press, published Dr. Tony parker’s book, Scottish Highlanders in Colonial Georgia — The Recruitment, Emigration, and Settlement at Darien, 1735 — 1748. The following are excerpts from this book. Dr. Parker will be autographing his book luring the Scottish Heritage Days.

The Founding of Darien

The morning of 10 January 1736 launched a day filled with excitement, anticipation, and, no doubt, some trepidations for the newly arriving immigrants from the Highlands of Scotland. On board ship was a mixture I people preparing to make a new start in a new world: ardent Jacobites and strong supporters of the Hanoverian government, Episcopalian and Presbyterians,- a mariner, a surgeon, three tailors, one joiner, one weaver, four men listed as gentlemen, twenty-five farmers, seventy men named as servants or laborers, a minister, and the complement of women and children that made up the families of this settlement on the British southern frontier in America. As Savannah came into view, the Prince of Wales, commanded by Captain George Dunbar, sailed into the harbor at Tybee Roads on the coast of the colony of Georgia, after nearly three months on the wintry Atlantic. As ordered, Lieutenant Hugh Mackay immediately set about sending the immigrants to Barnwell’s Bluff on the Altamaha River, which was to become their new home. Mackay left first with a detachment of the men in the periaguas to take possession of the site and erect a shelter for the rest of the families, who were to follow later.

The little flotilla sailed down the coast of Georgia and in less than a week reached the mouth of the Altamaha River. They then traveled through the low marshy islands that divided the broad river into narrow channels until the group landed at the foot of the first high ground. This had been the site of Fort King George, Britain’s first attempt to defend the southernmost frontier of her continental colonies. It had been abandoned in 1727. Within a mile and half of the fort’s ruins, the Highlanders decided to make their stand and build their settlement. They called he town Darien "at their own desire," certainly named after the failed attempt at a Scottish settlement in 1698 on the Isthmus of Darien in Panama. That venture failed because of tropical illness and the efforts of the Spanish to eliminate the settlers. Choice of Darien as a name seems to have been a gesture of defiance on the part of these new immigrants against the Spanish in Florida.

The spot designated was situated on the mainland, about twenty miles northwest of St. Simons Island. The town was built on a branch of the Altamaha River on a bluff twenty feet high; the site was surrounded on three sides by woods. The soil was sandy and black, with little to recommend it as fertile ground, but the site had not been chosen with agriculture in mind. The Spanish treat was to the south, which was the reason for the Highlanders’ settlement at Darien. Some of the Carolina people tried to persuade the Scots to settle in Carolina and not to antagonize the Spanish by settling on the Altamaha. They attempted to discourage the Scots at their landing aby saying that the settlement would be so close to the Spanish fort that the Highlanders would be shot from within the Spanish houses. With typical Highland bravado, the Scots replied, "We will beat them out of their fort and shall have houses ready built to live in."

Under Hugh Mackay’s direction, the Highlanders immediately set to work to secure the site. The relatively mild temperature and clear sunny winter days in south Georgia, similar to the late spring and early summer of the Highlands, were an opportune me to do the heavy labor of clearing land out of a wilderness. The palmetto brush and scrub pine soon fell before axes, swords, and fire; within weeks Darien was taking shape, By the time General James Oglethorpe arrived on 22 February, the Scots had constructed a "battery of four pieces of cannon, built a guardhouse, a storehouse, a chapel, and several huts for particular people." They had got so far as to build a house for the widow of one of their men who had died on the journey.

The experiences of a new world were not without lighthearted predicaments. En route to visit the new Scots’ settlement, Oglethorpe’s party met a boat carrying Hugh Mackay and John Cuthbert, who were coming from Darien bound for Savannah. Mackay and Cuthbert returned with Oglethorpe to Darien. Along the way Cuthbert told Oglethorpe’s group the story of an unidentified Highlander’s first encounter with a persimmon tree loaded with of ripe fruit on one of the islands. The Scot could not climb the tree because it was too tall and thorny. Frustrated and not to be denied, the Highlander cut down the tree and "gathered some dozen," not thinking of future harvests.

As Oglethorpe arrived to view the new settlement and meet his southern most defenders, they turned out under arms and presented a "most manly appearance with their Plaids, broadswords, targets, and firearms." This was a proud moment for the highlanders as they donned their plaids and carried their traditional weapons, perhaps for the first time since the carrying of weapons by clansmen had been outlawed in Highlands in 1726. The young men who had signed on for the adventure of the frontier and were hopeful at the prospect of fighting the Spanish must have felt a keen sense of exhilaration when the general’s boat landed on the shore at the foot of their settlement.

Oglethorpe was well pleased with what he saw at this busy new frontier outpost. In honor of the Highlanders, he had come dressed in the Highland "Habit." He must have looked comfortable and natural in it because Samuel Eveleigh, a member of Oglethorpe’s party, reported later that when they arrived at Darien, several of the settlers cried out, "Mr. Oglethorpe, where’s Mr. Oglethorpe?" — not being able to recognize him from the "rest of their brethren."


