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Tdr^^^^ Library 



Volume XXV 1986 




Robert H. Claxton 
Volume Editor 


Foreword Robert H. Claxton iii 

Preface Louisa S. Hoberman 1 


The Matlazahuatl of 1737-8 in some Villages in 

the Guadalajara Region Murdo J. MacLeod 7 

Order and Progress for some — Death and Disease 
for Others: Living Conditions of Non- Whites 
in Rio de Janeiro, 1890-1940 Sam Adamo 17 


Temporal Patterns in Historic Major Earthquakes 

in Chile James H. Shirley 31 

A Master List of Historic (pre - 1840) 
Earthquakes and Volcanic Eruptions in 
Central America Lawrence H. Feldman 63 

The 1970 Yungay Earthquake: Post-Disaster Change 

in an Andean Province of Peru . Anthony Oliver-Smith 107 


The Bolivian Disaster Surveillance 

Data System Josephine Malilay, 131 

Patrick Marnane, & William E. Bertrand 

Weather-based Hazards in Colonial 
Guatemala Robert H. Claxton 139 



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History is more than the record of people interacting 
with other people. History also includes the impact of such 
non-human factors as diet, disease, insects, the availability or 
lack of mineral resources or arable soil and draught animals, 
technology, topography, fire, and natural hazards like 
weather, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes. These factors 
establish limits within which people function but the non- 
human elements alone do not determine human behavior. 
The study of the role these non-human elements play is 
emerging as the specialty which Professor David Sweet (Uni- 
versity of California, Santa Cruz) calls "Infra-History." 

There is a certain irony in the fact that the United 
States is one of the safest places in the world. Even so, most 
case studies regarding the impact of natural hazards concern 
the United States. Hazard impacts are usually considered in 
isolation. Few people study hazard impacts in the contempo- 
rary Third World where the risks are greater and the popula- 
tions are often more concentrated. There are still fewer stud- 
ies anywhere from any historical perspective. 

Significant hazard impacts are not simply an aspect of 
the distant past. Nicaragua provides recent examples. Re- 
sentment against the manner in which the Somoza govern- 
ment managed recovery from the 1972 Managua earthquake 
contributed to its fall to the Sandinistas in 1979. Extensive 
flooding in 1982 gave the revolutionary government addi- 
tional reason to rely more heavily on the U.S.S.R. and its 
allies for assistance. There were several natural disasters in 
Latin America in 1985. Two — earthquake and volcanic erup- 
tion — diverted the energies of Mexico and Colombia away 
from the foundering Contadora peace initiative for Central 

Natural hazards become natural disasters when people 
do not, or will not, understand how to cope with their envi- 
ronment. This volume is a modest attempt to contribute to 
that understanding. The documentation style in each essay 
reflects the standard practice in the academic discipline 


I wish to express appreciation to Shirley Tanner and 
Beth Currey for their assistance in the preparation and dis- 
tribution of Studies in the Social Sciences. 

Robert H. Claxton, 



Three recent disasters in Latin America — the Mexican 
earthquakes of September 19th and 20th, the Puerto Rican mud- 
slide of October 8th, and the Colombian volcanic eruption and 
mudslide of November 13th, all occuring in the Fall of 1985 — 
have once again called attention to the importance of natural 
hazards to this region of the world. The North American press 
has presented these disasters, so costly in human life and in dam- 
age to buildings, farms, and businesses, as a cruel blow to coun- 
tries or regions already struggling against a burden of foreign 
debt, drug scandals, or severe unemployment. What the many ex- 
cellent journalistic accounts of these tragedies often neglect to 
mention is the fact that earthquakes, mud avalanches, and other 
natural hazards, such as droughts, epidemics, floods, and hurri- 
canes, have occurred repeatedly in Latin American history. In- 
deed, one of the constants in the past of the Latin American na- 
tions is the periodic occurrence of these devasting events. 

The study of natural hazards is, therefore, the province of the 
historian, as well as of the journalist, and the practitioners of 
other present-oriented disciplines such as the geologist, the anthro- 
pologist, and the epidemiologist. However, historians rarely choose 
a disaster, or series of disasters, as the primary focus of their 
scholarship. Rather, they treat them as background to other topics 
or as an aggravating event. This volume of Studies in the Social 
Sciences seeks to rectify the lack of historical perspective on natu- 
ral hazards in Latin America by presenting several analyses that 
focus on the hazards themselves and that offer data on their re- 
peated occurence over long periods of time. In addition, two of the 
essays offer models that may permit the prediction of hazards in 
the future. 

"The Matlazahuatl of 1737-8 in some villages in the Guada- 
lajara Region" by Murdo MacLeod is a valuable study, because it 
resurrects the history of a lesser known colonial Mexican epi- 
demic, the matlazahuatl of 1737-8, and illustrates how our knowl- 
edge of these events is influenced by subjective considerations. 
Based on his analysis of the burial registers from several villages 
in the Guadalajara region, MacLeod concludes that the 
matlazahuatl of the 1730s was the most deadly epidemic of the 


West Georgia College, Studies in the Social Sciences 25 (1986) 

century in these towns but that it was not remembered as such, 
partly because attitudes toward disease were different at that time 
than during the far better known epidemic of the 1780s. In the 
later period, when the government was seen as responsible for aid- 
ing victims, relief measures were taken and their relative ineffl- 
cacy heightened popular awareness of the devastation of the epi- 
demic. In arguing for the need to study how contemporaries 
themselves viewed epidemics, MacLeod suggests a new direction 
for demographic history. However, in stressing that epidemics af- 
fecting mainly Indians helped create a mestizo population in Mex- 
ico, MacLeod follows in the tradition of the Berkeley school. 

Sam Adamo's "Order and Progess for Some — Death and 
Disease for Others: Living Conditions of Nonwhites in Rio de 
Janeiro, 1890-1940," enables us to compare the impact of disease 
in a modern, urban setting to its effect in the colonial, rural set- 
ting described by MacLeod. The number of similarities is signifi- 
cant and points to the usefulness of focusing on disease itself as 
the central subject of study. Although the degree of government 
intervention in the living conditions of the poor, such as the goal 
of providing adequate low cost housing, has been much greater in 
the twentieth century, the failure of half-hearted state efforts was 
common to both periods. Adamo has utilized an interesting vari- 
ety of turn of the century reports to show that there was concern 
about poor housing and nutrition but that special interests frus- 
trated the implementation of the remedies devised. Another simi- 
larity is the selective impact of disease. Just as Indians were pri- 
marily affected by matlazahuatl in colonial Mexico, Afro- 
Brazilians were the chief victims of the poor living conditions that 
fostered tuberculosis and gastroenteritis in Republican Brazil. Al- 
though the death rates due to these diseases declined for all socio- 
racial groups in the twentieth century, the decline was less for 

One reason that the importance of natural hazards to Latin 
American history has often not been recognized is the lack of in- 
formation on the disasters that have occurred from the colonial 
period to the present. Jim Shirley's "Temporal Patterns in His- 
toric Major Earthquakes in Chile," and Lawrence Feldman's "A 
Master List of Historic (pre - 1840) Earthquakes and Volcanic 
Eruptions in Central America," are, therefore, particularly wel- 
come contributions to the literature, since they document the re- 
currence of these events for 300 years or more. With the help of 

C. Lomnitz's catalog of major historic earthquakes in Chile, Shir- 
ley was able to identify more than 40, dating from 1570. With the 
benefit of this temporal perspective, he then concluded that the 
earthquakes' time of occurence could be correlated with the posi- 
tion of the Moon and the Sun, provided the earthquakes were ana- 
lyzed by grouping them according to Chile's four seismic regions. 
Quakes are caused by stresses in the Earth's crust, and the gravi- 
tational attractions of the Moon and Sun can produce these 
stresses. Shirley also notes the conclusions of J. Kelleher, who be- 
lieved that seismic activity migrated from north to south in Chile 
in approximately 100-year cycles. Both conclusions demonstrate 
that earthquakes occur in a pattern. They do not permit precise 
prediction of the time or place of future earthquakes, but they do 
establish regularities that may ultimately lead to accurate 

Lawrence Feldman's "Master List" provides a longer list of 
earthquakes for Central America than does Shirley for Chile, be- 
cause Shirley limited himself to major disturbances, that is, 
quakes with magnitudes of at least 7.5. Feldman's essay, there- 
fore, includes many small earthquakes and volcanic eruptions 
which are significant because of the impact even small distur- 
bances had on local economies. His thorough index is derived pri- 
marily, though not exclusively, from the Archivo General de Cen- 
tro-America and the Archivo General de Indias. Feldman has 
been concerned to use primary eyewitness accounts and to avoid 
the reliance of previous historians on colonial chronicles which are 
basically secondary accounts. He has recognized that the Spanish 
government's practice of granting tax relief and disaster funding 
to affected regions is a prime source of first hand information. Be- 
ginning with the volcanic eruption of 1505 in Santiago Atitlan, 
Guatemala, Feldman's list covers over three centuries of archival 
references to 1830. His essay can serve as a model for similar lists 
for other regions. 

"The 1970 Yungay Earthquake: Post-disaster Change in an 
Andean Province of Peru" by Anthony Oliver-Smith is a case 
study of a recent earthquake that raises significant questions 
about the impact of disasters in the context of sociological studies 
of change, such as the work of Allen Barton on the response of 
different types of communities and of Raymond Firth on the dif- 
ference between social organizational change and social structural 
change. Thus, he provides a framework in addition to the history 

of Latin America for the analysis of natural hazards. Another 
contribution is to identify areas of Latin American society where 
we might expect to observe disaster-induced change. In Yungay 
Indian peasants and small town cholo and mestizo entrepreneurs 
experienced upward mobility, due to the near destruction of the 
traditional hacendado and professional elite by the earthquake 
and rock slide. The barrio of Mitma, which had previously been 
subordinate to the barrio of Huambo now acted more indepen- 
dently. Oliver-Smith draws a contrast between these social organi- 
zational changes in the experience of particular groups and the 
persistence of the political and social structure in other respects. 
Thus, Oliver-Smith concludes that while the earthquake hastened 
the pace of social change and may have even more dramatic long 
term effects, it did not revolutionize regional society by any 
means. Oliver-Smith's thesis is persuasive and represents one his- 
toriographical apporach to disasters: that by disrupting existing 
arrangements, natural hazards provide an opportunity for positive 
changes. Scholars familiar with disasters in earlier periods, how- 
ever, more frequently take the approach that the disaster consti- 
tuted a heavy drain on the resources of the region, and that far 
from contributing to development, retarded it. 

The two final essays in this volume deal with disasters caused 
by meteorological variations, producing floods and drought. They 
too reveal the contrast in approaches between those who study 
contemporary disasters and those who focus on historical disas- 
ters. "The Bolivian Disaster Surveillance Data System," by 
Josephine Malilay, Patrick Marnane, and William Bertrand, de- 
scribes a computer-based system developed to maximize relief to 
communities striken by floods or drought by identifying the disas- 
ter in its early stages. The project, sponsored initially by USAID, 
was stimulated by the havoc wrought by the appearance of the El 
Nino current in 1981-82. It seeks to provide an "early warning 
system" for disasters underway rather than, as Shirley intended, 
to predict the appearance of the disaster itself. The meticulously 
designed information gathering plan shows the great progress that 
has been made in understanding the effects of disasters on rural 
Latin American communities. It also demonstrates a welcome 
confidence that the damage caused by natural hazards can be re- 
duced to some extent. But, as the authors conclude, even this well- 
conceived project met the obstacles of community suspicion and 
incomplete local data. Like Oliver-Smith, the authors view natural 

hazards as a reality in Latin America which can be coped with to 
some extent. Both essays also stress the impact of national pat- 
terns which are beyond the control of the affected local 

Robert Claxton's "Weather-Based Hazards in Colonial Gua- 
temala" is a comprehensive historical overview of the impact of 
droughts and floods in that region. By noting the types of archival 
and non-documentary sources available, by presenting the 
droughts and floods of colonial Guatemala in Tables I and II, and 
by analyzing the relief measures and long term effects of these 
hazards, Claxton combines most of the approaches utilized by the 
other authors in the volume. The result is the first study to focus 
exclusively on weather-related disasters over a 300 year period. 
Claxton makes several interesting methodological contributions. 
First, he distinguishes among climatological drought (normal dry 
season), meteorological drought (abnormal dry season), and socio- 
political drought (shortages due to hoarding of supplies or poor 
planning). One task of the historian of climate is to relate the 
three conditions; previously, historians have focused on the third. 
Secondly, he points out that the governments of the nineteenth 
and, it is implied, the twentieth centuries, had more resources at 
their disposal to offer relief, so that the temporal context of the 
disaster is important. Third, by contrasting the impacts of 
droughts and floods, he lays a basis for a typology of disasters 
and, ultimately, and appropriate relief strategy for each. Petitions 
for tax exemptions, for example, an interesting aspect of colonial 
disaster history, were more common after drought than after 
flood, and, in general, drought apparently had a greater impact 
than flood. Finally, like Oliver-Smith, Claxton refers to Foster, 
Roth, and other scholars of comparative disaster to locate the 
Guatemalan data. This volume, therefore, offers not only informa- 
tion about many actual disasters but provides suggestions for fur- 
ther research on this timely topic. 

Louisa S. Hoberman 

Assistant Professor 
of History 
George Mason 



Murdo J. MacLeod** 

European agrarian historians have made us familiar with the 
term "subsistence crisis." 1 Bad harvest brought on by drought, 
flooding, late springs or early winters, blights, sudden freezes, 
hailstorms or gales struck with seemingly cyclical regularity. 
Large farmers, estate owners, wealthier merchants and city gov- 
ernments could anticipate hard times by holding back and storing 
foodstuffs in good years, by slaughtering off surplus livestock, or, 
the most infamous response to hard times, by hoarding and re- 
grating foodstuffs during the crisis itself and its aftermath. Peas- 
ants, poor villagers, and the common folk in small towns usually 
were unable to afford these solutions. 

Pestilence of various kinds could act very much as an inde- 
pendent agent, striking, as we shall see, against a background of 
seemingly impropitious social and economic circumstances. More 
usual, however, was the sequence whereby epidemics would take 
advantage of rising prices, scarcity of staples, and the resultant 
nutritional dificiencies and immunological weaknesses. The very 
young, the old, and the very poor suffered most in many of these 
pestilences, and population decline, even if sometimes very tempo- 
rary, was the result, often most noticeable in the year following 
the harvest damage or failure, because resistance was at its lowest 
and malnutrition at its highest by then. Poor relief, rudimentary 
in the large towns and cities, was almost non-existent in the 
poorer rural areas, and many people resorted to flight, seeking 
food and work in less affected areas, trying to avoid contagion but 
often carrying it with them, and hoping to outdistance the omni- 
present tax collectors, labor recruiters and other authorities, 

** Direct correspondence to: Department of History, University of Florida, Gaines- 
ville, Florida 32611. 

1 The literature on these crises in Europe is large. For the moment, see B. H. Slicher 
van Bath, The Agrarian History of Western Europe, A.D. 500-1850, Oliver Ordish trans. 
(London, 1963); and Michael W. Flinn, The European Demographic System, 1500-1820 
(Baltimore, 1981). 

West Georgia College, Studies in the Social Sciences 25 (1986) 

whose demands often continued in spite of hard times. 2 

Research on agrarian crises in Mexico was pioneered by En- 
rique Florescano, who was able to demonstrate a close relationship 
between droughts, blights, harvest failures and the price fluctua- 
tions of the basic cereal, maize. Most notable, in Florescano's im- 
portant survey, is the seeming inevitability and cyclically of these 
agrarian crises. There were ten, one almost every decade, during 
the eighteenth century in Mexico. These varied widely in severity, 
of course, and from a central Mexican standpoint, and by popular 
tradition, the ferocity, misery and price inflation brought by the 
famine and epidemic of 1785-86, the notorious aho de hambre, 
were the worst. 3 

Even more recent, although the volume of work is becoming 
impressive, has been detailed research on Mexican epidemics. 
Again, Florescano has been one of the pioneers, and has provided 
scholars with a basic outline of these disasters. As is to be ex- 
pected the relationship between some of these epidemics and the 
preceding subsistence crisis is clear. Diseases such as measles and 
smallpox, especially, seem to have been "piggyback" opportunists. 
In a few cases, however, no necessary relationship has been found 
between agrarian difficulties and epidemics, and, at least at this 
stage in the research, examples have been found where one or the 
other of these types of disaster surge through communities and 
pass on, in seeming isolation. 4 

Within the general context of this work on Mexican 
epidemics I have been studying the burial registers from several 
villages in the Guadalajara region. These villages begin around 
Lake Chapala and stretch in a narrow band northwards to an area 
roughly half way between the cities of Guadalajara and 

2 The measles epidemic of 1726-27 was related to a subsistence crisis. See Murdo J. 
MacLeod, "The three Horsemen: Drought, Disease, Population and the Difficulties of 
1726-1727 in the Guadalajara Region," SECOLAS Annals 14 (March 1983): 33-46. But 
there is no inevitable relationship between dearth and pestilence. See the discussion on 
these matters in D. A. Brading and Celia Wu, "Population Growth and Crisis: Leon, 1720- 
1860." Journal of Latin American Studies 5 (May 1973): 27-29. Moreover, famines are 
often problems of equity and distribution rather than a result of crop failures. See Amartya 
Senn, Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation, Corrected ed. (Ox- 
ford, 1982). 

3 Enrique Florescano, Precios del maiz y crisis agricolas en Mexico, (1708-1810) 
(Mexico City, 1969), especially the graphs, pp. 113, 124 and 139. Sell also Enrique 
Florescano, comp., Fuentes para la historia de la crisis agrlcola de 1785-1786, 2 vols. 
(Mexico City, 1981). 

4 Enrique Florescano and Elsa Malvido, comps., Ensayos sobre la historia de las 
epidemias en Mexico, 2 vols. (Mexico City, 1982), and the materials in note 2 above. 

Zacatecas. The climate around Lake Chapala and Guadalajara 
resembles that of most of montane Mexico. There are few major 
rivers, but the lakeside communities are less subject, for obvious 
reasons, to the effects of drought. The temperate climate provides 
one rainy season, June to mid-October, anxiously awaited and un- 
certain, and a long dry season. Nearly everywhere, except where 
there is irrigation in a few places on the lake, for example, there is 
one growing season and one harvest per year. Generally speaking, 
dessication increases as one moves north towards the semi-deserts 
of Zacatecas, and the agriculture situation becomes more 
precarious. 6 

There is a variety of problems which frustrate the researcher 
working in these burial registers. Incomplete runs, obliterated 
pages, difficulties in making data comparable, are common. Most 
problematical is the variability in the data written down. Some 
compulsive village priests entered a large array of interesting spe- 
cifics in the register after each funeral, including ethnic category, 
age, cause of death, and economic rank of funeral. Others insouci- 
antly wrote a brief note after each funeral, or simply wrote up the 
ones they could remember at the end of the month or thereabouts. 
Some went to Guadalajara for long visits. A few fled their par- 
ishes when crises such as epidemics began, thus leaving later re- 
searcher without data at the specific times when they most needed 
them. In short, the reliability of data varies widely, and macro 
statistics should cause less suspicion than findings based on small 
samples, on ones limited to one village, or on ones brief in the 
time span covered. 6 

Specifically this paper casts a brief glance at a handful of 
villages for which, so far, I have completed approximately one 
century of offical burial statistics. My emphasis is upon the epi- 
demic of 1737-38, recognized in Mexican historiography as very 
servere, but one which has never approached the infamous reputa- 
tion of the afio de hambre. 7 

5 Eric Van Young, Hacienda and Market in Eighteenth-Century Mexico: The Rural 
Economy of the Guadalajara Region, 1675-1820 (Berkeley, 1981), pp. 14-15, and the 
works mentioned in these pages. 

8 Bishops passing by on pastoral visitas constantly chided the village clergy over their 
negligence in the maintenance of parish registers. A typical example is the visita by the 
Bishop of Guadalajara to the pueblo of Ajijic, Nov. 21, 1715, in Archivo de la Parroquia 
de San Francisco de Asis de Jocotepec, Jalisco, Defunciones, Anos 1695-1765, Vol. II. 

7 I have been unable to find any research specifically devoted to this epidemic. Works 
devoted to the afio de hambre are relatively numerous. 

The pestilence of 1737-38 in the region under study began 
late in 1737, the earliest record so far being from August 1737 at 
Jocotepec at the eastern end of Lake Chapala. In the parish of 
Chapala and Ixtlahuacan the first death noted as a result of the 
epidemic took place the day after Christmas, 1737. From the 
lakeside the disease spread quickly north, and perhaps east. In 
fact, very tentatively — and somewhat surprisingly given the cen- 
tral Mexican origins of so many Mesoamerican pandamics — the 
epidemic seems to have spread from the south and east, that is 
from Colima. For some of the villages to the north of Guadala- 
jara, Colotan being an exception, the epidemic occurred entirely 
within the year 1738. In a few villages in Zacatecas it lasted into 
1739. 8 

Many villages curas spoke simply of "la epidemia," and a few 
did not even mention it specifically, in spite of the line of corpses 
which they had to bury daily. Others identified the disease as be- 
ing that scourge of sixteenth-and-seventeenth-century Mexico, 
matlazahuatl. After examining the scanty information on the 
symptoms and progress of the disease, many scholars have decided 
that matlazahuatl was exanthemic typhus. This diagnosis, while 
fitting the evidence fairly well, and while certainly compatible 
with the extraordinary mortality rates, presents some problems as 
on considered the data from the Guadalajara region. The disease 
began in most places at the height of the dry season, and waned, 
in general, during the rainy season, as monthy burials in the fol- 
lowing villages illustrate. 9 

Table 1 
Burials by Month, 1738 

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec 
Chapala & 
Ixtlahuacan 13 5 132 109 39 41 48 36 24 9 M 6 

Colotlan 20 43 74 120 64 44 9 18 24 16 10 M 
(M = Missing) 

Another problem is the selectivity of the disease. Immunity to 
typhus, a disease spread from the feces of body lice, in damp, 

8 See the Libros de Entierros of the Parroquias of Jocotepec, Chapala and Ixtahuacran 
(not to be confused with Ixtlahuacan del Rio), and Colotlan. 

9 Archivo de la Parroquia de Chapala, Mexico, Defunciones, Vol. II, Entierros de 
1735 a 1775, ff. 7v-f.29; Archivo de la Parroquia de San Luis en Colotlan, Jalisco, Diocesis 
de Zacatecas, Defunciones, Vol. I, Aftos 1718-1760, ff. 74v.-124. 


crowded conditions, is short lived, and as far as I know, shows no 
hereditary strength. Yet people of the time, and the evidence sup- 
ports them, considered matlazahuatl to be a disease confined al- 
most entirely to Indians. "Agui comenzo la enfermedad de los in- 
dios llamada vulgarm[en]te. Matlazaguat," wrote the village 
priest of Chapala. In Ciquio, well to the north, a priest concluded 
his entries for the sujeto village of Teponguazco by stating 
"Murieron en d[ic]ho Pueblo de Teponaguaso 1,083 Indios, de 
Matlazahuatl." (His arithmetic was slightly off.) In Zacatecas, in 
the village of Tlaltenango (now "de Sanchez"), the priest, who 
tried to give a cause of death whenever possible, noted 917 deaths 
in 1738, and the correspondence between matlazahuatl and Indian 
ethnic origin was almost total. 10 

There is also evidence of another kind that matlazahuatl was 
almost exclusively a killer of Indians. The low-lying village of La 
Barca, just west of Lake Chapala, had become mestizo and, above 
all, mulatto in ethnic composition by the early eighteenth century. 
Very few Indian burials were being recorded by then, and even 
these decreased throughout the century. This non-Indian village 
was affected very little by the matlazahuatl of 1737-38, and there 
are no later references to this disease in the burial registers for the 
village. On the other hand, an epidemic of unknown kind in 1778 
(I counted 194 burials), and one of smallpox in 1780 ( I counted 
132 burials), struck La Barca as hard as or harder than surround- 
ing villages, and the ano de hambre affected the mulattoes there 
— by this time the village was almost completely mulatto accord- 
ing to the official records — with about the same severity as it did 
other groups in other places in the region. Obviously it is risky to 
generalize from one village's burial records, but that the 
matlazahuatl of 1737-38 may have killed mainly Indians, and that 
the ano de hambre may have killed all rural ethnic groups more or 
less indiscriminately, could be a potentially significant problem 
worthy of more investigation. Nor should such research necessa- 
rily assume a biological or even immunological emphasis, although 
such approaches seem to be promising. Although it seems unlikely 
from present evidence, there may have been cultural, economic, or 
medical differences of significance between Indian and all non-In- 
dian communities which could help to explain such seemingly 

10 See the above Chapala Libro de Entierros, f. 7; also Archivo de la Parroquia de 
Cuquio, Jalisco, Diocesis de Guadalajara, Defunciones, ff. 67v.-74; Archivo de Tlaltenango, 
Zacatecas, Defunciones, ff. 43v-90. 


large disparities in mortality rates under the impact of one epi- 
demic. This ethnic change via selective epidemics is an interesting 
story in itself, but the point here is that deaths from matlazahuatl 
gradually disappear in La Barca, at the same time as its Indian 
population ." In short, if matlazahuatl was typhus, it showed a 
characteristic virulence, but a capricious seasonality and an ethnic 
selectivity which demand further enquiry. 

We now turn to annual totals of burials, and compare the 
approximate mortality, in villages where, so far, the data have al- 
lowed me to make such comparisons, year by year, throughout the 
eighteenth century. In the villages presented below, and, I suspect, 
in almost of the villages of the region, the epidemic of 1737-39 
was the largest and most deadly one of the eighteenth century. 
The ano de hambre, 1786-87, occupies second place, and, in some 
villages third place behind the smallpox epidemic of 1780. 

Table 2 
A Comparison of Two Epidemics and Surrounding Years 


1730 31 32 33 34 35 36 



39 40 

La Barca 

13 10 71815 7 15 



14 5 


17 29 19 14 26 38 M 



32 11 

(W. Ixtlahuacan) 


9* 32 34 3143 52 35 
Other Villages 



25 8* 


11*21* MMM M M 



97 81 


40 37 48 42 63 38 19* 

38 1167 210* M 

Cienaga de Mata 

18 27 326421 13 15 



92 48 


25 7* 6*28 33 M 26 178 


11* 12 

*Record is seriously incomplete 

(M = Missing) 




1780 81 82 83 84 85 86 

89 90 

La Barca 

132 43 37 23 37 100 142 





312 51 55 7466 121 198 




(W. Ixtlahuacan) 


209 57 60 80 90 252 157 



50 48 

(Sources: The Libros de Entierros of the above 


" Archivo de la Parroquia de La Barca, Estado de Jalisco, Defunciones. See the buri- 
als by race in Vol. I, and Vol. II, 1769-1798, ffs. 103-1 19v., 124v.-135v., 176-190. 


Even more noteworthy is that the general population of the 
region was considerably lower, perhaps by one third, in the decade 
of the 1730s than it was in the decade of the 1780s. Thus, not 
only was the matlazahuatl of 1738 the most deadly epidemic of 
the century in these villages, but if one compares it to the popula- 
tion size of its time proportionately, it is far and away more 
deadly than its more famous successor of the 1780s. In some ar- 
eas, some of the sujetos around Cuquio, for example, whole Indian 
village populations disappeared, never to return in any force. Add 
to this the general impression one has that record keeping was 
more careful in the 1780s, and that more priests abandoned their 
charges in the 1730s, at least in the villages I have studied, and 
the differences in the total number of deaths grows even larger. 

Before one generalizes from these few villages to all of Mex- 
ico or just to the whole Guadalajara region, it is well to note that 
another study, based on a small sample of villages, indicated that 
while the Guadalajara region suffered heavily mortality between 
1784 and 1786, it was by no means as hard hit as parts of the 
Bajio, central Mexico, or Chiapas. 12 Moreoever, in at least one 
village, Tonala, close to the city of Guadalajara, the burials for 
1784-86 far exceeded those of 1737-38, probably because of an 
influx of refugees from the starving countryside. 13 

In spite of these minor caveats, one is left with the task of 
explaining the peculiar neglect of the matlazahuatl of 1737-38 in 
the historical record, and the comparative importance of the ano 
de hambre in these same writings. As soon as the matlazahuatl 
had passed it was forgotten, at least by literate survivors, whereas 
the crisis of 1784-86 became a haunting legend, and continues to 
draw the attention of scholars to this day. 14 

Perhaps the suggested predilection of matlazahuatl for Indian 
victims has something to do with it. As the most lowly and ig- 
nored sector of the population, their tribulations may have passed 
relatively unnoticed. Then too, there were few relief measures in 
the 1730s. The great epidemic did provoke some people in Mexico 

11 R. Spillman, "The Disaster Complex of 1785-86 in New Spain: Prologue to a Geo- 
graphical Analysis," Paper, 75th Annual Meeting, Association of American Geographers, 
Philadelphia, 1979, and the map based on it in Linda Greenow, Credit and Socioeconomic 
Change in Colonial Mexico: Loans and Mortages in Guadalajara, 1720-1820, (Boulder, 
Colorado, 1983), p. 175. 

13 Greenow, Credit, p. 158. 

14 Compare the treatment of the two epidemics in Van Young, Hacienda and Market 
and also see the compilation by Florescano and Malvido in Ensayos. 


to deplore this lack of relief facilities and Marquesado del Valle 
officials promoted the establishment of hospitals, but around Gua- 
dalajara, with the exception of a few Franciscan village hospitals, 
seldom mentioned, and in which few people seem to have died, the 
sick were left to their own devices, often abandoned even by the 
fleeing fellow villagers. 15 By the 1780s the situation had changed 
somewhat. Guadalajara had its alhondiga, and a few of the larger 
villaged seem to have had more effective, or at least occupied, 
"hospitales" for the destitute. Given these efforts, which presuma- 
bly denoted a higher level of public and offical sensitivity and con- 
cern, the obvious inability to influence outcomes, and thus feelings 
of helplessness, may have caused more distress over the 
situation. 16 

The leading factor in this puzzle, however, may be the basic 
socio-economic conditions of the 1730s and the 1780s. In the 
1730s the region's population was still sparse. Recovery from the 
demographic nadir of the seventeenth century had been slow and 
there was little general pressure on the land. Nor was the 
matlazahuatl a "piggy back" epidemic. It does not appear to have 
been associated with any major dearth or agrarian crisis. Thus it 
arose, terrible though it was, in apparent isolation from its sur- 
rounding context, killing many, leaving whole villages abandoned, 
but also leaving the grief stricken survivors relatively healthy and 
well fed. In fact, the deaths may have relieved whatever pressure 
on resources there was, and probably helped to better wages and 
diet in some places. 

By the 1780s the socio-economic context had changed. Espe- 
cially aroung Lake Chapala there was considerable malthusian 
pressure, perhaps even some elements of a crisis. The rural popu- 
lation was much larger, even double what it had been half a cen- 
tury earlier in a few places. The smallpox epidemic of 1780, which 
killed mostly small children and infants, did not do much to re- 
lieve the situation. To make matters worse, haciendas had en- 
croached on many of the free ranges which had existed earlier in 

18 Personal Communication from Prof. Cheryl E. Martin, Jan. 23, 1985, which cites 
Archivo General de Mexico, Hospital de Jesus, legajo 344, expediente 33, May-July, 1737. 

19 Van Young, Hacienda and Market discusses the alhondiga at some length. For 
mentions of pueblo "hospitales," see Archivo. . .de la Barca, Vol. II, f. 133; Archivo 
de. . .Colotlan, Vol. II, f. 112. There is brief discussion of the Franciscan origins, cofradia 
sponsorship, and history of these Jalisco village hospitals in, John K. Chance and William 
B. Taylor, "Cofradias and cargos: An historical perspective on the Mesoamerican civil- 
religious hierarchy," American Ethnologist. 12 (1985): 9-10. 


the century, and thus prevented the expansion of village agricul- 
ture. Worse still, the epidemics of 1784-86 were related to a pro- 
longed subsistence crisis. 17 The survivors had suffered years of 
poor harvests, malnutrition and other hardships, and would re- 
member the ano de hambre in very personal ways. 

As far as the ethnic structure of many villages around Gua- 
dalajara was concerned the matlazahuatl of the 1730s may have 
been of great importance, setting the area on the road to a mes- 
tizo, hispanized future rather than a more Indian one. As far as 
the question of historical memory is concerned, however, it was an 
awful, death-dealing accident, not part of a general social and ec- 
onomic crisis of long duration; and as such, the living tried to for- 
get and continued with their lives, something the struggling, ill-fed 
survivors of the comparatively milder ano de hambre were quite 
unable to do. 

In short, the statistics on morbidity and mortality which we 
glean from disasters tell us only part of the story. Of more impor- 
tance than straightforward study of the data is the social and eco- 
nomic context surrounding the disaster, for only by an apprecia- 
tion of this context can we tell, approximately, what the event 
meant to people of the time, and thus what kind of impressionistic 
historical record these unhappy survivors will leave to their 

17 Van Young, Haciendas and Market, pp. 94-103. 





RIO DE JANEIRO, 1890-1940 

Sam Adamo** 


The paper examines the living conditions of the poor in Rio 
de Janeiro at the turn of the twentieth century. The substandard 
housing, inferior nutrition, and presence of innumerable epidemic 
and contagious diseases formed a debilitating and often deadly 
troika that decimated the city's lower classes. Mortality from the 
conditions and diseases prevalent in the city were not evenly dis- 
tributed between the groups inhabiting the city in the 1890-1940 
period. Blacks and mulattoes were disproportionately represented 
among the poor and the death rates from "diseases of poverty" 
reflect the inferior status of nonwhites in the city. The following 
presentation describes the relationship between inferior housing, 
poor nutrition and disease and how they worked together to the 
detriment of Afro-Brazilians in Rio de Janeiro. 


The favelas dotting the hillside of modern Rio de Janeiro are 
a consequence of a problem that has haunted government officials 
since the nineteenth century. Sustained natural increase and mi- 
gration led to a great demand for housing. Government officials 
experimented with various schemes to provide low cost housing for 
the lower classes between 1890 and 1940. Most of the projects 
failed due to insufficient funds, poor planning, long distances from 
work, and neglect. The breakdown of low cost housing programs 
and half-hearted attempts to establish and enforce rent controls 
gave landlords the power to charge outrageously high rents for 
cramped, overcrowded, and unsanitary quarters. 

The middle and upper classes lived in single family dwellings 

** Direct correspondence to: The Latin American Institute, The University of New 
Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131. 


West Georgia College, Studies in the Social Sciences 25 ( 1 986) 

while the poor were forced to live in substandard communal or 
favela housing. The corticos and estalagens were cheap structures 
designed to earn quick profits for their proprietors. These build- 
ings resembled the tenements built in urban centers of the United 
States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Mater- 
ials for construction differed little: the main buildings were gener- 
ally made of unseasoned wood that rapidly developed large cracks 
and gaps as the wood dried. These openings exposed the super- 
structure to rain and humidity which accelerated deterioration. 
Termites compounded the effects of environmental decay, further 
shortening the life span of the fragile structures. 1 

Most of the small apartments or casinhas were assembled 
along an extended corridor with a central patio and only one exit 
to the street. The more spacious quarters had a small living room, 
a kitchen, and one or two small bedrooms. The majority of the 
corticos and estalagens were rooms with one window which were 
described as "sepulchers" since they restricted admission of fresh 
air and light. 2 Most apartments were so small that Dr. Agostinho 
Jose de Souza, a health specialist, recommended legislation 
prohibiting construction of communal dwellings unless the rooms 
were at least three to four meters square. 3 The small cubicles in 
the corticos housed from six to ten persons, while larger dwellings 
designed for ten to twelve would accommodate forty to fifty 
people. 4 

Residents shared a common water tank or fountain and la- 
trines, so hygiene was difficult, if not impossible to maintain. 
Crowded conditions accentuated the inadequate sewerage service 
which was frequently interrupted, sometimes for days. The occu- 
pants also shared their limited space with an assortment of ani- 
mals (poultry, pigs, and even horses) contained in make-shift 
stalls in the patios of the buildings. The agglomeration of humans 
and animals in cramped quarters without proper ventilation, 
water, or sewerage made the corticos and estalagens breeding 
grounds of infections and contagious diseases. 6 

1 Conselho Superior de Saude Publica, Os Meios de Melhorar as Condicbes das 
Habitacbes Destinadas as Classes Pobres (Rio de Janeiro, 1886), p. 3. 

2 Conselho Superior, Habitacbes as Classes Pobres, p. 11. 

3 Ibid., p. 7. 

4 Gazeta de Noticias, 17 February 1917, p. 1; Antonio Pedro Pimentel, Terceira 
Delegacia de Saude-Relatbrio Annual Apresentado ao Exm. Sr. Dr. Oswaldo Goncalves 
Cruz, 2 Vols., (Rio de Janeiro: Relatorio da Ministerio da Justica, 1907), II: 5. 

8 Conselho Superior, Habitacbes as Classes Pobres, pp. 22-25; Antonio Martins de 


The impoverished who were unable to afford the exorbitant 
rents of the corticos, estalagens, or hostels lived in the city's infa- 
mous favelas. Favelas were squatter settlements established on 
hills located in the center of the city. They provided cheap, afford- 
able housing with ready access to the work places located in the 
inner city. A small house on the Morro do Santo Antonio could be 
erected for as little as forty to sixty mil reis while the average rent 
for an apartment in a collective housing unit was forty to eighty 
mil reis per month. 6 

The inexpensive favela housing has serious liabilities that off- 
set the monetary savings that accrued to residents of these neigh- 
borhoods. Old zinc plates, flattened kerosene cans, and discarded 
lumber were the primary construction materials. Most houses 
were one-room affairs less than two meters in height. The make- 
shift methods of construction meant homes were stifling in the 
summer and cold in the winter. Furniture was rudimentary at 
best, often constructed from discarded materials found in the 
streets. Limited space and danger from fire meant kitchens, usu- 
ally no more than a collection of old pots and pans, were located 
outside. Families commonly slept together, so the number of per- 
son per house ranged from two to as many as ten. 

A distinguishing characteristic of the favelas was the absence 
of piped sewerage and water. Most residents, like those on the 
Morro do Santo Antonio, had to carry water to their homes. Some 
lucky settlements had piped water, but they were the exception 
rather than the rule. 7 The unplanned neighborhoods and streets, 
which were little more than dirt footpaths, complicated efforts to 
improve sanitation. The frequent rains turned the streets into 
quagmires and homes were in constant danger from mudslides be- 
cause they had no foundations. 8 

Azevedo Pimental, Estudo de Hygiene no Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro, 1890), pp. 184- 

6 Mil reis were Brazil's old monetary standard which was superseded by the cruzeiro 
in 1942. Joao do Rio, "A Cidade do Morro de Santo Antonio," Gazeta de Notictas, 5 
November 1908, p. 1; Victorino Oliverira, "Babylonias do Rio a Estalagem," 23 August 
1907, p. 1. 

7 Contemporaries, for example, described the fountain on the Morro da Providencia as 
"primitive," only capable of furnishing a "thin stream" of water. Residents had to wait in 
long lines for their daily water supply or go to a public fountain. Gazeta de Noticias, 25 
July 1914, p. 1. 

8 Everado Backheuser, Habitacoes Populares (Rio de Janeiro, 1906), p. Ill; Jose 
Antonio, "Alta da Miseria," Gazeta de Noticias, 1 1 August 1907, p. 4; 15 May 1915, p. 1. 
Conditions in favelas improved and these reforms are noted in the following works even 
though the authors continue to descirbe living conditions that are horrid when judged by 



Poor nutrition was another cause of high mortality, particu- 
larly among nonwhites. The lower classes lacked adequate nutri- 
tional knowledge to select proper diets, and their low incomes se- 
verely restricted purchases of foods rich in proteins, minerals, 
vitamins, and fats. Unbalanced diets coupled with low caloric in- 
take made good health difficult, if not impossible, to maintain. 
The diseases endemic to the city intensified the effects of poor nu- 
trition and created a vicious cycle of malnutrition and illness that 
frequently proved fatal. Before and after the abolition of slavery 
in 1888, low socioeconomic status with little opportunity for up- 
ward mobility locked most nonwhites into the vicious cycle which 
debilitated the living as well as future generations. 

Contemporaries unanimously condemned the dietary habits 
of the poor. According to an 1860s study, breakfast was light, 
consisting of coffee or tea with some bread. Lunch was a much 
heartier meal, at which time small portions of salted or dried beef 
were consumed along with beans, manioc flour, bread, and fruit 
(usually oranges or bananas). Dinner was similar to lunch but va- 
ried with the addition of soup, vegetables, and more fruit. Fresh 
meat was a luxury item that rarely appeared on the tables of Rio's 
working poor who reserved its consumption for Sundays, holidays, 
or special occasions. Other sources of meat protein available to the 
lower classes were codfish and sardines, but expenditures on fish 
products were rare. Beans were typically cooked with a variety of 
vegatables that included potatoes, yams, sweet cassava, squash, 
cabbage, turnips, and okra. The most popular beverages were cof- 
fee, tea, chocolate, and alcohol. The absence of refrigeration and 
transportation facilities precluded the consumption of fresh milk 
for most residents of the city. 9 

Nutrition was worse for slaves and freedmen than for other 
members of the lower classes. Breakfast was a simple affair of 
coffee and bread, while lunch and dinner were a combination of 
beans, manioc flour, and an occasional piece of salted beef or fish. 
Nonwhites preferred dried meat and fish over the same foods 

modern standards: Maria Hortencia do Nascimento Silva, Impressbes de Uma Assistente 
Sobre o Trabalho na Favela (Rio de Janeiro, 1942); Departmento de Geografia e Estatis- 
tica, Censo das Favelas, Aspectos Gerais (Rio de Janeiro; 1949); Carlos Calderaro, Fave- 
las, e Favelados do Distrito Federal (Rio de Janeiro, 1957). 

B Antonio Correa de Sousa Costa, Alimentacao que Vsa a Classe Pobre do Rio de 
Janeiro e sua influencia Sobre a Mesma Classe (Rio de Janeiro, 1865), pp. 33-35; Pi- 
mental, Estudo de Hygiene, pp. 241-43, 245-46. 


fresh. Many also had to secure their own fresh fruits and vegeta- 
bles. Free blacks and mulattoes employed as masons, carpenters, 
stevedores, or in other occupations outside of the household had to 
buy their own food. Consequently, their diets were frequently 
worse than the slaves in the city. Haphazard eating habits charac- 
terized the diet of free blacks and mulattoes. 10 

There were few scientific studies of diet and nutrition in Rio 
in the 1890-1940 period under scrutiny. Conditions gradually im- 
proved, but severe nutritional imbalances were evident in the diet 
of Rio's poor as late as the 1960s. A 1961-62 study of dietary 
habits in Rio discovered continued inadequacies that were again 
correlated with socioeconomic status. The average per capita con- 
sumption of meat and milk was seven and fifteen times lower for 
those at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder than those in the 
middle and upper classes. 11 

Ignorance of proper diet contributed to the malnutrition that 
plagued Rio's lower classes, but the high cost of food over-rode 
poor nutritional habits as a cause of the poor health of the disad- 
vantaged. Descriptions from newspapers and government officials 
indicated all basic food prices were unusually high in the period 
under scrutiny. 12 In 1890 government officials reported the city 
was totally dependent upon Minas Gerais for its stock of fresh 
meat. Any interruption in the supply would result in an immediate 
shortage. The report's release was accompanied by news of a 
price-fixing plot between Cesario Alvim, the interior minister, and 
the Companhia Pastoril, the business enterprise responsible for the 
shipment of cattle to the local market. The interior minister 
granted the company a monopoly to facilitate transportation of 
cattle and to protect the beef industry in Minas. Rising meat 

10 Costa, Alimentacao, pp. 35-37. For greater details on insufficient diets of slaves 
consult Alvaro de Faria, "Alimentacao e Estado Nutricional do Escravo no Brasil," Es- 
tudos Afro-Brasileiros, vol. 1 (Rio de Janeiro, 1935), pp. 199-213. 

11 Jacques M. May and Donna L. McClellan, The Ecology of Malnutrition in Eastern 
South America, Studies in Medical Geography, vol. 13 (New York: Hefner Press, 1974), 
pp. 299, 303-04. 

12 Consult the following for typical reports pertaining to high food prices in Rio. 
Policia Administrativa, Boletim, Outubro, Novembro, e Dezembro de 1890 (Rio de 
Janeiro, 1890), p. 11; Aloar Prata Soares, Mensagem do Prefeito do Distrito Federal Lida 
na Sessao do Conselho Municipal, I de Junho de 1923 (Rio de Janeiro, 1923), p. 11; 
Diretoria Geral Policia Administrativa, Archivo, e Estatistica, Boletim da Intendencia Mu- 
nicipal Abril a Junho, 1906 (Rio de Janeiro, 1906), Gazeta de Noticias, 29 January 1890, 
p. 1; 2 February 1890, p. 6; 28 October 1899, p. 1; 6 July 1901, p. 1; 9 February 1920, p. 
1; A Lucta, 20 March 1915, p. 1; 8 March 1915, p. 1; A Noticia, 24-25 January 1917, p. 3; 
Jornal do Brasil, 2 June 1920, p. 6. 


prices in Rio were allegedly the consequence of a drought that 
decimated herds in the state. A subsequent investigation revealed 
the company was fixing beef prices by controlling the number of 
cattle reaching Rio's market. The drought was used as a ruse to 
justify price increases in the city. Importation of cheap foreign 
beef alleviated the meat shortage and the conspiracy of the Com- 
panhia Pastoril backfired, as its sale of beef in the city 
plummetted. 13 

Abuse of power like that recounted above was not unusual 
nor was it limited to one commodity. Thirty years later the Jour- 
nal do Brasil called milk producers "monopolists of commerce" 
who "extorted" money from the poor, making it impossible for 
them to purchase milk necessary for their families. 14 City fathers 
were aware of the abuses but were hamstrung by laws prohibiting 
them from immediately punishing offending merchants. 15 Prices 
were so high that working class families spent 50 to 75 percent of 
their total wages on food. 16 Popular outcries for regulation of food 
prices went unheeded, leaving the poor at the mercy of local 
merchants. 17 

Aside from price, food quality was marginal. Only the middle 
and upper classes could afford the most expensive domestic and 
imported foods. Meat, regarded as a necessity by Brazilians of the 
era, regularly entered the market in such a pitiful state that it was 
often dangerous for consumption. All aspects of meat preparation, 
preservation, and shipment were unsatisfactory. A local newspaper 
claimed sanitation at the Island of Sapucala, the city's garbage 
dump, was superior to that of the city's slaughterhouses. 18 Meat 
was cut on soiled wood blocks, wrapped in newspaper, and then 
shipped without refrigeration to the markets in Rio. Poorly paid 
employees had little incentive to maintain sanitary conditions pre- 

13 There was no mention of disciplinary action undertaken against the interior minister 
or the Companhia Pastoril. Policia Adminstrativa, Boletim, Outubro, Novembro, e 
Dezembro de 1890 (Rio de Janeiro 1890), p. 11; Gazeta de Tarde, 28 October 1890, p. 1; 
10 November 1890, p. 1. 

" Jornal do Brasil, 2 June 1920, p. 6; 4 June 1920, p. 7. The Gazeta de Noticias, 7 
February 1915, p. 6, reported price fixing by vendors of fresh fruits and vegatables in the 

16 Soares, Mensagem, 1 de Junho de 1925, p. 18. 

16 Joao de Barros Barreto, Jose de Castro, and Almir Castro, "Inquerito Sobre Con- 
dicSes de Alimentacao Popular no Distrito Federal," Arquivos de Hygiene, 2 (1930), p. 

17 Gazeta de Noticias, 1 February 1915, p. 6; "O Problema da Alimentacao," Brazil 
Moderno, 4:90 (14 July 1917), p. 1. 

18 Gazeta de Noticias, 15 November 1919, p. 1. 


scribed by law, nor did public health authorities do much to en- 
force them. Tubercular, cancerous, carbuncular, and rotten meats 
were regularly sold in markets throughout the city. 19 The sale of 
tainted meat exemplified conditions widespread in the food 
processing industry. Purchases of milk, meats, fresh fruits, and 
vegetables often depended on price and distance from the market 
as late as the 1930s. 20 The absence of refrigeration and preserva- 
tion techniques made fresh foods difficult to obtain for many of 
the city's residents. Proper nutrition was a luxury which only the 
middle and upper classes could afford. The inferior socioeconomic 
status of nonwhites restricted their diet which in turn subjected 
them to a variety of nonlethal but debilitating diseases like scurvy, 
rickets, ophthalmia, xerophagia (eating dry or desiccated food), 
and hemeralopia (day blindness) as a consequence of poor nutri- 
tion. 21 The regime of most blacks and mulattoes seriously affected 
the newborn, who entered the world with nutritional deficiencies 
that decreased chances for survival. 


The last section of the paper will examine mortality from epi- 
demic and contagious diseases and then concentrate on two mala- 
dies that were particularly lethal to residents of the city. Tubercu- 
losis and gastroenteritis have been selected because they 
underscore the vicious circle of substandard housing and improper 
diet which resulted in permanent disability and death for non- 
whites in the city. Infectious and parasitic diseases were responsi- 
ble for most of the mortality in Rio. This category includes chol- 
era, typhoid, tuberculosis, diptheria, smallpox, measles, yellow fe- 
ver, malaria, and venereal diseases. Improved sanitation 
eradicated malaria and yellow fever, yet it was powerless against 
the city's major killer, tuberculosis. Deaths from all infectious and 
contagious diseases in 1904 were 935 per 100,000 for whites, 
1,133 for mulattoes, and 1,245 for blacks. Whites experienced the 
greatest mortality rate decline: their death rates fell to 594 per 
100,000 by 1926. 22 Decreases for nonwhites were not as great; 

19 Gazeta de Noticias, 23 January 1890, p. 1; 27 January 1890, p. 1; 1 1 April 1890, p. 
1; 6 July 1901, p. 1; 15 November 1919, p. 1; 4 February 1920, p. 2. A Lucta, 20 March 
1915, p. 1. 

20 Barreto, Casto, and Castro, "Alimentacao Popular," pp. 391-396. 

21 Faria, "Alimentacao e Estado Nutritional," pp. 206-11. 

22 All disease specific mortality rates were calculated in deaths per 100,000 persons. 


mulatto and black deaths declined only to 968 and 913 per 
100,000, respectively. White mortality therefore declined 36 per- 
cent versus 1 5 and 27 percent for mulattoes and blacks. The same 
trends emerge when mortality rates are examined by sex. Non- 
white males and females both had much higher death rates than 
their white counterparts. 

Hard work, overcrowding, poor sanitation, and malnutrition 
typified life for most nonwhites and it was these conditions which 
provided tuberculosis bacteria an ideal environment for growth. 
The poor socioeconomic conditions of these people made tubercu- 
losis the deadliest killer in the city. Public health and government 
officials long identified that disorder as an affliction of the "less 
favored classes." 23 The Brazilian League Against Tuberculosis 
also recognized that blacks and mulattoes were more likely to con- 
tract the affliction than whites. 24 The League's observations were 
by no means unprecedented as similar reports from the nineteenth 
century also indicated that slaves were highly susceptible to the 
disease. 26 

23 Policia Administrativa, Boletim de Indendencia Municipal, Julho a Setembro, 1902 
(Rio de Janeiro, 1902), p. 91; Joaquim Xavier da Silveira Junior, Relatbrio do Prefeito do 
Distrito Federal, 5 de Setembro de 1902 (Rio de Janeiro, 1902), p. 19. 

24 Liga Brasileiro Contra Tuberculose, Relatbrio da Liga Brasileiro Contra 
Tuberculose Sobre a Gerencia de 1910 (Rio de Janerio, 1911), pp. 35-36. The League 
estimated differential mortality from tuberculosis was 2.8 per 1,000 for whites and 9.1 per 
1,000 for blacks and mulattoes. 

28 Mary C. Karash, "Slave Life in Rio de Janeiro, 1808-1850" (Ph.D. Dissertation, 
The University of Wisconsin, 1972), pp. 210-21 1; Blacks in the United States and in South 
Africa are noted for their susceptibility to tuberculosis. Julian Herman Lewis, The Biology 
of the Negro (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1942), pp. 101-01; Edward E. Mays, 
"Pulmonary Diseases" In The Textbook of Black Related Disease, edited by Richard Al- 
len Williams (New York, 1975), pp. 417-18. Kenneth F. Kiple and Virginia H. King, An- 
other Dimension to the Black Diaspora: Diet, Disease and Racism (Cambridge, 1981), p. 
146; Jacques M. May, The Ecology of Human Disease, Studies in Medical Geography, 
vol. 1 (New York: MD Publications, 1958), p. Ill; Ida Freiman and Jacob Geefhuysen, 
"Tuberculosis in Black Children," South African Medical Journal, 49:39 (13 September 
1975), p. 1591. 


Table 1 


Deaths per 100,000 persons 

Year White Mulatto Black 

1904 934.6 1,132.5 1,244.5 

1910 589.5 634.3 654.7 

1915 579.2 818.7 905.0 

1919 633.2 863.5 758.7 

1924 491.2 709.9 665.4 

1926 594.0 967.8 913.0 


1904 971.5 1,288.0 1,360.0 

1910 610.4 652.5 712.8 

1915 630.6 854.6 969.9 

1919 690.4 892.8 816.0 

1924 552.6 787.7 775.6 

1926 655.3 1,052.7 1,067.9 


1904 876.6 1,006.9 1,041.8 

1910 567.7 639.0 562.3 

1915 527.2 810.3 823.3 

1919 584.9 860.1 705.2 

1924 433.4 659.0 575.1 

1926 538.7 908.3 786.6 

Source: Directoria Geral De Saude, Boletim Mensal de Estatis- 
tica Demografo-Sanitaria da Cidade do Rio de Janeiro (Rio de 
Janeiro: Directoria Geral de Saude Publica), no. 1-12, 1904, 1910, 
1915, 1919, 1924, 1926. 

Tuberculosis was more lethal to blacks and mulattoes than to 
whites in Rio de Janeiro. The white mortality rate in 1904 was 
322 in contrast to 394 and 498 for mulattoes and blacks, respec- 
tively. Mortality from the disease rose significanly for all races 
during the hardships imposed during World War I and the de- 
pression. White death rates rose by 16 percent while those for mu- 
lattoes and blacks increased by 29 and 24 percent. Death rates 
declined as conditions improved in the 1920s to a low of 264 for 
whites, 443 for mulattoes, and 436 for blacks. The mortality de- 
cline was not sustained in the 1930s. The increasing death rates 


were probably a consequence of deteriorating economic conditions 
that were particularly difficult for nonwhites. Tuberculosis death 
rates in 1938 rose to 343 for whites, 542 for mulattoes, and 520 
for blacks. Mortality from tuberculosis paralleled economic up- 
turns and downturns, confirming the disease's relationship to envi- 
ronmental conditions. 

Table 2 

Deaths per 100,000 persons 
Year White Mulatto Black 





































Source: Directoria Geral de Saude, Boletim Mensal de Estatlstica 
Demografo-Sanitaria da Cidade do Rio de Janeiro, (Rio de 
Janeiro: Directoria Geral de Saude Publica), no. 1-12, 1904, 1910, 
1915, 1919, 1924, 1926. 

*Jose Paranchos Fontentelli, A Saude Publico no Rio de 
Janeiro, Distrito Federal 1937 & 1938 (Rio de Janeiro: Servico 
de Saude Publica, 1939), pp. 86-91. 

The highest death rates for tuberculosis occurred in the city's 
lower class areas. Middle-and-upper-class neighborhoods such as 
Botafogo, Copacabana, and Tijuca had the lowest death rates 
from the disorder while the poorest areas of the city (Sao Cris- 
tovao, Engenho Velho, Engenho Novo, Piedade, and Madureira) 
had the highest mortality rates. 26 The death rates from tuberculo- 
sis are indicative of the continuing poverty in which Rio's non- 
white population lived between 1890 and 1940. 

28 Jose Parancos Fontenelli, A Saude Publica no Rio de Janeiro, Distrito Federal, 
1937 e 1938 (Rio de Janeiro: Servico de Saude Publica, 1939), pp. 171-72. 



Nutritional diseases were not a major cause of death in Rio 
de Janeiro, yet mortality from non-lethal afflictions like gas- 
troenteritis, measles, whooping cough, and the helminthic infec- 
tions suggest malnutrition was an important factor contributing to 
elevated mortality rates. The analysis of deaths related to defi- 
ciency diseases is complicated by the public health services' lim- 
ited acknowledgment of vitamin deficiencies as the only form of 
death related to malnutrition. Attacks of diarrhea in Brazil fre- 
quently precipitate severe states of malnutrition that end in death, 
but diarrhea or enteritis rather than malnutrition were listed as 
the official cause of death. Similarly, deaths from protein calorie 
malnutrition or marasmus were frequently ascribed to other dis- 
eases because there was no classification for malnutrition outside 
of vitamin deficiency disorders. 27 

Poor nutrition has residual effects on the survivors and their 
offspring. 28 Gastroenteritis was endemic to Rio and it was a major 
cause of nonwhite infant mortality. Recent studies of nutrition 
showed antibiotics and immunizations played a much smaller role 
in the decline of infant mortality in less developed countries than 
originally surmised. Improved nutrition was a much stronger force 
in reducing infant mortality than drugs. This was probably the 
case for measles and gastroenteritis which were endemic to Rio 
and major causes of nonwhite infant mortality. 29 Poor diet can 
initiate alterations in microbial flora (which play a secondary role 
in resistance to contagions) and reduce the body's capacity to fight 
infection. 30 The negative aspects of malnutrition upon health are 

27 Derrick B. Jelliffe, Infant Nutrition in the Subtropics and the Tropics, 2nd ed. 
(Geneva: World Health Organization, 1968), p. 120. 

28 Malnutrition reduces the capacity of the host to resist infection, particularly if the 
contagions are bacteria, rickettsia, intestinal protozoa, or intestinal helminths, all of which 
are endemic to Rio. Deleterious side effects of malnutrition upon resistance to infection 
include reduced capacity of the host to form antibodies, decreased antibody activity, inter- 
ference with the production of nonspecific protective substances, less immunity to bacterial 
toxins, alterations in tissue integrity, diminished inflammatory response, and alterations in 
wound healing and collagen formation, changes in intestinal flora, and variation in endo- 
crine Nevin S. Scrimshaw, Carl E. Taylor, and John E. Gordon, Interactions of Nutrition 
and Infection (Geneva: World Health Organization, 1968), pp. 12-13. 

29 D. C. Morley, "Nutrition and Infectious Disease." In Disease and Urbanization. 
Symposia for the Study of Human Biology, vol. 20, edited by E. J. Clegg and J. P. Garlick 
(London, 1980), pp. 39-40. 

30 Less definite protective substances like the skin, mucous membrane, lysozmes in 
tears, sweat, peritoneal fluid, and euglobulin properdin, and inteferon are all restricted in 
the ability to ward off infection by malnutrition. Scrimschaw, Taylor, and Gordon, Nutri- 
tion and Infection, pp. 263-64. 


compounded by infection's detrimental effects upon the host's nu- 
tritional status. Infections trigger physiologic and anatomic 
changes that hasten debilitation of an already malnourished host. 
Diseases of the digestive tract were an important cause of death in 
Rio. Intestinal obstructions, peritonitis, chronic liver disease, cir- 
rhosis, cholelithiasis (calculi in the liver or in the bile duct), and 
disorders of the pancreas claimed many lives in the city. The com- 
bined death rates from the above diseases do not, however, equal 
mortality caused by gastroenteritis and colitis. Mulattoes regis- 
tered the highest death rates from enteritis and colitis from 1915 
to 1926. Mortality ranged from a low of 190 per 100,000 in 1904 
to a high of 467 per 100,000 in 1919. They were followed by 
whites with intermediate levels of mortality (a low of 268 in 1904 
and a high of 385 in 1919). Surprisingly, blacks had the lowest 
level of mortality from the disorders. The low black death rate 
may be related to different dietary and weaning practice. Karasch 
found bondsmen in Rio often put together more nutritious meals 
than other Brazilians and they breast fed their children until the 
age of 2 or 3. 31 The low death rates of blacks may be related to 
survivals of these practices in Rio. The high death rates from en- 
teritis suggest the kwashiorkor and marasmus were sidespread 
problems affecting all racial groups in the city. Deaths from these 
diseases and those from nutritional deficiencies indicate malnutri- 
tion was an acute problem, especially for mulattoes in the city. 

31 Karasch, pp. 174, 179-80. 


Table 3 

Deaths per 100,000 persons 






















































Source: Directoria Geral de Saude, Boletim Mensal de Estatistica 
Demografo - Sanitaria da Cidade do Rio de Janeiro (Rio de 
Janeiro: Directoria Geral de Saude Publica), no. 1-12, 1904, 1910, 
1915, 1919, 1924, 1926. 


Housing, nutrition and disease were intimately linked to ex- 
cessive black and mulatto mortality. Rio's tropical climate pro- 
vided an ideal environment for infectious and parasitic disorders. 
Substandard housing, poor to nonexistent piped water, and sewer- 
age facilitated the dissemination of epidemic diseases by providing 
breeding grounds necessary for the survival of the microorga- 
nisms. The poor nutrition of most blacks and mulattoes weakened 
natural defenses, making them ideal hosts for contagions. Recov- 
ery was difficult, if not impossible, in the ongoing cycle of malnu- 
trition and infection. The disastrous consequences of environmen- 
tal and nutritional factors are reflected in mortality from diseases 
to which nonwhites have genetic resistance. Death rates from ma- 
laria show blacks and mulattoes died in greater numbers than 
whites, even though the sickle cell trait and the G6PD deficiency 
gave the former extra defenses. The overworked and poorly fed 
nonwhites were unable to engage defensive mechanisms without 


necessary stores of proteins, vitamins, fats, and minerals. Deaths 
from a normally inconsequential childhood disease such as mea- 
sles underscore the precariousness of nonwhite nutritional status. 
The absolute reduction in the death rates for nonwhites were 
impressive, the the decline was not proportional to that of whites 
in the city. The gap beween white and nonwhite mortality in- 
creased with the passage of time and the death rates show that 
blacks and mulattoes remained on the periphery of society for 
more than fifty years after slavery's demise. Abolition freed the 
slaves, but it did not improve their socioeconomic status. 



James H. Shirley** 


The historic record of seismic activity in Chile extends from 
1570 forward and includes more than 40 major earthquakes (with 
magnitudes of about 7.5 and larger). Well-defined temporal pat- 
terns emerge when these earthquake are grouped by region of oc- 
currence. Statistically significant clustering is present in the solar 
times of occurrence of the earthquakes of the Northern Chile and 
Transverse Valleys seismic regions. The hour angle of the Moon 
(which is the 24.8 hour lunar analog of the 24 hour solar time) 
also shows significant clustering for the Northern Chile and 
coastal Central Chile seismic regions. These correlations of earth- 
quake time of occurrence with the positioning of the Moon and 
Sun suggest that gravitational stresses may contribute to the trig- 
gering of major earthquakes in Chile. 

Earthquakes are one of the most significant natural hazards 
of life in Chile. Large deadly and damaging earthquakes have oc- 
curred repeatedly in several distinct source regions along the 
length of the country. Several cities here have been seriously dam- 
aged by earthquakes at least five times in the period from 1530 to 
the present; these include Arica, Conception, Copiapo, Coquimbo- 
La Serena, Santiago, Valdivia, and Valparaiso (Lomintz, 1970). 
Some of the world's largest earthquakes take place here; the 
earthquake of May 22, 1960, for instance, is the largest earth- 
quake recorded anywhere in the world this century (Kanamori, 
1978). The historic record includes at least 19 earthquakes of 
magnitude 8 or larger. 

The use of unreinforced masonry construction often results in 
tragically high loss of life and extensive damage to structures in 
these very large earthquakes. In the Chilian earthquake of 1939, 
28,000 people lost their lives; several other events have claimed 
more than 1,000 lives (Lomnitz, 1970; Nelson and Ganse, 1980). 
Damages in the great Valparaiso earthquake of 1906 are esti- 

** Direct correspondence to: P. O. Box 169, Canoga Park, California 91305. 


West Georgia College, Studies in the Social Sciences 25 (1986) 

mated at approximately 3.55 billion 1980 dollars; losses due to the 
1960 earthquake were approximately half as large (Nelson and 
Ganse, 1980). The recent (3 March 1985) earthquake near Val- 
paraiso does not rank with the 1939 and 1960 events in terms of 
deaths and damages; still this event claimed more than 100 lives 
and left approximately 100,000 homeless. 

Great Chilean earthquakes may, in addition, represent a nat- 
ural hazard for other regions because the events occurring off- 
shore often generate large seismic sea waves (tsunamis). Tsunamis 
originating in Chile have repeatedly damaged coastal settlements 
around the Pacific Rim (for instance, in Australia, Samoa, Ha- 
waii, Japan, and California) in historic times (Lomnitz, 1970; 
Abe, 1979). 

Lomnitz (1970) has presented a descriptive catalog of major 
historic earthquakes in Chile. In the following sections this catalog 
(updated and with some additions) is described and subjected to a 
simple analysis to determine the presence of absence of correla- 
tions of time of occurrence with the positioning of the Moon and 
Sun. First, the relationship of the earthquakes to the major crustal 
structural features of Chile is outlined briefly. Next the basis of 
the investigation and the methodology is described; this essay con- 
cludes with a discussion of the results and the implications. 



The crustal plate which forms the ocean floor to the west of 
Chile (i.e., the Nazca Plate) is overridden by the South American 
continent. This is the single most important feature of the tectonic 
structure of Chile. This thrusting convergence of two plates is re- 
sponsible for the presence of a deep trench in the ocean floor im- 
mediately offshore. This type of tectonic structure, where oceanic 
crust is thrust down beneath an adjacent crustal plate, is termed a 
subduction zone. Some idea of the tremendous scale of the sub- 
duction process in Chile may be had by noting that in one earth- 
quake (May 11, 1960) the oceanic crust along more than 800 ki- 
lometers of the Chilean coast thrusted an average distance of 24 
meters down to the east beneath the continent (Kanamori and 
Cipar, 1974). 

On land, moving from west to east, the crustal structure gen- 
erally consists of a range of mountains along the coast, a central 


valley running roughly north-south, and the Andes mountain 
chain which separates Chile from Argentina to the east. There are 
significant regional departures from this structural pattern, how- 
ever. Following Lomnitz (1970), we can divide the Chilean seis- 
mic zone into four main regions; these are the Northern region, 
the Transverse Valleys region, the Central Chile region, and a 
Southern Chile region. The boundaries of these regions are shown 
on Figure 1 , along with the locations of the major earthquakes to 
be studied here. All figures and tables appear at the end of this 
essay, following references and two appendixes. The dates, times, 
magnitudes, and locations of these events are listed in chronologi- 
cal order in Table 1. Selection criteria (for inclusion in this list- 
ing) are outlined in the footnotes to Table 1. 

The Northern region, from about 1 8 ° South latitude to about 
25 ' S, shows a center of activity offshore to the west of Arica. Six 
very large earthquakes are located in this area by Lomnitz 
(1970); however the most recent took place more than a century 
ago, in 1869. Both the coastline and the oceanic trench offshore 
bend abruptly to the northwest near Arica. The central valley 
structural pattern is present north of latitude 22° S, but not in the 
southern portion of this seismic region (22° -25° S). 

The Transverse Valleys seismic region extends from about 
25° -33° S (Lomnitz, 1970; Kelleher, 1972); here east-west trend- 
ing structures are found and the central valley is generally absent. 
The southern boundary of this region is just north of Valparaiso. 
Here the dip angle of the subducted oceanic plate changes from 
about 10° (beneath the Transverse Valleys region) to about 25°- 
30° (beneath the Central Chile region) (Baranzangi and Isacks, 
1976). There is an east- west trending ridge on the oceanic plate 
(the Juan Fernandez Ridge) at the latitude of Valparaiso which 
may be in some way structurally related to this change in the sub- 
duction dip angle. Thirteen of the earthquakes in Table 1 oc- 
curred in the Transverse Valleys region. 

The Central Chile seismic region extends from near Valpara- 
iso (33° S) to the latitude of Conception (about 37° S). Here the 
central valley type structure is present, and is reflected in the pat- 
tern of seismic activity. There is a cluster of major earthquakes 
near Valparaiso, some occurring offshore and some along the 
coast. Most of the rest of the major earthquakes of this zone how- 
ever took place inland, within or near the boundaries of the cen- 
tral valley, in the vicinities of Santiago and Chilian. All of these 


earthquakes (except the 1575 Santiago event) caused signficant 
damage. Transverse (east-west trending) mountain ranges intrude 
the central valley at about the latitude of Conception; these define 
the southern boundary of this region. Lomnitz (1970) notes that 
this marks a transition where major earthquake activity moves 

The Southern region, from about 37° -46° S. possesses the 
central valley structure along much of its length. A submarine 
ridge (the Chile Rise) intersects the continent at about 46° S, 
forming the southern boundary of this region. Very large earth- 
quakes take place here; the 1960 earthquake, for instance, appar- 
ently involved inter-plate motion along the entire length of the 
zone, from well north of Valdivia in the north all the way to the 
intersection of the Chile Rise near 46° S. Lomnitz (1970) consid- 
ers the 1575, 1737, and 1837 earthquakes to have been compara- 
ble in size to the 1960 event. The Chilean coast south of latitude 
46° S experiences a much lower level of strong earthquake 

An interesting and important pattern has been detected in 
the history of major eathquake activity in Chile. This is a migra- 
tion of seismic activity from north to south, in the region from 30° 
S to 46° S (Kelleher, 1972). Kelleher showed that the earth- 
quakes of 1880, 1906, 1928, 1939, and 1960 stepped one after the 
other, from north to south, breaking the entire length of the Chil- 
ean seismic zone south of 30° S in 80 years. Studying the record 
of earlier major earthquakes he suggested that similar migrations 
took place three times previously in the period since 1570, requir- 
ing about 100 years to complete each cycle of activity. On this 
basis he was able to predict that a new cycle should begin some- 
time before the end of this century, starting at about the latitude 
of Valparaiso (as this part of the zone had not broken in a major 
earthquake since 1906). Two major earthquakes have occurred 
near Valparaiso since his prediction was made, in 1971 and 1985. 
This work clearly represents a major step forward in the effort to 
achieve accurate advance prediction of earthquakes in Chile. 

The absence of a major earthquake in recent history in a par- 
ticular segment of seismic zone in many parts of the world indi- 
cates a higher potential for a large earthquake in the future (Mc- 
Cann et. al., 1979). That is, the longer the time interval since the 
last event, the higher the probability of a significant earthquake in 
the future. The quiet zone is termed a "seismic gap." McCann et 


al. (1979) have considered the pattern of past activity along the 
Chilean seismic zone, and identify two seismic gaps where future 
large earthquakes may be expected to occur. One of these is in the 
Northern region in the vicinity of Arica; this area has not experi- 
ence a major earthquake in more than a century. The second gap 
is near Valparaiso; the zone just south of the area affected by the 
1985 earthquake must still be considered suspect. 

From a physical standpoint the migration of earthquakes 
along a seismic zone and the related concept of the seismic gap 
can be explained as a simple stress accumulation and release cy- 
cle. The occurrence of an earthquake relieves the stress in that 
location, and perhaps helps focus inter-plate stresses in the areas 
adjacent to the faulted zone. Then these adjacent areas become 
more prone to seismic activity, while the area experiencing the 
earthquake becomes seismically inactive while stresses again begin 
to accumulate. 

Accurate prediction of future earthquakes on the basis of the 
concepts of earthquake migration and the seismic gap is not possi- 
ble because the times of the future earthquakes cannot be accu- 
rately specified. 


The earthquakes of Table 1 are a unique and critically im- 
portant sample of events, both from a socio-economic standpoint 
and from a physical standpoint. We have seen that the presence of 
a migration pattern in the catalog has helped define the most 
probable locations of future events. In general the detection of or- 
der and pattern in such a sample is important because it sheds 
light on the nature of the earthquake generation process, which is 
not yet fully understood. 

Presently the least satisfactory aspect of earthquake predic- 
tion techniques in general is a lack of resolution in time. Thus is is 
important to look for indications of temporal order and pattern in 
samples of earthquakes, since by improving our understanding 
these may conceivably lead to an improvement in the accuracy of 
our earthquake prediction techniques. Accordingly the strategy 
adopted here is to look for regularities in the time of the earth- 
quakes of Table 1 . 

The first temporal parameter considered is the solar time; this 
is of course nothing more than the time of day, which is a mea- 


sure of the position of the Sun. The solar day begins at midnight; 
at 6 hours and 18 hours the Sun is near the horizon, while at noon 
(12 hours) the Sun is positioned approximately overhead (techni- 
cally, "upper culmination"). The second parameter considered is 
the hour angle of the Moon, which is the same sort of positional 
indicator. The "lunar day" is on the average about 50 minutes 
longer than the orbit around the Earth, in a west to east direction; 
thus the Earth must rotate not 360° but 373° to bring the Moon 
from its upper culmination position one day to the next. The local 
solar time of each earthquake is given in Table 1; the lunar hour 
angle is calculated for the day, time, and geographic longitude of 
each earthquake using a program written by B. Emerson of the 
Royal Greenwich Observatory (Emerson, 1979). One further lu- 
nar positional parameter was also evaluated; this is the ecliptic 
longitude of the Moon, which is the direction with reference to the 
equinox. No indication of any significant pattern was found in this 
series, so for brevity this portion of the experiment is not discussed 
further. For completeness the raw data and the statistical results 
are summarized in an appendix. 

There are two reasons for choosing these gravitational tempo- 
ral parameters for analysis. First, from a physical standpoint: 
Earthquakes result from stresses in the Earth, and the attractions 
of the Moon and Sun produce rapidly varying stresses in the crust. 
(The tidal stresses, which distort the Earth into an ellipsoidal 
shape, are the best known of the gravitational stresses). Thus it 
may be that oscillatory gravitational stresses help to trigger the 
release of accumulated crustal stresses. The gravitational stresses 
at a particular locality at a particular time depend in large part 
on the positioning of the Moon and Sun. 

The second reason for employing these parameters is that 
other researchers have detected solar time and lunar hour angle 
correlations of times of earthquakes in other regions of the planet 
(McMurray, 1941; Kilston and Knopoff, 1983). Thus there are at 
least two good reasons to look for gravitational temporal correla- 
tions in the times of occurrence of important samples of 

Each solar time or lunar hour angle value can be represented 
as an angle (0°-359°) on a circle. Statistical procedures have been 
developed specifically for the analysis of directional (angular) 
data. The test employed here was introduced by A. Schuster in 
1897, and has since been used in many studies of tidal phase cor- 


relations of earthquakes (McMurray, 1941; Shlien, 1972; Klein, 
1976; Heaton, 1982). The test is sensitive to the clustering of val- 
ues of the angles in the sample tested. If the angles are distributed 
randomly about the circle, then the random probability of occur- 
rence for the set is large (i.e., such a distribution would occur 
often in random samples of angles); on the other hand, if the val- 
ues cluster in one part of the 360° range, then the random 
probability of occurrence for the set of angles will be smaller. This 
procedure thus determines a random probability of occurrence for 
the distribution of angles tested. Small values of the test statistic 
Pr indicate a departure from randomness in the sample of angles 
tested; the threshold of statistical significance is often taken to be 
.05 ("5% level"). Such a value indicates that random sets of an- 
gles would cluster in the fashion observed approximately once in 
every 20 trials. The test is surprisingly rigorous with small sam- 
ples (n, the number of angles, must be equal to or greater than 5). 
The test procedure is described in Appendix 1. 

A trivial modification of the test procedure (described in Ap- 
pendix 1) adapts the test for the case when the angles cluster on 
an axis. (For example: If the earthquakes tended to occur at both 
6 A.M. and 6 P.M., the distribution would be axial or bi-modal). 
It is appropriate to look for axial clustering here, because the 
stresses exerted by (for instance) the Sun may be similar in nature 
at sunrise and sunset, and at noon and midnight. (This is the cer- 
tainly the case of the tidal stresses). Thus each set of earthquake 
solar times and lunar hour angles is tested twice, once for simple 
clustering and once for axial clustering. 

The null hypothesis for this test is that the sets of angles 
should be randomly distributed; this would suggest that the posi- 
tioning of the Sun and Moon does not influence the timing or the 
triggering of the earthquakes. On the other hand if the distribu- 
tions depart from statistical randomness this would suggest that 
the positioning of the Sun and Moon may have some physical sig- 
nificance in connection with the triggering of the earthquakes 

The earthquakes in Table 1 were first sorted by region. The 
structure of each of the four seismic regions discussed in the pre- 
vious section differs from the others in major ways. Gravitational 
stresses which may be effective in aiding the triggering of earth- 
quakes in one region may have no corresponding effect in another 
region with a different crustal structural geometry. Thus it is to be 


expected that if some gravitational effect is present, it may act in 
different ways in different seismic provinces. At the same time 
however it may be that earthquakes taking place in one particular 
region may tend to occur under similar (gravitational stress) con- 
ditions. This is the hypothesis to be evaluated in this search for 
pattern in the positioning of the Sun and Moon for the times of 
the major earthquakes of the four principle Chilean seismic 


Table 2 gives the solar time and lunar hour angle for the 
earthquakes of Table 1 . Here the events are arranged not chrono- 
logically but by seismic regions and by latitude, from north to 
south. The distributions of solar time and lunar hour angle for the 
regional groupings are presented graphically in Figures 2-5. The 
patterns (and their statistical significance) are discussed below. 

Northern Chile Region 

The earthquakes of the northern region are broken down into 
two groups on the basis of crustal structural differences; the north- 
ern group of six occurred near Arica, where the coastline bends to 
the northwest, while the events near Iquique and Pisagua occurred 
in a zone where the oceanic trench offshore and the crustal struc- 
ture onshore trends north and south (McCann et. al., 1979, Figure 
8). The solar times and lunar hour angles for the time of occur- 
rence of the Arica set are shown in Figures 2A-2B. The solar time 
is shown in Figure 2A; here we see that all of the major earth- 
quakes for which the time of occurrence is accurately known took 
place between 13:30 and 19:00 (1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.). Applica- 
tion of Schuster's test reveals a low random probability of occur- 
rence for this distribution of under .025; that it, random samples 
of angles will cluster in this fashion only about 3% of the time. 

The sample of lunar hour angles in Figure 2B provides a 
good example of an axial or bi-modal distribution. The single clus- 
ter version of the statistical test gives an unremarkable random 
probability of .82 for this distribution, but the bi-modal test yields 
a value of .026, which is again statistically significant. Here we 
see that the earthquakes occurred with the Moon either 1) ap- 
proaching its highest elevation in the sky, or 2) about 180° away 
from this position, on the opposite side of the Earth. 


The sample of three Iquique-Pisagua events is too small to 
evaluate statistically, but we can note in passing that the solar 
times of the 1871 and 1933 events are similar (5 a.m. and 4:09 
a.m. respectively), while the 1877 earthquake time of 8:30 p.m. is 
about Va day removed from these values. 

Transverse Valleys Region 

Figure 3A is the distribution of solar times for the earth- 
quakes of the Transverse Valleys region. Ten of the thirteen 
earthquakes took place between midnight and the following noon, 
with eight of these occurring between about 6 A.M. and noon. 
The distribution is statistically significant, with a random 
probability of occurrence of .03 for the single-cluster test. The dis- 
tribution of lunar hour angles of Figure 3B does not attain statisti- 
cal significance (random probability .19) but is nevertheless inter- 
estingly quite similar to the distribution of solar times. Here also 
ten of the thirteen events take place with the body in question to 
the east of the epicentral region. 

Central Chile Region 

The earthquakes in the Central Chile seismic region can be 
broken down into two distinct sets, one set along the coastal zone 
and another inland along the central valley. Six of the eight earth- 
quakes of the coastal zone are located near Valparaiso; these in- 
clude the great 1906 earthquake and also the most recent (1985) 
event. Two additional coastal earthquakes to the south of Valpa- 
raiso complete this set. Figure 4A is the distribution of solar times 
for this group of earthquakes. Here we note that all of these 
earthquakes took place between 6 P.M. and 8 A.M. Application 
of the statistical test yields a random probability of occurrence of 
.07 for this set. Figure 4B gives the distribution of lunar hour an- 
gles for this coastal group of major earthquakes. The bi-modal 
pattern shown here is statistically significant with a random 
probability of .03. Thus here, as in the case of the Arica group, 
both the solar and the lunar distributions have random probabili- 
ties of less than 10%. 

Figures 5 A and 5B give the solar times and lunar hour angles 
for the group of earthquakes taking place inland in the Central 
Chile seismic zone. This set incudes the great Santiago earth- 
quake of 1647 and the deadly magnitude 8.3 Chilian earthquake 


of 1939. No pattern is present in the solar time of occurrence of 
these earthquakes (Figure 5A); however a weak bi-modal pattern 
is present in the series of lunar hour angles for the times of these 
events (Figure 5B). The random probability for this distribution is 
.12 (not statistically significant). 

Lomnitz (1970) locates four great earthquakes off the coast 
near Conception at about 37° S, which are most probably related 
to the east-west trending structural break which forms the south- 
ern boundary of the Central Chile region. This set it too small to 
evaluate statistically. 

Southern Chile Region 

Five major historic earthquakes have occurred in the South- 
ern seismic region, from about 38° S to about 46 ° S. This group 
includes the extremely large earthquake of May 1960, and several 
others which may have been roughly as large. Unfortunately the 
time of the 1737 event is not accurately known, leaving only four 
events in the set and precluding a statistical evaluation. Still the 
solar times of the remaining events cluster between 8 A.M. and a 
little after 3 P.M., a range of about 7 hours (Table 2). If the solar 
time of the 1737 event fell in this range the distribution would 
have a random probability of under 10%. 

Table 3 gives a summary of the statistical test results ob- 
tained here. Two independent gravitational positional parameters 
for the times of the earthquakes of four Chilean seismic sub-re- 
gions were analyzed; each of the eight distributions was tested 
twice, for clustering and bi-modal clustering, giving a total of six- 
teen trials. In twenty trials with random samples of angles one 
would expect to find perhaps one distribution showing clustering 
significant at the 5% level, and perhaps two at the 10% level (ex- 
periments with random samples confirm this). Here however four 
of the tests show clustering significant at the 5% level. The fre- 
quency of statistically signficant clustering in these distributions is 
thus more than three times greater than the expectation for ran- 
dom data. (As noted earlier one further parameter was also 
tested, so the actual number of trials made in this experiment is 
twenty-six (see Appendix 2); still the frequency of significant clus- 
tering continues to exceed the expectation by a substantial 

The solar times and lunar hour angle values for the times of 


the major historic Chilean earthquakes, when sorted by tectonic 
region of occurrence, do not appear to be randomly distributed. 
The results are inconsistent with the null hypothesis of no connec- 
tion linking the positioning of the Moon and Sun with the timing 
of major earthquakes in Chile. 

Pattern emerges in Table 3. Three of the four regional sam- 
ples have solar time distributions significant at the 10% level or 
better with the single cluster test, while none show significant bi- 
modal patterns. The opposite case obtains in the lunar hour angle 
test results; three of the four groups show bi-modal clustering, 
with two sets significant at the 5% level or better, but none of the 
single cluster tests reveals the presence of unusual pattern. This 
consistency (simple clusters in the solar times, bi-modal clusters in 
the hour angles) is an additional indication of order, reinforcing 
the conclusion that in these patterns we are seeing something of 
physical significance. 


The earthquakes considered here all have magnitudes of 
about 7'/2 and larger; from a physical standpoint these are clearly 
the most important events of the region, because they completely 
dominate in terms of the total energy of earthquakes (Kanamori, 
1978). They are also important in human terms (though some 
smaller events can also be deadly and damaging). The statistical 
results presented here strongly suggest that the triggering of these 
major events depends in some way upon the positioning of the Sun 
and Moon. The correlations are found for time scales of hours; so 
far as I know this is the first investigation to uncover any short- 
period temporal pattern linking these important earthquakes one 
with another. 

The patterns uncovered do not afford a basis for prediction of 
future earthquakes, nor can they be considered to provide any sig- 
nificant reduction of the earthquake hazard in Chile. One cannot 
place a city on "earthquake alert" for several hours each day, 
while the Sun and Moon are in higher-risk positions relative to the 
region in question. The correlations found also do not constitute a 
rigorous proof that some gravitational process in necessarily in- 
volved in the triggering of the earthquakes, as a remarkable coin- 
cidence ("statistical fluke") or some non-gravitational effect could 
be involved (though these possibilities must be considered un- 


likely). No attempt to relate these positional patterns to actual 
crustal stress conditions has been made at the present time. 

Temporal patterns in earthquake occurrence are rare; as 
noted earlier the greatest uncertainty in present earthquake pre- 
diction techniques is associated with the prediction of the times of 
upcoming events. The results presented here are important be- 
cause they bear upon this problem. The presence of correlations of 
earthquake time with gravitational parameters suggests a physical 
connection linking gravitation and the earthquake triggering 
mechanism. If this is in fact the case then it is possible that fur- 
ther study in this area may lead to a reduction in the uncertainty 
attending the prediction of the times of future earthquakes. 

The magnitude of the earthquake hazard demands that all 
promising avenues of inquiry be investigated to the fullest. Cur- 
rently however very little research is directed toward the question 
of a possible gravitational influence on the triggering of significant 
earthquakes. Hopefully the present results may stimulate greater 
interest and further research into the question of a possible role 
for gravitation in the triggering of earthquakes. After all, if gravi- 
tation plays an important role in the triggering process, then 
clearly so long as this area is ignored, accurate prediction will 
continue to be "impossible with today's technology." 


Statistically significant clustering is present in the positioning 
of the Sun and Moon for the times of occurrence of historic major 
earthquakes in Chile, when the events are grouped by tectonic re- 
gion of occurrence. The results of this investigation suggest that 
gravitational stresses may play a contributory role in the trigger- 
ing of major earthquakes in Chile. 

Acknowledgment: I thank Bob Claxton for help with the problem 
of determining the correct dates for events prior to the introduc- 
tion of the Gregorian calendar. 

Note added in proof: An important paper by S. P. Nishenko was 
published after this study was completed ("Seismic Potential for 
Large and Great Interplate Earthquakes Along the Chilean and 
Southern Peruvian Margins of South America: A Quantitative 
Reappraisal"; Journal of Geophysical Research 90, 3589 (1985). 
Nishenko's paper provides the best estimates to date of the 
probability of future earthquakes in specific regions along the 


Chilean seismic zone. This paper should be of great interest to 
planners and others working in the area of earthquake hazard 
mitigation. Nishenko assigns high risk of earthquakes in the next 
20 years to several segments of the Chilean seismic zone. 

Nishenko subdivides the Chilian seismic zone in a manner 
somewhat different from that employed here. For instance, he 
groups the 1939 and 1953 Chilian earthquakes and the 1928 
Talca event with the set of Concepcion earthquakes. No revision 
of the subdivisions used here was made on the basis of Nishenko's 
work, as this is not good practice from the standpoint of statistical 
method (Heaton, 1982). I note in passing that the use of 
Nishenko's geographical breakdowns would not alter the conclu- 
sions of this study, as the significance levels of several subregions 
continue to be high. As an example: The new set of events near 
Concepcion (as described above) shows .04 level bi-modal cluster- 
ing for the solar time and 6% level bi-modal clustering for the 
lunar hour angles. Removing the 1928 event from the coastal 
Central Chile distribution improves the already significant pattern 
in the Moon hour angle, and subtracting the Chilian events from 
the Central Valley set (where no signficant patterns were found) 
leaves a sample too small to evaluate. 


Abe, K., (1979). Size of Great Earthquakes of 1837-1974 Inferred from Tsunami Data, 

Journal of Geophysical Research 84, 1561. 
Baranzangi, M., and B. Isacks, (1976). Spatial Distribution of Earthquakes and Subduc- 

tion of the Nazca Plate Beneath South America, Geology, 4, 686. 
Emerson, B., (1979). Appropriate Lunar Coordinates, Nautical Almanac Office Tech. 

Note #48, H. M. Stationery Office. 
Gutenberg, B., and C. F. Richter, (1954). Seismicity of the Earth, Princeton University 

Heaton, T. H., (1982). Tidal Triggering of Earthquakes, Bulletin of the Seismological 

Society of America 72, 2181. 
Kanamori, H., (1978). Quantification of Earthquakes, Nature 271, 411. 
Kanamori, H., and J. Cipar, (1974). Focal Process of the Great Chilean Earthquake, 

May 22, 1960, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 9, 128. 
Kelleher, J., (1972). Rupture Zones of Large South American Earthquakes and Some 

Predictions, Journal of Geophysical Research 77, 2087. 
Kilston, S., and L. Knopoff, (1983). Lunar-Solar Periodicities of Large Earthquakes in 

Southern California, Nature 304, 21. 
Klein, F. W., (1976). Earthquake Swarms and the Semidiurnal Solid Earth Tide, Geo- 
physical Journal of the Royal Astonomical Society 45, 245. 
Lomnitz, C, (1970). Major Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Chile during the Period 1535 

to 1955, Geol. Rundsch. 58, 938. 
Mardia, K., (1972). Statistics of Directional Data, pp. 133-135, 300; Academic Press, 



McCann, W. R., S. P. Nishenko, L. R. Sykes, and J. Krause, (1979). Seismic Gaps and 
Plate Tectonics: Seismic Potential for Major Boundaries, Pure and Applied Geophys- 
ics 117, 1089. 

McMurray, H., (1941). Periodicity of Deep-Focus Earthquakes, Bulletin of the Seismo- 
logical Society of America 31,33. 

Nelson, J. B., and R. A. Ganse, (1980). Significant Earthquakes 1900-1979, National 
Geophysical and Solar-Terrestrial Data Center, Boulder, Colorado 80303. 

National Geophysical and Solar-Terrestrial Data Center (NGSDC), NOAA-ESIS, Boul- 
der, Colorado 80303 (computer listing, 1982). 

Schuster, A., (1897). On Lunar and Solar Periodicities of Earthquakes, Proceedings of 
the Royal Society A 61, 455. 

