“Any slave found intoxicated in said Village,”

While flipping through Clark’s History in Catoosa County I found an interesting passage about the city of Ringgold’s early laws and ordinances. The General Assembly of Georgia incorporated Ringgold, which was in Walker County at that time, in 1847. This is a few years before the Western and Atlantic Railroad came through so the town had not seen any of the prosperity that the railroad would bring. Regardless, slavery seemed to be prevalent enough in the community that early commissioners found it necessary to pass black codes. Here are a few examples. Continue reading ““Any slave found intoxicated in said Village,””

710: Sorting Through the County Historiography

I finally got the chance to browse through Susie Blaylock McDaniel’s Official History of Catoosa County Georgia, 1853-1953.  Unfortunately, the book is not giving me much insight into the slave history of Catoosa County. Published for the first time in 1957, the book lacks significant scholarship over the last sixty years. What little information is in the book, is wrapped in the old Lost Cause narrative. Take for example McDaniels dedication to “[Catoosa’s] Colored Citizens,”:  Continue reading “710: Sorting Through the County Historiography”

Understanding White Privilege

A week ago I wrote briefly about the upcoming film Straight Outta Compton: The Story of N.W.A., and how that movie’s message is relevant to the current racial climate in the United States. I got a few interesting comments to that post and some pretty cool reactions on Facebook.  Not surprisingly, some people took offense. One Confederate Heritage advocated, and self proclaimed researcher George Purvis, became distraught over a sentence I used in that post: “White privilege is a very real thing.” Afterward, Purvis gave an account of his hard life growing up poor in southern Mississippi. His post was intended to disprove any notion of white privilege due to the existence of interracial poverty. Despite George’s personal story, white privilege is still a very real thing.

Continue reading “Understanding White Privilege”

L.B. Hamb(right)


The other day I wrote about a new project that I am undertaking which examines slavery in Catoosa County. Part of the project includes a desire to digitize and reformat a lot of the primary source materials such as census schedules. An issue with that is the quality of the handwriting and the quality of the documents. A smudge can reduce the legibility of a name or a number. When I reformatted the 1860 Slave Schedule for Catoosa County I indicated any of those aforementioned issues by typing “(?)” next to what I believed to be an illegible word or number. Such as the case with L. B. Hambergh(?) [sic]. Continue reading “L.B. Hamb(right)”

710: A New Project

1864 Historical Atlas (Retrieved from GeorgiaINFO: An Online Almanac)

Seven hundred and ten. That is the number of slaves counted in the 1860 Federal Census for Catoosa County (GA). As one can imagine, there have not been too many histories published about this single northwest Georgia county. What little histories there are, make little to no mention about the seven hundred and ten slaves counted among the 5,082 county residents in 1860. As someone who grew up in Ringgold, the county seat of Catoosa,  I remember little to no history of slavery in the country ever being mentioned. There are no markers nor are there any memorial days designated to recognize those unknown persons; at least to my knowledge. I know that is not uncommon for the entire South but for Catoosa County, this is something I wish to rectify. Hence, my new project. I want to attempt to paint of picture of what slavery looked like in Catoosa from its inception in 1853 to slavery’s demise in 1865. Continue reading “710: A New Project”

“Our Art is a Reflection of Our Reality”

The other night I saw the new high adrenaline thriller, Furious 7. I always get to the theater early because I’m a movie junkie and actually enjoy watching trailers. While sitting there watching some of the mindless swill soon to be released, I saw the red-band trailer for Straight Outta Compton. This looks like a promising movie which does more than focus on the rise of the popular “Gangsta” rap group N.W.A. Judging by the trailer, the film attempts to tie sexual commercialism and the brutal beating of Rodney King to the environment which produced groups like N.W.A. The link above will take you to the trailer.

In the trailer for Straight Outta Compton O’Shea Jackson Jr., who is playing a younger version of his father Ice Cube, states that “Our art is a reflection of our reality.” The character utters those trending words in response to the accusations that the group’s music glorifies violence. When I heard that quote, I thought about the protests in Baltimore and the riots in Ferguson last summer. It made me consider what “our reality” looks like. Continue reading ““Our Art is a Reflection of Our Reality””

“The Flag Must Come Down”

Chattooga courthouse flies Confederate battle flag
AJC – Rosalind Bentley

The Confederate Flag is one again making headlines in the North Georgia press. Recently, the local Sons of Confederate Veterans raised the battle flag on the lawn of the Chattooga County Courthouse to commemorate Confederate Heritage Month. The flag is scheduled to be lowered at the end of the month when the SCV will replace the CBF with the Bonnie Blue Flag. As can be expected, controversy ensured. Continue reading ““The Flag Must Come Down””

Jimmy Carter Conservation Rap

Today in my U.S. History class, we talked about President Jimmy Carter and the energy crisis. We tried to put it into context of the 70s environmentalist movement. Some of my students seized the opportunity and draw modern comparisons with our current energy issues and the desecration of the Earth in order to attain resources. Later, one of my students came back and showed me this video.

Happy Earth Day

Genealogy Field Trip: Day 2

Grayson County Courthouse in Independence, VA. My great great grandfather was one of many masons who helped built it.

My Granddad and I a terrific day in Grayson County Virginia. We started the morning getting caught up with some of my distant cousins who live in Grayson Co. After getting briefly caught up, we traveled to Independence, VA to visit the Grayson Heritage Foundation. We had hoped to partially solve a family mystery about the death of Carl Holdaway. We were surprised to find that the Holdaway family was pretty underrepresented in the genealogy work in the county. Now that we are aware of the Foundation, and the work they have and do, I know plenty of members of the Holdaway family will help fill those gaps. After spending about an hour talking to the gentlemen inside the Foundation office, and finding no information regarding Carl, we ventured off towards the old courthouse in Independence (pictured above). Continue reading “Genealogy Field Trip: Day 2″