(Echoes September 2002) Scots Live on Tidewater
Living on the Georgia Tidewater—The early days of the settlement of McIntosh County is told in tile book They Called Their Town Darien by Bessie Lewis. Excerpts from the book are below. The first Highland Scots landed at Barnwell’s Bluff, January 19, 1736. The second embarkation arrived in February, 1742. The Battle of Bloody Marsh was July, 1742. The Highland Scots prepared to Live on the Georgia Tidewater.

The Battle of Bloody Marsh was over — the harassment of the troops who had taken refuge in the fort and the final driving them from the island were almost anti climax.

But the Highlanders were not yet to settle in peace and start rebuilding their town. There were still treats of another invasion, and General Oglethorpe planned to stop it before it could begin. Taking a company of grenadiers, the Highlanders, a detachment of his regiment, the Georgia Rangers and a number of Indians, he started for Florida. Landing on the south side of the St. John’s River, he surprised a large force of Spanish troops quartered at Fort Diego. Forty Spaniards were killed in this battle. The British forces went on to St. Augustine, but the Spaniards had been warned and did not come out to fight.

The troops returned to Georgia , this time to stay. The town to which the Highland soldiers returned after the Florida campaign must have been a sorry sight indeed. Almost neglected, except for the light work which could be done by women and children, the homes, gardens and the fields were in deplorable condition. To men less determined the situation would had been hopeless, and the years which led up to it considered lost.

Not so the Highlanders of Darien — this was their opportunity to start anew, to carry out the plans made by the first embarkation seven years before.

Now the fighting men were home, and except for duty with the Rangers patrolling the out country, could attend to the business of making a living. They set to work to improve the farm lots adjoining the town, to plant and to raise stock. Once more the indentured servants were working with the pit saws , getting out lumber for the public use.

Grants of land in the district were being made, some of them for distinguished service in the war, and soon these tracts were being cleared for cultivation.

Lieutenant Sutherland was one of the first to receive a grant, recommended by General Oglethorpe. The tract given to the lieutenant still bears his name, though he traded it soon for acreage in another area, and there is no evidence that he ever lived at Sutherland’s Bluff.

General Oglethorpe left Georgia for England in the summer of 1743, never to return, and the Highlanders missed his friendship and guidance.

Lachian McIntosh and his younger brother, George, went to Charles Town; Lachlan to work in the counting house of Henry Laurens and George to attend grammar school.

The Highlanders were not a people to live contently in a village. They asked for and received grants in the district, and soon were moving out, clearing and cultivating plantations along the tide water rivers.

John McIntosh Mohr, returned at last from Spanish prison, settled on Black Island, near where the highlanders landed when they came to Barnwell’s Bluff, voluntarily giving up his other lands near Darien to obtain this. He was appointed Conservator of the Peace for Darien. and continued to be leader and mentor of his people. Three Clark brothers, who came to the colony in 1736 with their parents, were given a grant to the Great Thicket, a tract on the mainland facing the river, starting at a point opposite Black Island and including the lands now known as The Thicket.

Oldner’s and Barbour’s islands were granted as early as 1744, and under cultivation.

The second bluff on the Sapelo River (now Belleville) was an early grant to John McIntosh (son of Benjamin) one of who grandsons was to be the Indian Chief, General William McIntosh.

Daniel Demetre, coxswain on the scout boat, received acreage on Dickenson’s Neck (Harris Neck) and on Creighton Island, then called by his name.

Anne McIntosh, only surviving daughter of John McIntosh Mohr, was granted lands at the head of the Sapelo River, adjoining those of Hugh Morrison. Across the river to the north, lay the 1500 acre rice and indigo plantation of her brother, George McIntosh. Later, when she married Lieut. Robert Baillie, they lived at Saperlo Main (now Eulonia). A map of the Robert Baillie lands (including Anne’s dower) dated 1773, shows the avenue of oaks which still shade the highway there.

On the Cow Horn Road (now Highway 99) lay the lands of William McIntosh — The Cottage (Filson), Borlum and the Forest. William McIntosh also owned Fair Hope on the Sapelo River; later it was the home of his son Col. John McIntosh, Adjoining Fair Hope to the north was Mallow, where the eccentric Captain Roderick McIntosh (Old Rory ) and his spinster sister, Miss Winncwood McIntosh, lived.

In the north end of the district, near the South Newport River, Donald McIntosh Bain lived, his grant including the swamp he called Strathlachlan, which held the "great Indian mount" within it bounds. To the east of his tract, between the South Newport and the Sapelo rivers, lay the plantation of Angus owned nearby Bro Neck, and Roderick McLeod lived in the same area.

Across the river from Darien, Lachian McIntosh owned and planted rich rice islands, and managed Broughton Island for Henry Laurens of South Carolina. Other rice lands in the area were in absentee ownership, but those of Henry Laurens were probably the richest.

Sir Patrick Houstoun, father-in-law of George McIntosh owned a 1000 acre plantation at Cat Head, west of Darien. Further up the river were the holdings of McClelland, McCullough, Lewis and Fulton, who had come in from Williamsburg, South Carolina, in 1754.

