number 15 is the order written after the general sherman met with 20 black ministers here in savannah. he asked the ministers what is it that you want and their answer was land, we want land, and the land that was designated for them as a 330-mile track that basically had in the same plantation that a lot of these enslaved people now free would have probably work on. the question then becomes that day with 3,000 people listening where do they go, do they go to find the land? some of them actually went from history tells us. the reverend who was an enslaved minister and worked over in the market square he was of the third african baptist church. he was one of those 20 ministers who met with sherman.
he had also been enslaved and was able to hire about his time by his master. to appease mr. $50 a month so he could hire of his time and the butcher after the freedom and after this experience apparently dealing with the 40 acres taking this group out he was a state legislature. we read a lot about the africans who once they were free got into politics but that didn't last very long because after reconstruction a lot of that kind of disappeared. at any rate, just in a historic structure. 1864 -- i'm sorry from 1865 to 1963 is right twice freedom story because and march of 1963, reverend martin luther king came looking for one of those famous mass meetings and he had been
driving around for two hours and finally found a meeting and said that dr. king practiced his into the famous i have a dream speech right here in the second half of the baptist church in savannah. an interview with creston russell from savannah georgia. mr. russell's the author of savannah a history of her people since 1733 a comprehensive book about his own town. it's about 40 minutes. >> he's a man of many parts. physician, paynter, historian and writer. he finds time to play golf. since preston retired from medicine after 30 years of memorial hospital, his paintings have appeared in the regional art shows and in homes throughout the united states and europe as well as here at the morris museum in augusta.
his book, the low country from savannah to charleston contains 85 of his paintings which capture the mystique of the region. preston russell along with his wife, barbara, who is here today if you could stand up. [applause] co-authored a savannah, a history of her people since 1733. and his most recent book is like such madness in search of joan of arc. his pending work i guess this means your working on now deals with franz's involvement in the american revolution and the father and son relationship between george washington and the young marchi de lafayette. dr. russell i will also point out has been an enthusiastic
patron of the book festival since its beginning and was an offer mac's speaker in 2008. ladies and gentlemen, a true renaissance man, preston russell. [applause] thank you very much, jack. i see my reputation has exceeded me. give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses their wretched refuse of your teeming source, send these to me to be this could easily apply in our country as immigrants to the founding of savannah in 1733. as we all know, it applies to the statue of liberty 150 years later, a gift from france to the first centennial in 1876.
indeed, savannah was founded in 1733 and is 50 years older than before america was recognized as a country in 1783. so, a story of immigrants. and i guess we are pretty proud of these parts being rather old and traditional. it's just up the road a little bit older than us and a little about how much older and hardier they are than us. and it has been described at like the chinese in the sense they both eat a lot of rice and worship their ancestors. [laughter] but, with a little making up to do after 300 years of all the right families, all six or eight white families over this time, a matter of fact i think my home state of tennessee is like
4 million people but only seven last names is the model of tennessee. with this salon.com it has been said that you're not considered to be from an established savanna family until your first and last name are the same. [laughter] we might take that as little evidence from a proud jewish revolutionaries format patron who lived in 1870. there is an old saying that many of us know but the jews zero nit and the crackers enjoy it or the red necks like me have a good time at this sort of thing. the third oldest a jewish congregation was founded in 1733 kinealy to take a guess on the two older in the audience? and that was really the snap of it.