Shlien, S., (1972). Earthquake-Tide Correlation, Geophysical Journal of the Royal Asto- 
nomical Society 28, 27. 



The procedure employed here was first suggested by A. 
Schuster in 1897, in connection with the analysis of tidal phases 
and the timing of earthquakes. In this simple test the angular 
phases ($;) if the n events (i.e., the Sun and Moon directions, 
each considered as unit vectors) are summed. The vector resultant 
magnitude R and phase <j> are given by 

R = J (A) 2 + (B) 2 and <p - tan" 1 ( — ) 


n n 

where A = y cos (0/ ), B = ) sin (0/ ) 

i=l i=l 

The probability Pr of obtaining a resultant of length R or 
greater is approximately 

-R 2 

P R = exp ( ) 

when n ^ about 8. Pr is often described as the probability that a 
random walk of n steps will travel a distance R from the origin. 
The theoretical properties of R have received further attention 
since the test was originally suggested, and critical values of R/n 
for. n ^ 5 are given in Mardia (1972). Mardia's tabulated critical 
values (his appendix 2.5) are used to determine significance levels 
of small samples as presented here in Table 3. 

If a bi-modal distribution is expected then the initial values 
of ($i) are first converted as follows: 

(0/)bimodal = 2 ($f) (where 360° should be subtracted from 
values exceeding this threshold, i.e., 476° = 115°) 

See Shlien (1972) and Mardia (1972) for a more extensive discus- 
sion of bi-modal and multi-modal distributions. (Note: In Mardia 


the statistical procedure described here is termed the Rayleigh 

It is important in this sort of investigation to ensure that no 
systematic effects are present which may possibly bias the results. 
This would be the case for instance if the Sun spent twice as long 
in the midnight-noon range as in the noon-midnight range; in this 
case randomly distributed times would cluster in the midnight- 
noon range, and the statistical test would yield a significant result 
when in fact no systematic, ordered behavior was occurring. Ex- 
perimentation with random sets of directions/times is recom- 
mended, as this can help detect systematic variations (whose ori- 
gins may at times be quite subtle and elusive). It is extremely 
important to define the procedure and the sample to be tested 
before examining the data. There is a large temptation to arrange 
the data after examination, which must be resisted; this is cheat- 
ing, akin to having a look at your opponent's hands in a card 
game before deciding how to bet (Heaton, 1982). 

Finally it is also necessary to remove foreshocks and after- 
shocks from earthquake samples subjected to statistical analysis; 
by including them one earthquake event is in effect counted many 
times, often leading to erroneous conclusions regarding the signfi- 
cance of results. 



Statistical Summary: 

Single Cluster 

Bi-modal cluster 

Northern Chile (Arica) 



Transverse Valleys 



Central Chile Coastal 



Central Chile Interior 



Southern Chile 






Northern Chile, Arica 







( + 8°) 














Transverse Valleys 




























Central Chile, 


















Central Chile, 
















Conception Offshore 









Southern Chile 





( + 8°) 







Note: Values for days when solar time is unknown (1681, 1737) 
are computed for local noon; these may be in error by approxi- 
mately seven to eight degrees. Lbmnitz (1970) lists one earth 
quake which occurred either in 1687 or 1688; values for both pos- 
sible dates are given. 


Table 1: Major Earthquakes in Chile, 1570-1985 
Date Time Location W Lon S Lat Mag 

Feb 08 1570 






Mar 17 1575 






Dec 15 1575 






Nov 24 1604 






Sep 16 1615 






May 13 1647 






Mar 15 1657 






Mar 10 1681 






Jul 12 1687/8? 






Aug 22 1715 






Jul 08 1730 






Dec 24 1737 






May 25 1751 






Mar 30 1796 






Apr 03 1819 






Nov 19 1822 






Feb 20 1835 






Nov 07 1837 






Oct 08 1847 






Nov 17 1849 






Dec 06 1850 






Apr 02 1851 






May 26 1851 






Oct 05 1859 






Aug 13 1868 






Aug 24 1869 






Oct 05 1871 






May 10 1877 






Aug 15 1880 






Aug 16 1906 






Jun 08 1909 






Jan 29 1914 






Dec 04 1918 






Nov 11 1922 






Dec 01 1928 






Feb 23 1933 






Jan 24 1939 






Apr 06 1943 







Aug 02 1946 






May 06 1953 






May 22 1960 






Dec 28 1966 






Jul 08 1971 






May 10 1975 






Mar 03 1985 






Most of the earthquakes listed were tabulated by Lomnitz 
(1970). He included known historic earthquakes with magnitudes 
which may have reached 7.5, based on the observed effects of the 
earthquakes (no instrumental records are available for earth- 
quakes before the turn of the century). Gutenberg and Richter 
(1954) list four earthquakes with magnitudes of 7.5 or larger not 
included in the list by Lomnitz; these four (1909, 1914, 1933, and 
1946) have been included here. Five major earthquakes in the 
years 1 960-present have also been added; the data for these events 
in general comes from the NOAA catalog (NGSDC, 1982). Five 
events from Lomnitz' catalog have been dropped from this listing, 
one in 1829 of small magnitude (7.0), two from the region near 
Tierra del Fuego (a different tectonic region), and two which oc- 
curred immediately following the 1819 earthquake in the same lo- 
cation. The date listed for the 1981 earthquake by Lomnitz (Dec. 
18) is incorrect. 

The local date and time are given in the first two columns. 
For the first three events the date refers to the Julian calendar 
with modern (Gregorian) year. The times for the events after 
1900 are Greenwich time minus four hours. Approximate loca- 
tions of the earthquakes are given in columns 3-5; note that the 
cities specified to indicate a region, not a precise location. The 
longitude and latitude values give a more precise location, but are 
still only approximate for events before 1900 (see Lomnitz, 1970 
for a discussion of the method of determining most probable loca- 
tions of early events). Magnitude values are as given in the source 


Table 2: Solar Times and Lunar Hour Angles for Major 


Solar Time 

Lunar Hour 



Northern Chile Region 

Arica (Figure 2) 



























Transverse Valleys Regior 

i (Figure 3) 






































Central Chile Region 

Coastal Zone (Figure 4) 
1971 334.6 

































on Offshore 









Southern Chile 












Interior (Central Valley) (Figure 5) 
1575 150.0 260.1 

1687/88 195.0 ? 













The solar time and lunar hour angle values are given in deci- 
mal degrees. For the Sun, 90° is equivalent to 06:00 (6 A.M.). 
The solar times of the earthquakes are given in conventional nota- 
tion in Table 1. Both the solar time and the lunar hour angle in- 
crease in a clockwise direction, but the zero hours differ; the solar 
day starts at midnight, but the lunar hour angle is zero when the 
Moon is overhead at upper culmination. Figures 2-5 reflect this 
difference; these are arranged so the actual directions, as seen by 
a local observer, are represented in the same way for both bodies. 
Thus if an earthquake occurred at noon, with the Moon also over- 
head, both diagrams would plot this direction "straight up," even 
though the solar time is 12 (180°) and the lunar time is (0°). 

The solar times before 1900 (before the worldwide introduc- 
tion of time zones) are assumed to be the correct solar time at the 
longitude of the earthquake. After 1900 or so the times of earth- 
quakes are reported in catalogs in Greenwich time; to convert this 
value to solar time at the longitude of the earthquake it is neces- 
sary to subtract (west longitude degrees times 4 minutes) from 
Greenwich time of day in minutes. This value of solar time will 
differ slightly from the "correct" time in the local time zone for 
recent earthquakes; however this procedure is clearly most appro- 
priate because it gives the solar times all on the same scale. 


The algorithm for calculating the lunar coordinates (Emer- 
son, 1979) on the other hand requires the correct Greenwich date 
and time, along with the earthquake longitude, to calculate the 
lunar hour angle. Thus here reported Greenwich times of recent 
earthquakes can be used without modification, but correct Green- 
wich times for early events must be calculated using the inverse 
procedure from that outlined above. That is, Greenwich time 
equals the local solar time plus (west longitude degrees times 4 

The uncertainties in the values of the lunar and solar posi- 
tions thus calculated of course depend on the accuracy of the 
earthquake times. An error of two hours will cause the solar and 
lunar positions to be in error by up to about 30°, which will 
change the distributions sufficiently to alter the statistical results 
in important ways. However, if the inaccuracies in the reported 
times are on the order of minutes, only small changes in the distri- 
butions will result. (The question of the accuracy of origin times 
applies only to pre- 1900 events). 

Table 3: Summary of Statistical Results 

Region Solar Time Lunar Hour Angle 

1 Mod. 2 Mod. 1 Mod. 2 Mod. 

N. Chile (Arica) 





Transverse Valleys 





Central, Coastal 





Central, Interior 





Single cluster and bi-modal tests are denoted by 1 Mod. and 
2 Mod. (Mod. = Modal) respectively. The decimal numbers in 
the table are computed values of the statistical random probability 
of occurrence for the distributions of angles in Table 2 and 
Figures 2-5. Distributions where the random probability is .1 
(10%) or less are underlined. (Discussion in text). 


— 20 S 

76 W 

Northern Region 



30 S 

— 40 S 

_ S 


Central Region 


500 K M 





Figure 1: Chilean Seismic Regions and Major Historic 


Figure 2: Distribution of Solar Times and Lunar Hour Angles for 
the Northern Chile Region (Arica Earthquakes) 


Figure 2A shows the solar times for the Arica earthquakes. 
In this figure the 24 hour day begins at hours, local midnight, at 
the bottom of the diagram. The solar times of the five earthquakes 
cluster in the range from about 1:30 p.m. to about 7 p.m. (Tables 
1 and 2). The statistical random probability of occurrence for this 
distribution is .025. 



12 h 

Figure 2B is a plot of lunar hour angles for the times of the 
Arica earthquakes. Here the hour corresponds to the time when 
the Moon is overhead (at upper culmination) as seen by an ob- 
server at the longitude of the earthquake epicenter. The bi-modal 
random probability of occurrence for this distribution is less than 
3% (see discussion in text and Appendix 1 for a description of the 
statistical method). 


Figure 3: Distribution of Solar Times and Lunar Hour Angles for 
Earthquakes of the Transverse Valleys Seismic Region 


The distribution of solar times in Figure 3A shows a prefer- 
ence for times from about 6 a.m. to noon, with eight of the thir- 
teen events in this range. The random probability for this distribu- 
tion is .03. 



12 h 

Figure 3B shows that the lunar hour angles for the times of 
the Transverse Valleys earthquakes also mainly fall into the range 
where the Moon is to the east of the epicenter (from 1 2 hours to 
hours). This distribution however falls short of statistical signifi- 
cance, with a random probability of .19. 


Figure 4: Solar Times and Lunar Hour Angles for the Earth- 
quakes of the Central Chile Coastal Zone 


The earthquakes of the coastal zone from Valparaiso south to 
Constitution tend to occur in the evening, between 6 p.m. and 
midnight (Figure 4A). Random samples of times will show this 
sort of clustering about 7% of the time. 



12 h 

A well developed bi-modal pattern is found in the lunar hour 
angles for the times of these earthquakes. The distribution indi- 
cated that major earthquakes in this region tend to occur two to 
three hours after moonrise and a similar period after "moonset." 
The bi-modal random probability here is .025. 

Figure 5: Solar Times and Lunar Hour Angles for Earthquakes of 
the Central Chile Seismic Region (Inland) Next page. 

The solar times (Figure 5A) and the lunar hour angles (Fig- 
ure 5B) for these earthquakes each show a weak tendency toward 
bi-modal clustering, but neither distribution is statistically re- 
markable with random probabilities of .14 and .12 respectively. 
Figure 5B is the third of our four hour angles distributions to 
show bi-modal pattern. 




12 h 





Lawrence H. Feldman** 


What follows is a Master List of all earthquakes/volcanic 
eruptions pertaining to Central America, located as of April 24, 
1981 for the United States Department of the Interior Geological 
Survey. Most references are derived from the Archivo General de 
Centro-America (AGCA) or the Archivo General de Indias 
(AGI). A word is in order on reference citations. Manuscripts at 
the AGCA are cited by Signatura-Expediente-Legajo:folio num- 
bers while AGI manuscripts have Ramo name and Legajo num- 
ber. For each archive a bundle of manuscripts is called a legajo, 
individual manuscripts in a bundle being known as expedientes 
while a ramo is a section of an archive. As used here, signatura 
numbers are equivalent to ramos. As an example of this system in 
operation, "Guatemala 658" is legajo 658 of the ramo Audiencia 
de Guatemala while "A1.11.25(4)-1428-123" is signatura 
Al. 11.25 of Honduras ( = 4), expediente number 1428 and legajo 
number 123. A published journal of the eighteenth and early nine- 
teenth century, the Gazeta de Guatemala, is cited as if it were a 
ramo. The copies actually used are kept by the AGI. Other 
archives whose manuscripts are cited are that of the University of 
Texas (UT), Museo Naval de Madrid (AMN), the Real 
Academia de Historia (Madrid) and the Biblioteca Colombina 
(Seville). Other archives checked whose records did not provide 
useful data were: (1) Hacienda de Sevilla, (2) Biblioteca Univer- 
sitaria (Seville), (3) Biblioteca de Circulo de Amistad (Cordoba), 
(4) Biblioteca Publica Provincial de Cordoba, (5) Biblioteca Pub- 
lica de Granada, (6) Biblioteca General de Universitario (Gra- 
nada), (7) Archivo de la Real Chancelleria (Granada), (8) 
Archivo Historico Nacional (Madrid), (9) Archivo General de 

Direct correspondence to: Apartment 7E, 306 Hitt Street, Columbia, Missouri 

.1 th 


65201. The author wishes to express special thanks to Jan Glasco, his assistant in Spain 

West Georgia College, Studies in the Social Sciences 25 (1986) 

Simancas (Valladolid) and (10) Archivo del Servicio Historico 
Militar (Madrid). 

No systematic attempt was made to use other data sources 
but reference is made to data found in the Annals of the Cakchi- 
quels (Recinos and Goetz 1953), Fuentes y Guzman (1932), Cor- 
tes y Larraz (1958), Recinos (1954), Bernal Diaz del Castillo and 
Francisco Vasquez. Data from the last two are derived from foot- 
notes in Recinos and Goetz (1953), while Fuentes y Guzman cer- 
tainly has other pertinent data not cited here. Other published 
sources that deserve further investigation are the letters of Pedro 
Alvarado (written ca. 1525), Gonzalo Fernandes de Oviedo (writ- 
ten in the early 16th century-one should note that he has two sep- 
arate works, an Historia natural and an Historia general, both of 
potential value), Diego Palacio (1576), Vasquez (17th century), 
Thomas Gage (17th century), Francisco Ximenez (again two, 
18th century, works-an Historia natural and an Historia gen- 
eral), Bartolome de Las Casas (several different early 16th cen- 
tury works), and Antonio Remesal (ca. 1600). In Central 
America it might be of value to check the National Archives in 
Tegucigalpa, Honduras and the State Archives in Tuxtla Gutier- 
rez, Chiapas. Certainly the AGCA church reconstruction manu- 
scripts, listed in the Appendix, will have some new quake cita- 
tions. Manuscripts, from the same archive, marked not seen in the 
Master List, certainly should be examined for quake data, (the 
references are derived from the AGCA card catalogue). Thirdly, 
at the AGCA, a selection might be made of Protocolos and 
Cabildo records, by pertinent years, for intensive investigation. 

With all references an attempt was made to use primary eye- 
witness accounts as opposed to secondary sources represented by 
the compilers of historical accounts. Because of the nature of 
Spanish colonial administrative procedure, to grant tax relief and 
disaster funding upon receipt of sworn testimony, such data was 
common, although rarely published in the literature. Since the 
royal government was responsible for the collection and expendi- 
ture of Church funds, and given that the only substantial public 
building in many communities was the church, accounts of church 
reconstruction expenditures provided a valuable means of check- 
ing the effects of quakes outside of the capital cities, the only 
places usually mentioned in the published historical chronicles and 
in many manuscript sources. 

Finally some word should be said of those colonial secondary 


sources which, because they are so often quoted, need to be recog- 
nized for what they are, namely not eyewitness accounts. Fuentes 
y Guzman, Remesal and Vazquez are both primary and secondary 
sources. They are extremely useful because they cite now lost pri- 
mary sources but, except in so far as they report events witnessed 
by the authors themselves (as they often do), they are not pri- 
mary. The printed eighteenth century relaciones on the Guatema- 
lan quakes (of Guatemala 658) are highly useful, purely second- 
ary reports of quakes in and about Antigua and Jalapa. They 
provide data for Pardo (1944) and Juarros (1936) and, because 
they are unavailable today, have been copied for this project. But 
they are not primary. The primary records are contained in the 
abundant certified testimony that also may be found in these same 





Place of Occurrence 

Date of Descriptive Document: Document Identification 
Description of event (archaic spelling maintained) 

Editor's Note: All dates before October 15, 1582 are in the Julian 
Calendar mode of reckoning time. All Catholic nations adopted 
the Gregorian Calendar correction on the cited date. 


ca. 1505 GUATEMALA 

Santiago Atitlan 

1585, 8 Febrero: Relation de Santiago Atitlan, UT#65. Del 
uno [Volcan Fuego] se tiene noticia que en los anos 
pasados puede haver ochenta anos poco mas o menos 
revento, y echa mucha cantidad de agua, piedra y 
fuego, y ansi ahora se echa de ver por estar todo lo que 
dize la boca pelado y quemado, a modo de una 

1530, Mayo 29 GUATEMALA 

Ciudad Vieja 

1719: Guatemala 309. Notes terremotos at Ciudad Vieja in 

1530, no month. Quetzaltenango, San Marcos 
1530: Libro de Ayuntamiento (o Cabildo) de Guatemala 1. 

Mayo 29, 1530. 



1535: Annals of the Cakchiquel. "I heard Hunahpu [Vol- 
can Fuego] rumble". 

1538, Mayo 1 NICARAGUA 

Volcan Masaya 

1538: Patronato Real 180-1-71. Testimonio de una informa- 
tion hecha en Nicaragua sobre el Volcan de Masaya y 
cuerca de en tras en el y reconocerse sus metales. 

1585: Guatemala 56. Probanza data citation of above, 
nothing of interest. 


Santiago Atitlan 

1585, 8 Febrero. Relation de Santiago Atitlan, UT#65. 
Eruption of Volcan Fuego. 

1541, Septiembre 11 GUATEMALA 

Ciudad Vieja 

1774: Guatemala 658. 

1541: Patronato Real 181-1-2. Relation hecha por el obispo 
de Guatemala de lo sucedido alii el dia 10 de Septiem- 


bre con motivo de un Volcan. Description of mud slide 
after heavy rains and during heavy rains. Took place 2 
AM. No quake mentioned in either of two given 

1541, Octobre 14: Guatemala 46. Reference to "Gran Ter- 
remoto" in letter signed by Francisco Castellano (trea- 
surer of government of Guatemala) at Ciudad Vieja in 

1559, Enero 4: Patronato 62-2-13. Fallescio el dicho ade- 
lantado en servicio de VM desde a dos meses sucedio 
el terremoto desta Ciudad de Guatemala. 

1552, 31 Marzo GUATEMALA 


1552: Annals of the Cakchiquel. On the day 9 Ah [March 
31, 1552] fire emerged from inside the volcano 



1565: Libro de Ayuntamiento (o Cabildo) de Guatemala 
4:folio 77-as cited in Fuentes y Guzman 1932:1:260. 
Revento este monte [either Volcan Fuego or Pacaya as 
he equates the two], con grande ruina de esta ciudad y 
sus contornos, la ultima vez en nuestra tiempos, el afio 
de 1565 (FyG wrote ca. 1699). 

1565, Agosto y Septiembre GUATEMALA 


1774: Guatemala 658. cf. Guatemala 661 for further detail. 
San Juan Comalapa 

1774: Guatemala 658. Fuertes temblores quales sintieron 

1566, Mayo GUATEMALA 


1566: Annals Cakchiquel. There was a terrible earthquake; 
houses toppled over in Zelahay and Patzun but no 
damage was caused here in Solola. 

1566: Bernal Diaz del Castillo, chapter 214. In the year 


1566, being. . .month of May, between one and two in 
the afternoon, the earth began to shake in such a way 
that houses and walls and even roofs were lifted and 
many of them fell to the ground and others were left 
without roofs, lying to one side. . .And of those severe 
earthquakes which lasted nine days there is much to 
say. . . 


Nestiquipaque, San Cristobal (near Chiquimulilla) 

1570: Contaduria 967. El licenciado Brizeno gobernador que 
fue desta provincia para ayuda a hazer la iglesia y 
reparar sus casas que Servian caido con cierto tenblor 
que en el dicho pueblo. 

1571, Diciembre GUATEMALA 

1571: Annals Cakchiquel. On December 25 the Volcano 
erupted. There was fire and darkness over the city of 
Xelahub during Christmas. 


Provincias de Chiapa hasta Nicaragua 

1774: Guatemala 658. Perdida muchas vidas y hacienda en 
toda la Provincia de Chiapa a la de Nicaragua. 


1773: Guatemala 661. Cites Jose de Acosta as source for 

1577, Noviembre 29 GUATEMALA 


1774: Guatemala 658. Ultimo dia de Noviembre 1577, 3 
hour quake destroyed much in Antigua. 

Sacatepequez (en departamento de San Marcos), Antigua 

1578, Marzo 17: Guatemala 10. En 29 de Noviembre de 77 
vino un temblor de tierra en toda esta provincia y 
deudo dezze. . .uentar en un pueblo que se dize Za- 
catepeque quel de la encomienda de Dona Leonor de 
Alvarado. Tenian acauado un monestero. . .y trauajo 
de los indios todo de teja muy bien cobrado. El iglesia 
el qual dezribo por los cimientos la fuerza del tenblor y 
del mesmo pueblo 60 casas de yndios. . .En el este 


tanto que lo tracosa se proure suedios servido que no 
hiciese e ningun dafto el monesterio ni las casas y este 
mismo tenblor aunque no contenta forza sucedio en 
este ciudad en aquella misma forza y dista quarenta 

1577: Annals Cakchiquel. On November 28, in the middle of 
the night, we were shaken by an earthquake, on the 
eve of the feast of San Andres. 

n.d.: Vazquez (17th century). The earthquakes which 
started in 1575 continued destroying many buildings 
in this province until San Andres day, in 1577, at 
midnight, when there was a farewell swing which 
lasted almost three hours. Many houses were ruined 
and then (the earthquakes) stopped. 

1581, Diziembre 26 GUATEMALA 


1774: Guatemala 658. 


1581: Annals Cakchiquel. During the celebration of Santo 
Tomas, December 5, 1581, fire from the Volcano of 
Fire was seen. It was really a big eruption, which in- 
creased during Christmas and stopped afterward. 


San Salvador 

1801: Guatemala 942. Iglesia parroquial de San Salvador ar- 
ruinada, (from context guess that was quake caused). 

1582, Enero 14 GUATEMALA 


1774: Guatemala 658. Eruption only. 
Santiago Atitlan 

1582, Febrero 8. Relation de Santiago Atitlan. UT #65. Este 
propio bolcan [Fuego] cuando revanto el de Guate- 
mala puede haber tres anos poco mas o menos echo 
fuego aunque muy poco. Y ansi de cuando en cuando, 
por las mananas y algunas tardes echa humo aunque 
es poco cosa. Llamase este bolcan en la lengua 


materna Hunqat, que suena "cosa que quema entre 

1585, Enero 16 GUATEMALA 


1774: Guatemala 658. 

1585: Annals Cakchiquel. On the sixteenth of January there 
was a very big earthquake which lasted until sundown. 

1586, Diciembre 5 GUATEMALA 


1586: Annals Cakchiquel. On December 5, at daybreak, an 
earthquake destroyed houses in Antigua. Some 
Spaniards were among these who died. 

1586, Diciembre 23 GUATEMALA 

1774: Guatemala 658. 

1587: Guatemala 10. Tenblor que a 23 de diziembre del ano 
pasado de 86 Vuo en ella que. . .recio y fuerte que se 
cayeron como sesenta casas de gente pobre y las de 
mas y la dicha yglesia mayor y monesterios quedaron 
arruynadas y muy maltratados y en especial la dicha 
iglesia mayor cuya fabrica es muy tenue y pobre. cf. 
also Guatemala 678. ANTIGUA. 

1587 (San Phelipe) GUATEMALA 


1773, Septiembre 1: Guatemala 661. Cuando comenzo a 
respiran fuego una de los tres volcanes la otra 
(quake?) por el dia de San Phelipe. 

1594, Abril 21 EL SALVADOR 

Ciudad de San Salvador 

1595, Enero 18: Guatemala 43. 

1607, Octubre 9 GUATEMALA 


1607, Octubre 23: Al-1-1. Auto promulgado por el Pre- 
sidente Dr. Alonso Criado de Castilla, ordenado sean 
traidos indigenas de algunos pueblos comarca dos para 


los trabajos de descombramiento de la Ciudad, abatida 
por temblores desde la noche del 9 del mismo mes y 
ano. Not seen. 
1608: Guatemala 12. A nueve de Octubre pasado a las diez 
de la noche un terremoto repentino que dio tres impe- 
tus. . .los quales quedaron muy quebrantados y 
muchos aruinadas (todos los edificios e yglesias y 
monesterios desta ciudad). Vino este terremoto o tem- 
blor de la parte del norte a mediodia. . .y tras del sub- 
cediron otros muchos temblores continuadamente was 
de seis meses. . .continues with talk of "los quatro ele- 
mentos" and the volcanic cause of quakes. 



1609: Guatemala 678. Noticia sobre el gran temblor de 
tierra que continuaron por espacio de cuatro meses. 1 
folio, date of manuscript is 5 Octubre 1609. 

1610, Marzo 22 HONDURAS 


1610-1611: Guatemala 167. Arruinada iglesia walls. 

1610, 16 enero NICARAGUA 

1610: Guatemala 43. 


Volcan Momotombo 

after 1781: Archivo Museo Naval, Madrid Ms. 570 #6. 

1621, Mayo 2 hasta Agosto 21 PANAMA 

Ciudad de Panama 

1640: Relation Historica y Geografica de la Provincia de 
Panama por Juan Requejo Salcedo. EN Relaciones de 
America Central, Madrid; Libreria General de 
Victoriano Suarez. 1908. DE Coleccion de Libro y 
Documentos Referentes a la Historia de America, 
Tomo 8, pps 1-84; quake data pps 40-61. Refers to un 
temblor y temblores que duraron por mas de tres 
meses y medio, desde 2 de Mayo hasta 21 de Agosto, 


vispera de San Bartoleme el ano de 1621, que se con- 
tinuaron casi cada dia, algunas de doce, diez y menos 


San Salvador 

1650: Guatemala 942. Iglesia Parroquial de San Salvador ar- 
ruinada, (from context guess was quake). 

1651, Febrero 18 GUATEMALA 


ca. 1699: See Fuentes y Guzman 1932:1:262-263 for detailed 
description of quake which continued to March 5. 

1651, Octubre 8 GUATEMALA 


1774: Guatemala 658. 



1662: Guatemala 72. La iglesia de dicho pueblo esta amena- 
zando ruina por los grandes temblores de tierra y ter- 
remotos que a aviso en aquella partes. Asking for 
money in Die 5 1654-los temblores grandes que ahora 
tres anos hubo maltrataron tanto la iglesia del dicho 

1655, Junio 22 GUATEMALA 

Pacaya/Fuego (author does not distinguish between them) 

ca. 1699: See Fuentes y Guzman 1932:1:262 for detailed 
description of eruption and ash fall. 

1658, Noviembre 3 EL SALVADOR 

San Salvador 

1658: A 1.1 -2-1 (3). Medidas tomadas para proteger al 
vecindario de San Salvador, con motivo del terremoto 
habido el 3 de Noviembre. Also see A 1.1 -3-1 (3). 


San Salvador 

1658: Al. 1-2-1:7 (3). Breve Relation de la Reventazon del 


Volcan de la Ciudad de San Salvador. 
Provincias de San Miguel y San Salvador 

1659: Guatemala 387. A quese le acrecento una gran ruina 
ocasionado de hauer rebentado un bolcan cuias cenicas 
destruyeron los fructos y los temblores de la tierra, las 
casas y senaladamente los templos, de la yglesia par- 
rochial y las de Santo Domingo, San Francisco y la 
merced y refuil las asistencia, personal que hicistes en 
la ciudad de San Salvador. . .reparo de la iglesia. 

San Salvador 

1660: Guatemala 20. Un volcan que estaba junto a la Ciu- 
dad de San Salvador de bento que causo mucho dafio a 
su con los temblores de tierra como con las cenicas que 
se diuir dieron en la provincia y alcalde mayor de Son- 
sonate, sobre que muchas pueblos de indios han pedido 
deferia de tributos. . .y ayudado algunos de vecinos de 
dicha ciudad y al reparo de la iglesia de ella. 

1671, Agosto 16 EL SALVADOR 

San Salvador 

1671: A1.24-10208-1564:308. Parish templo of Ciudad de 
San Salvador suffered during temblores in 1671. 

1671: Al. 1-4-1(3). Autos tramitados por el alcalde mayor de 
los provincias de San Salvdor y de San Miguel, con 
motivo de la ruina habida en San Salvador el 16 de 
Agosto de 1671. 

1674: A 1.23- 1520:28. Real Cedula. Pidese a la Audiencia in- 
formes circunstanciados de las danos sufridos en la 
Ciudad de San Salvador debido al Terremoto del 16 de 
Agosto de 1671 y las perdidas como consecuencia, 
ademas, de la eruption del volcan inmediato a dicha 

1674: Guatemala 189. Sobre uiniendo tan grandes temblores 
de tierra, y terremotos, causados de hauesse reuentado 
un volcan, que esta inmediato a ella, que no quedo 
templo, ni casa, que no sea ruinase y cayese y que las 
que no cayeron, quedar un inabitables y sin de 
provecho, cuyo suceso ocasiono aquellos mas vecinos, 
se retirasen a sus estancias, y a los pueblos de los in- 


dios. cf. also Guatemala 209. 

1677 (?) CHIAPAS 

Ciudad Real (Las Casas) 

1721: Guatemala 309. Notes repair of Ciudad Real cathe- 
dral in 1677 in context that suggests quakes were 
causal of damage. 

1678, Agosto GUATEMALA 

Pacaya/Fuego (author does not distinguish between) 

ca. 1699: Fuentes y Guzman 1932:1:262. No menos por el 
mes de Agosto del ano de 1678 volvio a bramar 
por muchos dias lanzando grandes llamas de fuego, 
y mucho y espeso humo, con grandes es- 
tremecimientos de tierra que imitaba a un lento 
temblor continuado, y condensan dose del 
frecuente huma aquella pavorosa nube. . .(further 
description given). 

1687, Marzo 26 GUATEMALA 

Pacaya/Fuego (author does not distinguish between) 

ca. 1699: Persistencia de los dias, pero las llamas de fuego, y 
el retumbo fue mucho mayor, y el nubarron de 
humo mucho mas extendido, y espeso tanto que ex- 
tendido sobre el surdeste, y el nordeste, tenia asom- 
brado el sol con su interposition hasta la hora de 
las once del dia, que se elevaba y propagaba la 
nube. Fuentes y Guzman 1932:1:262. 

1689, Febrero 12 = 2 temblores (11 AM & 11 PM) (Santa 

San Pedro Huertas (El Tesorero) 

1689: Al. 10.3-31270-4046. Los alcaldes del pueblo de San 
Pedro indican que con el temblor del 12 de Febrero, 
quedo arruinado el templo y piden ayudar para 
Parroquia de San Sebastian de la Ciudad (de Guatemala) 

1690: Guatemala 905. Terremoto ruined iglesia. 

1774: Guatemala 658. 

1689, Febrero 23 GUATEMALA 



1689: Guatemala 180. 

1702, Agosto 4 (Santo Domingo) GUATEMALA 


1773, Septiembre 1: Guatemala 661. En que exhalo, y vom- 
ito tanto fuego, humo, yceniga este volcan con horrosos 
libramidos que obscureciendo la luz del sol, aun siendo 
las nueve del dia, fue necessario ensenderse luces como 
se fuese de noche. 

1702, Agosto 14 EL SALVADOR 

Asuncion Ahuachapa 

1702: A1.24-10217-1573:128. Templo ruined by terremoto of 
14 de Agosto. 



1739: A 1.25 (5)-383-42. Terremotos arruinado iglesia en ano 
de 1702. 

1703 (?) GUATEMALA 


1703, 31 de Marzo: A1.24-10217-1573:273. RP para que de 
los bienes de comunidad del pueblo de Santiago 
Cubulco, jurisdiction de Verapaz, se les de las can- 
tidad de 600 pesos, para la obra de la capilla mayor, 
arruinada por temblores. 

1705, Febrero 1 GUATEMALA 


1774: Guatemala 658. 

Volcan ceniza entre nueve o diez de la manana. 
1773: Guatemala 661 cf. for further detail. 

1709, Octubre 14 GUATEMALA 


1774: Guatemala 658. Rios de fuego que vomito el volcan. 

1712, Diciembre 14 EL SALVADOR 

Nuestra Senora Candelaria Ostuma 


1712: A 1.24- 10224- 1580: 187. Templo destroyed by temblor 

on 14th of diciembre of 1712. 
Santa Lucia Sacatecoluca 

1712: A 1.24- 10224- 1580: 190. Templo destroyed by temblor 

de 14 de diciembre. 

1714, Mayo 15 CHIAPAS 

Santiago Amatenango 

1 7 1 4: A 1 .24- 1 0225- 1 58 1 :540. Church reconstruction. 


San Vicente 

1715: A 1-3 1190-4043. El Ayuntamiento de San Vicente ex- 
pone que con motivo de un terremoto muchos 
pobladores han desamparado la Villa y pide sean obli- 
gados a retornar. 

1717, Agosto 22 GUATEMALA 


1774: Guatemala 658. Uno de los volcanes voracos llauas de 
fuego y humo. 


San Pedro Metapas 

1774: Guatemala 660. Saw flames in the night. 

1718, Junio 28:Guatemala. Volcanes que empezaron el dia 
27 de Agosto hasta 29 de Septiembre — Volcan del 

1718: Guatemala 307. Testimonio de los autos sobre el fuego 
que exsala dicho de los quatro bolcanes que circum- 
balen esta Ciudad de Guatemala y terremotos 
acaezidos la noche del dia del San Miguel con le 
demas que contiene. 156 folios. 

1717: Guatemala 305. 



1718: A 1.1 0-3 1290-4047. Templo "ruinada con los 
San Gaspar Vivar 


1729: A 1.1 0.3-3 1299-4047. Su convento y la iglesia se cayo 
con el terremoto del ano diez y siete. 

1717, Septiembre 29 (San Miguel) GUATEMALA 


1718: Al. 10.3-31289-4047. Fr. Ignacio Ceballero (O.P.), 
certifica el mal estado en que quedo el templo del 
pueblo de San Cristobal Amatitlan con los temblores 
del 29 de Septiembre de 1717. 

Santa Cruz Balanya 

1719: A-53749-6057. Los alcaldes y regidores de pueblo de 
Santa Cruz Balanya, piden se les exonere de dar cada 
semana los cien indios de servicio, por estar ocupados 
en la recostruccion de su iglesia parroquial destruida 
con los terremotos de Septiembre de 1717. 

San Andres Izapa 

1718: Al. 10.3-31287-4047. El cura doctrinero de San An- 
dres Izapa, indica que el templo de dicho pueblo quedo 
arruinado con los temblores del 29 de Septiembre. 

Santiago Zamora 

1717: Al. 10.3-31284-4047. El comun del pueblo de Santiago 
Zamora piden ayuda para reedificar el Templo, 
destruido con los terremotos de Septiembre. 

Chimaltenango, Comalapa, Tecpan, San Martin Xilotepeque 
1776: Guatemala 659. Los temblores en el ano de 17, 
llamados de San Miguel, no hicieron estrago alguno en 
los pueblos de. . . 

Antigua, Ciudad Vieja, Alotenango, Escuintla, Masagua, Misten, 

Aguacatepeque, Alotenango, Comalapa, Palin. 

1774: Guatemala 660. Quake felt as far as Paraje de Sabana 
Grande. Also noted was San Sebastian Chaguat 


1774: Guatemala 660. Se arruino tan del todo que no quedo 
en pie cosa alguna de iglesia, convento, cabildo, ni casa 
o hermita de adobe y cayeron aun muchas casas de 
palizada,se hallan arranca dos de raiz, arboles gruesos 
y mucha parte de las sencas de chicicaste de dicha 
casas, y se halla en algunas partes hendida la tierra, 
cosa que atribuyeron los naturales del dicho pueblo, y 
otras personas que se hallaron presentes. 



1718: Guatemala 307. Testimonio sobre el lastimoso estras y 
ruina que padecio la Ciudad de Guatemala con los ter- 
remotos que experimento la noche del dia del Glorioso 
Archangel San Miguel de veinte y nueve de Septiem- 
bre del ano pasado de 1717 causado por sus vezino vol- 
canes huiendo amenazando antes con espantozas 
vorazes llamas de fuego y lo demas que expresa. 118 

1717: Guatemala 309. Testimonio sobre el lastimoso extrage 
y ruina que padecio esta Ciudad de Guatemala en los 
terremotos que experimento la noche del dia del Glori- 
oso Archangel San Miguel 29 de Septiembre de este 
ano de 1717. Palin 54r, Escuintla 54r, Chaguit 56, dia- 
gram 58r, Volcan Fuego 60r, Sabana Grande 61r, Vol- 
can de Agua 62r, Aguacatepeque 63r. 

1718: Guatemala 197. Further description. 

1723: Guatemala 250. Ruinas acaecidas en las terremotos de 
que han provevido las grandes diminuzion de tributos. 
Siquinala, Santa Lucia Cotzumalhuapa, Acatenango 

1773, 1 Sept.: Guatemala 661. Se noticiaron que su estrago y 
perjuicio lo infirio a los pueblos de Ziquinala, Santa 
Lucia y los de Acatenango por cuyo lado y barrancas 
de las lajas havian vasado los arrollas de fuego 
despidiendo tambien mucha ceniza. . .y en la del de 
Acatenango arrancados grandes arboles y otras menos 
de maiz pero esto se atribuyo a ser el suelo arenisco. 

1717, Octobre 3 Guatemala 


1718, Junio 28: Guatemala 186. Rebento el Volcano de 
Agua, hechando de si un considerable arroyo de cieno 
amarillo y piedras, y despues prosiguieron los tem- 
blores por todo el referido mes de Octubre aun que 
parece haulan ya cesado. 

1719, Marzo 5 EL SALVADOR 

Ciudad de San Salvador, San Vicente, Apastepeque 

1721, Abril 4: Guatemala 187. Guatemala 198 — More than 
150 temblores on 5 de Marzo 1719, most violent one in 


hour of eclipse. 

San Vicente, Ystepeque, San Salvador, Sacatecoluca, Cojutepeque 

1719: Guatemala 309. Providencias — en el lastimoso subseso 

producido de los terremotos experimentados en la Ciu- 

dad de San Salvador y demas de su jurisdiction. 166 


San Salvador, San Vicente 

1719, Sept 26: Guatemala 198. Temblores y terremotos 
acaezido en la Villa de San Vizente de Austria y Ciu- 
dad de San Salvador en los dias 4 y 6 de Marzo de 
este ano. 

San Miguel, San Salvador, San Vicente, Santa Ana, Apastepeque 
1721: Guatemala 198. Seven persons died in Ciudad de San 
Salvador y que los mas de los pueblos que dauan ar- 
rasados con sus iglesias y que en el todo que daua 
aquella ciudad asolada. Damage noted in San Miguel, 
San Vincente, Santa Ana and Apastepeque. 

1726 (?) NICARAGUA 

Nuestra Senora del Viejo, Chinandega, Chichigalpa 

1726: A 1.24- 10229- 1585: 175. Concediendo la cuarta parte 
de los tributos para cubrir los gastos de la reconstruc- 
tion de sus iglesias parroquiales, arruinada que fueron 
por varios terremotos. 


San Salvador 

1801: Guatemala 942. Iglesia parroquial de San Salvador ar- 
ruinada en 1730, (from context guess cause was 

1733, Marzo 9 (San Francisco) HONDURAS 

Intibuca, Tamba, Languira 

1735: A1.11.25(4)-1428-123. Acaecieran asi en 1733 el pri- 
mero viernes despues de la Feria 4a, cinerum en este 
pueblo de Intibuca, como en el de San Francisco del 
pueblo de Tamba, languira, tanta multitud de tem- 
blors, unos mayores que otros que temiendo alguna 
fatalidad sobre la gente, retablos, y la imagenes de 
termine con los indios de ambos pueblos de sembrazar 
los iglesias y celebrar en el patio de ellas los santos 


sacramentos hasta el Domingo de ramos, que ya se 
acabaron dichos temblores, los que dexaron ambos 
yglecias aruinadas, y peligrosos siempre refeloso de 
que no venga otro temblor, por cura Fr. Nicolas del 
Castillo, 12 dias del mes de Marzo. 

1733, Mayo GUATEMALA 


1733: A 1.1 0.3-3 1300-4047. Templo reconstruct costs, also 
other towns (names not given) in Provincia destroyed 
by "los grandes terremotos que en dicha provincia" 
decimos que con los grandes terremotos que en dicha 
provincia (de Chiquimula de la Sierra) se han experi- 
mentado, padecir ruina la iglesia del dicho nuestro 
pueblo, en tal manera que quedo de el todo abatida por 
el suelo, sin poderia aprobechar della fragmento al- 
guno, quake happened before 13 Julio 1733 (date of 

Santa Catarina Mita 

1770: A 1.1 1-3540-175. Templo ruined for more than 40 
years by "un memorable terremoto". 

Chiquimula de la Sierra, Santa Elena, San Luis Xilotepeque, 

Ipala Quetzaltepeque. 

1736: Guatemala 230. Date of 1735 is given for reconstruc- 
tion of churches in these towns. . .Toda ella arruinada 
con varios terremotos. No date is given for the quakes 
other than might be infered from "habia muchos anos 
que estaba la iglesia sin acauar sus bobedas". 

Chiquimula de la Sierra 

1733: A3. 16- 17575-942. Que habia habido en aquel ter- 
ritorio un terremoto tan grande que alcanzo en su im- 
petuosa ejecucion a mal tratar su templo dejandolo en 
el estado que si no se acudia a su alino estaba en pe- 
ligro de caerse y hacerse mayor el dano. . . 

1733, Mayo 22 (San Joaquin) GUATEMALA 

San Juan Bautista Alotenango 

1733: Al. 10.3-3 1303-4047. Fr. Juan de la Conception 
(OFM) cura doctrinero de San Juan Bautista 
Alotenango, certifica haber sufrido el templo con los 


temblores habidos el dia de San Joaquin. 


Volcan Momotombo 

after 1791: Archivo Museo Naval, Madrid Ms. 570 #6. 
Eruption description. 

1742, Agosto 10 GUATEMALA 

San Antonio Suchitepequez, Santos Reyes Cuyutenango, San An- 
dres Villa Seca 

1743: Al. 10.3-31328-4048: Church danger of falling from 
San Francisco Zapotitlan, Santiago Sambo 

1743: Al. 11.25-42731-5034. Terremoto of Agosto 1742 ru- 
ined churches of these towns. 

1743, Sept. 3: Al. 10.3-4048-31328. Iglesia arruinado por los 
temblores, no quake date given. 
Siquinala, Sn Andres (Villa Seca?), San Bartolome, Santa Ana 
Mixtan, Escuintla, Tacuilula, Nestiquipaque 

1743: A3. 16-2824-41031. Request exemption from paying 
taxes, no reason visible (manuscript is in very poor 



1742: A1.11.25(5)-384-42. Maltradas por los terremotos. 
1743: A1.11.25(5)-385-42. Con varios temblores que 
apadecido sus paredes. 
Masatepet, Jalapa, Mandagmo 

1747: A1.11.25(5)-387-42. Las yglesias de los pueblos todos 
maltrados con la continuation de varios terremotos. 
San Juan Namotiua and Santa Catarina Namotibo, anexos al 

1743: Al. 11.25-384-42. Los temblores lo maltrataron la 

1743, Octubre 15 GUATEMALA 

Chiquimula de la Sierra 

1745: Al. 11.25-46573-5439. Un fuerte temblor de tierra se 


arruinaron tanto sus paredes como el techo. 

1747, Octubre 13 GUATEMALA 

San Bartolome Mazatenango 

1747: A 1.1 0.3-3 1339-4048. Acerca de la reedification del 
templo de San Bartolomo Mazatenango, arruinado con 
los temblores del 13 de Octubre de 1747. 
San Bernardino Suchitepequez 

1747: A 1.1 0.3-3 1338-4048. This temblor, which this manu- 
script assigns to 1746, caused "major ruina". 

1748, Marzo 15 EL SALVADOR 

San Martin Perulapan 

1748: A 1.1 1-6197-674. Church ruined by temblores en 
San Martin Cojutepeque, San Martin Obispo 

1748: Al.l 1.25-319-34. Church ruined by terremotos of 13 

1750, Marzo 8 GUATEMALA 


1750: A 1.1 -55084-6087:4. La iglesia caerse de los continuous 
temblores que ha hauido. 

1751, Marzo 4 (Sn Casimiro) GUATEMALA 


1752: A3. 16-41 192-2833. Templo hurt in quake. 

1758: Al.l 1.25-3284-163. Capilla mayor della con el tem- 
blor a caecido el dia de San Casimiro, cuatro del 
Marzo de. . . 
San Felipe Jesus 

1753: Al. 10.3-31353-4049. Terremoto del dia cuatro de 
Marzo ruined church. 
San Pedro Las Huertas 

1751: A 1.1 0.3-3 1344-4049. El terremoto del dia 4 de Marzo 
causo tanto estrago en la iglesia. 

1760: Guatemala 657. Guatemala 406 and Guatemala 725. 
Damage to the Palacio. 


1774: Guatemala 658. Quebranto la portada de la Iglesia. 
Area between Jumay and Mataescuintla (Valle de Santa Rosa) 

1774: Guatemala 660. Se dice haber parecido estremo por el 
movimiento tan fuerte, que se advirtio de conformidad, 
que se inclinaba notablemente el techado de las casas 
hacia la tierra, pero en las paredes, que son adobe no 
se experimento lesion. 

1775: Al- 17862-2362. Francisco Antonio de la Fuente, pide 
se le de ayuda economica para la reedificacion de su 
casa destruida durante los terremotos del 4 de Marzo. 
Not seen. 

1757, Octubre 4 (San Francisco) GUATEMALA 

San Juan Alotenango 

1758: A 1.1 1.25-2971-151. El temblor que sobre vino el dia 
de San Francisco pasado deste presente ano, church 
needs repairs. 

1774: Guatemala 658. Terremoto. 
1765, Junio 2 (Santissima Trinidad) GUATEMALA 

Chiquimula de la Sierra 

1784: Al. 11.25-3570-176. Templo reconstruction costs. 

1764: Guatemala 407. 

1766: Guatemala 543. Hot sulfuric water comes out of ar- 

royos and burns milpas totally. 
1767: Guatemala 407. Terremoto acahecido la noche del dia 
dos de Junio del 1765 que repitieron hasta el siguiente 
mes, died 53 personas entre ellos el cura doctrinero, 
uno de sus coadjutores, y el alcalde mayor Joseph 
Antonio Ugarte (this last is wrong). Otros muy las- 
timados y perdidone los mas de los edificios. 

1774: Guatemala 658. Que quando hayan causado algunan 
corta ruina en algun solar o pared de los barrios, no 
han merecido atencion estos sucessos. 

1774: Guatemala 658. Se descompuso, y cayo alguna teja de 
la iglesia. 
Antigua (10:30 o 11:00 PM) 


1774: Guatemala 658. Cuyo movimiento fue bien considera- 
ble y terrible, pues a sus impulsos se tocaron los com- 
panas de la Cathedral, sin que pueda ofrecerse la me- 
nor duda; no causaron visible danos, y ruinas, pero 
probablemente lastimarian en alguna parte dos 
edificios, como se puede discurrir sin violencia. 
Area between Jumay and Mataescuintla (about Xalapa), Valle de 
Santa Rosa 

1774: Guatemala 660. Aunque se experimento igualmente 
(to San Casimiro quake) fuerte, y largo no causo otro 
perjuicio, que el haberse desmoronado parte de una 
loma tajada, que sirve de cerca al corral de esta 
Alotepeque (today Conception de las Minas) (and also the Prov- 
ince of Chiquimula) 

1770, Julio 20: Guatemala 644. Al corregidor de Chiquimula 
de la Sierra y trate con el prelado, y proponga los 
medios de reparan los iglesias deterionadas de los ter- 
remotos-e igualmente los minerales de San Joseph 
Alotepeque totalmente perdidos. 

1768: Cortes y Larraz relation. Serios estragos en la 

n.d.: A 1.2 1-3539- 175. Algunos perjuicios a iglesia parro- 
quial, la casa del curato y el santuario del Senior. 

1765, Octubre 24 CHIAPAS/GUATEMALA 

Asuncion Solola 

1765: Reconstruction del templo parroquial del pueblo de 
Asuncion Solola, arruinado por los temblores de 24 de 
Octubre. A 1.1 1.25-4065-201. 
Corregimiento de Quetzaltenango 

1765: A 1-47 176-5482. Informes rendidos por el corregidor 
de Quetzaltenango, acerca de la ruina habida con mo- 
tivo de los terremotos del 24 de Octubre 1765. Not 
Corregimientos de Quesalthenango, Totonicapan y Ciudad Real 
1776: Guatemala 659. Son recientes los temblores del ano de 
sesenta y cinco que arrionanon la Provincia entera de 
Chiquimula y parte de las de Quezalthenango, Totoni- 


capan y Ciudad Real. 


Volcan Rincon de la Vieja 

after 1791: Archivo Museo Naval, Madrid Ms. 570 #6. 
Eruption description. 

1772 (?) HONDURAS 

Gualcha (en Gracias a Dios) 

1772: A1.11.25(4)-361-42. Terremoto makes aperturas en 

1772, Marzo 16 NICARAGUA 


after 1792: Archivo Museo Naval, Madrid Ms. 570 #6. 

1772, Julio 15 GUATEMALA 

San Bartolome Mazatenango 

1773: A 1-24792-28 12. Informe acerca del estado en que 
quedo San Bartolome Mazatenango como con- 
secuencia de los temblores habidos al 15 de Julio 1772. 
Not seen. 

1773, Mayo 31 hasta Junio 11 (FIRST SANTA MART A 


1828: B83. 13-25502- 1125:29. La municipalidad del pueblo 
de Santa Cruz Chiquimulilla, certifica que el parroco 
Pbro. Jose Gregorio Echegoyu se intereso por la 
reedificacion del templo parroquial, el cual estaba en 
ruinas debido a los temblores de "Santa Marta" y a 
los arboles que habian crecido sobre su medio canon, 
certified that church could not be repaired. 


1954: Monografia del Huehuetenango (Adrian Recinos). 
Soloma habia sufrido los efectos de los terremotos de 
Santa Marta. 

1773, Julio 29 hasta 30 (SECOND AND MAJOR SANTA 


La Ermita (Valle de Guatemala) 

1773: Al. 10.3-6523-3 13. Terremoto this July ruined church. 
San Martin Jilotepeque 

1774: A 1.1 1.25-3290-163. Los indigenas de San Martin 
Jilotepeque solicitan ayuda economica para la recon- 
struction del templo parroquial, arruinado con los sis- 
mos de 29 de Julio de 1773. 

1777: Al. 11.25-3296-163. Church ruined by temblores del 
dia de Julio del ano 1773; also see Guatemala 562 and 
Guatemala 661 (the last of which says total ruina asi 
en este pueblo). 
San Agustin Sumpango 

1774: Al. 11.25-3291-163. Los indigenas del pueblo de San 
Agustin Sumpango, solicitan fondos para la reedifica- 
cion del templo parroquial, arruinado con los temblores 
del 29 de Julio de 1773; (cf. also Guatemala 661). 
Antigua (from 3:30 PM of the 29th and/or to 9AM of next day) 
1773, Agosto 2: Guatemala 657. 
1774: Guatemala 658. 

1773, Agosto 1: Papeles de Correos 90. Raining at same time 
as quakes. 
Jalapa (en tarde y noche de 29 de Julio sintio dos de ellos particu- 
larmente fuerte) 

1774: Guatemala 658. 
San Raymundo de las Casillas 

1779: Guatemala 562. Ruined church. 
San Juan Sacatepequez 

1779: Guatemala 562. Que quedo maltraltada iglesia. 

1779: Guatemala 562. Que no esta aun concluida y no deja 
de tener quebran toda sin servible la boveda (de igle- 
sia). Cf. Guatemala 661. 
Tecpan Guatemala 

1779: Guatemala 661. Ruina general de los terremotos (10 
Die. 1773). Guatemala 562. Iglesia quedaron igual- 
mente destruida. 

1779: Guatemala 562. Iglesia quedaron igualmente destruida. 
Santa Ana Chimaltenango 

1773, Die. 6: Guatemala 661. Quebrado el terremoto. Does 


not say if of Julio. 
San Andres Acatenango 

1793: Al. 11.25-3318-164. Temblor of 1773 ruined church. 
San Juan Amatitlan 

1776: A 1.1 0.3-3 1360-4049. Church ruined in 1773. 
San Lucas Sacatepequez 

1780: Al.l 1.25-301 1-153. Church ruined by los terremotos. 
Santiago Sacatepequez 

1782: Al. 10.3-31368-4045. Church totally ruined by los 
temblores of 1773. 

1776: Guatemala 659. Quake damage from 1773 quake. 
Guatemala 562. Damage from Julio 29 quake. 

1774, Junio: Guatemala 661. En el pueblo de Ostuncalco se 
cuentan difuntos cuatro mil indios y ninos diez no mas 
hace como un mes y se va estendiendo en las Alcaldias 
de Totonicapan y Quezaltenango como tambien se ha 
padecido en algunos pueblos. . .han fallecido muchos 
indios. . .Context is quakes but does not explicitly 
state is cause of deaths. 
Area between Jumay and Mataescuintla (about Xalapa, Valle de 
Santa Rosa) 

1774: Guatemala 660. Se aseguara que se sintieron, como 
seis, o siete, pero no se noto movimiento violento ni es- 
trano, aunque si bastantemente largo sin causa en los 
edificios ni demas oficinas detrimento alguno. 
Petapa, Mixco, Pinula 

1777: Guatemala 559. Churches quedaron arruinadas o tan 
maltradas, que si no se componen estan inservibles. 
Provincias de Chimaltenango y AM Sacatepequez 

1779: Guatemala 562. States that all churches in these prov- 
inces ruined by 1773 quakes. 

1773, Septimebre 7 {THIRD SANTA MARTA 


1774: Guatemala 658. 

1773, Septiembre 16 HONDURAS 



1773, Octubre 24: Guatemala 450. Que el 16 de Septiembre 
se experimento un recio temblor, seguido por la noche 
de un dilubio y viento tan fuertes, que hasta el dia 
siguiente estubo inundada aquella poblacion, . . .salio 
de madre el Rio Grande rompiendo la corriente un 
llano de 400 baras de largo y 200 de ancha, y lleban- 
dose una quebrada, de que resulto ba inundacion- 
desbarato alguna obra nueva del Castillo; se arruino la 
contaduria y unos almacenes con varias casas del 
pueblo; destruyo las cosechas y platanares. . .con la 
continuation de lluvias pudiera causar muchos danos. 

1773, Diziembre 13 (FOURTH SANTA MARTA QUAKE & 


1774, Febrero 7: Guatemala 830. 

1774, Octubre HONDURAS 


1776: Guatemala 659. Los (quakes) del ano de 74 que ar- 
razaron a Comayagua y su cercanias. 
Comayagua, Legamani, Ajuterique 

1774, Die. 4: Guatemala 450. 9 AM or a little after was first, 
the second temblor at 3 PM. Rain with quakes. 

1774-75: Guatemala 469. (nothing new). 
Guatemala 410. 


1798: A1.11.25(4)-384-43. Cathedral ruined by temblores of 


1775, Julio 2 GUATEMALA 


1775: Guatemala 662. 84 folios. Testimonio de los autos 
causados sobre la reventasion del Bolcan nombrado los 
humitos ymmediato al pueblo de San Juan Amatitan 
en fuego y piedra que despide por tres bocas que se 
abrieron la noche del dia 2 de Julio de este ano de 



1776: Guatemala 558. Bolcan de Pacaya arruinando todas 
las casas, y destruyendo sus sementeras, y haciendas. 

1775: Guatemala 558. Que con la ocasion de haver reventado 
un cerro inmediato al oriente de nuestro pueblo 
inclinado hacia el sur brotando fuego, piedras, ceniza, 
y arena, se ha inundado todo nuestro territorio de 
modo que se cayeron todas las casas de los indios, a 
exception de la Casa del Cura, y de la Yglesia del 
pueblo las que sin duda caeran, por que como las are- 
nas, y cenizas continuar sin intermision de mas de los 
graves terremotos que hubo, se detienen las aguas 
lluvias en los texados con que se ha causado y cauzan 
muchas goteras, y la ruina del resto de las casas. 
Volcan Pacaya 

1775, Julio 31: Guatemala 450. En la arruinada cuidad se 
obserbaron en el dia de la rebentaron 7 to 8 temblors 
(3 July 1775), y repetidos antes, y despues de ella, con 
aquella especie de ruido subterraneo, o erbidero, que 
tanto consterno en la ruina pasada. Context for Mapas 
y Pianos Guatemala 219bis and 315. 

1775, Julio 16. Real Academia de Historia, Coleccion 
Papeles Varios de America, ff. 543-552. 

1775, Agosto 31: Guatemala 557. Participa que por los 
avisos que ha tenido hasta el 12 de mismo, consta que 
en el Volcan de Pacaya, continuan sus bocas hechando 
considerable portion de fuego; que sigue la frecuencia 
de retumbos; que el humo es exorbitance; que la 
piedra, y arena que continuamente expele, la dirige 
hacia la costa, cayendo, como aguacero en el pueblo de 
Palin; que se han abierto en el citado cerro tres bocas 
mas, y se han cerrado otras con la piedra, de cuyo 
numero no se hace expecificacion; y que la principal 
esta permanente; subsistiendo sin incremento, ni 
diminution el rio de fuego que gira al sur. 

1775: Biblioteca Colombina, Sevilla. 
Another description of eruption. 

1775, Agosto 1: Guatemala 877. Description of eruption 
from 2 Julio 1775 on. 

1776, Marzo 30 e 31 GUATEMALA/EL SALVADOR 

1776: A 1-4466-62. Autos acerca de las medidas que debian 


ser tomadas con motivo de la ruina de San Salvador. 
Estos temblores fueron sentidos en Guatemala. Not 
seen. Probably error for quake of 30 & 31 of May 
1779: Guatemala 562. Implies that 1776 quakes felt in the 
provinces of Escuintla and Chiquimulilla. States that 
effected entire province of Sonsonate and San 

1776, Mayo 30 e 31 EL SALVADOR 

Ciudad de San Salvador 

1802: Guatemala 908. Iglesia arruinada de resultas del ter- 
remoto acaecido el ano de 1776. 
Provincias de Sonsonate, San Salvador y sus adjacentes 

1776: Guatemala 659. Los terremotos del presente ano de 
76, que desolaros las provincias de Sonsonate, San Sal- 
vador y sus adjacentes. 
Ciudad de San Salvador, Nexapa, Apopa, Quezaltepeque, Cox- 
utepeque, San Vicente 

1776: Guatemala 450. 11:15 AM 1st quake until 6PM May 
31st last quake. Mud flow from small volcano near San 
Salvador City. Also effected — Comayagua, Sonsonate, 

1776, Julio 6 EL SALVADOR 

Ciudad de San Salvador 

1776, Diz. 9: Guatemala 450. Un temblor tan grande que 
habia acavado de arruinar todos los templos, y casas. 

1776, Noviembre 15. EL SALVADOR 

Ciudad de San Salvador 

1776, Diz. 9: Guatemala 450. Con fecha de 15 de Noviembre 
ultimo que a las dos de la manana del mismo dia acon- 
tecieron dos formidables temblores con los quales dicen 
acabo aquella pobre cuidad de experimentar su total 
ruina, de manera que varios edificios caieron del 
todo. . .no podian darme noticias de los pueblos de 
aquellas immediciones, porque no cesaban los 

1778, Febrero 3 EL SALVADOR 


San Salvador 

1801: Guatemala 942. Iglesia parroquial de San Salvador ar- 
ruinada con el terremoto del 3 de Febrero 1778. 

1780, Septiembre 21 (San Matheo) GUATEMALA 

Ciudad de Guatemala, Antigua 

1781, 19 Abril: Guatemala 451. El dia de San Matheo, y 
veinte y uno del proximo pasado mes cerca de las doce 
de la noche se sinuio en esta capital un violento ter- 
remoto de trepidation, que duro minuto, y medio, 
desperto con el malor susto a los que ia dormian, y 
puso a todos en grande consternation. Ni en fabricas, 
ni en cosa alguna ha dexido la menor senal de su fu- 
erza, y poder, a diferencia del pueblo de la Vieja Gua- 
temala, en donde fue mucho mayor su impetu, y der- 
ribo algunos fragmentos, que se concervaban en pie de 
sus antiguos edificios. Con algunos experiencias de esta 
se conseguira totalmente la debida conformidad a la 
justificada resolution de SM en la traslacion, cara 
written 6 de Octubre 1780. 

1784 (Los Santos Reyes) GUATEMALA 


1792: A 1.1 1.25-3723-181: Pilares of church need rebuilding 
since temblor de Los Santos Reyes, speaks of many 
temblores here in past but church survived since six- 
teenth century. 
San Cristobal Verapaz, Santa Cruz Verapaz 

1785: Guatemala 603. Arruino iglesia por terremoto de dia 
del Reyes. 

1785 (?) HONDURAS 


1785: A1.11.25(4)-368-42. Church damaged with motion 
of land. 


Usulutan, Santa Maria, Ereguaiquin, Tiquilizco 

1787: Guatemala 971. Lost entire crop con la eruption de el 
volcan de San Miguel cuyas cenizas y escorias 
destruyen de el todo las sementerias de los cuatro pue- 


bios comprehendidos en aquel partido. 

1791, Enero 24 NICARAGUA 

Volcan Telica 

after 1791: Archivo Museo Naval, Madrid Ms. 570 #6. 

1791, Marzo 16 GUATEMALA 

San Pedro Sacatepequez 

1791: A 1.1 1.25-4974-200. Los nativos de San Pedro Sacat- 
epequez, de la jurisdiccion de Quezaltenango, exponen 
el estado ruinoso de su iglesia, debido a los temblores 
del 16 de Marzo. 

San Marcos 

1791: A 1.1 1.25-4975-200. Instancia presentada por el cura 
de San Pedro Sacatepequez, jurisdiccion de Quetzalte- 
nango, informando del estado en que se encuentra la 
iglesia del Barrio de San Marcos con motivo de los ter- 
remotos de 16 de Marzo de 1791. 


1791: A 1. 5-20007- 1105:folio 162. Garita de Cuilapa ha mal- 
tratado el texado de ella con los temblores en 16 y 17 
de Marzo proximo pasada y que para la continuation 
de goteras que experimenta con las aguas. 

San Cristobal Cucho, San Antonio Sacatepequez 

1791: A 1-4972-200. Diligencias relativas para determinar los 
dafio que acaciono el, temblor del 16 de Marzo de 
1791, en los temblos [sic] de los pueblos de San Cris- 
tobal Cucho e San Antonio Sacatepequez. Not seen. 

San Pedro Sacatepequez e Barrio de San Marcos 

1791: A 1-4973-200. Orden para que se detallen los danos y 
necesidades habidas con motivo del temblor de 16 del 
Marzo en San Pedro Sacatepequez y Barrio de San 
Marcos en Quetzaltenango. Not seen. 
1791: Al-3982-137. Diligencias practicadas por el corregidor 
de Quetzaltenango para terminar los daiios ocasion- 
ados por los temblores del 16 de Marzo de 1791 en 
San Pedro y San Marcos Sacatepequez. Not seen. 

1795, Diciembre 29 GUATEMALA 


1805: Al. 24-55307-6091:93. RP. Concedese al pueblo de 


Chiantla, 150 pesos de los fondos de bienes de 
comunidades de indios, para cubrir el costo de la 
reedificacion del templo parroquial. Esta iglesia estaba 
danada a consecuenca de los temblores habidos el 29 
de Diciembre de 1795. 
Concepcion Huehuetenango 

1805: A3. 16-4923-247. El comun del pueblo de Concepcion 
Huehuetenango solicita exoneration de tributos por es- 
tar ocupados en la reconstruction del templo parro- 
quial, arruinado por los temblores que hubo hacia diez 

1798, Febrero 3 EL SALVADOR 

Ciudad de San Salvador 

1803, Enero 31: Guatemala 415. Terremoto en 3 de Febrero 
1798 destruyendo parte de lo edificado iglesia parro- 
quial dejo al vecindario imposibilitado de continuar (to 

1798, Febrero 27: Guatemala 843. Informe sobre las fuertes 
terremotos en San Salvador el dia 3 del Febrero a las 
dos y quarto de la tarde se sinteo un terremoto tan fu- 
erte que carecede de exemplar, segun me ha aseguardo 
algunos de estos vecinos antiguos, que alcanzaran la 
ultima ruina de las varias que aqui se han experi- 
mentado y con este motivo han padecido mucho las 
edificias habiendose arruinado totalmente la iglesia 
parroquial y otras. Felt also in San Miguel, description 
of adjacent volcano (near San Salvador) after quake. 

1798, Julio 2 (?) GUATEMALA 


1799: Al.l 1.25-3732-182. Church ruined on July 2, 1798, no 
reason given for destruction. 

1798, Noviembre 3 EL SALVADOR 

Ciudad de San Salvador 

1802: Guatemala 908. El ultimo terremoto en 3 de Noviem- 
bre de 1798 que dejo arruinada la mayor parte de la 
obra (de iglesia). 

1798: Gazeta de Guatemala 2. 



1798: Gazeta de Guatemala 2. 

1800, Agosto 14 EL SALVADOR 

Chinameca and Tecapa 

1800, Sept. 30: Guatemala 921. Se le permite regresarse a su 
curato por tener que reedificar aquellas 
iglesias que han padecido ruino 1800 "fue 
cierto que el dia 14 del mes de Agosto hubo 
un temblar de tierra muy grande, el que 
quebro por varias partes nuestras iglesias del 
indicado pueblo de Chinameca y Tecapa su 


Volcan Izalco 

1803: Gazeta de Guatemala 7. 

1811, Mayo 23 GUATEMALA 

Guatemala City 

1811, Sept. 3: Guatemala 417. Informe sobre la necesidad 
con se procedio a reparar el cuartel de 
Dragones de esta capital, que sufrio gran de- 
trimento por un terremoto el 23 del Mayo ul- 
timo consequencia de la mala construcion del 

1815, Agosto 20 EL SALVADOR 

Ciudad de San Salvador 

1815: A 1.1 -42-4 (3). Informe acerca de que el 20 de Agosto, 
a las siete y media de la noche, la ciudad de 
San Salvador fue con movida por templores. 

1816, Junio 2 GUATEMALA 

Santa Lucia Utatlan 

1816: Al. 11.25-8194-393. Church ruined entirely on June 2, 

1816, Julio 22 and 21 (Santa Maria Magdalena)GUATEMALA 

Aguacatan e Chalchitan 

1816: A 1.1 1-56865-61 19. Las justicias de los pueblos de 
Aguacatan y de Chalchitan piden del alcalde mayor de 


Totonicapan y Huehuetenango fondos de sus bienes de 
comunidad para cubrir los gastos que ocasione le 
reedificacion de la iglesia arruinada por los temblores 
del 21 y 22 de Julio 1816. 

Todos Santos Cuchumatan 

1817: A 1.1 1-56688-61 18. Instancia del comun del pueblo de 
Todos Santos Cuchumatan ante el alcalde mayor de 
Totonicapan y Huehuetenango, sobre que se les pro- 
porcionen medios para reconstruir el templo parro- 
quial, danado por los temblores del 21 y 22 de Julio de 


1816: Al.l 1-56730-61 18. El Pbro. Jose Ceferino Aguilar, 
cura del pueblo de Chiantla, pide al alcalde mayor 
ayuda del fondo de comunidades para la reconstruc- 
tion de los cuatro templos de su curato, arruinados por 
los temblores habidos en Julio de 1816. In 1769 the 
towns of this parish were: Chiantla, Aguacatan, 
Chalchitan, Todos Santos Cuchumatan, and San Mar- 
tin Cuchumatan. Cf. also A3-53258-2801. 

Concepcion Huehuetenango 

1816: Al.l 1-56663-6118. Sobre la reconstruction de las 
iglesias de los pueblos del curato de Concepcion 
Huehuetenango, dafiadas con los temblores habidos el 
22 de Julio 1816. In 1769 the towns of this parish 
were: San Lorenzo, San Sebastian, Santa Isabel, San 
Juan, Santiago, San Pedro and Santo Domingo. 


1817: Al.l 1.25-8094-388. El comun de Huehuetenango 
solicita fondos para reedificar el templo parroquial ar- 
ruinado con los templores del 22 de Julio de 1816. 

Santa Maria Joyabaj 

1817: A3. 1-22525- 1344:6. Sobre autorizar del fondo de com- 
munidades del pueblo de Santa Maria Joyabaj, los 
fondos necessario para reconstruir el templo de dicho 
pueblo, arruinado por los terremotos habidos el 21 de 
Julio de 1816. 

San Andres Sacabaja 

1816: Al.l 1.25-8192-392. El temblor del dia 21 del corriente 
por la noche, y el del 22 a las 8 del dia ruined church, 


need to rebuild "from floor". 
San Cristobal Totonicapan 

1817: A 1.1 1-56692-61 18. Auto tramitado por el comun del 
pueblo de San Cristobal Totonicapan, sobre la asigna- 
cion de fondos de bienes de comunidades, para la 
reedificacion del templo de dicho pueblo, danado con 
los terremotos del 21 y 22 de Julio de 1816. 
San Miguel Totonicapan 

1817: A3. 1-22532-1344:5. Sobre la aprobacion de 2500 pesos 
para la reconstruction del templo del pueblo de San 
Miguel Totonicapan, arruinado por el temblor habido 
el 22 de Julio de 1816. See also A3-5191-253 and 
San Andres Xecul 

1816: Al. 1-56660-6 118. El comun del pueblo de San Andres 
Xecul pide se los proporcionen fondos de sus 
comunidades para reedificar el templo parroquial 
danado con los temblores habidos el 22 de Julio. 
Guatemala City 

1817: Guatemala 497. Two quakes, at 12 AM on the 21st 
and at 9:30 AM on the 22nd. 
Totonicapan, Quetzaltenango, Ciudad Real (San Cristobal Las 
Casas), Provincia de Verapaz 

1817: Guatemala 497. 
Soloma y seis anexos (Ixcoy, Santa Eulalia, Istatan, San Sebas- 
tian Coatan, San Miguel Acatan) 

1817: Guatemala 497. 
Santiago Momostenango 

1816: A 1.1 1.25-27459-2929. Church ruined by temblores of 
July 20, 1816. 
Guatemala City 

1816, 3 Octubre: Guatemala 496. La noche del 21 de Julio 
de este ano como a las doce de ella se sintio en esta 
capital un terremoto con explosion tan fuerte que puso 
en consternation al vecindaro, y que no obstante, solo 
que fue precursor de otro mas fuerte y de mas dura- 
tion que se experimente a las nueve y media de la ma- 
nana del dia siguiente 22. . . 
Santa Cruz Verapaz 

1818: A 1.1 1.25-7982-384. Fr. Francisco Arriaza, parroco de 
Sn Cristobal Cajcoj, expone ser necesaria la recon- 


struccion del templo de Santa Cruz de Santa Elena fil- 
ial de dicha parroquia (este templo quedo arruinado 
por el terremoto de Santa Magdalena, del ano 1816). 
Alcalde Mayor de Totonicapan e Huehuetenango 

1816: A 1-56670-6 118. Informe acerca de los temblores 
habidos el 22 de Julio y que causaron graves danos en 
varios pueblos. Not seen. cf. Also Al-8085-388. Not 
Santa Catalina Ixtahuacan 

1819: Al. 11.25-8202-393. Pasado Julio el temblor del dia de 
Santa Maria Magdalena se amino enteramente la 
San Antonio Ilotenango 

1821: A3-5230-254. El alcalde del pueblo solicita exonera- 
tion del pago de tributos, aduciendo como razon los 
danos causados por los ultimos temblores. Not seen. 

1954: Monografia del Huehuetenango. Arruinada la Iglesia. 



1818, Marzo 18: Guatemala 498. Refers to 21/22 Julio 1816 
eruption and says this came after it. A basically vol- 
canic eruption, with quake, caused mayor estrago en 
sus edificios. Eruption de un cerro que se halla a una 
legua de la poblacion. 

1820, Febrero GUATEMALA 

Almolonga (Provincia de Quetzaltenango) 

1820, Marzo 20: A 1.1 1.25-8152-391. Los frecuentes tem- 
blores originados de la rebentazon del volcan que 
tenemos a la vista y muy cercano al pueblo de Al- 
molonga perjirdicaron bastante los iglesia de dicho 
pueblo, cuyos perjicios repare entonces con mis cortos 
arbitrios; pero los ultimos temblores del mes pasado 
me han echo desmayor. Estos quasi arruinaron el techo 
de la iglesia. 

1821, Julio 6 GUATEMALA 

San Mateo Salama 

1821: A 1.1 -57284-6931. Minuta indicandole que los vecinos 


del pueblo de San Mateo Salama descaban reedificar 
el templo parroquial arruinado por los temblores 
habidos en 1820 y que como carecian de fondos, solic- 
itaban autorizacion para tomar dondos de cofradias. 
1821: Al. 11.25-7997-384. El ayuntamiento constitucional de 
San Mateo Salama, propone un plan de arbitrios para 
reedificar el templo parroquial, arruinado por los tem- 
blores habido el 6 de Junio. 

1821, 6 Mayo GUATEMALA 

San Pedro Jocopilas 

1821: B3. 6-985-47. Minuta solicitando informe sobre si exis- 
ten fondos para reedificar el templo parroquial de San 
Pedro Jocopilas y casa conventual, destruido por un 
Alcaldia Mayor de Totonicapan 

1821: A 1-24675-2806. Informe rendido por el alcalde mayor 
de Totonicapan, acerca de los danos ha idos con mo- 
tivo de los temblores. Not seen. 

1830, Abril 21 GUATEMALA 


1831: B85. 1-26530-1 150: El Pbro. Jose Maria Mijangos, 
cura de la parroquia de Amatitlan, ante el Jefe del Es- 
tado de Guatemala, pide ayuda economica para recon- 
struir el templo y la casa parroquial, arruinado por los 
terremotos del ano 1830. See also Bl 1-600067- 
2553:folio 6, (of abril 21-1830). 


1841: Bl 19.3-59094-2544:1. El corregidor de Escuintla la 
solicitud del parroco y vecinos de la cabecera, contra 
ida que de parte del gobierno se les ayude para reedifi- 
car el templo parroquial, arruinado por el terremoto 
habido en 1830. Not seen. 


1830, Abril 21: Bl-60067-2553:folio 8. Informa el alcalde de 
la municipalidad de Petapa, que a las cuatro de la 
madrugada, a mentaron los temblores, originando la 
caida del templo parroquial, casas parroquiales, el 
cabildo y muchas de particulares. Not seen. 

Amatitlan, Petapa (San Miguel), Palin 


1830, Abril 22: B95-32577-1398. Juan Manuel Rodriquez 
comissionarle para que pasara a los pueblos de Ama- 
titlan, Petapa y Palin a informarse si las circuntancias 
en que se encontraba el vecindario como consecuencia 
del pasaso terremoto y temblores que estaban 
sacudiendo aquella zona. Not seen. 

Guatemala City 

1830, Abril 22: Bl-60067-2553:folio 17. El jefe politico del 
departamento de Guatemala, informa a la Secretaria 
General del Gobierno, de las medidas tomadas para 
mantener el orden en la capital y sugeria se pidiera la 
colaboracion de las fuerzas militares, para perseguir a 
los ladrones, que podrian aprovecharse la confusion 
causada por los temblores. 

Santa Ines Petapa 

1830, Abril 23: Informa el Secretario de la municipalidad 
que el terremoto del dia 21 destruyo el templo parro- 
quial, casa consistorial y varias casas de personas par- 
ticulares. Bl-60084-2555:folio 58. 


1830, Abril 23: Bl-58506-2539:folio lr. Juan Manuel Rodri- 
guez, comisario por el gobierno para inspeccionar los 
danos causados por los temblores en Amatitlan, in- 
forma que aun continuaba temblores. 

Hacienda El Rosario 

1830, Abril 26: B 1-45047- 1959. Parte relativo a que las 
casas de la hacienda El Rosario, en jurisdiction de 
Amatitlan, perteneciente a los bienes de 
temporalidades, Quedaron arruinadas por los ultimas 
temblores. Not seen. 

Villa Nueva, San Miguel e Santa Ines Petapa, Amatitlan e Palin 
1830, Abril 28: Bl-50121-2405. El Lie. Juan Manuel Rodri- 
guez informa los danos causados por los terremotos. 
Not seen. 


1830: Bl 1-501 19-2404. El alcalde lo de la municipalidad in- 
forma al jefe de estado que desde principio de Abril 
eran constantes los temblores siendo necesario el 
"descargo" de los techos del templo parroquial, casas 
de cabildo, casa parroquial, etc. Not seen. 

Amatitlan, Palin e otras 


1830, Abril 24: B-28866-1 189. Circular informandoles que el 
dia 21 se arruinaron los pueblos de Amatitlan y Petapa 
y algunos otros de las mediciones de la capital, a causa 
de los grandes y frecuentes temblores y que desde el 
mismo dia han sido numerosisimos en esta capital. Not 
Volcan Pacaya 

1830, Abril 22: B-32578-1398. El poder ejecutivo del estado 
comisionado los senores Coronel Nicolas Raul y Faus- 
tino Padilla, para que pasen a la zona immediata del 
Volcan de Pacaya y reconozcan los danos causados por 
los ultimos temblores. Not seen. 

1830, Abril 29: B95-32576-1398:folio 1. El poder ejecutivo 
del Estado de Guatemala comisiona a los senores Co- 
ronel Nicolas Raul, teninte Coronel Manuel Jonama, 
Antonio Jose Coitho, para que pasen a reconocer el 
Volcan de Pacaya y el cerro de Petapa, nombrado El 
Pelon. Not seen. 

1830, Mayo 11: B-32576-1398:folio 4. El senor Antonio Jose 
Cofino informa al secretario general de gobierno haber 
ascendido al volcan de Pacaya y al cerro El Pelon, en 
union del Coronel Nicolas Raul, encontrando que el 
primero presentado derrumbres y grientas y el segundo 
zonas que monstraban desniveles, producidos por 
Guatemala City 

1830, Mayo 21: B-28870-1 189. Circular informandoles ha- 
ber returnado a la Ciudad de Guatemala, desde el 
pueblo de Jocotenango, la Asamblea Legislativa y el 
Poder Ejecutivo del Estado, por haber cesado los tem- 
blores que se iniciaron desde el 21 de Abril anterior. 

1830, Junio 9: B-501 18-2404. El arquitecto Santiago Marqui 
informa haber inspeccionado el altar mayor de la Cat- 
edral, dictando las provincias necesarias para 
aseguararlo, en vista del estado en que quedo debido a 
los temblores de Mayo ultimo. 

Amatitlan. Pinula, San Miguel Petapa, Santa Ines Petapa 

1831, Diciembre 15: B-29197-1 194. Que a los pueblos que 
fueron danados por los temblores del 21 de Abril de 
1830 queden exonerados del pago de la contribution. 



1830: Bl 19.2-56593-2513. Pasa al consejo representative la 
solicitud presentada por la municipalidad de Cuilapa, 
relativa a que los vecinos de los Valles inmediatos, 
rindan trabajo personas para reedificar el templo par- 
roquial, arruinada por los temblores habidos el dia 3 
de Mayo. 



Call Numbers for additional AGCA Church Reconstruction Man- 
uscripts not seen by L.H. Feldman 

San Andres Acatenango. 1799. Al. 11-3339-165 

Ciudad Vieja. 1805 Al. 10.3-6621-322. 1780. Al. 10.3-4576-76. 

San Juan Alotenango. 1818. A3. 1-22553-1346. 

Palin. 1812. Al. 11.25-7641-370. 1832. Bl 19.4-60170- 


1837. Bl 19.3-58755-2542. 

Amatitlan. 1672. A3. 12-40062-2775. A3. 12-42184-2886. 
1811. Al. 11.25-7619-370. 

Santiago Atitlan. 1735. Al. 10.3-31308-4047. Al. 10.3-31310- 


Santa Cruz Balanya. 1799. Al. 11.25-3339-165. 

Coban. 1741. Al. 10.3-31319-4048. 1794. Al. 11.25-3728-181. 

San Miguel Cojola (near Ostuncalco). 1681. A 1.24- 102 10- 


1771. ALIO. 3- 

Comalapa. 1588. A3. 16-40484-2799. 1840. Bl 19.1-55752- 


Santa Lucia Cotzumaluapa. 1710. Al. 11.25-3371-168. 

1832. Bl 19.3-58533-2539. 

Cubulco. 1785. Al. 11.25-3716-181. 

San Gaspar Cuyotenango. 1748. A 1.1 0.3-3 1342-4048. 

San Jose Chicaya Solola. 1813. Al. 11.25-8183-392. 

San Jacinto Chimaltenango. 1830. Bl 19.1-55622-2503. 

Chinautla. 1843. B83.2-25235-1114. 

Santa Elena Chiquimula. 1840. Bl 19.2-57362-2526. 

San Andres Dean. 1734. A 1.1 0.3-3 1305-4047. 

San Miguel El Tejar. 1736. Al. 10.3-31312 and 31311-4047. 

San Sebastian Tejar. 1736. Al. 10.3-31312-4047. 1813. 

Al. 11.25-3366-166. 

Escuintla. 1800. Al. 11.25-7783-377. 1840. Bl 19.3-58929- 


San Ildefonso Ixtahuacan. 1759. Al. 11.25-3852-190. 

San Andres Izapa. 1678. Al .1 1.25-46503-5405. 

1821. Al. 11.25-24361-2782. 

Jacaltenango. 1726. Al. 10.3-31298-4047. Al. 10.3-31296-4047. 

San Felipe Jesus. 1693. A-53748-6057. 


San Pablo Jocopilas. 1821. Al. 11.25-8208-393. 

Santa Clara Laguna. 1821. Al. 1-57336-6932. 

San Juan Laguna. 1819. Al. 11.25-8200-393. 

San Pablo Laguna. 1815. Al. 11.23-8186-392. 

San Pedro Laguna. 1815. Al. 11.25-8187-392. 

Lanquin. 1805. Al. 11.25-3748-183. 

San Juan Los Lepaosos. 1817. A3. 1-22530-344:6. 

San Bartolome Mazatenango. 1790. Al. 11.25-24796-2812. 

1802. Al. 11.25-8224-394. 1810. Al. 11-4189-208. 

San Lorenzo Suchitepequez. 1710. A 1.1 0.3-3 1282-4047. 

1801. Al. 11.25-4993-205. 
Santa Lucia Milpa Altas. 1820. Al. 11.25-24213-2775. 
1736. 3.16-10012-482. 

San Antonio Nejapa. 1647. Al. 10.3-31252-3046. 
San Juan Obispo. 1677. Al. 10.3-31260-4046. 1818. Al. 11.21- 

Panajachel. 1821. Al. 11.25-8210-393. 
Parramos. 1735. A 1.1 0.3-3 1306-4047. 

Patsicia. 1821. Al. 11.25-24354-2782. 1836. Bl 19.1-55660- 
San Miguel Petapa. 1783. Al.l 1.25-3108-153. 

1811. Al.l 1.25-7617-370. 

1830. B108.7-45054-1959. 
Santa Inez Petapa. 1847. Bl 19.3-59718-2548. 
Santa Catalina Pinula. 1821. Al. 1-57596-6934. 
Quetzaltenango Parish. 1672. ALIO. 3-31257-4046. 
1784. Al.l 1.25-3964-195. 

San Luis Suchitepequez. 1788. Al.l 1.25-47850-5536. 
San Antonio Retalhuleu. 1748. A 1.1 0.3-3 1340-4048. 
San Juan Sacatepequez. 1802. Al. 11.25-3101-155. 
San Lucas Sacatepequez. 1797. A3. 1-15100-819. 1821. B1.13- 

San Pedro Sacatepequez. 1801. A 1.1 0.3- 18828-2448. 
San Pedro (San Marcos) Sacatepequez. 1714. A 1.24- 10225- 

Santiago Sacatepequez. 1813. Al.l 1.25-7660-371. 
Zacualpa. 1813. Al.l 1.25-8188-392. 
Samayac. 1811. Al.l 1.25-4190-208. 
Santa Apolonia. 1723. Al. 10.3-31396-4053. 
Santa Barbara (cor. Totonicapan). 1676. Al. 10.3-31261-4046. 
San Andres Semetabaj. 1818. Al.l 1.25-8198-393. 


Siquinala. 1723. Al. 10.3-31294-4047. 
Solola. 1814. Al. 11.25-8185-342. 
San Antonio 

San Gabriel 


1639. Al. 10.3-31248-4046 

1776. Al. 10.3-16546-2280 

1817. Al. 11.25-8251-3950 


1722. A3. 16-40867-2817 

1805. Al. 11-8227-394. 

1821. Al. 11.25-8261- 


itepequez. 1824. 


Tactic. 1729. Al. 11.3-6830-329. 

Taxisco. 1823. Bl 19.3-58425-2537:1 

Tecpan. 1711. Al. 11.25-3275-163. 

Texutla San Marcos department. 1799. Al. 11.25-3984-197. 

San Lucas Toliman. 1820. A 1.1 1.25-8205-393. 

San Cristobal Totonicapan. 1812. Al. 11.25-8049-386. 

Santa Catalina Utatlan. 1817. A3.1-22525-1344:5r. 

Santo Domingo Xenacoj. 1699. A 1.1 0.3-3 1277-4041 

1735. Al. 10.3-31307-4047. 1797. Al. 10.3-18827-2448. 

San Pedro Yepocapa. 1799. Al. 11-3339-165. 

San Pablo Zacapa. 1836. Bl 19.2-57010-2521. 

San Francisco Zapotitlan. 1744. A 1.1 0.3-3 1332-4048. 

San Pedro Diria. 1725. Al. 11-3236-483 (5). 

Quezalhuaque. 1738. Al. 11.25 (5)-3844-499. 

Masatep. 1742. Al. 11-3240-483. 

San Juan Bautista Masatepe. 1747. A1.11.25(5)-3225-482. 

Solingalpa. 1821. Al. 11-3229-483. 

Mosonte. 1726. A1.24-10229-1585:48 

Santiago Tepesomo. 1672. A1.24-10208-1564:31. 

Telica. 1683. Al.24-1021 1-1567:370. 

Matagalpa, Solingalpa, Mologuima. 1714. Al. 24-10225- 


San Francisco Reytoca. 1819. A1.11.25(4)-3527-385. 

Tegucigalpa. 1821. A1.11.25(4)-385-3529. 

Alubar. 1821. A1.11.25(4)-385-3530. 

Gracias a Dios. 1782. A1.11.25(4)-447-47. 

Lepaera. 1814. A1.11.25(4)-351 1-385. 

Machaloa. 1818. A1.11.25(4)-3520-385. 


(1) Protocolos Ms. 


(2) Libros de Cabildo de Ciudad de Guatemala (Ayuntamiento 
de Ciudad de Guatemala) 

(3) Reports of Fomento o Gobernacion (also Hacienda) 1878- 
1944. Copies in Berkeley. 


Cortes y Larraz, Pedro 

1958. Description Geogrdfico-Moral de la Dibcesis de 
Guathemala. Guatemala C.A.; Biblioteca 

Fuentes y Guzman, Francisco Antonio 

1932. Historia de Guatemala o Recordation Florida. Gua- 
temala C.A.; Biblioteca Goathemala. 

Juarros, Domingo 

1936. Compendio de la Historia de la Ciudad de Guate- 
mala. Guatemala C.A.; Tipografia Nacional. 

Pardo, J. Joaquin 

1944. Efemerides para escribir la Historia de Ciudad de 
Guatemala. Guatemala C.A.; Tipografia Nacional. 

Recinos, Adrian and Delia Goetz (translators) 

1953. The Annals of the Cakchiquels. Norman, Oklahoma; 
University of Oklahoma Press. 

Recinos, Adrian 

1954. Monografia del Departamento de Huehuetenango. 
2nd edition. Guatemala, C.A.; Editorial del Ministro 
de Education Publica. 



Anthony Oliver-Smith 


The study of the processes of socio-cultural change initiated 
by the onslaught of sudden catastrophic events has been relatively 
ignored in the social science literature until quite recently. 1 It 
seems all the more strange when we consider that statistics of the 
recent past show that a natural disaster of a magnitude requiring 
international assistance occurs once every three weeks in some 
area of the world. 2 Despite increasing recent attention to this is- 
sue, the vast majority of the literature from the social sciences on 
disasters still tends to concentrate primarily on (1) immediate re- 
sponse to impact, (2) adaptation of specific organizations to disas- 
ter, and (3) implementation of preventative and protective mea- 
sures against future disaster agents. 3 The present effort contends 
that such calamities can be singularly revealing about significant 
elements in the analysis of the direction and rate of socio-cultural 
change, particularly on the local and regional levels. The specific 
purpose of this article is to describe certain patterns of change in 
the Andean province of Yungay, in North-Central Peru, after the 
earthquake-landslide disaster of May 31, 1970. 4 Hopefully, the 
description of these patterns will enable us to perceive them in the 
context of several existing theoretical perspectives on socio-cul- 

** Direct correspondence to: Department of Anthropology, University of Florida, 
Gainesville, Florida 32611. 

1 The research on which this paper is based took place initially from October of 1970 
to September of 1971 in Yungay, Ancash, Peru. Additional field trips to Yungay were 
undertaken in November and December of 1971 and during the summers of 1974 and 
1975. Support for the first research trip came from the Midwestern Universities Consor- 
tium for International Activities while the author was a doctoral candidate at Indiana Uni- 
versity in 1970-71. Support for the 1974 field trip came from the Office of Sponsored Re- 
search, University College, and the Florida State Musuem, all of the University of Florida. 
The Society for Health and Human Values supported the author's research in 1975. 