At Turkey Camp Swamp, Norman McDonald had a large plantation, and north of him, on the Broad Road, lived Robert McDonald.

With all this removal, the center of population changed, and before 1750 the Meeting House (Presbyterian) was built near Houstoun Swamp about eight miles north of Darien. This served the district for many years, both for church services when a minister was available, and for meetings of a civil character.

In 1751 the inhabitants of the lower part of the district petitioned for a military guard to placed at Barrington, the most important pass over the Altamaha River, to prevent Spanish and Indian depredations. There is no exact date on the beginning of construction of Fort Barrington. It seems to have been built in stages, probably as funds were available, and completed in the 1760’s, when Jonathan Bryan applied for a grant of land on the Altamaha "2 or 3 miles above Fort Barrington" Lieut. Robert Baillie, who built the post, was in command there as early as 1761.

For several years there was a strong tendency to ignore the town of Darien, as though it did not exist. In 1751 there was a petition asking that the road from the Meeting House to Darien be discontinued, that instead a road from just south of the Meeting House to Cat Head be opened and kept up.


(Echoes September 2003) Roswell King
Living on the Georgia Tidewater - Roswell King is a familiar name in the early history of Tidewater Georgia.. Excerpts below are from "All Under Bank" Roswell King, Jr., and Plantation Management in Tidewater Georgia 1819-1854 — Edited with an Introduction by BUDDY SULLIVAN

Roswell King, Sr. (1765-1844), son of Timothy King and Sarah Fitch King of Windsor, Connecticut, had migrated in 1789 to Darien, Georgia, where he be came active in lumbering, contracting and the brokerage of cotton. In 1792, King married Catherine Barrington, daughter of Josiah and Sarah Williams Barrington of San Savilla Bluff on the Altamaha upriver from Darien. The Kings’ first child was Roswell, Jr., born at Savannah on April 2, 1796. Two other King sons, Barrington King (1798-1866) and William King (1804-1884), also became active in the social, cultural, religious and business affairs of tidewater Georgia during the antebellum period.

In 1802, Major Butler engaged the services of the energetic and enterprising Roswell King, Sr. , as the resident manager - of his Georgia plantations (Butler and his family resided in Philadelphia following years of prominence in the social and political affairs of coastal South Carolina). The eminent Savannah historian, Malcolm Bell, biographer of Major Butler, attributes the elder King with considerable talents as an agriculturist but notes that he was sadly deficient in the management of the 959 Butler slaves for which he was responsible during his 17-year tenure. "The elder King’s untiring efforts and capability as a planter did much to make Major Butler a rich man, a goal Roswell King pursued with relentless determination that warped his sense of decency in his relations with the hundred of black slaves he controlled," Bell notes. "(But) his departure from the Butler estate was not friendly. Major Butler believed his manager responsible for the loss of slaves during the - War of 1812. Second generation Butlers (Thomas Butler and his sisters, Frances Butler and Sarah Butler Mease) believed him dishonest and self-serving. (King’s) lack of compassion in acting as a surrogate owner for Major Butler may have sprung from a subconscious reaction to the miscegenation he and his son (Roswell, Jr.) practiced at Hampton and Butler’s Island ..."

In 1819, King Sr., departed the Major’s employ under acrimonious circumstances, after which he pursued his sawmill venture in Darien in addition to his increasing activity as a director of the Bank of Darien. With his son, Barrington, the elder King and other members of his coastal Georgia circle migrated inland to Cobb County where, in 1836, they founded the towns of Roswell and Lebanon, near the Chattahoochee River and present-day Atlanta. King, assisted by his son, established flour mills at Lebanon and, by 1837, had also begun a thriving textile mill powered by the waters of Vickery Creek at nearby Roswell. The Roswell Manufacturing Company received its incorporation in 1839 with Barrington King as president. His home, Barrington Hall, was built in Roswell in 1842 and is regarded as one of the outstanding examples of Greek Revival architecture in upper Georgia.

The pioneering Kings laid out the town of Roswell and included an academy and churches for Presbyterian and Methodist congregations. The new town was originally comprised of six families from tidewater Georgia, all of whom were closely allied through long friendships. In addition to Roswell King and Barrington King, there were James Stephens Bulloch (1793-1849), John Dunwody (1786-1858), James Smith (1766-1854) and the Rev. Nathaniel Alpheus Pratt (1796-1879), the latter being the Presbyterian pastor of the church in Darien then serving in a similar capacity at the Roswell Presbyterian Church founded in 1839. Roswell King, Sr. died on February 15, 1844 and was buried in the Presbyterian cemetery in the town which bore his name.

►► (Echoes January 2004) Mill Chimney at Butler Island Plantation
The Mill Chimney at Butler Island Plantation is a Landmark of Darien, Georgia. One hundred and seventy one years ago , this steam powered threshing mill was constructed on Butler Island in the Altamaha Delta. In the introduction to "All Under Bank ", Buddy Sullivan gives the account of this chimney. Below, are excerpts from this book.