it was newport crude island, but new york is the other one. concerning the irish running at, even to this day, we have the second-largest st. patrick's day parade and all the world and to irishman came from dublin and had a great time and then said we've learned a lot over the weekend about this, that we've learned that savannah has the second-largest st. patrick's day parade in the whole world and new york has the second-best. [laughter] >> and georgia in 1733 was the last and indeed the poorest 13th call money which was admitted to the knott union because there was no union but what showed up as an english colony. and good gamesmanship named after king george ii come and it
also remains the largest stake in the union east of the mississippi river. and it was originally put here for a spoiler territory between the established english colony in south carolina, and the spanish colony down in florida. and since this whole area from south carolina dhaka florida line was completed in the air, they will be contested. why not go all the way? because the original drawings of georgia which were sliced up went from the it plan devotion to the pacific ocean treading through god knows what, mississippi, texas, whatever that would go through it you just kept on going so you might as well go big for it. initially this was a haven for all sorts of people particularly
the religious haven. 16 languages ranging from welch to evict were spoken in the new colony of georgia. as a matter of fact the young evangelist, john wesley, who came over to evangelize the greek indians could speak five languages. that is before he stormed back to england to found the methodist religion and wrote about a year being in a savannah. i shook off my feet and left georgia after having preached the gospel there as i was able, end of quote. so he left a rather disgruntled. it's nothing of the main biography young john wesley is named strange lawyers and you can sort of figure that out for yourself. a few problems with so many young women here in georgia. i mentioned a religious haven for jews came in 1733 from portugal. soon after the contemporary
german sulzberger's came the tended to settle a outside of savanna in ebenezer and founder of their church, which is about 20 miles up the road because the germans wanted as much as possible to preserve their language, religion and customs in a little bit more than the rest of us here in savannah. it is a manifestation of this being an english colony in 1733 on johnson square, anglican church at the time and people like john and charles wesley and george wood field considered the most universally he claimed a evangelist in the world, who when he was here, but america's first orphanage which remains. these were followed by a scottish presbyterians who were the genesis of the presbyterian church, and just a generation or
two later, you have the findings of the oldest black church in america, which is represented in the first african baptist church with saunders like andrew bryan, and is located not that far from here on franklin square and is always open any sunday to a very vibrant visitation of people who initially the colorful and beautiful service. central to the founding of georgia was a mysterious person named james. we don't know that much about him except maybe for the worst in this sense speckled spotted pnac jolie qassam man and a brawl, was not sent to prison, he emerges over in georgia appointed by the trustees to come over and sort of be the head of the first colonization
of the anglican said dollars. an english historian wrote something that is rather interesting about the background quote, a friend of ogle for laden which did he could not pay was thrown into the prison and died with smallpox under horrifying conditions. few among us capri and suffering and injustice until they are thrust under our eyes by the experience of someone we know. and we like to be judged by what we do then without to close of scrutiny what we fail to do before. ogelthorp's reaction to the death of his friend, robert, was to ask parliament to appoint a committee which would visit the london prison and make recommendations for the reform.
some, not enough of the guilty replenished, and some, not enough, regulations were made to collect abuses in the future. at any rate, the curtain which hit a the eight disparate from the eyes of the secure and prosperous was torn and would never again be patched up. certainly the curtain was torn for james ogelthorp and was the emotional the epiphany that gave the rest of his long life and iran will commitment. one of the legacies we have here on the square which almost everybody knows, they originally were up to 24 at one time. we might be back at 23. i keep losing count, and the squares were laid out sort of like a form and function in this sense.
the squares could be used as a defensive units. also, families would be put around each square in 60 by 90 feet into mentioned and a church should be put on each square and those families would have the equivalent of a block war who was responsible for just disparate on each square as a very practical matter of raising the ten militiamen but possibly fight the spanish if they ever came up from st. augustine. the trustees garden was laid out to the east of last by sweat equity and one thing was of course to raise vegetables to eat etc and raised mulberry trees which would be food for silkworms and we were going into the business instead of facing the high prices of people like
france and italy, and so it became savanna and georgia was a private business venture, a private business venture in which one of the quotations in the gerbils england will grow rich by sending her poor abroad, and it was estimated bible studies that the family in london earned perhaps 10 pounds which doesn't sound like very much, does it? and other ways consume 20 pounds so a net loss of 20 pounds, whereas it transported to the colony of georgia they might generate with silk and other equity after 600 pounds a year so it would be a win-win situation. and on father's day to be written off, 1733, 114 of these
colonists arrived on tiberi 12th which people like lisa, wherever she's standing has been part of in terms of having the columnist and so a very vibrant thing since i've been here and school children involved in remembering the heritage and founding. however, of those 114, over half of those were dead by the second year from fill in the blanks, snakebite, fever, everything under the sun, so it was a horrible time here for the first five or ten years physically, and yet we lead such provocative little to try to attract as this. this is ogelthorp's account crittenden 1733 pledge your descriptions of a steamy wilderness that he had never laid eyes on.
quote, the air is healthy. false. being always serene, pleasant and temperate coniferous subject, why, or cold to sudden changes except of course for the annual hurricanes we all know. it is interrelated with such a fertile mixture that they use oranges, lemons and apples and pears the size of a peach and apricot. they're so delicious that whoever tastes them will despise the watery taste of those which we have in england. and yet such is for them that they are given to the hogs and great quantities. as we've got a little slip between the cup here don't we between the reality.