2 Personal Communication: Sverre Kilde, Director of the Disaster Preparedeness Bu- 
reau, League of Red Cross Societies, Nov. 26, 1974. 

3 See for example, Dynes 1970; Form and Nosow 1958; Taylor, Zurcher and Key 
1970; and Wallace 1957. An outstanding exception to this trend is Bates, Fogelman, 
Parenton, Pittman and Tracy 1963. 

4 For a map of the area under discussion, see Paul Doughty, Huaylas: An Andean 
District in Search of Progress (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1968), frontispiece. 


West Georgia College, Studies in the Social Sciences 25 (1986) 

tural change, particularly as they relate to the nature of such 
change in developing societies. 

As previously mentioned, natural disasters have rarely been 
given more than token attention as causes of social change, partic- 
ularly in pre-industrial and transitional societies. Although disas- 
ters disrupt society and allow for certain social mobility, they are 
most often seen by social scientists to stimulate immediate adapta- 
tions rather than major structural change in pre-industrial socie- 
ties. Sjoberg articulated this point in his early summary article on 
the subject of disasters and social change (1962). He contended 
that disasters in general, while they may have terrible conse- 
quences for individuals and families, do not seem to alter the ma- 
jor structural arrangements of the society over the long run. Pre- 
industrial culture and society are interpreted as being adjustments 
to, or results of, a fairly constant "reign of terror." Sjoberg fur- 
ther stated that a major consequence of disasters in pre-industrial 
societies may be a reshuffling of status positions of people and 
groups, but ultimately little change in the overall structure of soci- 
ety will take place (Sjoberg 1962:361-2). In this sense, if change 
on the scale of social revolution is meant, one would be inclined to 
agree, but social change on that scale is a rare enough phenome- 
non, even without disasters, either natural or man-made. How- 
ever, if we look at the potentialities for change on a slightly less 
macroscopic scale, it is possible that this reshuffling of people and 
groups in upward and downward mobility at this point in time will 
have important ramifications for change in culture and society in 
the long run, particularly when there are sharp lines of social de- 
marcation as well as serious value conflicts among the various eth- 
nic groups and classes of a society. No less significant must be the 
multifaceted efforts at coping and adaptation which individuals 
and groups may have to undertake in the aftermath of disaster. 

Whatever the cause, most anthropological studies of change 
are concerned, no matter what methodological or theoretical 
problems the subject may present, with the idea of social process. 
Social process is found in the repetitive patterns of events in the 
workings of social institutions, also referred to by Bohannan as the 
"event system" (1963:359). Events systems are cyclical; that is, 
they are patterns of predictable, institutionalized events (Bohan- 
nan 1963:359). Most natural disasters do not fit into systems of 


recurring events. 6 Indeed, they are potentially disruptive to society 
and its characteristic event systems. Disasters can change the na- 
ture of the cycle of the event system, leading to new adjustments 
within the particular society. The point to be made here is that 
disaster is usually not part of process. It is history — and the 
aftermath of disaster is process coming to grips with history — 
and, ultimately, change. 

Consequently, the study of socio-cultural change does not 
concentrate specifically on events, but rather on forms and process 
which evolve in response to and through history. The event-struc- 
tures of process become predictable to social actors because they 
are based on shared concepts of expected behavior — the struc- 
tural principles upon which the form of recurrent events in turn is 
based. These principles provide the guidelines, the predictive 
mechanisms which enable actors not only to predict but to act 
with some sense of relative security. Therefore, a valid theoretical 
approach to the study of socio-cultural change must concern not 
only structural principle, but also the organizational framework of 
social and psychological dynamics. This becomes particularly ap- 
parent when we perceive that one of the main events of disaster 
impact is to invalidate, at least partially, predictive principles, up- 
setting social as well as psychological equilibrium. 

When a disaster strikes a society and becomes part of the 
personal experience of every surviving member, that society is ir- 
revocably changed. Ultimately, we are concerned with permanent 
alterations in the structure of society. For example, our concern 
lies not so much with the change in personnel in a particular so- 
cial status or role as with the change in definition, function, or 
disappearence of that status or role. However, we cannot afford to 
ignore changes in personnel in particular roles or functions, since 
new personnel may ultimately result in changes in the definition 
or function of that particular status. Essentially, we have made a 
conceptual distinction here between social organizational change 
(personnel change or "social movement") and social structural 
change (role definition or function change). The key issue here is 
that while social organizational change is the stuff of social pro- 
cess, it also may lead to social structural change. Consequently, by 

8 In the sense that some disasters are recurrent because of predictable environmental 
factors, internal adjustments and arrangements can be made to minimize the disruptive 
effect on society. However, there are some disasters expected or unexpected, whose scale 
simply confounds most adaptive strategies. 


studying the processes and systems of decision and choice-making 
of individuals in the social organization of society, we are not only 
able to understand the principles on which such behavior is 
founded, but also we may achieve and understanding of any orga- 
nizational change ultimately affecting such principles. 

My basic point is that disaster shakes up a society, leaving a 
variety of often urgent needs unmet, setting in motion a host of 
social organizational responses which were grounded in the pre- 
disaster situation. In the post-disaster situation, my contention is 
that many social organizational adaptions to altered circum- 
stances will lay the groundwork for social structural change. 


The setting of the study on which this paper is based is the 
city and proviced of Yungay and the refugee camp of Yungay 
Norte (700 meters north of the old city) in the North-Central An- 
des of Peru. Yungay, the city, was the central tragedy in a cata- 
strophic earthquake in 1970 which claimed more than 70,000 lives 
and devastated an area larger than Belgium and Holland com- 
bined. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the West- 
ern Hemisphere. 

Yungay was a city of some 4,500 inhabitants, nestled in the 
curve of a hill which supposedly afforded it protection from the 
dangers of avalanche from Peru's highest mountain, Huascaran, 
which overlooked the city. Although Yungay was slightly north of 
the geographic midpoint of the valley known as the Callejon de 
Huaylas in which it was located, it was traditionally considered to 
be a central place for the region. As the capital, the city was the 
seat of most of the important institutions of the province. The vast 
majority of the province's educational, economic, political, and re- 
ligious institutions were located in the city. The population of the 
province, indeed of the entire region, is composed primarily of a 
small, powerful, urban elite, a small urban service and commercial 
sector, and a vast rural Indian peasant population engaged in 
traditional agriculture. 6 In many ways Yungay was a typical 

8 The terms "Indian" and mestizo are used as cultural labels in this paper. The term 
"Indian" has lost its racial significance due to the high degree of miscegenation in Peru. In 
this sense, mestizo is used to signify an individual who is part of the national culture and 
society of Peru. The term cholo will also be used to describe a person of Indian background 
who is integrating himself into mestizo national society. Most alternatives to these usages 
usually only add to the confusion of an already complex problem of terminology. 


preindustrial city. However, a more accurate term for the particu- 
lar state in which Yungay city and province found itself prior to 
the disaster might be "transitional." For much of this century 
there had been a steady movement "down" in the sense that the 
urban elite had been moving down from the Andean valleys to the 
coastal cities, the urban poor had been moving down to coastal 
agricultural labor and the growing urban slums, and the rural 
poor had been moving down into the city of Yungay itself as well 
as to the coast. Yungay, like the larger cities of the nation, had 
been experiencing considerable urban as well as economic growth 
with increasing contact and developmental efforts in the region. 
The development process had begun. 

Land and society in the province were dominated in the 
1960s by the largely urban-dwelling wealthy class. The vast peas- 
ant population was involved in labor-intensive small-scale agricul- 
ture, either on hacienda lands or minifundia holdings. Peasant ag- 
riculture is still basically subsistence-oriented with some surplus 
available for exchange, usually in the market of Yungay. The In- 
dian sector of the peasantry is by far the largest, and is composed 
of monolingual Quechua speakers whose culture differs markedly 
in many respects from that of the dominant local version of the 
national society. However, the peasant and rural sector in general 
have always played a key role in Andean society and the disaster 
of 1970 produced developments which illustrate the importance of 
rural participation in the maintenance of the urban center (Oliver- 
Smith 1977). 

The city of Yungay played the traditional role of social, polit- 
ical, religious, and economic center for the surrounding peasant 
population. The peasants of Yungay province were tied to the city 
by social and ritual ties of peonage and compadrazgo, by the reli- 
gious links of the church and the fiesta system, by the political 
links of district and provincial government, and by economic par- 
ticipation in its large and thriving market. Thus, the city serviced 
not only an urban population but was also a regional center for a 
large rural population. In order to fully understand the problems 
of persistence and change within the context of disaster, it is nec- 
essary to elaborate somewhat on a number of key elements in the 
institutional framework of the city and the province. 


Patterns of Ethnic Group Interaction 

Traditionally, the Indian peasant of the Andes has always oc- 
cupied the lowest rung on the social ladder. Due to antiquated 
land tenure patterns, the Indian has been forced to eke out a liv- 
ing as a feudal serf on an hacienda or scratch a bare subsistence 
crop from small private holdings. In general, his life is a constant 
struggle against starvation and he has little access to any ade- 
quate medical or educational facilities. Plagued as he is by all the 
variables of poverty, the Indian was considered by Yungay 
townsmen to be biologically and socially inferior. 

The relationships between the Indian and the mestizo begin 
on an official level with the political authorities of the provincial 
capital, such as the municipal council, the local courts, the police, 
the draft board, the local notary and priest. Indian-mestizo rela- 
tionships are, by necessity, also maintained on an unofficial level. 
There is fairly extensive commercial contact between Indian and 
mestizo on marked days in the towns. Sometimes, men from In- 
dian villages will work in town for wages or, until recently, to ful- 
fill the feudal service obligations which are required of an haci- 
enda serf. 

The presence of the mestizo is also deeply felt in the rural 
areas on the haciendas and the hamlets. On a highland hacienda, 
one member of every Indian family had to work from two to four 
days a week without pay under the system of feudal peonage. In 
addition, a landlord at times required the female members of an 
Indian's family to lend their services as domestics in the manor 
house. If the Indian did not comply with these traditional de- 
mands, any property which he might own, such as livestock which 
is the most common form of wealth, might be confiscated. 

However, regardless of the rural or urban context of relation- 
ships, they are always of a definitely hierarchical character. The 
Indian in the mestizo's eyes is always an inferior. The mestizo 
will, by subtle or forceful means, always keep the Indian in a so- 
cially inferior or dependent position. He may treat the Indian with 
affection, calling him "my son" or "compadrito"; he may have 
ceremonial relationships with the Indian through the compadrazgo 
system; but this system of ritual kinship will always place the 
mestizo in a parternal dominant position and the Indian in a posi- 
tion of social indebtedness. The Indian is never included in any 
mestizo activity on equal footing. High respect for the townsmen 


is considered to be an essential part of his make-up. 


Compadrazgo in Yungay, as in much of Latin America, is a sys- 
tem by which usually unrelated individuals are bound together 
through the sponsorship of another individual, or couple, passing 
through an event of ritual importance in the life cycle (Mintz and 
Wolf 1950). For example, parents will choose godparents for the 
baptism of their child. Other events of importance among Indian 
peasants which may require godparents, or padrinos, are the first 
haircut, engagement, marriage, baptism, and first communion 
(Stein 1961:130). 

Compadrazgo institutionalized a relationship around a set of 
mutual obligations between compadres (co-parents) and between 
padrinos (godparents) and ahijados (godchildren). It is a sign of 
the respect in which one is held to be chosen, for example, as the 
godfather for the baptism of an infant. In return for the respect 
and gifts received, one is expected to become the "spiritual fa- 
ther" of the baby and sponsor him with gifts and assistance. Theo- 
retically, the godparents are responsible for the child should some- 
thing happen to the parents. In addition, the relationship between 
the godfather and the father of the child becomes duly formalized 
through the ceremony and a set of responsibilities and obligations 
are undertaken for mutual assistance (Doughty 1968:115). 

Compadrazgo is entered into in varying patterns and degrees 
by Indians, cholos, and townsmen in Yungay. In Yungay, hori- 
zontal compadrazgo relationships exist in all classes. The upper 
class, almost without exception, will choose its compadres from its 
own class or seek someone of a higher status, perhaps in a depart- 
mental capital or in Lima. Among the Indians of Yungay, hori- 
zontal compadrazgo relationships are entered into in the less im- 
portant events, such as a housewarming, an ear-piercing, or a 
hair-cutting ceremony. In vertical compadrazgo relationships, the 
godfather is invariably in the superior role. It is in the important 
ceremonies of life that the Indian peasant will seek to ally himself 
through compadrazgo with a wealthier person in his own commu- 
nity or a townsman from Yungay. In theory, establishing com- 
padrazgo relationships with a townsman could bring increased 
material assistance to an Indian peasant. 


The Traditional Politico-Religious Authority System 

The politico-religious authority structure of Yungay was inti- 
mately related to the system of fiestas and peasant labor contribu- 
tions and, as such, must be discussed within that context. The dis- 
trict of Yungay was divided into two barrios: to the south, Mitma 
and to the north, Huambo. Political authority flowed from the of- 
fice of the mayor of Yungay into the peasant hamlets along two 
lines. The first chain of authority involved the Agente Municipal, 
the district agent in all civil matters of the mayor Yungay in the 
community. The second line of authority involved the barrio struc- 
ture and dealt primarily with politico-religious functions. The 
mayor of Yungay appointed each January 1, and Alcalde 
Pedaneo, or Indian "petty mayor," for each barrio. The position 
of petty mayor is surrounded by many religious and political sanc- 
tions. He is appointed by the mayor of Yungay, but also approved 
in elaborate religious ceremonies involving the benediction of his 
staff (the symbol of office) by the church. His position has been 
likened by one informant to that of the "father of his people" and 
he must be of exemplary character so that he will be a good ex- 
ample to his "children." 

Orders from the office of the mayor could follow either chain 
of authority directly to the municipal agent, or to the petty mayor 
who would then undertake to direct the individual communities. 
The responsibilities of the petty mayor lay primarily in two fields: 
the fiesta system and its religious ramifications and the system of 
peasant labor for the district of Yungay. 

The primary fiestas in Yungay were those of Holy Week, 
Palm Sunday, the Virgen de la Candelaria, Santa Rosa, and 
Santo Domingo. It was the responsibility of the petty mayor to 
mobilize his entire barrio for the fiesta, including the securing of 
financial contributions to the event, supplying food and drink for 
the principals in the ceremonies, and organizing the population of 
the barrio for their participation in the fiesta. Many activities in 
the fiestas consisted in the playing out of the traditional rivalries 
between the two barrios, Huambo and Mitma. 

In addition to this and other religious functions, the Alcalde 
Pedaneo was, on occasion, responsible for the organization and as- 
signment of peasant labor whenever so ordered by the mayor of 
Yungay. The order for peasant labor for a particular project of 
benefit to the town or district would be sent to the Alcalde 


Pedaneo and it would be his responsibility to select the community 
from which a labor force would be drawn to carry out the work. 

The Yungay Market 

Yungay had long been known as a commercial center for the 
middle area of the Callejon de Huaylas. Its concentration of stores 
and its daily market dwarfed its only provincial competitor of 
Mancos and was considerably larger than that of the neighboring 
provincial capital of Carhuaz. It was, in fact, the third-largest 
commercial center in the entire zone. The reasons for the eco- 
nomic importance of Yungay were the density of the peasant pop- 
ulation and the varied ecology of the agricultural system, which 
provided numerous crops on a year round basis to the Yungay 

Due to the density of the rural population, the wide variety of 
crops available, and also the urban population not involved in pro- 
duction, the Yungay market was a key institution in the province 
from both rural and urban perspectives. The Yungay market 
served as an outlet for peasant surplus, an exchange for manufac- 
tured articles, and as a supplier of both foodstuffs and manufac- 
tured articles for urban dwellers. Commercial crops grown on ha- 
ciendas and other large holdings bypassed the market. Upper class 
economic interests maintained a high degree of control over the 
market in all its aspects and, quite often, the market would be 
manipulated by key individuals to raise prices for nonexportable 
commodities. The upper class interests involved consisted of live- 
stock owners, landowners, and the larger storekeepers. These peo- 
ple, through their representation on the municipal council, con- 
trolled every aspect of the market from pricing to sanitation. 

In terms of numbers, if not power, the Indian peasantry was 
by far the largest group participating in the market. Peasant 
women in large numbers would daily market extremely small 
amounts of surplus crops, left over from subsistence needs, in or- 
der to buy manufactured necessities in town. Even though the 
amount marketed as minimal, the high number of sellers provided 
that a substantial quantity of food was channeled into the city 
each day in this fashion. 

However, despite upper class domination and peasant numer- 
ical superiority, the Yungay market had become the platform for 
lower-class cholo and lower-middle-class mestizo economic ambi- 


tions through the formation of a market syndicate. One of the 
most important groups in the Yungay market was the 
revendadora (reseller) group made up of essentially chola women 
who performed both wholesaling and retailing functions for local 
(and some nonlocal) agricultural products. Almost all of these 
women were rural residents of small communities close to Yun- 
gay. They maintained contacts with peasants for resale in the 
market. These women, working on a scale too small for large agri- 
culturists to bother with, assured, along with peasant sellers, that 
there would be a steady flow of food from the countryside into the 
market. In addition to these non-Indian lower-class women, there 
was a group of cholo and lower-class mestizo men and women in- 
volved as brokers in the export of agriculture products to the coast 
and the importing of manufactured articles to the highlands. Fi- 
nally, there were a large number of both male and female cholo 
dry goods sellers, also essentially of rural origin. 


The most destructive earthquake in the history of the West- 
ern Hemisphere took place on the afternoon of May 31, 1970, in 
the coastal and mountain areas of North-Central Peru. It regis- 
tered 7.7 on the Richter scale and covered an area of about 
65,000 square kilometers, took approximately 70,000 lives, injured 
roughly 50,000 people, and damaged or destroyed an estimated 
186,000 buildings or approximately 80 percent of all structures in 
the zone. The earthquake shook loose a slab of ice and rock about 
800 meters wide and 1800 meters long from the sheer northwest 
face of Huascaran, Peru's highest peak, at an estimated altitude 
of between 5,500 and 6,500 meters. This immense mass, constitut- 
ing more than 25 million cubic meters of ice, mud, and rock at ist 
source, careened down the Llanganuco Valley at an average veloc- 
ity of between 217 and 435 kilometers per hour, picking up on its 
way huge masses of morainal material and hurling literally 
thousands of boulders, some weighing thousands of tons, down the 
valley. The momentum of the slide carried it the 16 kilometers 
from its origin on Huascaran to the valley floor in four minutes. 
The avalanche developed three separate lobes as it extended itself 
over the lower parts of the valley. One of these lobes leapt a pro- 
tective ridge some 200 meters high and buried in seconds the en- 
tire city of Yungay, killing approximately 95 percent of its inhabi- 


tants. All that remained of Yungay some four minutes after the 
earthquake had ceased its tremors were four palm trees where the 
main plaza had been, some 300 terrified survivors who had es- 
caped by reaching high ground, and an immense expanse of dull 
grey viscous mud, interrupted by huge boulders which, in the days 
followed appeared to grow in size as the mud settled around them. 
The total volume of ice, mud, and rock which descended from 
Huascaran upon Yungay and other neighboring villages is esti- 
mated to be approximately 50 million cubic meters (Erickson, 
Plafker and Fernandez Concha 1970:1). 

Immediately after the disaster, the survivors sought shelter in 
a number of locations in the area. These locations eventually be- 
came the sites of four of the major refugee campes of the rehabili- 
tative system which was established in Yungay Province. The four 
sites were Pashulpampa (later to be called Yungay Norte), Aura, 
Yungay Sur, and Tingua, all within a 15 kilometer radius of each 

While nothing of the city remains, all but ten of the approxi- 
mately 50 satellite peasant communities survived. Most of the few 
urban survivors, some 300 originally, formed a tent camp (later 
known as Yungay Norte) one-half mile north of the avalanche in 
the protection of a large hill. Soon they were joined by refugees 
from the peasant communities in such quantities that a year later 
the populations had reached approximately two thousand people, 
less than ten percent of which were original Yungay residents. 
The town before the disaster had a high percentage of professional 
and commercial people and, despite its picturesque appearance, 
had a bustling atmosphere of social and economic life quite re- 
mote in aspect and value from the rural setting which it occupied. 
In the year following the disaster, Yungay Norte grew to approxi- 
mately one-half its former population level, but the character of 
the town's inhabitants had changed from one which was basically 
urban, specialist, and commercial, to one composed of peasant 
agriculturalists, artisans, and rural proletariat. Although, in the 
year after the tragedy, approximately 1 5 percent of the population 
of Yungay Norte was composed of professional people, many of 
these individuals were not originally residents of the city, having 
been sent in as teachers by the Ministry of Education after the 
disaster. However, notwithstanding the change in the composition 
of the population, by 1974 the refugee camp of Yungay Norte had 
acquired all administrative, economic, educational, governmental, 


and religious centrality of the former capital. The new city, con- 
sisting mainly of composition board barracks through 1975, grew 
from a ragged group of survivors to a city of more than 3,000 
people in less than five years. To all outward appearances, Yungay 
Norte gave the impression of simply having picked up where the 
old city had left off. All the former capital's institutions were relo- 
cated in Yungay Norte and those individuals of the old urban elite 
who survived soon appeared in leadership and prestige positions. It 
seemed almost as though the old system had reappeared relatively 


Despite the persistence of certain formal patterns, a great 
many processes of change were underway in Yungay Norte. The 
city of Yungay had been the central place of a region composed 
almost entirely of numerous small peasant communities. These 
peasant communities were in a highly dependent relationship to 
the provinical capital. The disaster completely destroyed the capi- 
tal city and thus deprived the peasant society of the locus of the 
cluster of institutions upon which it depended. A center of social, 
economic, and political power had been destroyed and its survivors 
set about to rebuild the capital of their social structure and value 
system, but with vastly depleted resources. 

The problem was that Yungay's percentage of power-wield- 
ing individuals given all the institutions of the old capital, had 
retained its structural importance in the traditional system but the 
personnel which had apparently maintained Yungay's structural 
importance, the landlords, the professionals, the large commercial 
interests, the decentes, were greately reduced in number. Being in 
large part urban dwellers, the powerful of Yungay had perished in 
the avalanche. Only a small percentage had survived the disaster 
to take up the reins of power. While they retained the power, they 
did not and could not constitute or give identity to the new town. 
While basic political and economic power arrangements in the 
new city were not radically restructured in any immediate sense, 
the changed character of the population of the refugee camp of 
Yungay began to have effects on the nature of rural-urban 

Indeed, an examination of certain patterns of persistence and 
change in Yungay life reveals an intensification of trends of 


change underway before the disaster, as well as a hardening of 
those attitudes resisting that change. Processes of social change, 
which had been making slow inroads into traditional sierra society 
before the disaster, were quickened by the disruption of the disas- 
ter. Important alterations in both society organization and, in 
some cases, social structure demonstrate the increased complexity 
and fluidity of form and function characteristic of rapidly chang- 
ing societies which were far less evident in the pre-disaster era. 


One of the primary areas in which change began to take 
place in Yungay society in the year following the disaster is in the 
institution of compadrazgo. Vertical compadrazgo relationships 
diminished and new patterns of horizontal compadrazgo relation- 
ships emerged. The Indian peasant began to choose his com- 
padres, regardless of the relative importance of the ceremonial 
event, from his own class, usually an individual who has been 
close to his family. Certainly a key factor in any explanation of 
this change must be the fact that the number of individuals of 
social power had diminished greatly in Yungay. However, it must 
be recognized that sectors of the urban population, notably for- 
merly rural cholo merchants and traders, have enjoyed a consider- 
able rise in income in the new town and have become desirable 
candidates for compadrazgo relationships. This upsurge of social 
mobility on the part of people heretofore of inferior status has led 
to expanded interaction and integration of the lower segments of 
the population with newly influential groups. Prior to the disaster, 
the cholo entreprenuers were small agriculturalists, part-time shop 
owners, and small-scale agricultural import-export brokers who 
resided in the small peasant hamlets close to the city of Yungay. 
Now they constitute a rising economic elite, recognized, albeit re- 
luctantly by traditional elites, as being of some consequence in the 
socio-economic life of the town, district, and province. Therefore, 
the Indian peasant has proportionately more people than he had 
before the disaster with whom he can interact with less subservi- 
ence and disadvantage. Yungay is now a cholo town. 

Patterns of Ethnic Group Interaction 

The sudden disappearance of the vast majority of powerful 
people in Yungay society has had profound effects on the nature 


of Indian-mestizo relations. While formal structures since the 
earthquake have remained relatively intact, aspects of Indian role 
behavior have begun to change. Indians still occupy the lowest 
rung on the social ladder but, for example, they are no longer dic- 
tated to by townsmen on the issue of wages. Indians who were not 
satisfied with employers' offers, now refuse with impunity. Towns- 
people experience a sense of outrage, or righteous indignation, 
when an Indian now refuses to perform labor at the menial wages 
traditionally paid. Clearly, a value which is strongly rooted in 
traditional highland society is being contradicted. Choice in the 
disposition of their own labor was not something that Indians were 
permitted to enjoy. 

The reasons for such a change in Indian role behavior in 
Yungay can be traced to the disaster and to the aid which fol- 
lowed it. In the first place, the disaster disrupted the linkages in 
the chain of informal authority that tied Indian communities to 
Yungay and Indian individuals to urban individuals. In essence, 
the strength of the moral authority of those few urban survivors is 
not sufficient to exert the traditional levels of coercion over Indi- 
ans who had suddenly perceived an element of choice with regard 
to the disposition of their own labor. 

Another factor which reinforced this alteration in the Indian 
role was the fact that the national government began to contribute 
in a serious fashion to the construction of a permanent settlement 
in the refugee camp of Yungay Norte. This construction program, 
paying wages two to three times higher than average Indian 
wages, created a seller's market, albeit a temporary and artificial 
one. However, the point here is that the Indians, through those 
factors mentioned here, achieved the ability to choose. Their labor 
was no longer a quantity to be delivered on demand to the town- 
speople. Indian refusal to deliver labor at traditional prices is a 
clear indication that something very basic in the relationship be- 
tween Indian and townsman has changed since the earthquake. 
While Yungaino social structure has not been destroyed or over- 
turned by the disaster, adjustments by all survivors to life in the 
post-disaster period have occasioned behavioral and organizational 
changes which may evolve into significant social structural altera- 
tion in the future. Indeed, the rapidly growing city of Yungay 
Norte 10 years after the disaster possessed more variegated and 
flexible patterns of social interaction than its predecessor even 
though the social structure remained, thus far, relatively constant. 


Indeed, while relationships of traditional servile domination di- 
minished, there have been indications in more modern, less per- 
sonal economic forms of dependency. 

The Traditional Politico-Religious Authority Structure 

Similar developments have occurred in the traditional polit- 
ico-religious authority structure. The landslide which buried Yun- 
gay also obliterated nine communities and cut off six others in the 
barrio of Mitma from their district capital. The petty mayor of 
Mitma was killed, as were many of his assistants in the various 
communities. Essentially then, this left the traditional village au- 
thority system, which is extralegal, reduced almost by half. 

When the authorities in the reconstituted government of 
Yungay Norte attempted to appoint a replacement for the dead 
petty mayor, all of the potential candidates refused on grounds 
that they did not want the responsibility for only the remainder of 
the dead mayor's term. However, when the local authorities in 
Yungay Norte attempted to recruit a petty mayor for Mitma, at 
the traditional first of the year appointment date, again they could 
find no one to undertake the responsibility for its traditional polit- 
ico-religious authority. As of August of 1980, the barrio of Mitma 
was still without an Indian petty mayor. This reluctance on the 
part of the remaining communities of Mitma to reintegrate them- 
selves into the traditional authority structure has had widespread 
ramifications in the overall nature of rural-urban political rela- 
tionships as they relate to that barrio. 

The fiesta system of Yungay has changed. In the post-disas- 
ter period the entire surviving population of Mitma refused to par- 
ticipate in the fiestas of Santa Rosa and Santo Domingo, upsetting 
the traditional system of barrio rivalries. Since everyone had re- 
fused the responsibility of the post of petty mayor, the entire bar- 
rio had, in effect, refused to make the financial contributions nor- 
mally required of them for the success of the fiesta system. The 
people of Mitma stated that the destruction wrought by the disas- 
ter had given them better things on which to spend their money. 
They stated that they have always considered their participation 
in the fiesta system to be a burden not worth the expenditure of 
money and effort which it demanded. No action was taken against 

The inhabitants of the barrio of Mitma have also used the 


disaster as a means of passively resisting the imposition of author- 
ity from Yungay. By refusing to have a petty mayor appointed by 
Yungay Norte, Mitma has effectively limited their forced partici- 
pation in the unpaid Indian labor contribution to the city. In addi- 
tion, a number of Mitma communities have elected their own 
petty mayors, defying the traditional principle that the petty 
mayor is always appointed by the formal system in Yungay. They 
have also defied the formal structure of administrative procedure 
by electing their own municipal agents. 

The nature of enforcement of the traditional authority system 
was such that when disrupted by disaster, the time it took to reest- 
ablish all the links in the chain of communications allowed for the 
possibility of change. By the time attempts were made to restruc- 
ture the lines of power and communication, dissident factions in 
Mitma had already exploited the temporary power vacuum and 
disruption to rid themselves of a system to which they had little 
commitment and from which they derived few advantages. Insofar 
as dissatisfaction existed within the system, it is evident that the 
disaster availed people in the barrio of Mitma with the opportu- 
nity to make new choices regarding their continued participation 
in the entire system. Indeed, the disruption caused by the disaster 
has resulted in the acquisition of potential power by communities 
which, prior to the disaster, were relatively helpless to resist tradi- 
tional forms of coercion from the city of Yungay. In a very real 
way the peasants of Mitma acquired a sense of their own political 
expression and will in the aftermath. 

The fact that they have been able to resist reintegration into 
the informal system for better than ten years indicates that this 
political expression of independence is well on its way to perma- 
nence. Moreover, the change in the informal structure may be in- 
dicative that change in the formal political structure of the district 
could come about. There are indications that the rebellious com- 
munities of Mitma may initiate action to separate themselves for- 
mally from the district of Yungay to form still another district in 
the province. Here, then, is a case of informal adjustment to disas- 
ter conditions ultimately affecting change on a formal structural 

The Yungay Market 

Notwithstanding certain changed patterns in social and polit- 


ico-religious institutions, economic institutions have remained rel- 
atively stable, although agricultural patterns in general were upset 
by the disaster. The landslide and earthquake swept away many 
of the irrigation canals and outlets and, for this reason, agricul- 
ture was limited. In November of 1970, a full five months after 
the disaster, more-or-less normal patterns of agriculture began to 
be reestablished in the majority of the communities. 

Yungay's status as a market center was also soon reestab- 
lished. Not two weeks after the disaster, organized commercial ac- 
tivity began to appear in the open area of the refugee tent camp. 
Indian peasants who immediately after the disaster had given 
their surplus food to the survivors, began to sell their produce 
again. In two weeks more, quinchas (structures of laced cane and 
mud) had been erected as stores by urban survivors. Two months 
later the reconstructed provincial government, now located in the 
refugee camp, began to collect fees for the right to sell in town. In 
December of 1970 the Ministry of Housing constructed and dis- 
tributed to over 90 vendors the official Yungay market buildings. 
The provincial government immediately took charge of these 
buildings, instituted rental charges for the stores and ground 
space, and appointed municipal employees to collect rents and 
maintain the hygiene of the location. Peasants who had turned to 
selling their produce in the nearby towns of Caraz and Mancos 
started returning and Yungay began to regain its importance as a 
commercial center. Thus, some six months after total destruction, 
Yungay had reconstructed its economic life and its market was 
again one of the largest in the valley. 

There are a number of reasons for Yungay's rapid economic 
reconstruction and recovery; principal among them was the exis- 
tence and participation of a large market-oriented peasant popula- 
tion in the area. There was little change in the status and role of 
the Indian in the market. They are still today limited to being 
primary producers of food in extremely small quantities, and con- 
sumers of a limited number of manufactured articles. However, 
their role in the market is determined by mechanisms and institu- 
tions external to the market, and conditions endemic to peasant 
markets in many parts of the world. Because of a high peasant 
population on minimal arable land, there is still an unusually high 
number of sellers, all dealing in minimal quantities. There is also 
still a high number of rather poor buyers in Yungay. Competition 
is intense and profit, or income, is low. Capital accumulation on 


the part of the Indian seller is held to a minimum, a phenomenon 
not uncommon in peasant markets in general (Belshaw 1965:57). 
In addition to the difficulties of capital accumulation present in 
the market, the Yungay Indian peasant still suffers a number of 
structural restraints imposed on him by his socio-cultural identity. 
To enable himself to use the market to his best advantage, the 
Indian peasant must learn Spanish, must abandon Indian dress, 
must gain access to sources of credit and storage, and must be 
able to interact freely and equally with the entrepreneurial cholos 
and mestizos of highland Peruvian society. In short, he must cease 
being an Indian. The Indian peasant understands the market 
mechanism. Market conditions and the ramifications of his socio- 
cultural identity make it extremely difficult for him to use the 
market in anything but a limited fashion. The disaster had done 
little to change this situation. 

The market is used by the Indian in the only way possible for 
him at present, and his is fully aware of this fact. The Indian is 
also fully aware of his own importance to the institution of the 
market and the town. In discussing the possible location of the 
provicial capital some 230 kilometers to the south, they clearly 
stated that it would have to do without the market because they, 
the campesinos of the Yungay area, would not go there to sell and 
buy. They would go to market in Caraz outside of the province. 
Approximately 60 percent of the communities of the province in 
the valley are within easy walking distance of Yungay. If the mar- 
ket were moved to the south, this large peasant population would 
be closer to the market in Caraz. (Oliver-Smith 1977). 

The role of the revendadora women in the market did not 
change after the disaster, either. They are still instrumental in 
channeling food into the city from small peasant farms in the ru- 
ral areas. While some of these women urbanized with the con- 
struction of the town, most of them remain rural residents in the 
small communities which surround the refugee camp. 

However, while the structure of economic activity remains 
fairly constant, the market in Yungay has provided a context for 
significant social and economic mobility. One group representing 
about 1 2 percent of the permanent market participants in the af- 
termath represented an important tendency in the entire disaster 
zone — that of the peasant who has seen the disruption and re- 
construction aid as an opportunity to urbanize, a much desired 
goal in Peru. It is important to point out that while all this group 


is rural and agriculture in origin, they are not monolingual 
Quechua-speaking Indian peasants, but cholos and lower class 
mestizos who are bilingual, non-Indian in phenotype, sometimes 
literate, and economically ambitious. They have employed ascend- 
ing vertical compadrazgo relationships, the sale of capital goods, 
and the commercial vacuum created temporarily by the disastser, 
to leave their marginal existence in agriculture and break into an 
equally marginal, but more highly-valued existence in the market 
selling dry goods, clothing, and other general articles on small es- 
tablished plots on the grounds of the permanent markets. They 
depend absolutely on credit from wholesalers with whom they 
have friendly contact and have used predisaster hinterland rela- 
tionships to develop clientele for their merchandise. However, 
their extremely small scale does not allow them to derive more 
than a marginal existence from their enterprise. Nonetheless, the 
fact that they have urbanized is far more important in their eyes 
and nothwithstanding the rigors of thier present economic condi- 
tion, they express a guarded optimism about their urban futures. 

A far more striking example in this regard is offered by the 
cholo entrepreneurs who represented approximately 15 percent of 
the permanent market participants. Before the disaster many of 
these individuals had been crop brokers, exporters of highland ag- 
ricultural products to the coast, and importers of manufactured 
goods in the highlands. While most of them were of peasant ori- 
gin, they were extremely adept at commerce, trading regularly in 
coastal cities; and after the disaster, they were quick to take ad- 
vantage of their relationships with truck dirvers, tradesmen, and 
wholesalers in the cities for capitalization and credit for their new 
enterprises. The majority of them established general stores in the 
market complex. 

For the cholo entrepreneur the chance to become a comer- 
ciante, a merchant with his own fixed establishment constitutes a 
step upward — not only in economic, but also in social terms. 
Merchants are gente de la ciudad (city people) and they may 
eventually become decente as opposed to cholo or gente de la 
campiha (country people). However, while these new entrepre- 
neurs from the peasant communities are gathering economic 
strength rather rapidly, social or political power has been ac- 
corded them at a somewhat slower pace. The urban survivors of 
Yungay, remnants of both the old commercial elite and the pro- 
fessional classes have only recently and reluctantly over the ensu- 


ing years begun to include the new commercial class when deci- 
sions affecting the community are to be made. Social mixing 
between the old commercial elite and the cholo entrepreneurs has 
been extremely rare until quite recently. On the whole, the new 
entrepreneurs continue to maintain the same circle of friends, very 
often from the market or their community of origin. They have 
not changed their style of dress, and occasionally interchange 
Spanish and Quechua among themselves. However, one individual 
perhaps the most successful of the group, recently achieved the 
status of "notable citizen," an honorary title of ceremony and re- 
spect. Nonetheless, it must be realized that the gradual accumula- 
tion of the socio-economic requirements for positions of social and 
political importance by the cholo entrepreneurs is primarily an ex- 
ample of social mobility rather than structural alteration. How- 
ever, the access of the cholo entrepreneurs to these positions is 
certainly symptomatic of a degree of change to a somewhat more 
fluid social structure. 



If we examine Yungay in the decade following the disaster of 
1970, it becomes apparent that, despite the countless personal 
tragedies and the awesome destruction, the disaster in fact has 
accelerated processes of social change in the area. While, initially, 
many people felt that "revolution" had come to Yungay through 
an accident of nature, it was soon evident that such was not the 
case. Society and traditional social structural arrangements were 
not turned upside-down by the disaster. Rather, the old system 
reasserted itself almost immediately, albeit with the help of the 
national government. While the disaster did little to alter patterns 
based on national institutions such as the formal governmental, 
administrative, or economic organization of the country on the lo- 
cal level, the impact and aftermath constituted a disruption of 
such magnitude that change was either initiated or accelerated in 
a number of important institutions. The disaster was disruptive of 
local organization and structure; and adjustment to this disruption 
had to be met by individuals and institutions alike, usually 
through improvisational, social organizational means which did 
the least violence to local structural principles. 

The major effects of the disaster — the destruction of the 


city and the demise of the vast majority of the traditional elite — 
became, in the aftermath, catalysts for further change in the local 
society. Indeed, the weakening of traditional elites in Third World 
countries has often been considered a key element in the process 
of social change (Eisenstadt 1973:24). While the disaster far from 
removed all distinctions between people, a certain social balancing 
occurred in Yungay. In contrast to the predisaster era, there are 
far fewer truly powerful people in the new city. We have seen how 
disruption and mortality contributed to greater flexibility of the 
social fabric and have led to an increase of social mobility, partic- 
ularly through economic channels. 

The disruption of traditional patterns of work and production 
as well as the rise in the value of labor also increased the social 
mobility of the lower sectors of traditional Yungay society. Indian 
peasants were more able to dispose of their own labor as they saw 
fit, due to the economic input in the form of rehabilitative aid 
toward the construction of the new community. The increased 
wage labor resulting from rehabilitation programs which are sub- 
sequently transformed into development projects in the late 1970s 
also led to a diversification and differentiation of economic roles. 
People, who prior to the disaster had spent their whole lives in 
agriculture, began learning new skills, resulting in a growing spe- 
cialization of economic activities. 

This increased flexibility and the partial easing of rigidly de- 
fined social inequality were manifested also in the developments 
seen in the compadrazgo institution. However, peasant and lower- 
class Yungainos did not perceive the disaster in revolutionary 
terms. They did not celebrate the demise of Yungay, but rather 
mourned the deaths of those people significant to them as well as 
that of the city. However, after the disaster they did not seek out 
new "masters," but rather formed new more nearly horizontal 
compadrazgo relationships along traditional institutional lines, 
and integrated alterations in the character of the relationship, 
choosing not to subvert what was perceived as a valuable institu- 
tion. These are essentially what Raymond Firth has described as 
organizational changes which do not do major violence to struc- 
tural principle, but which may eventually bring about structural 
change (1964:61). 

From a political standpoint, the alterations in the traditional 
structure as well as those minor changes in the formal system on 
the community level, demonstrate the incipient spread of potential 


political expression and power to broader sectors of the popula- 
tion. The peasants seized the opportunity created by the disaster 
to opt out of a system from which they perceived little advantage. 
Indeed, this refusal to link themselves to the city of Yungay again 
is characteristic of the importance of independent community 
identity which is becoming increasingly common in Peru today. 
The peasants of Mitma, particularly whose those communities en- 
joy road access, are, since independent from Yungay, establishing 
links to the national economic and political scene. Many commu- 
nities in Mitma now bypass all regional markets in favor of larger 
coastal markets. Perhaps one of the most far-reaching effects of 
the disaster is in this context — the fact that numerous upward 
ties and points of communication have been established by peas- 
ants with national institutions through numerous aid agencies and 
programs which converged upon the disaster area in the year fol- 
lowing the tragedy. Peasants of the entire valley have been ex- 
posed to and consequently integrated partially into the institu- 
tional network of social and economic services of the national 
system. 7 Ultimately, we have seen the massive urbanization of 
Yungay, the growth of a ragged group of survivors to a commu- 
nity of over 4,000 people in less than ten years, as an intensifica- 
tion of a broad pattern of urbanizing which has been taking place 
in Peru for several generations. This is perhaps the most profound 
and far-reaching change in which the disaster has been instrumen- 
tal. It is important to emphasize, however, that urbanizing peas- 
ants in the main are not Indians, but rather cholos and lower-class 
mestizos. This increasing integration and participation of these 
heretofore marginal people into the national social, political and 
economic institutions of Peru has been termed the process of 
"cholification." While Yungay Norte, like the old city which pre- 
ceded it, is still a center for the few remaining traditional elites, 
and even some who might aspire to that status, they are becoming 
increasingly insistent and defensive of their prerogatives as they 
witness the increasing "cholification" of Yungay Norte. The disas- 
ter and the construction of the camp in the aftermath provided a 
unique opportunity for numerous actors who had been waiting pa- 
tiently in the wings to finally perform on the local version of the 
modern urban stage. 

The disaster has allowed and, in some cases, impelled many 

7 For further material on this issue see Oliver-Smith 1977. 


people to break with their traditional past. People left the impov- 
erished but relative stability of traditional agriculture to endure 
the insecurity of employment in the fluctuating economy built 
around disaster rehabilitation project construction. The disaster 
has also helped to create an environment of growing complexity 
for those who have chosen to urbanize. This complexity is perhaps 
best exemplified by the greater fluidity within the local social 

While we have seen that few of the formal institutions have 
been structurally altered by the disaster, the processes at work on 
a social organizational level to cope with conditions in the after- 
math indicate that forms of change are occurring which have im- 
portant implications for structural alteration of the society. In 
general, this conclusion is consistent with Sjoberg's generalization 
that disasters tend to accentuate or bring to the surface any pro- 
cess of phenomenon of change in existence at the time of impact 
(1962:373). While the disaster destroyed many of the infrastruc- 
tural elements of the area, these were all replaced and, in fact, 
largely improved upon within five years. Indeed, Sjoberg may well 
have been correct in the early sixties when he wrote that disasters 
do not seem to alter major structural arrangements of traditional 
societies (1962:361-2), but different historical circumstances may 
point in other directions today in the mid-eighties. There are to- 
day many more pressures on traditional societies for change. It 
may well be that one of the inevitable results of severe natural 
disaster in the Third World today is the increasing integration of 
traditional local societies into national systems, with all the struc- 
tural alterations, both positive and negative for individual and 
community welfare, that this transition implies. 


Bates, F. L., C. W. Fogleman, V. J. Parneton, R. H. Pittman, and G. S. Tracy, (1964). 

The Social and Psychological Consequences of a Natural Disaster: A Longitudinal 

Study of Hurricane Audrey, Disaster Study No. 18, Washington, D.C.: National 

Academy of Sciences National Research Council. 
Belshaw, Cyril, (1964). Traditional Exchange and Modern Markets, Englewood Cliffs, 

New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc. 
Bohannan, Paul, (1963). Social Anthropology, New York: Holt Rinehart & Winston. 
Doughty, Paul L., (1968). Huaylas: An Andean District in Search of Progress, Ithaca: 

Cornell University Press. 
Dynes, Russell, (1970). Organized Behavior in Disaster, Lexington, Mass.: D.C. Heath 

and Company. 
Eisenstadt, S. N., (1966). Modernization: Protest and Change, Englewood Cliffs, New 


Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc. 

Erickson, George E., George Plafker, and Jaime Fernandez Concha, (1970). Preliminary 
Report on the Geologic Events Associated with the May 31, 1970, Peru Earthquake, 
Washington, D.C.: U. S. Department of the Interior. 

Firth, Raymond W., (1964). Elements of Social Organization, Boston: The Beacon Press. 

Form, W. H. and S. Nosow, (1958). Community in Disaster, New York: Harper and 

Mintz, Sydney and Eric Wolf. (1950). "An analysis of Ritual Coparenthood (Com- 
padrazgo)," Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 6:341-368. 

Oliver-Smith, Anthony, (1977). "Traditional Agriculture, Central Places and Post-Disaster 
Urban Relocation in Peru," American Ethnologist, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Feb.). 

Sjoberg, Gideon, (1962). "Disaster and Social Change," Baker, George W. and Dwight 
Chapman, (eds.), Man and Society in Disaster, New York: Basic Books. 

Stein, William, (1961). Hualcan: Life in the Highlands of Peru, Ithaca: Cornell University 

Taylor, James B., Louis A. Zurcher, and William H. Key, (1970). Tornado, Seattle: The 
University of Washington Press. 

Wallace, Anthony F. C, (1956). Tornado in Worcester, Washington, D.C. Disaster Study 
No. 3, Committee on Disaster Studies, National Academy of Sciences, National Re- 
search Council. 

Weldon, Peter D., (1968). Social Change in a Highland Peruvian Province, Ithaca: Cor- 
nell University Latin American Studies Program Dissertation Series. 



Josephine Malilay 

Patrick Marnane 

William E. Bertrand** 


The term "surveillance," originally derived from the epidemi- 
ology of infectious disease, has been applied to various facets of 
public health. Nutritional surveillance programs, for instance, at- 
tempt to provide timely collection and interpretation of data for 
decision-making with the purpose of improving nutrition in com- 
munities (1). In the same manner, the concept of a surveillance 
program for disaster relief has been proposed and developed by 
the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) (2). The 
aim of such programs is to obtain information so as to plan and 
mobilize appropriate assistance for stricken communities. The cur- 
rent literature vis-a-vis disaster epidemiology points to the use of 
such data systems during the aftermath of the disaster (2,3,4). 
While many natural disasters such as earthquakes are not pre- 
cisely predictable, others such as droughts and floods can be antic- 
ipated more readily. Given an "early warning" system, the predic- 
tion of the effects of impending disaster can be made and 
appropriate measures taken to ameliorate possible mortality and 

Although the development of such systems to aid in the im- 
provement of relief programs was recommended in the early 
1960s, little has been done to implement the suggestions (5). 
Where operational programs do exist, as in the cases of Botswana, 
Indonesia, and Ethiopia, information is limited by incomplete doc- 
umentation or by the newness of the program (6). This paper ex- 
amines an early warning system for droughts and floods in the 
context of Latin America. 

The purpose of this paper is to describe a surveillance system 
that was developed in 1984 under the auspices of the United 

** Direct correspondence to: Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Tulane 
University Medical Center, 1430 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112. 


West Georgia College, Studies in the Social Sciences 25 (1986) 

States Agency for International Development (USAID) for moni- 
toring conditions related to drought and severe weather conditions 
in six departments of Bolivia. 


The reversal of normal oceanic currents off the west coast of 
South America, known as the El Nino phenomenon, in 1981-1982 
led to a pattern of severe flooding and prolonged drought in Santa 
Cruz, a southern tropical area, and in the northern Andean region 
known as the Altiplano, respectively, in 1983 (7). As a conse- 
quence, widespread shortages of food, seed, and livestock accom- 
panied the drought, while migration to less stricken areas ex- 
ceeded usual migratory patterns. Damages to rice crops and 
livestock in non-drought areas occurred as a result of flooding, 
which in addition, severely affected communications and transpor- 
tation infrastructures. 

In light of the above events and with the current political and 
economic instability of the country, the USAID Mission and other 
international organizations have provided assistance to Bolivia. Ef- 
fective aid by the Mission, however, has been hampered by the 
lack of essential information on the status of health, economic, 
and agricultural conditions. A review of existing sources of data in 
government and non-government institutions had indicated that a 
permanent system allowing for the rapid and efficient collection of 
data for immediate use was virtually non-existent. For example, 
according to data as of mid- 1984 from the Ministry of Meteorol- 
ogy and Hydrology, the drought that occurred in 1983 would not 
have been observed until 1986 (8). Hence, the necessity for a data 
system at the national level that can address immediate needs re- 
lated to droughts and severe weather conditions was recognized. 

Given the dearth of current and reliable information, the pro- 
posed system attempts to anticipate problems regarding health, 
economic, meteorologic, and agricultural conditions particularly in 
the rural sector, to determine priorities in times of emergency, to 
facilitate evaluation of the impact of certain programs in critical 
regions, and to observe the rehabilitation and recuperation of af- 
fected areas. 


Central to the surveillance system is the use of appropriate 


indicators that can signal the impact of drought and can provide 
information regarding the effects of flooding on health, agricul- 
ture, meteorology, economics, transportation, and migration. The 
selected topics are thought to be valid variables that would be 
most sensitive to changes in existing conditions in the affected re- 
gions. The indicators include rates of infant mortality, morbidity 
in children less than 5 years of age (with particular emphasis on 
respiratory diseases and gastrointestinal disorders), rainfall, mar- 
ket prices (for rice, potatoes, wheat flour, and noodles), daily 
wages, livestock depletion, migration, crop program development, 
seed survival, and water supply in terms of daily consumption and 
depth of wells. 

Data are collected approximately every twenty-eight days by 
six field agents from randomly stratified samples of communities 
in each of six targeted departments of the country, namely La 
Paz, Druro, Potosi, Cochabamba, Chuquisaca, and Tarija. Selec- 
tion of the communities is based mainly on the identification of 
the community by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) and 
on the accessibility of the community to main thoroughfares and 
existing roads. 

In such communities, visits are made to key leaders within 
the community and/or to institutions that may have information 
of interest to the purposes of the surveillance system. The town 
mayor, for one, is interviewed for his perception of the physical 
and geographical size of his community. Vital statistics are ob- 
tained by querying other community leaders, such as the nurse 
and the civil registrar, for their estimations as to the population, 
boundaries, and jurisdiction of their respective communities. 

One institution that appears to be found in almost all com- 
munities is the office of the civil registry. Vital statistics, specifi- 
cally natality and mortality, are recorded continuously and are 
sent to the National Institute of Statistics on a quarterly basis. 
Registration fees, however nominal, are charged of residents 
within the jurisdiction of the civil registry. 

Health data, or information concerning morbidity, are ob- 
tained from community health centers or posts in remote areas, or 
centros o puestos de salud. In most cases, tabulation of a range of 
diseases by age and sex is maintained on a monthly basis by the 
clinic nurse or by a newly graduated physician at work during his 
aho de provincia. In health centers that served larger or several 
communities, data specific for nutritional status and childhood im- 


munization are available. In remote health posts where a single 
nurse and her assistant administer to the needs of the community. 
Information about the availabilty and distribution of oral rehydra- 
tion therapy packets for diarrheal disease at the community level 
can be obtained. 

Agriculture and credit/market systems are monitored period- 
ically by the Bolivian Institute for Agricultural Technology 
(IBTA). Branches of the institute, usually found in large commu- 
nities, initiate projects related to farming and animal husbandry 
and perform periodic surveys of harvest and livestock ownership 
within a particular area. The availability of produce and livestock 
and their corresponding prices in the market are reviewed as well 
for any fluctuations in the type of produce available by season and 
on the stability of prices in the market. 

Another source of secondary data within the existing system 
is the experimental station whose activities primarily revolve 
around the raising of livestock, including llamas, alpacos, and 
vicunas, and the monitoring of weather conditions for a specific 
zone of influence. Meteorological information, particularly with 
repsect to temperature, precipitation, and barometric pressure, is 
collected on a daily basis and is readily available at such stations. 

Field visits by the data collectors include an initial assess- 
ment of the community in terms of the availability of existing 
data, the establishment of contacts between local leaders of the 
community and other persons who can provide information re- 
garding the generation, the recording, and the verification of the 
data. In addition, a directory of routine and special projects and 
services for community development is made. In the process, an 
understanding of the operation of the community under study is 
developed from the collection of both qualitative and quantitative 

The data are then transmitted on a periodic basis from the 
field to the central office in La Paz, where analysis is executed 
with use of the IBM-XT microcomputer, LOTUS 123 spread- 
sheets, Wordstar for word processing, Knowledgeman for data en- 
try and record management, and SPSS for statistical packaging to 
generate rapid results for efficient interpretation. Results of the 
system are directed to potential users of the data, including other 
components of USAID's Disaster Assistance Program, the Minis- 
try of Planning of the government of Bolivia, and other interna- 
tional relief organizations so that appropriate action may be 


taken. After a two-year operation under the direction of USAID, 
the surveillance system will be incorporated into the activities of 
the Ministry of Planning. 


Visits to the communities of Batalles, Achacachi, Viach, Co- 
manche, Coro Coro, Cutty, and Luribay in the department of La 
Paz for pretesting the survey instrument indicated that the quality 
of the existing data was below the level of what had been antici- 
pated during earlier planning stages. Although civil registries, 
health posts, agriculture institutions, and meteorological stations 
were found in most communities, other data sources clearly were 

Subsequent revision of the questionnaires following the 
pretest entailed contact with such institutions as the Ministry of 
Agriculture (MACA), IBTA, and Office of Meteorology of the 
Ministry of Transportation, and the Office of Epidemiology of the 
Ministry of Social Welfare and Public Health for the purpose of 
obtaining existing data and for acquainting one with communica- 
tion channels for those data. Where the information of interest 
already existed, the survey instruments were adapted to accomo- 
date the reporting schedule of the report forms in those 

Didactic training of the data collectors, most of whom were 
agricultural engineers, included a two-week series of lectures on 
vital statistics, epidemiology, meteorology, transport, agriculture 
and credit systems, census, migration, and oral rehydration ther- 
apy from USAID personnel and from various representatives from 
such institutions as INE, CARITAS, the Office of Epidemiology 
of the Ministry of Social Welfare and Public Health, and the 
Ministry of Agriculture. Practical training was conducted in vari- 
ous Altiplano communities including Patacamaya, Ayo Ayo, 
Huarina, and Copacabana, where visits were made to the civil 
registry, IBTA, and the health post of each town. 

Following the field visits, problem areas and other possible 
sources of data were identified. For one, the manner of introduc- 
ing the project to representatives of the communities required 
clarification. In order for the project to be accepted by the local 
people, data collectors introduced the project as an activity of the 
Ministry of Planning of the Government of Bolivia and of 


USAID, rather than of one or the other. This was attributed to 
the lack of confidence on the part of the community in its national 
organizations and to its suspicion of foreign interests. A dual rep- 
resentation, it was thought, would alleviate hesitation on the part 
of the community to participate in the project, as it would empha- 
size the credibility of the project. 

A definition for the area of influence of a community raised 
considerable confusion. In most instances, geographical bounda- 
ries could not be delineated, although the project had access to 
government maps. Data, particularly those from the civil registries 
and from health posts, included procedencias and domicilios, the 
definitions of which differed from place to place. In the same 
manner, teachers in certain communties kept a census of their stu- 
dents based on the area de primario. The area of influence of the 
school, however, differed from the area of influence of the civil 
registry and/or the health post of the same "community". In the 
department of Tarija, communities are dispersed so that a stan- 
dard definition may be difficult. In epidemiologic terms, any com- 
parison of the effects of the indicators in question would require 
the use of different denominators. 

The quality of incoming data raised questions with respect to 
reliability and validity. When asked separately about the esti- 
mated population of their community, the mayor and nurse of one 
community responded within a range of several thousand. To vali- 
date responses may prove difficult, particularly in situations where 
a wide range for an estimated single summary figure is given. 
Moreover, the recording of natality and mortality from civil regis- 
ters was at best sketchy. Many births were registered several 
years later, once the child was ready to begin school in which 
birth certificates were required upon registration. Also, the fees 
required by the civil registry may have deterred prompt registra- 
tion of birth or death. 

Selection of the 1 80 communities for the study was not ran- 
domly stratified. These communities were selected by their respec- 
tive data collector for their easy identification on maps provided 
by the National Institute of Statistics and for their proximity to 
main thoroughfares. Since complete maps of all communities do 
not exist, a random stratification of the communities for study was 
not possible. 

Thus, it appears that the thrust of the surveillance system is 
to generalize from weak data given a myriad of sources of varying 


degrees of confidence and reliability. Rather than focusing on the 
notion of probabilistic samples, emphasis for data analysis is place 
on the relationship between representativeness and exceptions. 
The existence of outliers, blips in curves, problems and inconsis- 
tencies, quick changes, which statistics tend to obscure, presents 
issues for consideration in the operation of the surveillance system. 

Survey instruments for agriculture and market/credit sys- 
tems are in the process of development. Initial field visits indicated 
a lack of a uniform weighing scale throughout the markets. In 
addition, responses for harvest yields and losses and for the quan- 
tity of livestock per farmer were at best educated guesses. These 
and others were similar problems that were faced by local agricul- 
tural organizations (MACA and IBTA) in their surveys. 

Because the project was tested initially in the Altiplano 
where drought was a major problem, indicators for the effects of 
the former rather than for flood, a phenomenon more common in 
the valleys, were emphasized. Appropriate indicators for the latter 
will be added upon full operation of the surveillance system. 

Possible data sources that were identified were the programs 
of the clubes de madres, a women's organization found in almost 
all communities with feeding programs for children, and the Plan 
de Padrinos, an international organization with multisectorial de- 
velopment programs that encompassed health and agriculture. A 
possible source for transport data were police records from road 
blocks in certain towns where vehicles were inspected for contra- 
band. Lastly, priests and other ministers were able to provide 
some mortality information. 

Can such surveillance data system predict the effects of 
drought and severe weather conditions? In a country beset with 
spiralling inflation and numerous daily strikes (9), it appears that 
the success or failure of a surveillance system in its attempt to 
detect any normal or non-normal changes is largely affected by 
the spectrum of socioeconomic events outside the system itself. 
Hence, any attributable changes as evidenced by a measure of the 
indicators cannot be due simply to the surveillance system per se, 
but must be viewed as the possible result of competing causes as 
well. Moreoever, criteria for the particular surveillance system, or 
of any diaster surveillance system for that matter, have yet to be 
developed. Whether or not the system can in fact predict the im- 
pacts of drought and other severe weather conditions remains to 
be seen. 


In any event, the system is an attempt to provide early warn- 
ing and intervention to prevent epidemic inadequacies with respect 
to the effects of drought and flood. Through the timely, rapid, and 
short-term exchange of information, the operation is essentially a 
methodology for addressing needs given an imminent deterioria- 
tion in health, economic, meteorological, and agricultural condi- 
tions. The system, in addition, creates an infrastructure by which 
sensitive and specific data are collected to reflect prevaling condi- 
tions. In light of the impacts of competing causes on the system, 
perhaps in time a similar methodology also may be developed for 
addressing such causes (e.g., spiralling inflation). 


1. Habicht, J. P. and Mason, J. Chapter 12. Nutritional Surveillance: Principles and Prac- 

tice, from Nutrition in the Community, John Wiley and Sons, Ltd., 1983. 

2. Pan American Health Organization. Scientific Report No. 407. Emergency Health 

Management After Natural Disaster, 1981. 

3. Spenser, H. C, Romero, A., et al. The Lancet, 23 July 1977. 

4. Rohde, J. E. Journal of Medical Sciences, 11, 1 March 1979. 

5. Tabor, Steven. Drought Relief and Information Management: Coping Intelligently with 

Disaster, USAID, Gaborone, Botswana, 20 June 1983. 

6. Committee on International Nutrition Programs, Food and Nutrition Board, National 

Research Council. Nutritional Surveillance: A Synopsis, Washington, D. C: National 
Academy Press, 1982. 

7. Cane, M. A. Science, 222, 4629, 16 December 1983. 

8. USAID/Bolivia staff report, unpublished. 

9. The Wall Street Journal, 1 February 1985. 




Robert H. Claxton** 

The history of colonial Guatemala provides many examples of 
natural hazards having significant impacts upon the inhabitants. 1 
Between the arrival of the Spanish and independence in 1821, the 
area which comprises the modern nation of Guatemala exper- 
ienced at least seventeen volcanic eruptions, thirty earthquakes, 
seventeen locust infestations, numerous epidemics, a half-dozen 
frosts, and droughts as well as floods. 2 Environmental hazards 
prompted the Spanish to move their capital on three occasions: 
1527, from Iximche to Almolonga, or Ciudad Vieja, (partly for its 
warmer climate); 1541, from Almolonga (due to floods), to Anti- 
gua; 1773, from Antigua (due to a devastating earthquake) to its 
present site. 

This essay identifies times of drought and flood, the two most 
important weather-based natural hazards in colonial Guatemala. 
By undertaking this type of research, historians can make contri- 
butions to two other fields. (1) Historians can expand the under- 
standing physical scientists have of "normal" weather by ex- 
tending the record to centuries rather than conventional thirty- 
year averages. 3 (2) In addition, by examining the impact of varia- 
bility upon human institutions in the past, historians can assist 
crisis managers to form policy regarding emergency relief and 

**Direct correspondence to: West Georgia College, Carrollton, Georgia 30118. 

1 For a general introduction to the literature of hazard impacts, see Dennis S. Mileti 
and others. Human Systems in Extreme Environments: A Sociological Perspective (Boul- 
der, 1975). For an introduction to such studies regarding the Third World, William I. 
Torry, "Natural Disasters, Social Structure, and Change in Traditional Societies," Journal 
of Asian and African Studies (July-October, 1978), 13: 167-183. For Latin America, Ce- 
sar Caviedes, "Natural Hazards in Latin America: A survey and Discussion," in Tom 
Martinson and Gary Elbow (eds.), Geographic Research on Latin America (Conference of 
Latin Americanist Geographers, 1981), pp. 280-294. 

2 This enumeration comes from the author's copies of index cards from the Archivo 
General in Guatemala City and from Lawrence Feldman's essay elsewhere in this volume. 

3 For details of methodology, see Theodore K. Rabb, "Climate and Society in History: 
A Research Agenda," in Robert Chen and other (eds.), Social Science Research and Cli- 
mate Change: An Interdisciplinary Appraisal (Dordrecht, 1983), pp. 62-76 and Robert H. 
Claxton, "Climate and History: From Speculation to Systematic Study," The Historian 
(February, 1983), 45(2): 220-236. 


West Georgia College, Studies in the Social Sciences 25 (1986) 

long term hazard mitigation. 4 Among the centers devoted to this 
sort of investigation are the Center for Technology, Environment, 
and Development at Clark University, and the Natural Hazards 
Research and Applications Information Center at the University 
of Colorado/ Boulder. 


A variety of documentary sources reveal information about 
drought and precipitation patterns from the mid- 1500s. 5 These 
data considerably extend the instrument-based record which the 
Guatemalan Meteorological Observatory has kept since 1925. Of 
course, there are problems associated with each type of earlier 

Chroniclers, for example, drew together oral traditions and 
written information for both religious and secular purposes. In 
Guatemala, Francisco Vasquez, wrote in the 17th century; Fran- 
cisco Ximenez, in the 18th, and Domingo Juarros, in the 19th. 
While they did cite memorable weather-based emergencies, they 
did not include year-by-year time series. 

One category of official source, certainly not originally 
designed to be a weather record, nevertheless provided somewhat 
of a checklist for years from 1641 to 1808. This is a collection of 
exoneration petitions from Indian communities for temporary ex- 
emption from paying tribute because of hardships. There is no as- 
surance, however, that all of these documents have survived. Like 
many other aspects of the colonial era, existing documents may be 
incomplete. Since droughts or floods were not a habitual com- 

4 Nature alone cannot be blamed for hazard impacts reaching disaster proportions — 
Anders Wijkman and Lloyd Timberlake, Natural Disasters: Acts of God or Acts of Man? 
(Earthscan, 1984). 

5 This writer does not wish to convey an entirely Europe-centered prejudice. There has 
been variability in weather and climate throughout geologic time. Indians experienced such 
variability before the Spanish arrived. 

Archaeologists are beginning to recognize long-term climatic trends. Their evidence 
includes: limnological studies of rising and falling shorelines, modern water levels in rela- 
tion to the age of dikes or location of monuments known to have been constructed in a 
certain past era, and the changing amounts of particular mollusks or fish in midden. See 
William Folen, "The Importance of Coba in Maya History," in Folan and others (eds.), 
Coba: The Classic Maya Metropolis (New York, 1983), pp. 17-18; Joel Gunn and Rich- 
ard E. W.Adams, "Climatic Change, Culture and Civilization in North America," World 
Archaeology (June, 1981), 13: 87-100, especially pp. 94-96; Bruce Dahlin, "Climate and 
Prehistory on the Yucatan Peninsula," Climatic Change (1983), 5: 245-263; Payson 
Sheets, Archaeological Studies of Disaster: Their Range and Value (Boulder: University 
of Colorado Natural Hazard Working Paper No. 38, 1980), pp. 19 and 25-29. 


plaint, one may conclude that the disasters reported in this man- 
ner were not contrived. 

One possible way to verify the exoneration series is to ex- 
amine what remains of yearly tax payment records that Indian 
communities were required to keep. The Indians' payment in kind 
depended upon weather-sensitive crop yields. A number of village 
records have survived, some extending for over a hundred years. 

Modern investigators also have insight into past, pre-instru- 
mentation weather conditions through reports sent in from re- 
gional administrators. In the 1570s and 1740s, the Spanish Crown 
ordered the collection of crude estimates of temperature, humid- 
ity, rainfall, and wind characteristics for each administrative unit. 
These relaciones geograficas indicate an early interest in accumu- 
lating scientific data for policy-making, but these particular re- 
ports simply reflected perceived normal conditions and not varia- 
bility. When changing conditions warranted, however, the central 
authorities asked for hazard impact reports. 6 

The records of the capital city government are another source 
of weather information over long periods of time. The minutes of 
the city council meetings {Adas de Cabildo) reveal the situation 
within the capital itself. Correspondence and directives regarding 
food supplies {abastos) contain evidence about other places which 
provided the city with foodstuffs. 

Two secondary sources offer assistance in locating primary 
documents and in making the sequence of events more unified. 
These are histories of the colonial capital. Joaquin Pardo was the 
organizer of the Archivo General de Centro-America. His com- 
prehensive chronological outline history of Antigua refers to un- 
usual meteorological phenomena. Likewise, Christopher Lutz 
mentions weather-based hazards in his demographic history of the 
colonial capital. 

The present body of knowledge regarding pre-twentieth cen- 
tury weather in Guatemala is incomplete. Apparently increasing 
numbers of droughts or floods over a half-century might demon- 
strate a long term trend in a meteorological sense. On the other 
hand, this could also be, in reality, testimony that more people, 

6 A similar source which this writer did not explore is the collection of biannual re- 
ports the Audiencia (highest court) of Guatemala required for about a decade in the eight- 
eenth century. The reports included annual charts. These compare all the provinces of Cen- 
tral America with regard to the relative abundance of both commercial and subsistence 
crops, rainfall, and health of inhabitants. Impressionistic words like "abundant" or 
"scanty" substitute for statistics. 


who were less able to cope with hazards, were living in arid re- 
gions or flood plains. It is also possible that documents indicative 
of one particular weather phenomenon were better preserved than 
others for some non-weather-related reason. Confirmation of pre- 
sent evidence with additional data from more localities and from 
non-documentary sources such as analyses of sediments will re- 
lieve doubt. 

Conclusions about the nature of weather in colonial 
Guatamala are tentative. Nevertheless, weather-based hazards did 
exist. Conclusions about their impact have greater certainity. 


Any attempt to reconstruct the past climatic patterns for a 
given place must begin with an understanding of the usual annual 
weather and agriculture cycle. Ordinarily, invierno (or winter) 
around Guatemala City runs from May until October. The May 
rains often begin with hail storms. Normally, two dry periods in- 
terrupt this rainy season — one at the June solstice {yeranito de 
San Juan) and the other during the late July/early August "dog 
days" (canicula). The invierno concludes after the equinoctial 
storms of September/October. Traditionally, subsistence planting 
occurred in February or March (called candelaria, after Candle 
Mass, 2 February) and in the dry periods of winter (identified as 
apantes, tunalmiles or tanalmiles sowings). 

In Guatemala, as anywhere else, words indicating relative de- 
grees of precipitation intensity have developed over generations. 
These have comparable English equivalents: dew (rocio), mist or 
sprinkle (llovizna or lloviznita), drizzle (gariia), shower (lluvia), 
and intense downpour or cloudburst (aguacero, temporal, tempes- 
tad, or culebrina). If winds accompained the last in this series, 
terms like vendaval, torment a, or huracan would be used al- 
though huracan does not necessarily translate as "hurricane". The 
adjective recio (severe or rigourous) or torrencial (abundant) 
often accompany the designations aguarcero or vendaval. Such 
storms occasionally produced flooding, described as: creciente 
(freshet or sudden rise in stream level), desabordamiento or ane- 
gacibn (stream overflowing its banks), avenida or corriente (force 
of water cutting a new channel), or simply inundacibn or diluvio. 

Colonial Guatemalans, likewise, had several workds or 
phrases to describe drought. These included seca, sequia, se- 


quedad, escasez de lluvias, falta de lluvias, la falta de invierno, 
ausencia del invierno, and sometimes esterilidad or carestla which 
indicated resulting crop loss or shortages. One classification at- 
tempt differentiates among three types of situations with little 
rainfall: climatological drought (normally low precipitation), me- 
teorological drought (abnormally low precipitation), and socio-po- 
litical drought (shortages resulting from poor management or un- 
realistic expectations). 7 

This paper identifies those episodes in which rainfall was 
signficantly less, or more, than the usual annual cycle. The signfi- 
cance of the indefinite quantity of precipitation, of course, de- 
pended upon the level of preparedness, technology, and scientific 
sophisitication of the people of Guatemala in colonial times. The 
documentary record does not give us the precision instruments 
could have, but it does reveal weather as variable and having an 
impact upon human lives. 


There were at least nineteen drought years in Guatemala af- 
ter the Spanish Conquest and before Independence. (See Table 1.) 
Less is known about the occurrence of this phenomenon before 
1650. Demographer Christopher Lutz, however, has concluded: 
"A series of epidemics, described as pests, intermittently struck 
the city [of Antigua] and the surrounding region between 1585 
and 1632 but their impact appears to have been somewhat soft- 
ened by the absence of accompanying severe droughts and serious 
grain shortages." 8 Data for the second half of the eighteenth cen- 
tury may be incomplete. Even so, the available documentation in- 
dicates at least one drought year during most other decades. 
Three decades were especially "dry": the 1690s, the 1730s, and 
the early 1 800s. The droughts of those times also affected exten- 
sive amounts of territory. 


At least twenty-four rain-based emergencies are documented 
for the colonial period in Guatemala. In eight instances (See Ta- 

7 Ray Linsley, "Social and Political Aspects of Drought," Bulletin of the American 
Meteorological Society (June, 1982), 63 (6): 586-591. 

8 Christopher Hayden Lutz, "Santiago de Guatemala, 1541-1773: The Socio-demo- 
graphic History of a Spanish American Colonial City," (2 vols.; Ph.D. dissertation, His- 
tory, University of Wisconsin, 1976), I, 256. 


ble IIA), the year is known but not the precise day(s). In four 
cases (See Table IIB), severe storms occurred early in the in- 
vierno. More commonly, the heaviest rains came in late Septem- 
ber and early October, the tapayaguas or the cordonazo of St. 
Francis. (October 4 is the feast day of St. Francis.) In at least ten 
documented episodes (See Table IIIC) serious flooding occurred 
late in the rainy season. 

It is possible to make other general observations from what is 
known about each flooding. Half were reported in or near Anti- 
gua, which fact no doubt reflects the origin of the documents more 
than weather patterns; half the flood disasters occurred elsewhere. 
One-third of the floods resulted from storms which lasted for more 
than one day. High winds accompanied at least five of the storms. 
In three years — 1652, 1691, and 1736 — both flooding and 
droughts are recorded. 

Initial Evidence of Disaster 

Food Shortages. This was the most obvious impact of 
drought. A famine in Antigua resulted, for example, when the 
1563 drought and wind damage destroyed crops of wheat and corn 
and even plantains and roots. 9 Later, in 1746, Chiquimula resi- 
dents were left with only sugar cane and wild roots due to "the 
absence of winter." 10 

Migration. There is no record of any planned evacuation due 
to drought in coloinial Guatemala. Nevertheless, desperate people 
did flee from dry areas to search for food. This population move- 
ment was especially evident in eastern Guatemala. Because of the 
1652 drought, Indians left Jocotan when the Chiquimula River 
failed to rise sufficiently to irrigate their cacao. The migrating In- 
dians went to other towns to find a substitute means to pay their 
tribute. 11 A similar situation existed 68 years later. Some 230 
families fled towns on the eastern frontier in a desperate search 
for food during the 1720 drought. 12 

* Francisco Vasquez, Crbnica de la provincia del Santisimo Nombre de Jesus de 
Guatemala (4 vols.; Guatemala, 1937-1944), I. 154. 

10 Archivo General de Centro-America. Tributos: exoneraciones. A 3.16 expediente 
42269 legajo 2887. Also, A 3.16 expediente 31617 legajo 2076 and A. 3.16 expendiente 
17630 legajo 944. 

11 Correspondence from Lawrence Feldman to the author. 

12 Tributos: exoneraciones. A. 3.16 expediente 40860 legajo 2817. A map of adminis- 


Mitigation Efforts 

Rogations. Residents of colonial Guatemala regarded the 
Virgin Mary, in the form of Nuestra Sehora del Socorro, as their 
special patroness of rain. Her image was venerated at the start of 
the growing season and also carried in outdoor processions if ade- 
quate rains were not later forthcoming. The minutes of a 1746 
session of the city council expalin that, according to Leviticus, 
Chapter 26, rains came to those who kept the commandments of 
Jehovah who made the "heavens as iron and the earth as brass" 
for those who disobeyed. 13 It seemed logical for the people of An- 
tigua Guatemala and other towns to emulate the children of Israel 
in an act of penance to bring rains. This brought apparent results 
often enough so as to confirm belief. Chronicler, Vasquez, for ex- 
ample, describes 1686 worshippers as having to discontinue their 
procession in Almolonga due to a cloudburst. 14 

Actions Against Speculators. One municipal government 
document from a dry 18th century year complained that specula- 
tors were often as much a cause of higher wheat prices in Antigua 
as were poor harvests. Would-be speculators even bribed those 
who had grain to sell in order to corner the market. In response, 
the Church threatened to excommunicate engrossers who were ac- 
cumulating scarce stocks while the price rose. 15 

The civil authorities took additional steps. In 1748 and 1753, 
the chief judicial officer in Antigua issued injunctions against 
profiteers leaving the city. 16 The judiciary carefully investigated 
the nature of grain sales. Anyone who had intimidated Indians 
into selling meager surpluses cheaply was subject to specified pun- 
ishments: for a Spaniard, a fine of 200 pesos and two months in 
jail; for a mestizo or mulatto, a flogging and twelve hours in the 
pillory before the imprisonment. The court investigators offered 
rewards to informants. 

Emergency Food Distribution. Due to shortages in 1 746, the 
capital city administration acquired 1 0,000 fanegas (about 10,500 

trative subdivisions of eighteenth century Guatemala is found is Francisco Solano, Los Ma- 
yas del sigh XVIII (Madrid, 1974). 

13 Libros de Cabildos 32 (September 9, 1746), folios 138, 138 vuelto, 139, 139 vuelto, 
and 140. A 1.22 expediente 11788 legajo 1794. 

14 Vasquez, Crbnica, IV, 252. 

18 Ayuntamiento: Abastos. A 1.2 expediente 575 legajo 29. 

16 Ayuntamiento: Abastos. A 1.2 expediente 24975 legajo 2820 and A 3.3 expediente 
34790 legajo 2360. Jose Joaquin Pardo Gallardo, Efemerides para escribir la historia de 
la. . .cuidad de. . .Guatemala (Guatemala, 1944), p. 207-208. 


bushels) of corn from large landowners. The municipality distrib- 
uted this food "to the poor people of the city and towns of the 
Valley of Guatemala. ' U7 Slowness of travel, poor harbors, and in- 
adequate roads prevented this mitigation device from being very 
common in the colonial period. 

Second Sowings. Generally, the colonial population depended 
upon a local food supply. In mid-winter (August), 1736, the presi- 
dent of the audiencia ordered all the towns of the "province of 
Guatemala" to plant new corn and bean crops, the first sowing 
having been lost." That the highest official took action implies an 
extensive concern over the matter. Subsequently, during the fol- 
lowing September, the Antigua authorities experimented with 
maize plantings in the humid lands around Lake Amatitlan. 18 
(Other locales regularly planted twice each year.) 

Tax Exemptions. By reason of royal decree in 1 549, officials 
could grant Indians exemptions from annual tribute in the event 
of a harvest failure. Documents reveal that Indians petitioned to 
take advantage of this relief in 1694, 1720, 1736, 1746, and 1803, 
due to drought. 

Although most of the extant evidence reflects 18th century 
practices, the mitigation efforts were probably similar in colonial 
Guatemala in earlier times. In the 19th century, when a more 
complex infrastructure began to develop, alternative means of 
drought mitigation were available. These included emergency food 
purchases abroad to sell at cost in Guatemala, temporary suspen- 
sion of tariffs on imported foodstuffs, national statistical invento- 
ries of resources available, exemptions from road service or mili- 
tary service to provide workers for second sowings, and fines for 
not complying with central directives to replant food crops. 

Longer Term Effects of Drought 

Disease. In his extensive demographic study of Antigua (San- 
tiago de Guatemala), Lutz identified 51 references to epidemic 
disease. Of these, thirty occur between 1650 and 1769, a time seg- 
ment which includes the period for which colonial weather docu- 
mentation is most complete. In eight cases, an epidemic occurred 
in or near the colonial capital during a drought year which this 

17 Pardo, Efem'erides p. 198. 

18 Libros de Cabildos 31 (August 23, 25, 27, and September 4, 1736), folios 50, 50 v, 
51, 52, 52 v, 53 53 v, and 54. A 1.2.2 expediente 11787 legajo 1793. Lutz, "Santaigo de 
Guatemala," II, 591 (Note 35). 


author has identified, or in the year immediately following a 
drought year. Those eight cases correspond to fifty percent of the 
documented dry years. They include 1660 (calenturas), 1669 
("much sickness"), 1686-1687 (typhus and/or pneumonic plague), 
1694 (smallpox), 1746 (typhus), 1748 (measles), 1749 {calen- 
turas), and 1752 (smallpox). 19 

In a manner similar to that of Lutz, Veblen documented 
twelve epidemics in highland Totonicapan between 1650 and the 
end of the colonial period. Four of these also correspond to known 
drought episodes: 1804 (typhus), 1694-1696 (smallpox), 1746 (ty- 
phus), 1804 (typhus and measles), and 1811-1812 (typhus). 20 In 
addition, both researchers found that an epidemic accompanied 
the 1563 drought. This author also found descriptions in Guate- 
malan sources of disease and drought in 1677 ("sharp and mortal 
fevers") and 1803 (typhus). 

There is, therefore, a direct correlation between the condition 
of drought and widespread illness in twelve out of nineteen docu- 
mented colonial era drought situations. Food shortages and migra- 
tion were the initial evidence of drought's impact. Food shortages 
undoubtedly resulted in malnutrition, leaving large numbers of 
people more susceptible to disease. Likewise, people migrating in 
search of food inadvertently carried microbes with them. 

Revenue Irregularity. Severe drought could disrupt revenue 
collection directly and indirectly. Drought lowered agricultural 
production. Indirectly, death and debilitation due to malnutrition 
or epidemics also impacted upon the productivity of the labor 
force. Drought was a factor in about half the recorded instances 
of revenue falls where time series are available for study. 

Wortman offers data regarding the annual income from the 
church tithe in the diocese and archdiocese of Guatemala. 21 He 
has annual data, for example, for 1650-1700. During that half 
century, there were sixteen years when the tithe revenue is known 
to have been less than the year before. During the same half cen- 
tury, there were seven drought years. The tithe fell subsequent to 
the 1652-3 and 1660 episodes and fell during dry 1686. Revenue 
remained constant in 1669, 1677, and 1691 when compared to the 

1B Lutz, "Santiago de Guatemala," II, 743-752. 

20 Thomas Veblen, "Native Population Decline in Totonicapan, Guatemala," in Rob- 
ert Carmack and others (eds.) Historical Demography of Highland Guatemala (Albany, 
1982), p. 97. 

21 Miles Wortman, Government and Society in Central America, 1680-1840 (New 
York, 1982), p. 280. 


year immediately preceding each case. Only in the 1694 drought 
did the tithe collections register an increase. Tithe data for 
drought years after 1700 are missing or inconclusive. 

Feldman collected tribute payment data from Camotan (See 
Table III), including the 1730s and 1740s. There, tribute totals 
fell subsequent to the 1724, 1746, and (apparently) 1752 
droughts. The 1735-36 record indicates a decline. Only in the 
1748 instance was there a steady revenue increase during and af- 
ter the drought year. The tribute declines in 1731 and 1742 were 
not directly related to drought. Drought documentation in notably 
absent between 1753 and 1802. Consequently, no further mean- 
ingful correlation is possible at this point. 

There is an explanation for the 1748 exception in the Feld- 
man data. As Wortman explains, Spanish legislation in 1747 re- 
quired that tribute be paid in coin rather than in goods. Since 
Indians could work for wages paid in coin, the government pre- 
sumed that drought would no longer disrupt the revenue flow. 
Such a provision probably brought more Indians into the money 
economy. 22 Even so, tribute did fall again following the 1803 
drought and during dry 1822 in Camotan. 


Initial Evidence of Disaster 

Flood disasters occurred much more rapidly than those 
caused by drought. Floods resulted in destruction of dwellings, 
loss of foodstuffs, death, and the disruption of transportation. (See 
Table II for locations.) 

Destruction of Dwellings. The most commonly reported ini- 
tial evidence of flood disaster were descriptions of housing loss. 
Homes were damaged by wind or rain during severe storms (1652, 
1736, 1765, 1796), toppled by mudslides (1541 and 1749), or sub- 
merged or swept away by rising water (1762, 1773, 1796, and 

Loss of Foodstuffs. Disastrous impact upon crops was equally 
common. Sometimes wind or rain destroyed crops immediately 
(1632, 1641, 1741, 1762, 1773). Another related problem was the 
saturation of the soil with so much moisture that a second plant- 

22 Ibid., p. 174. 


ing would not germinate (1652, 1762, and 1796). Still another 
disaster related to agriculture was damage to mills; reports of un- 
serviceable mills and a reference to relief activity in 1762 suggests 
that this was a more common concern. Finally, flooding sometimes 
claimed the lives of farm animals: 1541 (oxen and cattle), 1641 
(hens, mules, and horses), 1762 (mules, horses) and 1796 
("beasts" and 200 head of cattle). 

Death. Human life was lost in floods as well. The 1541 de- 
struction of an early capital site for example killed an undeter- 
mined number of blacks, 600 Indians, and 100 Spanish settlers. 
"Several persons" perished in the 1736 flood. The June, 1765 
storm left "many dead". 

Transport Disruption. Heavy rains and flooding also dis- 
rupted transportation, either by carrying bridges away or washing 
out unpaved roads. In October 1762, the swollen Motagua re- 
moved the stone bridge at San Martin. (Ironically, the force of 
flood waters that year also damaged the San Juan Gascon and 
Pampatic aqueducts.) The 1796 cordonazo took the de los Es- 
clavos and Rio Tigre at Atiquipaque bridges. Likewise, the July 
storm of 1807 disposed of two bridges near Quezaltenango. 

The rainy season of 1756 resulted in no flood catastrophe in 
any one particular locale. It did, however, produce the first gen- 
eral directive (this writer found) to local administrators through- 
out the "Kingdom" of Guatemala to repair the roads where the 
rains had left gulleys or flooding had carried in debris. Perhaps, 
by the middle of the eighteenth century, the volume of inter-re- 
gional or international commerce the sufficient to merit the con- 
cern of the central authorities. The recomposition of roads may 
have been a local matter earlier, but it became a frequent order 
from the capital by the middle of the nineteenth century. 

Mitigation Efforts 

Recourse to Religion. Following the 1541 mudslides, the 
Bishop led processions for four days and recommended fasting. He 
also removed mourning symbols lest Indians think the Spanish 
were helpless. The early settlers attributed this first recorded dis- 
aster to divine judgment. In a similar manner, Archbishop Pedro 
Cortes y Larraz commented that the 1765 Zacapa flood had its 
source in a "flood of sins," citing Joel, Chapter l. 23 Records for 

23 Felix Gutierrez and Ernesto Ballesteros, "The 1541 Earthquake [sic]: Dawn of 


other floods are silent on this theme. Unlike severe drought, public 
prayers to stop excessive rain were rare. 

Surveys. Following the October 1652 storm, the Antigua City 
Council resolved to investigate other adjacent towns to see if 
heavy winds and rain has resulted in damage elsewhere. 24 The 
record shows that the late-season storm of 1749 produced a simi- 
lar survey. 25 In 1762, the Chimaltenango authorities ordered mili- 
tia captains to send them estimates of loss of human life, homes, 
mills, crops, cattle, and other damage. 26 

Emergency Food Acquisitions. The 1762 rains ruined so 
much of the expected crops that, on December 1 , the City Council 
authorized purchase of wheat from Los Altos. Historians usually 
recall 1773 as the year of the earthquakes which brought still an- 
other relocation of the capital. In so doing, they overlook the in- 
tense rainstorms of June which produced flooding. This factor, 
along with a locust infestation, meant food shortages even before 
the disastrous earthquake struck. In August 1773, the municipal 
authorities collected what food there was locally and rationed it. 
(In June, there had been a request from Los Altos for corn to 
replace what locusts and rain had destroyed there earlier.) 27 

Public Works. As a result of the 1749 flood, the capital au- 
thorities made plans for a drainage canal to the Magdelena, a 
river on the opposite side of the city from the Pensativa. 28 When 
flooding occurred again thirteen years later, the City Council 
commissioned an engineer, Luis Diaz de Navarro, and public 
works administrator Francisco de Estrada to formulate a more 
comprehensive plan to avoid future disasters. 29 (Of course, the 
earthquake of 1773 resulted in the relocation of the capital to its 
present site.) In 1798, authorities in Quezaltenango were making 
plans for a drainage canal because the rainly season had left a 
lake in their city each year since the flood of 1789. 30 

Latin American Journalism," Journalism History (Autumn, 1979), 6: 79-83; Pedro Cortes 
y Larraz, Description geografico-moral de la dibcesis de Goathemala (2 vols.; Guatemala, 
1958), I, 47-48. 

24 Libros de Cabildos 16 (October 13, 1652), folio 193. A 1.22 expediente 11772 
legajo 1778. 

25 Real provision sobre la inundacion de 1749. A 1.24 expediente 28865 legajo 2817. 
28 Informe sobre un temporal en Chimaltenango. A. 1.21 expediente 15249 legajo 


27 Pardo, Efemerides, pp. 245-247. 

28 See Note 25. 

29 Pardo, Efemerides, p. 223. 

30 A. 1.21 expendiente 8105, legajo 389. 


Tax Exemptions. Drought was, by far, the most frequent 
reason that Indians petitioned for tax relief. There are, however, 
two documented examples of flood-based requests. In 1641, 
Soconusco residents complained that wind-driven rains had 
destoyed their cacao trees. In 1808, the people of Santa Cruz de 
Laguna, on the shore of Lake Atitlan, petitioned for exemption 
from tribute because a flood had destoyed their homes and church 
the previous year. 31 

Cabildos Abiertos. The Spanish-American equivalent of a 
New England town meeting is usually associated with the emer- 
gency the disruption of royal authority brought which led to dec- 
larations of independence. Disasters stemming from natural 
hazards also occasioned cabildos abiertos. In 1541, mudslides af- 
ter three days of rainfall inundated the Ciudad Vieja or Al- 
molonga site of Guatemala City. Survivors met, voted to relocate, 
and chose a committee to examine alternative sites. When a sec- 
ond meeting failed to achieve unanimity, the co-governors selected 
the Antigua site. 32 This event also produced the first "newspaper" 
in the New World. 33 

Longer Term Effects of Heavy Rains and Flooding 

Social Stratification/ Relocation of Settlements. The 1541 
storm and flood decimated the Spanish district of the Almolonga 
site but the Mexican Indian barrio remained intact. When the 
surviving residents moved to the Antigua site, the authorities gave 
greater attention to awarding the best property to the most impor- 
tant people. 34 Two centuries later, Archbishop Cortes reported 
other disaster-induced social schisms. When the residents of 
Petapa rebuilt following the 1762 flood, Indians chose to live in 
"Nuevo Petapa" and the Ladinos established the separate village 
of La Conception. Similarly, in 1765, he found the poorest stayed 
and tried to rebuild on the original site of Chiquimula while 
others started anew an hour's journey away. 36 

Disease. Both Lutz and Veblen, reporting on Antigua and 
Totonicapan respectively, list three epidemics in years in which 

31 Tributos: exoneraciones. A. 1.24 expendiente 10203 legajo 1559; A 3.16 ex- 
pendiente 4988 legajo 248. 

33 Lutz, "Santiago de Guatemala," I, 64-65, 81-81, and 90-94. 

33 Gutierrez and Ballesteros, see Note 23. 

34 Lutz, "Santiago de Guatemala," I. 64 and 94. 

39 Cortes y Larraz, Description, I, 47 and 276-277. 


flooding occurred or else in the year immediately following: 1631- 
1632, 1686-1687, and 1741. In addition, Veblen found Totoni- 
capan post-flood year epidemics in 1541-1545 and 1795-1797; 
Lutz mentions a 1749 epidemic. In virtually every case tabardillo 
is the cited disease. This is usually translated "typhus." Spots or 
rash are symptomatic of both typhus and typhoid, but typhoid, 
rather than typhus, thrives in contaminated water as flooding may 
have left. In any case, the majority of epidemics which Lutz and 
Veblen identify did not occur during or immediately after years 
with documented heavy rains or floods. 36 

Revenue Irregularity. Wortman's compilation of annual in- 
come from the church tithe in the diocese and archdioces of Gua- 
temala covers the years 1626 to 1820, but his tabulation is incom- 
plete. His longest continuous annual series is for the 1645 to 1713 
period. During that time, there were 29 years in which tithe in- 
come was less than the year immediately preceding. There are 
four documented rain or flood episodes during this time. Two of 
these (1685 and 1688) came in years preceding revenue falls. Two 
other (1652 and 1691) do not correlate with a decline in the trib- 
ute. The subsequent record does, however, show both heavier rains 
and revenue declines in 1756, 1762, and 1807. 37 

The Feldman data (See Table III) are more sensitive. His 
data suggest a fall in tribute subsequent to 1741, 1749, 1756, and 
1796, as well as during 1773. There was a leveling off of tribute 
revenues after 1736 and 1762. There was an apparent increase 
only after 1765. The possible conseqences of events in 1789 and 
1807, years with documented episodes of heavier rain remain un- 
certain. In some ways, conclusions from the Feldman data are 
more impressionistic than precise. 