Most of the rice shipped to the Savannah and Charleston markets from the Georgia plantations was in the form of "rough rice," or rice that had been threshed, winnowed and cleaned of chaff and straw, but not pounded (polished). On some plantations, rice was threshed by means of beating the stalks with flail sticks on elevated threshing floors. Later, many plantations acquired steam-powered threshing engines to greatly expedite the process of preparing rough rice for shipment. Threshing and winnowing on the plantation began in early September and, in the case of rough rice, shipments to market were expedited in stages throughout the fall and early winter.

The most prosperous rice planters usually equipped their plantations with a pounding mill to further process the crop. This entailed a final stage, the preparation of the rough rice into "clean rice," or rice that has been pounded to remove the outer shell then polished by a system of steam-powered stone pestles. However, this equipment was prohibitively expensive for most planters and only the largest of the plantations had their own pounding mills. Roswell King, Jr., was a proponent of on-site, steam-powered, pounding mills, feeling they improved the plantation’s productivity and efficiency.

Pounding mills employed tidal power until the introduction of steam engines for mill operations during the decade of the 1820’s. Meanwhile, threshing continued to be done by the laborious hand -flailing method on threshing floors. Greatly increased production resulting from the development of steam pounding mills placed unacceptable constraints on the hand threshers to keep pace, thus mechanical processes were soon developed for the threshing stage to maintain balanced processing levels. Consequent upon these technological advances in production was the need for increased cooperage to accommodate the growing amounts of processed rice. More slaves were thus employed in the building of wooden barrels (tierces) for the storage of polished rice as it came from the pounding mill.

In 1832, King successfully prevailed upon Thomas Butler to allow him to acquire a steam engine to power his rice threshing mill and pounding machinery at Butler’s Island. This mill was built near the overseer’s house adjacent to the river landing at Butler’s Island and was ready for operation by late 1833. Because the ground at the mill site was subject to periods of wetness, even occasional flooding, since it was at times below the level of the adjacent river, King employed the slaves in the emplacement of thick pilings in the soil to provide greater stability for the steam engine.

Planters had the option of shipping their rough rice to Savannah where it was sold in bushels of 45 to 50 pounds, and then pounded at mills on the Savannah River, or they contracted neighboring planters to pound their rice for a fee. Clean rice usually brought greater profits to the planter. This rice was shipped in large casks, or tierces, each holding about 600 pounds.

►► (Echoes April 2004) Hammond’s Cove
In 1875 a former slave acquired an acre of land situated on the OLD UPPER STEAM SAW MILL ROAD in McIntosh County. In 1999 , the Great Grandson of this slave acquired a portion of this land and gave it the name of Hammond’s Cove. William Hammond Andrew Collins, PD, D. Ph., the Great Grandson of Cain Hammond (1820— ca.1903 ), tells of the evolution of this property and his family.

Dr. William Collins has done extensive research on his family and the property where he now lives. The location was clarified and interpreted by the late Attorney Charles Stebbins as being the present Old River Road. The address of Hammond’s Cove is 804 Old River Road, Darien, Ga. Old River Road begins at 7th Street in Darien as Houston Street on Cathead Creek ends. The road runs five blocks Northwest, then curves at the Upper Mill Cemetery, and goes West through Mentionville. Thus, the Hammond Property is the first plot of land on this old Indian trail which was made into a road in 1739 when Lieutenant Robert Baillie and the Scottish Highlanders first marched over the road on their way to invade Spanish Florida.

Cain Hammond ,born a slave in Georgia 1820 , died in McIntosh County ca. 1903. At his death, Cain Hammond was residing on the property known today as Hammond’s Cove. His first child of record was a female named Adelia ,born in slavery, Liberty County in 1840, died as Adelia Hammond Smith in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1950. Just after the War, circa 1865, Cain married, Betsy Waters (1840— ca. 1898). Cain and Betsy had eight children. The oldest daughter of these children was Clara ( circa 1870 — 1934). . Clara married John Williams. This couple’s first child, Sara, was the first grandchild of Cain and Betsy.

Pride in his family and in personal ownership of land is shown when in 1899, Cain deeded one lot of his Old River Road property to Clara Hammond Williams (Mrs. John Williams) as Trustee for his first grandchild, Sara Williams.

In 1902, Cain Hammond sold one-half acre of the property to his daughter Clara for the sum of fifty dollars ($50.00). When Cain passed away, it is assumed that the remainder of the property was left to his eight children, with Clara as executor of his estate. She paid the taxes on all of the property until her death in 1934. Her daughter, Sara (Mrs. Isaac Morrison) then assumed that duty.

Sara Morrison started selling off lots on the Old River Road property in 1950. It would be forty nine years before William Collins would acquire this property in Darien that his Great Grandfather had first purchased one hundred and twenty four years ago.