>> concerning the cost which is my gene pool down in scotts irish types, i grew up in tennessee so i would be a good example of a hillbilly. others grew up in the mountains in or was settled in the mountains of north carolina, and virginia which some indian property was opened up in the 17 seventies they came in droves and these were people that didn't smell so good most of the:and most of them couldn't read or write. good presbyterians though. and one of the trustees, the english trustees that described him best disorderly vagrants, agreed villans, steelers, etc.. by no means who should settle our land, in of quote, which was pretty accurate.
in 1020 years the idealism of a perfect utopian colony based on a private industry collapsed. the beginning model is that [inaudible] not yourself but offers. but after about 20 years, much could have been like what is in it for me? in other words it started off on a realistic but remained turned and very dysfunctional. with a loss of the industry, fossil the switch to the rights industry and 1793 reply eink vast amounts of raw manpower and the ban on the slavery which has been regionally effective released 20 to 30 years disappeared in the 17 fifties and so by that time, the colony
of georgia was bankrupt and was sort of given back to the british government, don't, you might say, and slavery began in earnest. by 1.17 described it is proverbial to say down here poor's of georgia, end of quote. during the revolutionary period come 1779, the second largest most bloody battle in the american revolution took place here between the french and americans allies against the british and the only rivals of bunker hill as far as the most manpower lost and there's a large pit in which french and americans were thrown together in what is now the battlefield park but is literally sacred ground was maybe six or 700
unmarked graves all together in a pit which is read in the middle of a preserve dhaka park site. 1750 have the cotton gin and things changed to read with the new prosperity that extend a layup to the american civil war and actually savannah was a rich little place from the first half of the 19th century. and then we had the civil war and 1864 general sherman ended his march down in savannah delete savannah and brought 60,000 guests which was the union army. what sherman had previously been to savannah. he left savannah. there was no burning or destruction. savannah venue sherman just left savannah about four months later
a matter affecting a significant number of marriages occurred between the savannah women and the northern officers etc. so, we come up past the american civil war to the reconstruction period in the 1976 and a cotton field because over earth and the lack of from a position and then in came bald eagle so savannas back to being poor again. by 1946, leedy sastre described on a visit to savanna that savannah was a beautiful leedy with a dirty face. and by that time, by the 40's and 50's, the old houses in downtown savannah were worth more dead than alive just to get the bricks to build new houses. one said savannah was so poor she was not able to destroy herself, and of quote.
but progress did make some hideous and roads and putting highways through one part of the old town and a straight through three of the precious squares, and at one point they were even going to extend lincoln street for the colonial cemetery which is the place all of georgia's founders over there come to the rescue in 1954 was the historic preservation society who finally had had enough with the old city market destroyed and they built subsequently an incredibly hideous looking parking lot. i mean, the parking lots were incredibly ugly parking lots. so, they banned together and formed what some have called historical savannah town to save
the houses in 1954. and literally seven little old ladies and several in the ten issues were selling their bodies in front of buildings and the wrecking ball to stop the progress and the revolving fund began to buy for $5,000, fix it up, don't change it but restore it to what it was and fell for 25,000 or something and so you've got 20,000 you do it and you do it until at some point savanna now has the largest restored district in america which is quite an accomplishment in what has been done since 1954. and to of those little old ladies i won't mention them. one described they are not twittering old ladies in tennis shoes, they use their brain and have clout and it clearly shows.
downtown historic savannah north which is the southern boundary of part of the preserved historic district so you have things like that and my wife and i were on the street what really one of life's vv to mize because we live on the south pass so we were wogs. we couldn't break into the inner circle. so, truism and a the port and the savannah college of art design at to what is now a sparkling savannah that we see in the present. it just a few more words before closing. some people without
justification have gotten a little fed up over savanna is maybe insolent nature one of them was dr. john who's the editor of the savannah georgia who wrote in 1818 just before he left which by the year was two years before savanna burned to the ground twice was a parting shot. me all your free citizens wealthy or poor be bribed for their votes as they have heretofore. the every doctor be patronized still and his talent be judged by the length of his bill. we all of your lawyers find feeds for their towns and their brains get the applause that is due to their lungs.