Soil Erosion. MacLeod traces the manner in which Spanish 
practices, combined with heavy rains, produced an enormous ero- 
sion problem. Urban markets demanded wood for charcoal and 
furniture. Cacao and sugar planters cleared some woods to grow 
their commercial crops. The Spanish also introduced sheep-graz- 
ing and deep ploughing for wheat fields. Not only did these new 
modes of agriculture tax the soil, Spanish expansion on flatlands 
drove the Indian cultivators to steeper slopes where the soil was 
thinner. As time passed, diminished ground cover and increased 

36 See Note 20. 

37 See Note 21. 


hardpan exposure meant that rainwater could not be absorbed as 
easily as it once had been. Flood water filled city streets with silt 
which Indians were forced to clean out. Beginning in 1699, the 
capital city authorities ordered Indians to cease cultivation of ero- 
sion-prone slopes. 38 Such proclamations did not end the problem. 
In 1762, the successors to those officials were still complaining 
about landslides due to Indians' trying to grow crops on hillsides. 39 


Tentative Conclusions. Toward the end of the colonial period, 
the Archbishop of Guatemala wrote of "deadly circumstances 
never far away, through which a poor family can see itself re- 
duced in a single year of calamity and shortage — in the case of 
epidemic — and in a single moment, in which a frost or a severe 
rainstorm wipes out its tiny plantings." He therefore endorsed di- 
versification of the economy through small scale cattle breeding. 40 
Any Guatemalan who had survived to old age in colonial times 
would have been confronted several weather-based emergencies, 
with attendant difficulties, in his or her lifetime. 

The twin hazards of drought and flooding sometimes had 
similar impacts; in some ways, their consequences were quite dif- 
ferent. Evidence for drought came gradually, while flooding was 
sudden. The immediate impact of drought was a food shortage, 
followed by malnutrition. The impact of flooding was more di- 
verse; loss of foodstuffs, destruction of homes, and disruption of 
transport, and often drownings. Even the means of food loss va- 
ried: soil saturation, death of animals, and wrecking of mills. 
Droughts could stimulate migration; floods sometimes led to vol- 
untary resettlement. Although authorities found evidence of divine 
judgment in both kinds of disaster, there was much more frequent 
recourse to prayer during droughts. In both types of emergencies, 
it was rare for the government to distribute food. Central authori- 
ties awaited local reports during a drought but they were more 
likely to order immediate damage surveys following a severe 
storm. Petitions for tax exemptions were much more common af- 

38 Murdo J. MacLeod, Spanish Central America: A Socioeconomic History, 1520- 
1720 (Berkeley, 1973), pp. 305-307. Erosion (p. 95) contributed to the decline of the 
Soconusco cacao industry. 

38 Pardo, Efemerides, p. 222. 

40 Archbishop Ramon Casaus y Torres, Pastoral Letter, September 9, 1811, Gaceta 
de Guatemala (October 12, 1811), p. 269. 


ter drought than after flooding. Indeed, their frequency may have 
led to legislation forcing Indians into a money economy. No public 
works (like reservoirs) eased drought impacts, but drainage canals 
were meant to control flooding. Droughts forced local authorities 
to make certain decisions, while storm disasters opened the deci- 
sion-making to all Spanish citizens. Diverse epidemics accompa- 
nied or followed over two-thirds of the dry, hungry years, but 
there was less of a correlation between heavy rains and disease. 
Likewise, flooding was less of a factor in revenue declines than 
was drought. The colonial documents refer to soil erosion due to 
water, but they never speak of wind erosion in times of drought. 
In comparative perspective, Lutz concludes that since the colonial 
capital had a smaller population than did Mexico City and be- 
cause the Guatemalan droughts were rarely as severe, Santiago de 
Guatemala did not experience the food riots that 17th century 
Mexico had. 41 

Unanswered Questions. This paper suggests numerous sub- 
jects for further investigation. Droughts apparently had a stronger 
impact than rainstorms or floods. Additional study could reveal 
even greater consequences of drought by way of "ripple effects." 
If drought contributed to human malnutrition it may also have 
affected the animals upon which people depended. Future histori- 
ans may want to reconstruct the sizes of past animal populations. 
Nothing is known about the impact of drought on fish, forests, 
small-scale beekeeping, and wildlife in colonial days. Efforts to in- 
crease the food supply during one particular drought year may 
have created a surplus with consequent lower prices the following 
year. In times of higher food costs, people may have consumed 
less of something else. Hard times delayed marriages and in- 
creased indebtedness. 

We need more local history studies to verify weather, reve- 
nue, and epidemic time series and to determine how widespread 
drought or rainstorm impacts were. Such data are especially 
needed for the 1500s and 1600s. Proxy data such as evidence of 
fluctuating lake levels should verify document-based conclusions. 
Aside from weather history, there are historical possibilities in 
changes in diet, the nature of local officialdom, the development of 
milling, and the growth of internal communication networks. 

Relationship to Modern Theory. The historic examples from 

Lutz, "Santiago de Guatemala," II, 563. 


colonial Guatemala offer case studies which support contemporary 
theories about social organizations confronting natural hazards. 
Some impacts produced minor stress while others were cata- 
strophic, along the continuum Foster plotted. 42 Some of the exam- 
ples in this paper contain sufficient detail to identify "stages" of 
impact from precipitating event to readjustment, as Turner rec- 
ommended. 43 According to Whittow, there are fundamentally 
three approaches to the problem of drought anywhere: scientific, 
behavioral, and technological. The Guatemalans relied on the be- 
havioral method. 44 Smith and Tobin describe "structural" and 
"non-structural" adjustments to the flood hazard. Colonial 
Guatemalans used only the simplest forms of both: engineering 
schemes and devices to sustain loss-bearing. 46 Predictably, the co- 
lonial Guatemalan response to disaster was "Latin" in Roth's 
scheme rather than "Western" or "Eastern." 46 Colonial Guate- 
mala was probably a "Type II" society in Russell Dynes' analytic 
model. 47 

4 * Harold Foster, "Assessing Disaster Magnitude: A Social Science Approach," The 
Professional Geographer (August, 1976), 28 (3): 241-247. 

43 Barry A. Turner, "The Development of Disasters — a seqence model for the analy- 
sis of the origins of disasters," Sociological Review (1976), 24: 753-774. 

44 John Whittow, Disasters: The Anatomy of Environmental Hazards (Athens, Geor- 
gia, 1979), especially pp. 300-309. 

48 Keith Smith and Graham Tobin, Human Adjustment to the Flood Hazard 
(London, 1979). See also: Harold Cochrane, Natural Hazards and Their Distributive Ef- 
fects (University of Colorado Institute of Behavioral Science, 1975). 

46 Robert Roth, "Cross Cultural Perspectives on Disaster Response," American Be- 
havioral Scientist (January- February, 1970), 13(3): 440-451. 

47 Russell R. Dynes, "The Comparative Study of Disaster: A Social Organizational 
Approach," Mass Emergencies (1975), 1: 21-31. 


Table I 


Year Description: Extent in Time and Space 


1563 No rain in vicinity of Antigua between March 
and mid-August, except for June 30 (not certain 
if correction made for 1582 calendar change) 

1623 Drought in Jocotan parish (Chiquimala) 

1660 "Gran seca" evident by mid-August around 

1669 Antigua records reveal much sickness due to a 
lack of rainfall, causing dry maize fields, 
especially at the start of Guatemalan winter 

1677 "Gran seca"; extreme dryness 

1686 Extremely dry and extended canicula 

1691 Alarming lack of rain in Antigua and in areas 
which supplied the capital 

1694 "la falta de invierno" in the Valley of Guatemala 

720 Chiquimula province reported "grandisima 
esterilidad de frutos por la ninguna lluvia" 

1721 Various towns in Guatemala 

1734 ". . .drought. . .struck throughout Central 
America. . . ." 

Cronica, I, 154 

from Dr. Lawrence 

Libros de Cabildos, 
17, folio 271 vuelto 

Lutz, "Santiago de 
Guatemala," II, 


Lutz, "Santiago de 
Guatemala," II, 
226 Vasquez, 
Cronica, IV, 252 

Vasquez, Cronica, 
IV, 252 

Libros de Cabildos, 
22, folio 152 vuelto 

exoneraciones, A 
3.16 expediente 
40723 legajo 2811 

exoneraciones, A 
3.16 expediente 
40860 legajo 2817; 


Government and 
Society, p. 93 


1736 No rain in Antigua area at least between July 12 
and mid-August; crop lost due to drought near 

Ibid.; Libros de 
Cabildos, 31, folios 
50-54; Tributos: 
exoneraciones, A 
3.16 expediente 
17575 legajo 942 
folio 35 


". . .drought. 
America. . . 

.struck throughout Central 

Government and 
Society, p. 93 

1746 Low rainfall in Antigua area; "ausencia del 
invierno" in Chiquimula; reports of drought in 
Chiquimula de la Sierra, Santa Elena, San 
Esteban, and San Joseph 

Libros de Cabildos, 
32, folios 130-141; 
exoneraciones, A 
3.16 expediente 
42269 legajo 2887; 

1748 Drought in Jocotan parish (Chiquimula) 


1752 Drought in Antigua area 

pp. 207-208 

1765 Chiquimula de la Sierra (Drought followed 

Legajo 543 Archivo 
de Sevilla 

1803 Culmination of rainfall noticeably below Feldman 

expectations for five years in three places correspondence; 

(Jocotan, San Juan Hermita, and Camotan) in Tributos: 
Chiquimula; rain late in coming in Totonicapan in exoneraciones, A 
1804 3.16 expediente 

4881 legajo 244; 
Gaceta de 
(October 1, 1804), 
p. 455 (reads 355) 

1810 Culmination of three years of inadequate rainfall 
in Jalapa 

Abastos A. 1.2.11 
expediente 30881 
legajo 4015 


1822 "Escasez de las lluvias" in Verapaz, Chiquimula, Ayuntamiento: 
and towns which supplied Guatemala city with Abastos 
food B 5.7 

1816 legajo 
66 folios 6, 7, and 
8; Wortman 
Government and 
Society, p. 245 


Table II 


Table IIA 



Brief Description 

1566 Pensativa floods Antigua 

1632 Flood swept away houses and crops in Mixco 

1685 Major flood in Antigua 

1688 Comparable to 1566 

1691 Major flood in Antigua 

1749 Flooding in Chiquimula de la Sierra, Camotan, 
and Jocotan 

1756 Heavy rains throughout "kingdom" all season 

1789 Rains produce a new lake in Quezaltenango 


Historia Natural, 
p. 163 

Gage, New Survey, 
p. 292 

Efemerides, p. 100 

Historia Natural, 
p. 163 

Efemerides, p. 1 1 


Archivo General A 
1.22 legajo 1508 
folio 313 

Archivo General A 
1.21.9 expediente 
8105 legajo 389 


Table IIB 








recio temporal 


Conpendio, I, 
p. 164 


2 & 4 June 

huracan (2) & 
gran tempestad 

and Zacapa 

Cortes y 





I, 276-7 


6-9 June & 
30 July 

intenso temporal 


Actas de 
Cabildo, libro 
49, folios 81 
and 84 


27-28 May 



8105 legajo 


2-3 July 

14 hour wind and 
rain storm 


4981 legajo 


Table IIC 







8-10 (i.e. 

rains, mudslides, 

slopes of Mt. 


19-21) Sept. 



"Santiago de 
II, 64-65 & 

Gutierrez and 



lluvia espesa; gran 


Anales de los 



Antigua and 


(29 Sept.) 

L. Atitlan 

p. 188 


5 October 

huracan con 
abundancia de 


A 1.24 
10203 legajo 


7-12 Oct. 



Jose Milla 



His tor ia, II, 

abundancia de 




late Sept./ 


slopes of Mt. 


early Oct. 




late season 

6 day storm 



"Santiago de 
II, 591 note 



21-22 Sept. 

recio temporal and 

Antigua & 

Actas de 

pensativa flood; 


Cabildo; libro 



33, folio 95 A 
1.24 legajo 




7-11 Oct. 

temporal and 


Actas de 

22 Oct. 

flood; temporal 
and Motagua flood 


Cabildo, libro 
38, folios 87- 
91 A 1.21.3 
legajo 2141 

10-11 Oct. 

Petapa flood 


Cortes y 
moral, I 47-8 
& 96 


24 Oct. 

intenso temporal 

Antigua and 

Actas de 
Cabildo libro 
41; Cortes y 
Descripcibn, I 


29 Sept. 



A 1.21.4 
3417 legajo 


Table III 


Cacao (granos) 


































































































































Reproduced with the compiler's permission, from Lawrence H. Feldman, "Un 
reconocimiente de los recursos de Centroamerica en manuscritos chorti" in 
Claude Francois Baudez (ed.), Introduction a la arqueologia de Copan, Hondu- 
ras (Tequcicalpa, 1983), p. 158 






Edited by 

Karl T. Steinen 



Edited ■*&&* /& *&} 
rl T. Steinert?^>/-V/ % 

Contributions by 

Elizabeth Reitz, Elisabeth S. Sheldon, 

Theresa A. Singleton and Karl T. Steinen 

Carrollton, Georgia 


Aerial Photograph of Colonel's Island Showing the Location 
of Tested Archaeological Sites. 




Volume XXVI 1987 




Karl T. Steinen 
Volume Editor 


Foreword Robert H. Claxton vii 

Preface Karl T. Steinen \ 

Colonel's Island: Research Design, Hypotheses 

and Field Methods Karl T. Steinen 3 

The Reconstruction of the Colonel's 

Island Environment Elisabeth S. Sheldon 1 

The Prehistoric Excavations of Colonel's 

Island Karl T. Steinen 13 

The History and Historical Archaeology of 

Colonel's Island Theresa A. Singleton 29 

Report on the Faunal Materials Recovered 

from Colonel's Island Elizabeth Reitz 63 

The Cultural Occupation of Colonel's Island, 
Georgia: Summary and Conclusions . . Karl T. Steinen 81 


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West Georgia College is the headquarters of the State 
Archaeologist of Georgia. Dr. Lewis H. Larson, Professor of 
Anthropology, has served as State Archaeologist since 1972. 
Under Dr. Larson's leadership, West Georgia College per- 
sonnel have conducted numerous archaeological studies over 
the years. 

Studies in the Social Sciences devoted a volume to ar- 
chaeology in 1980 when anthropologist Daniel P. Juengst ed- 
ited Sapelo Papers, a collection of reports prepared by sev- 
eral West Georgia researchers. With this 1987 issue, we 
move away from the archaeology of a barrier island to that 
of a marsh island, near the Georgia coast, in Glynn County. 

Archaeologists, like Karl Steinen, who directed the 
Colonel's Island study, are "detectives" of sorts. They at- 
tempt to explain how past cultures functioned in light of 
"clues" those cultures left behind. The "clues" on Colonel's 
Island represent an historical microcosm of coastal peoples: 
native Americans, slaves, freedmen trying to build a new life 
for themselves, and subsequent industrial entrepreneurs. Per- 
haps the most interesting aspect of the Colonel's Island pro- 
ject is its contribution to understanding post-Emancipation 
black life. 

Robert Claxton 
Series Editor 



The field excavations and analysis which formed the basis for 
this report were generously supported by a contract from the 
Georgia Ports Authority and were conducted during the summer 
of 1978. The excavations were performed as part of a program to 
manage the cultural resources of this small island and to meet 
federal environmental requirements. Mr. Wesley Allen, Director 
of Engineering, Planning, and Maintenance, served as liaison be- 
tween the Georgia Ports Authority and the research party during 
the course of the project. 

Dr. Craig T. Sheldon, currently of Auburn University at 
Montgomery served as co-Principal Investigator during the field 
season. Mr. Sheldon helped to formulate the overall research de- 
sign, and directed the excavation of the historic sites on the island. 
Mr. Sheldon also served as a consultant during the analysis phase 
of the project and report preparation. 

Mr. George W. Shannon, then a graduate student at Florida 
Atlantic University, served as Assistant Director for the prehisto- 
ric excavations. Mr. Shannon's knowledge of excavation tech- 
niques and surveying contributed immensely to the productivity of 
the project. 

Dr. Theresa A. Singleton, then a graduate student at the 
University of Florida, served as Assistant Director of the historic 
excavations. In addition, Ms. Singleton was responsible for the 
analysis of the historic materials and preparation of that section of 
the report that deals with the historic occupation of the island. 

Dr. Elizabeth Reitz, then a graduate student at the Univer- 
sity of Florida, was responsible for the analysis of the faunal ma- 
terial and interpretation of the results. Dr. Elizabeth Wing of the 
Florida State Museum had overall responsibility for the 
zooarchaeological analysis. 

Dr. Elisabeth S. Sheldon, then of Georgia State University, 
served as the botanist for the project. Ms. Sheldon analyzed the 
recovered botanical materials which served as the base data for 
the environmental reconstruction. 

Mr. Stanley Solamillo served as draftsman for this project 
and was responsible for the preparation of all line drawings. Mr. 
Steven Westmoreland served as laboratory photographer. 


West Georgia College, Studies in the Social Sciences 26 (1987) 

Nancy Sears-Steinen typed the original Colonel's Island re- 
port in 1978. Gena Herring and Jennifer Gill typed the manu- 
script for this publication. All three performed extremely well and 
beyond their normal duties and are thanked for their efforts. Spe- 
cial thanks are given to Adam Selene who provided guidance and 
inspiration throughout this project. 

Some of the results of these excavations have been reported 
in various journals by Steinen, Reitz and Singleton. This mono- 
graph is a shortened version of a full report submitted to the 
Georgia Ports Authority in 1978 and has received no substantial 
revisions. We felt that the ideas presented in 1978 are valid today 
and should be presented in their original form. Reitz whishes to 
note that the formulas in her paper are now obsolete and should 
not be used by other researchers. 

Karl T. Steinen 

Associate Professor of Anthropology 

West Georgia College 


Karl T. Steinen** 

The first intensive evaluations of the aboriginal sites disclosed 
that the content and nature of the sites were not as originally ex- 
pected. These sites were not productive in terms of amounts of 
technological items or floral and faunal materials. This lack of 
data and the discovery that the aerial extent of the sites was much 
greater than originally estimated forced a major revision in the 
research design. 

The first excavations of the historic Parland Plantation site 
revealed that 1880's industrial development of the northern por- 
tions of the island had caused an extensive amount of damage to 
this area. This caused the re-evaluation of the research design and 
a shift in emphasis from the earlier stated goals to one of discover- 
ing the extent of the disturbance as well as recovering data perti- 
nent to the problem of man-land relationships. 

Original Research Design 

Problem: The problem to be investigated on Colonel's Island was 
concerned with the nature of the adaptive patterns of the inhabi- 
tants in both historic and prehistoric times. Instead of dealing 
with prehistoric and historic populations separately, we intended 
to treat the inhabitants of the island as one developing line with 
variable environments and technologies. 

Hypotheses: The research hypotheses and test implications were 
divided into two groups reflecting the basic divisions between the 
historic and prehistoric sites. 

Prehistoric: Hypotheses: 

(1) The nature of the aboriginal occupation of Colonel's Is- 
land will vary directly with changes in the environment and avail- 
able food sources. 

(2) The cultural development, reflected in ceramic assem- 

** Direct correspondence to: Martha Munro Hall, West Georgia College, Carrollton, 
Georgia 30118. 

West Georgia College, Studies in the Social Sciences 26 (1987) 

blages, will be similar to that known for the adjacent barrier 

(3) The nature of the sites and adaptation will be similar to 
that of the adjacent barrier islands. 

Historic: Hypotheses: 

(1) The social structure of the Parland Plantation was 

(2) The social stratification of the Parland Plantation con- 
sisted of three definable social classes. 

a. Planter/Overseer 

b. House Slaves 

c. Field Slaves 

Test implications developed for the hypotheses were based on 
expected recovery of specific types of data. These data range from 
ceramics to zooarchaeological and ethnobotanical materials and 
represent the standard forms of information employed in archaeo- 
logical interpretations. Due to restrictions in available labor, some 
of the more detailed form of data recovery were not employed. 
Such informative but laborious methods as flotation and random 
sampling were not used. Forms of judgmental samplingwere used 
in areas felt to be most productive of data needed to test the re- 
search hypotheses. While it is recognized that this may not neces- 
sarily produce data that is representative of the sites, it was felt to 
be the most economical and only practical approach to use at the 

Test implications for the prehistoric sites included: 

(1) Permanent year-round habitation shown by the presence 
of subterranean storage facilities, post mold patterns, tools, abun- 
dant faunal remains, and extensive deposits of midden; 

(2) The cultural development of the island is reflected in the 
presence of the known ceramic continuum for the Georgia Coast; 

(3) Faunal, floral and artifactual remains will be similar to 
those recovered from the barrier islands. This would indicate simi- 
lar occupational patterns. 

Test implications for the historic sites included: 
(1) Differential distribution of artifact types (i.e. ceramics, 
agricultural implements) and observable clusters will reflect the 
differential status within the plantation system. These clusters 

would be: 

a. Planter/Overseer having the newer, better 

b. The house slaves, being the favored segment of 
the slave society, and being closest to the Planter/Over- 
seer physically, will receive the first "generation" of cast- 
off goods; (These would be the better and more complete 
of the used material culture.) 

c. Field slaves, being spatially separate from the 
Planter/Overseer segment, consequently possessing poor, 
less complete items as well as having implements adapted 
to their roles as agricultural workers. 

(2) Differential distribution of subsistence goods would reflect 
stratification within the plantation culture. 

Data Recovery Techniques 

Data recovery techniques were determined by Sheldon in his 
original assessment of the island. Techniques outlined ranged 
from facing the banks of coastal sites to the use of stratified sam- 
pling techniques. Their intent was to recover data pertinent to the 
development of a model of occupation of the island. The recovery 
of data concerning environment, diet, cultural affiliation, chronol- 
ogy and adaptation were considered important to the proper un- 
derstanding of the island's prehistory and history. The exact data 
recovery techniques and placement of test units were to be deter- 
mined after preliminary inspection of sites. 


Cook, Fred C. 

1977 The Lower Georgia Coast as a Cultural Sub-Region. Early Georgia 5 (1&2): 
Cowgill, George 

1975 A Selection of Samples: Comments of Archaeo-Statistics. in James w. Mueller, 
ed. Sampling in Archaeology. University of Arizona Press, Tucson 
DePratter, Chester B. 

1977 Environmental Changes on the Georgia Coast During the Prehistoric Period. 
Early Georgia 5 (1&2): 1-14 
Fairbanks, Charles H. 

1942 The Taxonomic Position of Stallings Island, Georgia. American Antiquity 7 
(3): 223-231 

Ford, James A. 

1966 Early Formative Cultures in Georgia and Florida American Antiquity 31 (6): 

1969 A Comparison of Formative Cultures in the Americas. Smithsonian Contribu- 
tions to Anthropology, Volume 11, Washington, D.C. 
Larson, Lewis H. Jr. 

1958 Cultural Relationships Between the Northern St. John's Area and the Georgia 
Coast. Florida Anthropologist XI (1): 11-21 
Martinez, Carlos 

1975 Cultural Sequence on the Central Georgia Coast 1000 BC-1650 AD. M.A. 
Thesis, University of Florida 
Milanich, Jerald T. 

1973 The Southeastern Deptford Culture: A Preliminary Definition. Bureau of His- 
toric Sites and Properties Bulletin No. 3. Tallahassee 
Mueller, James W. ed. 

1975 Sampling in Archaeology. University of Arizona Press, Tucson 
Sears, William. H. 

1961 The Study of Social and Religious Systems in North American Archaeology. 
Current Anthropology 2 (3): 223-246 


Elisabeth Shepard Sheldon** 

Geology, Climate, Soils 

Colonel's Island lies approximately 15 miles southwest of 
Brunswick, Georgia, within the part of that state classified as the 
Coastal Plain. The northern edge of this geophysical province is 
marked by the Fall Line Hills, an old shoreline formed by the 
greatest sea advance during the Late Mesozoic. It is overlain by 
many sedimentary strata, including the Pliocene age Lafayette 
and Pleistocene Columbia formations (Cameron 1976). 

Landforms along Georgia's coast are the results of barrier is- 
land formation during the Pleistocene when sea levels were higher. 
The oldest series of islands (the Wicomico shoreline) formed when 
sea level was nearly 100 feet higher than at present. After that 
there were six other periods of ice formation and melting and se- 
quences of barrier islands developed at lower altitudes (Johnson et 
al. 1974). Colonel's Island is a remnant of one formed by the 
Princess Anne shoreline (elevation 15 feet). 

Soils on the coastal islands from Charleston, South Carolina 
to Miami, Florida are of two types: 1. fine, white quartz sands and 
2. dark mineral sands (Cameron 1976). Moist salt and pepper 
sands formed of heavy mineral content, are characteristic of the 
well-drained higher areas and windward waterfront on Colonel's 
Island. Black sands are found, however, in the muddy bottoms of 
low, wet depressions, on leeward banks, and compose the black, 
mucky soils of the tidal flats. 

The climate of Glynn County may be classed as relatively 
moderate, with hot summers, cold winters, and high humidity year 


Pollen profiles from Lowndes County, Georgia (Watts 1971) 
indicate that the vegetation on the Coastal Plain of Georgia began 

** Direct correspondence to: Site, Inc., P.O. Box 3563, Montogomery, Alabama 

West Georgia College, Studies in the Social Sciences 26 (1987) 

to assume its present appearance by 3000 BC, with the pine-domi- 
nated associations of today's forest replacing a dry, oak wood- 
land-prairie mosaic (8500-5000 BP). This major vegetational re- 
placement was apparently caused by rising sea levels which raised 
the water table 12 meters, creating lakes and flooding previously 
dry areas. In coastal counties, therefore, the Pine Barrens have 
been displaced by angiospermous evergreen forest, bayhead as- 
sociations, cypress swamps, and salt marsh. 

Little is known about southeastern United States Coastal 
plain maritime forests, or about successional processes in island 
forests. Except for compilation of yet unpublished species lists, I 
am aware of only one study (Cameron 1976) of forest vegetation 
and useful plants on Georgia islands. 

Three distinct vegetational associations were observed during 
three weeks of field work in 1976 and 1977 on Colonel's Island: 
live oak forest, pine woods, and salt marsh. These are clearly de- 
fined and usually lack ecotones where adjacent. 

Live Oak Forest 

This maritime forest is characteristic of sandy beaches from 
southeast Virginia to Florida, to Texas. Its conspicuous features 
are sclerophyllous evergreen angiosperms among which Quercus 
virginiana (live oak) dominates, with vines, epiphytes and little 
herbaceous growth. Because of its tolerance to salt spray, zeric 
conditions and infertile soils, the live oak is commonly the first 
forest species to develop on sand dunes. Once established, it is 
quite stable and resists change because of the long life span of the 
tree, its ability to sprout, and its adaptation to the site (Johnson et 
al. 1974). 

Live oaks form dense canopies over most of Colonel's Island 
above the 10 foot contour. Shade and cooler temperatures under 
the canopy restrict herbaceous growth, but small trees and shrubs 
can be common. Small stands of Carya glabra (pignut hickory) 
occur within this association at the Long Midden and Little Sa- 
tilla sites. Their origin is not known, but it may be the result of 
secondary succession. 

Serenoa repens (saw palmetto) occurs in the understory, par- 
ticularly at the southwest end of the island where the canopy is 
less dense. Magnolia virginiana (sweet bay), Prunus serotina 
(black cherry), Morus rubra (mulberry) and Castanea pumila 


(chiquapin) were seen only once. Nyssa biflora (tupelo), Ilex 
glabra (gall berry), /. Opaca (American holly), /. vomitoria 
(Yaupon, cassine), and Juniperus silicicoa (red cedar) appear 
regularly, as do Vaccinium corymbosum and V. myrsinites (blue- 
berries). Myrica cerifera (was myrtle) is common. Vine species 
are numerous and abundant. Most are of the low climbing type, 
including Ampelopsis arborea (pepper vine) Parthenocissus Quin- 
quefolia (Virginia creeper), S mi lax bona-nox (greenbrier), 
Berchemia scandens, as well as Vitis vulpina (frost grape). Vitis 
rotunifolia (muscadine) is the only high climber. Clitoria mari- 
ana (butterfly pea) and Galactia elliottii (milkpea) are spread 
over the litter, but patches of bare ground are common. However, 
in sunny spots Lepidium virginicum (poor man's pepper), Opuntia 
compressa (prickly pear), Verbascum Thapsus (mullein) Cnidos- 
colus stimulosus (stinging nettle), Pyrropapphus carolinianus 
(false dandelionl), Salvia coccinea (sage), Commelina erecta (day 
flower) and Ruellia caroliensis may be encountered. 

Pine Forest 

Pine woods occur on well-drained sites (generally between 5- 
10 feet in elevation) where the live oaks have been cleared and 
secondary succession is taking place as on the mainland — from 
herbaceous pioneers to pine forest to mixed hardwood forest. On 
Colonel's Island, the dominant pine is P. elliottii (slash pine); 
south of U.S. Highway 17, the natural distribution of this forest 
type is obscured by the presence of a pine plantation over much of 
the island's interior. Absence of burning or grazing has permitted 
growth of a tangled, dense understory of Serenoa repens (saw pal- 
metto), Myrics cerifera (wax myrtle), Ilex glabra (gall berry), /. 
opace (American holly), /. vomitoria (yaupon, cassine), Vaccini- 
umcorymbosum and V. myrsinites (blueberries) and Befaria 
racemosa (tar flower). 

Dichromena colorata (star rush), Gratiola ramose (hedge- 
hysop), Pluchea camphorata (camphor weed), Pterocaulon 
pychostachym (black root) Rhexia alifanus (meadow beauty), 
and Xyris ambigue (yellow-eyed grass) are common along the 
roadside ditches. 

Salt Marsh 

Except where the South Brunswick River, Little Satilla 


River, Fancy Bluff Creek, and Jointer Creek border the land, 
Colonel's Island is surrounded by Spartina alterniflora (cord 
grass) marshes. These pure stands become mixed only on the 
banks where Distichlis spicata (saltgrass), Salicornia virginica 
(glasswort), Borrichia frutescens (sea ox-eye), Baccharis 
halimifolia (merkle), and Hydrocotyle bonariensis (water penny- 
wort) occur at the upper tidal limits. 


Although species which appear in the first one to ten years follow- 
ing a major habitat disturbance may not be representative of the 
primary climax forest, during later successional stages the vegeta- 
tion becomes more and more similar to that of the primary forest. 
Secondary climax forests are usually composed of the same 
species as the primary forest although the ratio of dominant spe- 
cies to one another may differ. Consequently, it is likely that to- 
day's vegetational associations closely resemble those of the forests 
which were present on Colonel's Island during prehistoric periods 
and probably persisted until British settlement in the late 18th. 



1951 Barcia 's Chronological History of the Continent of Florida Westport, Conn.: 
Greenwood Press 
Bennett, Charles E. 

1964 Laudonniere & Fort Caroline Gainesville: University of Florida Press 
Boyd, Mark F. et al. 

1951 Here They Once Stood Gainesville: University of Florida Press 
Cameron, Marguerita L. 

1976 Sapelo Island: An Ethnobotanical and Floristic Reconstruction. Unpublished 
M. A. Thesis, University of Alabama 
Cooney, Loraine M. 

1933 Garden History of Georgia 1733-1933 Atlanta: Peachtree Garden Club 
Davenport, Lawrence J. 

1976 Pleistocene Glaciation and Its Possible Effects Upon the Vegetation of the 
Southeastern United States. Term paper for Biology 441 (Advanced Archaeo- 
logical Botany) 

DePratter, Chester B. 

1977 Environmental Changes on the Georgia Coast During the Prehistoric Period. 
Presented at the October meeting of the Society for Georgia Archaeology, 
Douglas, Georgia. 

Duncan, Wilbur H. and L. E. Foote 

1975 Wildflowers of the Southeastern United States Athens: University of Georgia 


Harper, Francis, ed. 

1958 The Travels of William Bartram. Yale University Press 
Johnson, A. Sydney et al. 

1974 An Ecological Survey of the Coastal Region of Georgia. National Park Service 
Scientific Monograph 3. 
Johnson, Guion Griffis 

1930 A Social History of the Sea Islands. Chapel Hill: University of North Caro- 
lina Press 
Harris, Ben Charles 

1972 The Complete Herbal. Barre: Barre Publishers 
Hedrick, U. P., ed. 

1972 Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. New York: Dover Publications, Inc. 
Kuchler, A. W. 

1964 Potential Vegetation of the Coterminous United States. American Geographi- 
cal Society, Special Publication #36 
Lanning, John Tate 

1935 The Spanish Missions of Georgia. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina 
Leigh, Frances Butler 

1969 Ten Years on a Georgia Plantation Since the War. New York: Negro Universi- 
ties Press 
Leighton, Ann 

1976 American Gardens in the Eighteenth Century For Use or For Delight. Boston: 
Houghton Mifflin Co. 
Lowery, Woodbury 

1959 The Spanish Settlements. New York: Russell & Russell, Inc. 
MacNutt, Francis Augustus 

1912 De Orbe Novo: Eight Decades of Peter Martyr D'Anghera. New York: Burt 
Martin, Alexander C. and W. D. Barkley 

1961 Seed Identification Manual. Berkeley: University of California Press 
Medager, Oliver Perry 

1972 Edible Wild Plants. New York: Collier Books 
Morton, Julia F. 

1974 Folk Remedies of the Low Country. Miami: E. A. Seemann 
Radford, Albert E. et al. 

1968 Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill: University of 
North Carolina Press 
Ribaut, Jean 

1927 Discovery of Terra Florida. De Land: Florida State Historical Society 
Romans, Bernard 

1961 Natural History of East and West Florida [1775). New Orleans: Pelican Pub- 
lishing Co. 
Sauer, Carl Ortwin 

1971 Sixteenth Century North America. Berkeley: University of California Press 
Shipp, Barnard 

1881 The History of Hernando deSoto and Florida. Philadelphia: Collins Printer 
Watts, W. A. 

1975 Vegetation Record for the Last 20,000 Years from a Small Marsh on Lookout 
Mountain, Northwest Georgia. Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 86: 


Watts, W. A. 

1973 Postglacial and Interglacial Vegetation History of Southern Georgia and Cen- 
tral Florida. Ecology 52(4): 676-690 
Watts, W. A. 

1969 A Pollen Diagram from Mud Lake, Marion County, North-Central Florida. 
Geological Society of America Bulletin v. 80 (pt. 1): 631-642. 
Whitehead, Donald R. 

1967 Studies of Full-Glacial Vegetation and Climate in Southeastern United States. 
Quaternary Paleoecology, Yale University Press 
Whitehead, Donald R. 

1965 Palynology and Pleistocene Phytogeography of Unglaciated Eastern North 
America. Quaternary of the United States Princeton: University Press. 



Karl T. Steinen** 

Criteria for the selection of sites to be tested were developed 
after a thorough field inspection of the known prehistoric middens 
on the island. These included factors of geographical placement on 
the island, access, potential for data production, and observable 
variables such as vegetation and ground cover. Five sites were se- 
lected for testing. They represent a sample of sites from all geo- 
graphical areas of the island as well as coastal and inland 

Excavation techniques, described in the individual site re- 
ports, were designed to produce the maximum amount of informa- 
tion for the available time in the field. In some cases, this meant 
abandoning the traditional dimensions of excavation units and 
adopting rather unorthodox sizes. When the type of information 
desired required the exposure of a long profile, narrower trenches 
were usually excavated. A 3 x 20 foot trench will expose as much 
profile as one 5 x 20 feet, with a tremendous savings of time and 
energy. In turn, recovery techniques were designed to maximize 
the recovery of data for the allowed time. Informative but labor- 
intensive techniques such as flotation were not used. The careful 
inspection of all exposed surfaces, screening and spot checking of 
back dirt by water screening insured that few small items such as 
fish vertebrae were lost. Indeed, the normal recovery techniques 
that were used proved to be sensitive to the recovery of small 

WGC 918, Long Midden 

Long Midden is located on the western edge of Colonel's Is- 
land and borders on the marsh which separates the island from 
Fancy Bluff Creek. Sheldon (1976) originally identified two mid- 
dens in this general area. WGC 917, the Cove Site, was reported 
to be directly south of Long Midden. A careful inspection of the 

** Direct correspondence to: Martha Munro Hall, West Georgia College, Carrollton, 
Georgia 30118. 


West Georgia College, Studies in the Social Sciences 26 (1987) 

bank and island showed that there was one continuous deposit of 
shell, rather than two discrete units. Therefore, the two sites were 
combined for the purposes of excavation. 

Long Midden was chosen to be the control site for the devel- 
opment of field methods for the prehistoric excavations. It is typi- 
cal of the shore/marsh oriented sites on the island. The site proper 
is located within the pine-oak-palmetto zone of the island. 

The site is roughly kidney-shaped and extends along the 
shore line of the island where it protrudes into the marsh. Visual 
inspection of the site, coupled with random augering, disclosed 
that scattered shell deposits exist for perhaps 500 feet into the 
interior of the island. Dense ground cover prevented the exact de- 
termination of this aspect of the site. Surface deposits of midden 
shell extend only for 50 feet inland. The total length of the mid- 
den was approximately 1200 feet. Depth of the deposits was found 
to be approximately 6-7 inches. 

It was originally planned to excavate a series of 5 x 10 foot 
units along the central axis of the site to recover the required ma- 
terial. These formal units would be supplemented by data recov- 
ered from the selected use of the power auger. However, after the 
excavations were begun, it was found that the original set of five 
test units would be too time consuming. Therefore, the size and 
number of units were reduced and more reliance placed upon the 
use of the auger, and the detailed inspection of eroded surfaces 
and banks. 

A total of three units were excavated. All units were staked 
out and a three-inch margin was left along each wall. The first, a 
5 x 10 foot unit, arbitrarily designated 1000L1000, was placed on 
the inland side of the midden toward the center of the site and 
was excavated in six-inch arbitrary units to a depth of 12 inches. 
At 6 inches there was a definite break between shell midden and 
the sub-midden layer. The excavations were continued to 12 in- 
ches to determine the nature of the sub-midden deposit. At 12 
inches, an exploratory shovel hole was dug in the northwest corner 
of the square to a depth of 44 inches below ground level to deter- 
mine if any midden deposits or cultural materials could be dis- 
cerned. The results were negative. The second unit, designated 
1000L1010 was a 5 x 5 foot extension of 1000L1000. It was 
placed to elicit stratigraphic, artifactual and ecofactual informa- 
tion from the front part of the midden. The shell midden was re- 
moved as a single six inch layer. The sub-midden was also exca- 


vated to a depth of 12 inches. The third unit, designated 
1103L 1054.4 was 103 feet north and 54.4 feet west of the first 
unit. Also 5x5 feet in size, it was excavated in 6 inch layers. 

The three test units were placed to determine aspects of the 
midden. Inspections of the non-shell areas did not indicate the 
presence of cultural materials to any extent. Augering and ran- 
dom grubbing did not disclose any cultural materials off of the 
shell deposit. It was decided to concentrate all further excavations 
on the shell areas as they proved to be the most productive in 
terms of the data needed to test the stated hypotheses. In all 
cases, shell was saved and weighed. This was done to determine 
possible differential utilization of various parts of the site and al- 
low a comparison of one site and area to another. This gross use of 
shell analysis can provide a supplement to the zooarchaeological 
analysis of recovered faunal material. No attempt was made to 
actually type or measure the shell due to the limitation of man- 
power. An attempt was made to monitor the nature of the recov- 
ered shell which was, with few exceptions, was the common oyster 
so often encountered on archaeological sites. 

Few artifacts were recovered and no culturally related fea- 
tures were observed. In addition, the flora and faunal remains 
were very low. This lack of the type of data needed to test the 
original hypotheses forced the modification of the overall research 
design at this point. The shift in design was made from developing 
a model of environmental exploitation to compare to the barrier 
islands to explaining the differences between the observed patterns 
of Colonel's Island to the barrier islands. 

WGC 907 Little Satilla 

The Little Satilla site was described by Sheldon as follows: 

The site. . .takes up most of the extreme southwest point 
of Colonel's Island. An extensive oyster midden, eroding 
into the Little Satilla River in places, it also extends in- 
land in places about 50 meters. In addition to the collec- 
tion made, busycon shells, both worked and unaltered 
were seen. The site today is in desirable oak-hickory- 
sweet bay hammock with extensive palmetto understory. 
The caretaker of Colonel's Island, a long-time local resi- 
dent, stated that 'a long time ago' there were houses on 
the southern end of the island, but no traces of these 


were seen. The midden is intermittent in places, never ex- 
ceeding 30 cm. in depth. (Sheldon 1976:44). 

Sheldon (1976:6) classifies Little Satilla as a midden field. 

These are sites with a shore location, but also extending 
to considerable distances inland. They are characterized 
by the presence of numerous small distinct mounds of 
oyster shells. The individual middens range from three to 
eight meters in diameter from 10 to 50 cms. high. They 
are separated by five to twenty meters of level surface 
with low shell density. 

Little Satilla and the adjacent WGC 923 (South End) 
presented a unique problem for the prehistoric investigations on 
the island. Beyond the originally stated goals of the research de- 
sign, it was determined that there was a need to define the nature 
of the site. This midden field represented an aberrant situation on 
the island and needed to be explained. A series of methods were 
developed to supply the desired information. These consisted of: 1) 
development of a detailed topographic map of the site, 2) location 
of each midden rise, 3) controlled augering of the site to deter- 
mine and record the stratigraphy of the site, 4) detailed examina- 
tion of eroded banks to determine the stratigraphy, and 5) excava- 
tion of at least one controlled test unit in an undisturbed area of 
the site. 

The thick understory of the site prevented the making of a 
complete topographic map of the site in the available time. In- 
stead, only one quarter of the site was mapped. This map detailed 
the distribution, size and form of the midden rises. Further, the 
surface inspection of the interior portions of the site revealed that 
sites WGC 907 and 923 were continuous and not discrete. 

In excess of 40 auger holes were sunk to determine the nature 
of the sub-surface deposits of the site. A series of 1 5 holes were 
sunk into two separate midden rises to test their content. The re- 
sults of these augerings were extremely varied. The holes revealed 
that there was no uniformity to the midden deposit. Indeed, in one 
case where three holes were sunk in an area smaller than 1 square 
yard, three completely different profiles were recorded. The two 
midden rises that were augered also displayed different strata. 

A visual inspection of the site coupled with the completed 
topographic map gave the distinct impression that the site had 


been dug over in an unsystematic manner. The distribution of the 
midden rises, adjacent depressions, uneven surfaces, and unsys- 
tematic dispersal of the rises is reminiscent of several sites I have 
seen that have been destroyed by collectors. 

The extreme southern end of the site was found to be undis- 
turbed and was visually similar to other sites on the island. Here, 
an eroded bank was faced and recorded. In addition, a single 5x5 
foot unit, designated "Square A" was excavated in 6 inch levels. 
The eroded bank area was closely inspected at low tide, and sev- 
eral sherds were recovered. 

Square A was located adjacent to the bank near the Little 
Satilla River in an undisturbed area. The first 6 inches consisted 
of a shell/soil matrix which contained no artifacts. The 6-12 inch 
level had shell for the first inch and was sterile sand after that. 
The square was excavated to 17 inches without recovering any 
cultural material. No faunal materials were recovered, and only a 
few indeterminate seeds were found. 

The 12 sherds that were recovered represent an extremely 
meager inventory for such a large site. Of the materials recovered, 
8 sherds were recovered from the surface or along the shore edge 
at low tide. Three were undecorated sand and grit tempered 
sherds, two were Savannah Fine Cord Marked, one was an 
unidentifiable punctated, one an historic White Ware, and one is 
what appears to be an eroded Filfot Cross. The auger tests pro- 
duced four sherds. Two were Savannah Fine Cord Marked and 
two were plain, sand and grit tempered sherds. No other artifacts 
were recovered or observed. 

The recovered material, as well as the materials recovered 
during the original survey by Kohler in 1975 (these materials are 
no longer available for study) indicate that the site was occupied 
and utilized during the late prehistoric and protohistoric periods. 
The scarcity of cultural materials, especially faunal remains, sug- 
gest that the site was not a permanent habitation area, but was 
probably used intermittently over a period of time. The strati- 
graphic evidence recovered through the controlled augering sug- 
gests that the midden rises are the results of post-aboriginal 

WGC 906/926 Empty Bottle 

Located on the eastern shore of Colonel's Island, this site is a 


combination of sites WGC 906 (Rich) and 925 (Hidden Midden). 
The situation encountered by Empty Bottle was much the same as 
the situations with Little Satilla and Long Midden. A thorough 
surface inspection showed that the two sites were continuous. In 
keeping with the new status of the two sites, it was renamed 
Empty Bottle. 

The site description fits a combination of both 906 and 926. 
Described by Kohler as being 40 meters long, 20 centimeters deep 
and narrow, the site is in fact over 100 yards long. The width of 
the site is in excess of 100 yards, with the major concentration of 
materials being close to the shore. The inland materials are dis- 
continuous and very thin. 

Surface inspections of the area supported Kohler's conclu- 
sions about the productivity of the site. Ceramics were seen erod- 
ing along the marsh/creek bank in greater quantities than at any 
other prehistoric site on the island. In addition, at least one mid- 
den rise was encountered in an inland area that had a heavy pal- 
metto cover. 

Test units, designated squares "B", "C", and "D" were 
placed to determine aspects of vertical and horizontal stratigraphy 
as well as recover the needed floral and faunal material. Square B 
was situated on the extreme southern end of the site in the vicinity 
of what was termed the Rich site. Square C was placed on the 
northern end of the site approximately 50 feet from the marsh 
edge and 20 feet from the edge of an abandoned agricultural ca- 
nal. Square D was situated between these twwo and was designed 
to determine the nature of the observed midden rise. 

Square B had stratigraphy similar to that of the Long Mid- 
den site and Little Satilla. The identifiable midden was composed 
of oyster shell and dark brown sand. One important difference 
that was exhibited by the square was that the cultural materials 
were encountered to a much greater depth. Of note is an intrusive 
piece of glass encountered in the 12-18 inch level. This indicates 
that there was a greater amount of disturbance than was observa- 
ble at the other site. 

Square C was excavated on the northern end of the site in 
proximity to an abandoned Plantation Period agricultural ditch. 
The shell deposit was very thin in this area, with a parallel differ- 
ence in the nature and composition of the sand. Materials were 
represented in the first 12 inches of the unit, and the remainder 
was sterile. Cultural materials were primarily sand and grit tem- 


pered plain with one curvilinear complicated stamped sherd which 
can be classified as Swift Creek II. 

Square D, a 3 x 10 foot trench, was excavated from the iden- 
tifiable midden rise toward the shore to identify the nature of this 
rise. The unit was excavated and recorded in two sections. The 
west end corresponded to the midden rise, while the east end was 
on the level area of the midden. 

The recorded profiles show that the midden rise was the re- 
sult of cultural activity and was not accidental. The increased 
thickness of the shell midden in the west end of the test unit was 
probably the result of a more intensive utilization of this specific 
point of the site. Recovered materials were primarily plain sand 
and grit tempered shreds. One instance of a smoothed over simple 
stamp was recovered from the first 6 inches of the east end of the 
unit. Surface materials accounted for 1 1 undecorated sand and 
grit tempered sherds and a single highly eroded complicated 
stamped sherd. 

In summary, this site does not appear to be radically different 
from either Little Satilla or Long Midden. However, the increased 
frequency of occurrence of ceramics indicates a greater intensity 
of use. The materials suggest that the site was utilized from early 
through late Deptford times. 

WGC 905 Jointer Creek 

Located approximately 1,100 feet north of WGC 906/926, 
this site is situated on a high bluff overlooking Jointer Creek. It is 
a series of five oyster middens which were numbered 1 through 5 
from north to south. Kohler (Sheldon 1976:40) mentions noticing 
tabby bricks and mortar in the northern end of the site. My in- 
spection of the site disclosed that these bricks were historic struc- 
tures represented by fallen chimneys, 50 to 75 yards inland from 
the creek bank. These structures, however, were not part of the 
shell midden. Probing, grubbing and surface inspection disclosed 
that this site was similar in size and extent to the other sites that 
had been excavated. Maximum observed depth was approximately 
6 inches. Inland deposits were thin and scattered. Surface indica- 
tions of materials were limited to three undecorated aboriginal 
sherds and a broken modern bottle. 

Two units were excavated on the site. Square E, a 5 x 5 foot 
unit, was excavated in Midden #2 in the northern area of the site. 


Square F, a 5 x 5 foot unit was excavated in Midden #4. In addi- 
tion, a 4.5 x 1 foot extension was made from the northern edge of 
Square E toward a Historic Period ditch. 

Square E was excavated to a depth of 20 inches. The amount 
of materials recovered was relatively large. In the first 6 inches, 6 
sherds were recovered. From 6-12 inches a total of 46 sherds, one 
piece of tabby, and a conch columella were recovered. The 12-18 
inch level contained 14 sherds. Of interest are two complicated 
stamped sherds which were too small to type, but the lands and 
grooves were very wide and reminiscent of the later stages in the 
development of the complicated stamped tradition in the 

A 4.5 x 1 foot, 18 inch deep extension of the northeastern 
corner of this trench was excavated to' determine the slope of the 
midden toward the bank of the agricultural canal. The first 6 in- 
ches of this extension did not reveal any cultural materials. The 6- 
12 inch level, however, contained 6 grit and sand tempered plain 
sherds and a single stemmed projectile point. 

Square F, excavated in the standard 6 inch levels, contained 
no cultural materials. The first two or three inches of the unit did 
not contain any shell. At 3 inches a concentration of shell which 
contained no cultural material was encountered and was labelled 
Feature 5. The unit was excavated to a depth of 18 inches and 

The proximity of this site to the historic structures and the 
extremely mixed nature of the midden, particularly the middle 
layers of Square E, indicate that this site has been highly dis- 
turbed. The aboriginal materials indicate an occupation or utiliza- 
tion intermittently from the first known occupation of the Georgia 
Coast up to and including the Historic Period. Until further evi- 
dence can be gathered, I would suggest that this site was dis- 
turbed by the people who lived in the nearby cabins. 

WGC 913 Inlet Site 

Located on the southwestern shore of Colonel's Island in 
proximity to Sam Creek, this site consists of a scattered shell mid- 
den in an old agricultural field. Sheldon (1976:56) describes the 
site as being 2400 square meters in extent with a maximum thick- 
ness of fifty centimeters. Surface collections consisted of three 
sand and grit tempered plain sherds. No other materials were ob- 
served or collected. 


Three 5x5 foot test units were excavated at this site. Square 
G was situated approximately 30 feet from the western bank of 
the site and on the highest elevation of the site. Recovered materi- 
als included extensive amounts of tabby mortar intermixed with 
aboriginal ceramics in the first 6 inches. The 6-12 inch layer con- 
tained more tabby and aboriginal materials. Here, there were two 
sherds of Deptford Simple and Cross Simple Stamped. From the 
12-18 inch level, two small sand tempered plain sherds were 

Square H was situated inland from the marsh and was placed 
to determine the nature of a site near the shore. The first 6 inches 
of the unit contained 18 plain sherds and no historic artifacts. The 
second 6 inches of the unit contained 6 sherds, one of which was 
Deptford Cross Simple Stamped. 

At approximately 15 inches, there appeared what was first 
thought to be bone in a poor state of preservation. This area was 
designated a feature and excavated as such. Careful excavations 
revealed that the deposit was roots in a state of decay. During the 
excavation of this feature, a 2-foot extension of this unit was exca- 
vated to the west that was found to contain 1 1 sand tempered 
plain sherds. 

Square I, a 3 x 5 foot unit, was excavated to determine the 
nature of a shallow trench that was discernible on the surface of 
the site. It was hypothesized that this trench was a remnant of the 
Plantation Period utilization of the island. The unit was placed to 
intersect the trench and provide the necessary stratigraphic infor- 
mation to determine use. 

Square I had very few artifacts in it. The first 6 inches pro- 
duced three sand tempered plain sherds and a single fragment of a 
green glass bottle from the eastern wall. The 6-12 inch level pro- 
duced three small, unmarked sand tempered sherds, and the 12-18 
inch level produced one sand and fiber tempered sherd. 

A small extension of the unit was excavated to the east in the 
area of the historic bottle fragment. Designated Feature 6, this 
unit produced a single heavily patinated bottle bottom which 
matched the fragment recovered from the main test unit. 

The mixture of historic and prehistoric materials at this site 
indicates that it was used during both the Aboriginal and Planta- 
tion Periods. Physically, with the exception of the historic materi- 
als, it does not vary significantly from any other observed aborigi- 
nal site. The sparse recovered remains, specifically the few 


decorated and fiber tempered sherds, indicate an early use of this 
point on the island. 

WGC 357 Railroad 

This, the final prehistoric site tested, is situated inland from 
the island edge. It is, at the shortest, 1500 feet from the South 
Brunswick River. Kohler (Sheldon 1976:31) describes the site as 

A large ceramic and flint site in clear field on north 
end of Colonel's Island Railroad spur. . .site is visible on 
road and continuing for at least 100 meters more along 
the RR cut where it is visible as oyster shell. It is appar- 
ently a midden, although it is inland, unlike other mid- 
dens seen on the island. The main part of the midden is 
south of the tracks, where it is in places at least 50 me- 
ters wide. . .the sherds collected were quite small and 
apparently fragmented by plowing. 

This site presented a special problem in the excavations. Its 
inland placement required that the question of why it was not ad- 
jacent to the marsh or a source of flowing water be investigated. 
Also, the extremely thin nature of the deposit, in most areas less 
than one inch of fragmented shell, suggested that the site was a 
relic of Plantation Period agriculture. The known use of marsh 
muck and shell as a fertilizer during the Plantation Period occu- 
pation of the coast suggested that the observed shell may have 
been transported in as a response to the need to fertilize the agri- 
cultural field. A third problem that was investigated was that the 
thickest shell deposit observable at the site was in an abandoned 
road. This indicated that the shell, at least in this area, was the 
product of road fill, and not aboriginally deposited. 


Topographic Map of WGC 357, The Rail Road Site, Showing the 
Location of Test Units. 


Unit 45L55, a 5 x 10 foot square, was excavated in a low 
artifact/shell density area. The first 6 inches of this unit produced 
an iron fragment, probably from a plow, at two inches, and sev- 
eral glass sherds. The soil was a fine brown loam. The 6-12 inch 
level contained several small aboriginal sherds at the 6 inch level, 
and a scattering of shell where the soil changed to a mottled gray/ 
light brown. Since the productivity of the unit was low, the unit 
was reduced to 5 x 5 feet at this point. From 12-18 inches, a black 
mottling appeared which continued to 18 inches, but decreased in 
size. The unit was excavated to 30 inches below the surface with- 
out encountering any more artifacts. 

Square J was placed to intersect the shell materials that were 
exposed by the abandoned field road. It was 5x5 feet in size and 
was excavated in arbitrary 6 inch levels. The top layer contained 
21 undecorated sand tempered sherds and a single sand tempered 
complicated stamped sherd of undeterminable type. The width of 
the lands and grooves, however, suggest that it is a late example 
of the complicated stamped tradition. The second 6 inches, which 
were below the area disturbed by the field road, contained 46 un- 
decorated sand tempered sherds and two sherds with the line 
block complicates stamp. The excavations continued to 30 inches 
but produced no further cultural materials. 

The distribution of cultural materials and the profiles suggest 
that this area of WGC 357 is a part of an aboriginal site that has 
been at least partially disturbed by erosion and vehicle traffic. 

Square K, a 3 x 10 foot unit, was excavated to the south and 
west of Square J in an attempt to determine aspects of the inner 
part of the midden. The first 6 inches of the unit contained broken 
shell which changed to whole shell in the 6-12 inch layer, which 
probably indicates the transition to the sub-plow zone. The shell 
ceases at the bottom of this level and the excavations which con- 
tinued to 18 inches produced no more indications of aboriginal or 
historic materials. 

The cultural material from this unit was confined to the top 6 
inches. It consisted of 30 undecorated sand tempered sherds and 
1 1 undecorated St. John's Plain body sherds. This was the first, 
and only, time that St. John's sherds were recovered from the 

The final test unit, Square M, a 5 x 5 foot unit was located 
80 feet to the west of Square K. This area, while in an old field, is 
currently covered by an extensive growth of pine and hardwood 


and is least likely to have been disturbed by recent agricultural 

The top 6 inches of this unit contained 10 sand and grit tem- 
pered undecorated sherds, some barbed wire, and an iron nail. 
The 6-12 inch layer contained 17 sand tempered plain body 
sherds and three unworked flint flakes. The final 6 inches from 12- 
18 inches below the surface contained a total of four unworked 
flint flakes. 

The excavations at this site were inconclusive. They did 
demonstrate however, that the area of the site was much smaller 
than originally thought. The bulk of the area, principally in the 
vicinity of Grid 00, Unit 45L45 and to the north, may represent 
the remains of past attempts to increase the fertility of the field. 
The general absence of both cultural material and shell coupled 
with the lack of any depth to the deposit in this area indicate that 
the observed materials were not deposited by aboriginal activity. 
In the area where there is identifiable midden, the site presents 
several problems. The line block complicated stamped sherds indi- 
cate a late protohistoric or historic utilization for the site. The St. 
John's materials are significant in that they represent one of the 
few documented instances of the recovery of this material from 
north of the St. Mary's River. This brings into question the dy- 
namics of culture contact and exchange in this area. 


The excavations conducted in five of the prehistoric sites on 
Colonel's Island give some insight into the occupation of the Geor- 
gia marsh from approximately 2000 BC to AD 1500. However, 
due to their limited nature, only preliminary conclusions can be 
made concerning the nature of the occupation. 

The overall placement of the sites in conjunction with the 
marsh and river/creeks indicates that site placement was deter- 
mined by the need to have ready access to these ecosystems. The 
abundance of shell further indicates that placement of sites in 
proximity to oyster resources was also an important consideration. 
While oysters are generally considered a less than important 
source of food, this pattern of site placement in regard to oyster 
exploitation has been suggested for other areas (Steinen 1975). 
While there are no observable large deposits of oyster in the im- 
mediate vicinity of Colonel's Island today, this variable must not 


be overlooked when considering settlement placement. 

The lack of any observable cultural features, the relative 
scarcity of artifacts and the low density of faunal remains serve as 
evidence to support the hypothesis developed during the excava- 
tion of WGC 917. This is that the site was a non-permanent 
habitation. The extensive aboriginal sites known for the barrier 
islands show a different pattern. While they express a similar low 
concentration of tools they have the tendency to be larger in size 
and contain many more ceramics. The number of sherds recovered 
from similar aboriginal sites on St. Simons Island tested by Marti- 
nez far exceeded the number recovered from any of the Colonel's 
Island excavations (Martinez 1975). If this higher concentration 
of ceramics is interpreted as representing a permanent, or at least 
semi-permanent occupation of the site, then the corresponding 
lack of these ceramics indicates a non-permanent pattern. 

One aspect of the prehistoric sites that was not expected was 
the consistent modification of the sites by the historic activities. 
From the patterns observed in the tree growth coupled with the 
impact on the archaeological sites, it is evident that virtually all of 
the sites have been disturbed to some extent by Plantation Period 
agricultural practices. Field clearing, planting and shell robbing 
have greatly disrupted the already meager archaeological record. 


Bullen, Ripley P. and Bruce Green 

1970 Stratigraphic Tests at Stallings Island. Georgia Florida Anthropologist 23 (1): 

Caldwell, Joseph R. 

1971 Chronology of the Georgia Coast. Southeastern Archaeological Conference 
Bulletin 13: 88-92 

Caldwell, Joseph and Catherine McCann 

1941 Irene Mound Site, Chatham County, Georgia University of Georgia Press, 
Claflin, William H. 

1931 The Stallings Island Mound. Columbia County. Georgia. Papers of the 
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology Harvard University, Vol. 14, 
No. 1 Cambridge 
Cleland, Charles E. 

1976 The Focal-Diffuse Model: An Evolutionary Perspectivein the Prehistoric Cul- 
tural Adaptation of the Eastern United States. Midcontinental Journal of Ar- 
chaeology 1 (1) 
Cowgill, George 

1975 A Selection of Samples: Comments on Archaeo-Statistics in James W. Muel- 
ler, ed. Sampling in Archaeology. University of Arizona Press, Tucson 


Martinez, Carlos 

1975 Cultural Sequence on the Central Georgia Coast 1000 BC - 1650 AD. MA 
Thesis, University of Florida 
Mueller, James W. ed. 

1975 Sampling in Archaeology. University of Arizona Press, Tucson 
Sears, William H. 

1964 The Southeastern United States, in J. Jennings and E. Norbeck, eds. Prehisto- 
ric Man in the New World. University of Chicago Press, Chicago 
Sheldon, Craig T. 

1976 An Archaeological Survey of Colonel's Island, Georgia Report on File, The 
Georgia Ports Authority, Savannah, Georgia 

Steinen, Karl T. 

1977 Archaeological Investigations in Early County Georgia: A Settlement Model 
for Kolomoki. Paper presented at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Society for 
American Archaeology. 

Williams, Stephen, ed. 

1968 The Waring Papers: The Collected Works of Antonio J. Waring, Jr. Papers of 
the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, 


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Theresa Singleton** 

A Retrospective Look at the Colonel's Island Historic Sites 

The archaeological investigations undertaken at the historical 
sites of Colonel's Island in 1977 predate the emergence of planta- 
tion archaeology as the well-established research interest it has 
become today. Since 1977, the systematic study of plantation 
archaeological resources which first began at sites along coastal 
Georgia has spread to other areas throughout the American South 
and the Caribbean (see Singleton 1985). Within a decade, planta- 
tion archaeology has evolved from being largely descriptive to be- 
ing much more problem-oriented and analytical. The following 
study of Colonel's Island, though characteristic of the early de- 
scriptive studies in plantation archaeology, continues to be signifi- 
cant because of the recovery of archaeological resources presuma- 
bly associated with recently emanciapated slaves. At that time 
and now, few sites have provided discernible features associated 
with the early years of emancipation. Thus, unlike the archaeo- 
logical record of slavery, archaeologists are just at the beginning 
stages of understanding the archaeolgical record of emanciation. 

Recent investigations of well-documented freedmen sites lo- 
cated on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, have shed new light 
to the understanding of the archaeological resources of Colonel's 
Island. This freedmen settlement known as Mitchelville was estab- 
lished in 1862 by the Union Army during its occupation of the 
South Carolina coast and continued to be occupied until the early 
1880's (Tarinkley 1986). Mitchelville was part of the "Port Royal 
Experiment", a program in the South Carolina sea islands in- 
tended to keep black laborers working for white planters. Black 
laborers were placed on contracts with white landowners and the 
Northerners established the work routines, the wages to be paid, 
and time required to complete the job. 

Both the archaeological and historical descriptions of Mitch- 

** Direct correspondence to: National Museum of American History, Smithsonian 
Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560 


West Georgia College, Studies in the Social Sciences 26 (1987) 

elville indicate that it was indeed a very different kind of freed- 
men settement than that at Colonel's Island. Mitchelville was a 
substantial freedmen settlement with dwellings and other struc- 
tures comparable to those recovered on plantations. On the other 
hand, Colonel's Island had makeshift, impermanent structures 
which strongly suggested that it was a temporary site occupied by 
freedmen who, perhaps, attempted to settle lands that became 
part of "Sherman's Reservation" (a 40 mile-wide belt extending 
south from Charleston, South Carolina to around Jacksonville, 
Florida ) established to resettle ex-slaves. Although this resettle- 
ment effort lasted less than two years, because of it, many freed- 
men continued to squat on these lands until driven off by owners. 
Historical descriptions suggest that the quality of freedmen 
settlement varied widely. Those like Mitchelville were intended to 
be permanent and archaeological resorces reflect this. Other 
freedemn settlements, like those on Colonel's Island, may have 
functioned as squatters camps or other kinds of temporary occu- 
pations. After ten years, it is still not certain that that the 
archaeological resources at Colonel's Island are those left by 
freedemn, but this interpretation has been stregthened by addi- 
tional archaeological and historical research. 


Investigations of the socio-cultural milieu of antebellum plan- 
tation sites have received increasing attention by archaeologists in 
recent years. In the southeastern United States, the coastal region 
of Georgia has been a focal area for much of this research. 
(Ascher and Fairbanks 1971; MacFarlane 1975; Otto 1975). 
These exploratory studies have been extremely useful in supple- 
menting the historical record of the Old South. It was hoped that 
archaeological investigations of the Parland Plantation sites at 
Colonel's Island would contribute additional findings to the data 
base of Plantation Phase archaeology. Unfortunately, the sites of 
both the planter's and the slaves' habitats were greatly disturbed 
by post-Civil War occupations. At the Parland site, WGC 356, 
the major disturbance occurred during the well-documented 1888 
industrial development of Colonel's Island. The post 1865 tempo^ 
ral placement of the slave site, WGC 903, was based primarily 
upon the occurrence of an 1867 nickel near one of the structures. 
The nature of the material assemblage and the nickel are sug- 


gested here to be evidence of a post-Civil War occupation of black 
freedmen. To my knowledge, this is the first archaeological evi- 
dence of postbellum black freedmen on the Georgia coast. The 
suggestion that this site was inhabited by freedmen and not by 
slaves gave rise to an examination of the similarities and differ- 
ences in the material culture between slaves and freedmen. 

Although the investigations of the Parland Plantation sites 
did not meet the expectations of the researchers, this study offers 
two major contributions. First, it adds to the historical record of 
the antebellum period. The documentary account of the Parland 
Plantation at Colonel's Island provides some insights into the op- 
eration of small, unfamiliar plantations. Plantations of this type 
have been, for the most part, neglected in the historical record. 
Second, in the archaeological record, the interpretation of black 
freedmen on the Georgia coast will add another dimension to the 
study of black settlements, an emerging concern in historical ar- 
chaeology, and to the archaeological record of status differences. 

Documentary Sources For Colonel's Island 

Documentary sources for Colonel's Island can be loosely clas- 
sified into three time periods: Antebellum, Civil War, and Postbel- 
lum. Of the three, the antebellum period records were the most 
extensive archival sources uncovered. These describe in considera- 
ble detail the operation of the Parland plantations. The Civil War 
source consists of one document describing Union occupation of 
the island during the war. Postbellum records are of two kinds, 
first, annual inventories of property still in possession by Parland 
heirs; second, records of the industrial developments that had 
taken place at Colonel's Island after the Parland heirs finally sold 
the island in the late 1880's. 

Colonel's Island was first owned by James Forrester, who ac- 
quired the island through several royal grants in 1765 and 1766 
(Candler 1907). It is not known in what ways Forrester developed 
Colonel's Island or even if he resided there, but he evidently did 
not keep the island very long, and in 1769, he sold the island to 
Andrew Cunningham (McVeigh ms). After Cunningham's 
purchase Colonel's Island passed through several hands until John 
Parland's purchase in the early 1830's. 

Parland, a native Scotsman, served as a justice of the inferior 
court, and he was also a member of the grand jury in Georgia, in 


Glynn County (The Georgia Genealogical Magazine 1962). Be- 
sides Colonel's Island, he owned at least three other plantations, 
Longwood, the Dyke, and Gowrie. In 1833, Parland was married 
to Mary Ann Scarlett, and they had two daughters, Jean Adams 
Parland and Frances Ann Scarlett Parland. Parland was killed in 
a fall from a horse in 1836, and his grave is located at the main 
settlement of the plantation, WGC 356. Because Parland died in- 
testate, his property had to be appraised and disbursed, and these 
records are the documents which have provided the details of the 
operation of the Parland Plantations. The estate was divided 
equally between Parland's daughters, and from 1837 to 1857, 
Francis M. Scarlett, Mary Ann Parland's father, was appointed 
guardian for the management of the estate (The Georgia Genea- 
logical Magazine 1962:269). After Scarlett's death, Jean Par- 
land's husband, Henry C. King, assumed responsibilities for 
Jean's share of the estate, and Francis D. Scarlett, Francis M. 
Parland's son, assumed responsibilities for Frances Ann Parland's 
share, for she was confined to the mental hospital in Milledgeville, 

Beginning in 1867, Frances D. Scarlett began selling and 
leasing portions of the land on Colonel's Island and Longwood 
plantations. Between 1874 and 1886, Scarlett made several peti- 
tions to the court to sell the remainder of Longwood and Colonel's 
Island in order to pay for Frances Ann's expenses at the mental 
hospital. Finally, in 1886, all of the land at Colonel's Island and 
Longwood was sold, and this marked an end to the Parland/Scar- 
lett ownership of Colonel's Island, which had lasted over fifty 
years (Glynn County Court House Records). 

The Parland/Scarlett ownership was succeeded by a number 
of entrepreneurs who sought a massive industrial development of 
the island. These men envisioned the establishment of a port city, 
South Brunswick, which would compete with the one on the main- 
land. The idea for industrial development of the island began with 
W.T. Penniman, a Brunswick surveyor, who, with financiers from 
Atlanta and New York, formed the Brunswick Harbor and Land 
Company in 1888 (McVeigh ms). Within a year, the company 
built a railroad to the island, docks and warehouses for the export 
of cotton, cotton seed oil, meal, and naval stores (South Brunswick 
Terminal Railroad Company). The industrial development of the 
island failed for several reasons. First it was not commercially via- 
ble, for there was not enough cotton produced in the Brunswick 


area to export and second, natural disasters, including a yellow 
fever epidemic and a hurricane in 1898 contributed to the failure 
of the development (Sheldon 1977). Colonel's Island was aban- 
doned by the developers in 1900 and for the next thirty years it 
was leased at $300 a year for pasture land (McVeigh ms.). 

In 1934, Raymond Massey bought Colonel's Island and built 
a cabin of logs and tabby at the northwest end of the island. The 
Masseys resided there until Mr. Massey's death in 1954, and Mrs. 
Massey sold the property to the state of Georgia (Glynn County 
Courthouse Records). 

During the antebellum period, Colonel's Island appears to 
have been a fairly successful plantation, but its post-war industrial 
development was very short lived. The one period of which there is 
no clear understanding of the economic conditions present on the 
island is during the postbellum period from immediately after the 
war up to 1888. There is a suggestion from the documents that 
the land was farmed by tenant farmers, undoubtedly ex-slaves, for 
there are receipts for the rental of land during this time. 

Description of Sites 

Field activities for the historic component of the project in- 
cluded mapping of the sites, excavations, and a systematic surface 
collection of the tidal flats below WGC 356. As with the prehisto- 
ric phase of the program, the excavations were designed to deter- 
mine the nature of the different components of the site and to 
recover floral and faunal data. Particular attention was paid to the 
problem of defining aspects of the social stratification of the Par- 
land Plantation. 

WGC 356 

At WGC 356, 5 cultural features were defined at the time of 
excavation. These included: Feature 1, a large mound; Feature 2, 
a concentration of clay brick immediately to the south of the large 
mound; Feature 3, a large rectangular mound with a brick con- 
centration on the surface; Feature 4, the brick lined well; and Fea- 
ture 5, the burial of John Parland. Excavation units were placed 
in or near these defined features or in other areas of cultural 


6 *UNSWl t 

Topographic Map of WGC 356, The Parland Plantation Site, 
Showing the Location of Test Units. 


Test 1. Test 1 was established on an oyster shell midden that con- 
tained historic artifacts. This test was originally a 10 x 10 foot 
unit which was later reduced to 5 x 5 feet because of the low 
artifact concentration within the test. The test was excavated us- 
ing natural stratigraphy, and 4 strata were recognized. These 
were: Stratum I, black humus; Stratum II, consolidated oyster 
shell and black humus; Stratum III, dark brown sand; and Stra- 
tum IV, brown and yellow mottled sand. Stratum I contained arti- 
facts to late pre-Civil War times (circa 1850), while Stratum IV 
was a prehistoric occupation. 

Test 2. Test 2, a 10 x 10 foot unit, was placed directly to the 
south of Feature 2. Because no in situ bricks were found in Fea- 
ture 2, it was hoped that this test would aid in the identification of 
the structure. Like Test 1, Test 2 was excavated in natural strati- 
graphic zones and it was reduced in size (to 5 x 5 feet) after the 
removal of Stratum I. Three strata were defined and these were 
characteristic of the undisturbed portion of the site. They include: 
Stratum I, black humus with crushed shell; Stratum II, brown 
and grey mottled soil with shell flecks; and Stratum III, yellow 
and brown mottled sand. A large number of antebellum materials 
were recovered from Stratum I. The occurrence of a few modern 
artifacts prevented the assignment of the provenience to the ante- 
bellum period. This was unfortunate, since this provenience con- 
tained the best stratigraphic evidence of a plantation midden from 
any of he tests at WGC 356. Stratum II was temporarily antebel- 
lum, but contained virtually no cultural material. 
Test 3. A 5 x 5 foot excavation unit was placed in Feature 1 for 
the purpose of identifying this structure. Excavation of Test 3 re- 
vealed that Feature 1 was not a structural mound, but a mound of 
construction fill that was evidently formed when the main access 
road to the site was built. Test 3 and all subsequent units at the 
site were excavated in order to segregate modern occupational 
levels from plantation period levels. The stratigraphy of Test 3 
consisted of 2 strata: Stratum I, grey and brown sandy fill and 
Stratum II, black sandy soil. Stratum II appeared to have been 
the original humus zone, but it contained so few artifacts that ex- 
cavation of it was discontinued. 

Test 4. a 5 x 20 foot unit was placed at the eastern most edge of 
Feature 3. In probing Feature 3, in-place bricks were uncovered at 
the southeastern edge of the feature and of the Test 4. Excava- 
tions unearthed a leaning, clay brick chimney designated as Fea- 


ture 3a. No construction trench could be determined, but late 
19th century artifacts were found all around it, which suggests 
that the structure dates from the 1888 development. Besides the 
chimney, a small rectangular pit filled with clay brick rubble was 
designated as Feature 3b. This feature may have been a building 
pier for the structure, which had been robbed of its brick. A large 
mound of construction debris, especially plaster fragments with 
lathing marks, were found throughout the test. Evidently, the 
structure had plaster walls. Unfortunately, reasons for the leaning 
appearance of he chimney as well as the orientation and function 
of the structure could not be determined. 

Test 5. A 5 x 10 foot unit was located on the bluff overlooking the 
river. The test was excavated to determine the stratigraphy associ- 
ated with the seawall construction. The stratigraphy was found to 
be quite complex, and the strata defined are all layers of construc- 
tion fill. Artifacts from this test ranged from prehistoric to mod- 
ern. Notable among the artifacts recovered were a number of 18th 
century materials, possible associated with the Forrester 

Test 6. Test 6 was the excavation of well fill from Feature 4. Fea- 
ture 4 was apparently constructed during the antebellum period, 
since this type of well construction is typical of coastal plantations 
(Wrightman and Cate 1955:55). In addition, the plantation 
records for the Parland Plantation indicate the purchase of 3000 
well bricks in the late 1830's. A total of 1438 bricks in thirty-six 
courses were used in the construction of the well at WGC 356. 
Perhaps the remaining well bricks were used at one of the other 
plantations in the Parland complex. The construction of he well 
was a ring rather than a pit well, for it was lined with wedge- 
shaped brick. 

The well was exposed at the time of excavation and it was 
apparently cleaned out periodically and used until modern times. 
Most of the cultural material from the well was very modern, and 
a terminus post quern of 1960 was derived for the well fill. 
Test 7. This test was not an excavation unit, but a vertical facing 
5 feet deep taken of the bluff to determine the stratigraphy of the 
seawall. The stratigraphy was very similar to Test 5. 
Test 8. A 5 x 5 foot unit was located approximately 30 feet south 
of Feature 4. Placement of a unit in this location was based upon 
the presence of historic artifacts scattered on the ground surface. 
Few historic artifacts were recovered from the test, but a consid- 


erable number of aboriginal ceramics and chert flakes were 

Test 9. A 6 x 9 foot unit was placed near the main access road, 
where an abundance of historic artifacts and scattered brick frag- 
ments were found on the ground surface. The stratigraphy of the 
test indicated that the test was simply road fill and was totally 

Test 10. A 10 x 10 foot unit was placed through a low-lying de- 
pression. Excavations uncovered a circular dark area apparent at 
the base of the first stratum. Further excavation of this feature 
revealed that is was simply a burned out tree root. Little cultural 
material came from this test. 

Test 77. A 5 x 5 foot unit was placed adjacent to the well (Fea- 
ture 4), and was excavated for the purpose of defining the well 
casing. Apparently, the materials in the test were part of the con- 
struction fill of the 1888 development, and at one of the lowest 
levels of the test, an 1888 penny was found. Despite this distur- 
bance, the test was successful in exposing the profile of the north 
side of the well's upper casing. 

Despite the fact that the excavation of WGC 356 yielded a 
number of antebellum period contexts, the stratigraphy of the site 
suggests that most of the site was disturbed in the late 19th and 
early 20th centuries. Association of the midden areas with planta- 
tion period structures was impossible, therefore, no statement re- 
garding the plantation period occupation could be made. Simi- 
larly, no substantial description could be made concerning the one 
structure (Feature 3) associated with the 1888 development. Arti- 
facts were in general very scarce. This occurrence is easily ex- 
plained, for the plantation period refuse was evidently disposed of 
in the tidal flats, below the site. The infrequency of artifacts for 
the 1888 development is also understandable, since the settlement 
survived for only a few years. Sampling error should not be ruled 
out as a cause for the small amount of artifacts recovered. It is 
doubtful however that more excavations would have turned up 
anything else regarding to the behavioral aspects of the site. The 
disturbed nature of WGC 356 precluded the formulation of a sub- 
stantive statement of behavioral activities that had taken place 
during either the antebellum or postbellum periods. 

Tida! Zone 

Along the beach of the tidal river to the north of WGC 356, 


five 100 foot length units were designated for the surface collec- 
tion. These units were assigned consecutive letters A to E, and all 
of the cultural materials present on the ground surface within the 
boundaries of the grid were collected. Units, A and E, contained 
very little cultural material, while the units between them, con- 
tained a large quantity of artifacts. Materials dated from the ear- 
liest prehistoric occupation to modern, but the majority of historic 
artifacts were from the antebellum period. A number of late 18th 
century artifacts, perhaps remnants of the Forrester occupation, 
were recovered, but most artifacts were of the period between 
1800 and 1850. Of all the historic sites at Colonel's Island, the 
tidal flats contained the highest number and greatest varieties of 
19th century antebellum remains. Large industrial artifacts such 
as spikes and pulleys were probably evidence of the 1888 develop- 
ment. Further out in the river, the piers for a dock approximately 
500 feet in length were identified. This was most likely the re- 
mains of the 500 foot cotton dock from the 1888 development. 

The high concentration of plantation period artifacts along 
the tidal flats suggest that the river was the site for much of re- 
fuse disposal. A similar trend has been recognized at the Rayfield 
Plantation on Cumberland Island, Georgia. Such disposal prac- 
tices are fairly common on the Georgia Coast (Larson 1977) and 
in other areas where a ravine or gully is present (Sheldon 1977). 
While such observations may be obvious, the implications for his- 
toric archaeology are important. This may very well be a behav- 
ioral pattern that has not been recognized: that for domestic sites 
located on a bluff, the river front or gully is a likely site for the 
major refuse disposal. 

WGC 903 

Eight features were designated at WGC 903. These included 
Features 1, 2, and 3, which were all structural mounds with tabby 
brick chimneys; Feature 4, a large depression in which a barrel 
well was uncovered; and Feature 5, a large oyster shell midden 
with evidence of historic artifacts on the surface. Features 6 and 8 
were apparently structures at one time, but they had been dis- 
turbed. Feature 7 was a disturbed midden area associated with 
Feature 6. A total of sixteen units were placed in and around 
these features and were excavated. Like WGC 356, the tests are 
referred to by numbers assigned according to the order in which 


they were excavated. With the exception of Tests 3 and 8 (Fea- 
tures 4 and 8), the stratigraphy of WGC 903 was composed of 
three strata: Stratum I, black humus; Stratum II, brown sand and 
Stratum III, tan/yellow/mottled sand. Most of the historic mate- 
rial came from Stratum I. Since several tests were often placed on 
one feature, the discussion of the excavation is presented in terms 
of cultural features and not according to excavation units. 
Feature I. (Includes Tests 9, 10, 11). Clearing of Feature 1 un- 
earthed a tabby brick chimney designated as Feature Id. Around 
Feature Id an excavation unit of 15 x 10 feet was placed. This 
unit was divided into two smaller ones: a 10 x 10 foot unit, Test 
10, and a 10 x 5 foot unit, Test 9. The unit was divided to facili- 
tate separation of the area west of the hearth, which would be 
inside the structure (Test 9) and the area to the east of the chim- 
ney, which would be outside the structure (Test 10). Another test, 
Test 1 1, was also established adjacent to Test 10, to define further 
the area outside the structure. Within Test 11, a large section of 
consolidated chimney rubble was uncovered, and it consisted of 
seven courses of tabby brick. This consolidated rubble was desig- 
nated as Feature la, and it was composed of both whole bricks 
and fragments. Besides Features la and Id, three other features 
were recognized: Feature lb, a slight depression in the upper sur- 
face of Stratum II, which was filled with brick rubble; and Fea- 
ture lc, an area of coarse, light sand. The function of Feature lc 
could not be determined. Feature le was an area of dark fill asso- 
ciated with aboriginal pottery. 

Most of the excavation of Feature 1 was centered on the 
chimney, Feature Id. The profile consisted of four strata: Stratum 
I, bricks laid in place with humus or mud; Stratum II, immedi- 
ately below the bricks, a deposit of light brown/grey sand and 
whole oyster shell, which had been carefully flattened as a bed for 
the bricks in the hearth; and Stratum III, a layer of burned oyster 
shells with small fragments of charcoal. It appears that this may 
have been an attempt at making tabby. Stratum IV was similar to 
Stratum II of the entire site. 

Mortar was completely absent from the horizontal surfaces of 
the tabby bricks. Some bricks did have mortar on them, but this 
mortar appears to have been used to fill in or square off chips, 
spoils and missing corners. The use of mortar for this purpose 
strongly suggests that the bricks were re-used. In addition, dried 
mortar from former use was present on most of the clay-fired 


bricks. Indications are that reused clay and tabby bricks were em- 
ployed in the construction of the chimneys. Approximately seventy 
bricks or parts of bricks were uncovered from Feature Id. This 
number seems grossly insufficient for a chimney and indicates that 
the chimney was not only small but was also short. Evidently the 
remainder of the structure was log or frame. No wall trenches, 
fitting ditches, building piers or other structural features were 
identified with the structure. 

A number of artifacts were found in and around the chimney 
and significant artifacts were mapped to document their horizon- 
tal distribution. Several artifacts appeared to have been broken 
before the chimney collapsed, which suggests that refuse was dis- 
posed of under the house. This pattern of trash disposal was also 
characteristic of Feature 2, therefore, it may be tentatively con- 
cluded that daily trash was disposed of very near the house. 
Feature 2. Feature 2 was divided into two areas: Feature 2 struc- 
tural area (Tests 1, 2, 4, 5, 15) and Feature 2 midden area, di- 
rectly to he east of the structure (Tests 12, 13, 14, 16). The struc- 
tural details of Feature 2 were in many ways identical to Feature 
1 and these will not be repeated. Despite the similarities between 
the two, the relationship of Feature 1 to Feature 2 was never de- 
termined. It is important to remember that the size and type of 
structures which were characterized by these features are not 
known. Two interesting structural features did appear in the Fea- 
ture 2 area. The first was thought to be a possible building pier 
and it was designated as Feature 2a. This was one course of laid 
brick. Further considerations suggested that these bricks were not 
part of a building pier, but were most likely part of the chimney 
fall. In test 1, two post holes, Features 2b and 2c were found at 
the northern edge of the test. Unfortunately, no material came out 
of these and they are impossible to date. Their proximity to the 
chimney suggests that either the chimney was centrally located or 
that these are the remains of an earlier structure, perhaps the 
structure from which the re-used brick had been taken. It is 
doubtful that the first possibility is true, since no evidence of a 
duplex structure was uncovered. In either case,the relationship of 
the post holes with Feature 2d could not be determined. 

Numerous artifacts were found in Feature 2 and a simple 
pattern of disposing of trash under the house appears evident. Ap- 
parently old construction wood was used for fuel, as a large num- 
ber of burned nails were recovered from the hearth area. Burned 


nails were also present in the hearths of Features 1 and 3. The 
midden area east of the structure contained a number of both or- 
ganic and inorganic items including bone, nut shells, peach pits, 
ceramics and other artifacts. In Test 13, a refuse pit was desig- 
nated as Feature 13a. The pit was very close to the ground surface 
and it was fairly shallow. The feature appears to have been an 
area where trash accumulated, and over time, the deposit was bur- 
ied. A post mold within Test 12 and designated as 12a was pre- 
sent within an enormous post hole. The association of this post 
mold with the two in Test 1 could not be determined, for again, no 
cultural material was present. 

Feature 3. This area was not excavated, but the area was cleared 
so that the chimney could be examined and it appeared to have 
been identical to Features Id and 2d. The hearth was excavated 
and a few nail and iron fragments were recovered. 
Feature 4. (The Barrel Well). Before the excavation of Feature 4, 
a post hole digger was driven in and around the depression in or- 
der to determine the stratigraphy of the feature and to see if there 
was any evidence for a well or privy structure. From the post hole 
test placed in the center of Feature 4 a sherd of Shell-edged 
Pearlware was recovered, and the stratigraphy indicated that 
there was indeed a deep deposition of cultural material within the 
feature. An excavation unit measuring 8x8 feet was placed 
around Feature 4. Only half of the test was excavated, thereby 
exposing a vertical profile of the well's interior. A barrel well 
within a square shaped casing made of upright two by four foot 
boards was uncovered. Besides the primary well casing, there was 
also evidence of a secondary well casing, the reasons for which are 
unknown. The southern portion of the well slightly was leaning to 
the southern wall of the unit and it had buckled inwards. Simi- 
larly, upright boards of the casing were also leaning, but to the 
north. The leaning of the casing walls suggests that an attempt 
was made to remove the casing but for unknown reasons ths ac- 
tion was abruptly sttopped. The well was approximately 13 feet 
deep and eight strata were identified. Stratum I was grey-black 
sandy humus, and Stratum II, light grey/brown soil. Few artifacts 
were recovered from these strata. Stratum III was mottled light 
brown sand sloping to the edges of the unit and was virtually ster- 
ile soil with exception of a few small fragments of glass an oyster 
shell. Stratum IV, a bright yellow sterile sand, consisted of con- 
struction fill between the walls of the excavation and the actual 


well shaft. Stratum V was sterile white sand encountered between 
Stratum III and the mottled sterile sand of Stratum Ilia. Stratum 
VI was the casing fill and Stratum VII was a white sand that 
occurred with alternating thin layers of black casing fill. These 
layers were alluvially deposited, and this indicates that when the 
well was opened sand and soil were working into the well. Stratum 
VII, a layer of white sand mottled with grey, was found at the 
base of the barrel. At approximately five feet below ground level, 
the water table was reached, and excavation of the well was 

Surprisingly few artifacts were present in either the well 
shaft fill or in the well fill. The few artifacts found do suggest that 
both the construction and filling of the well could have occurred 
during the antebellum period. If the well is an antebellum feature, 
then its association with Features 1 and 2 is dubious. The occur- 
rence of one artifact does suggest that there is an association be- 
tween the two, and that was the occurrence of a blue faceted tube 
bead from the well construction fill (Stratum III). An identical 
bead was also found in the midden area around Feature 2. It is 
assumed here that these three features are of a comparable time 

Feature 5. (The Oyster Shell Midden, Test 3). A 5 x 20 foot 
trench, Test 3, was placed through the center of the oyster shell 
midden bisecting the interior. Three strata were recognized: Stra- 
tum I, humus and unconsolidated oyster shell; Stratum II, brown 
soil with oyster shell; and Stratum III, mottled tan to yellow sand. 
Several features were defined below the oyster shell. These in- 
cluded a number of areas thought to have been post holes, but 
which were later demonstrated to be tree roots, and two presumed 
fire pits. The presumed fire pits contained heavy concentrations of 
charcoal and the soil and the artifacts within the features were 
burned. These features tapered into deep root holes, which sug- 
gests that they were either fire pits superimposed over root holes, 
or that the entire features are burned root holes. A number of 
artifacts were uncovered in Strata I and II and these evidently 
represent deposits of oyster shell and refuse. Like Feature 4, the 
contents of oyster shell midden also date to the plantation period. 
The presence of oyster shell middens at slave settlements were 
fairly common in antebellum times. At Butler Point Plantation on 
St. Simon's Island, Fanny Kemble commented on their common 


. . .1 hardly saw where I was going, for I as nearly as 
possible fell over a great heap of oyster shells left in the 
middle of the path. This is a horrid nuisance, which re- 
sults from an indulgence which the people here have and 
value highly; the waters around the island are prolific in 
shellfish, oysters, and the most magnificent prawns I saw. 
The former are considerable articles of the people's diet 
and the shells are allowed to accumulate, as they are 
used in the composition of which their huts are built, and 
which is a sort of combination of mud and broken oyster 
shells, which forms an agglomeration of a kind very solid 
and durable for such building purposes (tabby); but in- 
stead of being carried to a specific place out of the way, 
these great heaps of oyster shells are allowed to be piled 
up anywhere and everywhere, forming the most unsightly 
obstructions in every direction. (Kemble [1863] 

Oyster shell middens were also present at Cannon's Point 
Plantation (MacFarland 1975). The presence of oyster shell mid- 
dens at slave settlements before the Civil War does not mean that 
they were not at the settlements of ex-slaves after the Civil War. 
Although no particular artifacts within the oyster shell midden 
point to an association with other features, the location of the 
midden approximately halfway between Features 1 and 2 and 
Feature 3 suggests that they are of a comparable time period. 
Features 6, 7, 8. Only one unit was excavated in the disturbed 
portion of the site, and that was placed over the disturbed midden 
(Feature 7). Feature 8, the possible tabby structure, was appar- 
ently disturbed by the construction of the main access road to the 
site. The disturbance of Features 6 and 8 occurred as the result of 
an unreported excavation by an untrained digger. A test was 
placed on the previously excavated midden area in the hopes that 
the disturbance might be isolated and some data on the structure 
in this portion of the site could be obtained. Unfortunately, the 
stratigraphy of the test revealed that this area was too disturbed 
to provide any information on either the structures or the midden 
deposit. Examination of the bricks from the structure does indi- 
cate that these were put in place with mortar. Since the artifacts 
from the midden area date to the antebellum period, it may be 
that these structures are the only remnants of the plantation pe- 


riod at WGC 903. 

