Sunny South

Title banner from the March 6, 1875 issue of the Sunny South

Colonel John H. Seals and his brother William H. Seals established the Sunny South literary magazine in Atlanta in November 1874. Each issue was made from newsprint and cost readers five cents an issue or $2.50 for a yearly subscription. The magazine struggled during the early months of its publication. Colonel Seals was forced to take out loans and sell his personal property to keep the publication afloat until subscriptions began to trickle in. Despite the initial financial difficulties, the Sunny South’s circulation continued to grow at a steady rate, reaching ten thousand in 1880 and one hundred thousand just five years later.

Engraving of Col. John H. Seals from the April 5, 1899 issue of the Sunny South

Throughout its publication, the Sunny South focused largely on southern literature and each issue included short fiction, poetry, and serialized novels aimed at a female audience. In addition to fiction, most editions of the Sunny South included illustrations, household advice columns, and local news editorials. Politically, the magazine was consistently a progressive advocate for women’s rights.  Associate editor Mary Edwards Bryan was a long standing supporter of a variety of issues related to gender equality, including job availability and coeducation.  In 1895, the Sunny South became the first publication in Atlanta to officially endorse equal suffrage rights for women in the United States. In this editorial from the February 9, 1895 issue of the  Sunny South (right), the unnamed writer asserts that women deserve the chance to be heard and suggests their participation could be the answer to society’s ills.

The Atlanta Constitution purchased the Sunny South from John H. Seals in 1893 and ran it as a weekly supplement to the Sunday editions of the paper. The Sunny South eventually merged with Uncle Remus’s Magazine in 1907. The new publication was edited by  celebrated writer and journalist Joel Chandler Harris until his death the following year. The magazine continued publication under the direction of his son before folding in 1913.

The Sunny South is available online as part of the Atlanta Historic Newspapers Archive. The archive provides images of the magazine that are both full-text searchable and browsable by date.




Another Round of Georgia Trivia

Sheet music for a piece called "Sewing Song." Do you know who its composer is?

Put on your thinking caps, because it’s time for another game of DLG trivia! How many of these Georgia-related trivia questions can you get right without clicking onto the answers?


Born into slavery, this Georgian’s musical talent was so great that his owner would eventually send him on a nationwide concert tour. Even more remarkable, this piano prodigy was blind! Who was he? Answer


This Polish count was so inspired by the Revolutionary War that he joined the American fight for independence in 1777. In 1779, he was promoted to brigadier general and led French and American troops in the Siege of Savannah, where he was fatally wounded. He later became one of only seven honorary citizens of the United States. Who was this man? Answer


This theater was the epicenter of African American entertainment in Macon.

This historic Macon theater was known for providing quality entertainment to African American audiences, including the vaudeville act Butterbeans and Susie, blues singer Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, and motion pictures produced exclusively for African American audiences. The theater was owned and operated by Charles Henry Douglass, who also managed a hotel. What was the name of this historic theater? Answer


When the United States Capitol building needed a face-lift prior to the 1961 inauguration of President John F. Kennedy, this Georgia natural resource was used to replace some of the original, pitted limestone facade. Mined in Pickens County, what valuable resource was used for this project? Answer

This Atlanta minor league baseball team, active from 1901 to 1965, played their home games at Spiller Field, which would later become known as Ponce de Leon Park. What was the name of this team? Answer


This cartoonist editorialized his own retirement.

This editorial cartoonist produced drawings for the Augusta Chronicle, the Miami Herald, and Atlanta Constitution. The Augusta native was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for a cartoon regarding Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign. Who is this artist? Answer