William Hammond Andrew Collins is the grandson of Cain and Betsy Hammond’s youngest daughter, Mary Hammond Wright —Thomas. He was graduated from Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Florida, with a doctor of pharmacy in 1971. After purchasing the property in 1999, Collins added on to the house; changing it from 887 square feet to ? square feet.

Dr. Collins is a member of LAHS, he lives at: Hammond’s Cove, A Landmark in the City of Darien, GA. since 1875.


(Echoes Oct 2004) Homes in Darien circa 1830
 Burnette Vanstory, in her book Georgia’s Land of the Go/den Isles describes some homes in Darien circa 1830. Excerpts from this book are below:

Darien was a town of shady streets and comfortable houses with yards enclosed by picket fences and beautified by flowers, shrubs, and orange trees. Two of these houses were considered show places. One was Ashantilly, a mile or so east of town, built by Thomas Spalding for his mother, used after her death as winter home for the family, and later the property of the Spaldings’ son Charles. The other was the beautiful Troup house upon the promontory known as Cathead, a serene tree-shaded point overlooking the river and marshes on the west side of Darien.

Built in the early eighteen hundreds, the Spalding house was named for the Barony of Ashantilly to which Thomas Spalding’ s father had been heir in Scotland. Designed by the Laird of Sapelo himself, Ashantilly was unique and charming. A two-storied house with one-storied wings, built wide and low to the ground, its spacious, beautifully proportioned rooms were ornamented with hand-carved wainscot, cornices, and mantels; the exterior was of expertly finished tabby, and at either end was an open portico with columns of Italian marble. An unusual architectural feature was the series of floor length windows across the front, while the entire back of the house was a solid wall-perhaps an early experiment in the modern idea of solar heating.

The Troup residence, a large house constructed, like Ashantilly, entirely of tabby, was designed by that gifted young Englishman, William Jay, who drew the plans for the famous Habersham and Owens-Thomas places in Savannah. An apprenticed architect in London, young Jay came to Savannah in 1818, and although less than twenty-five years of age he soon made a name for himself along the coast, and designed some of the most beautiful buildings in the region. The Troup house was the town residence of Dr. James McGillivray Troop, planter-physician, who was one of the most prominent men of McIntosh County. The Darien physician served as justice of the county, as commissioner of the McIntosh County Academy, as president of the bank, mayor of Darien, and as state senator.

It was one of Dr. Troup’s daughters, Clelia, who married Daniel Murray Key, a grandson of Francis Scott Key. A son of this marriage, Francis Murray Key, grew up in the coastal region, and as a young man went to the Philippines and later to South America where he spent the test of his life. In 1952 his son, Francis Scott Key, came to the United States and visited relatives and friends as he traveled along the Georgia coast.
TODAY, 2004:
was the home of the Haynes family from 1918 until the death of William G. Haynes, Jr. 1908
2001. The estate is managed by a private trust, Ashantilly Center, Inc.
The remains of the Troup house are in the vicinity of Ga 251 and 195.


(Echoes Jan 2005) Excerpts:

The land that is now the state of Georgia was once one of the most coveted territories in all of North America Throughout the 1600s and early 1700s, years before General Oglethorpe settled Savannah, three of the world’s mightiest powers, Great Britain, France, and Spain, all vied for a claim to this area’s rich resources of timber, wildlife, animal firs, and bountiful river systems

The British considered the territory to be a part of its southern most colony in North America, South Carolina, established in 1670. The Spanish regarded the settlement of South Carolina as an intrusion upon their empire They had colonized St. Augustine, Florida in 1565 and went on to establish an extensive string of missions throughout the Southeast in efforts to Christianize the Natives These missions extended all the way from St. Augustine, westward around the Apalachicola River region, and as far north as Paris Island in South Carolina.. In addition to Christianity, the Spanish missionaries sought to teach the Indians agricultural methods that would produce surplus grains to furnish the colonists and soldiers of St. Augustine Many of these missions were maintained throughout the 1600s until the Spanish retreat from the area during the 1680s.

In 1698, the French settled Biloxi thus creating the colony of Louisiana Soon they were anxiously colonizing neighboring areas, Mobile in 1702 and New Orleans in 1718. In 1717 they built Fort Toulouse in northern Alabama in an attempt to expand their empire eastward, guard against British encroachments, and establish diplomatic alliances with the area’s Natives, especially the Creek Indians, Also, the French coveted the Altamaha river with waters that stretched for miles across the southeast and emptied into the Atlantic about one hundred miles north of Florida The French valued it for its appeal as a conduit of transportation to the Atlantic. These developments helped launch the French strategy of imperial encirclement, a plan to contain British colonies along the eastern coast and ultimately "choke" them out

Forced to choose sides, the Southeastern Native Americans were drawn into this international power struggle The many tribes were most familiar with the land and its rivers and, in many instances, held the potential to tip the balance of power into one nation’s favor All too aware of this, the Europeans were eager to establish loyalty from the Indians, and they fought to extend their influence and control over various Indian tribes throughout the Southeast.