Test 7. A very small oyster shell midden was located some dis- 
tance to the southeast of Feature 4. This midden was not desig- 
nated as a feature, but a small 5x5 foot test unit, was excavated. 
Very little material came out of the test, and it was accidentally 
mixed with a provenience from another site during the prelimi- 
nary processing of the artifacts. As a result, no significant data 
was obtained from the test. 

To summarize, the major emphasis of the excavations at 
WGC 903 was placed upon the excavation of the two structures, 
Features 1 and 2. The only construction feature remaining from 
these are the chimneys which were evidently constructed from re- 
used materials. Although many of the artifacts date to the ante- 
bellum period, the occurrence of a U.S. 1867 nickel and the na- 
ture of the artifacts are suggestive of the scarcity rampant in the 
South in postbellum times. Besides the structures, a barrel well 
and an oyster shell midden were also excavated and these are un- 
doubtedly artifacts of postbellum times. The only features that are 
possibly of the antebellum period are the structures that have 
been disturbed by very modern intervention. 

WGC 905 

WGC 905 is located in an environmental situation similar to 
WGC 903 except that it is closer to water. No excavations of the 
historic component of WGC 905 were undertaken, but two tabby 
structures were designated as Features 1 and 2, and the distance 
between the two was approximately 101 feet. Feature 2 has been 
robbed of most of its brick and has no walls, corners, or in-place 
bricks. On the other hand, Feature 1 had a number of in-place 
bricks and the orientation of the hearth area was easily recog- 
nized. From the available indications the chimney structures ap- 
pear to have been similar to WGC 903, but the bricks were some- 
what thicker and have more mortar on them than the ones at 
WGC 903. A depression was designated as Feature 3, and was 
approximately 57 feet from Feature 2 and about 84 feet from 
Feature 1. WGC 905 was most likely one of the slave settlement, 
and it was possibly occupied after the Civil War by ex-slaves. 

A large irregular shaped canal running perpendicular to the 
marsh was also identified at WGC 905. At the widest point of the 
canal, where it runs into the marsh, several hewn timber piles 


with wrought iron spikes were present, and these appeared to have 
been part of a dock or bridge. The presumed function of the ditch 
was for agriculture purposes, possibly for draining a low area. 

Slave and Ex-Slave: WGC 903 and Cannon's Point. 

A recent historical study of black Americans suggested that 
the behavior of blacks during the post-emancipation period (circa 
1861 to 1867) is the best evidence for making an assessment of 
the long-term impact of slavery upon black culture and personal- 
ity (Gutman 1976). An examination of the material conditions of 
black Americans during and after slavery should provide some in- 
dices for the similarities and differences in black American behav- 
ior during and after slavery. Historical sources indicate that as a 
consequence of the Civil War, severe material suffering character- 
ized the life of most ex-slaves immediately following emancipa- 
tion, making their material condition worse in freedom than it was 
in slavery. The comparison of the material culture from an ante- 
bellum slave site and from a post-war ex-slave site should reflect 
these conditions. Using two sites on the Georgia Coast, a slave 
site, Cannon's Point, and a freedman site, WGC 903, these simi- 
larities and differences were examined. Cannon's Point was se- 
lected because, to date, it has provided the most complete 
archaeological data on slave settlements on the Georgia Coast. Al- 
though confirmation of a postbellum date for WGC 903 is needed, 
it was felt that comparison of WGC 903 with a slave settlement 
would point to some distinct elements of WGC 903 that would aid 
in its identification as either a slave or an ex-slave site. Analysis 
and interpretations of the artifactual materials are treated in this 
section. The artifact categories were taken from MacFarlane 
(1975) in order to facilitate a comparison between the two sites. 

Cabin Construction 

Both the slave cabins and the ex-slave cabins were frame or 
log structures with tabby chimneys. Although the structures at 
both sites had brick chimneys, the ex-slave chimneys were made 
of reused tabby and clay bricks, and were laid in place with mud 
instead of mortar. On the other hand, the slave chimneys were 
well built and made from substantial materials. One of the slave 
cabins was a duplex or two-family compartment (MacFarlane 
1975:62-70), while the ex-slave cabins were apparently one-family 


units. Glass windows were virtually absent at both sites, for few 
windowpane fragments were recovered from either site. Evidence 
of a wooden floor was present at the slave site, but was completely 
lacking at the ex-slave site, where the cabins appeared to have 
been built directly on the ground surface. From all the available 
indications the slave cabin was well built, whereas the ex-slave 
cabin was made from re-used materials and was haphazardly 

Household Equipment 

Quantities of ceramics from the slave and freedmen sites 
were considerably different. At the slave site a total of 509 sherds 
were recovered, and only 248 sherds were recovered for the ex- 
slave site. At first this discrepancy was thought to be sampling 
error, but the sherds from the ex-slave site were composed of only 
a few ceramic types and vessel forms. At the slave site, the ceram- 
ics represent a variety of types and vessel forms (MacFarlane 
1975:8-102). Eating and cooking utensils were absent at the freed- 
man's site with the exception of two iron spoon fragments and 
possibly some parts of an iron kettle. At the slave site, the utensils 
included iron tongs, numerous kettle and pot fragments, and sev- 
eral spoons and forks for eating. There was no evidence of drink- 
ing vessels at the freedman's site with the exception of a few glass 
decanter fragments. At the slave site both decanter and tumbler 
fragments were evident. 

Several brass upholstery tacks and iron bail pulls suggested 
that furniture was present at the slave site. The tacks were appar- 
ently from very fine quality furnishings, quite likely cast-off pieces 
from the planter (MacFarlane 1975:114). The only evidence of 
furniture at the freedman's site was a glass drawer pull. 

The ex-slave appears to have had little in the way of house- 
hold equipment, and furnishings of the slave were varied and were 
probably obtained through purchase as well as through the 



Agricultural and Household Artifacts from Historic Sites. 


Personal Items 

The quantity of bottles and other glass items was another ar- 
tifact category of considerable difference between the two sites. A 
total of 809 bottle glass sherds were recovered from the slave site, 
while only 303 sherds were found from the ex-slave site. The con- 
tents of the bottles were similar for both sites, exclusively liquor 
and pharmaceutical products. This suggests that similar products 
were selected for both during and after slavery. 

No differences could be inferred from the remains of wearing 
apparel. Buttons were the predominant artifact within this cate- 
gory. In addition to buttons, buckles and overall hitches were re- 
covered from both sites, and at the ex-slave site, leather shoe sole 
fragments were also found. The similarity in wearing apparel sug- 
gests that similar clothing was worn by both the slave and ex- 

Tobacco pipes occurred frequently throughout the slave site, 
but these occurred in very small quantities at the ex-slave site. 
Small frequencies at the ex-slave site may be an indicator that 
tobacco was a difficult commodity to come by during the early 
post-war years. 

Included among the personal items were a few artifacts, 
which are referred to here as "luxury items", because they appear 
to be somewhat elaborate possessions for either a slave or an ex- 
slave. At the slave site, those items included a jewel, a clear glass 
bead, a dangle for a woman's earring, and two knives with hand- 
carved bone handles. The ex-slave site had a few "luxury items" 
including beads, a lady's brooch, a lady's locket, and a male's 
wedding ring made from a copper alloy. The occurrence of these 
items at either the slave or ex-slave site could have been through 
either theft or purchase, and these items are indications of another 
similarity between the two sites. In addition to these "luxury 
items", graphite pencils were recovered at both sites. The occur- 
rence of pencils at the ex-slave site is understandable, since the 
freedmen did have access to schools. The presence of pencils at 
the slave site, however, is contrary to historical accounts and may 
indicate that slaves did have some opportunities provided for 

In general, selection for certain personal items indicated a 
marked degree of similarity. These items, however, occurred in 
greater numbers at the slave site than at the ex-slave site. Un- 


doubtedly, these items would have been more scarce immediately 
after the war than before the war. 


Three round-eye hoes were recovered from the slave site and 
only one was recovered from the ex-slave site. The hoe from the 
ex-slave site was worn very badly, and it appeared to have been 
used even after it had fallen apart. This artifact particularly indi- 
cates the degree of scarcity in post-war times. 

Food Resources and Food Procurement 

The faunal remains at the two slave sites were very similar. 
Domestic animal species included cattle and swine. Chicken was 
present in very small amounts at the slave cabin sites and was 
entirely absent at the ex-slave sites. A wide variety of wild ani- 
mals were procured at both sites. At least seven deer were con- 
sumed at the freedman's site, where as deer were completely ab- 
sent at the slave site. Of all the wild species remains present, deer 
is the only species that would require the use of firearms to be 
hunted. The presence of the deer at the ex-slave sites does suggest 
that they had access to guns, and the evidence of firearms at the 
ex-slave site confirms this supposition. In general, slaves were not 
allowed to have guns. The absence of deer at the slave site can 
therefore be explained. Evidence of firearms was present at the 
slave site, but the provenience of these artifacts was uncertain 
(MacFarlane 1975:170). As a result, it is unclear whether the 
slaves at Cannon's Point had guns or not. If it is assumed that 
they did not have guns, the absence of deer may be explained. On 
the other hand, if the slaves at Cannon's Point did in fact have 
guns, the absence of deer may reflect the absence of deer on the 
island, or may simply reflect personal tastes. 

In conclusion, the archaeological evidence supports the histor- 
ical accounts that the material conditions of the ex-slaves were the 
same, if not worse, than that of the slave. The occurrence of a war 
which left the entire South destitute on all socio-economic levels 
can account for the impoverished nature of the artifact materials 
at the ex-slave site. It can be tentatively concluded that the freed- 
man site is not just an archaeological manifestation of black 
freedmen's material conditions, but also evidence of the effects of 
a war upon these conditions, and perhaps, of the effects of a war 
on material conditions in general. Excavation of comparable post- 

Civil War period sites occupied by whites will greatly complete 
the picture of postbellum material conditions in the South. More- 
over, a site of freedmen twenty or thirty years later may very well 
have taken completely different appearances. With the opportuni- 
ties which became available to blacks, certainly their material 
condition improved as the economy of the South was restored. 

These interpretations, together with documentary sources, 
has been offered here as support for the identification of WGC 
903 as an ex-slave site. Archaeologically, this evidence was mani- 
fested in the scarcity of artifacts such as household items and cer- 
tain personal items such as tobacco pipes and bottled goods, the 
impoverished nature of the artifacts (such as the utilization of re- 
used bricks in the house construction), the substitution of mud for 
mortar, and the presence of wear marks on a hoe after it had 
fallen apart. Documentary sources included the receipts of land 
rentals from tenants in the postbellum plantation records, and the 
Union Navy letter which indicated that slaves were living on 
Colonel's Island during the Civil War. The second documentary 
source is especially important, for on the coast, Sherman pro- 
claimed in 1865 that all islands south of Charleston and lands 
thirty miles inland were reserved for the settlement of blacks and 
no white person was allowed on these lands, except military of- 
ficers detailed for duty (Webster 1916:83). Although the Navy 
letter was written a few years earlier, the fact that blacks were 
living there before the proclamation suggests that they possibly 
remained there until the Parland/Scarlett heirs reclaimed the 
property at Colonel's Island, and the chances are that these ex- 
slaves remained there for some time after that event. Although no 
conclusive evidences are available for the suggestion that WGC 
903 was occupied by ex-slaves, there are both archaeological and 
documentary sources which support this position. 

Summary and Conclusions 

Archaeological evidence for the plantation phase occupation 
at Colonel's Island provided little data on the behavioral activities 
of the antebellum period. Documentary sources, however, were 
highly informative, and a fairly complete description of the social- 
economic management of the Parland Plantation has been offered. 

Excavations at WGC 356 provided very little data on either 
the antebellum period or the postbellum period. The stratigraphy 


of most of the site indicates that the site was highly disturbed in 
the late 19th and early 20th centuries. No plantation structures 
were identified, which prevented the association of plantation pe- 
riod midden areas with plantation period structures. Similarly, no 
substantial statement could be made with regards to the one 
structure associated with the 1888 development. Artifact recovery 
was in general very small. This situation is explainable, since ante- 
bellum period refuse was discarded in the tidal flats below the site, 
and the 1888 development did not last long enough to leave a 
large amount of remains. The disturbance evident at the site pro- 
hibited the formulation of explanations for behavioral activities 
which had taken place at the site during antebellum or postbellum 
times, and it is doubtful that future excavations will provide any 
additional information. 

A systematic collection of the materials from the tidal zone 
below WGC 356 revealed that this was the site for major refuse 
disposal during the antebellum period. The high frequencies of 
materials such as fine china, tablewares, and imported wine bot- 
tles strongly suggest that this refuse was from the planter's house. 
A similar pattern of trash disposal has been noted at the Rayfield 
Plantation of Cumberland Island, and at other sites along the 
coast. It has been suggested here that this method of refuse dispo- 
sal may be indicative of a pattern found wherever a site is located 
on a bluff. The area below the site may very well be used for a 
garbage dump. 

Two of the structures identified at WGC 903 were excavated, 
and their contents suggested that these may have been evidence of 
structures inhabited by ex-slaves after the Civil War. Although a 
firm date has not been established for the site, the archaeological 
sources, as well as documentary sources for the Colonel's Island 
site lend support to this thesis. 

Despite the fact that the archaeological data provided by the 
historic sites did not meet the data requirements of our initial re- 
search objectives, an alternative objective was formulated. This 
was the comparison of the similarities and differences between the 
material conditions of ex-slaves at WGC 903 with slave settle- 
ments at Cannon's Point on St. Simons Island. In general the ma- 
terial conditions of the slave settlement were found to be consider- 
ably better than the conditions of the ex-slaves at WGC 903. This 
was the expected result, and it was concluded that the material 
conditions at WGC 903 were not just an archaeological manifes- 


tation of ex-slaves' material conditions, but also reflected the ef- 
fects of the Civil War upon those conditions. 


Ascher, Robert and Charles H. Fairbanks 

1971 Excavation of a Slave Cabin: Georgia U.S.A. Historical Archaeology 5: 3-17. 
Candler, Allen D. 

1907 The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Atlanta. The Franklin-Turner 
Company. Vol. 9. 
Clark, Deborah 

1977 Colonel's Island History of Industrialization. Brunswick News August 27, 
Donald, Henderson H. 

1952 The Negro Freedman's Life: Conditions of the American Negro in the Early 
Years After Emancipation. Henry Schuman. 
Fairbanks, Charles H. 

1972 The Kingsley Slave Cabins in Duval County Florida, 1968. The Conference on 
Historic Sites Archaeology Papers 7:62-93. 

The Georgia Genealogical Magazine 

1962 Georgia Court House Records. Minutes, Glynn County Inferior Court. Vol. 1 
Glynn County Records 

ms Wills and Appraisements A-G, Deed Books H, DD, 2, AA, N W W JJ, II, 3T, 
3W, 4H, 4R. Guardianships A-D. 
Gutman, Herbert G. 

1976 The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom 1750-1925. New York: Vintage 
Kemble, Frances Ann 

1961 A Journal of Residence on a Georgia Plantation 1838-1839. Edited by J. A. 
Scott. Alfred A. Knopf. New York (1863). 
Leigh, Frances Butler 

1833 Ten Years on a Georgia Plantation Since the War. R. Bentley & Sons, 
Lorraine, Dessamae 

1968 An Archaeologist's Guide to Nineteenth Century American Glass. Historical 
Archaeology 2:35-44. 
MacFarlane, Suzanne 

1975 The Ethnoarchaeology of a Slave Cabin Community: The Couper Plantation 
Site. M.A. Thesis, University of Florida, Gainesville. 
McVeigh, Shaw 

Ms The Development of Colonel's Island. Submitted to State Science Fair. Atlanta, 
Georgia, March 1969. 
Otto, John S. 

1975 Status Differences and the Archaeological Record: A Comparison of Planter, 
Overseer and Slave Sites from Cannon's Point Plantation (1794-1861), St. 
Simons Island, Georgia. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Florida, Gainesville. 

Sheldon, Craig T. 

1976 An Archaeological Survey of Colonel's Island, Georgia. Report on File, the 
Georgia Ports Authority, Savannah, Ga. 

Singleton, Theresa A., editor 

1985 The Archaeology of Slavery and Plantation Life. Academic Press, Orlando. 


South Brunswick Terminal Railroad Company 

MS Letter Describing Progress made in the Development of Colonel's Island, Octo- 
ber 1, 1889. R.M. Scarlett Papers. 
Trinkley, Michael, editor 

1986 Indians and Freedmen Occupations at Fish Haul Creek Site (38BU805) 
Beaufort County, South Carilina. Research Series #7, Chicora Foundation, Co- 
lumbia, South Carolina. 
Webster, Laura 

1916 The Operation of the Freedmen's Bureau in South Carolina, Smith College 
Studies in History, Vol. 1, Chapters I-IV,67-181. 



Artifacts from Historic Sites 

Artifact Counts Tidal Zone 

Type Num 





Transfer Print 






Painted Black/White 
Painted Polychrome 




















Honey-colored Glaze 


Salt glaze Stoneware 







Other Stoneware 

Ginger Beer Bottle 




Alkaline Glazed 


Miscellaneous 18th Century Wares 

Basalt Ware 


Delft B/B 




Miscellaneous Ceramics 

Unidentified Brown Lead Glazed 


Turpentine cups 


Total Ceramics 





Dark Green 

Whole 2-hinged Mold Bottle 
Whole 3-part Hinged Mold 





Whole Medicine 2-part Hinged 



Light Green 




Pressed Glass 
Depression Glass 
Crystal Decanters 






3 whole bottles 
694 fragments 

Metal Artifacts 





Pulley-like Objects 















Copper/Brass Cuprious 
Confederate Infantry 
Flat Brass Button 






Cast Metal 
Spoon Fragments 




Chert Flakes 


Limestone Fishweight 








Stoneware Stub/Stem 
White Clay Fragments 



Artifact Count for WGC 356 
Household Equipment 





Transfer Printed 


Painted (Polychrome) 



Transfer Printed 


Shell Edged 




Painted Black/White (early) 


Painted Polychrome 




















Salt Glazed Stonewares 





Other Stonewares 

Ginger Beer Bottle 


Modern Stoneware 




Aboriginal Ceramics 


Total Ceramics 



Black Glass 


Light Green 








Lamp Globe 







Total Glassware 



Construction Materials 












Clay Brick 





Shovel Handle 

















8mm, 9mm, 10mm 

South (1964) 

Type 23 



3mm, 8mm 




18mm, 15mm, 18mm, 17mm 

South Type 9 
Type 32, 



18mm, 15mm, 18mm, 17mm 

South 1964 
Tupe 9, 
Type 32, 



13mm, 14mm, 13mm 

South (1964) 
Type 21 






Clothing Items 


Jndergarment Hooks 


Ornamental Pins 




1 wire wound, 




Unfired 22 Bullet 


Unfired 32 Shell 


Unfired 32 Bullett 


Unfired 38 Shell 


Percussion Cap 


Modern Shotgun Cartr 






Upholstery Tacks 


Copper/Brass Nails 


Drawer Pulls 



Castmetal Clip 


Castmetal Gasket 


Bottle Stopper (Hutchison Closure; 


Lorraine 1968) 

Wine Bottle Seal 



Clay Pipes 













Oswald (1951) Type 




1888 Indian Head Penny 





Honey-colored Flint 


Worked Quartzite 



Artifact Counts WGC 903 

Household Equipment 







Transfer Print 
Shell Edged 
Painted Black/White 
Painted Polychrome 


Yellow Wares 


Red Wares 
Black Glazed 



Gray Salt-glazed 
Brown Salt-glazed 
Alkaline Glazed (Green) 
Ginger Beer Bottle 








Aboriginal Ceramics 






Dark Green/Black Glass 

Clear Bottle 

Light Green 


Light Blue (Modern) 


Tableware (from a decanter) 








Miscellaneous Household Utensils 



Bucket Handle Brace 

5-linked Chain 



Construction Materials 





Door Hinges 


Shutter Pintle 

Iron Fragments 












10mm, 8mm, 6 
12mm, 17mm, 






13mm, 15mm 


South 19 
South 20 





28mm, 18mm 
13mm, 15mm 
12mm, 10mm 
5 mm 

16mm, 15mm, 


South 32 
South 7 
(Cuff Button) 

South 21 



4mm, 8mm 






Clothing Items 


Garment Attachments 

Overall Hitch 

Shoe Leather Fragments 




Personal items 


Black Wire Wound 

Blue Faceted 
Female Locket 

Hair Comb (2 Hard Rubber Teeth) 
Broach Fragments 
Male's Wedding Ring 






Porcelain Doll Legs 


White Clay Pipes 

Unidentified Fragments2 
Oswald 1961 Type 21 
Oswald 1961 Type 25 





Glass Drawer Pull 
Copper Nails 



Percussion Caps 



1867 U.S. Nickel 



Hoe, Round Eye 



Graphite Pencil 

Cast Metal Ornamental Appliques 

Chert Flakes 

River Pebbles 







Elizabeth J. Reitz** 


Faunal studies of bone from archaeological sites can provide 
information on the subsistence activities of the human occupants 
at the site. From such analysis it is possible to describe adapta- 
tions to specific environments. In this study faunal collections 
from seven sites on Colonel's Island excavated in 1977 by West 
Georgia College were examined. Comparison of the Colonel's Is- 
land faunal use with subsistence patterns identified from St. 
Simons Island suggests that a pattern of marsh and tidal creek 
resource use may have been widespread, even at historic sites. 
Concentration was placed upon a limited range of species, most of 
which could be caught at night using untended devices such as 
traps and trot lines. Where terrestrial mammals were exploited, 
these may indicate hunting as an adjunct to gardening rather than 
a discrete activity. 

Materials and Methods 

Seven faunal collections were studied from the Colonel's Is- 
land excavations. The collections come from two distinct time pe- 
riods and from sites in slightly different ecological settings. All of 
the sites are found in live oak hammocks, with pine-oak-palmetto 
thickets nearby. Three of the aboriginal middens border salt 
marsh areas, but currently lack direct access to a tidal creek 
(WGC 906/926; WGC 907; WGC 918). One of the aboriginal 
middens is bordered by Jointer Creek as well as by a salt marsh 
(WGC 905). The fifth aboriginal midden is located in the interior 
of the island (WGC 357). WGC 356 is associated with the Par- 
land Plantation on the Brunswick River. The second historic site is 
located several hundred feet away from the salt marsh biotope 
and today does not have direct access to a tidal creek (WGC 

** Direct Correspondence to: Department of Anthropology, Baldwin Hall, The Uni- 
versity of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602. 


West Georgia College, Studies in the Social Sciences 26 (1987) 


The faunal materials were studied at the Florida State Mu- 
seum, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. The archaeologi- 
cal bone was identified using the Zooarchaeology Laboratory's 
comparative skeletal collection. Specimens from each identified 
category were counted and later weighed using a metric scale. The 
Minimum Number of Individuals (MNI) was determined using 
paired elements (White 1953). At each site the materials recov- 
ered from isolated, non-contiguous excavation units were analyzed 
separately to determine MNI. Contiguous units were considered 
as a single sample. The strata within each unit were lumped. This 
method perhaps over-estimates the number of individuals present 
when a species such as Cheloniidaeis represented by a single ele- 
ment in each analytical sample. 

An invertebrate collection was also identified at the Museum. 
Since the collection was not gathered in a methodical manner 
from the middens, no analysis was done. A list of the species iden- 
tified is included in the appendix. 

In order to determine the total biomass represented by the 
identified bones an allometric equation was employed. There ap- 
pears to be a relationship between skeletal weight and body 
weight in vertebrate classes (Prange, et al., 1979). This relation- 
ship may be expressed in the formula y = ax , or transformed to 
log y = log a + b log x; where x = body weight; b = slope of a 
log-log equation; log a the intercept of the log-log regression line, 
fitted by the method of least squares; and y = skeletal weight. 

Values for a and b were taken from several sources (see Ap- 
pendix III). For mammals the values were a = 0.061 and b = 
1.090 (Prange, et al. 1979). Prange's value for birds were also 
used with a = 0.065 and b = 1.071. A and b values for 
Emydidae were derived by Arlene Fradkin using data from the 
Florida State Museum's Zooarchaeological Laboratory. For the 
Emydidae a = 0.1278 and b = 1.1081. Values for fish in general, 
as well as for Ariidae and Sciaenidae, have been derived by Sylvia 
Scudder using data from the Zooarchaeology Laboratory. Fish, 
including sharks and rays, were calculated with a = 0.043 and b 
= 0.9842. When calculating for Ariidae a = 0.1274 and b = 
0.825. The Sciaenidae values are a = 0.0326 and b = 1.0006. 
The y value in all cases was the recovered bone weight in grams. 
When the log x value was determined, it was converted to the 
antilog. As such it represented total biomass for the skeletal mass 



Biomass for reptiles other than Emydidae was obtained from 
the literature, except for the snake. Identification of the snake ver- 
tebra to Colubridae is too general for this treatment so no biomass 
estimate was attempted. E.A. Mcllhenny reports weights for ten 
6-year old alligators (1935). An average of these weights, 23590 
gms, was used. A biomass of 135 gms was estimated for each mud 
turtle (John Iverson, personal communication). Most of the sea 
turtles are probably loggerheads, these being the most common of 
the sea turtles found on the Georgia coast (Johnson, et al. 1974). 
Loggerheads weigh between 77-159 kilograms (Conant 1975) 
with a mean biomass of 118 kilos per individual. Where more 
than one individual was identified, the biomass was multiplied by 
the number of individuals. 

Ideally the total biomass should be further refined into 
pounds of edible meat. To do so, however, first requires an evalua- 
tion of the use to which each species was put. For example, was 
the otter identified from WGC 903 consumed, or only butchered 
for its fur? What portions of the deer were consumed? There is 
not enough evidence upon which to base such interpretations for 
Colonel's Island. As a consequence the unadjusted biomass figure 
is used to calculate the percentage weight contribution for each 
taxon. These live weight figures estimate the maximum amount of 
biomass which the elements represent for each site. 

The mammalian materials from the two historic sites were 
analyzed for skeletal completeness, testing the hypothesis that the 
two occupations could be slave refuse. Slaves presumably received 
the bulk of their meat from rations. Species used as supplemental 
rations would not be present in the slave cabin as complete skele- 
tons, but as partial, fragmentary ones, possibly even allowing the 
identification of butchering units such as hams or shoulders. 
When itemization of identified elements did not prove conclusive, 
David H. Thomas' formula for Corrected Specimens per Individ- 
ual (CSI) (1971) was used. Species with a high CSI and a low B 
value are relatively complete, and species with a low CSI and a 
high B value have been subjected to some form of post-mortem 
disruption. Since eight of the cow fragments from WGC 903 are 
probably from the same tibia, the specimen number was reduced 
to three for this test. Obviously the recovery screen size affects 
these results. The hispid cotton rat, interpreted here as an intru- 
sive species, has a B value of 3.76 at both sites, suggesting post- 

mortem dispersal, i.e. human use. This is probably a direct reflec- 
tion of recovery technique. 


The results of the identification for all seven sites are tabu- 
lated in the appendix. The sites are listed in numerical order. The 
appendix also contains a summary of the sites, contrasting the his- 
toric with the prehistoric sites, and also provides common names 
for the taxa identified. 

The species identified from Colonel's Island represent five dif- 
ferent categories. The first category, found represented only at the 
two historic sites, is occupied by European domesticates, and the 
dog. The cattle and chickens presumably represent fully domestic 
animals. Pigs were clearly food items, but not necessarily domestic 
ones. They could represent feral individuals. The single dog's 
tooth recovered is interpreted as a non-economic inclusion rather 
than dietary refuse. 

Wild game includes both widely dispersed mammals and 
aquatic or strictly marsh species. Deer, opossum, raccoons, and 
feral pigs are found in marshes, live oak hammocks, and in gar- 
dens (Johnson, et. al. 1974). Neither bobcat nor skunk are found 
on the coastal islands today, but presumably would have ranged 
widely over the island also. Otter are exclusively aquatic and are 
common in the brackish waters (Johnson, et. al. 1974). Rabbit 
and the common muskrat were probably taken from the marsh 
area. The identification of the muskrat (from a lower first molar) 
is a southeastern extension of this species' range into the coastal 
region. In Louisiana the common muskrat is found in the marsh 
environment (Lowery 1974:272). All of the above species have 
nocturnal habits except for the otter. They could be captured us- 
ing untended traps. Only the deer would require weaponry. 

One of the wild mammals is not thought to represent an eco- 
nomic element. The hispid cotton rat is a common inhabitant of 
the coastal islands, living in thickets, grassy ditches, and pine for- 
ests underbrush (Golley 1962). Since none of the four elements 
identified are marked by human activity, they are interpreted as 
natural inclusions rather than economic fauna. The small sample 
size can be attributed to the recovery technique. 

Non-domestic birds are a third, underrepresented, category. 
Both the Ardeidae and Strigiformes are juveniles. They, as well as 


the song birds, could be natural inclusions. The single duck proba- 
bly does represent a food item. Such migratory water fowl seldom 
are found except on streams and open water ways (Johnson, et. al. 
1974) and the bird's presence on land probably is the result of 
human activity. 

All of the reptiles are common brackish water residents, ex- 
cept the yellow-bellied turtle and possibly the snake (Conant 
1975). Since the snake vertebra could not be identified to species 
it is not possible to discuss its habitat. It is not included as a food 
item. Chrysemys scripta sometimes is found along the coast 
(Johnson, et. al. 1974). For this reason alone the specimens are 
tentatively identified as scripta. The diamondback terrapin and 
mud turtles are common inhabitants of brackish streams, usually 
captured by untended basket traps. The sea turtles may represent 
trips to the Jekyll Island nesting beaches (Caldwell, et. al. 1959). 
However the loggerhead is known to come far inland seeking 
crabs in the brackish streams (Carr, personal communication) and 
could have been captured in the tidal creeks around the island. 

The fifth category of species identified includes the sharks, 
rays, and bony fish. All species identified from the sites are found 
in the vicinity of the island, including the gar and white catfish. 
These two are freshwater species, but they are occasionally found 
in brackish water (Johnson, et. al. 1974). Most of the species be- 
come gregarious surface feeders at night. Such species include 
gar, ladyfish, sea catfishes, and drum (McLane 1955). The sea 
catfishes feed on the bottom during the day. Spots and atlantic 
croaker usually occupy deep open water, but at night move in to 
the shore vegetation to feed (McLane 1955). Mullet normally 
school on the surface of large open waterways, and are not com- 
monly caught except in daytime and seldom in the small streams 
(McLane 1955). Flounder are carnivorous bottom feeders. Mullet 
and sturgeon are commonly caught with nets (Johnson, et. al. 
1974). The other species could be taken with hooks and lines, ei- 
ther hand held or as set lines. 

When the faunal materials were examined for evidence of 
seasonality, the pattern is unclear. Except for the muskrat, skunk, 
otter, and bobcat, all of the economic species contained at least 
one unfused element. The two juvenile birds indicate a warm 
month occupation, but they have been interpreted as accidental 
inclusions. All of the reptiles are year-round residents except the 
sea turtles. These frequent the Georgia coast only during the 


warm months (Caldwell, et. al. 1959). Most of the fish can be 
found in the area throughout the year also, except for the Ariidae. 
The sea catfishes are commonly found in the in-shore environment 
between March and November (Dahlbert 1975). In other words, 
those sites from which sea catfish and sea turtles were recovered 
represent summer occupations, but may have been inhabited at 
other times as well. 

Analysis of skeletal completeness from the two historic sites 
suggests that most of the major species were locally butchered and 
subjected to only moderate disruption. Only the cow from WGC 
903 demonstrates a dispersal pattern to be expected of rationed 
meat. In this case it appears that the cow is present in the diet as 
an imported cut of meat, perhaps a hind quarter of some sort. The 
degree of skeletal completeness for the wild species at WGC 903 
indicates that hunting was a common activity with the entire car- 
cass returned to the site except in the case of otters and bobcat, 
which were highly dispersed. WGC 356 relied more heavily upon 
locally raised domestic species, with some hunting of species only 
a short distance from the site. 

Discussion of Significance 

Two factors mitigate against drawing major conclusions from 
these collections. The first of these is the small size of the collec- 
tions and the representativeness of the sample. The second reser- 
vation is that the historic sites may have been occupied by slaves, 
runaways, or free men at any time before, during, or after the 
Civil War. The status of the residents would influence the eco- 
nomic activity at the sites. 

The prehistoric sites can be summarized as representing a 
marsh oriented subsistence strategy where raccoon, deer, and pos- 
sibly muskrat were the only mammals contributing to the diet. All 
other food species came from the tidal creeks, with emphasis upon 
night feeding, schooling fish. The evidence suggest that trapping 
and hook and line fishing were used. 

These sites may be compared with the sites excavated by 
Rochelle Marrinan at Cannon's Point on nearby St. Simon's Is- 
land (1975). Studying the fauna from several Cannon's Point 
sites, Marrinan concluded that the tidal creek biotope was more 
heavily exploited than either the marsh or forest zones. This con- 
clusion was drawn from a sample that lacks deer. Since the Colo- 


nel's Island sites do contain deer, more emphasis was placed upon 
terrestrial species. Since deer are found in the marsh, exploitation 
of deer does not indicate that the Colonel's Island aboriginals 
were more land than aquatic oriented. The deer could have been 
hunted in conjunction with trips to the tidal creeks via the marsh. 

WGC 903 is difficult to interpret without knowing if the oc- 
cupants were slaves. As mentioned earlier the method by which 
MNI was calculated may be misleading, especially at a single, 
short-term occupation site. If the entire site is considered as a sin- 
gle unit only 29 individuals are present. Of these only three spe- 
cies are prominent: opossum at 6.9%; pig at 10.3%; and raccoon at 
17.2%. All other species constitute 3.4% of the fauna, being repre- 
sented by a single individual each. Perhaps the site is a temporary 
hunting camp or refuge occupied between June and October. 

A more likely explanation can be offered using the model of 
garden patch hunting suggested by Olga Linares (1976). Linares 
observed that many wild species commonly found at sites where 
gardening was practiced are attracted to the fields as scavengers. 
Among these species opossum, rabbit, raccoon, feral pigs, and 
deer are prominent. These species could be killed by farmers visit- 
ing their fields. Hunting as a special activity may not have been 
practiced. The remains at WGC 903 suggest that the human oc- 
cupants were subsistence farmers who captured game when these 
were found raiding the gardens, who fished at night or used trot 
lines, and who may also have set traps for some animals. The cow 
could have been slaughtered elsewhere, as the otter and bobcat 
surely were. 

WGC 356 possibly represents a similar adaptation, with the 
addition of livestock raising. Fish could have been caught using 
set lines in the river, and some wild game may have been hunted 
in addition to those captured as an adjunct to gardening. 

At both of the historic sites the faunal inventory suggests that 
the occupants may have been engaged elsewhere during the day. 
The emphasis on species which could be caught either by un- 
tended devices or with a minimum of effort suggests that these 
were exploited in spare time, probably at night. 

The only study of faunal remains from a similar economic 
stratum is provided by John S. Otto (1975) who analyzed a slave 
cabin sample from Couper Plantation on nearby St. Simons Is- 
land. He found that the slave diet was dominated by domestic 
foods. Otto suggests that the slaves had little time for hunting and 


fishing due to their work on the plantation. Although most of the 
small mammals found at Colonel's Island were also identified at 
Couper's Plantation, the use of wild foods such as deer and sea 
turtle indicates more exploitation of wild foods at Colonel's Island. 
Possibly this difference can be explained by suggesting that the 
Parland Plantation 1) supplied deer and sea turtle along with do- 
mestic rations; 2) allowed the slaves sufficient time to hunt and 
fish; or 3) allotted garden patches and weaponry to their slaves. 

The absence of mullet at Colonel's Island is a further point of 
difference between the two sites. Mullet comprised 10% of the 
faunal sample at the slave cabin on Couper's Plantation, yet are 
absent from Colonel's Island. Mullet are an ideal fish for mass 
capture techniques since they are found in the day time in large 
schools near the surface (McLane 1955). Their absence at Colo- 
nel's Island could be significant. If Otto's findings can be genera- 
lized as a model of slave subsistence it seems likely that neither 
WGC 356 or WGC 903 represents slave economies. 

Considering the two studies from St. Simons Island and the 
seven sites from Colonel's Island together, one additional point of 
interest is indicated. There appears to be relative specialization 
upon a rather narrow range of fauna at all the sites. The faunal 
inventories are remarkably similar regardless of the status of the 
occupants, or the time of occupation. When the reported variety 
of species from the estuarine environment is taken into account, 
this limited and consistent range of species warrents further inves- 
tigation. One also wonders if there are any deer on St. Simons 


Although the conclusions which can be drawn from the Colo- 
nel's Island faunal study are tentative, when Colonel's Island is 
compared with the faunal studies from neighboring St. Simons Is- 
land it appears that a regular subsistence pattern is operative in 
the area regardless of temporal or status differences. The exploita- 
tion of marsh mammals and such tidal creek species as sea catfish 
and drum are common elements of all the sites, modified in the 
historic sites only by the addition to the faunal inventory of do- 
mestic animals. As more work is done along the Georgia coast it 
will be possible to see if this pattern is maintained on other is- 
lands. It will be of particular interest to explore slave diet more 


extensively. Using Otto's model as a guide neither of the Colonel's 
Island historic collections appear to be slave refuse. Further work 
in this area at locations known positively as slave occupations is 


Caldwell, D.K., F.H. Berry, A. Car, R.A. Ragotzkie 

1959 Multiple and Group Nesting by the Atlantic Loggerhead Turtle. Bulletin of 
the Florida State Museum, Biological Science 4:10. 
Carr, Archie F. 

1978 Graduate Research Professor, Department of Zoology, University of Florida, 
Gainesville, Florida. Personal Communication. 
Conant, Roger 

1975 A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North 
America. Houghton-Mifflin, Boston. 
Dahlberg, Michael E. 

1975 Guide to Coastal Fishes of Georgia and Nearby States. University of Georgia 
Press, Athens. 

Golley, Frank B. 

1962 Mammals of Georgia. University of Georgia Press, Athens. 
Iverson, John. 

1978 Department of Zoology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Personal 

Johnson, A.S., H.O. Hillestad, S.F. Shaanholtzer, G.F. Shauholtzer 

1974 An Ecological Survey of the Coastal Region of Georgia. National Park Service 
Scientific Monograph 3. 
Linares, Olga 

1976 Garden Hunting in the American Tropics. Human Ecology 4 (4):33 1-349. 
Lowery, Georgia H. 

1974 The Mammals of Louisiana and Its Adjacent Waters. Louisiana State Univer- 
sity Press, Baton Rouge. 

Mcllhenny, E.A. 

1935 The Alligator's Life History. Christopher Publishing House, Boston. 
McLane, William McNair 

1955 The Fishes of the St. Johns River System. Ph.D. Dissertation. University of 
Florida, Gainesville. 
Marrinan, Rochelle A. 

1975 Ceramics, Molluscs, and Sedentism: A Late Archaic Period on the Georgia 
Coast. Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Florida, Gainesville. 

Otto, John Solomon 

1975 Status Differences and the Archaeological Record - a Comparison of Planter, 

Overseer, and Slave Sites from Cannon's Point Plantation (1794-1861), St. 

Simons Island, Georgia. Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Florida, Gainesville. 
Prange, H.D., J. A. Anderson, and Hermann Rahn 

1979 Scaling of Skeletal Mass to Body Mass in Birds and Mammals. American Nat- 
uralist 113(1):103-122. 

Thomas, David H. 

1971 On Distinguishing Natural from Cultural Bone in Archaeological Sites. Ameri- 
can Antiquity 36 (3):366-371. 
White, Theodore 

1953 A Method of Calculating the Dietary Percentage of Various Food Animals 
Utilized by Aboriginal Peoples. American Antiquity 18 (4):396-398. 



































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Comparing Specimens from Historic and Prehistoric Sites 

Colonel's Island 


Common Names 

§ MNI 

| MNI 

Unid. Mammal 






Didelphis virginiana 






Sylvilagus sp. 






Sylvilagus palustris 

Marsh Rabbit 











*Sigmodon hispidus 

Cotton Rat 





Ondatra zibethicstat 

Common Muskrat 











*Danis familiaris 






Procyon lotor 






Mephitis mephitis 

Striped Skunk 





Lutra canadensis 

River Otter 





Felix rufus 











Sus scrofa 






cf. Odocoileus virginianus 






Odocoileus virginianus 

White-tailed Deer 





cf. Bos taurus 






Bos taurus 






Alligator mississippiensis 






Unid. Turtle 






cf. Kinosternon 


Mud Turtle 





Kinosternon subrubrum 

Mud Turtle 





cf. Emydidae 






Box and Water Turtles 





Malaclemys terrapin 






cf. Chrysemys cf. scripta 






Chrysemys cf. scripta 







Sea Turtles 





Caretta caretta 






Lepidochelys kempi 












Unid. Birds 







Herons and Bitterns 





Anas sp. 

Blue-winged Teal 





Gallus gallus 


















Caracharhinus sp. 

Requiem Shark 





Sphyrna tiburo 






Dasyatis sp. 






Unid. Osteichthyes 

Bony Fish 





Acipenser sp. 






Lepisosteus cf. osseus 






Elops saurus 






Icatalurus cf. catus 

White catfish 






Sea Catfishes 










Common Names 





Arius felis 

Sea Catfish 





Bagre marinus 

Gafftopsail catfish 










Archosargus probato 







Cynoscion sp. 

Sea Trout 





Leiostmus xanthurus 






cf. Micropogonias 


Atlantic croa 






Micropogonias undulatus 

Atlantic croa 




1 50 


Pogonias cromis 

Black Drum 





Scianops ocellatus 

Red Drum 





Mugil sp. 






Prionotus sp. 

Sea Robin 





Paralichthys sp. 






Unid. Bone 










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Karl T. Steinen** 

The archaeological investigation of Colonel's Island proved, 
in many ways, to be quite disappointing. The prehistoric sites that 
were tested all produced ample evidence of having been disturbed 
by farming or industrial activity during the 19th and 20th centu- 
ries. A brief examination of the artifact tables bears this out. The 
historic excavations, while more fruitful, were also disappointing. 
The abortive 1880's development of the northern end of the island 
destroyed most of the Parland Plantation. The historic sites on the 
south side of the island did, however, disclose important informa- 
tion concerning the post-Civil War freedman occupation of the 
Georgia coast. 

This volume does not present the results of landmark excava- 
tions. The disturbed nature of the sites and limited excavation 
techniques prevent them from being such. However, the data that 
are presented and the conclusions reached from them should not 
be discounted. 

They should be viewed as preliminary models to be tested 
through more substantial excavation programs in similar environ- 
mental and histoical settings. 

An integration of the archaeological, zooarchaeological and 
ethnobotanical analysis presented in this volume allows a picture 
of the lifeways on the island, and subsequently, the marsh to be 
developed. One of the more interesting aspects of coastal life that 
was defined from the excavations was the apparent uniformity of 
the economic resources of the marsh through time. Both the 
zooarchaeological and ethnobotanical reports, prepared indepen- 
dently, indicate that the economic resources that were exploited 
were primarily from the marsh and changed little though time. 

The prehistoric sites that were tested showed remarkable sim- 
ilarity of structure and content. Although the cultural component 
of each varied, the overall composition of the sites was the same. 

** Direct correspondence to: Martha Munro Hail, West Georgia College, Carroll- 
ton,Georgia 30118. 


West Georgia College, Studies in the Social Sciences 26 (1987) 

Generally speaking, each of the sites, with the exception of WGC 
357, was oriented specifically toward the marsh/island ecotone. 
While the sites were observed to spread inland for some distance, 
the bulk of the cultural deposits were found on the marsh/island 
ecotone. The reliance placed on exploitation of the marsh habitat 
for hunting and fishing as well as oyster gathering seems to be the 
reason for this pattern of site placement. 

The midden content of both cultural and non-cultural materi- 
als was consistent. The bulk of the middens consists of oyster shell 
with a minimal admixture of dark sand. The shell weights made 
for each test unit were intended to be used to detect horizontal 
stratification within the site. It was hypothesized that differential 
intensity of occupation of the sites would be reflected in greater or 
lesser concentration of shell in different areas. While the limited 
amount of digging conducted on each site prevented the testing of 
this hypothesis, the generated weight data combined with the 
knowledge of the aerial extent of the different sites suggests that 
there was a fairly even utilization of the different sites. 

The two prehistoric sites which do not fit into this generaliza- 
tion are WGC 907 and WGC 357. WGC 907 is difficult to char- 
acterize. Due to the extensive disturbance of the site and the lim- 
ited number of artifacts recovered from the formal tests, surface 
inspection and the auger holes, little can be said. This site is 
larger than the others, and the depth of the midden is the stan- 
dard six inches, but the concentration of cultural materials is 
much lower. More extensive testing of this site is needed to deter- 
mine its exact place within the cultural and historic developmental 
scheme for the island. 

WGC 357, the Railroad site, presents a different problem al- 
together. Its inland placement and more extensive midden sug- 
gests that it may have been a permanently inhabited site. The 
sherds with the filfot cross stamp that were recovered give this site 
a very late prehistoric to historic date. It is entirely possible that 
the people who lived there were attempting to remain unobserved. 
All the other aboriginal sites were placed in close proximity to the 
marsh or salt creeks where they are easily observable from off the 
island. The inland location of WGC 357 masks it from observa- 
tion from any portion of the shore. Indeed, assuming that there 
was a heavy growth of oak on the island before it was modified by 
the historic occupation, the village would be difficult to see from 
any distance on the island itself. Intentional placement of a village 


area in an unobservable area could suggest that they were a fugi- 
tive population. An alternate explanation is that the site was situ- 
ated here to allow for efficient horticulture to be conducted. A 
similar shift in settlement pattern (from compact shell middens to 
thin/sand middens) has been documented by Larson for the Guale 
at the time of European contact (Larson 1978; 1980). 

In recent years archaeologists have found that soil types are 
useful factors in the determination of the variables of site place- 
ment. The excavated prehistoric sites are located on four different 
soil types. WGC 357 is located on Lakeland Sand, a type consid- 
ered relatively unsuitable for agriculture. WGC 907, 905 and 
906/926 are situated on Chipley Sand, while WGC 913 is located 
on Rutledge Sand. WGC 918 is located on Leon Sand. 

I believe that all of the indications present support a conclu- 
sion that the prehistoric sites on Colonel's Island were occupied on 
a limited basis. Their small size, apparent lack of features, small 
range of resources present and lack of artifacts all point to this 

The historic excavations proved to be disappointing. The fu- 
tile attempt to develop the island during the 1880's disturbed al- 
most completely the main area of the Parland Plantation (WGC 
356). Our efforts to determine aspects of social stratification were 
thwarted by the disturbance of the plantation structures and re- 
fuse area. However, the faunal analysis of this site suggests that 
there may have been no significant change in subsistence patterns 
from the prehistoric period. WGC 903, the post-Civil War freed- 
man settlement, exhibited the same subsistence pattern as the 
Parland Plantation site. 

In summary, it can be stated that the inhabitants of Colonel's 
Island, both historically and prehistorically, practiced a subsis- 
tence economy that was closely tied to the marsh and tidal creeks. 
Not unlike the occupants of the barrier islands, these people rec- 
ognized and exploited the rich resources that are present in the 
Georgia coastal marsh ecosystem. The richness of this environ- 
ment with its great variety of exploitable game and fishes pre- 
cluded the need to rely heavily upon imported foods. The addition 
of domesticated foods in the form of swine and cattle further 
added to the productivity of the marsh area. 

The question remains as to why the island was inhabited only 
intermittently before European occupation. The basic pattern of 
small sites seems to be prevalent in the areas of the coast south of 


St. Simons Island. Jekyll Island, Cumberland Island and the 
mainland and other marsh islands south of St. Simon's do not pos- 
sess sites as large or as complex as those found on, for instance, 
St. Catherines and Sapelo Island. This has led to the speculation 
that the area below St. Simons and above the St. Mary's River 
served as a buffer zone between the distinctly different cultures of 
the Georgia coast and the St. Johns region of Florida (Larson 

Larson (1958:12-13) has discussed the concept of a cultural 
buffer in this area to some extent. He has characterized the two 
different areas as having possessed, during the historic period, two 
distinct cultures. Larson writes: 

In the proto-historic and historic periods, the Guale 
Indians (of Georgia) were located on the coast in Mcin- 
tosh and Liberty Counties, some twenty-five miles north 
of Camden County. To the south of Camden County on 
the Northern St. Johns area of Florida were a Timucuan 
group. . .In general, the Guale were culturally related to 
central Georgia and the close linguistic kin, the Creeks 
(Larson Msa), while the eastern Timucuan relationships 
lay primarily in Florida (Goggin 1952:68-70). 

Larson continues his article with a fairly detailed discussion 
of the ceramic and ethnohistorical evidence for this area being a 
buffer zone between these two distinct culture areas. This discus- 
sion cannot be furthered by the data generated from Colonel's 

The dynamics of culture contact would dictate that if two dif- 
ferent cultures exploiting the same environment and niche came 
into contact, there would be competition for the natural resources. 
Prehistorically, the patterns of population replacement caused by 
this form of competition have been documented for many areas 
(Prufer 1970; Sears 1968). If, however, two geographically adja- 
cent cultures who exploited the same or similar environments did 
not come into contact, the competition for the resources would not 
develop. The development of a buffer zone, an area not intensely 
exploited by either group, to reduce or eliminate the competition 
between populations, would be a logical cultural adjustment of the 

The aboriginal patterns shown on the island, when compared 
to the barrier islands, suggest that the marsh corridor was only a 


single segment in a complex pattern of exploitation of the natural 
environment. Cleland (1976) has developed th Diffuse Model for 
this general pattern of environmental adaptation. This pattern of 
adaptation places a reliance on multiple resources in an area and 
not on a single resource (Focal Model). The heavy reliance on the 
marsh/tidal creek environments and the indications of non-perma- 
nent habitations are evidence to support the application of the 
Diffuse Model to the prehistoric component of Colonel's Island. I 
suggest that the island, and correspondingly the marsh corridor, 
were exploited for the available oysters, marsh fauna and salt 
creek fish. No long term occupation was practiced, however, the 
areas of the island were re-utilized periodically over long periods 
of time. 

The historic occupation of the island is known primarily 
through documents. The Parland Plantation, while productive, 
never reached the economic or social heights of the nearby barrier 
island plantations on St. Simons, or of the mainland rice planta- 
tions. The exact reasons for this inability to match the economic 
output of the better known plantations are not known at this time. 
The factors involved in productivity transcend the normally mea- 
surable variables of soil productivity, world market and size of 
workforce. The individualistic variables of incentive, ability of 
managers and overall structure of the supervisory mechanisms, 
items that cannot be measured by archaeological methods, are all 
important in the understanding of economic success when dealing 
with agricultural production for use in a world market. 

In conclusion, it must be stressed that the results of these 
excavations can be used only as the basis for more extensive 
archaeological research in the marsh corridor. The concept of a 
Diffuse Model of settlement pattern and restricted availability of 
land coupled with the cultural variable of a buffer zone between 
the St. John's region of Florida and the Georgia Coast need to be 
tested through the development of an extensive survey and the ex- 
cavation program. The results of this program coupled with the 
preliminary data generated by the Colonel's Island excavations 
will serve to add to our knowledge of the prehistoric and historic 
lifeways of the Georgia Coast. 


Bullen, Ripley P. and Bruce Green 

1970 Stratigraphic Tests at Stallings Island, Georgia. Florida Anthropologist 23 



Caldwell, Joseph 

1971 Chronology of the Georgia Coast. Southeastern Archaeological Conference 
Bulletin 13:88-92. 
Caldwell, Joseph and Catherine McCann 

1971 Irene Mound Site, Chatham County, Georgia. University of Georgia Press, 
Clafiin, William H. 

1931 The Stallings Island Mound, Columbia County, Georgia. Papers of the 
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Vol. 14, 
No. 1, Cambridge. 
Cleland, Charles E. 

1976 The Focal-Diffuse Model: An Evolutionary Perspectiveln the Prehistoric Cul- 
tural Adaptation of the Eastern United States. Midcontenintal Journal of Ar- 
chaeology 1 (1). 

Cook, Fred 

1977 The Lower Georgia Coast as a Cultural Sub- Region. Early Georgia 5(1 & 2) 

DePratter, Chester 

1977 Environmental Changes on the Georgia Coast During the Prehistoric Period. 
Early Georgia 5 (1 & 2): 1-14. 

Fairbanks, Charles H. 

1942 The Taxanomic Position of Stallings Island, Georgia American Antiquity 1 
(3): 223-231. 
Larson, Lewis H. 

1958 Cultural Relationships Between the Northern St. Johns Area and the Georgia 
Coast. Florida Anthropologist XI (l):ll-22. 

1978 Historic Guale Indians of the Georgia Coast andthe Impact of the Spanish 
Mission Effort. In Tacachale: Essays on the Indians of Florida and Southeast- 
ern Georgia During the Historic Period edited by J.T. Milanich and S. Proc- 
tor, pp. 120-140. University Presses of Florida, Gainesville. 

1980 Aboriginal Subsistence Technology of the Southeastern Coastal Plain During 
the Late Prehistoric Period. University Presses of Florida, Gainesville. 
Martinez, Carlos 

1975 Cultural Sequence on the Central Georgia Coast: 1000 BC-1650 AD. M.A. 
Thesis, University of Florida. 
Milanich, Jerald T. 

1973 The Southeastern Deptford Culture: A Preliminary Definition. Bureau of His- 
toric Sites and Properties Bulletin No. J., Tallahassee, Florida. 
Prufer, Olaf 

1970 Blain Village and the Fort Ancient Tradition in Ohio. The Kent State Univer- 
sity Press. 
Sears, William H. 

1961 The Study of Social and Religious Systems in North American Archaeology. 

Current Anthropology 2(3): 223-246. 
1968 The State and Settlement Patterns in the New World in K.C.Chang, ed. Set- 
tlement Archaeology. National Press Books, Palo Alto. 




+ ZP It 3 7 ^0 ?& 


) THFi 



Volume Editor 


: oreword by Francis P. Conner, West Georgia College; 
Series Editor, Studies in the Social Sciences v 

deface by Jonathan Goldstein, West Georgia College; 

zditor of Issue on "Georgia's East Asian Connection: 

nto the Twenty-first Century" , viii 

The Historical Experience: East Asians in Georgia 

A. Historical Documents Relating to Asian-Americans 
and to East Asia in the National Archives — Southeast 
Region, by Gayle Peters, National Archives — 
Southeast Region; Jonathan Goldstein, West Georgia 
College; and Merlin Kirk, West Georgia College 2 

B. History of the Chinese in Savannah, Georgia, 
by George B. Pruden, Jr., Armstrong State College 17 

C. The Augusta, Georgia, Chinese: 1865-1980, by 
Catherine Brown, and Thomas Ganschow, 
University of Georgia 35 

D. The Expulsion of Loo Chang from Waynesboro: 
A Case Study of Sinophobia in Georgia in 1883, 
by Bess Beatty, Oregon State University 57 

The Historical Experience: Georgians in East Asia 
A. John Elliot Ward: A Georgia Elitist in the Celestial 
Empire, 1858-60, by William M. Gabard, Valdosta 
State College, Emeritus 72 


B. William L. Scruggs: A Georgian as United States 
Consul in China, 1879-81 , by Dale Peeples, 

Valdosta State College 88 

C. Feminism and Methodist Missionary Activity in China: 
The Experience of Atlanta's Laura Haygood, 

1 884-1 900, by Linda Madson Papageorge, Kennesaw 
College 100 

D. A Georgia Evangelist in the Celestial Empire: Cicero 
Washington Pruitt (1857-1946) and the Southern 
Baptist Mission in Shantung, by Marjorie King, 
Hahnemann University 112 

III. Contemporary Georgia-East Asian Relations and the Future 

A. Georgia, Atlanta, and the East Asian World: An 
Economist's View of Interactions Since World War II, 
by Ernest W. Ogram, Institute of International 

Business, Georgia State University 130 

B. The Georgia-Japan Relationship: Into the Twenty-first 
Century, by Day Lancaster, State of Georgia 
Department of Industry and Trade 140 

C. The Georgia-Japan Relationship: A Comparison of 
Japanese Investment in Massachusetts and in Georgia, 

by George M. Lancaster, The Portman Companies 150 

D. The Georgia-Republic of Korea (ROK) Connection: 
Into the Twenty-first Century, by Gerdeen Dyer, The 
Atlanta Journal-Constitution 159 

IV. Profiles of Civic Organizations Involved with Georgia-East 
Asian Relations 
A. Japan, Georgia, and the Japan-America Society of 

Georgia (JASG): The Viewpoint of Its Executive 
Director, by George Waldner, JASG and Wilkes 

College 170 

B. Enhancing Understanding of Japan Through an 
Informal Coalition of Scholars, Educators and Others: 
The Japan Education Network in Georgia (JENGA), by 
Donald O. Schneider, University of Georgia 178 


C. The Asian Studies Consortium of Georgia (ASCOG), 
by Don Chang Lee, ASCOG and Georgia 
Southwestern College 184 

D. The Atlanta Basha of the China-Burma-India Veterans 
Association (CBIVA), by Elmer E. Felecki, CBIVA 189 

E. Georgia's Place in the History of Friends of Free China 
(FOFC), by Jack E. Buttram, FOFC 195 

F. History of the United States-China People's Friendship 
Association (USCPFA) of Atlanta, by Edward S. Krebs, 
USCPFA, and author, Liu Ssu-Fu and Chinese 
Anarchism, 1905-16 202 


Volume XXVIII January 1990 

$2.00 each: 

Vol. VIII, 1969, Some Aspects of Black Culture. 

Vol. XI, 1972, Georgia Diplomats and Nineteenth Century Trade 

Vol. XIII, 1974, American Diplomatic History: Issues and Methods. 

$3.00 each: 

Vol. XIV, 1975, Political Morality, Responsiveness, and Reform in 

Vol. XV, 1976, The American Revolution: The Home Front. 

Vol. XVI, 1 977, Essays on the Human Geography of the Southeastern 
United States. 

Vol. XVIII, 1979, The Southeastern United States: Essays on the 
Cutural and Historical Landscape. 

$4.00 each: 

Vol. XIX, 1980, Sapelo Papers: Researchers in the History and 
Prehistory of Sapelo Island, Georgia. 

Vol. XX, 1981, Games Without Frontiers: Essays for a Protean 

Vol. XXI, 1982, Supply-Side Economics: Pro and Con. 

Copyright 1990, West Georgia College 

Printed in U.S.A. 
($1 .00 discount per copy with standing orders or orders of ten or more 
to one address.) 

COVER ILLUSTRATION : Cover by Prof. Lee-jan Jan of West Georgia 

Cost: $4525.00 
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ISSN 0081-8682 



Since the publication of Georgia's East Asian Connection 1733- 
1983 (West Georgia College Studies in Social Sciences, Vol. XXII) in 
1983, which detailed a number of ways in which Georgians were 
involved with the countries and peoples of East Asia, both historically 
and currently, those connections have increased and expanded. This 
volume, also edited by Dr. Goldstein, updates and expands the 
previous work. 

Continued economic competition with Japan, the 1 988 Olympics in 
Seoul, and especially recent events in China, reveal to us once again 
that the world is much smaller than we imagine it to be. The increased 
number of new citizens from Korea and from Southeast Asia, as well 
as the presence of Japanese businesses in even our smallest commu- 
nities, makes us aware of the need for learning more about these 
people who are sometimes our partners, sometimes our competitors, 
but always our neighbors on this planet. This volume attempts to help 
us understand these global neighbors by focusing on historical events 
in which individuals and groups from our different cultures have 
interacted. Sometimes the immediate result was tragic, sometimes 
inspiring, sometimes simply pragmatic. 

The Chinese have a saying, "The only thing constant is change." If 
we are to be prepared for the change occurring in our midst and in the 
homelands of our East Asian neighbors, we must learn more about 
them. It is hoped that this volume will help us to do that for the general 
reader as well as for serious social scientists. 

Francis P. Conner 
Series Editor 

Preface By Jonathan Goldstein, 
West Georgia College; 

Volume Editor of 

Georgia's East Asian Connection 
Into the Twenty-First Century 



Preface to the Issue, 
Georgia's East Asian Connection: 
Into the Twenty-first Century" 


In 1983 Georgia celebrated the two hundred and fiftieth anniver- 
sary not only of its founding, but also of its contact with East Asia. 
With America's transpacific trade exceeding the dollar value of our 
traditional transatlantic trade and with two hundred and fifty years of 
Georgian-East Asian interaction behind us, the time seemed right to 
raise the questions: What has been the nature of the historical ties 
between Georgia and East Asia, and what are the prospects for 
future ties? 

In 1983, in an attempt to answer those questions, West Georgia 
College Studies in the Social Sciences published Georgia's East 
Asian Connection, 1733-1983. The principal changes in this 1990 
issue, which addresses itself to those enduring questions, are the 
addition of an article to the historical section and the updating and 
expansion of the section on the contemporary experience with six 
new articles. The 1983 issue, which sold out almost immediately, ex- 
amined Georgia's East Asian relations on multiple levels: 

1 . Direct people-to-people contacts as Georgians and East 
Asians have travelled, migrated to, and in some cases settled 
in each others' territories. 

2. Newspaper and other media accounts that contributed to 
Georgia's awareness of East Asian cultures. 

3. Commerce between Georgia and East Asia. 

4. Diplomatic relations between the United States and East 
Asia in which Georgians played a part. 


The 1990 volume reexamines these levels of interaction and dis- 
cusses new ones. One article focuses specifically on Georgia's 
Koreans, now the largest Asian immigrant population in the state. 
Two 1983 articles concerned civic organizations involved with Geor- 
gia-East Asian ties. The 1990 volume includes revised and updated 
profiles of those two organizations, the Japan-America Society of 
Georgia and the United States-China People's Friendship Associa- 
tion of Atlanta, plus new histories of the Japan Education Network in 
Georgia, the Asian Studies Consortium of Georgia, and the Atlanta 
basha of the China-Burma-India Veterans Association. The new 
issue includes one more profile of a Georgian active in nineteenth 
century China, Southern Baptist missionary Cicero Washington Pruitt. 
Professor Marjorie King's 1990 biography of Pruitt provides a con- 
trast with Professor Linda Papageorge's 1983 profile of Southern 
Methodist Laura Haygood. Lastly, because of the increasing impor- 
tance of Japanese investment in our state, an article by George M. 
Lancaster of The Portman Companies compares Japanese invest- 
ment in Massachusetts with that in Georgia. This article comple- 
ments his brother Day's in the 1983 volume. Day's updated piece 
gives an overall profile of both Japanese investment in Georgia and 
Georgia investment in Japan. 

Like its 1983 predecessor, the 1990 publication is a multi-discipli- 
nary effort to describe and analyze Georgia's East Asian connec- 
tions. Because of the varied nature of these ties, the volume editor 
has enlisted a variety of experts to evaluate them. Contributors to the 
1990 issue include six professors of East Asian history, one graduate 
student in East Asian history, one geographer, one anthropologist, 
one journalist, three professors of American history, an economist 
who is also a professor of international business, a United States 
Government archivist in the State of Georgia, a State of Georgia 
international trade official, three citizen-officials of civic organizations 
with Georgia-East Asia ties, and a Georgia businessman with exper- 
tise in bureaus of international trade in two states. 

These experts focus on three specific aspects of Georgia-East 
Asia ties. Hence the three sections of this volume. Section one deals 
with the historical experiences and difficulties faced by the Chinese, 
the earliest East Asian immigrants to Georgia, in Savannah, Au- 
gusta, and Waynesboro. Section two offers analyses of the experi- 


ence of Georgia pioneers in nineteenth and early twentieth century 
China: an ex-Savannah mayor who served as the first United States 
diplomatic representative to Beijing (Peking); a low-level career dip- 
lomat from Atlanta who served as a United States consul in China; a 
female educator from Atlanta who helped establish Southern Meth- 
odist missionary programs in Shanghai; and a Barrettsville, Georgia, 
native who served for decades as a Southern Baptist missionary in 
Shantung province, North China. Section three leaps to the post- 
World War II period. It concerns Georgia's recent ties not only with 
China, but also with Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan. 
Prospects for the future are examined in terms of people-to-people 
contacts through individual travel and immigration, through activities 
of immigration civic organizations, through East Asian investment in 
Georgia and Georgian investment in East Asia; and through official 
federal, state, and municipal government relationships. 

The first article in section one is a bibliographical survey of docu- 
ments in Atlanta's Federal Government records depository that might 
shed light on Georgia's East Asian connection. The National Ar- 
chives Southeast Region is the largest repository in Georgia of East 
Asia-related records. A survey of its archival holdings has been made 
through the joint efforts of its resident archivist, who is also a special- 
ist on American history and international relations; a professor of 
East Asian history; and a West Georgia College graduate student 
interning at the Atlanta branch to assist in the survey of Asian-related 
documents. The article suggests what types of records are available 
for specific types of research on East Asia-related topics. Brief de- 
scriptions are given of the Regional Archives' United States census 
records; naturalization records and other federal court documents; 
Customs Service passenger lists; Selective Service System docu- 
ments; and State, War, and Navy Department papers. The histories 
of the Savannah, Augusta, and Waynesboro Chinese in this volume 
are examples of the type of demographic history of Asian-Americans 
that can be written using United States census data and federal court 
records along with other sources. The two articles on Georgia diplo- 
mats are examples of what can be discovered using National Ar- 
chives diplomatic documents. 

Professor George B. Pruden is a specialist in East Asian history. 
His article on Savannah establishes the origins of Georgia's East 

^sian connection, tracing the interaction back to Oglethorpe and the 
sarliest Georgians' awareness of China. Pruden asks how the expe- 
'iences of Chinese immigrants in nineteenth-century Savannah 
compared with previously established race relationships. Did the 
Chinese assimilate or remain distinctive within a Chinatown? Why? 
What was the role of the Christian Church in the Chinese commu- 
nity? How were the Chinese accepted as citizens by the Caucasian 
and black Savannahians? Pruden has used local newspaper ac- 
:ounts, interviews, and city directories, along with federal census 
data to reconstruct the history of the Savannah Chinese. He dis- 
cusses their reasons for emigration, areas of settlement, education, 
and economic mobility. His data is tabulated in an appendix. 

Pruden then deals with the twentieth century, with vivid anecdotes, 
and even a poem, to provide a picture of the Chinese settlement in 
Savannah. He offers minibiographies of some typical and atypical 
Savannah Chinese: Robert Chung Chan, the first Chinese to estab- 
ish a family in Savannah; his poet-daughter Gerald (nee Geraldine) 
Sieg; the entrepreneur T.S. Chu; and the scholar-politician K.C. Wu. 
Mingling anecdotes with demographic data, Pruden presents a schol- 
arly and lucid history of an American settlement, in the manner of 
-ibrarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin in his classic history, Ameri- 
cans: The National Experience. 

Catherine Brown and Thomas Ganschow, like Pruden, also have 
Jtilized census data, city directories, and media accounts to recon- 
struct a profile of a Chinese settlement. Brown, drawing upon a 
Dackground in geography, and Ganschow, in Chinese history, have 
attempted to isolate historical and socio-economic development pat- 
erns of Augusta Chinese. They are concerned with the questions: 
Amy did the Chinese come to the South after the Civil War? Was it an 
accidental or a planned migration? What was the response of South- 
erners to Chinese, and vice versa? Were the patterns of discrimina- 
:ion against blacks transferred to the Chinese? What were the in- 
creases or decreases in the Chinese population? What were the 
scholastic achievements and the shifts in residential and occupa- 
ional patterns? To what degree were Chinese socially accepted? In 
^articular, were they allowed to move into white neighborhoods? 
How did patterns within Augusta's Chinese community compare with 
patterns elsewhere in the nation? This data is tabulated in five ap- 


pendixes to the article. Like Pruden, Brown and Ganschow liven their 
demographic data with anecdotal material such as the account of the 
murder of Chinese grocer Yip Sing in Augusta in 1 896 and his Baptist 
burial service in Augusta's "whites-only" cemetery. 

Bess Beatty, an American historian with a strong background in 
black and labor history, deals with the origins and significance of the 
"Ku Kluxing," or forcible expulsion, of Loo Chang, Waynesboro's first 
Chinese resident. Beatty attempts to place the Waynesboro experi- 
ence within the broader context of early American sinophobia and 
prejudice and compares her findings with those of Luther Spoehr, 
Stuart Miller, Gunter Barth, Mary Coolidge, Carey McWilliams, and 
other historians of sinophobia and prejudice. Beatty's interest is 
largely in Loo Chang's legal status, and she has drawn on federal 
and county court records, as well as census data, to conclude that an 
"interchangeability of prejudice" may have gravitated in Georgia from 
blacks to Chinese. She examines the economic threat Chinese 
merchants may have posed to Caucasian businessmen in Georgia. 
Beatty postulates that demonstrations of southern racism and sino- 
phobia such as occurred in Waynesboro in 1883 may explain why so 
few Chinese immigrants came south. 

As Chinese began to settle in Georgia in the mid-nineteenth cen- 
tury, Georgians began to visit, and occasionally settle, in East Asia. 
In describing the careers of three nineteenth century Georgia pio- 
neers in China, Professors William M. Gabard, Dale Peeples, Linda 
Madson Papageorge, and Marjorie King evaluate the success of 
these pioneers in terms of the background and goals of each individ- 
ual and the broad context of American-East Asian relations in which 
each of the individuals operated. 

Gabard, a professor of East Asian history with a sub-specialty in 
Georgia history, evaluates the career of Savannah Mayor John Elliott 
Ward, the United States' diplomatic representative in China from 
1 858 through 1 860. Ward held close ties with the Episcopal church in 
Savannah, with the Episcopal bishop in Georgia, and indirectly with 
that bishop's brother-in-law, the Episcopal bishop in China. Gabard 
details religious, economic, and political influences of a Georgia 
background on the conscience and conduct of this diplomat. Once in 
China, Ward continued his associations with clerics, especially with 
the Reverend S. Wells Williams, who served as interim United States 


charge d'affaires until Ward arrived, and with the Reverends W.A.P. 
Martin and William Aitchinson, who served as interpreters for Ward's 
legation. Beyond religious influences, Gabard discusses how the 
international trade, travel, and naval contacts of Savannah familiar- 
ized Ward with East Asia. Gabard examines how the decorum of 
Southern gentlemanly conduct affected Ward's behavior in his offi- 
cial duties in the alien environment of China. 

Ward was an ex-mayor sent on a high-level pioneering mission by 
President Buchanan in 1858. Professor Peeples, an American diplo- 
matic historian, describes the career of a low-level Foreign Service 
Officer, Atlantan William Scruggs. Scruggs served in China two 
decades after Ward, at a time when official Sino-American relations 
had evolved from an exploratory and experimental level to a more 
routine level of contact. Scruggs apparently enjoyed little personal 
satisfaction while working diligently to improve the consulates to 
which he was assigned. He is sympathetically portrayed as a hard 
working civil servant who endured physical illness, disappointment, 
and homesicknesses during a two year consulship in Zhenjiang and 

Professor Papageorge, a specialist in American history, focuses 
on Atlanta's pioneer feminist missionary-educator Laura Haygood, 
whom she sees as anything but a plodding bureaucrat. Papageorge 
asks: What type of missionary work was open to Victorian women? 
What kinds of women entered the field and why? What was the 
nature of a missionary woman's spiritual consciousness? On what 
terms did she participate with men in the movement? To what degree 
did her participation affect the East Asian society she hoped to 
convert? Although Haygood's ultimate ambition of Christianizing 
China was unfulfilled, she emerges as an originator, a zealot, and a 

The last word in Professor Beatty's article on the nineteenth cen- 
tury is sinophobia. Professors Gabard, Peeples, and Papageorge all 
focused on the efforts of Georgians to expand American influence 
and ideas in East Asia — an expansion advanced through vigorous 
commercial, diplomatic, missionary, and military effort. In the nine- 
teenth century, American values were clearly being imposed on East 
Asians, both stateside and overseas. Professor King, a specialist in 
both Asian and United States history, asks how the career of Georgia 


evangelist C.W. Pruitt fits the expansionist, imperialist stereotype. 
How did Pruitt's attitude and behavior compare with his American 
contemporaries' in East Asia? How did he differ from other Southern 
Baptist missionaries in North China, such as Lottie Moon, T.P. 
Crawford, and J.B. Hartwell, and from Presbyterian Calvin Mateer? 

King utilized Pruitt's personal papers to probe his commitment and 
religiosity. She concludes that Pruitt was not the typical imperialist 
missionary. In letters to personal friends and family, as well as in 
missionary publications, he emphasized the need to "respect and 
love" the good in the Chinese. Furthermore, Pruitt was one of few 
missionaries to retain a balanced view of American Christians, liken- 
ing Americans who were enslaved by their passion for money to 
Chinese who were enslaved by fears of demons. In presenting China 
and the Chinese to American Church audiences, he avoided the "we- 
they" framework through which many Americans viewed missions in 
their host countries. He encouraged Americans to abandon their view 
of the Chinese as a psychological "other," as opposites of American 
national character traits. King concludes that Pruitt and Lottie Moon 
approached the Chinese with humility instead of pride, as equals 
rather than as betters. Both acknowledged the positive in Chinese 
institutions, values, and people. They were ready to be changed by 
their encounter with China, even while offering something of Ameri- 
can institutions, values, and themselves. 

In the third section of this volume, economist Ernest Ogram estab- 
lishes an overall transition from the pre-World War II era of Georgia's 
East Asia connection, often characterized by sinophobia and imperi- 
alism, to new and changing dimensions of the connection in the 
postwar era. Ogram's specialty is international business relations. 
He sees trade as a dominant, enduring theme in the Georgia-Easl 
Asia interaction. Ogram describes new types of business relation- 
ships which have been cultivated by Georgians not only with China 
but also with Japan, Taiwan, and the Republic of Korea. How did 
those World War ll-ravaged but now rebuilt societies come to have 
dealings with Georgia, and we with them? What is the nature of our 
recent commercial ties? Ogram begins his article on the macro- 
economic level, discussing overall post-World War II United States- 
East Asian trade. He then proceeds micro-economically to a discus- 
sion of trade relations between East Asia and the Southeastern 


Jnited States, Georgia, and the metropolitan Atlanta area. He corn- 
Dares Georgia's and Atlanta's East Asian trade with that of other 
'egions of the United States. He documents East Asian commitments 
n Georgia generally and in the Atlanta area specifically with stores, 
-estaurants, factories, trading companies, banks, airlines, honorary 
consulates, career consulates, and government trade and travel 
Dffices. These enterprises have brought Georgia an East Asian 
Dopulation which now numbers in the tens of thousands in the Atlanta 
area alone, with significant presences of Koreans and Japanese, 
dIus Chinese from the People's Republic, Taiwan and Hong Kong. 
Dgram is optimistic about post-nineteenth century trade relations 
and about people-to-people contacts between Georgia and East 

Ogram's transitional piece is followed by George M. Lancaster's 
Historical one comparing Massachusetts and Georgia as locations 
: or potential Japanese investment. Mr. Lancaster is well qualified to 
nake this comparison. From 1982 to 1985 he was an international 
'epresentative for the State of Georgia Department of Industry and 
frade, responsible for recruiting foreign manufacturers into Georgia. 
r rom 1985 through 1986 he was Japan Program Director of the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Office of International Trade and 
ndustry. In that capacity he initiated a Japan investment program for 
:he Commonwealth of Massachusetts and developed strategy to 
acilitate Japanese company investment in that state. In 1989 he 
Decame Director of International Sales for INFORUM/Atlanta, a divi- 
sion of the Portman Companies, where he is responsible for sales in 
Japan and Europe. Lancaster asks: What basic economic and social 
conditions are conducive to Japanese investment? What role does 
'quality of life" play in an upper-level Japanese managerial decision 
:o locate a plant? What role do cultural factors such as "Southern 
Hospitality" play in corporate decision-making? How do labor condi- 
:ions in Massachusetts compare with those of Georgia? He contrasts 
Massachusetts' history of labor unrest with the relatively calmer 
abor/ management relationship in the Peach State and concludes 
:hat Georgia provides a more attractive market for Japanese inves- 
:ors than does the Bay State. Lancaster's comparative historical 
Derspective on Japanese investment in Georgia is followed by his 
Drother Day's survey of the Japan-Georgia relationship, its current 


status and future prospects. Day Lancaster is qualified to discuss 
Georgia-Japan ties. He served as head of the Tokyo office of the 
State of Georgia Department of Industry and Trade. In 1990 he is 
Atlanta-based, serving that Department as its Senior Project Man- 
ager. He cites particulars in the new post- World War II Japan- 
Georgia relationship that both Ogram and George M. Lancaster 
alluded to. He asks to what degree Georgia firms have invested in 
Japan and why. What types of Japanese businesses are locating in 
Georgia? And what are some of the cultural spin-offs of the commer- 
cial contact, such as sister-city relations between Japanese and 
Georgian metropolises and the sister-state relationship between 
Georgia and Kagoshima Prefecture? He also warns of potential 
imbalances and dangers in the overall Japan-Georgia relationship. 

The general overviews of Ogram and the Lancasters are followec 
by individual histories of an Asian immigrant group in Georgia and ol 
civic organizations in Georgia with East Asian ties. Georgia's Kore- 
ans are the largest Asian immigrant group in the state. Authoi 
Gerdeen Dyer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution served three tours 
of duty with the United States Army in Korea. He subsequent^ 
published a guide to Georgia for South Koreans and has also writter 
about Koreans in Georgia for the Journal-Constitution. Dyer's ac- 
count is both historical and present- and future-oriented. He explains 
why Koreans are leaving their homeland to settle permanently ir 
Georgia and how Koreans organize themselves economically, relig- 
iously, and socially here. He compares Korean and Japanese invest- 
ment in Georgia. How may Korean immigration and investment ir 
Georgia develop in the future? What effect did the 1988 Seou 
Olympic Games have on the Georgia-Korean relationship and or 
Atlanta's prospects for hosting the next Olympiad? How does the 
political instability of the Republic of Korea affect current and pro- 
spective Georgia-Korea ties? 

Professors Donald O. Schneider, a professor of education, anc 
Don Chang Lee, an anthropologist, analyze the role of educationa 
organizations which have tried to promote an awareness of East Asia 
among Georgians. Lee's Asian Studies Consortium of Georgia 
(ASCOG) began work in January, 1986, just as Schneider's Japar 
Education Network in Georgia (JENGA) became inactive. ASCOG ir 
certain respects picked up the Japan-oriented activities of JENGA 


although ASCOG has yet to implement the JENGA-type program of 
developing primary and secondary school Asian studies curricula. 

Elmer E. Felecki describes the Asia-related activities of a Georgia 
association of veterans of World War II. Jack E. Buttram, executive 
director of the Friends of Free China, discusses the political and 
social activities of his Georgia membership. 

Finally, George Waldner, formerly Executive Director of the Japan- 
America Society of Georgia (JASG), and Chinese historian Edward 
Krebs, of the United States-China People's Friendship Organization 
(USCPFA), separately analyze the history of an internationally-ori- 
ented people-to-people friendship group in Atlanta. Both the Japan- 
America Society of Georgia and the Atlanta chapter of the United 
States-China People's Friendship Association are by-products of 
diplomatic and commercial ties between Georgia and East Asia. Both 
organizations provide hospitality for East Asians in Atlanta on tempo- 
rary or long term assignments. Both groups seek to promote native 
Georgians' friendship toward, and understanding of, the two largest, 
but sometimes misunderstood East Asian nations. JASG and USCPFA 
today represent a new level of international cooperation and friend- 
ship but they contrast markedly with each other. The Japan Society, 
with close ties to the Coca-Cola Company, operates from an impres- 
sive financial base, with paid staff and rented offices in the Colony 
Square high-rise office tower. USCPFA, as its name may suggest, is 
more of a low profile organization which lacks corporate support. 
Krebs describes how Georgians interested in China at a key histori- 
cal juncture were able to establish an organization through grass 
roots recruiting. The resources of the new organization frequently 
amounted to little more than the organizers' own personal enthusi- 
asm, that had in some cases been generated by eye-opening visits to 
the People's Republic of China. Krebs describes an organization that 
has evolved largely independent of the goals and interests which 
many Georgians have traditionally had in East Asia: the pursuit of 
money, strategic power, and/or converts to Christianity. Krebs' ac- 
count prompts the reader to consider the possibility that the China 
Friendship Association may be the most successful institutional ex- 
ample of close personal ties between Georgians and East Asians in 
over two hundred and fifty years of interaction. What would Loo 
Chang say if he could attend a Friendship Association reception in 


Atlanta for scholars from a proud and independent China? 

Georgia's East Asian Connection: Into the Twenty-first Century 
emphasizes the progress achieved in establishing international rela- 
tions. It notes the impassioned ideas with which Georgians have 
come to view East Asia and with which East Asians have come to 
view us. At a time when these relations have escalated to critical 
levels in terms of competition for technological leadership and mar- 
kets, these topics deserve to be explored with the candor provided by 
serious scholarship. Hopefully, this volume will inspire an ongoing 
dialogue on the nature of Georgia's past and present East Asian 

With both an interest in past relationships between Georgia and 
East Asia and an awareness of the potential for stronger ties in the 
future, West Georgia College Studies in the Social Sciences devotes 
this issue to Georgia's East Asia Connection: Into the Twenty-first 
Century. The Series Editor and the Volume Editor of this issue wish 
to express their gratitude to the following people without whose 
assistance the issue could not have come about: Richard Matthews, 
The Atlanta Journal; W. Allyn Rickett, University of Pennsylvania 
emeritus; Kenneth Berger Duke University Library; John D. Welsh, 
formerly of the State of Georgia Department of Industry and Trade; 
and James Dan Minish, Vedat Gunay, and Jerome T. Mock, West 
Georgia College. Special words of appreciation also must be ex- 
tended to Frank Joseph Shulman of the University of Maryland and 
Father John W. Witek of Georgetown University who, at a break 
between sessions at a 1987 Association for Asian Studies meeting, 
urged the production of a second volume on Georgia's East Asian 
connection to amplify the original volume. Albert S. Hanser, chairman 
of the West Georgia College history department, generously pro- 
vided teaching schedules that facilitated the completion of this vol- 
ume. Both Dr. Hanser and West Georgia College Vice-President for 
Academic Affairs John T. Lewis III generously provided financial 
assistance over and beyond the substantial contribution of West 
Georgia College Arts and Sciences Dean Richard Dangle that made 
this publication possible. The Series Editor and Volume Editor wish 
to thank West Georgia College's Lori Morgan, Beth Beggs, Darlene 
Bearden, Sheila Smith, Lisa Daniels, and Peggy Coleman for typing 
and printing assistance. Even here one finds a Georgia East-Asia 


connection, since Mrs. Coleman grew up in the Republic of Korea. 
Lastly, special words of appreciation must be extended to West 
Georgia College Sociology Professor Lee-jan Jan, whose art work 
adorns both the 1983 and 1990 volumes. The 1990 cover contains 
Dr. Jan's calligraphic dedication to the Chinese youth "who died for 
their country in Tien An Men Square." This volume as a whole is 
dedicated to their memory. 

Associate Professor of History 
West Georgia College 
Volume Editor 


The Historical Experience: 
East Asians in Georgia 

Historical Documents Relating to 

Asian- Americans and to East Asia in the 

National Archives - Southeast Region 


The National Archives-Southeast Region, in Atlanta, Georgia, is 
one of eleven regional branches of the National Archives of the 
United States. A system of regional branches was established in 
1969, when the National Archives created a network of archival 
repositories to enhance access to historically valuable records cre- 
ated by regional and field offices of the federal government. Re- 
gional branches were established in Boston, New York City, Philadel- 
phia, Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Fort Worth, Denver, Los Ange- 
les, San Francisco, and Seattle. The records deposited in the Atlanta 
branch come from federal agencies in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, 
Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennes- 
see. The holdings of the Atlanta branch consist of approximately 

* Since 1 972 Gayle Peters has been regional archivist in Atlanta for the National Archives and 
Records Service. He previously served as archivist in the Lyndon Johnson Presidential 
Library, Austin, Texas. He received a B.A. in history from Carroll College in 1 967, and an M.A. 
in Latin American studies from University of Texas in 1 969. He has published "The Regional 
Archives System and its East Point Branch" in Georgia Archive 1, No. 2 (Spring 1973). 
Professor Goldstein teaches East Asian history at West Georgia College and is a Research 
Associate of Harvard University's John K. Fairbank Center for East Asian Research. He 
received his Ph.D. in American-East Asian relations in 1973 from the University of Pennsyl- 
vania, where he studied under Hilary Conroy. He has published Philadelphia and the China 
Trade 1682-1846 (University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1978), and 
articles in Korea Focus and Ch'ing-shih wen-t'i. Merlin Kirk received a B.A. in social studies 
education from Southwest Missouri State University in 1 974. He is an M.A. candidate in East 
Asian history at West Georgia College and has worked as an intern at the Atlanta Regional 
Archives Branch under the supervision of Mr. Peters and Dr. Goldstein. 

45,000 cubic feet of identified archives dating from 1716 through 
1983, most of which are available to researchers. 

In an effort to make additional important documents in the National 
Archives more accessible to researchers, the agency has engaged in 
a program of depositing in each of the regional archives branches 
collections of microfilm copies of significant records in National Ar- 
chives custody. These microfilmed records contain basic documen- 
tation for ethnic, political, and economic history, international rela- 
tions, political science, law, and genealogy. The additional docu- 
ments comprise an important part of the Atlanta branch's holdings. 
Some 45,000 microfilm rolls ofsuch records are available for inspec- 
tion in the research room at the Atlanta Federal Archives and Rec- 
ords Center, 1557 St. Joseph Avenue, East Point, Georgia, 30344. 
Information about hours and services can be obtained by writing the 
National Archives- Southeast Region or calling (404) 763-7477. 

United States Census Records 

The articles in this volume by Pruden, Brown, Ganschow, and 
Beatty on the Chinese settlements in Savannah, Augusta, and Way- 
nesboro, Georgia, are examples of the type of historical research on 
Asian-Americans which can be performed using United States cen- 
sus data such as is available in the Atlanta branch. A census of the 
United States population has been required by law every ten years 
since 1790. The Atlanta branch has microfilm copies of the 1790 
through 1880 censuses; the 1900 and 1910 censuses; and frag- 
ments of the 1890 census, which was largely destroyed by a 1921 
fire. The 1790-1840 censuses included the name, age, and state, 
territory, or country of birth of each free person in a household. The 
censuses of 1850-80 included a list of those persons who died 
between June of the previous year and June of the census year. 

Some information from the 1920-80 censuses must legally be 
withheld from public access for seventy years, in the interest of 
individual privacy. Nevertheless, there is an abundance of available 
information for historians wishing to reconstruct residential, occupa- 
tional, and other social patterns within Asian-American communities 
in Georgia as Pruden, Brown, Ganschow, and Beatty have done. 

Federal Court Records 

Federal court records are a second type of document useful for 
reconstructing the history of immigrants to Georgia from East Asia. 

Court records contain notice of naturalization, or the process 
whereby an alien became a United States citizen. In the 1700s and 
1800s a naturalization oath could be administered in a federal, state, 
or local court. Therefore, these records are often difficult to locate. 
The Atlanta branch has federal circuit and district court records for 
Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and North and 
South Carolina generally covering the years 1 789-1 955. The branch 
also stores indexes for 1 790-1 906 South Carolina federal courts and 
for the Savannah, Georgia, federal courts from 1790-1860. If a 
researcher knows the court and the approximate date, federal court 
records of an immigrant's naturalization can be readily checked. The 
U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service also has naturalization 
records from 1 906 to the present and can be contacted directly. 

The Atlanta branch's judicial records can also be a source of 
information for scholars interested in the constitutional status of 
Asian-Americans in Georgia. One example of this type of research is 
Professor Beatty's account in this volume of litigation concerning the 
expulsion of Loo Chang from Waynesboro in 1883. 

