Georgia antebellum newspapers now freely available online

As part of a $14,495 grant from the R. J. Taylor, Jr. Foundation, the Digital Library of Georgia has digitized approximately 53,930 pages of Georgia newspaper titles published prior to 1861 from microfilm held by the Georgia Newspaper Project ( The project creates full-text searchable versions of the newspapers and presents them online for free in its Georgia Historic Newspapers database at in accordance with technical guidelines developed by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress for the National Digital Newspaper Program (see . The Georgia Historic Newspapers database will utilize the Library of Congress’ open source tool, Chronicling America, for the online delivery of the full-text newspapers.Users will be able to search the database for geographic, corporate, family, and personal names.

138 pre-Civil War titles have been digitized from the following Georgia cities: Albany, Americus, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Auraria, Calhoun, Carrollton, Cartersville, Cassville, Clarkesville, Columbus, Covington, Cuthbert, Darien, Forsyth, Ft. Hawkins, Greensboro, Griffin, Hamilton, Louisville, Lumpkin, Macon, Madison, Mount Zion, Newnan, Oglethorpe, Penfield, Petersburg, Rome, Savannah, Sparta, Thomaston, Thomasville, Warrenton, and Washington.

Vivian Price Saffold, chairman of the R. J. Taylor, Jr. Advisory Committee, states: “Since 1971 genealogy researchers have depended on publications funded by grants from the R. J. Taylor, Jr. Foundation. The Foundation has funded the printing of thousands of books in traditional format. More recently the addition of digital projects, such as the Digital Library of Georgia’s newspaper project, have made possible free online access to tens of thousands of Georgia newspaper pages that previously were difficult to research. The DLG project is a great example of the kind of grant request the Foundation is proud to fund. Georgia newspapers are a valuable resource. On the technical side, the online newspaper images are sharp and clear, and the functionality of the indexing is excellent.”

About the R. J. Taylor, Jr. Foundation

The purpose of the R. J. Taylor, Jr. Foundation Trust is to promote genealogical research and study in Georgia in conjunction with the Georgia Genealogical Society and the Georgia Archives. Grants are made to individuals and organizations to defray the expense of publishing (print or digital) records of a genealogical nature from public and private sources. The primary emphasis is on preserving and making available to the public genealogical data concerning citizens of Georgia who were residents prior to 1851. Visit the R. J. Taylor, Jr. Foundation at

About the Digital Library of Georgia

Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia is a GALILEO initiative that collaborates with Georgia’s libraries, archives, museums and other institutions of education and culture to provide access to key information resources on Georgia history, culture and life. This primary mission is accomplished through the ongoing development, maintenance and preservation of digital collections and online digital library resources. DLG also serves as Georgia’s service hub for the Digital Public Library of America and as the home of the Georgia Newspaper Project, the state’s historic newspaper microfilming project.


Before They Were Famous – The Sequel

Earlier we presented this story on three Georgians before they were famous. Here a few more similar stories.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is world famous for his leadership in the Civil Rights movement and his nonviolent means of protest. He was able to lead so many largely because of his remarkable gift of oratory. He began honing this talent at an early age. In 1944 King–then a junior at Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta–won an oratorical contest on the subject “The Negro and the Constitution.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The seeds of his later brilliant speeches can be seen in such phrases as “America gave its full pledge of freedom seventy-five years ago,” “The finest Negro is at the mercy of the meanest white man,” and “We cannot be truly Christian people so long as we flaunt the central teachings of Jesus: brotherly love and the Golden Rule.” The image above can be found at Long Island University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. tribute site.

Before he became famous as the voice of Winnie the Pooh, character actor Sterling Holloway was born in Cedartown, Georgia. He attended the Georgia Military Academy (see photo below) before graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.

Sterling Holloway

Holloway appeared, primarily in small roles, in a number of films and television shows, but found fame doing voice work for Walt Disney studios. Some of his more noted work was as the the voice of the Stork in Dumbo, the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland, and Kaa the Python in The Jungle Book. Finally, Holloway was the voice of the beloved animated bear Winnie the Pooh in Disney films of the 1960s and 70s.

John Henry Holliday was born in Griffin, Georgia August 14, 1851. As a teenager his family moved to Valdosta, from where he went to Pennsylvania to study dentistry, graduating and coming back to Atlanta to establish a practice. The next year, Holliday was diagnosed with tuberculosis and was advised to move to the drier climate of the West. He moved to Texas, where he continued practicing dentistry but also became interested in gambling and became proficient with a revolver. In 1877, Holliday met Wyatt Earp, which led to a lifelong friendship. While Earp was a deputy U.S. marshal in Tombstone, Arizona, on October 26, 1881, the Georgia-born dentist and gunfighter–now known as “Doc” Holliday–joined Wyatt and two Earp brothers in a standoff with Ike Clanton and his gang of gunfighters. The Earps and Holliday gunned down three of the Clanton gang in what was later memorialized as the “Gunfight at O.K. Corral.” Holliday’s health continued to decline, and he died in Glenwood Springs, Colo. on November 8, 1887.

"Doc" Holliday

One more “before they were famous” story–or perhaps in this case we could say “infamous.” In January of 1844 a young (only 23 years old) Army lieutenant who was then stationed in Charleston, S.C., received orders to report to Marietta, Georgia. He arrived there in February, and spent the next six weeks taking depositions from militia members in Alabama and Georgia who had incurred personal losses of horses and equipment in the Second Seminole War. He also had time to familiarize himself with the area–an area he would visit again twenty years later–under vastly different circumstances. This young lieutenant’s name? William Tecumseh Sherman!

Young William T. Sherman