majeure merchants and with scarcity brains show a good deal of sense. now, to finish my curse upon your ill city and express in a few words of of some of my bidding i leave you savannah the worst of all curses to remain as you are. [laughter] however, we certainly had people charmed by savannah one of the main in '92 and '93 of course wrote midnight in the garden of good and evil, one of the best-selling books in the history of publishing. as a matter of fact, the economy went up 40% the year after midnight in the garden the good and evil came out. john barron's wrote the following about savannah. maybe a little softer look.
for me savannah's resistance to change with his savings greece. the city looked inward and sealed off from the malaises and distractions of the world of large and in such a way that as people flourish like hothouse plants tended by a gardiner. it can extraordinary. eccentrics thrive every job of personality achieved greater brilliance and a large enclosure them would have been possible anywhere else in the world. thank you very much for your attention to the [applause] if anybody would like to ask any questions or would be glad. yes?
>> you talked about the historical preservation and mentioned a lump bunch of little old ladies in tennis shoes his name was john and he was involved in the community by community was also very involved pretty early on as well. have you been applied in the community for savannah or did that just start in the 20th century? >> i didn't understand the last part. >> has been a thriving gay community in savannah for a really long time or just since the 20th century? >> in terms of chronology i don't have a feel for that but i certainly think there is a thriving community here in that regard and i assure they've done many things in that regard. yes, lisa? >> can you tell about the native americans that ogelthorp found when he arrived in 1733?
>> these were the creek people a lesser branch of the large nation which pretty much covered what we called the southeast and appearing in tennessee, my home state, etc.. he is said to be 7 feet tall. we don't know better but we surmise that is not the case and it was said to live 100-years-old but he was certainly open-minded towards the settlement and the creek indians with of the leadership of tom were very helpful to the early colonists in terms of trying to help with planning and all the policy things you could think of and as a matter of fact, he was savanna's first savitt he wrote and died in 1730 something, 1740, and he was
buried in which square? right, thank you. and then see in the 19th century a member of the gordon family and this is a little cycle i hope it works the founder of the girl scouts in 1912 is [inaudible] , and during her reception when she was married, it went out one year and subsequently over the years she became blind, excuse me, deaf in one ear. so since they put to that giant monument up over the grave, the gordon family said they have bad luck or anything, tom's curse getting us again.
and they just sort of a vanished away. they were not part of the great trail of tears but they kept going westward. yes, ma'am. >> preston, in your opening you used the phrase i read in your book and heard before that savannah is owned by the shoes and run by the irish and enjoyed by the crackers. i, like you and a hillbilly in tennessee, but i've always wanted to add to the end of the work was done by african-americans -- you made the indication that when it became economically important to have cheap labor that was the case both savannah and alana, georgia's main cities, came through the civil rights
movement in a much better position than many other cities in the south, birmingham obviously was tarred by its response to the civil rights movement. do you have anything to share about how the civil rights movement was received in savannah? >> i wasn't here when this would have been in the 1960's. they remember and lisa might able to quote this in the historical. let's say within the last ten years there was a story about the integration of savannah and it had something there was a pickup on like atlanta and the city too busy to hate and savannah was a city too busy to like. if you remember -- i'm sorry. anyway, it was a positive statement about the peaceful integration during the 1960's savannah and to people that i do know for malcolm mclean and w.w.