United States Customs' Passenger Lists 

Ship passenger lists are a third source useful for reconstructing 
immigration patterns from Asia and elsewhere. The Atlanta branch 
has microfilm copies of some ship passenger lists for Atlantic and 
Gulf Coast ports for 1820-73, including Charleston (1820-28), Mobile 
(1832-52), and Savannah (1820-31 and 1847-68). The National 
Archives has other passenger list records on microfilm which may be 
purchased or viewed in Washington. 

Selective Service System Records 

World War I draft registration cards are a fourth type of document 
which may be useful for the professional historian of Asian-American 
communities, as well as for the genealogist. Registration cards 
corroborate address and age information for indidividuals in Georgia 
and elsewhere in the United States. The Atlanta branch has cards 

for most of the 24 million men who registered for the draft in 1 91 7-18. 
The drafts were held as follows: (1 ) June 5, 1917, registered all men 
between the ages of 21 and 31 ; (2) June 5, 1918, registered all men 
who had become 21 since June 5, 1917; and (3) September 12, 
1 91 8, registered all men between the ages of 1 8 and 21 and 31 to 45. 

These records are filed by draft board. In order to search them, the 
full name of the person and his address at the time of registration are 
necessary. For large cities a street address is necessary. For other 
areas the name of the county is usually sufficient. A photocopy of 
both sides of the draft card can be furnished for a fee. 

The draft cards for some states (not Georgia) have been sent to 
other Archives branches for microfilming. The Atlanta branch pres- 
ently stores cards for all states except Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, 
Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming, West Virginia and Wis- 

State Department Records on East Asia 

In addition to census, federal court, ship passenger, and Selective 
Service System records on Asian-Americans, the Atlanta branch has 
a wealth of State Department information on state-to-state relations 
between the United States and nations and dependencies in East 
Asia and the Pacific Ocean. The places for which the Atlanta branch 
has information include: China and foreign colonies within China; 
Japan; Korea; Asiatic Russia, including Alaska before its purchase 
by the United States; Burma; Thailand; Indochina; Malaysia; Sin- 
gapore; Brunei; Indonesia; the Philippines; the Hawaiian Islands; 
Tonga; Samoa; Tahiti; Fiji; New Britain Island; and the U.S. Trust 
Territory of the Pacific. 

State Department documents in the Atlanta branch, like the four 
other types of records already described, contain an abundance of 
information on Asian and Pacific immigration to Georgia and to the 
United States. Additionally, the diplomatic documents are treasure 
troves of information on political and economic relations between 
Georgia and East Asia and the United States and East Asia from the 
time of the Continental Congress (1774) to the present. Diplomatic 
documents concern some of the most significant events in American- 
East Asian relations between 1774 and 1929: the first Sino-Ameri- 
can Treaty (1844); Commodore Matthew Perry's 1853-54 opening of 

Japan for the United States, and subsequent U.S. -Japanese treaties; 
the United States purchase of Russian America; changes in owner- 
ship of Taiwan; the Russo-Japanese War; the Bolshevik Revolution; 
and U.S. armed intervention in Asiatic Russia. Letters, notes, and 
diaries which are included in these records reflect the involvement of 
both U.S. government officials and of private citizens in East Asia 
since 1774. Diplomats, explorers, soldiers, sailors, journalists, busi- 
nessmen, missionaries, "special agents", and Presidents are men- 
tioned in these records, along with their hopes, fears, and plans. 

These microfilms also contain information about Asian govern- 
ments and individuals, European colonial powers with real or desired 
empires in Asia, and American viewpoints of those European de- 

These records can be used to study diplomatic history: the open- 
ing of relations with Japan; the treatment of China by the United 
States and European powers; and American perceptions of its role 
as an "Imperial Power." Territorial expansion of the American nation 
into the Pacific can be traced: Manifest Destiny; the purchase of 
Alaska; and the acquisition of Samoa, Hawaii, the Philippines, Guam, 
Wake, and other Pacific Islands. 

The development of Japan from a medieval to a modern state may 
be seen in records dating from Perry's trip, through Japan's late 
nineteenth century controversy with the United States over Japanese 

Military adventures and activities are presented in reports on the 
Opium War, the Boxer Rebellion, Japan's wresting of Taiwan from 
China, the Spanish-American War in the Philippines, the Russo- 
Japanese War, and the Asian campaigns of World War I, especially 
the Allied armed intervention in Asiatic Russia in 1 91 8. Foreign trade 
of individual nations is reported in United States consular, ministerial, 
and ambassadorial despatches. 

The articles by Gabard and Peeples in this volume are but two 
examples of the type of historical research on American-East Asian 
relations that can be done using the National Archives' diplomatic 
records. These professional historians have been able to reconstruct 
the lives and careers of two Georgia diplomats active in China, and to 
ascribe some historical significance to their government service. 
Apart from the articles of Gabard and Peeples, it is unfortunate that 

[he type of diplomatic document pertaining to East Asia which is 
available in Atlanta has been under-utilized by Georgia college stu- 
dents and scholars. Researchers can use the underutilized docu- 
nents in the Atlanta branch for writing undergraduate and graduate 
'esearch papers, monographs, and scholarly books in East Asian 

To encourage more scholars to use East Asian diplomatic docu- 
ments, the Atlanta branch has made a conscious and costly effort to 
acquire even more microfilmed records pertaining to East Asia than 
are owned by its ten sister branches. Some fifteen microfilmed 
Dublications on China, Japan, and Korea exist in Atlanta and in no 
Dther Archives branch. 1 

War Department Records Relating to East Asia 

The Atlanta branch stores an abundance of United States War 
Department and War Department-related records about East Asia. 
These include: Records of the American Section of the Supreme 
War Council, 1917-19; Historical files of the American Expeditionary 
Forces in Siberia, 1918-20; Historical information relating to military 
posts, 1700-1900; Documents of the War Department's Bureau of 
Insular Affairs relating to the Philippines and other insular posses- 
sions of the United States, 1876-1906; and Records pertaining to 
Axis Relations and Interests in the Far East 1933-45. 2 

Navy Department Records Relating to East Asia 

The Navy Department records in the Atlanta branch are an espe- 
cially varied and useful source of information for the researcher on 
Asian and Pacific history. The first collection of records deals with 
official exploration of the Pacific Ocean, especially the expedition 
around the perimeter of the Pacific Ocean by Lieutenant Charles 
Wilkes in 1832-42. 3 A second collection of records contains corre- 
spondence from commanders of the United States' Asiatic Squad- 
ron, reorganized variously as the Pacific and as the East India 
Squadron between 1841 and 1886. The letters from the Squadrons' 
commanding officers concern such key events in modern East Asian 
history as Commodore Matthew C. Perry's successful 1853-54 mis- 
sion to open Japan to United States trade. 4 

In summary, the Atlanta branch is a storehouse of untapped 
resources for the Georgia researcher interested either in the Asian- 
American experience within his/her own state, or in the historical, 
economic, and political ties between Georgia and East Asia and the 
United States and East Asia. In this volume articles by Pruden, 
Brown, Ganschow, Beatty, Gabard and Peeples are examples of the 
type of history which can be written using the archival resources 
which the Federal Government has made available to every Geor- 
gian free of charge. 


1 The catalog National Archives Microfilm Publications (Washington, D.C.; National Archives 
and Records Service, 1974 — with supplements) describes the total collection available in 
Washington. Many public and campus libraries have purchased microfilms from the 
National Archives and should be contacted concerning the extent and availability of their 

The microfilm publications are divided into two series identified by "M" numbers and "T" 
numbers. In general, records selected for filming as an "M" publication have high research 
value for a variety of studies, and the ratio of research value to volume is high. They are 
arranged so that scholars can glean information from the film copy easily. Usually each 
publication reproduces an entire series of records. 

Most "M" publications have an introduction describing origin, content, and arrangement 
of the records filmed and listing related records. Some introductions include special aids, 
such as indexes or registers. Descriptive pamphlets are available for most "M" publica- 
tions. The pamphlet contains the publications introduction (including special lists or 
indexes prepared to simplify the use of the microfilm publication) and the table of contents. 
These pamphlets are furnished to film purchasers and are available on request to prospec- 
tive purchasers. 

"T" publications supplement "M" publications. Unlike "M" publications they are not 
usually a reproduction of a complete series of records; that is, they may be a segment, by 
date or subject, of a larger series. In many cases "T" publications were produced in 
response to a special reference request. Also, over the years the National Archives has 
received microfilm produced by other Federal agencies. Some of this film, when it is not 
defense classified and is deemed of sufficient research value, is made available for sale as 
"T" publications. These publications contain no introductions nor are descriptive pam- 
phlets available for them. 

Fifteen microfilm publications unavailable in other Regional Archive branches have 
been acquired by the Atlanta branch to support East Asian research in the Southeast. 
These publications include both State Department and War Department records: 

Consular Despatches: Amoy, China 1844-1906, M 100, 15 rolls; Chungking 
(Chongqing), China, 1896-1906, M 104, 1 roll; Kanagawa, Japan, 1861-1897, M 135, 2 
rolls; Seoul, Korea 1888-1906, M 167, 2 rolls; Yokohama, Japan, 1897-1906, M 136, 5 

Decimal File 1910-1929: China Internal Affairs, M 239, 227 rolls; China-U.S. Rela- 
tions, M 339, 2 rolls; China-Other States, M 241 , 34 rolls; Japan-Internal Affairs, M 422, 
43 rolls; Japan-U.S. Relations, M 423, 9 rolls; Japan-Other States, M 424, 1 roll. 

Other State Department Records: Relating to World War I and its termination, 1 91 4- 
1929, M 367, 159 rolls; General Records of the American Commission to Negotiate 
Peace, 1918-1931, M 820, 160 rolls; 

War Department Records: Historical Files of the Allied Expeditionary Forces, 
Siberia, M 917, 11 rolls; and Records of the American Section, Supreme War Council, 
M 923, 21 rolls. 

The scope of the East Asian diplomatic documents available in Atlanta is vast chrono- 
logically and topically. The papers of the Continental Congress, 1774-89, contain occa- 
sional reference to East Asia, especially after 1783, when the first United States ship to 
China inaugurated extensive commerce between the two nations. 

Papers of the Continental Congress are available as: 1774-1789, M 247, 204 rolls; 
miscellaneous papers of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, M 332, 8 rolls; and foreign 
letters of the Continental Congress and the State Department, 1774-1789, M 61, 1 roll. A 
descriptive pamphlet is available. These papers make reference to the earliest contacts 
between the United States and East Asia following the first voyage of a United States 
vessel to China and back in 1 783-84. The index to the papers of the Continental Congress 
reveals the following entries concerning East Asia: Canton-47 entries; China-41 entries; 
Cochin China-1 entry; East lndies-102 entries; East India companies-48 entries; Sea of 
Japan-2 entries. 

M 28, 5 rolls, continues the "foreign letters" (M 61) of the papers of the Continental 
Congress and contains record copies of communications addressed by the State Depart- 
ment to Diplomatic and Consular representatives abroad. Notices of appointments, ap- 
proval or disapproval of proposals or actions, inquiries and information, transmittal letters 
conveying enclosures, or actual instructions, are included. While letters to representatives 
of European colonial powers constitute the vast majority of the correspondence, communi- 
cations addressed to them may concern colonial East Asian activities and subjects. Only 
one East Asian post is listed: Canton (Guangzhou), 1793-1800. The earliest substantial 
body of documents in Atlanta concerning East Asia is the official correspondence between 
the State Department in Washington and its ambassadors in East Asia from 1789 to 1906. 
Copies of diplomatic instructions sent by the State Department to American representa- 
tives abroad give notices of appointments, convey information or inquiries, express 
approval or disapproval of proposals and actions, transmit enclosures, or present instruc- 
tions. The Atlanta branch owns U.S. diplomatic instructions to ambassadors in China, 
Japan, Korea, Russia, Siam, and Hawaii. The branch also owns documents relating to 
special U.S. Diplomatic missions between 1833-1906 to Borneo, China, Cochin China, 
Hawaii, Japan, the Philippine Islands, Siam, and Tonga. 

Most of the ambassadorial documents reflect economic or diplomatic relations of 
specific events in the area such as the Sino-Japanese War (1894-95) or the Spanish 
American War (1898). Both diplomatic instructions from the State Department to ambas- 
sadors abroad, as well as diplomatic despatches sent by ministers and representatives 
back to the department, are stored in the Archives branch. Diplomatic despatches from 
each country have been kept separate and it is thus possible to quickly locate the flow of 
information each diplomat furnished the State Department. When the instructions are 
juxtaposed to the despatches, a researcher can gain insight into discussion and resolution 
of issues by ambassadors and by the Secretary of State. Despatches from United States 
diplomatic representatives in East Asian nations in the Archives branch include: 

Despatches from United States Ministers to China, 1843-1906, M 92, 131 rolls, de- 
scriptive pamphlet available. These communications concern China Proper, Manchu- 
ria, Tibet, Taiwan, Korea, the Spanish and U.S. Philippines, French Indochina and 
Asiatic Russia. The communications discuss the opening of treaty ports and extra- 
territorial rights of American citizens, the Opium War, Taiping Rebellion, Sino-Japanese 

Wars, Boxer Rebellion, and requests for more U.S. Naval vessels in Chinese waters. 
Despatches also describe the problems of piracy, treatment of shipwrecked American 
seamen, protection of missionaries, Chinese emigration to and exclusion from the 
United States, claims of American citizens in China against the Chinese government, 
prohibition of the opium trade, the coolie trade, floods, famines, epidemics, shipping, 
trade, natural resources, agriculture, education, roads, river transport, mail service, the 
Trans-Siberian and other railroads, telephone and telegraph services. Enclosures 
consist of: notes to and from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, consular reports on 
commerce, pamphlets, newspapers, and confidential communications on sensitive 

Despatches from United States ministers to Japan, 1855-1906, M 133, 82 rolls, de- 
scriptive pamphlet available. These communications cover the Sino-Japanese and the 
Russo-Japanese Wars and changes in Japan's system of government. Enclosures 
include notes to and from the Japanese foreign ministry, reports from American consuls 
in Japan, letters from private U.S. citizens, newspapers, pamphlets, and confidential 

Despatches from United States ministers to Korea, 1883-1905, M 134, 22 rolls, de- 
scriptive pamphlet available. These communications contain notes to American repre- 
sentatives from the Korean foreign ministry and from private American citizens, letters 
from American representatives to Korean officials, pamphlets, and newspaper clip- 

Despatches from United States ministers to Russia, 1808-1905, M 134, 22 rolls. A 
roll list can be found at the beginning of the first roll. These despatches concern fishing 
disputes in the North Pacific, territorial disputes over Alaska and the northwest part of 
North America, the Russo-Japanese War, and the abortive Russian Revolution of 1905. 
Correspondence from the American consulate in Vladivostok, Asiatic Russia, is in- 

Despatches from United States ministers to Siam, 1882-1906, M 172, 9 rolls, de- 
scriptive pamphlet available. These communications contain notes from the Siamese 
Foreign Office with royal orders; announcements of court ceremonies; complaints 
against citizens and officials of the United States; pamphlets; newspapers; and confi- 
dential despatches. From 1882 to 1903, the posts of minister resident and consul 
general were combined. Only diplomatic, rather than consular communication, is 

References to East Asia can also be found in the Archives branch in correspondence 
between the State Department in Washington and U.S. ambassadors stationed in Euro- 
pean nations with Asiatic colonies: Great Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, 
Portugal, Russia, and Spain. 

The Atlanta branch also owns correspondence between the State Department and its 
consular representatives abroad. These papers are arranged by the name of the city or 
post, and describe economic, political, and social conditions. Many despatches are 
accompanied by copies of correspondence between consuls and local government offi- 
cials, U.S. diplomatic representatives, non-U. S. consuls, U.S. Navy officers commanding 
vessels stationed in foreign waters, and American citizens abroad. The Archives branch 
owns copies of U.S. consular correspondence with the following East Asian cities: 

Despatches from United States consuls in Amoy (Xiamen), China, 1844-1906, M 
100, 15 rolls. An introduction can be found at the beginning of the first roll. These 
despatches contain reports from consular agencies at Tamsui (Tanshui), Keelung, 
(Jilong), Takao (Gaoxiong) and Taiwanfoo (Tainan, 1875-86; Taizhong, 1887-95), all 
on the island of Taiwan; as well as, for a brief period in the late 1870s, Swatow 
(Shantou), China. Many despatches enclose tables of consular fees received, arrivals 


and departures of American vessels, and trade statistics. Some despatches describe 
mutinies aboard American vessels, anti-foreign and anti-missionary disturbances, in- 
cluding the Boxer Rebellion, an anti-American boycott of 1905, shipment of Chinese 
contract laborers, epidemics, and the Xiamen tea trade. The papers are rich in materi- 
als concerning Taiwan, which was under Chinese control until 1895, when it became a 
dependency of Japan. In addition to reports of journeys made to the island by various 
American consuls, there is material on an abortive punitive expedition of 1867, led by 
Rear Admiral Henry Bell, commanding the U.S. Asiatic Squadron. Also included is 
material on: Consul Charles Le Gendre's 1 867 agreement with aboriginal tribes for the 
protection of shipwrecked sailors; an 1874 Japanese punitive expedition; and Japan's 
1895 occupation of the island. 

Despatches from United States consuls in Chungking (Chongqing) China, 1896- 
1906, m 104, 1 roll. Papers are arranged chronologically, with an introduction and 
register. This collection contains despatches from Chongqing, from 1896 to 1901, 
when the consulate closed; and from 1905-06. 

Despatches from United States consuls in Kanagawa, Japan, 1861-1897, M 135, 22 
rolls. A roll list can be found in the catalog: National Archives Microfilm Publications, p. 

Despatches from United States consuls in Yokohama, Japan, 1897-1906, M 136, 5 
rolls. An introduction can be found at the beginning of the first roll. These records 
contain the Kanagawa post records (Kanagawa is a present-day suburb of Yokohama) 
found on M 135. The documents contain communications sent from Yokohama during 
the period when that post was classified as a consulate general. The consular des- 
patches cover trade statistics, arrivals and departures of American vessels, social and 
political conditions, and agricultural and industrial processes. 

Despatches from United States consuls in Medan-Padang, Sumatra, 1853-1898, T 
1 06, 2 rolls. A roll list can be found in the 1 974 National Archives Microfilm Publications 
catalog, p. 42. 

Despatches from United States consuls in Seoul, Korea, 1886-1906, M 1 67, 2 rolls, 

descriptive pamphlet available. During the period covered by these despatches Seoul 

was a combined diplomatic and consular post of the Department of State. The ranking 

U.S. official held the title of Minister Resident and Consul General. 

The above records contain only consular material. Notes from foreign embassies in 

Washington to the State Department include communications from foreign ministries, 

heads of state, and private citizens. They also include copies of proclamations and 

newspapers. The Atlanta branch owns copies of notes to the State Department from the 

embassies of the following Asian and Pacific nations: 

Notes from the Chinese legation, 1868-1906, M 98, 6 rolls descriptive pamphlet 

Notes from the Japanese legation, 1858-1906, M 1 63, 9 rolls, descriptive pamphlet 
available. These notes include communications from Japanese rulers or officials of the 
Japanese foreign office to Presidents of the United States or to Secretaries of State. 

Notes from the Korean legation, 1858-1906, M 166, 1 roll. The first roll contains an 
introduction and includes letters and telegrams from Korean rulers and officials to the 
President of the United States or to Secretaries of State as well as drafts of communica- 
tions from American officials to Korean officials; memoranda of conversations; and 
drafts of proposed agreements between Korea and the United States. 

Notes from Russian legation, 1809-1906, M 39, 12 rolls, descriptive pamphlet 
available. These volumes contain letters of complaint against United States officials 
and citizens, pamphlets, and newspapers. The communications are in French; many 
are accompanied by English translations prepared by the Department of State. In- 


eluded are some communications from Russian consular officials in the United States 
and from the Russian Chancellor; memoranda by the State Department officials com- 
menting on the notes; and drafts and texts of agreements between Russia and the 
United States. The notes and their enclosures concern difficulties between the two 
countries over Russian America; the position of the Greek Orthodox and Moravian 
Churches in Alaska, the purchase of Alaska in 1867; the Fur Seal Arbitration; the 'Open 
Sea' question; the cession of the Kurile Islands by Russia to Japan in exchange for the 
northern half of Sakhalin Island; the attitude of Russia toward the 1893 Hawaiian revo- 
lution; possible participation by Russia in the Chinese coolie trade; the leasing of Dalian 
to Russia by China in 1898; the Boxer Rebellion; Sino-Japanese differences over 
Korea; the Russo-Japanese War, including the matter of Chinese neutrality; tariffs; ex- 
tradition; international exposition; exchange of scientific and technical information; 
and transportation. 

Notes from the Siamese legation, 1876-1906, T 161, 1 roll. Papers are arranged 

In 1 91 the State Department adopted a decimal classification system which combined 
diplomatic and consular communications. Records were divided into several subject 
classes, including internal affairs of a country and political relations between countries. 
The decimal file consists of nine primary classes numbered 0-8, each covering a broad 
subject area. Under class 7 'Political Relations of States', the documents are arranged 
according to the countries concerned. Each country has been assigned a two-digit 
number. For example, the State Department has grouped the records relating to World 
War I on the file classification for political relations between Austria (63) and Serbia (72), 
the initial belligerents in that war. The subjects covered include the conduct of the war and 
neutrality, the Russian Revolution in Asia, and Allied intervention. The total microfilm 
consists of 518 rolls, but the Atlanta branch possesses only the first 159 rolls. While the 
159 rolls include a complete list of documents in the microfilm publication, the documents 
themselves relating to certain facets of neutrality, neutral commerce, prisoners of war and 
the termination of the war are not available from the Atlanta office. 

Political relations may be with the United States or with other states. Abstracts of docu- 
ments are filmed on the first roll or rolls of each microfilm publication. The Atlanta branch 
has the following decimal files on microfilm for China and Japan between 1910 and 1929: 
Records of the Department of State relating to internal affairs of China, 1910-1929, 
M 329, 227 rolls, descriptive pamphlet available. The records are chiefly instructions to 
and despatches from diplomatic and consular officials, diplomatic notes exchanged, 
pamphlets, pictures, newpaper clippings, memoranda prepared by officials and corre- 
spondence between officials and government departments with private firms and 
persons. The subjects include: the Chinese Revolution of October 191 1 ; the ascen- 
dancy of Chiang K'ai-shek; biographical sketches of political and military leaders and 
summaries of the political, military, social, and economic development in the provinces 
since 191 1 ; the movement for restoration of the Manchus; political and military conflict 
between southern and northern China; Civil War and Revolution in north China, 1922- 
1928; the relationship between the Communists and the Guomintang; Chiang's break 
with the Communists in 1928; involvement of the United States, Japan, and Western 
Europe in China; public order and safety; and railway licensing and construction. 

Records of the State Department relating to political relations between the United 
States and China, 1910-1929, M 339, 2 rolls, descriptive pamphlet available. These 
records include instructions to and despatches from diplomatic and consular officials 
concerned with extraterritoriality in China, treaties on tariffs, friendship, commerce, arbi- 
tration, navigation, and renunciation of war. 

Records of the Department of State relating to political relations between China and 


the United States 1910-1929, M 341, 34 rolls, descriptive pamphlet available. The 
records are mostly instructions to, and despatches from, diplomatic and consular offi- 
cials. These records concern: readjustment of China's treaty relations with foreign 
powers to provide for tariff autonomy and the abolition of extraterritoriality; reaction by 
the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan, and Portugal to proposals of 
the Chinese government, plus a draft of the reply by the United States to the proposals, 
1925; Chinese proposals for treaty revision, 1928; the question of extraterritoriality; the 
Washington Conference on Limitation of Armament, 1921-22; and Sino-Japanese 

Records of the Department of State relating to internal affairs of Japan 1910-1 929, M 
422, 43 rolls, descriptive pamphlet available. The papers are arranged by subject in a 
decimal filing system, with a list of documents on rolls one through three. The system 
gives brief abstracts of the documents and serves as a finding aid to them. Some of the 
documents on the lisi do not appear in the records because of national security restric- 
tions. These records concern Japanese military activities abroad; the Tokyo-Yokohama 
Earthquake of 1923; proposed loans to Japanese cities and commercial enterprises; 
visits of Japanese vessels to other nations; patents; trademarks; copyrights; immigra- 
tion; emigration; Taiwan; and Sakhalin Island. 

Records of the Department of State relating to political relations between the United 
States and Japan 1910-1929, M 423, 9 rolls, descriptive pamphlet available. These 
records concern Japanese immigration to mainland United States: the Immigration Act 
of 1924; anti-American feelings in Japan; anti-Japanese feelings in the United States; 
the "Gentlemen's Agreement" of 1908; picture brides; adopted children; rumors of war 
between the United States and Japan; and relations between Hawaii and Japan and be- 
tween the Philippine Islands and Japan. 

Records of the Department of State relating to political relations between Japan and 
other states, 1910-1929, M 424, 1 roll, descriptive pamphlet available. These records 
are mostly instructions to and despatches from our diplomatic and consular officials in 
Japan and in other countries. Also included are memoranda prepared by officials of the 
department, and correspondence with officials of other government departments, and 
with private firms and individuals. These records relate to the foreign policy of Japan, 
treaties and agreements between Japan and other states, and relations between Japan 
and Korea. 

The Atlanta branch also owns microfilm copies of the following miscellaneous records 
of the State Department: 

List of United States diplomatic officers, 1798-1939, M 586, 3 rolls, descriptive 
pamphlet available. Papers are arranged by nation and post, thereafter chronologi- 
cally. This list presents the names of the officers, their titles or grades, nationalities, 
places of birth, residences when appointed, and dates of appointments for each post. 
Countries of East Asia that are listed include: China, Cochin-China, Japan, Korea, 
Russia, and Siam. 

List of United States consular officers, 1789-1939, M 587, 21 rolls, descriptive 
pamphlet available. Papers are arranged by post (usually city or town), thereafter 
chronologically. This list contains the names of the consular officers with their titles or 
grades, nationalities, places of birth, residences when appointed, and dates of appoint- 
ment. Consular posts in the following East Asian/Pacific nations are included: Celebes, 
China, Cochin-China, Fiji, Formosa (Taiwan), Guam, Japan, Java, Korea, Marshall 
Islands, New Britain Islands, Philippines, Russia, Samoa, Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), 
Siam (Thailand), Sumatra, and Tahiti. 

Papers relating to the cession of Alaska, 1856-1867, T 495, 1 roll, is arranged 
chronologically, and records the negotiations between Russia and the United States 


over the cession of Alaska. Included is correspondence between both parties as well as 
the official documents of the transaction. 

"The Alaska Treaty" by David Hunter Miller, 1867, T 1024, 1 roll, contains the pro- 
ceedings and records of the treaty that transferred Alaska to the United States frorr 
Russia. This document was prepared by David Hunter Miller, who was editor for the De- 
partment of State in 1867. 

Records of the Russian-American Company, 1802, 1817-1867, M 11, 77 rolls, de- 
scriptive pamphlet available. These Russian-language records consist of the history 
and activities of the Russian-American Company, established by Tsar Paul I in 179S 
and granted a monopoly of trade in Russia's North American possessions for twenty 
years. This monopoly was renewed in 1 821 and 1 842 and was in effect when the Unitec 
States purchased the territory in 1867. Their records concern the business of the com- 
pany, colonization, and relations with other countries having interest in the area. 

Minutes of treaty conferences between United States and Japanese representa- 
tives, and treaty drafts, March 1 1-July22, 1872, T 1 19, 1 roll. These minutes contain the 
notes, drafts, minutes and list of personnel participating in Japanese-American treaty 
talks. The eventual treaty called for American aid in scientific, educational, and agricul- 
tural endeavors. 

Records of the Department of State relating to the Paris Peach Commission, 1898, | 
954, 3 rolls. These records contain the transactions of the commission that reached a 
settlement to the Spanish-American War. The documents include official correspon- 
dence, notes, memos, and the final terms for ending the war. 

Personal and confidential letters from Secretary of State Lansing to Presiden 
Wilson, 1915-1918, M 743, 1 roll, descriptive pamphlet available. This collection ol 
press copies of personal and confidential letters from Secretary of State Robert Lansing 
to President Wilson between August 1915 and July 1918 concern diplomatic relations 
with Russia and Japan, despatches received from United States diplomatic and consu- 
lar officers in Asia, and notes to Japan, China, Russia, Col. Edward House, and cabinel 

Records of the Department of State relating to World War I and its termination, 1914- 
1929, M 367, 159 rolls, descriptive pamphlet available. 

General records of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace (ACTNP), 1918- 
31, M 820, 160 rolls, descriptive pamphlet available. These papers contain: the corre- 
spondence of the commission; minutes and reports of the various committees, councils, 
commissions, field missions, and plenary sessions; minutes of the meetings of the 
Conference of Ambassadors, 1920-31 ; and memoranda, publications, pamphlets, maps, 
and personal records. This microfilm publication contains 563 rolls; the Atlanta branch 
possesses only the first 160. These 160 rolls include an explanatory key; the complete 
list of documents, and records relating to general commission activities; minutes ol 
meetings of the Conference of Ambassadors, 1920-31 ; and matters discussed by the 
Supreme War Council, by the Supreme Economic Council, and by committees and 
commissions subordinated to the ACTNP. The 1 60 rolls do not include other questions 
considered by the Peace Conference, or political affairs world-wide, especially Asia. 
2 War Department records relating to East Asia in the Atlanta branch include Records of the 
American section of the Supreme War Council, 1917-19, M 923, 21 rolls, descriptive 
pamphlet available. The Supreme War Council was created in late 1917 to coordinate 
prosecution of World War I. It considered important policy questions that only the heads of 
government could decide; it made policy, not plans. Subjects considered by the Council 
included the composition and employment of a general reserve, use of American troops, 
intervention in Asiatic Russia, and terms and implementations of the Armistice. The 
records of the American section of the Supreme War Council consist of letters, reports, 


studies, minutes, telegrams, charts, maps, pamphlets, and books sent to and received 
from American, French, British, and Italian personnel. These documents reflect the role of 
the American section in collecting and analyzing data to support the Supreme War 
Council's work in coordinating the Allied war effort in 1918, in implementing the terms of 
the Armistice, and in drafting peace treaties in 1919. This series of records includes 
reports from American liaison officers at Marshall Ferdinand Foch's Headquarters; reports 
from military attaches and observers at Allied and neutral capitals on political and military 
conditions in Russia, Germany, and other countries; minutes of the meetings of permanent 
military representatives; and minutes of the meetings of the Supreme War Council. The 
records contain considerable information on the Allied intervention in Siberia, on the 
political and economic situation in northeast Asia (Siberia, Manchuria, Mongolia), and on 
the Czech Legion in Siberia. War Department records include the following record groups: 
Historical files of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in Siberia, 1918-20, M 
917, 1 1 rolls, descriptive pamphlet is available. These historical files contain: important 
reports relating to the activities to the AEF in Vladivostok, Shkotovo, and the Suchan 
Mines during 1919; English translations of Russian, Japanese, and Chinese newspa- 
pers published in or near Asiatic Russia; accounts of strikes by railroad and mine 
workers and partisan guerrilla activity in Shkotovo and Suchan Mines districts during 
1919; and reports of offices in the AEF. 

Historical information relating to military posts and other installations, 1 700-1900, M 
661, 8 rolls, descriptive pamphlet available. Information derives from a 27-volume 
"Outline Index of Military Forts and Stations," of the U.S. Army's Adjutant General's 
office. There is reference to U.S. installations in the Philippines and the Pacific Ocean. 
Official Published Documents to Insular Possessions of the United States including 
the Philippines, 1876-1906, M 24, 3 rolls, descriptive pamphlet available. The docu- 
ments cover the entire period of the American military governments in the Philippine 
Islands as well as the early years of civil government. The Bureau of Insular Affairs was 
created in the War Department in 1898 to administer the civil affairs of possessions 
acquired as a result of the Spanish-American War. During the early years of its 
existence the Bureau made a comprehensive collection of all reports, hearings, acts, 
and other relevant printed matter from governmental sources relating to the Philippine 
Islands in addition to some materials relating to Alaska and Hawaii. These documents 
were made part of the Bureau's library. 

One final collection of War Department-Related records on East Asia in the Archives 
branch is: Records of Nazi Cultural and Research Institutions, and Records Pertaining to 
Axis Relations and Interests in the Far East 1933-45, T 82, 550 rolls, descriptive pamphlet 
available. There are files pertaining to economic, military, and cultural relations with 
Japan, the Pacific islands, and China, especially its Shandong Province. These records 
were captured at the end of World War II and microfilmed by American officials. 
Records of the United States Exploring Expedition Under the Command of Lieutenant 
Charles Wilkes 1832-42, M 75, 27 rolls. An introduction may be found at the beginning of 
the first roll. By an 1836 act of Congress, the President was authorized to "send out a 
surveying and exploring expedition to the Pacific Ocean and the South Seas." The United 
States Exploring Expedition, under the command of Lt. Charles Wilkes, left the United 
States in 1 838 and returned in 1 842 after exploring Pacific Islands and the northwest coast 
of America. The records include journals and logs kept by officers and men of the 
expedition. Preparations for the expedition, activities during the expedition itself, and 
courts-martial of certain officers during the expedition are documented. 

Records relating to the United States surveying expeditions to the North Pacific, 1852- 
1863, M 88, 27 rolls, descriptive pamphlet available. These volumes record the actions of 
exploring expeditions as they surveyed areas from the South China Sea to the Bering 


Straits. The expedition made landings in Japan, China, and Pacific Islands and assisted 
Commodore Perry with his 1853-54 mission to Japan. 
4 Letters received by the Secretary of the Navy from commanding officers of squadrons, 
1841-1886, M 89, 300 rolls, descriptive pamphlet available. Papers are arranged by name 
of squadron, and thereafter chronologically. 

Beginning in 1815 the American Navy was divided into six permanent squadrons: the 
Mediterranean Squadron, the West India Squadron, the Pacific Squadron, the Brazil 
Squadron, the East India Squadron, and the Home Squadron. All of these except the West 
India Squadron were still in existence in 1841, when the Navy first filed separately the 
letters received by the Secretary of the Navy from commanding officers of squadrons. In 
1866 the Pacific Squadron was divided into the North Pacific and the South Pacific 
Squadrons, while the Asiatic Squadron had been established in 1865. The letters from 
commanding officers relate to operations in wartime, negotiations of treaties, observations 
of military institutions and affairs in foreign countries, and personnel matters. Significant 
events documented in these letters include Perry's 1853-54 mission to Japan. The 
squadrons concerned with Asia and the Pacific and the dates of the letters from their 
commanding officers are: East India Squadron, February 26, 1841 -December 7, 1861; 
Pacific Squadron, December 30, 1841 -June 19, 1866; North Pacific Squadron, May 26, 
1866- June 25, 1869; South Pacific Squadron, June 31, 1866-May 27, 1869; Pacific 
Station, June 26, 1869-August 13, 1872; North Pacific Station, September 23, 1872-April 
30, 1 878; South Pacific Station, September 1 6, 1 872-April 1 9, 1 878; Pacific Station, July 9, 
1 878-November 11,1 886; and Asiatic Squadron, August 1 , 1 865-November 24, 1 885. 


History of the Chinese in 
Savannah, Georgia 


Over two hundred and fifty years ago James Oglethorpe led more 
than a hundred people from England to establish Georgia. On Febru- 
ary 12, 1733, they reached the Savannah River and shortly after- 
wards began clearing trees and building houses. Savannah, as well 
as Georgia, therefore celebrated its semiquincentennial anniversary 
in 1 983. Savannah's numerous ethnic groups — Jewish, Afro-Ameri- 
can, Native American, German, Greek, Irish, Italian and English — 
commemorated their considerable contributions to the political, eco- 
nomic, social, and cultural life of the city. Another ethnic group, the 
Chinese, have lived continuously in Georgia's first city for just over a 
century and have also contributed to its life and diversity, but they 
have done so quietly. In order to provide a more complete picture of 
Savannah's history, the purpose of this article is to examine the 
Chinese community in one of the nation's most historical cities. Doing 
so will provide a more complete picture of Savannah's ethnic mosaic. 

Savannah's reputation for beauty may in part be due to Chinese 
influence. Oglethorpe, who personally laid out the original plan for 
Savannah, may have been trying to pattern it after Beijing (Peking), 
the capital of China. 1 In both cities a series of parks and squares were 
placed in a regular pattern to interrupt the boring repetition of rectan- 
gular blocks formed by straight streets intersecting at right angles. 

*Professor Pruden teaches East Asian history at Armstrong State College, Savannah, 
Georgia. In 1977 he received a Ph.D. in international studies from The American University, 
where his dissertation was on "Issachar Jacox Roberts and American Diplomacy in China 
During the Taiping Rebellion." 





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These maps appeared in Laura Palmer Bell's "A New Theory on the Plan of Savannah," 
The Georgia Historical Quarterly 48 (June 1964), pp. 159-60, with these captions: "A 
tracing by Stephen P. Bond of the first four squares laid out by Oglethorpe in 1733. 
Shown in the Deputy Surveyor General Thomas Shruder's Resurvey of the Town of 
Savannah, 5th day of February 1770. Plan of the New City of Peking by Father Gabriel 
Malgalhes S.J. from the Novelle Relations de la Chine, published in Paris in 1688 by C. 
Barbin." Used with the permission of Stephen P. Bond and The Georgia Historical 


Laura Plamer Bell has amassed a body of circumstantial evidence to 
support this thesis, and a comparison of the maps of the two cities will 
show the similarity. (See maps accompanying this article.) 2 More- 
over, chinoiserie was becoming fashionable in Europe in the early 
eighteenth century; so it is possible that Oglethorpe, who was known 
to consort with the literary figures of his time, brought with him to 
Georgia an admiration for Beijing, and laid out a similar city plan for 
Savannah. 3 Thus, the first Chinese contribution to this city may have 
arrived with the earliest settlers and may be one of the historic 
features which visitors and residents most admire about Savannah. 
Chinese people did not arrive until substantially after Savannah's 
establishment in 1733. Although a few Chinese seamen may have 
visited Savannah aboard ships, the first documented Chinese visitor 
arrived in 1847, just three years after Caleb Cushing negotiated the 
first Sino-American treaty. On November 20, 1847, Lin Keng Chiu 
(Lin Jingzhou) arrived in Savannah from Xiamen (Amoy) in the 
company of a Dr. Cumming. 4 Neither the reason for Lin's visit nor 
how long he stayed is known. A week after his arrival he was taken by 
Dr. Cumming to visit some friends in the home of J.B. Reid, where Lin 
commemorated the event with an inscription in Chinese and English. 
"I saw those kind friends," he wrote, "and was very much pleased 
with them, especially the nice ladies." 5 For the remainder of the 
nineteenth century, connections between China and Savannah were 
more incidental than substantive. John Elliott Ward, a mayor of 
Savannah during the 1 850s, became United States Minister to China. 
He was appointed by President James Buchanan in 1858 to ex- 
change ratifications of the Treaty of Tientsin. (See Gabard's article 
on Ward in this volume.) Ward had never been to China, nor had he 
any previous diplomatic experience, yet he was aware of that East 
Asian nation and conditions there. One of his good friends was the 
Episcopal bishop of Savannah, whose sister was married to the 
bishop of the American Episcopal Church in China. Ward also knew 
ships' captains and American naval officers who had been active in 
Western Pacific and Chinese ports. Ward travelled for part of his 
journey aboard the flagship of the United States Asiatic squadron, 
commanded by his friend and Savannah native Commodore Josiah 
Tattnall, who broke American neutrality to give aid to the belea- 
guered British force at the Dagu forts. Tattnall coined the phrase: 


"Blood is thicker than water." 6 Ward returned to Washington shortly 
before the U.S. Civil War in 1861 . When war broke out, Ward sided 
with the Confederacy and returned to Savannah. He brought with him 
some Chinese fireworks, which he gave to a friend, who set them off 
on his plantation to the delight of his guests. 7 

The foregoing establish the fact that prior to any Chinese coming to 
Savannah to live, the city had some, albeit tenuous, links to China. 
The elite of Savannah appear to have kept up with current events 
through churchmen and through kinsmen like Ward and Tattnall. 
Upper class Savannahians thought themselves cosmopolitan as a 
result. Savannah was moreover already becoming an ethnically 
diverse city. Jews had lived in Savannah since the 1730s and a 
synagogue has been in continuous operation there since 1735. 
Large numbers of Irish and smaller numbers of immigrants from 
other European countries made up about half the population of 
Savannah by 1860. Yet no clearly defined anti-foreign prejudice was 
discernible. Know-Nothingism had appeared in the 1850s, but had 
little impact on local politics. 8 When the first Chinese arrived in 
Savannah, they were met with tolerance and curiosity, not hostility. 

From 1785, when three stranded seamen inadvertently became 
the first Chinese residents of the east coast of the United States, until 
the late 1840s, the total number of Chinese in this country never 
amounted to more than a few dozen. 9 Being an east coast port, 
Savannah did not experience the waves of Chinese immigration that 
followed the discovery of gold in California and which brought over 
41,000 Chinese by 1854. Prejudice against them arose quickly in 
San Francisco and other west coast areas where they were concen- 
trated. 10 

Right after the Civil War and the ratification of the Thirteenth 
Amendment to the Constitution, some Southerners contemplated 
bringing in Chinese laborers as a cheap source of labor to replace 
freed slaves. (See Brown and Ganschow's and Beatty's articles in 
this volume on Georgia Chinese outside Savannah. Brown and 
Ganschow indicated that a number of Chinese were brought to 
Augusta to dig a canal, and they became the first Chinese to live in 
Georgia.) The 1870 U.S. Census is the first one that places any 
Chinese in the state. 11 (See Appendix for Census data on Chinese 


Savannah's first Chinese resident was William Ah Sang, who 
arrived in September 1872. He visited the newspaper office in native 
dress to announce his arrival as a tea merchant and impressed a 
reporter as much by his novelty as by his dignified manner and fluent 
English. Although he was described as "converted to the faith and a 
member of Christ Church," the headline read "The Heathen Ch- 
inee." 12 He evidently did not remain in Savannah, for no further 
reference to him appears, and the 1880 census did not enumerate 
any Chinese in Savannah or Chatham County. 

It was during the late 1870s that prejudice against Chinese in 
California reached a fever pitch, and many of them moved to other 
parts of the United States to find a more hospitable environment. 13 
This internal migration probably accounts for the arrival of the first 
permanent Chinese settlers in Savannah. According to the daughter 
of one of these early Chinese residents, among the reasons for them 
to choose Savannah, was that "some were reminded of their beloved 
Guangzhou (Canton) by the Savannah harbor and the green land- 
scape and wonderful climate." 14 

The first Chinese to make Savannah his permanent home arrived 
about 1881 and opened the Sing Wing hand laundry on one of the 
major downtown streets. He followed the pattern set by other Chi- 
nese in the United States who found a ready clientele for hand 
laundries. These self-contained businesses did not compete with 
white labor, as laundry had traditionally been done in the home by 
slaves, servants, or female members of the family. Most of the 
Chinese who set up these laundries were from the rural areas of 
southeastern China. They knew little English, were uneducated, and 
lacked the skills needed to engage in the kinds of businesses already 
established by the existing population. By long hours of hard work 
these foreign entrepreneurs carved out a niche for themselves in the 
business life of Savannah. Other Chinese who came during the 
1880s also opened laundries, and by 1890 there were eight of them 
listed in the Savannah City Directory. One Chinese opened a curio 
shop in 1890 but soon went out of business and moved away. 15 

Almost all of the Chinese who came to Savannah during the latter 
half of the nineteenth century were male and either single or sepa- 
rated from their families. Very few Chinese women left their home- 
land for the United States. Between 1848 and 1868 only three per 


cent of the Chinese arriving in San Francisco were female, and this 
percentage barely increased after the initial period of immigration. At 
least two Chinese females were in Savannah during the 1880s, but 
neither stayed very long. One of them worked in a Chinese laundry, 
was prosecuted for vagrancy by her employer, and despite being a 
woman was sentenced to three months on the chain gang. 16 

The bachelor Chinese laundrymen understandably were homesick 
for their native country and families. One of them reminisced to his 
family that they stuck together and would walk down to the harbor in 
the evening and watch the ships plying the river by moonlight. 17 The 
pathos of their situation has been captured in a poem by Gerald 
Chan Sieg, a daughter of one of these early Chinese laundrymen in 

If I could hear once more 
The call of dark winged birds across the fields 
Of rice and slim young bamboo, 

If I could see once more 

A crane with yellow legs so straight 

Among cool water grasses, 

If I could touch again 

Her hands whose fingers in their sleeve of scarlet 

Are softly curled and gentle, 

My soul would be content, 

O gods, 

To iron away eternity. 18 

The only record that exists for some of them are newspaper 
accounts of their brushes with the law. Under the leadline: "ARREST 
OF THE HEATHEN CHINEE," the Savannah Morning News reported 
the apprehension of two laundrymen for possession of stolen goods. 
One of them, Lu Chung (Loo Chang), was "the man who married a 
white woman at Waynesboro some time ago, and afterwards was run 
out of that city." 19 (See Beatty's article in this journal on the Way- 


nesboro incident). Another incident involving Chinese was reported 
with a touch of amusement. Hung Lee brought charges against 
Charlie Lee for failing to repay $100. The preliminary trial produced 
an interesting culture clash. Hung Lee refused to take the Christian 
oath, and Charlie Lee, claiming to be a "Sunday School boy," refused 
to participate in a Chinese-style oath. This required that a chicken's 
head be cut off in the presence of both parties, whereupon they 
would agree to suffer the same fate if they did not tell the truth. The 
impasse was not resolved, and the judge dismissed the charge for 
lack of evidence. It was clear from the account that the newspaper 
reporter believed Charlie Lee was taking advantage of the situation. 
Charlie, he noted, was known as a sharp dealer and was probably 
hiding behind his Christian affiliation to avoid being found guilty. 20 

Yet not all the references to the Chinese in the local newspaper 
were derogatory either in tone or substance. The Morning News 
reported the naturalization of three Chinese in August 1888 and 
noted that Savannah now had four Chinese citizens. 21 A Chinese 
laundryman claimed to have been assaulted by two white men. Sang 
Lung positively identified one of his white attackers, who was ar- 
rested and put in jail despite an alibi and the police chief's belief in his 
innocence. 21 

How deep or widespread anti-Chinese prejudice was in Savannah 
around the turn of the century is hard to determine from United States 
Census data. Although the number of Chinese in Savannah had 
almost tripled between 1890 and 1900, as shown in the Appendix, 
even then there were fewer than four dozen in all. A clearer indication 
may be the city ordinance prohibiting the operation of opium dens in 
1 895. Aldermen voted unanimously to allow its second reading at the 
same meeting in which it was introduced and passed. About a 
decade later, when the first Chinese children born in Savannah 
reached school age, they were not allowed to attend the white 
schools. Local education officials may have strictly interpretated the 
1877 Georgia constitution: "Separate schools shall be provided for 
the white and colored races." Only in the mid-1 920s were Chinese 
children allowed to attend white schools in Savannah. 23 

Toward the end of the 1890s the character of the small Chinese 
community in Savannah began to change. Chung Ta-p'eng, who also 
used his boyhood nickname, Chan, had arrived on April 6, 1889. 


The first Chinese family of Savannah: father, Robert Chung Chan; mother, Cecelia Ann 
Lee, holding Robert Earl; behind her right shoulder is Ah'ge (Archie); at extreme left is 
Gerald (nee Geraldine); to her left is Sin-fah; and in the right foreground is Sandor. A 
sixth child was born later. Used by permission of Gerald Chan Sieg. 


That night the Independent Presbyterian church, a prominent Savan- 
nah landmark, burned in a spectacular fire. Seeing the blaze from the 
Sing Wing Laundry, he interpreted this event as a sign that he should 
oin that church. He began attending it once it was rebuilt and 
Decame a member. Upon baptism he was given the Christian name 
Robert and entered on the church roll as Robert Chung Chan be- 
:ause the clerk did not realize that his Chinese surname was Chung. 
Rather than cause any embarrassment, he accepted Chan as the 
surname for himself and his family. 24 

Few Savannahians were aware that this dignified and unassuming 
/oung Chinese was an ardent anti-Qing dynasty patriot and had left 
3hina to escape punishment as a revolutionary. He had received a 
:lassical Chinese education and supported the Chinese republican 
'evolutionary movement then led by Sun Zhongshan (Sun Yat-sen). 
He traveled around the southeastern United States soliciting funds 
for the Chinese revolution from his fellow countrymen and forwarded 
tie money to China's republican revolutionaries. After his marriage in 
1897, and especially once the first of his six children was born, he 
/vas not able to travel so widely for the cause he cherished. (See 
Dhoto of Chan family accompanying this article.) After trying without 
success to operate a farm and a restaurant he was taken in as a 
Dartner of Willie Chin & Co., a Chinese laundry. 25 

By 1900 the number of hand laundries, of which there had been 
sight in 1890, totaled fifteen. 26 Among the new arrivals by 1900 were 
two clansmen of Robert Chung Chan from his native village in 
Kwangtung Province who spelled their surname "Jung." When they 
also brought wives about 1 900 and started their families, the Chinese 
community took on a different character. Robert Chung Chan ad- 
vised his kinsmen and the other newly arrived Chinese to live apart 
from each other. He understood the distrust of Chinatowns that 
Caucasians felt in San Francisco and New York. "Too many hatchet 
men out west," he told them. "Too many tongs [secret, frequently 
warlike societies] in New York. If we live apart, they will like us better 
and not be afraid." 27 Robert Chung Chan, probably more than anyone 
9lse, prevented a Chinatown from developing in Savannah. 

He also did what he could to improve the reputation of Chinese in 
Savannah. Always dressed impeccably in up-to-date western-style 
clothes, as he was when photographed with his family, he carried 


himself with quiet dignity and treated everyone with courtesy. He was 
one of the original members of the Chinese Sunday School class 
begun in 1897 at the Independent Presbyterian Church, but he did 
not like being set apart from the rest of the members. After years of 
faithful attendance and service to the regular Men's Bible Class of 
that church, he was elected honorary president and retained that 
office until his death in 1953. 28 

Robert Chung Chan did not try to enhance his own reputation apart 
from, or at the expense of, his countrymen. He was, in fact, their 
acknowledged leader. By 1920 he helped organize and held high 
office in the Savannah branch of Chinese Freemasions or "Chee 
Kong Tong," and attended its 1921 National Convention in New York 
City. He also helped establish Savannah's Chinese Benevolent As- 
sociation in 1945. Newly arriving Chinese sought his advice and 
counsel, and some he helped financially to get started in business. 29 
These activities were quietly done; he never sought publicity for 
himself or for Chinese. He wanted all of them to be accepted as an 
integral part of Savannah life without drawing attention to them- 
selves. When news of the successful Chinese revolution came in 
October 1911, the three families, now including three children, cele- 
brated quietly. In later years, as older Chinese died, dignified funeral 
processions out to Laurel Grove Cemetery would bear their remains 
to be buried temporarily until their bones could be shipped back to 
China for interment in ancestral graves. After church on Sundays 
they usually gathered for a big meal and a game of mah-jongg. 

Occasionally the noise would cause neighbors to wonder what was 
going on, especially when they sang Chinese songs and had some- 
one to play the erhu, a shrill, two-stringed violin which harmonizes 
well with falsetto male voices. Celebrations of Chinese New Year 
called for joyous unrestraint. After a lavish meal, fireworks lit up the 
sky and firecrackers echoed through the streets and alleys. 30 

These gatherings continued as long as the number of Chinese in 
Savannah remained low enough so that they could all meet together 
in one home and the bachelors could join the few families as surro- 
gate uncles of the small children. Having declined in number to 34 in 
1910 — perhaps due to natural attrition by the deaths of the older 
bachelors — there were only 38 Chinese in Savannah by 1920. In the 
following decade a sharper increase occurred as the oldest ones of 


:he second generation reached maturity, married, and had children of 
their own. Not all of the second generation learned to speak Chinese. 
Robert Chung Chan and his wife did not speak Chinese within their 
lome. And the second generation began to develop interests, friends, 
and concerns that made the earlier closely knit Chinese community 
ess cohesive. During the 1930s the number of Savannah's U.S.- 
Dorn Chinese surpassed the foreign-born total for the first time, and 
Dy 1940 the ratio of U.S. -born to foreign-born Chinese was almost 
.wo to one. 31 

International events in East Asia during the early 1930s made 
Savannahians more aware of China. When C.C. Wang, First Secre- 
tary of the Chinese Legation in Washington, visited Savannah in 
Janaury 1 933 just for a vacation, reporters went to his hotel to gain an 
nterview from him, but without success. The account of his arrival in 
Savannah and seclusion from the press also noted that the Chinese 
:ommunity in Savannah had contributed liberally to a fund for the 
defense of Shanghai, which Japan had attacked in 1932. 32 In Febru- 
ary 1933 the League of Women Voters had as its speaker Chin 
Meng, Associate Director of the China Institute in America, at a public 
iieeting concerned with Sino-Japanese conflict. 33 

The Chinese in Savannah may have become more diverse in 
outlook by this time, but they never denied their ethnic heritage. 
Some of the Chinese wives began meeting informally in the mid 
1930s in a group they called the Hen Club. Recognizing the need for 
a more structured organization to keep the Chinese together, they 
oersuaded their husbands to see what could be done. In 1945, 
shortly before the end of World War II, the Chinese Benevolent 
Association was formed. Lat Woo, a businessman, was elected 
president, and the seventy-five-year-old Robert Chung Chan its first 
tfice president. Two children of the latter also were elected as charter 
officers. The long-range purpose of this association was "to bring 
Chinese in Savannah into closer cultural relationship not only with 
one another but with the other peoples of this city." 34 

The number of Chinese in Savannah declined after 1930, pre- 
sumably due to the demise of the elderly among the first generation. 
The fact that U.S. -born Chinese in the United States surpassed the 
number of foreign born Chinese in Savannah tends to support this 
assumption. New Chinese immigrants came to Savannah during this 


decade and an even greater increase occurred during the 1950s, but 
they were not the bachelor laborers who had come from farming 
villages. China had changed a great deal, and the new immigrants in 
Savannah reflected those changes. They came from the bustling port 
cities, where education was no longer considered the preserve of the 
wealthy classes. Many of them went into various kinds of businesses. 
Chinese restuarants and gift shops predominated. And because 
Robert Chung Chan had established the pattern that Chinese should 
be dispersed throughout the city, still no Chinatown developed in 
Savannah. According to one Savannah-born member of the Chinese 
community, only two Chinese lived on adjoining property. Two mem- 
bers of the same family bought lots that shared a common rear 
property line, but each one faced onto a different street. The fifty-year 
presence of Chinese in Savannah also facilitated the entry of new 
families and the establishment of new businesses. Some new immi- 
grants married into established Chinese families and thus were able 
to build upon the standing in the community that their in-laws already 
enjoyed. 35 

A recently deceased citizen of the Savannah area, T.S. Chu, 
served as an example of a Chinese immigrant to Savannah who may 
be considered typical in terms of his career pattern and upward 
mobility. Chu first came to this country to represent his native prov- 
ince at the Chicago World's Fair in 1933. Instead of returning to 
China, he stayed to see more of the United States and opened a gift 
shop in Coral Gables, Florida. One evening a stranger appeared at 
his shop. Casual conversation revealed that he had no place to sleep 
because he had forgotten to make hotel reservations. Mr. Chu let him 
sleep on his bed while he took the chair on the porch. The stranger 
repaid Chu's great kindness by inviting him to come to Savannah 
Beach, Georgia, where he lived, and open a gift shop in a building he 
owned. Chu did so, and began the thriving business that bears his 
name. Shortly afterwards he married Mae Jung, a daughter of one of 
the first Chinese families in Savannah. His shop remained open long 
hours every day and stocked anything customers wanted to buy. He 
developed a loyal clientele that included many celebrities. He liked to 
boast that Dwight Eisenhower was a regular customer whenever he 
visited Savannah Beach. Because business was so good, he had to 
enlarge his shop and later built and moved into a larger store. It is 


low the anchor of a small shopping center he helped develop as part 
)f a plan to revitalize the commercial life of the resort. He considered 
)ut rejected a campaign for mayor of the town, but was called "Mr. 
Savannah Beach." His business interests grew to include two other 
jift shops in Savannah, and members of his family own several 
convenience stores. He was quick to credit the friendliness of people 
or his success but also liked to point out the opportunities that exist 
n the United States for a poor immigrant to do well. 36 

A less-typical Chinese who also made a name for himself in 
Savannah was Dr. K.C. Wu. After a Chinese classical education he 
:ame to the United States and earned an undergradute degree and 
/vent to Yale for a doctorate, which he received in 1926. Upon 
-eturning to China he embarked upon a twenty-five-year career as an 
official in the Nationalist government. He served as Mayor of 
Chongqing (Chungking) during World War II, when it was China's 
capital, and of Shanghai from 1 945 to 1 949. (See Krebs' article in this 
volume about the intricacies of modern Chinese politics). Jiang Jieshi 
(Chiang Kai-shek) named him Governor of Taiwan, and his reform- 
minded stewardship in that position gained international recognition. 
Time featured him on its cover of August 7, 1 950, and perceptively 
described him as "a little too successful for his own good. [He] may 
arouse the jealousy of old-line officials." 37 The Time reporter did not 
foresee that Wu would arouse the jealousy both of Jiang and of 
Jiang's son, the subsequent leader of the Chinese Nationalists on 
Taiwan. "If I had stayed there," Wu told an American reporter in 1 972, 
'there would have been no chance for [Jiang's son] to succeed his 
father." 38 Wu decided to leave Taiwan after an attempt was made on 
his life that he believes Jiang ordered. 39 He moved to the United 
States and began a second career as a writer and lecturer in Chi- 
cago. In 1965 he accepted an invitation to teach at Armstrong State 
College in Savannah, where his courses were so popular that stu- 
dents and alumni raised money to pay his salary so he could teach 
for three additional years after he reached the mandatory retirement 
age. 40 He wrote several books. The Lane of Eternal Stability is a 
fictionalized account of the Chinese revolutionary movement in the 
early twentieth century. 41 His last work was The Chinese Heritage: A 
New and Provocative View of the Origins of Chinese Society. 42 Until 
his death in 1984, he engaged in research, and his wife is an 


accomplished painter in traditional Chinese style. Both became known 
to Savannahians through periodic feature articles in the local news- 
papers. 43 

Probably the best-known member of Savannah's Chinese commu- 
nity is a native daughter, Gerald Chan Sieg. She was born to Mr. and 
Mrs. Robert Chung Chan in 1911 and christened Geraldine. She 
"simply hated" that name. She shortened it to Gerald, she explained, 
because "I knew early on that boys were considered better than girls, 
so if I couldn't be a boy, I'd at least have a boy's name." 44 Chinese 
children were still not allowed to attend the white public schools, so 
her early education was provided by private teachers or in private 
schools. When she reached junior high school age, the local school 
board changed its ruling and she attended white public schools until 
her graduation. 45 Her father wrote poetry and she also developed an 
interest in this form of expression at an early age. Her high school 
English teacher urged her to submit one of her poems to the Poetry 
Society of Georgia, and it won a prize. She was invited to join the 
society and has been a member ever since 1928. 

Her poems have won numerous awards in the Poetry Society. She 
has been published in The New York Times, The New York Herald- 
Tribune, Atlantic Monthly, and Asia, as well in children's magazines 
such as Child Life, Jack and Jill, and Playmates. In recognition of her 
lifetime service" to the Poetry Society, her fellow members estab- 
lished an annual prize in her name. Only one other member was so 
honored during his lifetime, and that was Conrad Aiken. 46 

In addition to "Laundryman," quoted earlier, many of her poems 
reflect her Chinese heritage. She has also written several articles 
and short books about her early life in Savannah as the daughter of a 
Chinese family. Her Chinese Christmas Box captures the seasonal 
spirit of generosity and the cultural heritage of China that Robert 
Chung Chan passed on to his six children. 47 The story has been 
adapted into a children's Christmas play — as yet unpublished — that 
has been performed twice in Savannah. 48 Through her poetry and 
prose, Gerald Chan Sieg, a daughter of Chinese immigrants, has 
written about the first and second generations of her people in 
Savannah. Those who read her works are less likely to think of 
Chinese-Americans as stereotypes — either positive or negative — but 
as a people whose lives are intimately linked with their own. 


As of the 1 980 census there are more than two hundred citizens of 
Chinese descent living in Savannah — a small but significant part of 
ne population. None of the hand laundries still operates, but Chinese 
ire nevertheless represented in other traditional trades, such as 
hirteen restaurants, seven grocery stores, and at least three gift 
ihops. In addition, Savannah's Chinese citizens are represented in 
ne professions as physicians, engineers and teachers, one of whom 
vas selected as "Teacher of the Year" in 1975 by the public school 
system. There are a career Army officer, a chemist-photographer, a 
)ostal clerk, writers, musicians, actors, and playwrights. Many Savan- 
lah Chinese are housewives and students. 49 

During the semiquincentenary year of Savannah and Georgia in 
983, much was made of the hardships endured by the earliest 
lettlers. Yet not all of them arrived without some idea of what they 
vould face. A contemporary of Oglethorpe recorded what the Trus- 
ees told prospective English settlers: 

They must expect to go through great hardships in the beginning, 
ind use great industry and labor, in order to acquire afterwards a 
:omfortable subsistence for themselves and families. The country 
vas hot in summer, and there were flies in abundance, and thunder- 
storms were frequent in that season. Sicknesses were dangerous. If 
hey were temperate and industrious, they might establish them- 
selves and families in a comfortable way upon lands of their own. 50 

The Chinese who began arriving in Savannah a century and a half 
ater came without any foreknowledge of what to expect and they 
aced additional obstacles. Few of them could speak English when 
hey arrived and the prevailing culture was far different from their 
lative way of life. Most of the bachelor laundrymen kept to them- 
selves as long as they lived there; but the ones who brought or 
established families put down roots and, with the frequent assistance 
)f Robert Chung Chan, joined in the life of the city. Their descen- 
iants and the later arrivals are now respected members of the 
Savannah community. They were unaware that they were fulfilling 
Dglethorpe's hopes for the kind of settlers he expected to make 
Savannah and Georgia thrive: "What various misfortunes may re- 
iuce the rich, the industrious, to the danger of a prison, to a moral 
certainty of starving! These are the people that may relieve them- 
selves and strengthen Georgia, by reporting thither." 51 


Oglethorpe did not envision Georgia as a haven for debtors, but as 
a place where potentially productive people buffeted by circum- 
stances beyond their control could engage their energies and skills 
and contribute to its success. 52 He did not foresee that his hopes 
would apply equally to the Chinese of the next two centuries. Yet by 
their industry and perseverance, they have indeed established "them- 
selves and families in a comfortable way upon lands of their own." 


Census Data on Chinese Residents of Savannah* 






















(of voting age) 



















































'Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 1870-1980 Censuses. 

a. Listed if breakdown by sex was provided in Census Reports. 

b. Separate figures not given for Savannah in 1890 Census; number given for Chatham 
County also used for Savannah. 

c. Reported by Standard Metropolitcan Statistical Area rather than by county. Savannah's 
SMSA includes but is larger than Chatham County. Data has been gathered or derived 
from decennial Census Reports of the U.S. Bureau of the Census, specifically those 
volumes subtitled "Population" or "Characteristics of the Population." 


James Edward Oglethorpe to the Trustees from the Camp near Savannah, February 10, 
1733, in [Benjamin Martyn], An Account Showing the Progress of the Colony of Georgia, in 
America, From Its First Establishment, reprinted in Collections of the Georgia Historical 


Society 2 (1842), p. 284. See also George White, Statistics of the State of Georgia 
(Savannah: W. Thorn Williams, reprinted 1972), p. 47. 

2 Laura Palmer Bell, "A New Theory on the Plan of Savannah," The Georgia Historical 
Quarterly 48 (June 1964), pp. 147-165. 

3 Richard C. Boys, "Oglethorpe and the Muses," The Georgia Historical Quarterly 31 (March 
1947), pp. 19-29. 

4 Georgian (Savannah), November 20, 1847. 

5 Lin's original inscription is in the possession of Gerald Chan Sieg, with whose permission 
it is used. 

6 William M. Gabard, "John Elliott Ward and the Treaty of Tientsin," West Georgia Studies in 
the Social Sciences 1 1 (1972), pp. 28-29, 33-34. 

7 Morning News (Savannah), March 18, 1929. 

8 Herbert Weaver, "Foreigners in Ante-Bellum Savannah," The Georgia Historical Quarterly 
37 (March 1953), pp. 1, 10-12. 

9 Ruthanne Lum McCunn, An Illustrated History of the Chinese in America (San Francisco: 
Design Enterprises, 1979), pp. 10, 24; William J. Bromwell, History of Immigration to the 
United States.. .September 30, 1819 to December 31, 1855 (New York: Radfield, 1 856), 

10 Daniel Cleveland to J. Ross Brown, U.S. Minister to China, San Francisco, July 27, 1868, 
in American Diplomatic and Public Papers: The United States and China, Series II, The 
United States, China, and Imperial Rivalries, 1861-1893, (Wilmington, Del.,: Scholarly Re- 
sources, Inc., 1979), pp. 1-2. 

11 Catherine Brown, "Chinese in the South: 1865-1980," paper presented to the Southeast- 
ern Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, Boone, North Carolina, January 21 , 
1983; U.S. Bureau of the Census, Ninth Census: The Statistics of the Population of the 
United States, I (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1872), p. 22. 

12 Morning News, October 1 , 1872. 

13 McCunn, p. 82. 

14 Morning News, January 1 5, 1 950. 

15 Savannah City Directory, 1882; McCunn, p. 63; Morning News, July 9, 1891 . 

16 Morning News, June 4, 1884, January 15, 1950; Cleveland, p. 1; References to other 
Chinese women in Morning News, February 21 and July 17, 1891. 

17 Morning News, January 15, 1950. 

18 Yearbook of the Poetry Society of Georgia, 1933-1934, used with the permission of the 

19 Morning News, October 22, 1884. 

20 Morning News, February 21 , 1 891 . 

21 Morning News, September 1 , 1888. 

22 Morning News, July 14, 15, and 16, 1895. 

23 Minutes of the City Council of Savannah, Georgia, April 24, 1895, p. 151; Statement of 
Gerald Chan Sieg to the author, February 3, 1983. 

24 Lowry Axley, Holding Aloft the Torch: A History of the Independent Presbyterian Church of 
Savannah, Georgia (Savannah: Pigeonhole Press, 1958), p. 45; Interview with Gerald 
Chan Sieg, December 29, 1982. 

25 Sieg interview, February 3, 1983; Gerald Chan Sieg, "Georgia's Chinese Pioneers," The 
Atlanta Journal and Constitution Magazine, March 7, 1 965, p. 20. 

26 Savannah City Directory, 1900. 

27 Sieg, "Georgia's Chinese Pioneers," p. 22. 

28 Axley, p. 136. 

29 Morning News and Evening Press (Savannah), June 11,1 953; Sieg interview, December 


29, 1982. 

30 Sieg, "Georgia's Chinese Pioneers," p. 22. 

31 U.S. Census Report, 1940. 

32 Morning News, Janaury 22, 1933. 

33 Morning News, February 10 and 16, 1933. 

34 Evening Press, January 2, 1945; Sieg interview, December 29, 1982. 

35 Sieg interview, February 3, 1983. 

36 News-Press (Savannah), October 31 , 1971 . 

37 Time, August 7, 1950, p. 25. 

38 News-Press, July 2, 1972. 

39 News-Press, May 2, 1971 . 

40 News-Press, July 2, 1972. 

41 (New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1962). 

42 (New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1982). 

43 News-Press, July 28, 1974, and December 19, 1982, in addition to those already cited. 

44 Morning News, November 5, 1978. 

45 Sieg interview, February 3, 1983. 

46 Morning News, October 30, 1 936; January 8, 1 937; October 6, 1 937; November 1 7, 1 937; 
August 29, 1948; November 5, 1978. 

47 Second edition (n.p.: The August Press, 1970). 

48 Sieg interview February 3, 1983. 

49 Figures extracted from the Yellow pages of the Savannah Telephone Directory, March, 
1982; Morning News, January 15, 1950; Sieg interview, February 3, 1983. 

50 Francis Moore, A Voyage to Georgia Begun in the Year 1735 (London, 1744), reprinted 
in Collections of The Georgia Historical Society 1 (1840), p. 84. 

51 [James Edward Oglethorpe], A New and Accurate Account of the Provinces of South 
Carolina and Georgia (London, 1733), reprinted in Collections of the Georgia Historical 
Society 1: (1840), p. 56. 

52 Albert B. Saye, "Was Georgia a Debtor Colony?" The Georgia Historical Quarterly 24 
(December 1940), pp. 323-41. 


The Augusta, Georgia, Chinese: 


The purpose of this study is to examine the historical and socio- 
economic developmental patterns of the Augusta Chinese from their 
initial settlement in the late 1860s to 1980, the most recent year for 
which census data is available, and to explain the variations which 
have taken place over time. Strictly defined this is a study in historical 
urban social geography and involves the analysis of the changing 
patterns of a small urban ethnic group functioning as a social and 
economic unit within a larger biracial population. 

A survey of the data and literature pertaining to the Chinese in the 
United States has suggested that the Chinese in Augusta share 
similar histories and characteristics with other Chinese groups south 
of the Mason-Dixon line and east of and including Texas. However, 
the southern groups of Chinese differ from Chinese in other regions 
of the United States. The literature also showed a strong bias toward 
interpreting the history and characteristics of Chinese and other 
ethnic minorities as largely the products of racial prejudice and 
economic forces operating inside and outside of the group. These 

*Catherine Brown received her B.A. in geography from the University of Tennessee and an 
M.A. in geography from the University of Georgia. She is the author of The Urban South: A 
Bibliography (Westport, Ct.: Greenwood Press, 1989). Professor Ganschow has taught 
Chinese and East Asian history at the University of Georgia since 1 969. In 1 971 he received 
his Ph.D. in those fields from Indiana University, where he worked under Ssu-yu Teng. His 
dissertation topic was: "A Study of Sun Yat-sen's Contacts with the United States Prior to 
1922." He has pubished articles in the fields of modern Chinese history and international 
relations. The authors wish to thank the Georgia China Council for their support of this project 
and members of the Chinese Benevolent Association of Augusta for their cooperation and 


common themes from the literature provide the direction and theo- 
retical basis for this study. 

Contrary to what one might believe about early American atti- 
tudes toward China and the Chinese, from the earliest available 
evidence, Americans rarely seemed impressed with traditional Chi- 
nese culture and government. 1 Prior to the advent of the first large 
scale immigration of Chinese into the U.S. in the mid-1 850s, Ameri- 
cans had been educated by accounts of some travelers to China to 
believe that the Chinese were a morally debased, biologically inferior 
race. This largely negative stereotype surfaced quickly when Ameri- 
cans met Chinese face-to-face stateside. The stereotype was acti- 
vated by the xenophobia of a growing nativist movement. It was 
reinforced by language barriers, cultural differences, and domestic 
economic problems, especially labor/management tensions in the 
American West. 

Chinese began to immigrate to the United States in large numbers 
after the establishment of regular transpacific steamer service in 
1848. At first, these settlers remained concentrated on the West 
Coast, where they were tolerated for a brief period as a source of 
cheap railroad, mining, and agricultural labor — much needed in a 
population-hungry frontier with a rapidly expanding economy. The 
boom-town era was short lived, however, and when the region 
plunged into a depression, the Chinese found themselves blamed for 
many economic and social ills. Racism was rampant and the pres- 
ence of foreigners — especially foreigners so very different in cus- 
toms and appearance as the Chinese — was considered divisive. 
Some Caucasians in the American West felt that if the West were to 
solve its problems it needed a homogenous population with common 
origins and goals. By the 1870s they had rallied under the slogan, 
"The Chinese must go," a sentiment that was often violently ex- 
pressed. 2 

The Chinese responded to the outbreak of violence in several 
ways. Some returned to China while others relocated in other coun- 
tries. Those who stayed in the West clustered for safety in larger 
cities. The consensus among researchers is that the anonymity of 
the city, especially the large city, provided the Chinese an element of 
protection they did not have in small towns or work camps. Although 
the urban clusters which grew into Chinatowns lost their invisibility, 


Chinatown itself became a fortress against outside aggression and it 
took on a political, social, and economic life of its own. Chinese who 
preferred to leave the West but remain in the U.S. began to migrate 
eastward. Southern migration was encouraged by a popular move- 
ment within the region to secure Chinese contract labor to supple- 
ment or replace free black labor. At approximately the time the West 
raised the cry, "The Chinese must go!" the South issued an invitation 
"Let the Chinamen come." 3 

Chinese in Georgia 

One of the most pressing problems faced by Georgia in the after- 
math of the Civil War was the adaptation of a slave labor economy to 
a free labor force. Like the rest of the South, Georgia initially resisted 
change, preferring to substitute cheap wage labor for slave labor and 
rejecting technological innovations which would have eased 
agriculture's labor dependency. Also, like the rest of the South, 
Georgia did not consider the state's reserves of free blacks as a 
potential labor force — or at least much of one. In fact, it was widely 
thought that "the institution of slavery provided the best system of 
labor devised for the negro race," and that blacks would never work 
without coercion. 4 This opinion was reflected in an 1866 editorial in a 
Savannah paper which claimed that the state needed a legal code to 
force blacks to work since they had been freed "without the restraints 
of intelligence" and would otherwise pass their time in idleness and 
vice. 5 

Black labor had some supporters, but for the most part the general 
trend in the state between 1865 and 1880 was toward the promotion 
of foreign immigration as a solution to the labor problem. In 1868 a 
Columbus paper painted this grim scenario, "[to] crush out the ne- 
groes, refuse them employment. Once rid of this obstreperous ele- 
ment there will be a tide of immigration that will soon supply our 
demand for labor." 6 As the state's newspapers encouraged Georgia 
to join the southern effort to attract immigrant labor, the blacks began 
a major exodus out of northern Georgia and the Piedmont to the 
coastal plain with many leaving the state for places offering higher 
wages. 7 Though the initial labor problem in the state was more 
imaginary than real, the shift in the black population created a 
genuine labor shortage and many plantations lay idle for lack of help. 

In Georgia the idea of importing Chinese coolies to supplement or 


replace black labor predated the Civil War although no action seems 
to have taken place prior to 1865. Immediately after the war, how- 
ever, brief items about Chinese labor began appearing in the news. 
For example, in November 1 865 a Savannah paper ran a short article 
about Chinese labor in the West. The Chinese were said to work for 
$5 a month and clothe themselves. "Their masters," the article con- 
cluded [not "their employers"], "were expected to supply other neces- 
sities." 8 By 1 866 the Georgia press was expressing a direct interest in 
the use of Chinese labor in the South; for it was generally concluded 
the Chinese were "faithful and laborous operatives, who [were] easily 
managed" and "admirably suited for the culture of cotton and other 
products of the South." 9 (See Pruden's and Beatty's articles in this 
journal on the labor situation in the South in general, and on Georgia 
Chinese living outside of Augusta.) 

The Chinese in Augusta 

The Augusta Chronicle had its own opinion of using Chinese 
coolies as laborers. It was generally negative. Editorials described 
the Chinese as "joss worshiping, opium soaked coolies." Space was 
also given to print the text of a speech delivered in Ohio in which 
Chinese were called "an alien, and inferior and idolotrous race not fit 
to become citizens or to enjoy the right of suffrage." 10 The Chronicle's 
readers responded in turn with their own feelings about the issue. 
The majority echoed the opinion of the writer who said, "I am for 
Georgians all the while, white or black, but white first all the time [not] 
Chinese coolies, half drunk all the time with opium, yellow immigrants 
too poor to live at home." 11 

The failure of the proponents of foreign labor to entice large 
numbers of Chinese workers into the state rendered the issue largely 
academic in Augusta until 1873, when a construction company en- 
gaged to extend the city's canal system announced its intention to 
include 200 Chinese laborers in its work crew. It is hardly surprising, 
given the previously expressed opinions of the Chronicle, that its 
readership raised an immediate objection to the proposal. When it 
became clear, however, that the Chinese would be employed despite 
the city's objections, the Chronicle resigned itself to the idea. What a 
"novelty" to have such a large body of these people in the vicinity, 
observed the paper. The Chronicle expected the Chinese would 
succeed as in other places. 12 On November 4, 1873, when 35 Chi- 


nese stepped off the train at the Augusta station, Chronicle reporters 
joined the crowd of onlookers and met them with what seemed to be, 
from the general tone of the ensuing news articles, friendly curiosity. 
(See Appendix One through Five on the Chinese population of 

The Chronicle's rival, the Constitutionalist, was not as optimistic 
about the addition of Chinese to the canal's work force. Along with a 
brief note about the arrival of the Chinese, the Constitutionalist chose 
to print a lengthy article extracted from a 1871 edition of a Louisiana 
paper which told a lurid tale of "unfaithful, sordid, slow, weak, and 
(sometimes) murderous" Chinese workers on Louisiana plantations 
who were a source of continual disappointment and worry to their 
employers. The Constitutionalist also reported that the first Chinese 
arrivals were from Kentucky, not Indiana as the Chronicle had men- 
tioned, and that the remainder would be coming from Louisiana! The 
Chronicle seems to have had no response to this potentially inflam- 
matory article and the Constitutionalist dropped the matter. 13 

For several months after the arrival of the Chinese, articles and 
news briefs appeared sporadically in the Chronicle about their prog- 
ress on the canal, customs, and personal habits. Their work was 
found to be satisfactory. The Chinese were characterized as a sturdy 
agreeable lot of young men with a "sameness of appearance," with 
"childlike and bland expressions," and somewhat "effeminate" be- 
cause of their lack of beards. The Chinese were paid $35.00 a 
month, in gold, a salary comparable to the white and black canal 
workers', and were reported to have kept their living expenses at 
$7.00 a month. "What a glorious thing it would be," hoped the 
Chronicle, "if some of us 'outside barbarians' could learn to subsist 
on that modest sum." 14 

But the novelty of the Chinese workers soon wore off; the paper 
turned to other topics. Nothing was found in the Chronicle or in any 
other source to indicate whether the other 165 Chinese intended for 
work on the project ever materialized and there is no evidence that 
any of those Chinese who did come actually stayed past the comple- 
tion of the canal in 1 875, although the assumption is most often made 
by other researchers that the Augusta community originated from a 
small group who remained when the work crew disbanded. 15 City di- 
rectories are missing for that period; so it is not known if any Chinese 


took up a city residence or entered into any type of business prior to 
1 876, when the Chronicle reported that "a geniune Chinaman has es- 
tablished a tea store on the south side of Broad Street nearly oppo- 
site the Planters Hotel." The tea shop which is indicated was located 
in the heart of the city's downtown business district. The following 
year a Chinese-operated grocery opened without fanfare in another 
Broad Street location. 

The Chinese as Small Grocers 

By the 1880 census there were 17 Chinese men living in Georgia. 
Ten of these Chinese were located in Augusta and all were engaged 
in the grocery business. (See Appendix Two on Chinese-owned 
laundries and groceries in Augusta.) Those who did not own their 
businesses were in the employ of other Chinese. Of the eight Chi- 
nese groceries listed in the city directory, most were scattered along 
Broad Street in the central business district. Five of the city's Chinese 
shared in the family name Loo and at least three of them were 
brothers. The Loos were the first Chinese known to enter the grocery 
business in the city and for a number of years comprised the Chinese 
community's largest clan. The directory also listed one Chinese 
grocer as having a partner residing in Charleston, South Carolina. It 
would seem that the Chinese in Augusta, just as the Chinese else- 
where in the United States, were quick to establish a network of 
communications and mutual support systems with the various other 
Chinese communities in the surrounding states. 16 

In 1882 the Chronicle had a great deal to say about a Chinese 
Exclusion Bill being debated in Congress. "From present appear- 
ances," observed the Chronicle on May 4, "this country has a yellow 
elephant on its hands only less portentous and menacing than the 
black one was." The editorial then proceeded to relate the "good and 
bad features of the Mongolian pest." The good reputation of Chinese 
businessmen on the West Coast was mentioned, but the Chinese 
practice of polygamy and other "monstrous vices" was highlighted 
along with the contempt the Chinese were "known" to have for the 
American system of government. "Chinese first, last and all the time," 
said the paper, sneering at the newcomers' national pride and reluc- 
tance to become American citizens, adding that "their politeness is 
on the surface, and [they] have [been] known to kill a man who owed 
them twenty-five cents." 17 


Curiously enough, the Chronicle cheered the passage of the 1882 
Exclusion Bill but reported the marriages of two Chinese men to 
white women that year with no adverse reaction. The weddings 
aroused some interest, but the couples received the paper's usual 
good wishes for newlyweds. The events which transpired in Way- 
nesboro the following year also seem to have passed Augusta by 
without much effect. (See Beatty's article in this journal on the 
Waynesboro incident.) The Waynesboro episode involved the "Ku 
Kluxing" of the town's two Chinese citizens out of the fear they too 
would seduce white women into marriage. The incident prompted the 
introduction of a bill in the Georgia House of Representatives to 
prohibit Chinese/white marriages and only served to hurry the wed- 
ding plans of several more Chinese men and white women in Au- 
gusta. The Chronicle was silent. All in all it seemed as though the 
paper was hostile toward Chinese in general but tolerant of the local 

In this period, the newspaper's attitude may not have been wholly 
indicative of the attitudes of the white community. In 1885 there was 
a movement among white merchants to petition the city council to 
deny the Chinese business licenses. "The Pig-tail is ordered to go 
periodically but he remains, just as the pig does," read one blurb in 
the Chronicle not exactly in keeping with its usual benevolent air. A 
few days later it reported that "the City Council stands up to the 
Celestials. John Chinaman need not go." 18 The Council issued a 
statement that whoever" conformed to the ordinances of the city and 
paid his licenses has as much right to do legitimate business in 
Augusta as [does] a representative of any other nation." 19 Unfortu- 
nately for the Chinese, the Council's decision did not serve to close 
the issue. 

Augusta's white merchants continued their protest and much to the 
distress of the Chinese, the newcomers became a popular topic of 
discussion in 1886. Augusta's antagonism toward its Chinese citi- 
zens corresponded with the mood of the country. The Northeast was 
becoming disturbed about its growing Chinatowns as numbers of the 
Chinese who had settled in the United States prior to the passage of 
the Exclusion Bill continued their movement out of the Western 
states. California held its first anti-Chinese "convention" in 1886, and 
in February of that year a mob of Seattle's white citizens attacked 


that city's Chinese quarter, driving some Chinese away and killing 
those who failed to escape. Augusta's merchants renewed their 
petition to the City Council, complaining that there was no way they 
could compete with the Chinese and "if something [were] not done 
[they would] take up the idea suggested in Seattle and elsewhere 
West and force the pig-tails out of town." 20 

Adding to the alarm of the white merchants was a rumor that 
dozens more Chinese were scheduled for arrival in the city. The 
Atlanta Constitution, expressing sympathy for the merchants' plight, 
erroneously reported "hundreds" of Chinese "thriving" in Augusta, 
and mentioned that Chinese immigration into the city had recently in- 
creased. Explicit in the article was fear that the city would be overrun 
by Chinese. The Chronicle responded by sending reporters to talk to 
the white merchants and engaged a Chinese correspondent in order 
to cover both sides of the story. The white shopkeepers accused the 
Chinese of dishonest trading and "unhallowed and cunning competi- 
tion." Once praised for their frugality, the Chinese were now cursed 
for it. It would seem that the main competitive edge the Chinese had 
was living in their stores to reduce personal expenses to "one-tenth 
what it cost decent men to live." "For ways that are dark and tricks 
that are vain the Heathen Chinee is peculiar," quoted the white 
merchant's spokesman from Bret Harte's popular poem of the period. 
The Chinese in turn denied the allegation that they systematically 
swindled their customers and presented themselves as a settled 
group with a stake in the community. They reminded their accusers 
that the Chinese government protected American speculators in 
China and that they had a right to expect the United States govern- 
ment to extend them the same protection. The Chinese also stated 
that they knew of no large scale influx of Chinese planned for 
Augusta and their group numbered only 31, six of whom were 
visitors. 21 

All the publicity badly frightened the Chinese, who at one point 
locked themselves in one of their rooms and refused to come out. It 
took the joint efforts of the Mayor and several ladies from the newly 
organized Baptist Chinese Sunday School to convince them their 
property would not be confiscated and that no bodily harm would 
come to them. The Chronicle sympathized with the Chinese and was 
of the opinion that the crusade against them was a strike against free 


enterprise. The issue of business permits faded from the news, but 
the Chronicle continued to examine its Chinese community. A series 
of articles appeared in 1886 about opium smoking among the Chi- 
nese shopkeepers, and one reporter made the rounds of the various 
"opium dens" in the city to see how this activity was conducted. The 
paper made it clear that they were making war on the drug and not 
the Chinese, but it was generally believed that the Chinese were re- 
sponsible for introducing opium into the city and that the laundries 
were but fronts for its distribution and use. This was a popularly held 
notion throughout the country at the time and the initial investigation 
into the city's opium parlors seems to have been prompted by some 
commentary by a visitor from Baltimore who attested to know this for 
a fact in his city and issued a friendly warning to Augustans to 
beware. The public response to this went unrecorded and it appar- 
ently did not precipitate any new movements to eliminate the Chi- 
nese community. The issue died after a month or so, and the Chi- 
nese were seemingly left alone, at least in print, until 1890. 

Continued Growth and Resentment in the 1890s 

By 1890, despite some agitation over the presence of Chinese in 
the city, the Chinese population had grown considerably. Of the 108 
Chinese in the state, 29 were settled in Richmond County. Augusta 
City Directories for 1890 list about 20 Chinese operating grocery 
stores and several laundries. The stores were clustered mainly on 
opposite ends of Broad Street in the central business district and 
some were extended down Ninth Street into a growing black residen- 
tial area. In 1891 an additional dozen groceries and another laundry 
appeared listed in the city directory with two of the laundries noted to 
serve dual purposes as restaurants. After the large increase, the 
numbers of stores stabilized for the decade. 

The 1890s also saw a spate of articles in the Chronicle related to 
the Chinese. One of them described the Chinese orchestra formed 
by Augusta's "moon-eyed merchants." Apparently it had become the 
custom of the Chinese to meet in one of their Broad Street stores 
when "the departing sun on the western skies lit roseate hues." The 
Chinese would "eat, gamble, police themselves according to their 
own code of behavior, play music, and perhaps indulge in a pipe of 
opium." The orchestra was characterized as a "fearful and wonderful 
conglomeration of sounds, if one could take a moment to imagine the 


harmonious strains of a boiler, a saw sharpener, and a vocally 
inclined piglet being trussed up." The reporter, however, was quick to 
admonish readers that taste in music was no doubt culturally ac- 
quired and that appreciation of Chinese music might well be gained 
by education in such matters. The reporter also expressed admira- 
tion for the strict rules of behavior exercised within the Chinese 
community saying that Caucasians should "blush with shame" over 
the comparatively lax laws of the city and state. 22 The piece was 
written in a lighthearted vein and seems indicative of a turning point 
in community attitudes toward the Chinese. The antagonism seemed 
to be abating and there was an attempt, at least by some, to recog- 
nize and understand the Chinese. 

In 1892 the Geary Act added to the stringency of the Chinese 
Exclusion Act of 1882. Under this law all Chinese laborers were 
forbidden entry into the United States, and the ones remaining had to 
be photographed for identity papers. Augusta's Chinese were all 
merchants and not required to register but chose to do so for protec- 
tion. In 1 894, a Mr. Cobb, the state's representative for this law, came 
to handle the applications and conduct the photography session. 
Fifty-two Chinese were counted in the city, including one woman and 
her baby. This is the first known written record of a Chinese woman 
or child in Augusta. 23 Mr. Cobb, who had traveled the state register- 
ing the Chinese said, "The Chinese are a shrewd set of people, and 
they are working a great trick upon the ladies of this and other cities in 
the state." When asked to what he was referring, he replied that the 
Chinese are the shrewdest and trickiest people on earth, were very 
ambitious and are eager to learn to read, write, and speak the 
English language, and are getting that education by attending church 
aid Sunday Schools that the Christian ladies conduct especially for 
them on the Sabbath Day. 24 

He went on to complain that the Chinese did not lose a day's work 
because the law prohibited Sunday openings, and that once they 
were satisfied with their command of English they quit going to 
church and did not become Christianized. His was a common com- 
plaint of the time. The Chinese were slowly giving up their sojourner 
mentality and making efforts to acculturate. Church schools were the 
only access most had to a formal education and there were many 
such schools organized throughout the country, where the Chinese 


irst acquired the rudiments of English and knowledge of the western 
Perhaps the most disturbing event that occurred within Augusta's 
hinese community in the 1890s was the murder of Yip Sing, a 
'respected and inoffensive" grocer who had lived in Augusta for 
about eight years. The murder was never solved, but it was thought 
to have been a ritual killing of the "Highbinders", a secret Chinese 
society, which, when transplanted in the United States, assumed the 
role of persecuting Chinese who had forsaken ancestor worship for 
Christianity and violated traditional rules of conduct. 25 The murder 
served to illustrate the tremendous pressure the Chinese were under 
o conform to two very different sets of cultural norms. The Chinese 
suffered violence from within and violence without. White society 
criticized and attacked them for being different but also pressured 
them by custom and law to acculturate and assimilate. Traditional 
Chinese social organizations criticized and attacked those who strayed 
from the strong internal controls of the Chinese community. 

Apart from relating the tragedy of Yip Sing, the Chronicle's stories 
about the murder provided some valuable information about the 
customs and daily lives of the Augusta Chinese. For example, though 
Augusta Chinese, like most Chinese in America, were in the habit of 
sending their dead back to China for burial, Yip Sing was buried in 
Augusta's white cemetery. The service was not in accordance with 
the "weird and interesting" rites of the Chinese religion; it was a 
simple Baptist service conducted in English. The paper also reported 
that Yip Sing lived in a tiny garret over his store. His grocery had 
about $500 worth of stock, which would have made it a modest-sized 
store with a limited number of items. He kept his cash divided into 
small amounts and secreted them in various parts of his living 
quarters, apparently preferring not to use a bank. 26 From accounts of 
other Chinese in the United States during this period, it would seem 
that this was representative of a typical Chinese bachelor's life style 
and behavior; so it may be assumed it was true of many of Augusta's 
Chinese bachelors as well. 