With the threat of French and Spanish imperialism, and the unpredictability of Indian alliances and loyalty, the British grew anxious over the security of their southern colonies By 1720 South Carolinian colonists and officials, fearing enemy attacks, began clamoring for some sort of protection along their southern borders.

The following year Fort King George was built along the Altamaha River under the direction and leadership of Colonel John "Tuscarora Jack" Barnwell. Given that rivers were the only source of transportation in this remote frontier he chose the location in order to guard access to the river and prevent any foreign intrusions into the area. The fort consisted of a blockhouse, soldiers barracks, officers’ quarters, and a guard house which doubled as a hospital, all made from cypress timbers and planks cut and processed by sawyers Barnwell brought with him.

The garrison that manned the fort was known as His Majesty’s Independent Company of Foot. Most of them were mustered for service from England. Though Colonel Barnwell and Governor Francis Nicholson of South Carolina had requested ‘robust young soldiers to garrison Fort King George, instead they were sent a company of "invalids" from the Royal Hospital at Chelsea in England.

Invalids, as they were referred to then, were products of a system in England devoted toward the welfare of elderly, infirm,

—or maimed soldiers from the British Regular Army. This system dated back to 1681 and provided government subsidized hospital care and pensions for these seasoned veterans, In time, invalids were divided into in-pensioners and out-pensioners By the early seventeen hundreds, as domestic and foreign conflicts once again began to surface in England, the out-pensioner invalids were put back in service. However, these out-pensioner invalids were given lighter duties such as guarding prisoners of war, attending the sick, and securing small forts or towns.

As the British-American colonies expanded in the I 600s, conflicts with neighboring powers and Natives began to increase and, consequently, the need for military provisions and reinforcements were in demand. In 1719, a Regiment of Invalids was created from among the out-pensioners in England and was to be broken up into twenty-five Independent Companies Most of these men were formed into the 41st Regiment of Foot and sent to Portsmouth to serve under Colonel Edmund Fielding However, a small fraction of them, arriving in May, 1721, were ordered sent to Port Royal, South Carolina to render service unto that province. The company consisted of 100 privates and several officers with Governor Nicholson serving as Captain Later, in 1721, Colonel Barnwell was named commander-in-chief of the garrison and Fort King George.

It was a tough ride over to the New World for these soldiers upon the ships Mary and Carolina. On their way about half of them contracted scurvy, most likely as a result of their general debilitation combined with a poor diet. Many of them were heavy drinkers as well. As a result of their condition, the men had to spend a lengthy period recovering in a hospital at Port Royal, South Carolina after their arrival there in Spring of 1721. They did not make it down to Fort King George until nearly a year later in 1722.


(Echoes Apr 2005) Commerce in Darien and on the Altamaha River in the early nineteenth-century included Flatboats, Poleboats, Steamboat. Below are excerpts from Swamp Water and Wiregrass by George A. Rogers and R. Frank Saunders, Jr.

From the very first English settlement, agriculture, cattle raising, and lumbering were the main economic interests along the Georgia coast. One of the earliest resources harvested was live oak timber. The USS Constitution, famous as Old Ironsides, was built of oak grown on St. Simons.

Similarly, an unexpected windfall of funds from a cattle roundup on St. Simons helped pay for the construction of Fort Barrington on the Altamaha in 1760. In the early nineteenth century sea-island cotton was the leading crop on the coastal islands. First grown by the Scots on St. Simons as early as 1778, sea-island cotton quickly spread to other islands along the coast and replaced indigo as the staple crop. --------

The limited zone marked buy the"ebb and flow" of the tides was the preeminent domain of the great rice plantations ---- an extension of the South Carolina rice plantations culture. Local planters developed an ingenious and extensive hydraulic engineering system of dikes, canals, sluice gates, and dams that controlled the flow of river water into the fields at high tide and drained them at low tide. James Hamilton Couper’s plantation, Hopeton, was one of the most productive in coastal Georgia. At Hopeton, located on the south side of the Altamaha in Glynn County about five miles above Darien, Couper rotated rice, sugar cane, and sea-island cotton on his swamp lands.

For most of the nineteenth century, the Altamaha River system was the main artery of commerce between middle Georgia and the coast; Darien was it seaport. Flatboats were largely used to float cotton down river to Darien. Incapable of returning upstream , these boats would be dismantled and sold for lumber. One of the earliest to drift a flatboat down the Oconee and Altamaha was Freeman Lewis who brought down 5,000 bushels of corn in July 1806. Poleboats, operated by thrusting long poles into the river bed, carried passengers and freight in both directions. By 1806, A. Mills, a poleboat operator, reported that he had made seven round-trips between Milledgeville and Darien. Traveling upstream from Darien to the "Forks" by poleboat sometimes required 15 to 20 days.

