By Charles Seabrook

Finalist for 2002 Georgia writer of the yr Award in artistic Nonfiction

In September 1996, Cumberland Island blasted onto the nationwide information scene whilst it was once printed that John Kennedy, Jr., and Carolyn Bassett have been married at the island within the First African Baptist Church—a easy one-room body constitution with 8 home made pews. whilst the flotilla of writers and photographers arrived at the island a number of days later basically to discover themselves itching, sweating, and swatting at pestiferous gnats and bloodthirsty mosquitoes, they puzzled why this sort of worldly and complicated couple had selected any such tick-infested spot.

In Cumberland Island, Charles Seabrook makes use of his expertise as an award-winning environmental author to explain the island’s average bounty and to inform its lengthy and interesting history.

You’ll meet Catherine “Caty” Greene Miller, the widow of innovative struggle hero Nathanael Greene and the girl who encouraged Eli Whitney to invent the cotton gin. You’ll meet Robert Stafford, who despatched his six youngsters born to a slave named Zabette to dwell in a majestic domestic in New England, the place they grew to become a part of the white excessive society. All of his daughters married good, together with one that wed a Russian count number in Notre Dame. There’s Thomas and Lucy Carnegie, who used their Pittsburgh metal fortune to buy acreage at the island. In 1885, they accomplished their mansion and a yr later Thomas died at age forty three. Lucy remained at the island to elevate her nine youngsters. Her granddaughter, leave out Lucy Ferguson, used to be thought of via many to be the hardest and orneriest of the entire powerful girls who inhabited the island reigning over it in the course of the Nineteen Sixties and ’70s. The present-day iteration is represented via Janet “GoGo” Ferguson, pass over Lucy’s granddaughter, who made the preparations for the Kennedy and Bassett marriage ceremony and crafted their marriage ceremony earrings as well.

Today, the island serves as a lightning rod for controversy. even supposing the island is at the moment lower than the purview of the nationwide Park provider, a few descendants nonetheless dwell at the island. The dispute over the sale of land by means of cash-strapped landowners to advertisement builders creates as a lot heated debate because the dialogue of the way the Park carrier may still stability the administration of a desolate tract quarter with the privileges accorded the citizens. incorporated in those debates are the questions of even if the island’s signature wild-horse herd might be dispersed as a result environmental harm it wreaks and no matter if the ancient mansions that also pepper the island be allowed to disintegrate to break for the sake of desolate tract preservation.

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Cumberland Island: Strong Women, Wild Horses by Charles Seabrook

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