Social Changes in the 20th Century 

At the turn of the century the Chinese population of Augusta stood 
at 41 , most of whom may be accounted for by the city directory. 
There were approximately 29 groceries in the city and 8 laundries. 


Four Chinese are listed as clerks in Chinese stores and two married 
couples are noted. Most Chinese stores were in the central city, 
primarily in three small clusters located on Broad Street or directly off 
Broad on a major artery; other groceries were located in the adjacent 
growing black residential district. By most accounts, the Chinese 
markets from very early on had catered to blacks. As the black 
population expanded into the southeastern portion of the city, the 
Chinese followed their trade. 27 There is no indication from any source 
that the move was prompted in part by continuing efforts of white 
merchants to rid themselves of Chinese competition. 

The United States Census records an increase in Augusta's Chi- 
nese population from 48 in 1910 to 74 in 1920. The City Directory, 
however, shows no substantial increase in the numbers of Chinese 
businesses. In fact, the numbers of groceries remained between 25 
and 30 from the early 1880s through the early 1920s. By 1920 most 
Chinese-operated groceries had shifted to corner locations in the 
black residential section, leaving only a few Chinese markets in the 
downtown area. There was also a corresponding movement of white 
residential sections in the western portion of the city. Several whites 
operated markets located in the black section, and there were ap- 
proximately 49 markets operated by blacks. The Chinese laundries 
maintained their downtown locations but began to decline slightly in 
numbers. This decline was part of the national trend, as the tradi- 
tional Chinese hand laundry began to be replaced by commercial 
steam laundries and home laundry appliances. 28 Until the 1940s, 
when the coin-operated laundromat began appearing in the subur- 
ban shopping centers, most of Augusta's laundries remained in the 
central city, where the dwindling numbers of Chinese hand laundries 
shared an almost exclusively white clientele with the more successful 
white-owned steam laundries. 

Although there were several families established in Augusta by 
1920, the community was still predominately male, single or married 
with wives and families in China, and mostly foreign-born. The over- 
whelming majority of Chinese were self-employed. With the excep- 
tion of one Chinese woman who was listed in the 1920 City Directory 
as a housekeeper, the few who were not self-employed were em- 
ployed by other Chinese. Even with the addition of families to the 
community, it remained the custom for the Chinese to maintain living 


quarters in their places of business. Employees usually boarded with 

The United States Census for 1930 showed that Augusta's Chi- 
nese population had risen to 153. There were approximately 48 
Chinese-owned groceries in the city and 6 laundries. The business- 
residential pattern was similar to that of the previous decade with a 
few Chinese laundries in the central business district and a concen- 
tration of Chinese markets in the black residential district. In fact, by 
the 1930s the Chinese seem to have garnered most of the black 
trade. In the early 1920s Chinese and black grocers appeared to 
have shared equally — at least by numbers of stores — in food retailing 
in the black neighborhoods. But by 1930 the number of black-owned 
stores had dropped from 49 to 14, while the numbers of Chinese 
stores in the area had risen from 20 to 45. White-owned markets in 
the area remained insignificant in numbers. 

It is difficult to account specifically for the proliferation of Chinese 
markets and the failure of blacks to compete for their own customers. 
One explanation for the phenomenon has been offered in Loewen's 
study of Chinese and black competition in food retailing in the Missis- 
sippi Delta. According to Loewen, blacks had difficulty making objec- 
tive business decisions about matters of credit because "with so 
many families always on the edge of immediate want, personal ties 
meant personal claims." The Chinese grocer, on the other hand, 
maintained social distance from the black community and was not 
under any obligation to extend credit to those who could not or would 
not pay. 29 

Residential Patterns 

The earliest Chinese in Augusta were reported to have been 
housed in a "shed" by the canal they were hired to enlarge. 30 Pre- 
sumably the Chinese workers shared this accommodation from 1 873 
to 1875, when the canal was completed and the work crew dis- 
banded. By 1876 there was a Chinese residing in his tea shop on 
Broad Street. The shop-house business-residential pattern was tra- 
ditional in South China, where most of the early immigrants came 
from, and it became the most common business-residential pattern 
for Chinese in this country. 

Most of the Chinese in Augusta lived in their stores until the 1 950s, 
when the shop-house pattern began to break down. At first they were 


located primarily in the central city, scattered among a mixture of 
black and white enterprises. But by 1920 the majority had relocated 
in black neighborhoods, where the shop-house type corner Chinese 
grocery became the common form. By the 1940s a few Chinese had 
moved into private homes adjacent to, or within a few blocks of, their 
stores. U.S. Census tract data for 1 940 shows residential patterns for 
"Asians" neatly conforming to Chinese business patterns. 

City Directory and U.S. Census tract data for the 1 950s and 1 960s 
show a continuing trend toward separation of business and resi- 
dence and a general movement out of the black districts. The most 
recent census tract data available for this study — 1970 — shows only 
18 of the 282 Chinese in the city still residing in the old black 
neighborhoods. The majority of the Chinese were located in predomi- 
nantly white neighborhoods and the Chinese business locations 
appear randomly dispersed. City Directory information for 1 980 shows 
a persistence of the 1970 pattern. 

Growing Acceptance 

Another determinant of Chinese success may have been a change 
in relations with the white community. Although the Chinese lived in 
the black neighborhoods, increasing amounts of their social relations 
were with whites. Chinese children went to white schools and many 
Chinese were affiliated with the white First Baptist Church. 31 Whites 
operated the wholesale houses which supplied Chinese retail out- 
lets, and the Chinese had earned their respect as good businessmen 
and credit risks. The Chinese Benevolent Association, local chapter 
of a national Chinese organization, founded in Augusta in 1927, had 
among its goals to promote "friendly feeling" between the Chinese 
community and the community at large. 32 There seems to have been 
no parallel organization in the black community to engender group 
cohesiveness and actively seek improved relations with the white 
community. So, although the Chinese were distinctive by their physi- 
cal appearance, their goals, values, dress, and behavior reflected 
those of the white community. Their middleman position in the eco- 
nomic hierarchy also defined their social position in the community 
and allowed them social mobility denied the blacks. 

In 1931 this position was briefly threatened by a bill introduced in 
the State Legislature to deny funding to white schools which enrolled 
Asian children. A flurry of anti-Asian sentiment had been prompted 


by the Sino-Japanese War (1931-1945), but the bill seems not to 
have excited much press coverage and it was not passed. The 
Chinese community, however, was affected by the war in other ways. 
Many still had family ties with China and thousands of dollars were 
raised to help the Chinese government fight the Japanese. A number 
of young men in the community went to flight school to prepare 
themselves as pilots and were ready to enlist in the Chinese military 
if necessary. Although the census is not detailed enough to provide 
data on nativity for Georgia cities, it seems probable that the aspiring 
young pilots represented first or second generation Chinese-Ameri- 

The 1940s saw an increase in the Chinese population from 153 to 
222. The pattern of Chinese groceries remained the same, but the 
numbers rose from approximately 48 to 63. The City Directory for 
1941 listed only one Chinese laundry, in keeping with a steady 
decline in the number of laundries since 1900. In 1943 the United 
States Government finally granted the Chinese naturalization rights 
and relaxed immigration restrictions against them. The Government 
granted a quota of 105 in 1943, and several years later Congress 
made special provisions for the immigration of Chinese women and 
children under the War Brides Act. Augusta's Chinese were reported 
to be pleased with the changes, and citizenship no doubt improved 
their position in their community. The new immigration laws, how- 
ever, seem to have had little effect on the total population. In 1 950 the 
census reported 224 in Richmond County, the same figure given by 
the 1940 census. 

From the turn of the century Georgia's newspaper references to 
the Chinese community had become increasingly routine. A note or 
an article here and there reported the involvement of a Chinese in 
community activity, scholastic achievements, and promotions. But 
reports were phrased in such a manner that the Chinese were 
portrayed as an integral part of the community, unlike blacks whose 
social activities were relegated to a separate page. Also with the 
advent of the civil rights movement and resurgence of ethnic pride 
among American minorities, the Chinese became more outspoken 
about themselves. In 1 958 a Chronicle staff writer interviewed a C.H. 
Lam about the low incident of juvenile delinquency among Chinese 
and the strong traditional Chinese family structure which still charac- 


terized the typical family unit in Augusta. He also noted the fine 
reputation of Chinese children in school and stated that "in the last 
decade, virtually every Chinese youth in Richmond County was 
graduated from high school and almost all of them went on to 
college." 34 

By 1960 the Chinese population had risen to 270. The number of 
Chinese markets had been reduced almost by half of the 1950 total, 
with the majority of the remaining stores still located in the black 
residential district. Many more Chinese were to be found in the 
professions, primarily medical and teaching. From the mid-1950s, 
because of the Anglicization of names, it becomes increasingly 
difficult to differentiate Chinese individuals and businesses in the city 
directories, but it seems reasonable to assume that the surveys of 
the directories from 1960-80 are representative samples of the distri- 
bution of people and enterprises, and of primary occupations. So, 
although the data derived from city directories for the latter period of 
this study is valuable, it is not directly comparable to the earlier 
figures. However, even if the decline in groceries seen between 1950 
and 1960 was somewhat exaggerated by the problem of interpreting 
city directories, it is accurate to say that a general trend toward the 
decline of Chinese in the grocery business existed. In the mid-1950s 
the number of groceries peaked at around 65. In 1970 there were 50 
Chinese markets according to Chinese sources and by 1980 there 
were only about a dozen left. 

There are several factors which contributed to the decline in mar- 
kets and occupational shifts among the Chinese. By the 1940s the 
overall level of education within the Chinese community was rising. 
Chinese families encouraged educational attainment by using in- 
come from the family business to help their children through school 
with expectations that they would enter professional positions. The 
large numbers of Chinese found in Augusta in the last two decades in 
the teaching and medical professions are in keeping with the national 
trend. At the same time the Chinese markets began losing their 
cheap family labor they also found themselves in competition with the 
growing numbers of chain markets which offered a wider selection of 
goods at lower prices. The Chinese were not the only victims of the 
change in the city's shopping patterns; black and white small retail 
groceries all lost business to the suburban shopping centers. 


In the 1960s the city was beset by race problems and the Chinese 
became targets of blacks venting frustrations of a century of repres- 
sion. Chinese informants say that many Chinese families became 
distressed over the conditions and left the city. In 1970 the situation 
exploded when a mob of black rioters destroyed many of the Chinese 
groceries in the black section of town. The riot was apparently well 
planned. No black-owned businesses were damaged, but Chinese 
and white businesses were looted and burned. The Chinese were 
hardest hit, collectively suffering losses in excess of $250,000. A 
committee of black, white, and Chinese businessmen was formed to 
assess the problem and negotiate a solution. 

The black community encouraged the Chinese to rebuild, saying "If 
we run them away, how in the world will we be able to get industry 
into the area?" 35 The Chinese had also provided jobs for blacks in 
their stores, the loss of which, blacks acknowledged, would be sorely 
felt. Before rebuilding, however, Chinese businessmen requested a 
guarantee of no more violence. 36 

Many Chinese did remain and rebuild. In general, the Augusta 
Chinese are one of Georgia's most successful ethnic groups — a 
group that has "made it" — achieving the American dream of social, 
educational, and economic success. 


1 See: Thomas W. Ganschow, "The Chinese in America: A Historical Perspective" in 
Selected Proceedings of the 3rd Annual Conference on Minority Studies (La Crosse, 
Wise: Institute For Minority Studies, 1976), pp. 235-238. 

2 Stuart Miller, The Unwelcome Immigrant (Berkeley: University of California, 1969), p. 189. 
Not all reports reaching early Americans from China were negative. For a contrast to 
Miller's conclusions, see: Jonathan Goldstein, Philadelphia and the China Trade, 1682- 
1846. Commercial, Cultural, and Attitudinal Effects (University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania 
State University Press, 1978). 

3 Gunter Barth, Bitter Strength (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1964), pp. 

4 Mildred Thompson, Reconstruction in Georgia (New York: Columbia University Press, 
1915), p. 2. 

5 Savannah Morning News, January 3, 1866, p. 2. 

6 North Georgia Citizen (Columbus), July 9, 1868, p. 2. 

7 Willard Range, A Century of Georgia Agriculture 1850- 1950 (Athens: University of Georgia 
Press, 1954), pp. 70-71. 

8 Savannah Daily News and Herald, November 1 0, 1 865, p. I. 

9 Savannah Daily News and Herald, November 8, 1866, p. 2. 

10 Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel, September 10, 1869, p. 1 . 

11 Augusta Chronicle, September 21, 1869, p. 2. 

12 Augusta Chronicle, October 21, 1873, p. 2. 


13 The Constitutionalist (Augusta), November 5, 1873, p. 1. 

14 Augusta Chronicle, November 15, 1873, p. 4. 

15 Edwin Cashin, in The Story of Augusta (Augusta: Richmond County Board of Education, 
1 980), is the most recent researcher to assert that "Chinese workers were brought in, over 
two hundred in all." p. 150. 

16 Miller, Unwelcome Immigrant, passim. 

17 Augusta Chronicle, May 4, 1882. See also: The Constitutionalist, May 4, 1882. 

18 Augusta Chronicle, December 3, 1885, p. 4; December 9, 1885, p5. 

19 Savannah Morning News, December 9, 1885, p. 5. 

20 Atlanta Constitution, March 9, 1886, p. 2. 

21 Augusta Chronicle, March 13, 1886, p. 8. 

22 Augusta Chronicle, July 15, 1890, p. 3. 

23 Augusta Chronicle, February 21 , 1 894, p. 5. 

24 Augusta Chronicle, March 29, 1894, p. 8. 

25 Augusta Chronicle, January 22, 1896, p. 2. 

26 Augusta Chronicle, January 23, 1896, p. 2. 

27 S.M. Chin, "The Chinese of Augusta, Georgia," Bulletin of the Chinese Historical Society 
of America 13 (February 1978). 

28 Rose Hum Lee, "The Decline of Chinatown in the United States," American Journal of 
Sociology 54 (March 1949). 

29 James W. Loewen,_777e Mississippi Chinese (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 
1971), passim. See also: Robert Seto Quan, Lotus Among the Magnolias: The Mississippi 
Chinese (Jackson, Miss.: University Press of Mississippi, 1982), passim. 

30 The Constitutionalist, November 9, 1873, p. 5. 

31 Saely Ken, "The Chinese Community of Augusta, Georgia from 1 873 to 1 971 ," Richmond 
County History 4 (1972), pp. 51-60. 

32 Ken, "Chinese Community." 

33 Augusta Chronicle, February 23, 1932, p. I. 

34 Augusta Chronicle, July 21 , 1958, p. 8. 

35 Augusta Chronicle, May 21,1 970, p. 1 1 . 

36 Augusta Chronicle, May 21,1 970, p. 1 1 . 


































































U.S. Census Bureau, 

1860-1980 Censuses. 




































































*Source: City Directories for Augusta, Savannah, and Atlanta, 1880-1980. 
"Indicates information is not available or data sources incomplete or questionable. 



'Source: United States Census Bureau, 1880 Census. 



'Source: United States Census Bureau, 1930 Census. 



"Source: United States Census Bureau, 1980 Census. 


The Expulsion of Loo Chang from Waynesboro: 
A Case Study of Sinophobia in Georgia in 1883 


When Henry Grady, editor of the Atlanta Constitution and promi- 
nent spokesman for the ideals of the New South, assured Southern- 
ers of the "truth" of white supremacy, he was primarily comparing 
whites with blacks but also including other non-whites in his racial 
hierarchy. Shortly after passage of the Chinese Exclusion Law in 
1882, Grady rejoiced that a national sense of racial superiority "has 
just spoken in universally approved legislation in excluding the China- 
man from our gates." Historian Dan Caldwell suggests that the 
Chinese underwent a process of "Negroization" — being likened to 
and treated as blacks — in the nineteenth century. 1 An analysis of the 
Loo Chang incident of 1 883 as a case study of sinophobia in Georgia 
reinforces to some extent the racist inclusiveness Grady celebrated 
and Caldwell describes. However, it also points to variations of racial 
stereotyping and discrimination, depending on the group involved. 

Southern whites' responses to Chinese and blacks differed as a 
result particularly of the disproportionate numbers involved. "The 
flood tide of European immigration," C. Vann Woodward observes, 
"swept past the South, leaving it almost untouched and further isolat- 
ing it in its peculiarities from the rest of the country." 2 Woodward's 
observation is just as applicable to Chinese immigration. Compared 

*Professor Beatty teaches American history at Oregon State University and has also taught 
at Shorter College, Rome, Georgia. She received her Ph.D. in American history from Florida 
State University in 1976. Dr. Beatty has published articles and reviews in Afro-American 
history and United States labor history. The original version of this article, published in The 
Georgian Historical Quarterly 67, No. 1 (Spring, 1983), is republished with that journal's 
permission and with the kind assistance of Theodore B. Fitz-Simons, Curator of The Georgia 
Historical Society. 


with the steady stream of Europeans into the Northeast and Midwest 
and the thousands of Chinese seeking employment on the west 
coast, the South was "almost untouched." The 1880 census, for 
example, lists only seventeen Chinese in Georgia (a count that was 
likely an under-enumeration, but the number was small). 3 

Large numbers of Chinese first began emigrating to the United 
States after the development of regular transpacific steamer service 
in approximately 1850. Initially almost all Chinese emigrated to Cali- 
fornia. Several authors have attempted to analyze the stereotypes of 
Chinese that existed in 1 850 and the effect that the accelerated influx 
had on these attitudes. Gunter Barth suggests that intensive preju- 
dice first developed in California only after large numbers of Orientals 
immigrated, and was due primarily to their sojourner status. Stuart 
Miller more convincingly argues the contrary view that prejudice and 
stereotypes extended back to the first commercial-diplomatic-mis- 
sionary contacts with China and, therefore, were already deep-rooted 
in 1850. Negative images, he contends, always intermingled with the 
more positive concepts of ancient Chinese accomplishments. 4 

The ante-bellum South, far removed from the world of Chinese 
workers and preoccupied with defining relations between black and 
white, gave far less attention to the Chinese than did whites on the 
west coast. But Southerners were not entirely oblivious to Oriental 
immigration. Ironically, despite the Southern proclivity for racial de- 
marcation, Richmond, Virginia's Southern Literary Messenger ap- 
peared nationally in the 1830s and 40s as a major defender of the 
Chinese. An 1841 article, "China and The Chinese," for example, 
claimed that while the Chinese had their faults, they also had many 
virtues — that they were a people "preservingly industrious, habitually 
temperate and devoted to peaceful pursuits." The Literary Messen- 
ger was not, however, typical, as many Southerners included Orien- 
tals in their categorization of inferior races. Some Northerners, in fact, 
were fearful that the many Southerners settling in California in the 
1850s would as readily enslave the coolie workers as they had the 
blacks. 5 

Although the vast majority of early Chinese immigrants remained in 
the West, some labored, particularly on railroad construction and 
mining, in other parts of the country. William Kelly brought the first 
known Chinese workers into the South in the 1850s to work in his 


Kentucky iron refineries. But the Southern ante-bellum demand for 
labor was not extensive enough to warrant widespread importation of 
immigrant workers. 

The aftermath of the Civil War, however, saw the South's tightly 
controlled labor supply in shambles. Plantation owners, hoping to 
recoup pre-Civil War profits but doubtful that free blacks would 
satisfactorily supply their labor demands, led the movement to import 
foreign labor, including Chinese coolies. They believed that the 
Chinese would be politically docile and they also hoped that, with an 
alternative racial group available, the freedman would be forced to 
economic terms. 6 Frances Butler Leigh, a planter in Darien, Georgia, 
noted in her diary in 1 869 that using "Chinese labour on plantations in 
the place of negro labour" which had become "hopelessly 
unmanageable. ..interested us all very much." 7 Leaders in virtually 
every Southern state expressed interest, generally with an expecta- 
tion of success. The planters were often joined in their efforts to lure 
in immigrant workers by "New South" industrialists who wished to 
build a labor supply. In July 1869, two hundred delegates from all 
over the South — primarily planters, landowners, and industrial finan- 
ciers — met at the Chinese Labor Convention in Memphis to plan the 
promotion and importation of Chinese labor. 8 

The high point of Southern interest in Chinese labor came in 1869. 
The Sino-American Burlingame Treaty of 1868 guaranteed the unre- 
stricted immigration of Chinese laborers into the United States. But 
even in 1869 Southerners were divided concerning this new labor 
scheme. DeBow's Review, a leading promoter of immigration into the 
South in the post-Civil War period, reflected this dichotomy of thought 
in its July 1 869 issue. A. P. Merrill, a fervent supporter of importation, 
wrote that Europeans were physically unsuited to labor in the hot sun 
and blacks were "doomed to extermination," but insisted that God 
would not allow the region's fertile fields to go to waste. The Chinese, 
he concluded, were the solution. He stated that "for many years it has 
been a puzzle to determine the designs of providence in regard to 
these numberless people. It has been left for us, in this favored 
region, to unravel the great mystery, and to discover the wonderful 
adaptation of means to ends — here is the soil, there are the laborers 
and the power of steam has brought them together." Another author 
in the same issue, however, condemned bringing the Chinese work- 


ers on the grounds that they would only exacerbate the South's racial 
dilemma. 9 Frances Butler Leigh provides another example of this 
ambivalence. She "nervously" contracted for seventy Chinese work- 
ers because she feared that otherwise her property would go to ruin. 
Later she expressed relief that large numbers of an alien race had not 
come. 10 Blacks, the lowest rung of the Southern economic scale, also 
had mixed reactions to the possible immigration of the Chinese. 
Some regarded them as potential economic rivals while others em- 
phasized the similar plight of both groups. 11 

Despite Southern recruiting efforts, few Chinese workers found 
sufficient inducement to relocate. Statistics are difficult to establish 
because many coolies did not remain long enough to be included in 
the censuses, but probably no more than a few thousand came South 
in this period. Some of them were employed in sugar, cotton, and rice 
fields with limited success. Others worked on various construction 
projects, particularly railroad building. About two hundred were brought 
into Augusta, Georgia, in 1871 to work on a canal extension project. 
(See Brown and Ganschow's article in this journal on the Augusta 
Chinese.) They formed the second largest block of Southern Chinese 
and were among the first contacts most people in the Augusta area 
ever had with Chinese people. 12 

As federal Reconstruction waned, native white Southerners re- 
established control over the black population and lost interest in 
replacing black labor with other groups. Some of the Chinese left after 
projects were completed — as the Augusta canal was in 1875 — but 
others remained. Several in Augusta opened small grocery and 
drygoods stores, an occupation typical of the Chinese in the South. In 
this trade they carved for themselves a precarious niche in the 
Southern hierarchy. 13 

It was also in the 1 870s that demands for a ban on the immigration 
of Chinese workers became common not only in the West but in the 
rest of the country as well. An 1 870 poem by Bret Harte was reprinted 
nationwide and popularized the image of the "Heathen Chinee." Nine 
years later President Rutherford B. Hayes wrote that the influx of 
Chinese was "pernicious and should be discouraged." 14 Mary Cool- 
idge and Carey McWilliams have claimed that Southerners migrating 
to California played a key role in fostering white supremacist ideas 
and that a South-West alliance was at the core of exclusion senti- 


ment. Stuart Miller has challenged both Coolidge and McWilliams by 
describing considerable sinophobia existing in New England. He 
does, however, agree that "southern contingents [Congressmen] 
voted unanimously for the various destructive and exclusionist meas- 
ures," and implies that most Southern whites agreed. 15 

There is considerable evidence supporting claims that white South- 
erners were virtually unanimous for restriction. Georgia Representa- 
tive Emory Speer's vitriolic harangues on the House floor concerning 
the "vicious," "less clean," "morally depraved" Chinese were echoed 
by his colleague James Blount, who condemned allowing the entry of 
a people "ignorant, pagan and polygamous." They and most other 
Southern Congressmen voted for exclusion. 16 But historians have 
generally overlooked the fact that there was also some Southern 
opposition to exclusion. Senator Joseph E. Brown, the most promi- 
nent Georgian in Washington, was a critic of exclusion on the grounds 
that it violated an 1 880 treaty with China, which allowed the regulation 
but not the prohibition of Chinese immigration. He also argued that 
such a policy might so offend China that missionary efforts would be 
stifled and that it could destroy a potentially valuable market for 
Southern textiles. "It would be foolishness on our part," he wrote, "to 
seek to wantonly offend these people, and destroy our influence and 
our commerce among them." 17 Brown spoke for other New South 
merchants who were more concerned with expanding markets than 
with racial exclusion. 

Georgia's newspapers also reflected dividied opinion. Initially The 
Atlanta Constitution opposed the bill for the same reasons Brown did. 
Its Washington correspondent condemned supporters for ignoring 
the many positive contributions of the Orientals while focusing only 
on their negative characteristics. But midway through the exclusion 
debate, the paper began defending the country's right to keep out 
"the diseased, desolute, destitute, and prostitute." 18 The Augusta 
Chronicle, representing the city with Georgia's largest Chinese popu- 
lation, consistently supported exclusion of the "pig-tailed Celestial" on 
the grounds that while "all dark races are obnoxious to white men," 
the Chinese are "more dangerous than the negro." That the bill was 
something of an embarassment to some Republicans augmented the 
Chronicle's support. It was "one of the revenges of time," the paper 
claimed, that Pacific coast senators who helped impose the Four- 


teenth and Fifteenth Amendments" upon the prostrate South" now 
wanted Southern aid. 19 The Waynesboro True-Citizen was launched 
in late April 1 882, after the fight for exclusion had waned. Ironically, in 
this small town, where less than a month later the entire Chinese 
population was threatned and expelled, this newspaper concluded 
that President Arthur's veto of exclusion should be upheld "if one of 
the fundamental principles upon which this Republic was founded 
means anything." 20 

Arthur's veto was upheld, but Congress then passed a ten-year 
exclusion act which he signed. For the first time in American history, 
one national group had been banned from entry. It was, according to 
Stuart Miller, a case of an "unfavorable image made official." 21 

Augusta, Richmond County, Georgia, where "pig-tailed Celestials" 
were condemned as "more dangerous than the negro," was the home 
of approximately thirty Chinese in 1882, the year the Exclusion Act 
was passed. One of them, Willie Loo Chang, arrived about 1880 and 
prospered, selling dry goods and Chinese novelties. In July 1882, he 
married Dennie Fulcher, a young white woman from neighboring 
Burke County and moved to Waynesboro, the small county seat 
serving that county's cotton farmers, to open a general store. The 
marriage aroused considerable interest in the two-county area with 
Caucasian-Oriental intermarriage both defended and condemned. A 
judge had questioned whether he could issue a marriage license in 
light of Georgia's miscegenation laws, but finally concluded that 
Chinese were not "colored" and allowed the marriage. The Waynesboro 
True-Citizen defended the marriage, but only by rationalizing that the 
groom had been Americanized by discarding his queue and Chinese 
dress and going to church regularly. According to the newspaper, 
Chang had become in every respect a "Mellican Man," the True- 
Citizen's way of ridiculing the way in which a Chinese might pro- 
nounce the word "American." When the criticism continued, the True- 
Citizen countered, "This is the progressive nineteenth century and if 
the contracting parties are satisfied, we don't propose to lose much 
sleep about it." 22 

In January 1 883, with some financial assistance from his American 
brother-in-law, Willie Loo Chang had formed a company including his 
brother Thomas Loo Chang and Ah Sing, a friend, rented a store, and 
began stocking it with goods. News of the impending opening had 


arrived in Waynesboro well ahead for the merchants, and for weeks it 
was the center of the town's attention. To most it was a topic of 
curiosity, but among some of the town's retailers there was opposi- 
tion, likely compounded by the recent opening of several other new 
stores, including one owned by J.L. Fulcher, a relative of Loo Chang's 
wife. One merchant expressed his pique when advertising that "al- 
though the Chinese have come," he carried first class stock. Others, 
headed by Major William Wilkins, the richest and most influential man 
in the county, planned to stymie the new rival to their economic 
monopolies. The county's financial dictators were especially angered 
by the rumored conversion of considerable black business to Loo 
Chang and Company. 23 

On the day the Chinese opened for business, they were warned, 
"We the undersigned merchants of this city do hereby notify you to 
raise the price of your goods, or the consequences will be 'China or 
Death'". The note was signed "Respectfully, Oscar Wilde," with other 
fictitious names added. A few days later Loo Chang and his associ- 
ates were warned "merchants here will do you like they did the 
Chinese in Harrisgurg [a small town in neighboring Richmond County], 
only they will kill you tonight." 24 

On February 1 , more than twenty men broke into the store, drove 
out several black customers, and demanded that the Chinese mer- 
chants leave town. Ah Sing agreed to their demand "to go back to 
'Gusta," but Thomas Loo Chang, who was in charge in Willie Loo 
Chang's absence, refused. He subsequently was cursed and pushed 
out of the store with his hands tied and a flour sack over his head. The 
gang then took him to the town cemetery, fired their pistols, and 
threatened to lynch Thomas Loo Chang until he also agreed to leave. 
They then robbed the store of merchandise of two hundred dollars 
and left. The two merchants fled Waynesboro that night and almost 
immediately reported the incident to the Chinese minister in Wash- 
ington. When Secretary of State Frederick Frelinghuysen received 
the minister's complaint, he informed Georgia Governor James S. 
Boynton, and a state investigation was launched. In addition, United 
States Attorney General Benjamin Harris Brewster ordered the U.S. 
District Attorney Sion A. Darnell to apprehend and convict those 
responsible. Willie Loo Chang and Company also hired a team of 
prominent Augusta and Atlanta lawyers and sued their assailants for 


fifty thousand dollars. 25 

The case attracted attention all over the eastern United States and 
even as far away as London. Both of the Waynesboro papers were 
initially sympathetic with the Chinese. The editor of the Herald- 
Expositor, not above sinophobia but believing that "good people" had 
"gone wrong," wrote that "we have not heard that Loo Chang was 
charged with any wrong doing. The reason alleged is that he was not 
wanted here. That may all be true, and we are also of the opinion that 
his race are not desirable citizens. But that a self-constituted commit- 
tee of regulators have the right to run him out and interfere with 
business legitimately followed is bad precedent and contrary to good 
order." However, in the next few weeks the Herald-Expositor sof- 
tened its condemnation of the defendants and indirectly enhanced 
their position by publishing several sinophobic articles. 26 The True- 
Citizen also switched its support to the defendants, ostensibly be- 
cause the Chinese had sued for "outrageous" damages but probably 
because the editor came to realize that the town's economic elite was 
involved. 27 Papers outside the city generally made light of the rough 
handling of the Chinese merchants. The Atlanta Constitution did not 
overtly pass judgment but in reporting the case treated the Chinese 
condescendingly. Articles included "Jim Chang's Rough Experience 
in Waynesboro," and "Kukluxing a Chinaman," which reported that "a 
Celestial Merchant in Waynesboro was invited to leave suddenly." 28 

Georgia papers became more defensive when the case was publi- 
cized out of the state. The New York Times did not report the incident 
for over a month but then gave it considerable attention. The New 
York paper, by claiming that Lee Chang's expulsion had occurred not 
because of labor competition but because of "local prejudice against 
miscegenation," opened a bitter exchange with the Waynesboro 
papers. In support of its contention, the Times claimed that in several 
Georgia communities, where the Chinese ran businesses but were 
not intermarried, they were well-treated. 29 The True-Citizen vehe- 
mently denied the charges but at the same time became more 
blatantly racist in its treatment of the case. Georgia, the editor 
proclaimed, wanted emigrants but only "good citizens — French, 
German, Irish, English, or any nation of the Caucasian race." As for 
the Chinese, he now insisted, "every place where these heathens 
have a lodgment the people writhe and groan under the affliction." 


The editor also indicated that "the horror of miscegenation" was not 
far from his thinking when he wrote that "our young ladies are 
cultivated and refined and would be horrified and disgusted at the 
very thought of miscegenating with these heathen." 30 

In May the case came to trial in Waynesboro. Although the original 
sitting grand jury was purged for consisting almost entirely of relatives 
of the accused, the subsequent court returned "no bill." The grand 
jurors voted thanks to court officials for their "vigilance, energy and 
ability" in handling the case. The True-Citizen noted that in the case 
"which has made more noise in the whole world than perhaps any 
other on record" the Chinese "failed to show one farthing worth of 
damage to person or property." 31 

District Attorney Darnell, however, concluded that there had been 
more sinophobia than vigilance. He wrote Attorney General Brewster 
that the "no bill" had been returned because of "local prejudice 
against the Chinaman and the influence of the parties accused." 
Because of his concern that the Chinese merchants' civil rights be 
upheld and because of international interest in the case, Darnell 
wanted to continue prosecution in federal court, but he got little 
support from the Justice Department. In June 1885 the plaintiffs 
withdrew their suit. 32 

The Loo Chang case sheds light on several questions concerning 
the South's response to non-Caucasian groups. A number of histori- 
ans have argued that the negative response of whites to the Chinese 
grew largely from old established antiblack prejudices. 33 Ronald Takaki, 
one of the few historians to deal extensively with white atittudes 
toward all non-white groups, agrees that "what whites did to one 
racial group had direct consequences for others," and that "whites did 
not artifically view each group in a vacuum." But Takaki also proposes 
that while whites sometimes "lumped the different groups together," 
they also "counterpointed them against each other." 34 Luther Spoehr 
has also found the relationship between antiblack prejudice and anti- 
Chinese prejudice to be more complicated than simple transferal. 
Although he agrees that "on a high level of generalization, all forms of 
racism may indeed be alike," he denies that attitudes are easily or 
always transferable. Spoehr draws on John Higham's work to divide 
racial thought into two categories: racial nationalism, emphasizing 
cultural attributes, and racial naturalism, emphasizing biological at- 


tributes. He argues that "positive sterotypes of the Chinese were 
much more prevalent among whites than positive stereotypes of 
blacks"; that the Chinese tended to be classified primarily by racial, 
nationalist, or cultural criteria, while blacks were classified by linking 
nationalism with racial naturalist or biological criteria. Spoehr con- 
cludes that "views on the nature of the black men were so widely 
shared and so firmly held that they amounted to a consensus, while 
no stereotype of the Chinese was so nearly universal." 35 

The Loo Chang case supports theories that on the general level 
there is an interchangeability of prejudice. Among the commonalities 
of the white response to both blacks and Chinese were the ubiqui- 
tious identification of distinct races by the terms "colored" and "China- 
man;" the frequent use of demeaning epithets as "darky" or "dusky 
sons of the soil" for the blacks and "pig-tailed Celestial" or "heathen 
Chinee" for the Chinese; and consideration of both as a distinct, 
immoral and dangerous people who threatened Caucasian purity. 
But there is also evidence to support Spoehr's theory of various types 
of stereotyping and Takaki's theory of racial counterpointing. The 
Chinese were often identified as distinct from, and usually as racially 
superior to, blacks. Even assessments such as that of the Augusta 
paper that Chinese were "more dangerous" generally stemmed from 
an idea that the Chinese were culturally superior to blacks and 
therefore less malleable. Willie Loo Chang was deemed legally "not 
colored" and allowed to marry a white woman. Despite some hostility, 
he prospered in Richard County and apparently visited a few promi- 
nent whites in the county as a personal friend. By adapting to white 
customs he was marginally accepted in white society until he repre- 
sented a viable threat. That biological inferiority was the white 
Georgian's assessment of blacks is well-known. The Loo Chang case 
indicates that views toward the Chinese were more ambivalent; that 
such cultural considerations as healthen status and immorality were 
more commonly involved in assessment than racial limitation. 

This case also sheds some light on what attributes of new groups 
most generated fear in the native population. Walter Nugent suggests 
that the majority response may be "innocence and ignorance if no 
outgroups were around" but that "ostracism or even violent assault" 
could occur "if the outgroups appeared to threaten tranquil order or 
community customs." 36 Although there were only three Chinese in 


Waynesboro, they did threaten order and custom in several funda- 
mental ways. The non-Christian "heathen" stigma attached to any 
Chinese person, which was not altogether eradicated by Willie Loo 
Chang's conversion to Christianity, was particularly untenable in the 
arch-Protestant South. His marriage to a white woman threatened the 
dogma of Caucasian racial superiority and purity. 

But undoubtedly economic competition was an even more compel- 
ling threat. People are often pragmatic in their prejudices. When 
Southern whites perceived economic advantages from Chinese 
immigration, they supported it; when they felt threatened, they con- 
demned it. In the Loo Chang case, it was those whites who were most 
directly threatened that led the assault. Major William Wilkins was 
typical of Southern merchants who established the "territorial mo- 
nopolies" that Roger Ransom and Richard Sutch identify as dominat- 
ing post-Civil War Southern mercantile relations. Such men, they 
point out, established a sphere where they not only stifled all compe- 
tition but also influenced "those economic, political, and social affairs 
that interested" them. Outsiders coming in to open businesses that 
threatened reduced prices could not be tolerated. New stores were 
accepted only if they were founded "by local landowners or other men 
with local family or business connections." 37 Although Willie Loo 
Chang did have some minimal help from a local in-law, he was most 
definitely an outsider and was not tolerated. Finally, the Chinese 
business relationship and apparent friendship with the town's black 
population, who made up most of their clientele, threatened the most 
tenaciously held Southern white norm — control of the black popula- 

The Loo Chang case also presents evidence as to why so few 
Chinese immigrants came South despite extensive recruiting efforts. 
It is almost certain that Chinese in other parts of the country were 
aware of the Waynesboro incident. The Chinese minister to the 
United States was actively involved in prosecuting the case. It was 
reported or discussed on at least six occasions in The New York 
Times and was also picked up by the London Times. This was not the 
only example of violence perpetrated against the Chinese in the 
South. At least two other incidents, the murder of a Chinese laundry- 
man in Rome and harassment that apparently led to a lynching in 
Harrisburg, also occured in Georgia in the 1880s. 38 Such confronta- 


tion was fairly common in Mississippi, the Southern state with the 
largest Chinese population, especially when coolie workers protested 
working conditions. 39 Such violence was far more common and fre- 
quently publicized in other parts of the country. But these incidents in 
the South gave Chinese workers little reason to relocate in an area 
already known as the most violent toward minorities in the country. 

Late-nineteenth century Southern attitudes toward the Chinese 
were uncertain — often ambivalent. The section wanted to grow, di- 
versify, industrialize; this demanded labor. The North fed its indus- 
tries with immigrants, and many Southerners hoped to follow suit. In 
the 1 880s the Atlanta, Augusta, and Waynesboro papers urged immi- 
grants to come South. Planters joined industrialists in the campaign. 
The South also wanted to retain good relations with China, which was 
perceived as a major potential market for increased Southern produc- 
tivity. But in the final analysis the section's racism outweighed its 
demand for labor and markets, and the Chinese were increasingly 
condemned as an alien group. The Loo Chang case serves as one 
example of this Southern Sinophobia. 


1 Henry Grady and Dan Caldwell in Ronald T. Takaki, Iron Cages: Race and Culture in 19th- 
century America (New York, 1979), pp. 200-201 , 216. 

2 C. Vann Woodward, Origins of the New South, 1877-1913 (Baton Rouge, 1951), p. 299. 

3 Statistics of the Population of the United States at the Tenth Census (Washington, 1 883), 
p. 56. 

4 Gunter Barth, Bitter Strength: A History of the Chinese in the United States, 1850-1870 
(Cambridge, 1 964), p. 1 ; Stuart C. Miller, The Unwelcome Immigrant: The American Image 
of the Chinese, 1785- 1882 (Berkeley, 1969), p. 15. 

5 Miller, p. 92; "China and the Chinese", Southern Literary Messenger7 (1841), pp. 137-155. 

6 Rowland T. Berthoff, "Southern Attitudes Toward Immigration, 1865-1914," The Journal of 
Southern History 17 (1951), p. 328; Bert James Loewenberg, "Efforts of the South to 
Encourage Immigration, 1865-1900," South Atlantic Quarterly 33 (October 1934), p. 365; 
Barth pp. 1 88, 1 93-1 96; James L. Roark, Masters Without Slaves: Southern Planters in the 
Civil War and Reconstruction (New York, 1977), p. 166. 

7 Frances Butler Leigh, Ten Years on a Georgia Plantation Since the War (London, 1883), 
pp. 145-146. 

8 Sylvia Krebs, "The Memphis Chinese Labor Convention of 1869," (unpublished paper), pp. 

9 De Bow's Review 6 (July, 1869), pp. 587-588. Steam power was gradually making the 
water power of Northern factory streams and rivers obsoltete. 

10 Leigh, p. 168. 

11 Arnold Shankman, "Black on Yellow: Afro-Americans View Chinese-Americans, 1850- 
1935," Phylon 39 (Spring 1978), pp. 6-9. 

12 Sally Ken, "The Chinese Community of Augusta, Georgia from 1873-1971," Richmond 
County History 4 (1972), p. 52. 


13 Ibid, p. 53; James W. Loewen, The Mississippi Chinese: Between Black and White 
(Cambridge, 1971), p. 2. 

14 Takaki, pp. 220-229. Takaki points out that Harte bemoaned the racial hostility that his 
poem generated. 

15 Mary Coolidge, Chinese Immigration (New York, 1909), pp. 15-25; Carey McWilliams, 
Brothers Under the Skin (Boston, 1951), pp. 97-104; Miller, p. 189. 

16 U.S. Congressional Record, 47th Cong., 2nd Sess., 1882, pp. 1639-1642, 1984. 

17 Joseph H. Parks, Joseph E. Brown of Georgia (Baton Rouge, 1977), p. 548; Atlanta 
Constitution, March 10, 19, 21, 1982; Patrick J. Hearden, Independence and Empire: The 
NewSouth's Cotton Mill Campaign, 1865-1901 (Dekalb, Illinois, 1982), pp. 56-57. 

18 Atlanta Constitution, February 1 , April 5, 1882. 

19 Chronicle (Augusta), February 12, March 15, 1882. 

20 True-Citizen (Waynesboro), April 12, 1882. 

21 Miller, p. 202. 

22 Burke County, Georgia: Health, Happiness, Prosperity (Waynesboro, 1921); True-Citizen, 
July 14, 21, 1882. 

23 Ibid, July 28, August 18, September 8, 15, 1882, January 12, 26, 1883; (Waynesboro), 
January 31, 1883. 

24 S.A. Darnell to Benjamin Harris Brewster, February 14, 1883, Justice Department Rec- 
ords, Record Group 60, National Archives (hereafter cited as NA). Harrisburg is identified 
as a small town in Richmond County in Marion R. Hemperly, Cities, Towns, and Communi- 
ties of Georgia Between 1847-1862, 8,500 Places and the County in Which Located 
(Easley, S.C., 1980), p. 66. The town no longer exists. I found no other reference to the 
Harrisburg Chinese incident. 

25 Darnell to Brewster, February 14, 1883, Justice Department Records; Willie Loo Chang v. 
William A. Wilkins, Robert Neely, et ai, Southern District of Georgia, case 607, 1883, 
Justice Department Records, RG 60, NA. 

26 Herald-Expositor, February 7, June 20, July 4, August 15, 1883. 

27 True-Citizen, February 2, 9, March 23, 1883. 

28 Atlanta Constitution, February 3, 10, 1883. 

29 The New York Times, March 10, April 1 , May 28, June 12, 21 , 1883. 

30 True-Citizen, June 15, 1883. 

31 Minutes, Superior Court, Burke County, Georgia, 1880-1884, p. 491; True-Citizen, May 

32 Darnell to Brewster, March 27, 1884, Justice Department Records; Chang v. Wilkins, 
Justice Department Records, RG 60, NA. The plaintiff's withdrawal of the suit was written 
on the original petition. 

33 Alexander Saxton, The Indispensable Enemy: Labor and the Anti-Chinese Movement in 
California (Berkeley, 1 971 ); Robert F. Heizer and Alan J. Almquist, The Other Californians: 
Prejudice and Discrimination under Spain, Mexico, and the United States to 1920 (Berkeley , 

34 Takaki, p. xiv. 

35 Luther Spoehr, "Sambo and the Heathen Chinee: California's Racial Stereotypes in the 
Late 1870's," Pacific Historical Review 42 (May, 1973), pp. 185-204. 

36 Walter T.K. Nugent, From Centennial to World War: American Society, 1876-1917 
(Indianapolis, 1977), p.46. 

37 Roger L. Ransom and Richard Sutch, One Kind of Freedom: The Economic Conse- 
quences of Emancipation (Cambridge, 1977), pp. 126-127, 140. 

38 Roger Aycock, All Roads to Rome (Roswell, Georgia, 1981), pp. 227-233. A black man 
was hanged for the murder of Joe Lee, the Chinese laundryman. 

39 Loewen, pp. 30-31. 


The Historical Experience: 
Georgians in East Asia 


John Elliot Ward: 
A Georgia Elitist in the Celestial Empire, 1858-60 


Nineteenth-century America's rich agricultural production, nascent 
industrial system, and flourishing commerce which took Yankee 
clippers to Asia encouraged the belief that Protestant Christianity 
was destined by God, like the nation, to expand to non-Christians, 
particularly in Asia. While twentieth century cynics may deprecate 
religious missionary motives, they cannot ignore what was a dy- 
namic, sincere, albeit perhaps misguided, desire by Americans to 
take the message of Christianity — and "Progress" — to the "heathens" 
of the world. If domestic concern with slavery disturbed the American 
conscience, good works among non-Christians would salve it. 

It is the purpose of this paper to ascertain the true objectives and 
behavior of John Elliot Ward, a Georgian who was his country's first 
official envoy to Peking (Beijing). John Elliot Ward was affected by 
the religious climate of the nation, the South, and especially 
Savannah's Bishop Stephen Elliott's Episcopal Church during the 
period 1840-60. The revival movements of the nineteenth century 
motivated Episcopalians with a passionate missionary zeal at home 
and abroad to assume the responsibility later popularized as "white 
man's burden." Endowed with wealth, class status, and superior 

*Dr. Gabard is Professor of History and Director of International Studies Emeritus at Valdosta 
State College, Valdosta, Georgia, where he began teaching in 1948. He received his Ph.D. 
from Tulane University in 1963 and published "John Elliot Ward and the Treaty of Tientsin," 
in West Georgia College Studies in the Social Sciences 1 1 (June 1972), pp. 26-44. He has 
served on the Boards of Trustees of the China Council of Georgia and of the Southern Center 
for International Studies, on the Board of Directors of the Japan-America Society of Georgia, 
and as Vice President of the Georgia Historical Society. 


educational and cultural advantages, Ward and his co-religionists felt 
an inevitability and permanence of the spread of "Western Civiliza- 
tion." The people in Ward's social group were as sincere as they 
were zealous in carrying Christianity, commerce, and civilization to 
the "heathen" in fulfillment of a moral responsibility. Committed indi- 
viduals were willing to sacrifice riches, luxuries, ease, and even life, 
to attain their goals. Against this background, Ward, like his prede- 
cessor William B. Reed, the first United States envoy-extroordinary 
to China, who was never able to reach Peking, could feel a sense of 
the Divine in his diplomatic mission. 

Nor could Ward escape the arguments of the advocates of an 
intensified, expanded American commerce with China. If commerce 
was king, as the Reverend William Stevens of Savannah observed, 
its expansion to Asia, and to China in particular, was highly desirable. 
The successful United States-China trade had been inaugurated in 
direct voyages from the Eastern Seaboard in 1783, was carried on 
principally by the sleek Yankee clippers, and rivalled the China trade 
of Great Britain. By 1 859, Hunt's, a leading commercial journal, could 
report that Americans were importing annually from China twenty 
million pounds of tea, an abundance of silk, and other commodities 
for a total of slightly over $82 million. 1 Hunt's could see the "alleged 
antipathy of the Chinese to intercourse with foreigners in a state of 
change." Possibilities for significant increase in the American trade 
with China seemed enormous. 2 

To the South, in particular, the prospect for commercial growth 
raised hopes of an emancipation from economic dependence upon 
the North. "In all civilized nations," a Southern newspaper observed, 
"political power has followed the sceptre of commerce." In order to 
release the South from its agriculturism and economic dependence 
upon the North, the South was urged to build up port cities as 
distributing centers for imported items and the general stimulation of 
trade to balance agriculturism. 3 As a case in point, Savannah's trade 
for 1859 totaled $16 million, with imports representing less than $1 
million. 4 That trade with China could be significant was shown by the 
arrival in New York harbor in early 1861 of the ship Phantom from 
Shanghai. Described as carrying "one of the most valuable cargoes 
ever imported into this country from China," the ship's cargo approxi- 
mated $900,000, consisting mostly of silks. 5 


The admission of California as a state in 1850, her rapid growth of 
wealth and population because of the gold rush, the trans-isthmian 
railroad, the plans for transcontinental railroads, and the acquisition 
of Pacific islands, all offered Americans a chance to challenge the 
supremacy of England's trade with China. The opening of Japan in 
1853-54, coupled with the China trade, offered Americans possibili- 
ties which staggered the imagination. After the United States negoti- 
ated its Treaty of Tientsin with China in 1858, which provided for the 
opening of additional treaty ports, the right of consuls to reside at 
Chinese ports, and other expanded commercial privileges, visions of 
an expanded trade as well as missionary activity seemed unlimited. 
Members of Congress, clerics, agriculturalists, manufacturers, and 
captains were enthusiastic at the prospects offered to Americans 
under their Tientsin Treaty. Britons and Frenchmen were equally 
enthusiastic about similar provisions included in their 1858 Tientsin 
treaties with China. 6 

John Elliott Ward's mission to China was chiefly to exchange 
ratifications of the Sino-American Treaty of Tientsin. The agreement 
had been negotiated by Reed in 1858 and had been ratified, with one 
dissenting vote, by the United States Senate on December 1 5, 1 858, 
the same day on which Ward's ministerial appointment was ap- 
proved. 7 That the United States, unlike England and France, had not 
been at war with China, proved the efficacy, according to President 
Buchanan, of "peaceful negotiations and the wisdom of our neutral- 
ity" in respect to China. 8 

John Elliot Ward had been born October 2, 1814, near Savannah, 
into a family with strong roots in the Puritan and Presbyterian faiths, 
where duty, morality, industry, and religious devotion were stressed. 
After studying at Massachusetts' Amherst College, which was swept 
by revivalism in 1831 , Ward returned to his rural plantation home and 
affiliated with the Midway Church, a bastion of Calvinistic strength in 
coastal Georgia. After he moved to Savannah, he became a member 
of St. John's Episcopal Church. Ward was an intimate friend of 
Stephen Elliott, rector of St. John's and Bishop of the Episcopal 
Diocese of Georgia. Ward's close association with Bishop Elliott 
added to Ward's awareness about China. Elliott's brother-in-law was 
William Boone, who served as first Missionary Bishop of the Ameri- 
can Episcopal Church in China from 1844 until his death in 1864. 9 


Intelligent, tolerant, mild in disposition, a believer in moderation 
and compromise, a man of impeccable integrity who was able to play 
an important role as mediator in the Democratic Party's bitter fratri- 
cidal wars and yet earn the respect of all factions — these were the 
personal qualities which Ward possessed. Although he had not 
travelled abroad, his marriage alliance with a Bostonian, his promi- 
nent role in national politics and issues, his close relationships with 
Eastern commercial and shipping families, such as the Lows and 
Habershams of Savannah, his long-time associations with world- 
wide clerics like Elliott and Boone and with well-travelled naval 
officers such as John Kell and Josiah Tattnall — all of these experi- 
ences prepared Ward for his China mission. 10 

Ward's mission was to exchange ratifications of the Treaty of 
Tientsin, to seek permanent residence for an American ambassador 
at Beijing, and to conclude consular aggreements with the Celestial 
Empire. When William B. Reed prepared to return home from China, 
he wrote the President to send a "first-rate man" for the Beijing 
assignment, which he characterized as a "most delicate and interest- 
ing one." 11 Savannah, Georgia, Mayor John Elliott Ward in the late 
1850s was named Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary 
to China by President James Buchanan in gratitude for Ward's help 
to him in securing the Democratic nomination for the Presidency in 
1856. Although this appointment was a political favor, Ward's ap- 
pointment earned hearty approbation and and promised to carry out 
the President's belief, as outlined in his annual message to Congress 
in 1858, that California's "peculiar geographical position, and the 
recent conclusion of treaties with China and Japan, two rich and 
populous empires," would attract American interest, enterprise, and 
capital which could lead to American wealth and power in East 
Asia. 12 The New York Journal of Commerce endorsed Ward and 
noted that he enjoyed a "reputation extending far beyond the borders 
of his own State." 13 John Elliott Ward met the requirements; his 
appointment produced no criticism or opposition. 

Ward's mission should be viewed in the context of mid-nineteenth 
century U.S. history. During the nineteenth century, the United States, 
flushed with the success of an expansionist territorial policy, had 
attained through war, treaty agreement, and purchase the fulfillment 
of her continental boundaries, reaching from the Atlantic to the 


Pacific Oceans. Denied by her Monroe Doctrine from involvement in 
European affairs, and peopled by a fecund populace augmented with 
a steady stream of immigrants, the United States developed a dy- 
namic expansionistic policy during the 1 840s and 1 850s which boldly 
proposed purchase or annexation of Cuba and other Latin American 
areas; commercial treaties with China, Japan, and Siam (Thailand); 
claims upon vital Pacific islands; and "opening" the "hermit kingdom" 
of Korea. This brash, imaginative foreign policy supported such 
auxiliary projects as trans-isthmian and transcontinental railroads, 
and coexisted with the suppression of Indians, ongoing argument 
over slavery, divisive political realignments, and major social and 
economic problems. Such a foreign policy could only occur, accord- 
ing to the beliefs of many Americans, in a nation favored by God, who 
had given her a Manifest Destiny to fulfill. Ebullient, supremely 
confident, vigorous, enthusiastic, and endowed beyond belief with 
Nature's resources, the American people, who had given the world a 
new concept of government, earnestly wanted to share, or impose, 
its richness of life upon less fortunate people. 

John Elliott Ward left Savannah in January 1859. 14 By mid-March 
Ward was in Paris, where he was presented to Emperor Napoleon III 
and conversed with the French Minister of Foreign Affairs about 
China. In Lyons, on March 25, 1859, Ward had a "satisfactory 
interview" with William B. Reed, who warned his successor that the 
latter might have "some difficulty" in reaching Beijing." 15 The U.S. 
steam frigate Powhatan, commanded by Commodore Josiah Tattnall, 
Ward's close friend, was ordered to Singapore to meet Ward. Ward 
reached Hong Kong on May 1 and spent several days receiving and 
returning calls from foreign diplomats before proceeding to Shang- 
hai. 16 There Ward was a guest in the residence of Augustine Heard 
and Company, the second largest American mercantile-commission 
house in China. George W. Heard, Jr. and Ward's brother Wallace 
served as legation secretaries. When Ward went to present his 
official credentials to the Chinese commissioners who had negoti- 
ated the Tientsin treaty with Reed, Ward was accompanied by an 
escort of American marines in a long procession which was "well 
received, and entertained with refreshments and also by a salute 
from a four pounder." During the next few days, Ward visited Ameri- 
can and British residents and naval officers and officials in Shanghai 


and received many guests aboard the Powhatan.^ 7 

Ward's meeting with the Chinese commissioners also included the 
Reverend Samuel Wells Williams, who had been the acting U.S. 
charge d'affaires since Reed's departure, and the Reverend W.A.P. 
Martin, who served as interpreter. Williams recorded that the Chi- 
nese representatives offered "no objections to our going to Peking. 
Nothing seemed further from their minds than the possibility of any 
trouble in our negotiations this year." 18 

The Chinese requested that Ward accompany British and French 
envoys going to Beijing to exchange ratifications of their treaties. 
However, details of the French and British treaties were still under 
negotiation. Ward therefore decided to unilaterally proceed to Beijing 
in order to try to comply with the instructions of the U.S. Secretary of 
State and with the proviso within the Sino-American treaty that 
ratifications be exchanged before June 18, 1859. Aboard the Pow- 
hatan, with the Toeywan in tow, Ward and his entourage sailed north 
to the mouth of the Bei Ho (Peiho) River, there hoping to land and 
proceed immediately to Beijing for the formal exchange of ratifica- 
tions of the U.S. Treaty of Tientsin, as provided in the treaty itself. 

On June 25, at the mouth of the Bei Ho, Ward and Tattnall 
witnessed the unsuccessful effort of an Anglo-French naval expedi- 
tion to force its way up the Bei Ho past the heavily-fortified Dagu 
(Taku) forts. This effort resulted in the repulse of the British and 
French with heavy losses. Although Ward and Tattnall originally 
intended to remain neutral, Commodore Tattnall's towing of a help- 
less British flagship from the line of fire, his visit across the line of fire 
to the wounded British Admiral Hope, and his troop's shooting at the 
Chinese from a British gunboat at Dagu led to charges of violation of 
neutrality from some of Ward's mission and from the Chinese. Al- 
though the acts may have violated the letter of the law, Ward and 
Tattnall defended them as acts of humanity and as reciprocity for 
services Hope's forces had rendered to U.S. ships on June 24. 
Tattnall's alleged expression that "blood is thicker than water" gave 
rise among some writers to the notion that Ward and Tattnall, as 
Southerners, saw the Sino-Anglo-French conflict as a racial war and 
wished to help their white Anglo-Saxon brothers. Ward's violation of 
U.S. neutrality might well have jeopardized his mission. But he was 
determined to continue to Beijing as if nothing unusual had hap- 



Because Ward had been instructed by President Buchanan and 
Secretary of State Lewis Cass to exchange the treaty ratifications as 
soon as possible and to maintain a strict neutrality, Ward decided to 
leave the Dagu war zone and go overland to Beijing from Beitany 
(Pei-t'ang), a port approximately ten miles north of Dagu. This spe- 
cific overland routing had been suggested by Chinese commission- 
ers whom Ward had met at Beitang on July 3. On July 20, 1859, 
Ward and his party left Beitang for Beijing. In conformity with an 
Imperial Edict of July 1 4, Ward's party entered Beijing in mule carts, a 
form of conveyance traditionally reserved for tribute bearers, rather 
than by the more respectable conveyance of sedan chairs. Ward, 
Lieutenant Trenchard, and several other Powhatan officers reached 
Beijing about July 27 and were sequestered while discussions were 
held concerning the possibility of an imperial audience. Although 
Ward received an autographed letter from the Emperor, Sino-Ameri- 
can negotiations bogged down over Ward's refusal to kowtow, or 
prostrate himself, before the Emperor. After several days of haggling, 
the Americans left Beijing in disgust. Ratifications of the U.S. Tientsin 
Treaty were exchanged at Beitang in a brief ceremony before Ward 
reboarded the Powhatan. 

Ward's routing, mode of travel, sequestration in Beijing, and failure 
to see the Emperor produced controversy among Chinese and west- 
erners alike. To the Chinese, diplomatic residence in Beijing, insisted 
upon in the Treaties of Tientsin, had been a most humiliating conces- 
sion. The fifth article of the American Treaty specified only that the 
American minister should be able to confer in Beijing with a Grand 
Secretary or any other designated official of equal rank. Ward, how- 
ever, on instructions from the U.S. Secretary of State and President, 
desired to go to Beijing for the exchange of ratifications at the earliest 
time and to press for a permanent U.S. ministerial residence in that 
capital city. The Chinese limitation of his party to twenty; their insis- 
tence upon the use of mule-drawn carts customarily assigned to 
those carrying tribute to the Chinese emperor; their concern for 
Ward's refusal to kowtow; their fear of collusion among the "barbari- 
ans," thereby preventing the Americans from seeing the Russians in 
Beijing — all of these alleged "humiliations" to Ward and his party 
resulted from the importance Beijing attached to the nature of these 


embassies, especially in view of the Bei Ho hostilities. Fears well- 
founded or imagined over possible military invasion, collusion be- 
tween Russian and American barbarians, and the imposition of alien 
practices upon the Chinese provoked the Chinese response to 
America's initial diplomatic mission to Beijing. Given the fact that 
Ward and Tattnall had compromised U.S. neutrality at Dagu, Ward 
was fortunate to accomplish his purposes with no more discourtesy 
from the Chinese than he received. 19 

Ward's journey to Beijing involved, according to his Occidental 
critics, the acceptance of humiliating conditions imposed by the 
Chinese government officials to prevent fulfillment of a particularly 
onerous provision of the Treaties of Tientsin. One of Ward's interpret- 
ers, the Reverend W.A.P. Martin, believed that because Ward wished 
to do something "great and good" for China, he erred in accepting the 
mule carts. Martin wrote two sarcastic, critical letters to the London 
Times about the envoy and the mission's "quasi imprisonment" at 
Beijing. 20 The British and the French, who resented Ward's unilateral 
journey to Beijing, generally ridiculed the American minister. Lord 
Loch reported that Ward "thought he would gain by diplomacy what 
Mr. Bruce [the English minister] had failed to get by force [at Dagu]." 
Blackwood's ridiculed Ward's "triumphal entry into Peking in a cart, 
his close confinement, the attempt to make him worship the Emperor, 
[and] the insult of ordering him back to the seashore for a worthless 
ratification." Another European account referred to "the great Ameri- 
can minster" being carried "in state" in a mule cart. The French 
minister also wrote disparagingly of the American mission; he be- 
lieved that Ward had been subjected to numerous indignities which 
indicated little progress in China's relations with the Western powers. 
Punch and The Illustrated London News subjected Ward to merciless 
ridicule. The former published a malicious, satirical poem entitled 
"Jonathan's Ride to Peking," in which the Americans reportedly rode 
"like blacks in a nigger car, ready to eat humble pie" when seeking 
dollars. L'illustration called the expedition "a defeat no less disas- 
trous than that of the allies before Tuku." The journal did commend 
Ward's refusal to kowtow before the Emperor, praising his "dignity of 
character." 21 

Many people considered grossly unjust the criticism heaped upon 
John Elliott Ward. His wife attributed it to a typical characteristic of 


the English, whom she regarded as "the most arrogant people on the 
face of the earth." 22 Many American newspapers attributed the An- 
glo-French criticism to jealousy over American accomplishment of 
treaty ratification without resort to force and to Anglo-French humili- 
ation over their defeat by China at Dagu. The New York Times 
applauded Ward's behavior in accepting "the professions of good-will 
made to him by the Chinese authorities with frank and high bred 
equanimity." It further remarked that the United States would "experi- 
ence no more practical inconvenience from the sublime vanity of the 
Court of Peking than from the self-conceit of dozens of small German 
dukes and Central Asiatic shahs." The newspaper observed that the 
United States could "honorably leave" the Anglo-French to force their 
way "over thousands of human bodies trampling under foot the most 
sacred convictions of a great people." In brief, Ward's peaceful 
accomplishment of his mission and his patient, tolerant consideration 
of cultural sensitivity proved to be more successful than that of the 
Anglo-French "arrogant and overbearing envoys in precipitating a 
most lamentable and superfluous catastrophe." The American treaty, 
unlike the Anglo-French treaties, was "in full vigor and force" due to 
Ward's action. 23 

The London Star observed of Ward's visit that it was "certainly 
humiliating to England to find the United States so successfully 
negotiating treaties with China, while she herself, in alliance with 
France, had failed. 24 The Austrian Gazette endorsed Ward's peaceful 
approaches to Beijing as opposed to the Anglo-French use of force. 
The Gazette wondered how England would feel if a Russian force 
appeared at the mouth of the Thames with an envoy backed by naval 
squadron. England and France respected nationalities in Europe but, 
in forcing trade and envoys upon China, used a policy of "Rascals, 
you must like us, you must trade with us." 25 In deploring the use of 
British force in China, Lord Greville wrote that "it required no sagacity 
to perceive that the arrival at Peking of a victorious ambassador, who 
had forced his way to the capital at the head of an imposing force, 
would not serve to make his reception a friendly one, or to establish 
harmonious relationships" between China and England. 26 Ward's 
accomplishment of his principal aim, then, far outweighed, many 
believed, any inconveniences or minor slights. Moreover, a proud 
man and a proud nation could afford to be tolerant. 


The former American charge d'affaires in China, the Reverend 
Samuel Wells Williams, who accompanied Ward from Shanghai to 
Beitang to Beijing as one of the legation's secretaries, believed that 
the Manchu (Qing) dynasty rulers feared that troops accompanying 
Western envoys into China might overthrow the Qings, as they 
themselves had overthrown the Chinese in 1644 when invited to 
Beijing to assist in the ouster of a usuper to the Ming dynasty throne. 
A longtime resident of China, Williams called the initial interview with 
Chinese officials friendly. "The officials have," he recorded, "exerted 
themselves more than I have ever known on a previous occasion to 
give eclat and parade to this reception." And he rebuked the Anglo- 
French for failure to avail themselves of a similar peaceful venture 
rather than resort to arms. The Chinese, he lamented, were "doomed 
never to be allowed to make their own plans or carry out their own 

In contrast, John Elliot Ward did defer to the sensitivities of the 
Chinese in the delicate diplomacy concerning the route, modes of 
conveyance, and size of the official party, and showed respect for 
opposing views. The mission of twenty, in deference to Chinese 
wishes, included only three military officers and three marines. The 
small group, as Williams noted received "politeness and courtesy." 
Williams noted that, since Ward had never demanded an audience 
with the Emperor and was in Beijing upon invitation rather than by 
treaty right, he enjoyed a decided advantage upon the kowtow issue. 
In turn, the Chinese conducted their argument with "tact and pa- 
tience." Williams commended Ward for his patience, tact, firmness of 
conviction, and willingness to compromise throughout the entire 
mission. The legation secretary defended the use of the mule carts. 
He believed that the Emperor's comment about Ward's mission 
published in Beijing's gazette marked the first time that a foreign 
nation was not designated i, signifying "barbarian," by the paper, and 
called it a "moderate" statement. Williams was genuinely disturbed 
that Hong Kong newspapers discredited Ward's visit to Beijing. "It is 
sad to see," he also wrote, "the bitterness of these papers against the 
Chinese," against whom the papers urged "a good thrashing." Wil- 
liams especially lamented the severe judgement that the Chinese 
were "pagans" and could not be held to "Christian" practices. The 
secretary declared that he wrote the details of Ward's mission to 


correct exaggerated and critical accounts given in England and 
France. 27 

Another member of Ward's entourage, the Reverend William 
Aitchison, a China resident for many years who served as interpreter, 
was seriously concerned about the effect of Sinowestern hostilities at 
the mouth of the Bei Ho upon Christian missions in China. "Oh, when 
will the Prince of Peace extend his peaceful sway over the earth and 
the nations learn war no more!" he exclaimed. Pleased with what he 
saw as an American policy of peace, he felt that the "chariots" used 
were satisfactory, the Chinese military escort colorful and attentive, 
the food sumptuous, and the Chinese hosts "worthy of respect and 
affection." He also approved Ward's refusal to kowtow. Aitchison felt 
that "the kindness we have received could not be well surpassed. All 
the arrangements proved their desire to gratify our tastes in every 
particular." Moreover, Aitchison, the clergyman, rejoiced that on July 
31, 1859, Christian services were conducted without interference in 
"this mighty capital, beneath the shadow of a throne, whose occupant 
rules over one-third of the human race!" With Ward and Williams he 
spent two hours in reading aloud and discussing the first epistle of 
Timothy. Then the group sang such missionary hymns as "From 
Greenland's Icy Mountains to India's Coral Sea." No doubt Ward 
could feel that he was carrying out the hymn's admonition to carry the 
Gospel to "the heathen." 28 

Resident American merchants gave Ward their "cordial support 
and approval" for the "able and energetic manner in which you 
supported the dignity of our country, the successful ratification of our 
treaty and its speedy promulgation, events alike honorable to your- 
self and to us as your countrymen." The merchants, who often 
favored more aggressive policies toward China, strongly endorsed 
Ward's support of Tattnall's assistance to the Anglo-French and 
commended the Commodore's gallantry. 29 The favorable views of 
the Americans were even more significant when one considers the 
usual view of merchants that treaties with the Chinese needed to be 
backed up with military force. 30 

In his official despatches to the State Department, Ward indicated 
that he was reasonably pleased with the outcome of his mission. 
After the signing of the official receipt for the ratification of the 
American treaty at Beitang on August 16, 1859, Ward reported that 


he was received there "with every mark of respect." 31 Privately, he 
believed that the aggressive Anglo-French methods used at the 
mouth of the Bei Ho complicated his mission. He acknowledged that 
Tattnall had perhaps violated "strict neutrality" there, but he observed 
that the Commodore's behavior did more "to illustrate the gallantry of 
the American Navy in the eyes of the world than twenty successful 
engagements would have done." Ward defended his unilateral deci- 
sion to go to Beijing: 

I frankly told the Admiral [Hope] that my position was differ- 
ent from that of the English and French Ministers; that their 
treaties were made at a time when they were at war with the 
Chinese; and that if their treaties were violated, they might 
consider themselves thrown back into the war which had 
been terminated or suspended by the treaty; that the Ameri- 
can treaty, on the contrary, had been made with a nation 
with whom we had never been at war. 32 

At home President Buchanan praised his appointee's behavior in 
China. Ward, a distinguished citizen of Georgia, he declared, was 
unable to present to the Emperor his letter of credence "in conse- 
quence of his very proper refusal to submit to the humiliating ceremo- 
nies required by this strange people in approaching their sovereign." 
Buchanan endorsed the exchange of ratifications of the treaty at 
Beitang and noted that, throughout the entire negotiations, the Chi- 
nese "appear to have acted in good faith and in a friendly spirit 
towards the United States. It is true that this has been done after their 
own fashion; but we ought to regard it with a lenient eye. The conduct 
of our minister has received my entire approbation." 33 So pleased 
was one Georgian with Ward's accomplishments in China that he 
seriously proposed the longtime Democratic Unionist as the Party's 
logical 1860 Presidential standard-bearer. 34 

By late August 1859, Ward and his legation had returned aboard 
the Powhatan to Shanghai, where he received "with great pomp and 
ceremony" the Emperor's reply to President Buchanan's official letter 
which accompanied the American ratification documents. 35 After 
opening negotiations for the implementation of the treaty's provisions 
for the opening of two additional ports and for the revision of tonnage 
duties, Ward sailed on September 18 with Tattnall to Japan for a 
month's visit. Back in Shanghai, Ward issued a November 8, 1859 


proclamation regarding the publication of the U.S. Treaty of Tientsin 
"for the general guidance of all to whom it may concern." He then 
went to Hong Kong, Guangzhou (Canton), and Macao, where he 
permitted Chinese authorities to remove 317 coolies from an Ameri- 
can ship. 36 Ward advised Congressional action to suppress the "in- 
iquitous" coolie traffic which "deeply grieved" him. In April 1 860, when 
the Chinese ports of Fuzhou and Shantou were opened to U.S. 
commerce in accordance with the U.S. Tientsin Treaty, Ward and the 
Commodore of the U.S. East India Squadron paid an official visit to 
Shantou, met with newly-appointed U.S. consuls, and assured them 
of continued U.S. military protection and support. 37 

As early as July 1859, Ward had expressed his desire to return to 
the United States in early I860. 38 He actually departed in December 
1860, after witnessing what he perceived as a shameful Anglo- 
French re-invasion of North China. In desperation, the Emperor had 
authorized his officials to urge Ward to mediate with France and 
England. In reply, Ward, sympathetic with the Chinese, wrote that 
because of the United States' neutrality, he was unable to discuss 
"the crooked and straight, right or wrong" issues between China and 
the Anglo-French. 39 When the Emperor's attempt at mediation failed, 
England and France marched into Beijing, sacked the summer Pal- 
ace, and forced the flight of the Emperor to secure ratification of the 
Anglo-French 1858 Tientsin Treaties. They wrung additional privi- 
leges from China in the October 1860 Convention of Peking. 

John Elliot Ward had spent two years as Minister to China during a 
critical period in that country's history. He returned to Washington in 
time to submit his report to the State Department before the outbreak 
of the American Civil War. Upon returning to Georgia he served the 
Confederacy on missions to Europe, and also sojourned in China for 
unclear reasons from late 1863 to the fall of 1865. He later moved 
with his family to New York, where he was a Wall Street lawyer until 
his death on November 29, 1902. In 1896, when Chinese Foreign 
Minister Li Hongzhzng (Li Hung-chang) visited New York City, it was 
Ward, the senior American China diplomat, who sat to the right of the 
senior Chinese statesman at the official banquet and offered the 
principal toast. 40 

John Elliott Ward's mission to China was brief but important. In an 
extremely critical period for China, he brought to Sino-American 


relations those personal qualities and attitudes which were essential 
for amicable relations between the two nations. In large measure, his 
mission presaged the later American "Open Door Policy." Ward's 
mission laid the groundwork for his successor, Anson Burlingame, 
who successfully established an American legation in Beijing in July 
1 862. Faced with a difficult, sensitive diplomatic situation and diamet- 
rically opposing views for solution, Ward, as a representative of the 
peculiar elitist society of Georgia, had displayed firmness of purpose 
and dignity coupled with genuine concern and compassion for oth- 


1 "China: Its Trade," Hunt's Merchants' Magazine and Commercial Review 41 (October 
1859), p.444. 

2 Ibid, p.439-40 

^Courier (Charleston, S.C.), quoted in the Augusta, Georgia, Daily Constitutionalist, March 
24, 1859 and April 1, 1860. 

4 Hunt's Merchant's Magazine 42 (November 1860), p. 61 4. 

5 The New York Times, February 11,1 861 . 

6 Wen-hwan Ma, American Policy Toward China, as Revealed in the Debates of Congress 
(New York, 1970), pp.1 8-31 , passim. 

7 The New York Tribune, December 16, 1858; Richardson Dougall and Mary P. Chapman, 
United States Chiefs of Mission, 1778-1973 (Washington, 1973), p. 28. 

8 The New York Times, December 7, 1858. 

9 For further information of Bishops Elliott and Boone, see: Hermon Batterson, Sketch-Book 
of the American Episcopate (Philadelphia, 1878), pp.1 30-31 and 146-47; Doris Kirk 
Collins, The Episcopal Church in Georgia from the Revolutionary War to 1860 (Ann Arbor, 
1961), pp. 17-31; James Thayer Addison, The Episcopal Church in the United States, 
1789-1931 (New York, 1951), pp. 150-51; and Albert Sydney Thomas, A Historical 
Account of the Protestant Episcopal Church in South Carolina, 1820- 1 957 (Columbia, S.C, 
1957), pp. 24-29, 39, 438. For information on Ward's life, see "John Elliott Ward," in 
Dictionary of American Biography, ed. by Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone, XIX (New 
York, 1928-1958), pp. 426-27; United States Diplomatic Officers, 1789-1939 I, p. 1027; 
and William M. Gabard, "The Confederate Career of John Elliott Ward," The Georgia 
Historical Quarterly 55 (Summer 1971), pp.1 77-207. For more information regarding 
Georgia's elite of the mid-nineteenth century, the writer has drawn upon the following 
Georgia family manuscript collections: Bulloch Papers, Gordon Papers, W.R.B. Elliott 
Papers, Mackay-Stiles Collection, Arnold Appleton Papers, and Alexander H. Lawton 
Papers, Southern Historical Collections, University of North Carolina; the John Mcintosh 
Kell Papers and Josiah Tattnall, Jr. Letters, Manuscript Department, Duke University; and 
The Charles Colcock Jones Papers in the Manuscript Collections at Duke and Tulane 
Universities and The University of Georgia, which provided the basis for Robert Manson 
Myers, Children of Pride: A True Story of Georgia and the Civil War (New Haven, 1 972). 
Manuscript collections at the University of Georgia, Georgia State Department of Archives, 
Emory University, and The Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, provided additional in- 
formation. In addition, the writer has talked with and interviewed numerous descendants of 
the families listed above, particularly in Savannah. 


10 Based upon a close examination of all information about Ward and correspondence and 
interviews with his descendants. See also John Mcintosh Kell, Recollections of a Naval 
Life (Washington, 1900), p. 65, and Charles C. Jones, Jr., The Life and Services of 
Commodore Josiah Tattnall (Savannah, 1878), pp. 74-78. 

11 W.B. Reed to President James Buchanan, September 2, 1858, in United States Depart- 
ment of State, Despatches from U.S. Ministers to China, 1843-1906, National Archives, 
Washington, D.C. (hereafter cited as Despatches, China.) 

12 President Buchanan's 2nd Annual Message to Congress, December 6, 1858, in The 
Works of James Buchanan, ed. by John Bassett Moore, I (Philadelphia, 1908-1912), p. 

13 As quoted in the Federal Union, December 7, 1858. 

14 Daily Morning News (Savannah), January 17, 1859. 

15 J.E. Ward to Lewis Cass, Secretary of State, March 17, and 26, 1859, in Despatches, 

16 See James D. Johnson, China and Japan (Baltimore, 1861), pp. 208-11, and Charles 
Colcock Jones, Jr., The Life and Services of Commodore Josiah Tattnall, pp. 77-82. 

17 Stephen Chapman Lockwood, Augustine Heard and Company, 1858-1862 (Cambridge, 
Mass., 1971), pp. 71-72; William F. Graff, A Cruise in the U.S. Steam-Frigate Mississippi 
(Boston, 1860) pp. 60-651; and Johnston, China and Japan, pp. 224-27. 

18 Entry in Journal of S.W. Williams, May 31 , 1859, in Frederic Wells Williams, The Life and 
Letters of Samuel Wells Williams, L.L.D., Missionary, Diplomatist, Sinologue (New York, 
1889), p. 297, (hereafter cited as Williams, Life.) 

19 For a detailed account of the Bei Ho affair and the American mission to Beijing, see: 
William M. Gabard, "John Elliott Ward and the Treaty of Tientsin," West Georgia College 
Studies in the Social Sciences 11 (June 1972), pp. 26-44; "The Fight on the Peiho," 
Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine 86 (December 1859), 647-67; S. Wells Williams, "Visit 
of the American Embassy to Peking," The Ecclectic Magazine 51 (April 1 861 ), 529-37, and 
52 (May 1861), 53-63; Williams, Life, pp. 299-325; W.A.P. Martin, A Cycle of Cathay {New 
York, 1896), pp.1 90-203 and The Awakening of China (New York, 1907), pp. 166-69; 
Charles P. Bush, ed., Five Years in China (Philadelphia, 1865); J.W. Foster, American 
Diplomacy in the Orient (Boston, 1914), pp 245-55; Hosea Ballou Morse, The International 
Relations of the Chinese Empire: The Period of Conflict, 1834-1860 (Shanghai, 1910), pp. 
471-87; Earl Swisher, China's Management of the American Barbarians: A Study of Sino- 
American Relations, 1841-1861, with Documents (New Haven, Conn., 1951), pp. 571-623 
Henri Cordier, L'Expedition de China de 1860 (Paris, 1906), pp. 86-92, and 246-53 
Masataka Banno, China and the West, 1858-1861 (Cambridge, Mass., 1964), pp. 1 10-26 
and J.E. Ward's official reports to the Secretary of State for June, July, and August, 1859, 
in Despatches, China. For more information on the various Chinese officials and their roles 
in the Bei Ho affair and Ward's mission, see biographical articles in Eminent Chinese of the 
Ching Period, 1644-1912, ed. by Arthur W. Hummel (Taipei, 1964), passim. 

20 W.A.P. Martin, The Awakening of China, p. 168, and A Cycle of Cathay, pp. 196-201, and 
letters to The Times (London), August 10 and 30, 1859. 

21 Henry Brougham Loch, Personal Narratives during Lord Elgin's Second Embassy (Lon- 
don, 1903), pp. 16-17; "The Fight on the Peiho," Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine 86 
(December 1 859), p. 653; Robert Swinhoe, Narrative of the North China Campaign of 1860 
(London, 1861), pp. 163-64; Letter of M. DeBourboulon to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, 
September 1 , 1859, in Henri Cordier, L'Expedition de China de 1857-58 (Paris, 1905), pp. 
87-92, Punch 27 (October 5, 1859), p.432, and (December 3, 1859), 520; L 'Illustration 34 
(November 12, 1859), 338. 

22 Louisa B. Ward to Louisa Bulloch, October 13, 1859, in Bulloch Papers. 


"See The New York Times, October 1 1 , 12, 13, 21 , 22, and November 16, 18, 1859. 

!4 As quoted in The Chronicle and Sentinel (Augusta, Georgia), November 1 1 , 1859. 

- 5 As quoted in The New York Times, October 13, 1859. 

- 6 Lytton Strachey and Roger Fulford, eds. The Greville Memoirs (7 vols., London, 1938) VII, 

?7 See: S.W. Williams, Life and Letters, pp. 301 , 31 4, 31 8, 323; the same writer's two articles 
on "The Visit fo the American Embassy," in the April and May, 1861, issues of Ecclectic 
Magazine; and his "Narrative of the American Embassy to Peking in July, 1 859," Journal of 
the North China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 1 (1 859), pp. 31 5-349. 

"Charles P. Bush, Five Years in China (Philadelphia, 1865), pp. 222, 223, 256-59. 

"Augustine Heard and Co., et al., to J.E. Ward, November 1 1 , 1859, in Daily Constitutional- 
ist, March 21, 1860. 

i0 Nathan Albert Pelcovitz, Old Hands and the Foreign Office (New York, 1948), Chap. 1, 
passim., and Stephen C. Lockwood, Augustine Heard and Company, p. 64. 

i1 J. E. Ward to Lewis Cass, August 20, 1859, in China, Despatches. 

i2 J. E. Ward to M , June 30, 1859, in The New York Times, October 1 1 , 1859. 

"Third Annual Message to Congress, December 19, 1859, in John Moore, ed., The Works 
of James Buchanan, X, p. 346-347. 

^Telegraph (Macon, Georgia), as reported in The Constitutionalist, February 28, 1860. 

i5 James D. Johnson, China and Japan, p. 297. 

i6 J. E. Ward to Lewis Cass, November 19, 1859, and February 24, 1860, in Despatches, 
China; Williams, Life, pp. 325-26. 

J7 On coolie trade, see also John Slidell's report from the Senate Committee on Foreign 
Relations, as quoted in the Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, D.C.), January 1859. 

"J. E. Ward to Lewis Cass,, July 4, 1859, in Despatches, China. 

"Imperial Edicts of July 30, 31, 1860, and J. E. Ward to Hengfu, August 4, 1860, in Earl 
Swisher, China's Management, pp. 662-68, 675. 

*°See the writer's article on Ward's Civil War career cited above; The New York Tribune, 
August 30, 1896; and Morning News (Savannah), December 1 , 1902. 


William L. Scruggs: 

A Georgian As United States 

Consul in China, 1879-81 


When William L. Scruggs of Atlanta, Georgia, was selected by 
President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1879 to go to China as American 
consul in Zhenjiang, he reluctantly accepted this appointment. 1 

He had served President Grant as American minister to Colombia. 
But Zhenjiang was remote; he did not know the Chinese language; 
the climate was unhealthful and uncomfortable; and disagreements 
with his fellow diplomats, especially George Seward, American min- 
ister to China, only worsened the situation. 2 

Nevertheless, Scruggs was keenly aware of the importance of 
economic ties between between Zhenjiang and the United States. He 
had lost no time in familiarizing himself with the facts. Zhenjiang was 
one of the old cities of China, with a population over 500,000. The 
city's success was based on its geographical location at the point 
where the Grand Canal crossed the Chang Jiang (Yangtze River), 
approximately forty miles down river from Nanjing and one hundred 
miles from Shanghai. During The Taiping Rebellion the city was the 
site of much fighting and suffered substantial destruction. Since that 
time the Chinese had devoted considerable effort to the rebuilding of 
this strategically important city. 3 

Scruggs reported to the State Department that during the second 
quarter of 1 879 the principal import was grey shirting, mostly from the 

'Professor Peeples teaches American diplomatic history at Valdosta State College, Valdosta, 
Georgia, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1964. He received his Ph. D. in 
American diplomatic history from the University of Georgia in 1964. 