Darien prospered and, although its population was never very large, it was designated the county seat of McIntosh County in 1818. That same year its first newspaper was published and the Bank of Darien was chartered with a capitalization of one million dollars. This bank, with branches in seven Georgia cities, was the major financial institution in Georgia for several decades. A new aspect of Darien’s port city function was ushered in when the first steamboat to travel the Altamaha left Darien late in 1818 and arrived in Milledgeville early in 1819. Actually steamboats never completely replaced poleboats because the latter could navigate at low water. The Macon-Atlantic Navigation Company, the last line to operate on the river, continued until the 1930s. On a typical haul, cargo included groceries, hardware, sugar, and fertilizer that was put off at Doctortown and other landings on the Altamaha — at Lumber City, Jacksonville, Hawkinsville, and Macon on the Ocmulgee, and Mount Vernon and Dublin on the Oconee. Cargo downstream was cotton, naval stores, and lumber. During the prohibition era, numerous whiskey stills along the river supported a lively sugar traffic. When the Central of Georgia Railroad reached Macon in 1843, steamboat lines were forced to reduce freight rates to meet this competition. Other rail lines and a network of highways, completed in the early twentieth century, doomed the surviving steamboats. Today the river is used largely by pleasure




(Echoes October 2005)   William G. Haynes, Jr. (1908-2001) of Ashantilly was a guiding force and inspiration to Darien and McIntosh County for more than eighty years. Ashantilly ( THE OLD TABBY) and The Altamaha River have been the driving forces of this man. Below is a sketch of Bill Haynes living, working and contributing on the Georgia Tidewater

Ashantilly was built by Thomas Spalding on the Georgia mainland no later than 1820. Thomas Spalding of Sapelo Island needed Ashantilly as a convenience to his business holdings in Darien and throughout Georgia. Spalding was born in the town of Frederica, on St. Simons Island. He inherited property from his mother, Margery McIntosh, granddaughter of John McIntosh Mohr. Spalding named Ashantilly after an ancestral home in County Perth, Scotland. The house was constructed of tabby, a mixture of lime, sand, shell and water. After Spalding’s death in 1851, his son Charles abandoned Ashantilly because of the expense of repairs and maintenance. It was after the War Between the States when Charles sold some of the property for new home construction. Charles built himself a home just across the road from THE OLD TABBY (This was the name the locals used. Ashantilly referred to the subdivision of homes as it does today. ) The Wilcox family purchased The Old Tabby in 1870. They rebuilt the house and made several changes. A hip roof with wood shingles was added, while the classical columns and marble flagging were removed.

The Haynes family moved to Ashantilly in 1918. The Haynes family, William, Sr. and wife (nee Laura Grant from Atlanta), Frances, Ann Lee and Bill, Jr. were moving from Columbia, S. C. to Darien. The two older girls had attended South Carolina Women’s College in Columbia. Bill was 10 years old. Frances the older sister taught school at Atlanta Girls High , then went on to Florida State College for Women in Tallahassee, where she became a research librarian. Ann Lee taught school in Savannah for several years before going to New York City to pursue a career in Commercial Art. Bill attended school in Darien. After being graduated from Darien High School in 1927 he went to New York City to study Art. He worked at the New York City Public Library, attended Art School and lived with Ann Lee in her apartment. The conservative transportation between Darien and New York in 1927 was by Steamer Ship from Savannah. Bill remembers that first trip to the City. Ann Lee met him at the dock and he was truly "a country boy come to town", Savannah didn’t have this many big, tall buildings.

In 1936, Bill returned to Darien and Ashantilly to contemplate which career in art he could follow that would bring him back to the Georgia Tidewater which he loved so much. That year he designed and painted, in tempura, four panels for back drop in the Darien Chamber of Commerce Exhibit at the Savannah State Fair of 1937. The Chamber of Commerce was awarded a twenty five dollar prize for this Exhibit. One of these panels hangs, today in the Haynes Auditorium of the Ida Hilton Public Library.

A fire gutted the interior of Ashantilly in 1937. The family moved to temporary housing. It was 1939 before restoration began. Bill Haynes located and purchased doors, mantels, and other period pieces in salvage yards and from Antique dealers in Savannah and Charleston. Using a local carpenter ,Bill was able to dry in the house in order for the displaced family to move back in. The Crown molding in the living room was accomplished by Bill Haynes, by pulling a profile stencil over wet plaster. This technique was done at ceiling height. The formal garden to the north of the house was designed and planted by Bill Haynes during this same period. Restoration efforts on Ashantilly were interrupted when Bill Haynes was drafted into the Army in 1941. He served at Fort Stewart, Georgia and in New Guinea. The people and the landscape of New Guinea were recorded by Haynes in many small watercolor paintings.

In 1945, after World War II, Bill returned to New York. He entered Cooper Union Art School. It was here at Cooper Union that he was introduced to the art of typography and the printing press. The art of the printed page with the selection of type, arrangement, color and illustrated with his own wood cuts became the dream of Ashantilly Press in Darien, Georgia. The summer months were free from school and Bill returned home to continue work on Ashantilly. In the summer of 1946, Bill found the little Hand Press in Riceboro on which he would later print his first book, Anchored Yesterdays. He also purchased his first types. When he returned to New York, he acquired more types, new, and second hand in very good condition, hardly used at all. They were sent home for future printing. The Cooper Union course ended in 1948. He met Natalie Erdman. He worked at a small advertising agency in an on the job training experience. He resumed his job at the New York Public Library. In 1951, Bill went to work with the designers and typographers that were publishing the "Frick Catalogue". He was chosen as an inexperience artist who they could train to do this perfection work. The knowledge and techniques learned here for the next three years would only add to the art and perfection of the books and ephermia of Ashantilly Press over the next four decades.