law who was the postman and the naacp, and they work for a closely together to open swimming pools and all kind of things to get things done in a quieter way then there might have been carried as a matter of fact, in that article which we remember martin luther king jr. was quoted in 1964 as saying that savannah was the most integrated city in america which is not just the south america. >> would you tell us a little bit about savannah's famous song writer we just celebrated this year? >> wilentz and johnny mercer, but i don't have much of a story to tell about johnnie mercer. i don't know if it was so much the songs he wrote but i don't
know much about him or have any good stories about him. anybody else? yes. >> one thing you haven't mentioned that plays a big role in savannah is the military beginning in the air field, and also a follow-up the history of the airfield is interesting and i'm sure you have stories about that as well. schenectady are not in the book but the air force was stationed which is the b-17 we did much of the bombing in europe and while the british did my time bombings something like 32,000, that three or four years of bombing germany also related to the economy this was a significant station in the spanish-american war the troops along with tampa
you would then recover tampa about its role in the spanish-american war and there also was a sickness in control here too concerning and other places shipping was built a lot during world war ii which must have felt the economy. >> [inaudible] what is the part that is so important to savannah? >> reports? i'm not much of a maritime historian. i don't know. certainly the beginning in the late 19th century like the 18 etds and they have stuff like naval stores and turpentine and all sorts of things lost on the positions so i don't have a
practical mind on imports and exports but it was definitely the late 19th century when all that began and just kept growing and growing but we keep climbing up the matter we may or may not be the second largest port on the eastern seaboard if not the third but we are doing pretty good. yes, robert? >> [inaudible] actually made it the port of savannah and the machine shops here in savannah. >> well he needed to be refitted with the navy needs supplies and everything. that might be a factor, but it was the winner of 1864 the war was already over. everybody pretty much had given up a matter of fact savannah was the first city in the south to officially rejoined the union
that took a pledge even before the civil war was officially over. yes? >> also would also study and savannah? >> is in that like the field order? >> is todd still here? that's correct. they just put a marker in madison square. >> yes, related to the green melon house. >> the great thing also he did leave all the way from atlanta to savannah which is why it is the only in tact pre-civil war turntable still working and it is because sherman needed it.
now he decided this much. he kept the rail lines going to brownswick or south carolina but left the line from atlanta to savannah open with the turntable. >> i was watching something on the history channel in terms of the magnitude starting at the american civil war, the north had something like 160,000 miles of rail whereas the south had something like 28,000. disproportionate number we over in the north and the midwest compared to the south. yes? >> built with the old grey bricks can you tell about the industry? >> i think that was lost from generation to generation. nobody knows for today but the most sought out bricks that we
have. >> of the savannah are very sought after but i didn't cover that unfortunately. thank you for your attention and for coming tonight. [applause] >> what i have read recently is a wonderful book that i wrote a cold the speech and it deals with the filibuster that i gave in december, talking about a very bad agreement extending the bush tax breaks for very wealthy and also goes into some detail while the middle class of the
country is collapsing and also talks about the growing inequality in america to the future of the country so sells advertising, it was my book. i did read it. but it was a good book. the only book i read recently which i like very much is called third world america by arianna of finton. she's a very good writer and she touches on the trends we have seen for a number of years in terms of our physical infrastructure, in terms of health care but frankly if we do not reverse, so this is her point, we are going to end up looking like a third world country. and what that is about as a friend of mine came back last year from china at an airport flew into the united states while she was waiting for a plane back to vermont it was crowded and the plane was
delayed and wondering which is the third world country, the united states or china so a lot of ominous trend is moving us in the wrong to election in terms of physical infrastructure more people would have health insurance between the very rich and the dominance of big money in trust and wall street and i think the point is we've got to get our act together and reduce those trends so we become the great nation we know we can and should be. another issue, the book i'm reading right now is a book about the life of somebody i've known a number of years, i've known him for many years and that is willing nelson and the book is called willie nelson, an epic of life it's not the most readable book in the world because i think what joan does
is give the name of devotee in the world who want to differ thing to do with willie nelson, but given the fact that willie nelson is one of the more -- is clearly one of the great entertainers of our time and is an icon and a unique type of individual because of who he is and his entertainment qualities in vermont where i've seen them a number of times she brings together the huge range of people. most singers will kill the score but the point that for both people and will layerings them all together. that has to do with his personality, decency as a human being. he's a very gentle man. his decency is just a very strong supporter of the american some people are interested in learning about the life of a guide that is born in arkansas
and born to texas and move in the cotton fields. he grew up very, very poor, and he has a unique type to working americans today. so i am a big fan of his and this is a good book that talks about his life. last book is interesting naturally the topic might be a book called the financial crisis and that was put together by the admission congress stopped to look at the causes of the financial crisis on wall street and how they ended up bringing us to the place we are right now which is the worst recession this country has experienced since the great depression, and that is tough reading because what you are saying is t