Savannah in the Old South

Walter J. Fraser Jr.

A brand new history for a grand old American city

Reviews

"With clear, straightforward writing and impressive research, Savannah in the Old South is a real contribution in its chronicling of post-1800 events in Savannah from the perspective of African Americans (slave and free), immigrants, and women. It will appeal to readers who want to know more about Savannah, including those who have read the unflattering Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil."
—Edward J. Cashin, Emeritus Director, Center for the Study of Georgia History, Augusta State University

"At last!—the scholarly, yet highly readable, history of Savannah that we have long been waiting for. In Savannah in the Old South, Jay Fraser has crafted a much-needed documented analysis of this dynamic tidewater trading town. This outstanding book about antebellum Savannah fills a long-neglected void—it is steeped in objectivity and provides an attention to detail that has been lacking in early histories."
—Buddy Sullivan, author of Early Days on the Georgia Tidewater


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Description
This flowing, instantly engaging narrative tells the story of Savannah from the hopeful arrival of its first permanent English settlers in 1733 to the uncertainties faced by its Civil War survivors in 1865. Alongside the many women and men of European, African, and Native American heritage who helped shaped Savannah's first century and a half, Walter J. Fraser Jr. also shows how war, disease, market forces, fire, and other circumstances left their marks on the city and its people.

Among other major developments in Savannah's history, Fraser recalls the hardships of its first residents; the depredations of the Revolutionary War; the relocation of Georgia's capital away from the city; the growth of commerce through railroads and steamships; the establishment of public institutions such as the Female Asylum for orphaned and abandoned girls and the Poor House and Hospital; and the emergence of public education, a professional police force, and other elements of an urban infrastructure.

More than any previous history of the city, Savannah in the Old South points out how whites and blacks, bondpeople and free men and women often interacted in ways that smoothed away the rough edges of racism. From Savannah's physical layout to its cosmopolitan culture, from its social services network to its racially diverse poor neighborhoods, the city offered opportunities for daily contact between blacks and whites that did not exist in the surrounding rural areas.

By the eve of the Civil War, Savannah had become Georgia's major commercial and cultural center and the region's sixth largest city. The story of its remarkable growth is told here with an eye for telling facts and human drama.

Series/imprint:
A Wormsloe Foundation Publication

Page count: 440 pp.
Illustrated
Trim size: 6 x 9

Read more about Savannah at the New Georgia Encyclopedia.

 



Paper
List price: $28.95
978-0-8203-2776-1
9/1/2005

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Walter J. Fraser Jr. is professor emeritus in the Department of History at Georgia Southern University. His many books include Savannah in the Old South and Lowcountry Hurricanes (both Georgia), Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of Georgia in the Civil War, and Charleston! Charleston!