Bill and Natalie married in 1952. In 1955, they moved to Ashantilly and created Ashantilly Press. A Fort King George Map was drawn by Haynes at the request of Miss Bessie Lewis. Bill and Natalie printed the map by silk screen in four colors. This was printed in the south room of Ashantilly. The first book, Anchored Yesterdays was printed on the little hand press , also in the south room in 1956, The large letter press was purchased in 1958 and operated in the south room until the print shop was built.. The weekly Worship Service Program for the First Presbyterian Church was printed on Ashantilly Press for thirty years. Haynes was a successful business man in McIntosh, His contributions to the community are untold. In 1979 he was the primary force in establishing the Lower Altamaha Historical Society.


(Echoes October 2006)  Excerpt from Seas of Gold, Seas of Cotton by Martha L. Keber describes Christophe Poulain DuBignon and his family , living in the Horton House on Jekyll  Island in the eighteenth century. 

             Having indulged his taste for port at the home of Scotsman John Couper on St. Simons, John McQueen found himself the unexpected guest of DuBignon on Jekyll Island. He put in at DuBignon’ s wharf when gout seized him with spasms of great pain. Years before, McQueen’s debts had clouded Dumoussay’s title to Sapelo and the legal sparring that followed was one of the distractions that plagued the Sapelo Company, but the DuBignons did not hesitate to welcome McQueen. Madame DuBignon nursed him for four days and the bed rest, combined with the “exceedingly attentive” care, enabled McQueen to continue his journey.

McQueen’s convalescence at the Horton House occurred during the most prosperous period of the DuBignon. plantation. That prosperity may not have been obvious from McQueen’s bed, as the DuBignons still lived in the modest tabby house built fifty years earlier. If the residence was considered a “handsome dwelling” in Oglethorpe’s day, the two-story house, with a red-hipped roof and a back verandah that opened out from both floors, offered cramped accommodations for the family. The almost fifteen hundred square feet of living space was divided into two rooms downstairs and sleeping accommodations on the second floor. Dominating the kitchen on the ground floor was a large cooking hearth, where family and servants naturally gathered. The kitchen enjoyed the most activity in the house, but the parlor across the hail had more formality. As in the kitchen, a fireplace was the focal point of the room. A wooden wainscot, however, lent to the room a touch of refinement missing from the plain plastered walls of the kitchen. In deference to Jekyll’s warm climate, the British builders of the Horton House constructed a two-story verandah that caught the spring and summer breezes and opened up onto the rear garden. The house gave the DuBignon family shelter, some comfort, a rustic setting in the shadow of the maritime forest, but little else.

DuBignon sacrificed the amenities of gracious living to the needs of the plantation. He invested instead in slaves. With the labor of slaves he could make the sandy soil yield the long, silky fiber of sea island cotton, and the expansion of his workforce was his first priority. When McQueen took his leave, the neatly hoed fields were promising with spring growth. He did not fail to appreciate the potential wealth represented by the green fields and the black hands that workedthem.

From 1795 until 1799, DuBignon purchased forty-one slaves, representing an investment of well over $8000. Thirty were adults, nearly equally divided between men and women, for which he paid an average of $250. His largest acquisition occurred only three months after McQueen’s unexpected visit, when DuBignon bought thirteen adults and five children for $3200. Many of his slaves were probably French speaking, as DuBignon preferred to do business with his fellow emigres, such as Savannah merchants Thomas Dechenáux, Jean- Baptiste Goupy, and Peter Reigne. When the new arrivals were added to the slaves he already owned, DuBignon had a labor force in excess of sixty slaves.

With a slave population of that size, DuBignon would not be ranked among the elite of the planter aristocracy. For example, John Couper, a Scottish immigrant who settled on his St. Simons plantation about the same time Dubignon came to Jekyll, owned more than one hundred slaves. As a planter of the middle echelon, however, DuBignon participated actively in the management of his plantation. While his overseer assigned work to the slaves on a day-to-day basis and his black driver set the pace in the fields; DuBignon regularly monitored the progress of the crop and was in frequent enough contact with his laborers to know John Louis and Mitchell and Caro and all the others by name and by their capabilities. DuBignon chose not to be an absentee owner. Unlike some planters who retreated to the more social life of Savannah, DuBignon during these early years was as rooted into the sandy loam of Jekyll as were the palmettos and live oaks. He shrugged off shrill warnings of those who believed that the miasma, noxious vapors said to arise from the swamps on stifling summer nights, would poison his family with malaria. DuBignon preferred to remain on Jekyll attending to business than to daily in Savannah.