United States, and that the trade had increased over the past year by 
30,950 pieces. Scruggs noted the rising demand for American cotton 
goods had caused some concern among the British in China. British 
merchants charged that the Americans were selling at a loss to dump 
cotton goods which could not be sold on the domestic market. 
Scruggs rejected that view and observed that American goods were 
in demand because of "superior purity and quality." Both British and 
Chinese conceded that this was true. The American consul did 
sxpress some concern about the poor quality of packaging of the 
cotton products and warned that if this was not remedied it might be 
detrimental to trade. 4 

In a despatch to the State Department on October 20, 1879 the 
Georgia diplomat reported that he had learned from a Chinese 
commercial report that the United States in 1878 was the fourth most 
important trade partner of China, behind Great Britain, India, and 
Russia. Chinese exports to the United States that year amounted to 
J>9, 535, 381 .25 and imports from the United States were valued at 
$3,267,064.60 for a total trade of $12,802,445.85. The total trade 
cetween China and Great Britain was $61 ,71 4,859, .1 0. Scruggs was 
disturbed by the decreased number of entrances and clearances by 
American vessels between 1873 and 1878 from 5,001 to 1,018, and 
decresed tonnage from 3,483,203 to 341,942 tons. Scruggs identi- 
fied "perhaps the most serious difficulty at present besetting our trade 
with China" as a system of provincial customs barriers." Arbitrary 
'seizures" prevailed to the extent that it was "next to impossible either 
to get foreign goods into the interior, or native products to the treaty 
c-orts for exportation." 5 

In addition to his concern with trade, the American consul at Zhen- 
jiang was also concerned with military affairs. Seward asked the 
consuls in China to report on military preparedness in each consular 
district. Scruggs responded that the Chinese had impressive fortifi- 
cations at Silver Island, located a mile down the Chang Jiang from 
Zhenjiang. He stated that military experts had declared the position 
to be "impregnable." Both here and at Nanjing were heavy guns 
manufactured by Krupp of Germany. Scruggs called Zhenjiang a 
garrison city: some 2,000 soldiers and cavalry were stationed there. 
The troops were equipped with matchlock rifles. The key to the 
defense of the city was a large stockade located on a hill behind the 


city. Here were some 600 men armed with 15 field pieces. He 
remarked that the soldiers were trained in the British manner and that 
orders were given in English. The reason for this, Scruggs revealed, 
was that the new troops could learn the English commands just as 
easily as Chinese and that by using English they would avoid confu- 
sion if the soldiers were ever placed under an English-speaking 
officer. Scruggs remarked that the powder used by the military was 
foreign made because the Chinese powder was considered less 
suitable. He noted that "the high provincial authorities take good care 
to have as little of this (or any other) powder in the hands of the 
people as possible. Indeed, they seem to be constantly on the watch 
for possible insurrections." 6 

Scruggs also had opportunities to observe Chinese religious life. 
His impression was that Chinese people were "singularly indifferent" 
to religious affairs. He found evidence of this in the disrepair of their 
temples, the ignorance of their clergy, and the clergy's lack of impact 
on the people. Scruggs was impressed by the deep conservatism of 
the Chinese government in religious matters. They were opposed to 
virtually any change, and Scruggs commented that in "perhaps no 
other country under the sun can it be so truly said that it is governed 
by dead men." He believed that Christianity had made virtually no 
progress in China. Scruggs wrote that "we occasionally see a China- 
man who is said to be a Christian; but his outer life reveals little, if 
any, evidences of his new faith. Whatever he may profess of Christi- 
anity seems well nigh concealed in native superstition." 7 

One of the problems which confronted American diplomats in 
China in 1879 was the question of jurisdiction of the consular courts 
in China. Minister Seward was engaged in negotiations with the Chi- 
nese government to secure a treaty to define jurisdiction. He re- 
quested the opinions of the consuls on this topic. Scruggs responded 
with an elaborate analysis which he felt was of sufficient merit to be 
sent on to the State Department. He identified China as a "pagan 
state, and as such, has never fully acknowledged and observed 
those usages, maxims, and rules universally acknowledged and 
accepted as binding among Christian states." With this basic differ- 
ence in approach to jurisdiction, it was necessary to define jurisdic- 
tion and procedure by treaty. He traced out the evolution of legal 
interaction as defined by diplomatic action. In cases involving Chi- 


nese and foreigners, Scruggs thought "the difficulties of amicable 
adjustments are often very perplexing." With the Chinese and Ameri- 
:an legal concepts so foreign to each other, it was virtually assured 
:hat one party or the other would feel wronged by the legal process. 
Fherefore it would be difficult to work out a system that would be fair 
:o both parties. 8 

In a subsequent despatch Scruggs commented on the defects of 
tie consular judicial system, and he pointed out that merchant con- 
suls frequently were uninformed about the law. Another problem was 
he attitude of the Chinese governing class, which was very hostile to 
he exercise of judicial power by the merchant consuls. He believed 
hat this attitude was derived from the class distinctions in China 
Detween the rulers and the merchants. Scruggs called for a major 
Dverhaul of the consular system which he termed "radically defec- 
:ive." He urged legislation which would require appointment of per- 
sons trained in the diplomatic service. Scruggs believed that a pro- 
: essional consular corps would be "commensurate with our national 
dignity and importance as a first class power." 9 

Seward took exception to Scruggs' comments, and put forth the 
/iew that Scruggs had misinterpreted the treaty provisions, misun- 
derstood the nature of the problem, and offered the wrong solutions. 
Seward clearly wanted Scruggs to recant when he asked Scruggs for 
'a further communication from you, and a frank exposition of the 
/iews which may occur to you upon a further consideration of the 
subject." 10 

To this request for reconsideration of his views, the Georgian 
'esponded by defending his position and suggesting that Seward 
was mistaken in charging that the consul's views were out of step 
with the State Department's understanding of the terms of the trea- 
ties and the nature of the problems. Nonetheless, Scruggs, in an 
sffort to placate Seward, pledged to "adhere strictly to the instruc- 
tions from the Department enunciated and interpreted by your des- 
Datch." 11 

In a later exchange of notes with Seward, Scruggs conceded that 
the Consular Regulations of 1874 were acceptable. He wrote that 

they are brief, almost to meagerness; and they are simple, pos- 
sible to feebleness. But until our Consular System shall have 
been so revised as to render the service more permanent and 


efficient, like our judiciary at home, they are perhaps better 
adapted to our Courts in China than a more elaborate and 
complex system would be. 12 

Moreover, Scruggs continued to believe that parts of the rules 
were "somewhat foreign to the spirit of the United States laws and ju- 
risprudence," and he continued to urge changes to improve the 
quality of consular jurisprudence. The discussion between the two 
men ended at this point because Seward was leaving his position as 
minister and would soon by replaced by James C. Angell. 13 

The major crisis which arose during Scruggs' tenure at Zhenjiang 
was over a British-backed scheme for impostion of wharfage fees at 
Zhenjiang to maintain the port area known as the British Concession 
and to pay off bonds issued earlier for internal improvements. When 
Scruggs learned of the scheme he immediately reported to Minister 
Seward on May 6, 1 880. The British would clearly have a major voice 
in the control of the taxing and expenditures. The appeals process, 
as Scruggs noted, would be largely in the hands of the British. There 
would be virtually no American participation in the decision making 
process, but Americans would have to pay the wharfage fees. 14 

Because Scruggs had not been officially informed of the scheme, 
he could not formally lodge a protest. Therefore he prepared a 
memorandum dated May 6, 1880, in which he spelled out the Ameri- 
can objections to this effort by the British to increase their influence. 
The consul held that the plan was not justified by the existing treaties 
between China and the other powers. Moreover, he denied the 
legality of the so called British Concession, and the increase in power 
of the municipal council under the proposal would represent an 
unwarranted assumption of power. Scruggs remarked, "Such an 
assumption would, if admitted, be a manifest abridgment of treaty 
rights. It would destroy the foundation of existing commercial inter- 
course by foreigners in the Chinese Empire." He contended that the 
municipal body should have jurisdiction over the British only. Scruggs 
concluded that the proposal "is objectionable; so much so that it can 
never be seriously entertained by the American Consul." 15 

Scruggs, who constantly informed Seward and the State Depart- 
ment as to his efforts to defeat this British grab for power, soon 
learned that the British in fact had been trying for five years to win 
acceptance of similar proposals, but they had been unsuccessful 


because of lack of support from the Chinese and other foreigners. 
Scruggs uncovered information which caused him to suggest that 
two men were responsible for the present proposal in order to 
promote their own selfish ends. One of them, Sir Robert Hart, who 
was the Inspector General of Customs, was a large landowner in the 
area and stood to benefit financially. The other, Mr. Kleinwachter, 
Commission of Customs at Zhenjiang and a member of the municipal 
council, stood to gain political power. Although Scruggs held the 
British to be back of this scheme, he assured his superiors that the 
controversy had not impaired his "very cordial relations" with the 
British consul; indeed, at that very moment Scruggs was looking after 
the affairs of the British consulate during the absence of its consul. 16 

Scruggs renewed his attack on the wharfage dues plan with a 
second memorandum on July 10, 1880, in which he again claimed 
that no such local tax would be in compliance with treaty provisions. 
He suggested that the ends desired could be achieved without 
imposing such dues if the Inspector General would "appropriate the 
tonnage fees, collected from the foreign vessels at this port, as 
contemplated by the treaty, in order to accomplish the end desired." 
The consul then commented that the improvements would benefit the 
property owners in the British Concession and they, not the persons 
outside, should be taxed. Finally, he expressed opposition to the 
decision-making process which favored the British. 17 

On the same day, July 10, 1880, Scruggs forwarded to Seward a 
modified version of the plan which the local taotai, or provincial 
official, had prepared at the insistence of Commissioner of Customs 
Kleinwachter. This modified plan was then submitted by the taotai io 
the foreign consuls for their approval. As far as Scruggs was con- 
cerned the changes were cosmetic and the basic flaws remained. It 
still was essentially a plan "for paying a private indebtedness at the 
expense of the public," and it also included an "unwarranted assump- 
tion of eminent domain, which if once admitted will seriously impair 
treaty rights and undermine the present system of commercial inter- 
course, at the Chinese open ports. 18 

By September 13, 1880, Scruggs could claim victory in his fight 
against the wharfage dues scheme. He reported that the taotai was 
now opposed to the plan. The Chinese official informed Scruggs that 
he had given support to the plan because Kleinwachter had told him 


that the American consul was in favor of the plan. Scruggs then 
showed the taotai the memorandum of May 3 to prove that Klein- 
wachter had misrepresented the American position. By this time 
Scruggs could also report that the acting British consul had come to 
the conclusion that the scheme would fail and assured Scruggs that 
he would seek to discourage further attempts to push the proposal. 
The Commissioner of Customs was threatening to carry the issue to 
Beijing (Peking), but it appeared that he had almost no chance of 
success. 19 

Both Seward and his successor, James Angell, supported Scruggs' 
efforts to resist this illegal maneuver by the British. Angell wrote to 
Scruggs that "I take pleasure in expressing my approbation of the 
position you have taken in opposition to the proposed 'Regulation.'" 
He repeated his praise of Scruggs' handling of the problem in a 
despatch to Secretary Evarts. At the end of the negotiations, Angell 
expressed the view that "this result is probably due in some degree to 
your lucid and forcible presentations of objections to it." Scruggs 
could take some satisfaction that his service at Zhenjiang was crowned 
with success. 20 

In spite of Scruggs' efforts to return home or to be transferred 
elsewhere, due to his family's illness in Georgia and his illness in 
Zhenjiang, Scruggs had to accept re-assignment to Guangzhou, 
China, in June, 1880. 21 

Scruggs officially assumed his new post at Guangzhou on Novem- 
ber 1 5, 1 880. There he found that conditions were less than satisfac- 
tory. The furnishings of the consulate were "rather meager." He soon 
requested permission to hire a constable. His predecessors had 
called upon consulates of other countries to aid whenever the serv- 
ices of a constable were required. Scruggs complained that "such 
practices illy [sic] comport with that dignity and independence which 
other first class powers are careful to maintain in China." 22 

As American consul in Guangzhou, Scruggs was concerned about 
the failure of his country to take advantage of the potential trade with 
China. On April 2, 1881, he reported to the State Department that 
only two American ships had visited Guangzhou during the previous 
six months, and his impression was that the situation was similar at 
other Chinese ports. He bemoaned the decline of the American 
merchant marine from the time of the Civil War, when the blockade 


and the success of Confederate commerce raiders caused a signifi- 
cant decrease in the number of American merchant ships. Since the 
Civil War the Congress had been willing to give adequate support to 
the merchant marine. The result was, in his opinion, that the United 
States was "no longer either a great commercial or a great naval 
power." The situation would impair the efforts of American merchants 
to expand trade between China and the United States. 23 

The most important diplomatic event during Scruggs' service in 
Guangzhou was the wreck of The James Bailey, of Portland, Maine, 
sailed from Hong Kong on October 14, 1880 for Vancouver Island. It 
encountered a storm which resulted in the vessel going aground near 
Wenchang on the coast of Hainan Island about 2:00 a.m. on October 
17, 1880. The crew of twenty-two men under the command of 
Captain Joseph W. Mann survived the wreck. The Chinese in the 
area took advantage of the opportunity to strip the ship. Captain 
Mann and his men were befriended by Fu Shun, a native of Hainan 
who could speak English. They journeyed overland to Haikou, where 
Mann requested and received the aid of James Scott, acting British 
consul at that place. Scott contacted the Chinese officials and de- 
manded protection for the vessel and appropriate action against the 
looters. The local taotai ordered a detachment of police to the scene 
and initiated action to recover the lost property or to fix the responsi- 
bility for the theft. The American arranged for transportation to Hong 
Kong aboard the Cassandra. Consul Mosby advised the State De- 
partment of the situation and suggested that the government might 
want to "demand indemnity of this outrage from the Chinese Govern- 
ment." He also requested that Rear Admiral John M.B. Clitz, United 
States Asiatic Squadron Commander, send a naval vessel to the 
scene to conduct an investigation. The consul at Guangzhou, C.P. 
Lincoln, who had jurisdiction over the area where the wreck took 
place, advised the State Department of the incident on November 3, 
1880, two weeks before he was replaced by Scruggs. 24 

Admiral Clitz, as requested by Mosby, directed Commander Char- 
les L. Huntington to take the Alert to Hainan and to conduct an official 
investigation to determine the facts concerning the looting of the 
James Bailey. He learned that the Chinese authorities had acted 
swiftly to punish the guilty parties and to recover the stolen property. 
The Chinese cooperated fully with Huntington's investigation. Unfor- 


tunately, Huntington was not authorized to negotiate a settlement nor 
was he accompanied by the consul who could have done so. 25 

When Mr. Lincoln turned over the consulate at Guangzhou to 
Scruggs the case was pending. Scruggs contacted the viceroy, who 
assured him that the proper instructions had been issued to the local 
officials at Hainan to punish the persons responsible and to recover 
the missing property. The consul also learned that the owners of the 
James Bailey had sold the wreck at auction to a German firm in Hong 
Kong on November 6, 1 880 for two hundred dollars. The new owners 
promptly informed the Guangzhou consulate of their claim against 
the Chinese government for $8,850.00 for damages done to the ship 
after the purchase. Captain Mann filed a claim for $7,445.75 on 
behalf of the original owners, crew, and himself. Scruggs refused to 
take any action on the claims until he could determine all the circum- 
stances. 26 

By April 3, 1881 Scruggs had a copy of Commander Huntington's 
report and had completed his own inquiry. He informed the State 
Department that the local Chinese officials on Hainan had turned 
over to him the compass and sextant which had been stolen from the 
ship. The viceroy inflicted punishment on the person responsible and 
"he is still detained by the local magistrate as a kind of hostage for the 
missing articles." Scruggs did not expect any substantial restoration 
of the items still missing, and he anticipated that it might be neces- 
sary to demand a financial settlement. He suggested to the viceroy 
that a financial adjustment could be arranged and the sum raised by 
a levy imposed on the Hainan area. 27 

In regard to the claims, Scruggs believed that Mann's claim was 
"extravagent and unreasonable." Commander Huntington unofficially 
estimated the loss at between two and three thousand dollars. Scruggs 
was skeptical of the claim by the new owners because of the German 
nationality of the owners. Although one of the owners claimed to be a 
naturalized American citizen, he had no proof of this. Nor was there 
any evidence to prove damage to the ship after the transfer of title. 
Finally, Scruggs believed that the claim was so exaggerated "as to 
render the claim itself preposterous, for the claimants made the 
purchase as a venture, paying only two hundred dollars therefore, 
and by the very terms of the sale, assuming all risks." He thought it 
possible to negotiate a settlement which would be for less than half of 


the original owners', crew's and Captain Mann's claims and no more 
than actual losses by the German company, if any. Scruggs prom- 
ised to keep the State Department fully informed of the negotia- 
tions. 28 

Eventually Scruggs was able to settle the claims for owners, crew, 
and Mann for two thousand dollars and no award was made for the 
Germans. While this was less than Scruggs had expected when he 
entered into the negotiations, it was all he felt could be obtained from 
the Chinese. Much of the damage to the James Bailey was the direct 
result of the storm, and compensation for such damage could not be 
expected. In the negotiations Scruggs was mindful of the need to be 
fair to both sides. He observed, "Whilst this sum is a great deal less 
than the aggregate of the claims presented by the claimants, it is, in 
my judgment, an equitable equivalent for all actual losses sustained 
by reason of the robbery." Although the German company, Messrs. 
Blackhead & Co., received no compensation in the settlement, this 
was fair because it had no real loss. In fact, the company which had 
purchased the wreck for $200 resold it to a German businessman for 
$2,800. 29 

While Scruggs was successful in arranging a settlement of the 
James Bailey case, he found himself engaged in a controversy with 
Minister James B. Angell over his failure to keep Angell informed. 
Angell first learned of the loss of the ship from the British minister to 
China, Sir Thomas Wade, who showed Angell a despatch from 
acting Consul Scott. The American diplomat related the information 
to Secretary of State Evarts in a despatch of November 20, 1880, in 
which he mentioned that he was expecting a report on the incident 
from the consul at Hong Kong or from Consul Lincoln at Guangzhou. 
He promised that if the matter could not be settled at the consular 
level, he would demand satisfaction from the Imperial government. 
After waiting weeks without word from the consuls, Angell wrote 
Admiral Clitz and gained from him a copy of Huntington's report. After 
more weeks without communication from the consuls, Angell wrote 
Scruggs on January 12, 1881, and was surprised to learn from 
Scruggs that Lincoln and Scruggs had reported directly to the State 
Department without informing the legation. In a despatch to Evarts, 
Angell observed that the case might require action by the minister: "It 
is surprising to me that it should not have occurred to either Mr. 


Lincoln or Mr. Scruggs to write me about it." He reported that he had 
written to Scruggs to express his amazement and to instruct the 
consul to keep the legation informed if a similar situation should 
evolve in the future. Angell also suggested that in the future the 
consul at Hong Kong might be required to report on all maritime 
disasters in that area directly to the legation. 30 

While the handling of the James Bailey case was being discussed, 
Scruggs was seeking leave to return to the United States. He wrote 
to President James A. Garfield on April 5, 1881 , informing the Presi- 
dent that when he agreed to go to China in 1879 he had been 
promised early leave to return home. The Georgian reviewed his 
health problems and the warning by his doctors that his continued 
stay in China would endanger his life. Scruggs wrote "under all 
circumstances it would be madness to disregard their warning." He 
requested a sixty day leave with permission to return to the United 
States and reminded the President that "a word from you, Sir would 
settle the whole matter." 31 

The State Department granted the leave, and Scruggs arrived in 
Atlanta on August 13, 1881. He was never to return to China; after 
months of leave, he was appointed minister to Colombia in 1882. 32 

Scruggs' years in China were unhappy for him because of loneli- 
ness and sickness. He was a feisty fighter for his views and reputa- 
tion, and thus much of his time was spent in controversy with his 
fellow diplomats in China. He worked diligently to improve the consu- 
lates to which he was assigned. Scruggs was successful in resisting 
the wharfage scheme and in negotiating a settlement of the James 
Bailey case. He was an efficient and effective representative of his 
country under very difficult circumstances. 


1 For more information on Scruggs, see: "William Lindsay Scruggs," in Allen Johnson and 
Dumas Malone, eds., Dictionary of American Biography (22 vols., New York, 1928-1958), 
XVI, 520-21; Theodore D. Jervey, "William Lindsay Scruggs — A Forgotten Diplomat," 
South Atlantic Quarterly 27 (July 1928), pp. 292-309. 

2 William L. Scruggs to Sevelean. Brown, May 26, 1879, in U.S. State Department, Des- 
patches from United States Consuls in Chinkiang (Zhenjiang), 1864-1902, National Ar- 
chives, Washington, D.C. (hereafter cited as Despatches, Chinkiang.); Scruggs to Charles 
Payson, July 18, 1879, in Despatches, Chinkiang. 

3 Scruggs to Payson, October 29, 1879, in Despatches, Chinkiang; Scruggs to Payson, 
August 28, 1879, in Despatches, Chinkiang; George Seward to William M. Evarts, October 
10, 1879 and February 23,1880, in U.S. State Department, Despatches from U.S. Minis- 


ters to China, 1843-1906, National Archives, Washington, D.C. (hereafter cited as Des- 
patches, China.); Scruggs to Payson, February 4, 1880, in Despatches, Chinkiang. 

4 Scruggs to Payson, August 4, 1879, in Despatches, Chinkiang. 

5 Scruggs to Payson, October 20, 1879, in Despatches, Chinkiang. 

6 Scruggs to Payson, February 17, 1880, in Despatches, Chinkiang. 

7 Scruggs to Payson, August 17, 1880, in Despatches, Chinkiang. 

8 Scruggs to Payson, November 19, 1879, in Despatches, Chinkiang. 

9 Scruggs to Payson, November 20, 1879, in Despatches, Chinkiang. 

Copy of Seward to Scruggs, December 3, 1879, attached to Scruggs to Payson, Decem- 
ber 1 9, 1 879, in Despatches, Chinkiang. 

1 Copy of Scruggs to Seward, December 15, 1879, attached to Scruggs to Payson, 
December 19, 1879, in Despatches, Chinkiang. 

2 Copy of Scruggs to Seward, March 6, 1880, attached to Scruggs to Payson, March 10, 
1 880, in Despatches, Chinkiang. 

3 ibid. 

4 Copy of Scruggs to Seward, May 6, 1 880, attached to Scruggs to Payson, July 3, 1 880, in 
Despatches, Chinkiang. 

5 Copy of Memorandum of May 6, 1880, attached to Scruggs to Payson, July 3, 1880, in 
Despatches, Chinkiang. 

6 Scruggs to Payson, July 14, 1880, in Despatches, Chinkiang. 

7 Copy of Memorandum of July 10, 1880, attached to Scruggs to Payson, July 14, 1880, in 
Despatches, Chinkiang. 

8 Copy of Scruggs to Seward, July 10, 1880, attached to James B. Angell to William M. 
Evarts, October 27, 1880, in Despatches, Chinkiang. 

9 Copy of Scruggs to Angell, September 1 3, 1 880, attached to Angell to Evarts, October 27, 
1 880, in Despatches, Chinkiang. 

20 Copy of Angell to Scruggs, September 23, 1 880, attached to Angell to Evarts, October 27, 
1 880, in Despatches, Chinkiang. 

21 Scruggs to Evarts, January 11,1 880, and to Payson, March 1 9, April 28, and August 24, 
1880, in Despatches, Chinkiang. Copy of James White to Denny, October 11, 1880, 
attached to Denny to Payson, December 18, 1880, in Despatches, Shanghai. 

22 Scruggs to Payson, November 16, 1880 and November 30, 1880, in U.S. State Depart- 
ment, Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Canton (Guangzhou), 1790-1906, National Ar- 
chives, Washington, D.C. (hereafter cited as Despatches, Canton.) 

23 Scruggs to Payson, April 2, 1881, in Despatches, Canton. 

24 Mosby to John Hay, October 30, 1880, in Despatches, Hong Kong; C.P. Lincoln to 
Payson, November 3, 1880, in Despatches, Canton. 

25 Copy of Huntington's Report attached to Scruggs to Payson, December 7, 1880, in 
Despatches, Canton. 

26 Scruggs to Payson, December 7, 1880, in Despatches, Canton. 

27 Scruggs to Payson, April 3, 1881, in Despatches, Canton. 

28 Ibid. 

29 Scruggs to Payson, May 24, 1881, and June 3, 1881, in Despatches, Canton. 

30 Angell to Evarts, November 20, 1880 and March 19, 1881, in Despatches, China. 

31 Scruggs to James A. Garfield, April 5, 1881, in Despatches, Canton. 

32 Scruggs to Payson, June 28, 1881, August 13, 1881 and October 14, 1881, in Des- 
patches, Canton; Atlanta Constitution, April 16, 1882. 


Feminism and Methodist 

Missionary Activity In China: 

The Experience of Atlanta's Laura Haygood, 



There exists an impressive amount of literature concerning the 
failure of Protestant missionaries to convert China to Christianity. 
Relatively little of this literature considers the role played by women in 
the missionary endeavor. 1 Although the China missionary field was 
one area of religion open to American women in the nineteenth 
century, important questions arise: Why was this particular field open 
to women? What kinds of women entered it and why? What was the 
nature of the missionary woman's spiritual consciousness? On what 
basis or terms did women participate with men in the China mission- 
ary movement? What was the effect of their participation, if any, on 
China? Although few extant studies concerning women's missionary 
activities consider such issues, these questions can be answered for 
the experience of Laura Askew Haygood of Atlanta. 2 

Between 1884 and 1900 Haygood was a missionary-educator for 
the Woman's Board of the Woman's Missionary Society of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, South, in its "Woman's Work for Woman" 
project in China. She is an appropriate subject for historical inquiry 

*Professor Papageorge teaches American history at Kennesaw College, Marietta, Georgia. 
In 1 973 she received her Ph.D. in United States diplomatic history and modern Chinese history 
from Michigan State University, where she worked under Paul A Varg. She is the author of 
"Completing the Open Door Policy: Sino-American Reapproachment During the Boxer 
Uprising," Selected Papers in Asian Studies 1 (1976). The original version of this article on 
Laura Haygood was first published in the Proceedings and Papers of the Georgia Association 
of Historians (1982), and is republished with that publication's permission. 


Decause of the nature of the work she accomplished overseas and 
[he relationship that existed between her missionary activities and 
ner feminist and religious consciousness. The Haygood story identi- 
fies religious roots of feminism and the involvement of women in 
American-East Asian relations, since being a foreign single woman 
missionary eventually offered an acceptable career alternative to be- 
coming a homemaker. In addition, Haygood's experience shows how 
some American Christians viewed the Chinese and their culture. Her 
ife history could contribute to a collective biography of western 
women in religious vocations in East Asia. 

American Methodists had initiated missionary activity in China in 
tie late 1840s, but the American Civil War interrupted this work. In 
tie post-war recovery decade of the 1870s interest in Christianizing 
3hina revived and increased in momentum during the 1880s and 
1890s. In the 1870s a small group of zealous Southern women 
Drganized to convert the women and children of "heathen" lands. 
Conservative church members, both men and women, opposed the 
dea of a woman's missionary society. According to Mrs. Francis 
3utler, first editor of the Woman's Missionary Advocate, conservative 
/vomen were afraid because they had "lived at ease in Zion without a 
tiought of personal obligations distinct from father, brother or hus- 
3-and." Male opposition stemmed from a "chivalrous feeling" that 
Southern women should retain their old-time ubobstrusiveness, with- 
Dut any desire to assert their own personality, even in Christian work, 
Dr to engage in anything, other than social obligations, that would call 
:hem out of their sheltered homes. 3 After burying the activist women's 
Detition in committee in 1874, the Southern Methodist General Con- 
: erence of 1877 finally authorized a woman's missionary society on 
condition that it was subordinate to the Conference's Board, which 
would appoint the woman's missionary society's Executive Commit- 
:ee. The activist women agreed and organized in 1878. 

The years of Haygood's residence in China coincide with the be- 
ginning of organized missionary activity on the part of the Woman's 
Missionary Society (WMS) of the Southern Methodist Church. Until 
ner arrival the society supported only two women in China, Mrs. W.R. 
Lambuth, who had gone with her husband before the Civil War, and 
Miss Lochie Rankin, who had gone in 1 879. A native of Georgia who 
nad lived most of her life in Atlanta, Haygood arrived in Shanghai, 


China, in the autumn of 1 884. She lived there continuously, except for 
a two-year visit home from 1 894-96, until her death on April 29, 1 900. 
Missionaries adopted practices suitable to the situations in which 
they found themselves. The WMS directed its missionary activities in 
China toward Chinese women and children. The policy rested on 
their presumption that "the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world." 
The women missionaries apparently believed the maxim to be appli- 
cable to China without any extensive investigation into Chinese 
society. The WMC viewed Chinese women as powerful forces in 
society, capable of influencing the opinions of their fathers, hus- 
bands, brothers and sons, and able, therefore, to transform China 
from a pagan into a Christian land. A missionary's story printed in an 
Annual Report was illustrative of how closely this belief was held. 
According to the missionary: 

the Chinaman is an individual with some backbone in him, but a 
Chinese woman has several backbones in her. Once a builder 
would not give [the missionary] an estimate for a building be- 
cause the builder's wife was not at home, saying he never gave 
estimates without consulting her. On being asked why, he re- 
plied: 'Well, if you were married to her, you would not ask why.' 

The missionary's conclusion was that "If this shows the immense 
power and ascendency of woman in the home in China, how impor- 
tant [it is] that she be brought as speedily as possible under the 
influence of Christian education." 4 The article did not deal with the 
more complex questions of whether the anecdote was proof or 
example, or whether the example was valid. If the missionary pro- 
gram was based on a false assumption, wasn't it doomed from the 

Nevertheless, missionaries in the field, including native Chinese 
clergymen, nurtured the belief in the importance of Chinese women. 
Missionary work appears to have become based on faith, or isolated 
example, rather than fact. Particularly influential in spreading the 
supposition of the importance of Chinese women to the missionary 
effort was Young J. Allen, a male Methodist missionary, educator, 
administrator, writer and publisher, who had gone to China before the 
Civil War and who served as WMS's agent from 1 878 to 1 886 and as 
its superintendent from 1886 until 1889. Allen's report on a mission- 
ary meeting held in China in 1884 emphasized his perception of the 


urgency and value of a woman's work in evangelization of China. He 
cited several reasons presented by native clergymen to support his 
opinion. According to the native clergymen, Chinese men "cared little 
for spiritual ideas or things." 5 Chinese women, on the other hand, had 
a highly developed religious sentiment, nurtured in "the recesses of 
the inner apartments in the kitchen, and more or less regularly at the 
temples." They also appeared to express a "spirit of devotion and a 
longing for spiritual light and consolation." 6 Chinese women might 
well be easier targets for missionary activity than men, irrespective of 
their presumed power or ascendency. The native clergymen also 
maintained that the pious example of the mothers in the family had 
led to the establishment of Buddhism and Taoism in China and that it 
would likewise lead to the triumph of Christianity. Finally, according to 
Allen, "Woman's Work for Woman" was necessary for a practical 
reason: male ciergy, whether foreign or native, had no access to 
Chinese women. In Allen's summation "Woman's Work for Woman" 
in China has attained the commanding position of being a practical 
necessity, not only for the salvation of woman but of the family as a 
whole, and the ultimate introduction of the Christian religion." 7 Be- 
cause of the presumption propagated by Allen that China would 
become Christian only through its women and that only female 
missionaries could approach the women, Southern Methodists be- 
came especially receptive to the notion of women missionaries con- 
centrating their efforts primarily on the women and girls of China. 

Haygood's personal philosophy and goals in life harmonized with 
the policy and objectives of the WMS. If Haygood is an accurate 
model, the women who went to China as missionaries were well- 
educated, sensitive, romantic, idealistic, energetic, and hard working. 
They were also activist, unmarried and devout Christians — in 
Haygood's case one would have to say intensely religious. These 
attributes derived from a highly developed religious consciousness 
which served as the organizing principle in a woman missionary's 
life. 8 

Haygood's religious consciousness made her an especially zeal- 
ous missionary. In her understanding, a Christian was by definition a 
missionary. A Christian must act like Christ. Therefore, he must 
continue Christ's work of preaching the word of the Father to all His 
children. 9 In a letter to Dr. Allen she wrote: 


It seems to me that our only hope for the world in darkness is that 
men and women into whose hearts the light of the knowledge of 
the glory of God has shined in the face of Jesus Christ should 
come into living sympathy with Christ's thought for the world, and 
should come to know that they are — everyone — called to fellow- 
ship with Him in saving the world. 10 

A Christian must look after the spiritual and physical needs of 
suffering peoples everywhere. 

Haygood's religious consciousness not only made her a mission- 
ary; it also made her a feminist. The obligation to continue Christ's 
mission had devolved on Christian women as well as men. In an 
essay written shortly before she left for China she deplored her 
sisters' lack of concern for the plight of "the heathen:" 

We, the women, as well as our brothers — have been slow to 
understand that she was included in the Savior's gracious words 
to the Father 'As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have 
I sent them into the world.' To her as well as to him was given the 
commission to teach and to testify of the risen Christ; upon her 
as well as on him came the pentecostal gift of tongues. 11 

She blamed society for women's lack of concern for others. In her 
opinion parents and teachers taught women to value the wrong 
things, "the perfect report, the medal, the honor, the applause of the 
world, a brilliant entrance into society." 12 Consequently, continued 

she spends hours at the piano though she has no special talent 
for music; she begins to paint impossible pictures, or, even 
worse, she stitches away her life, with its golden opportunities for 
health and strength, in ruffles and tucks and embroideries. Why 
have we not told her that to grace her home, to make it bright and 
beautiful and good, is indeed womanly and wise, but must not 
absorb all of love and time and mind? 13 

Haygood was a missionary at home first and only later abroad. 
With two other women she had organized the home mission work of 
Trinity Methodist Church in Atlanta. For several years she found this 
work completely absorbing. 14 Although she sympathized with Dr. 
Allen's problems concerning the lack of personnel for the China's 
mission, she did not herself feel a "call" to go. 15 Perhaps the respon- 


sibility of caring for her invalid mother blocked the way. After her 
mother's death in 1883 Haygood admitted that, to her own surprise, 
she found herself gravitating toward the China mission. 16 While listen- 
ing to a sermon by Dr. Potter at Trinity Church she felt the personal 
call to go to China. She wrote Dr. Potter that "within the last ten days 
I have come to feel that if the works of God in China needs women, 
there is no woman in all the world under more obligation to go than I 
am." 17 

Haygood's religious consciousness had wedded her to missionary 
work, but not necessarily to "foreign" missionary work. Other factors 
contributed to her decision to become a foreign missionary. As she 
explained, there was, first, the dire need for workers. Secondly, she 
had the necessary qualifications. 18 The Woman's Board required that 
its missionaries have teaching or administrative experience. Hay- 
good had both, by virtue of a long teaching career in Sunday school 
and in Atlanta's Girls' High School, her principalship of Girls' High, 
and her presidency of the Trinity Home Missionary Society. 19 Finally, 
she was "free" to go. The Woman's Board required that its missionar- 
ies be unmarried and that they remain so for five years or repay the 
cost of their outfit and travel to China, usually from $1 300 to $1 500. 20 

Haygood's experience led her to modify her views on the status of 
women. She at first approved of the requirement that women mis- 
sionaries be unmarried. In her early years she seemed to feel that for 
women the vocations of marriage and family life were incompatible 
with missionary activity. 21 Women apparently could not be wives, 
mothers, and missionaries simultaneously. She did not recognize a 
similar conflict in men between the vocations of husband, father, and 
missionary. In time, she changed her mind. 22 Several factors contrib- 
uted to Haygood's change of mind concerning the relation of the 
married woman to missionary work: the demands of the work in 
China; the scarcity of workers; and the remarkable performances of 
missionary wives, especially in day schools run by the Methodist 
Church. 23 Consequently she influenced the Woman's Board to change 
its policy regarding the wives of missionaries. That policy had permit- 
ted a woman to be a missionary as long as she remained single. If 
she married another missionary she became a missionary wife, 
received no salary, and often continued to do the same work on a 
reduced scale but without any supervision. Haygood advised the 


Board to recognize missionary wives as associate missionaries. The 
Board adopted her proposal, allowed the associate missionaries to 
participate in annual missionary meetings, but denied them the right 
to vote. 24 Haygood's attempt the following year to gain associate mis- 
sionaries the right to vote failed. 25 However, her action brought the 
activities of missionaries' wives under the control of the Woman's 
Board and thereby elevated their status. 

Haygood also advanced the cause of feminism in China missionary 
work by helping to open the career to older women. Haygood herself 
failed to meet the Board's age requirement. She was approximately 
thirty-nine years old at the time of her appointment, whereas the 
Woman's Board required its missionaries to be between the ages of 
twenty-two and thirty years, later extended to thirty-five years. Never- 
theless, it had also provided for exempting the "exceptional" woman, 
which Haygood was deemed to be. 26 In China, her age proved an 
asset, as did her gray hair, large physique, and eyeglasses. Anna 
Brown testified to the fact in 1892, on the occasion of the formal 
opening of McTyeire School, which Haygood helped establish. One 
Chinese man inquired about Haygood's age. Her associates in- 
formed him that she was nearly fifty and grayhaired. Mrs. Brown 
noted that "all of these [attributes] are prominently respectable in the 
eyes of the Chinese. Truly no real young woman could open the 
school. Miss Haygood's age and experience are simply invaluable." 27 
To Mrs. Brown, the Chinese awe for seniority vindicated the excep- 
tion the Board had made in Haygood's case, in favor of an older 
woman. Haygood's achievements in China might facilitate the accep- 
tance of older women for missionary duty in China thereafter. 

In appointing Haygood to the China Mission, the Woman's Board 
intended that she would lead the woman's work in Shanghai. 28 For 
the first five years she worked with Dr. Allen, an association that 
worked well because she agreed with his plans. Before taking over 
responsibility for the work there, she had managed to learn the 
Chinese language and cope with illnesses induced by the climate. 
This was all the more remarkable for a thirty-nine year old grayhaired 
woman. In 1889 Methodist Bishop Wilson appointed her superinten- 
dent of woman's work in the Shanghai District. In that capacity she 
managed all the business affairs of the Woman's Board there and 
coordinated the Society's educational and evangelistic activities as 


well. 29 

Southern Methodists had several approaches which they could 
follow in promoting Christianity in China. These included preaching 
and/or teaching. 30 Some missionaries argued in favor of exclusively 
evangelistic activities because they believed secular educational 
projects distracted a potential convert from religion. Those who 
promoted secular education, on the other hand, viewed it as a means 
to an end. Because of its practical value, secular education would 
attract the Chinese. While giving the Chinese a practical education, 
the missionaries could at the same time instill Christian principles in 
them. The latter method seemed to many to offer more return for the 
money and effort invested. 

The WMS in its "Woman's Work for Woman" project developed a 
methodology which combined the educational and evangelistic ap- 
proaches. The society viewed the two as interdependent. Teaching 
was preaching and vice versa. Educational activities served as a 
springboard into evangelistic work. Missionaries would provide a 
secular education in which they would inculcate Christian principles 
and practices. They would teach the Chinese to read the Bible as well 
as the Chinese classics. The schools were essential to the evangeli- 
cal work of the society. 31 The missionaries regarded children as the 
keys with which they would gain the vital access to Chinese mothers 
at home. 32 To convert the woman in the home was the real focus of 
the "Woman's Work for Woman" project. The missionaries would visit 
the home, preach the gospel, and invite the women to come to church 
for prayer meetings and Bible instruction. The missionaries would 
then recruit adult female converts, or "Bible women," who would 
further proselytize among other Chinese. The "Bible Women" project, 
related to the school project, was especially well thought of and 
financed by American supporters of the China mission. 33 Because the 
"Bible Women" project and girls' schools were considered by WMS 
their best methods for achieving the evangelization of China, they 
became WMS's principal activities. 

It is possible to argue that Young J. Allen was responsible for the 
WMS's methodology. Yet if the Woman's Society followed Allen's 
lead, it was perhaps because it found his philosophy and methods 
acceptable. They were identical in basic features to those the women 
were employing in their home mission work. 34 


Haygood, in her activities on behalf of WMS, offers an example of 
a Victorian female missionary as a capable administrator. The McTyeire 
Home and School which she helped establish in Shanghai embodied 
the WMS's philosophy and methods. Although the idea was Dr. 
Allen's, Haygood helped make the school a reality. She proposed a 
novel way of funding the school without borrowing money already 
pledged to other projects. It consisted of selling shares in the school 
at ten dollars each to individuals and groups. Although Haygood only 
arrived in Shanghai in the autumn of 1884, the Woman's Board 
adopted her proposal and before its 1885 meeting adjourned, the 
members had pledged eight hundred and twenty shares. 35 Haygood 
also located suitable property for McTyeire, arranged for the school's 
construction, and furnished it between 1 884 and the school's opening 
in 1892. She was the school's main guiding force in the first years of 
its actual operation. 

While Methodist "day schools" serviced Chinese girls from lower 
social classes, McTyeire School was primarily for upper-class Chi- 
nese girls whose parents disliked charity schools. It paralleled the 
Southern Methodists' Anglo-Chinese College for Boys. The Woman's 
Board planned that the school would eventually be self-supporting 
since wealthy Chinese could well afford to pay to educate female 
children. 36 The "hand that rocks the cradle rules the world" philosophy 
was evident. Given a Chinese woman's presumed influence with the 
men in her family, it would be best to focus on the women of the 
powerful Chinese upper class as a way to ultimately Christianize 
China's ruling class. In this way Southern Methodism might make its 
greatest impact. 

Based on the history of Haygood's McTyeire School, it is impos- 
sible to determine whether WMS pursued the most profitable course 
in its missionary endeavors in China. As indicated earlier in this 
paper, the society's basic premise was questionable. American women 
in the late nineteenth century had already discovered the "hand that 
rocked the cradle" wielded limited power and influence because it 
could not cast the ballot. That China was less conservative or pater- 
nalistic than America was problematical. What is definite is that 
Haygood's methodology, evangelization through education of upper 
class women, did not turn China into a Christian nation. The mission- 
ary enterprise may have helped to convert or westernize an infinitesi- 


mally small elite of upper class women in an overwhelmingly peasant 
society, but it did not change China. 37 

It is possible to make limited conclusions concerning Haygood's life 
and its significance. Her life was a success by her own standards. 
She did not experience a dichotomy between what she believed and 
what she did. Hers was a totally integrated personality; she was a 
fulfilled person. Her religious consciousness and her intense Christi- 
anity seem to have largely contributed to this fulfillment. Because of it 
she became a feminist, went to China as a missionary, and assisted 
in feminist-oriented reforms within the China missionary movement. 
Her religiosity inspired her to help establish McTyeire School. Her ac- 
ceptance of the maxim concerning the importance of women in 
Chinese society underlay her activities on behalf of McTyeire, and 
may have led the WMS to believe, by the time of Haygood's death in 
Shanghai in 1900, that its proselytization work in China was success- 
ful and growing. The conversion of most Chinese, however, remained 
altogether beyond WMS's grasp. Because Haygood came to China 
during the initial, formative years of the Society's missionary work, 
she exerted an influence on the Society's policies and effort to 
Christianize China. 


1 Rita Gross, "Methodological Remarks on the Study of Women in Religion: Review, Criti- 
cism and Redefinition," in Women and Religion, ed. by Judith Plaskow and Joan Arnold 
Romero (rev. ed.; American Academy of Religion and The Scholar's Press, 1974), pp. 157, 

2 The great majority of works about women's missionary activity were written by women in 
the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and were primarily biographical in nature. 
While some are of historical value, especially those containing personal letters, most of 
these works suffer from a lack of objectivity. Their primary purpose was to eulogize the 
departed missionary and to inspire other women either to become missionaries or to 
donate to the missionary endeavor. Exceptions to this overall pattern in literature on 
women's missionary activity include: Irwin T. Hyatt, Jr., Our Ordered Lives Confess: Three 
Nineteenth-Century American Missionaries in East Shantung (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard 
University Press, 1976), Part Two, "Charlotte Diggs Moon," pp. 65-138; and R. Pierce 
Beaver, All Loves Excelling (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing 
Company, 1968). Kenneth Scott Latourette's A History of Christian Missions in China 
(Taipei: Ch'eng-Wen Publishing Company, 1966), is mainly a survey, but a good starting 
point for general information. See also, as an exceptional account of women's missionary 
activity: Frederick B. Hoyt, "'When a Field was Found too Difficult for a Man, a Woman 
should be Sent': Adele M. Fielde in Asia, 1865-1890," The Historian 44 (May 1982), pp. 

3 Francis A. Butler, History of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, M.E. Church, South 
(Nashville: Publishing House of the M.E. Church, South, 1 91 2, d 904), pp. 11-12. 


4 Fourteenth Annual Report of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, M.E. Church, 
South, 1892 (Nashville: Southern Methodist Publishing House, 1892), pp. 19-20. Hereafter 
cited as Annual.fleporf, with the specific year. 

5 Annual Report, 1884, pp. 6-7. 

6 Annual Report, 1884. 

7 Annual Report, 1 884. 

8 Letter, Laura A. Haygood to Mollie Stevens, Shanghai, December 10, 1890; Letter, 
Haygood to Miss Rutherford, Shanghai, December 19, 1890, in Life and Letters of Laura 
Askew Haygood, O.E. Brown and A.M. Brown, eds. (Nashville: Publishing House of the 
M.E. Church, South, 1904), pp. 254, 256-58 (hereafter referred to as Life); Annual Report, 
1892, p. 11. 

9 I.J. John, Mrs., compiler, Missionary Cameos (rev. ed.; Nashville: Publishing House of the 
M.E. Church, South, 1897, 1906), p. 27. 

10 Letter, Haygood to Young Allen, Shanghai, June 7, 1893, Young J. Allen Manuscripts, 
Emory University Special Collections, pp. 8-9 (hereafter cited as: Allen Papers). Emphasis 
is Haygood's. 

11 Haygood, "Relation of Female Education to Home Mission Work," August, 1884, Life, pp. 
89-95. The discrepancy in the year composed, 1884/1894? does not alter the essay's 

12 /_/fe, p. 93. 

13 L/fe, pp. 93-94. Emphasis is Haygood's. 

14 Letter, Haygood to D.H. McGavcock, Atlanta, February 12, 1883, in Life, pp. 99-100; Letter, 
Haygood to Young Allen, Atlanta, February 21 , 1884, Allen Papers. 

15 Letter, Laura A. Haygood to Dr. Allen, ibid. 

16 L/fe, p. 100. 

17 Letter. Haygood to Dr. Potter, Atlanta, February n.d.; in 1884, in Life, p. 100. 

18 John, Cameos, p. 27. 

19 Annual Report, 1879, pp. 50-51 ; Cameos, p. 27. 

20 See "Treasurer's Report" included in each Annual Report. 

™ Annual Report,, 1894, pp. 89-90. 

22 Letter, Haygood to Mattie Nunally, Shanghai, May 23, 1893, in Life, pp. 310-31 1 . 

23 Annual Report, 1894, pp. 89-90. 

24 Annual Report, 1891, p. 100. 

25 Annual Report, 1892, p. 100. 

26 Annual Report, 1879, pp. 50-51 . 

27 Annual Report, p. 281. 

28 Annual Report, pp. 103-104. 

29 Annual Report, 1889, p. 80. 

30 For a consideration of this issue see Irwin T. Hyatt, Jr., "Protestant Missions in China, 1 877- 
1890: The Institutionalization of Good Works," in American Missionaries in China, ed. by 
Kwang-ching Liu (Cambridge, Mass.: East Asian Research Center, Harvard University, 
1970), pp. 93-126; and The Missionary Controversy: Discussion, Evidence and Report 
(London: Wesleyan Methodist Book Room, 1890), pp. 1-4. Some English Wesleyan 
Methodists argued that Alexander Duff's policy of giving the Brahmins, the Indian leader- 
ship class, a Christian education, had failed to convert them. "Instead of an explosion within 
the citadel of Brahmanism, as the result of missionary work, we witness the wall of the 
citadel crumbling beneath the influence of the 'Zeitgeist,' built up again in a new form and 
with a new strength by the young Brahmins educated in our missionary colleges." Mission- 
ary Controversy, p. 1 . 

31 Annual Report, 1886, pp. 7-9, 17, 61; 1887, pp. 19-20; 1888, p. 9. 


32 Annual Report, 1 891 , p. 1 7. 

33 Letters, Haygood to Truehart, passim, in Life, pp. 438-46. 

34 Life, pp. 69-84; Letter, Haygood to Young Allen, February 21 , 1884, Allen Papers, pp. 8-9. 

^Annual Report, 1 885, p. 59. 

36 Annual Report, p. 58. 

37 Hyatt, Confess, pp. 990-92, concluded regarding "woman's work" in East Shandong that 

"female conversion was meaningless (except in 'worth of one soul' terms) without male 

family backing from the first," p. 90. 


A Georgia Evangelist in the Celestial Empire: 

Cicero Washington Pruitt (1857-1946) 
and the Southern Baptist Mission in Shantung 


Only the Big Rock standing twenty-five feet high, half a mile north 
of Barrettsville, Georgia, marked the place of Cicero Washington 
Pruitt's birth. Fifty-five years after leaving Dawson County for China, 
the fields he had cultivated alongside his father had turned into 
impassible forests. The buildings of his childhood home were gone, 
the relationships with family and friends preserved only on the yel- 
lowed pages of occasional letters postmarked from China. One of the 
few remaining memories of his father was the elder Pruitt's renuncia- 
tion of all connection with slavery. "He, however, never allowed it to 
make a break between him and his brothers or his neighbors or his 
pastor who had a considerable number of slaves." 1 

Where memory faltered, vision strengthened C.W.'s childhood 
bond with Georgia kin. In his own old age, his grandfather, Hale 
Washington Pruitt, whom he had never met, came to him in a waking 
dream. "Suddenly I saw him standing in his mill near his home, his 
height not far from my own, his appearance that of an old man with a 
rather plump form. Rather fine-looking." 2 

The deep, almost mystical bond with his forefathers in the North 

*Dr. King is an Associate Professor of East Asian history at Saint John's University, 
CollegevHIe, Minnesota. She received her Ph.D. in modern Chinese history from Temple 
University in 1984. Professor King published "Saving Souls and Doing Good in China: The 
Departments of Religion and Social Service at the Peking Union Medical College, 1 91 9-1 941 ," 
Annals of the Southeast Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, 1 987; "Ida Pruitt," 
U. S. - China Review9, no. 6 (November-December 1985); and "A Daughter of Two Nations," 
Women of China no. 9 (September 1986). 


Georgia mountains internalized in C.W. Pruitt lifelong patterns of 
respect for pre-scientific world views, agrarian ways of life, independ- 
ent thinking, and sensitivity to human relations — qualities which 
stood him in good stead as a Southern Baptist missionary in China. 
These qualities set him apart from most other longtime missionaries 
of the Baptist and Presbyterian denominations which shared the 
North China mission field. A "gentle, widely-respected man," C.W. 
Pruitt's evolving understanding of the Chinese people and the role of 
Christian missions in China during the years of America's "special 
relationship" with China (1890-1945) offers an alternative model for 
American interactions with China as we enter a second period of 
favor. 3 

C.W. Pruitt's decision to devote his life to Christ and to China grew 
out of his close association with the Concord Baptist Church. He 
warmly remembered working with his father on the farm or tending 
cows, sheep or hogs in the woods while his father reviewed religious 
services and business meetings. For many years, attendance at the 
popular Concord Camp Meeting was an annual Pruitt family event. 
During a Concord Revival in !870, at the age of thirteen, C.W. 
dedicated himself to a religious vocation in China. He was licensed to 
preach at Concord Church by age fifteen and served as pastor of 
three churches in South Carolina before China's call grew insistent. 

Southern Baptists took seriously Christ's commission to save the 
world in His name. With the establishment of the Southern Baptist 
Convention in 1845, the Foreign Mission Board was formed. The 
Southern Baptist Convention's mission focused on China because of 
its size, population, "relatively advanced" culture, and relatively easy 
access. 4 The Reverend Samuel C. Clopton was appointed to Canton 
within a year after the founding of the Foreign Mission Board. 5 J. 
Lewis and Henrietta Shuck soon moved there from the Portuguese 
colony of Macao, where they had been stationed since I836. 6 This 
expansive gesture followed that of evangelical Protestant denomina- 
tions inspired by the Great Awakening (1725-1775) to send missionar- 
ies to continential frontier settlements. New England Baptists, who 
outnumbered Congregationalists by 1790, sent missionaries to the 
back country of the Southern colonies after 1756. 7 

C.W. Pruitt's interest in China during the I870s coincided with the 
renewed commitment of Southern Baptists to missions after a hiatus 


during the American Civil War. Edmonia and Charlotte Diggs (Lottie) 
Moon were appointed to the North China mission station in Tengchow 
in 1872 and 1873 respectively. 8 He shaped his educational training to 
suit his perceived needs in the China mission — a term each at 
Georgia Agricultural College in Dahlonega, Georgia, and Furman 
University, South Carolina, before attending the Southern Baptist 
Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Here he studied Greek 
and Hebrew, reasoning that learning these two languages would be 
the best preparation for mastering Chinese. 

In 1880, only a semester before graduating, C.W. was one of two 
seminary students urgently called to the North China mission station 
to replace two missionary students of C.H. Toy, whose liberal inter- 
pretation of biblical scripture had "embarrassed" the Southern Baptist 
Foreign Mission Board. 9 In Pruitt's "instantaneous" decision to sacri- 
fice his divinity degree was a lifelong characteristic. "The Baptist 
denomination was mine and I could not afford to see it suffer." 10 C.W. 
Pruitt's mandate in the Southern Baptist China mission was to pre- 
serve the denomination from the liberal trend in Protestantism which 
developed with Darwinism and German high biblical criticism after 
the American Civil War. 

In later years C.W. Pruitt would be called on to preserve his 
denomination from the opposite trend of Tennessee "Landmarkism" 
advanced by fellow North China missionary T.P. Crawford. Tennes- 
see "Landmarkism" was a movement within the Southern Baptist de- 
nomination which emphasized the uniqueness of Baptist beliefs and 
thus advocted complete separation from other Protestant denomina- 
tions. Landmark Baptists stressed "adult conversions, revivals,. ..hard 
and violent demonstrations, painful exhaustions" and "near paranoid 
church independence" more than other Baptist groups. 11 In his theol- 
ogy and personal temperament, Pruitt most closely approximated 
W.O. Carver, a "mild and gentle" Professor of Missions and World 
Religions at the Louisville Seminary, who fought against both the 
fundamentalist and liberal polarization of Baptists, advanced interde- 
nominational understanding and ecumenical movements, and urged 
respect for other Christian and non-Christian religions. 12 

In late I88I, shortly before his twenty-fifth birthday, C.W. Pruitt 
boarded the train to San Francisco on one of the first cross-country 
rail trips. 13 In San Francisco he embarked for Yokohama and Shang- 


hai. The Secretary of the Foreign Missions Board, Dr. H.A. Tupper, 
gave Pruitt funds for two. "He thought I looked so young and lonely 
that I ought to be able to persuade some young woman to accom- 
pany me." 14 In Shantung he married Presbyterian missionary Ida 
Tiffany, who with C.W. opened the mission station in Hwanghsien 
and evangelized in the countryside of Eastern Shantung province 
until her death from typhoid in I884. Of fourteen Southern Baptist 
missionaries appointed to the North China station after I88I, all but 
C.W. had died or returned to the United States by I884. 15 He and his 
second wife, Anna Seward Pruitt, would remain in China until I936, 
becoming two of the four Southern Baptists (of 620 total) who served 
over fifty years in China. 16 

After C.W.'s first wife died, he continued to evangelize in the 
countryside alongside longtime missionaries stationed in Tengchow: 
T.P. and Martha Crawford, J.B. and Eliza Hartwell, and Lottie Moon. 
(Edmonia had returned to the United States.) When additional re- 
cruits were laid low by tuberculosis, the Hwanghsien station was 
forced to close in I887. He traveled to Hwanghsien, Chaoyuen, 
Laichow, Pingtu, Tsingtao, and Chimo, on a set route from Tengchow, 
in accordance with the Southern Baptist itinerating strategy. 17 (See 
accompanying map showing the North China mission field.) Pruitt's 
evangelistic efforts met with their greatest success in the inland 
village of Pingtu. He attributed this to Pingtu's agricultural economy in 
contrast to the acquisitive, competitive spirit of commercially-based 
coastal towns such as Hwanghsien and Tengchow. 18 Following Lottie 
Moon's strategy, C.W. found the Chinese more responsive to infor- 
mal conversations than to formal preaching. By answering general 
questions about the United States as well as Christianity, he felt he 
"sowed" his Gospel seeds on fertile ground. 

While farming for Christ among the Chinese, C.W. Pruitt and other 
foreign missionaries planted seeds of information and attitudes about 
China in American church congregations. Hoping to promote a kindred 
spirit with Chinese peasants, his letters to personal friends and 
family, as well as missionary publications, described North China in 
terms understandable to North Georgia farmers. His farmer's eye 
noticed that, in comparison with Forsyth County terrain, Shantung's 
hills were rugged and barren of all vegetation except small pines 
planted for fuel. Carefully terraced miniature farms produced re- 


20 40 60 80 M 

20 40 60 80 100 

C.W. Pruitt's Itineration Route in North China. From Irwin T. Hyatt, Jr., Our Ordered 
Lives Confess: Three Nineteenth Century American Missionaries in East Shantung 
(Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1976), © 1976 by The President and 
Fellows of Harvard College. Reprinted by permission. 

markably good wheat crops in the dry season. 19 For the Baptist Sun, 
he wrote a lengthy five-part series, "Farming in China," in which he 
elaborated at some length on soil conditions, fertilizers, terracing, 
plowing, and the various types of fruits and vegetables. 20 

C.W. also used agricultural metaphors for evangelism. To his 
Georgian readers, he explained the daunting task of heathen conver- 
sion thus: "Instead of finding the land ready for sowing the seed, we 
must clear away dense thickets of undergrowth, and give valuable 
time to rolling together and burning logs — the accumulation of centu- 
ries." 21 "I am now in the business of cleaning and in a few little 
patches sowing the seed." 22 

Pruitt's attempts to promote a bond between Georgian and Chi- 
nese farmers were motivated by the need for additional reinforce- 
ments on the North China mission field. Year after year, his letters to 
friends and missionary journals pleaded for others to answer the call 
to become missionaries. C.W. appealed to his readers' religious and 
regional identity. "What a grand State of Baptists we Georgians are, 
and yet are we doing our duty?... I am the only man from Georgia in 
all the foreign fields." 23 Much of C.W.'s concern was prompted by the 
high turnover of missionaries in the North China station. For a time, 


those families not discouraged by death, disease, or discomfort were 
persuaded to join T.P. Crawford's breakaway "Gospel Mission" in 
western Shantung. Influenced by the doctrine of extreme congrega- 
tional independence peached by Tennessee "Landmarkism," 
Crawford's Gospel Mission advocated no financial support for Chi- 
nese Christian workers from the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission 
Board. 24 

C.W. Pruitt fervently argued that the North China mission station 
deserved the support of Georgia Baptists as well as additional mis- 
sionary reinforcements. He cited several reasons for his passionate 
conviction. Shantung, a province approximately the size of Georgia, 
supported a population of almost three million people. The city of 
Hwanghsien, whose Baptist mission was forced to close for want of a 
missionary family, had 1 40,000 residents. He estimated three or four 
families would be necessary to respond adequately to the growing 
interest in Christianity in Hwanghsien alone. 

Second, Chinese living in Sha-ling, Pingtu district, showed an 
extraordinary spiritual awakening after Lottie Moon took up resi- 
dence in the village and singlehandedly continued the work which Ida 
Tiffany Pruitt had begun before her death in I884. 25 C.W. baptized the 
first church members in I889. 26 For lack of a Western missionary, the 
Sha-ling church was led by a native Chinese pastor. (Shantung 
would become a "hotbed of indigenous Christian development" in the 
years immediately following the Republican Revolution, I9II.) 27 Pruitt 
ministered to his "flock" long distance, traveling the arduous route 
through driving snow in order to comfort the victims of violent perse- 
cution. 28 He felt the Chinese Christians deserved to have greater 
spiritual support from Western Christians than he alone was able to 

C.W.'s third appeal was a personal one. Although he had remar- 
ried in I888, he continued to struggle with loneliness and social 
ostracism as the only missionary except T.P. Crawford in the entire 
region. "I need some of my Georgian brethren for help and coun- 
sel." 29 Just before his first furlough after ten years on the field, he 
wrote, with considerable nostalgia, "No skies are so bright as one's 
native skies, and no hearts so warm as those of brethren. As much as 
I love this land and her people, it has never lessened in the least my 
far greater love for North Georgia, the home of my boyhood." 30 


C. W. Pruitt astride donkey at center-rear. His wife, Anna, and daughter, Ida, are in the 
sedan chair. North China, 1890. All are wearing Chinese garments. Pruitt Family 
Papers, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College, Harvard University. 

Pruitt repeatedly assured his readers (potential recruits) that the 
Shantung climate, "as healthy as any in the world," was quite equal to 
Georgia's climate for vigorous work and a long life. 31 In light of the 
numerous deaths of other missionaries, including his first wife and 
two children of his second marriage, Pruitt's assertion appears disin- 
genuous. However, Pruitt himself, his second wife, Anna, and his 
daughter, Ida, who all lived vigorous lives in China for fifty years, 
were proof that Westerners could survive the harsh living conditions 
in North China. (Three other sons, John, Robert, and Dudley, also 
spent many years in China.) 

The passages of C.W. Pruitt's letters which made it into print 
generally conformed to the religious tone, colorful description, and 
anecdotal style proper for denominatinal publications. 32 Missionary 
journals exerted editorial prerogative in publishing excerpts of mis- 
sionary letters. In addition to rational appeals to Georgian Baptists, 
C.W. occasionally adopted the tactic popular among missionaries 
which described the "heathen Chinee" in lurid terms calculated to 
raise funds and volunteers. 33 Pruitt's evocation of a "great mass of 
the people ...a thousand years behind the times," victimized by 


poverty and death, was classic missionary rhetoric whose legacy 
lives on in contemporary American images of Asians. His list of 
Chinese personality traits, many "vile beyond a name," was remarka- 
bly like those in Arthur H. Smith's influential Chinese Characteristics, 
written during the same period. 34 Usually a cautious man who wrote 
carefully balanced, rational analyses, C.W. was moved in 1888 to 
claim that there was "not an honest man in the empire." 35 

Remarkably often, however, C.W. used a positive appeal to poten- 
tial American recruits. His underlying evangelistic premise was the 
need to "respect and love the good in the Chinese." 36 This required 
some understanding of Chinese institutions as more than pagan 
superstitions to be destroyed, as so many of his contemporaries 
urged. Using a variety of missionary journals as his forum, C.W. 
proceeded to discuss the Chinese family, holidays, entertainment, 
educational system, and religious values. Sometimes he compared a 
Chinese institution with an American one. He saw the esteemed 
Confucian teacher as the counterpart of American preachers. 37 The 
several-week holiday during the Chinese New Year, which annoyed 
many Americans attempting to conduct business transactions, was 
presented as the Chinese Sabbath, "the only Sabbath they have — 
their great rest." 38 

Negative aspects of the Chinese character and institutions were 
often balanced with positive. The love of formalism and stability, 
although detrimental to both Western science and Christianity, pro- 
moted cultural unity and strength for centuries. The Chinese family 
system was a considerable hindrance to individual Christian conver- 
sion, but offered its members necessary mutual support and depend- 
ence. 39 

In marked departure from missionary stereotyping of "the" Chi- 
nese, Pruitt observed a variety of Chinese responses to the West. 
Discussing the civil service exam system, the key to Confucian 
governmental control, C.W. distinguished liberal officials who inte- 
grated Western science into the Confucian classics, conservative 
literati who objected to all Western knowledge as irrelevant to pass- 
ing the exams, and the "lower classes" who treated the Confucian 
classics as immutable sacred texts. 40 

Finally, C.W. Pruitt was one of few missionaries who retained a 
balanced view of American Christians, an objectivity which many 


people lose immediately upon traveling abroad. 41 If Chinese were 
slaves to their fear of evil spirits and demons, many Americans were 
equally enslaved by their passions and love of money. 42 Referring to 
the "rice Christians" whose pecuniary motives for conversion to 
Christianity bothered T.P. Crawford enough to foreswear all United 
States funding of Chinese Christian evangelists, C.W. commented, 
"the Chinese have their faults and the love of money is one of the 
greatest, but I seriously doubt if it is one whit greater than that of the 
unregenerated American." 43 

He was able to distinguish between the Christian religion and 
American culture at a time when foreign mission boards were influ- 
enced by Horace Bushnell's Christian Nurture, which presented 
Christianity as a matter of upbringing in a Christian (i.e. American 
middle class Protestant) atmosphere. 44 In the missionary debate 
about the propriety of dressing in Chinese clothing, C.W. advocated 
its adoption. Qualifying his position by acknowledging that his North 
China experiences might not be applicable in all foreign mission 
fields, C.W. argued that, compared with the American styles of the 
day, Chinese padded garments were more comfortable in the winter 
and loose-fitting coats were cooler in the summer. Western clothing 
frightened mules and children, provoked barking dogs, and prompted 
"a thousand and one" questions. Reasoning that the missionaries 
wanted to gain the Chinese, "they in no wise desirous of gaining us," 
missionaries should make all reasonable concessions without sacri- 
ficing Christianity. "Fashion and form are no part of our spiritual reli- 
gion." 45 

In his presentation of China and the Chinese to American church 
audiences, C.W. Pruitt avoided the "we-they" framework through 
which most people saw the American missions and the host coun- 
tries. He encouraged Americans to go beyond their view of the 
Chinese as the psychological "other," negative counterpoint to all 
American national character traits. "Some things in this country strike 
one as the densest ignorance but then I remember that with all of us 
there are limits to our knowledge." 46 

The objectivity, balance, and humility reflected in C.W.'s letters to 
friends and articles to mission journals may have reached American 
audiences during numerous talks while he was on furlough to the 
United States in I89I. More likely, such subtle messages were over- 


shadowed by descriptions of poverty and depravity as well as by 
exhibitions of Chinese clothing modeled by his children before con- 
gregations throughout the American South and Mid-West. 

Upon the Pruitts' return to China, their evangelical methods and 
philosophy were modified in several ways. Anna seems to have 
taken on the task of corresponding with mission boards and publica- 
tions while C.W.'s attention turned to translation. In addition to hym- 
nals and Robertson's Studies of the New Testament, his "crowning" 
work was the translation of Dr. John A. Broadus' Commentary on 
Matthew. 47 Increasingly, the efforts of both Anna and C.W. Pruitt 
turned from evangelistic "itinerations" throughout the countryside to 
the Hwanghsien mission station and schools. 

The Hwanghsien mission station had joined the North China region 
of the Southern Baptist Mission Board in 1881, staffed by C.W. Pruitt, 
N.W. Halcomb and their wives. 48 Closed in 1887 when death and 

ness took their toll, the station was reopened after C.W. married 
Anna Seward in February, I888. 49 

The mission station and Pruitt residence was a Chinese compound 
in Sung-chia-t'an village bought by the Baptist Mission from the 
principal family of Hwanghsien. The Ting family settled for the very 
low price of $1660.31 because the property was haunted. (The 
Pruitts' yearly expenditures amounted to $1000 in those days.) Rela- 
tives and neighbors, aware that Mr. Ting's motive for selling the 
compound was not fear of ghosts but the need for ready cash to 
support his opium addiction, resented the compound's sale to foreign 
devils. But the Pruitts had acted honorably in the transactions and the 
neighbors' resentment died down. Possession of the property was 
unusually peaceful and happy. 50 

Not all mission compounds had been secured as peacefully as the 
Pruitts'. Two longstanding Baptist and Presbyterian patriarchs on the 
North China mission field, T.P. Crawford and Calvin Mateer, used 
confrontational and underhanded means to buy or rent property. 
When neighbors' outrage against the block-busting tactics turned 
nasty, the United States consul, or in Mateer's case, the Navy, was 
called in to restore the peace. Crawford made matters worse by 
challenging Chinese rules for the proper alignment of buildings 
("geomancy"),to avert natural disaster in the wake of the foreign 
military incursion. Mateer's home illustrated another form of insensi- 


tivity toward the Chinese, according to some, by its profusion of 
Western luxuries in the midst of Chinese poverty. 51 ! 

The Ting family compound in Sung-chia-t'an village, Hwanghsien, 
consisted of seven courtyards and eleven one-story houses off those 
courtyards. It was as long as a small city block and almost half as 
wide. The Pruitts used the Ancestral Hall as the chapel, lived in the 
House of the Women, and established the dormitory rooms of the 
boys' boarding school in the House of Those Who Must Also Be 
Cared For. 52 Various modifications such as a baptismal font in the 
Ancestral Hall, and additions such as a water pump and distiller, a 
cider/vinegar press, Grand Rapids-style American furniture, and an 
American vegetable garden were made to "make a tasteful, civilized, 
cultivated home... in the midst of heathenism." 53 

Anna Pruitt utilized this "real Christian home" as the primary agency 
for evangelizing Chinese women and children. 54 Despite extensive 
adaptations, however, Anna continued to feel imprisoned by the high 
walls of the Chinese compound and was relieved when the family 
and many other missionaries moved to Western-style buildings in 
Chefoo after the Boxer Rising of I900. 55 C.W., on the contrary, 
considered "the beautiful Chinese house" in Hwanghsien to be the 
family home long after they moved away. 56 

The Pruitts opened a school for boys in I894 after visiting the 
Southern Baptist mission school in Canton. With this decision, they 
definitively broke with T.P. Crawford's sectarian Gospel Mission, 
which criticized mission schools, hospitals, and other social institu- 
tions as non-evangelical. Crawford's position echoed the majority 
opinion of foreign mission boards between I838 and I877, when 
Presbyterian Calvin Mateer defended missionary educational institu- 
tions at the First General Conference of Protestant Missionaries in 
Shanghai. By I890 Mateer's educational initiative had stimulated a 
much larger role for Christian missions in China than pure evangel- 
ism had played. 57 Anna Pruitt sympathized with the Gospel Mission's 
concern that secular education would weaken the evangelistic pur- 
pose of missions, but criticized Crawford for leaving Christian Chi- 
nese children uneducated or, perhaps worse yet, driving them into 
Presbyterian schools. 58 

Anna undertook major responsibility for administering the 
Hwanghsien mission school. C.W. actively supported her efforts by 


helping to care for their small children and by substitute teaching on 
occasion. He appreciated her role as a teacher and didn't view the 
work as draining energy away from her wifely duties. 59 In this he 
differed from T.P. Crawford, who forced his wife, Martha, to choose 
between him and her successful school, and from Calvin Mateer, 
who reorganized his wife Julia's school, and took over the older boys' 
education. 60 

C.W. concentrated his own educational efforts on translating reli- 
gious texts and training native Chinese pastors. In 1904, his training 
center became the Bush Theological Seminary. C.W. was named 
President of the seminary after Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, 
granted him the doctor of divinity degree he had sacrificed twenty- 
three years before. 61 By I920, under Pruitt's administration, 
Hwanghsien became a center of Southern Baptist education in China. 
"Tsung Shi" (Pursuit of Truth) School, also called by the more prosaic 
name, North China Baptist College, included the Bush Theological 
Seminary, a normal department, industrial and agricultural training, 
grade school, and kindergarten. All classes above the primary level 
were co- educational, a "daring experiment" for its time. 62 

According to C.W., the civil unrest throughout North China during 
the 1920s never affected the Pursuit of Truth School. 63 The worldwide 
economic depression of the 1930s, greatly reducing Southern Baptist 
appropriations for the college, proved to be more damaging than 
bandits. 64 Still, by the time of the Pruitts' retirement from active 
missionary status in 1938, the educational center they had founded in 
Hwanghsien was a strong component of Southern Baptist work in 
China. Under C.W.'s leadership, the Theological Seminary had de- 
veloped into one of the "crowning jewels" of the Southern Baptist 
Convention's Foreign Mission Board. 65 Following the policy of the 
Southern Baptist Convention, which encouraged Chinese leader- 
ship, K.S. Wong, a graduate of Georgetown College, Kentucky, and 
Lee Mai Wang, took over the administration of the school when the 
Pruitts retired. 66 

The quality of C.W. Pruitt's leadership in the Hwanghsien mission 
station, which stressed harmonious relations and encouraged the 
leadership potential of others, differed markedly from that of other 
longtime Baptist and Presbyterian missionaries on the North China 
field. Fellow Baptist T.P. Crawford, whose Gospel Mission broke 


away from the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board, has been 
called a "totally reactionary evangelist" who "never liked the Chinese 
very much." Influenced by Tennessee "Landmarkism," which was 
concerned with maintaining Baptist purity over interdenominationa 1 
and ecumenical relations, Crawford cast all mission issues in terms 
of doctrinal purity. Preaching sermons of "great force and effect" 1 
emotionally exhausting revivals, Crawford sought to violently "up- 
root" heathenism and "plant" Christianity in its place. He turned his 
Tengchow church into a center of business, mediation, and entertain- 
ment and made himself indispensable to church members while 
destroying all fledgling Chinese leadership. 67 

The other longtime Southern Baptist presence in North China, J.B 
Hartwell, came across even less sympathetically than Crawford in his 
correspondence with the Foreign Mission Board. Although he die 
ordain a Chinese pastor to serve his Tengchow congregation in his 
absence, his motive was less to encourage native leadership than tc 
defend his turf from Crawford. Sanctimonious, self-righteous, anc 
sadistic, he was eventually reprimanded by the Foreign Missior 
Board and sent to work among Chinese immigrants in California. 68 

History has shown Presbyterian Calvin Mateer in a much more 
positive light. Translator, educational administrator, teacher, a "sur- 
rogate father in a foreign land," Mateer personified the self-confident 
optimistic, and expansive American pioneer with great love of ex- 
perimentation and great faith in the future. Yet many of his achieve- 
ments were driven by "compulsions. conquer and to direct and tc 
achieve...." He fashioned the character of his Chinese associates 
according to his own design. 69 Is it any wonder that, as Chinese 
national consciousness came into its own during the 1920s, patriotic 
Chinese reacted against Western missionaries as much as againsi 
military and business leaders? 

C.W. Pruitt's personality and leadership style were strikingly differ- 
ent from the three above ruling spirits who, according to contempo- 
rary observers, were driven to "make their presence felt on all sides 
for power to be or do is exactly their line." 70 C.W. believed the greai 
work was to "help the people to some degree of love for us." Acknowl- 
edging that this required considerable tact, he maintained "so long as 
they hold the messengers in contempt they will never respect the 
Lord." 71 A demonstration of C.W. Pruitt's eventual acceptance of anc 


)y the Chinese community is an official decree granted by the district 
nagistrate acknowledging the great deeds of this blue-eyed, big- 
losed foreign devil on behalf of the city and county of Hwanghsien. 72 

In this philosophy he resembled nobody so much as his good 
riend, Lottie Moon. Lottie Moon, a single missionary woman who 
ived alone among the peasants of P'ing-tu in the 1880s, is still 
evered by the Southern Baptist Church for her sacrificial devotion to 
he Chinese. 73 What has been lost in the Lottie Moon story, however, 
ire the very qualities of leadership which set C.W. Pruitt and her 
apart from most other missionaries. After Lottie Moon's experience 
iving among the Chinese in P'ing-tu, she stopped thinking of herself 
is wiser and better than the Chinese, the basic Christian premise 
hat drove missionaries to China. She no longer joined in other 
nissionaries' comments about Chinese dullness and stupidity. In 
act, she rarely congregated with other missionaries, with the pos- 
sible exception of the Pruitt family. 74 In ironic refutation of Arthur H. 
Smith's newly published Chinese Characteristics, which concluded 
hat the very "Chineseness" of Chinese culture worked against Chris- 
ianization, the church in Sha-ling, P'ing-tu, founded by Lottie Moon 
and C.W. Pruitt, developed into the greatest Southern Baptist evan- 
gelistic center under a native Chinese pastor. 75 

Since Lottie Moon's death in 1912, the year after the Chinese 
Republican Revolution, and C.W. Pruitt's death in 1946, as the Chi- 
lese Civil War intensified, the terms of America's "special relation- 
ship" with China have changed several times. Decades of silence 
and hostility between the two countries followed the Communist 
victory of 1949. After the United States extended diplomatic relations 
o the People's Republic in 1978, Sino-American business, diplo- 
natic, and cultural ties slowly have been revived. A small but zealous 
Chinese Christian community thrives throughout China despite offi- 
cial persecution during the Cultural Revolution. In an increasingly 
nulti-polar world, China is becoming a respected power. The domi- 
leering leadership style represented by T.P. Crawford at its worst 
and Calvin Mateer at its best is no longer appropriate (if it ever was). 
\t this juncture in history, Lottie Moon and C.W. Pruitt offer alterna- 
te models for American interactions with China. Moon and Pruitt 
approached the Chinese with humility instead of pride, as equals 
ather than their betters. Both were willing to acknowledge the posi- 


tive in Chinese institutions, values, and people. They were willing tc 
be changed by their encounter with China, even while offering some 
thing of American institutions, values, and themselves. 

Perhaps a missionary's internal change can best be detectec 
through his theology. In a brief autobiographical reflection written ir 
Atlanta after his retirement, C.W. Pruitt looked back with respect anc 
affection to the education and theological training he received frorr 
teachers in Georgia during the 1870s, when he walked the lint 
between religious liberalism and fundamentalism. He then contin 

The idea of the deity has grown in my mind until now... I realize 
the He fills all space and maintains relations with all creature! 
and loves all intelligent beings as children with capacity fo 
unlimited development. This is the idea of God I should lovt 
dearly to pass on to all my children. 76 

After devoting fifty years to studying the Chinese language, classi 
cal literature, and culture, in order to evangelize, translate biblica 
commentary, and administer a Western-style educational institution 
Pruitt's moderate Southern Baptist understanding of God seemed tc 
take on a universalistic, mystical quality from the Chinese he ha( 
come to save. 


1 C.W. Pruitt, "Life of Cicero Washington Pruitt: Composed By Himself," typed mss., n.p 
n.d., p. 1 . This and all of the original Pruitt family papers are in the possession of Marjorii 
King before deposit in the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America 
Radcliffe College, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

2 CW.P.,"Life,"p. 2. 

3 Irwin T. Hyatt, Jr., Our Ordered Lives Confess: Three American Missionaries in Shantung 
Province (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, I976), p. 51. 

4 Hyatt, p. 4 

5 Hyatt, p. 3. 

6 Frank K. Means, "Southern Baptist China Mission History Project," International Bulletin c 
Missionary Research 9 (April I985), p. 64. Murray A. Rubinstein, "Witness to the Chinesi 
Millennium: Southern Baptist Perceptions of the Chinese Revolution, I9II-I92I," presentei 
at the Conference on the Impact of American Missionaries on U.S. Attitudes and Policie: 
Toward China, U.S. International University, San Diego, California, October, I987, p. 4. 

7 Charles L. Chaney, "The Missionary Situation in the Revolutionary Era," in Americat 
Missions in Bicentennial Perspective, ed. R. Pierce Beaver (South Pasadena: Willian 
Carey Library, American Society of Missiology, I977), pp. 1,17, 20, 23, 24. 

8 Hyatt, p. 97. Anna Seward Pruitt, Up From Zero in North China (Nashville, Broadmai 
Press, I939), pp. 23-24. 


Hyatt, pp. 98-99. 

C.W.P., "Life," p. 4. 

Rubinstein, p. 29. Hyatt, pp. 233-34. 

Rubinstein, pp. 19-20, 26, 29. 

Ida Pruitt, A China Childhood (San Francisco: Chinese Materials Center, I978), p. 3. 

C.W.P., "Life," p. 6. 

A.S.P. Zero, p. 54. 

Means, p. 64. Anna Pruitt actually served between 49 and 50 years. Rosewell Hobart 
Graves purportedly served the longest, 57 years, but Hyatt, p. 59, reports that Martha 
Crawford served 58 years. 
' Rubinstein, pp. 6-7. 

1 C.W.P., "A Recent Trip to Pingtu," Dec. 20, 1887, n.p. (Articles by C.W.P. are from family 
scrapbooks in the Pruitt collection. Date and place of publication often are unnoted.) 
1 C.W.P. letter to Frank Nicholls, Cumming, Ga., Aug. 9, 1882. (Letters are in designated 
files in the Pruitt collection.) 
1 C.W.P., "Farming in China," n.p., c. 1888. 

C.W.P., "Success in China," n.p. Je 24, 1889. 
'■ C.W.P. letter to Brother Corn, Je 19, I889. 
1 C.W.P. letter to Brother Corn, Chefoo, Je 1 9, 1 889. 
1 Hyatt, pp. 59, 233-34. A.S.P., p. 51 . 

' Anna Seward Pruitt, "Sketch of the Life of Cicero Washington Pruitt," n.p., n.d., p. 5. 
1 Hyatt, p. 1 1 1 . 
' Rubinstein, p. 55. 

' C.W.P., "Persecution in Pingtu," n.p., My 8, I889. 

1 C.W.P. letter to J.H. Kilpatrick, Tengchow, Jan. 18, I889, Christian Index, n.d. 
1 C.W.P., letter to the Christian Index, Hwanghsien, Ap. 29, 1891. 

C.W.P. letter to Brother Bell, Oct. 24, 1887, to J.H. Kilpatrick, Jan. 18, I889. 
1 Rubinstein, p. 73. 

1 Charles W. Hayfcrd, "Chinese and American Characteristics: Arthur H. Smith and His 
China Book," in Christianity in China: Early Protestant Missionary Writings, ed. by Suzanne 
Wilson Barnett and John King Fairbank (Cambridge, Mass.: Committee on American-East 
Asian Relations of the Department of History and the Council on East Asian Studies, 
Harvard University, 1985), p. 153. 
'Hayford, p. 153. 

' C.W.P. "China's Need of the Gospel," May 2, I888. "Outlook in China," for the Messenger, 
c. I895. 

5 C.W.P., "Success in China," n.p., Je, 24, I889. 
' C.W.P., "Religious Instruction in China," n.p., n.d. 
! C.W.P., "The New Year in China," (2 parts), n.p., n.d. 
! C.W.P., "Some Chinese Traits," n.p., Mar. 12, 1890, 

' "Competitive Examinations in China," n.p., Dec. 22, I887. "Chinese Family Life," Jl 24, 

1 C.W.P., "Competitive Examinations in China," Dec. 22, 1887. 

? In his analysis of Arthur Smith's Chinese Characteristics, Charles Hayford faults Smith for 
lacking an objective perspective of his own country, in the tradition of Herman Melville or 

Mark Twain, whose writings critiqued American society, p. 1 65. 1 am suggesting that C.W. 

Pruitt's letters, unlike Smith's book, balanced the good and the bad in America as well as in 


3 C.W.P., "The New Year in China," 

1 C.W.P., "Mission Methods," for the Religious Herald, Chefoo, n.d. 


45 Hayford, p. 160. 

46 C.W. P., "Missionaries Adopting Heathen Customs, etc.: The Other Side," The Central, 
Nov. 19,1889. 

47 C.W.P., "An Interesting Chinese Doctor," Hwanghsien, My 12, 1893. 

48 Anonymous, "A Hero's Prayer," n.p., n.d. 

49 A.S. P., Zero, p. 34. 

50 Wedding Announcement of C.W. and Anna Pruitt, Feb. 16, I888. 
Published in unidentified missionary journal. 

51 A.S. P. I894 letter, pp. 49, 96-98, I03. I. P., p. 7. Paul A. Varg, Missionaries, Chinese and 
Diplomats: The American Protestant Missionary Movement in China, 1890-1952 (Prince- 
ton: Princeton University Press, 1952), p. 20. 

52 Hyatt, 13-14,21, 148, 151. A.S.P., Zero, 31. 
53 1. P., pp. 5-8 and frontispiece. 

54 A.S.P.,l891,p. 29. I893, p. 132. Jan. 16, I899. March 5, I900. I. P., pp. 15-16. 

55 Marjorie King, "American Women's Open Door to Chinese Women: Which Way Does it 
Open?" in Women's Studies International Forum, special issue on European Women and 
Imperialism, ed. by Peg Strobel and Nupur Chaudhuri, forthcoming. 

56 A.S.P., I89I, p. 29. I893, p. 132. Jan. 16, I899. March 5, I900. I. P., pp. 15-16. 
57 C.W.P., "Life," II, p. 1. 

58 Hyatt, pp. I76, I8I. 

59 A.S. P., The Day of Small Things (Richmond: Foreign Mission Board of the Southern 
Baptist Convention, I929), pp. 26-27. 

60 A.S.P. letters, Nov. 24, I895, I 3, I898. I90I, p. 14. 1893, p. 190. I894JI, p. 40. 

61 Hyatt, pp. 40,166-171. 
62 A.S.P.,"Sketch,"p. 7. 

63 A.S.P. , Zero, p. 125. 

64 "President of Chinese College Here for Leave of Absence, May Find Buildings Wrecked," 
Dallas, c. 1926. 

65 A.S. P., Zero, p. 134. 

66 Rubinstein, p. 14. 

67 Rubinstein, p. 9. 

68 Hyatt, pp. 19-23,233. 

69 Hyatt, pp. 19-20,39. 

70 Hyatt, pp. 231-33, 235. 

71 Hyatt, p. 235. 

72 C.W.P. letter to Bro. Barnwell, Huanghsien, Ap. 18, I888. 

73 A.S.P., "Sketch." 

74 Hyatt, pp. 118, 120, 130+. See also Murray A. Rubinstein, "Christianity in China: One 
Scholar's Perspective of the State of the Research in China Mission and China Christian 
History, I964- 1986," Chung-kuo shih yen chiu t'ung hsun ("Newsletter for Modern Chinese 
History" no. 4 (September I987), pp. 111-143. Rubinstein contrasts the hagiographic 
treatment of Lottie Moon by Catherine B. Allen in The New Lottie Moon Story (Nashville: 
Broadman Press, I980) with Hyatt's scholarly, though also sympathetic, account. 

75 A.S.P. letters to her family in Tallmadge, Ohio, make periodic reference to visits from Miss 
Moon during these years. 

76 Hyatt, p. 1 1 1 . 

77 C.W.P., "Life." 


Contemporary Georgia-East Asian 
Relations and the Future 


Georgia, Atlanta, and the East Asian World: 

An Economist's Overview of Interactions 

Since World War II 


Since World War II, East Asian trade has become increasingly 
important to the United States in terms of the total value of all U.S. 
international trade. By 1982, according to Discovery magazine, the 
United States depended economically "more on East Asia than on 
Western Europe. Since 1975 transpacific trade has exceeded the 
total of all transatlantic trade by value." 1 One notable component of 
transpacific trade is the commerce between the United States and 
Japan, which by itself by 1 982 exceeded the combined dollar value of 
trade between the United States and the United Kingdom, West 
Germany, and France by some two billion dollars. 

The relatively recent phenomenon of foreigners' direct investment 
in the United States tells a story similar to that of trade. This article 
will first take a brief look at the changing patterns of foreign invest- 
ment in the United States with particular emphasis on the Southeast. 
We will then focus on Georgia, and specifically Atlanta, as distinct 
participants in trade with East Asian countries. 

Attraction of the Southeast 

Data collected by the Conference Board indicates that in recent 

*Dr. Ogram is Professor of International Business Economics at Georgia State University and 
was Director of its Institute of International Business from 1 964 to 1 976. He received his Ph.D. 
in economics from University of Illinois in 1957. Professor Ogram teaches international 
economics, marketing, finance, and comparative business systems, and has published in 
these fields. 


years, German, British, and Japanese firms have increased their 
share of total foreign investment in the United States. 2 Moreover, the 
Conference Board survey pointed up a shifting of foreign investment 
in the United States toward the Sunbelt, and particularly to the 
Southeast. 3 In 1977 Texas, North Carolina, and Georgia were not 
even listed among the top five states for foreign investment in the 
United States. In 1 979 the top five states were California, New York, 
Texas, North Carolina, and Georgia. 

A recent survey of French direct investment in the Southeast 
mentioned a number of general considerations important for foreign- 
ers contemplating investing in the United States. These factors in- 
cluded a strong desire to diversify into other countries to spread the 
financial risk, availability of raw materials, relative costs of production 
including labor and energy, and existing and possibly future regula- 
tions by the United States government that would discourage trade in 
certain product categories. 4 The attractions of the Southeast for 
French investment, according to the survey, included ease of export- 
ing and importing through the region's seaports and airports, the 
strong economic growth that the region is experiencing, a favorable 
attitude in general toward business development, and the high qual- 
ity of life in that area. 5 

Because of world-wide recession, foreign trade in the Southeast 
declined in 1982. Foreign direct investment continued to expand, 
however, as it has for the last nine years. For the past several years, 
the Southeast has led all other regions of the country in its share of 
foreign direct investment in terms of employment, value added, plant 
and equipment. 

If total United States employment in manufacturing is considered 
by state for the period 1969-80, the Southeast plus two states in the 
Southwest, California and Texas, experienced significant gains while 
the states of the Northeast and the Midwest suffered substantial 
declines during the same period. 6 

If one compares the number of corporate headquarters of Fortune's 
top 500 firms that have moved to the Southeast from 1971 through 
1981, the increase has been just under 100%. 7 The states of the 
Northeast, Midwest, and California still dominate headquarters loca- 
tions for the nation's top industrial firms. Southeastern growth, how- 
ever, is significant because corporate headquarters tend to attract 


other firms that provide support services for research and develop- 
ment, corporate planning, and finance. A similar pattern of expansion 
on corporate headquarters has also occurred in Fortune's second 
500 industrial firms as well as in the service areas of trade, finance, 
and insurance plus utilities. 

The Southeast, with its vast timber resources and favorable geo- 
graphical climate, has especially become a focal point for the lumber, 
pulp, and paper industries. This, to a significant extent, explained 
why Georgia Pacific Corporation moved its headquarters from Port- 
land, Oregon to Atlanta, Georgia early in 1982. 

International Activity of Southeastern Banks 

The growth of trade and foreign direct investment in the Southeast 
has led to a dramatic increase in the region's banking activities. 
International trade through the ports of the Southeast in the 1970s 
grew at a faster rate than that of the rest of the nation. Prior to World 
War II, banks in New Orleans and Mobile were paramount in financ- 
ing international trade through their respective ports because of the 
historic role of these ports in dominating the international trade of the 
Southeast. In the post-World War II period, banks in Miami and 
Atlanta have come to the forefront as the fastest growing centers for 
international banking activities in the Southeast. The explosive jump 
in international banking activity, especially in Miami, is explained by 
the sustained growth in Miami's trading and investment relationships 
with Central American, South American, and Caribbean countries. 
Furthermore, Miami banks, because of their aggressive marketing 
practices, have become magnets for individual and corporate depos- 
its from this same area. In addition, many United States multinational 
firms with investment interests in Central and South America have 
found it practical to locate their Latin America headquarters in Mi- 
ami. 8 Atlanta banks, on the other hand, have been adding to their 
international deposit base because the city has come to serve as an 
international center for transportation, finance, and related services 
for the Southeast, a matter to be addressed in more detail later in this 

The dynamic growth of the Southeast region, the favorable invest- 
ment and geographical climate, and the fact that the support infra- 
structure has been in place explain not only the rise in domestic 


corporate activity in the Southeast. These factors also account for the 
sustained increase in foreign investment activity in the region. 

Initial Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese Investment in the 

Although corporations from the Netherlands, United Kingdom, West 
Germany, and Canada are the largest investors by value in the 
Southeast, Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese companies have be- 
come increasingly involved since approximately 1976. 

In June 1 983 the first truck made its way along the assembly line at 
Nissan Corporation's Smyrna, Tennessee, plant, which features in- 
dustrial robots and other state-of-the-art technology. The plant, which 
employed 2,650 by 1984, involves a Japanese investment of $500 
million. The Smyrna plant represents the largest single investment by 
any foreign company in the United States and the largest investment 
by Nissan outside Japan. The Lancasters' and Waldner's articles in 
this volume cite particulars of ongoing Japanese investment in Geor- 

Korean and Taiwanese firms are also investing in the Southeast. In 
Alabama, a Korean company announced that it will manufacture 
microwave ovens and television sets. Sampo Corporation, a Tai- 
wanese television set manufacturer, established a factory and re- 
gional sales office in Norcross, Georgia. 

Few other public concerns in recent years have generated as 
much apprehension and emotion in the United States as foreign 
investment in agricultural land. As a result of this intense concern, in 
February 1980, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released the 
results of a study of the ownership pattern. 9 One of the findings of this 
study was that most foreign holdings are concentrated in the South- 
east and in particular in Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina. 
Certainly part of the explanation for this is the fact that southeastern 
states in general are more liberal in their attitude toward foreign 
ownership in agricultural land. East Asians count among other for- 
eign buyers of Georgia pulpwood land. 

Ongoing International Trade and Foreign Investment in Georgia 

The view from the balcony of Atlanta's World Trade Club provides 
an impressive indication of the impact of foreign investment on 


Atlanta. Within a few blocks one can see the National Bank of 
Georgia, owned by a Saudi financier; the Atlanta Hilton Hotel, partly 
owned by the Kuwaiti Development Corporation; the Dutch-owned 
Life Insurance Company of Georgia; the Atlantic Steel Company and 
Cable Atlanta, owned by a Canadian firm; and the Equitable Building, 
partially owned by Japan's Asahi Life Insurance Company. These 
structures demonstrate Georgia's success in attracting foreign in- 
vestment. According to ex-Georgia Governor George Busbee, who 
solicited much of this commerce, international trade and foreign 
investment in Georgia in 1981 immeasurably enhanced the State's 
prosperity. "Manufacturing investments alone are in excess of $1.6 
billion, with foreign firms providing more than 30,000 jobs in our 
state," Busbee asserted. "In addition, recent estimates indicate that 
Georgia is exporting in excess of $3 billion worth of manufactured 
and agricultural products annually. That figure, according to the U.S. 
Department of Commerce, creates 120,000 jobs within the state." 10 
Exports and foreign investment within Georgia created jobs, which in 
turn expanded the State's income base, and provided successive 
respending and consumption within the state. 

Atlanta: An International City 

Since before the American Civil War, Atlanta has been the com- 
mercial hub of the Southeast. This happened because of Atlanta's 
geographical location, its climate, its banking and insurance serv- 
ices, and its pivotal transportation system. 

One of the most exciting aspects of Atlanta's growth has been its 
emergence as an international city. A number of criteria for an 
international city have come to apply to Atlanta since 1973. 

First, there is the matter of overseas flights from the city's new 
airport. Hartsfield International, the second busiest airport in the 
United States, serves as the gateway for direct overseas flights to 
numerous European and Latin American destinations. United, Delta, 
Continental, American, and Northwest Orient, U.S. -flag passenger 
carriers servicing East Asia, have sales offices in Atlanta and con- 
necting or direct flights out of Atlanta's airport to East Asia. Singapore 
Air Lines and Korean Air Lines have established district sales offices 
in Atlanta to service Asia-bound passengers and cargo originating at 
Hartsfield and elsewhere in the Southeast. Japan Air Lines flies 


directly from Atlanta to East Asia. 

Second, a state law liberalizing foreign banking activity has re- 
sulted in eighteen foreign banks establishing offices in Atlanta. Three 
of these foreign banks are East Asian: the Bank of Tokyo, Fuji Bank, 
and the Industrial Bank of Japan. 

Third, one of Geogia's incentives to help promote international 
trade is the state's first foreign trade zone, a duty free zone in 
Shenandoah, near Hartsfield International Airport. The function of a 
foreign trade zone is to permit entry of foreign goods into the zone 
without payment of customs duties. Duties are paid only if the goods 
are subsequently sold in the domestic market. Should the goods 
previously imported be re-exported, no customs duties are paid. 
These and other incentives have attracted over four hundred foreign 
firms to establish facilities in Georgia since 1975. Among these are 
seven East Asian foreign trading companies with offices in or near 
Atlanta: Tatung Company, from Taiwan; and C. Itoh, Mitsui, Mitsub- 
ishi, Nissho-lwai, Nissei Sangyo, and Toyo Menka Kaisha, all from 

Fourth, the opening in 1 976 of the Georgia World Congress Center 
in Atlanta, which hosts increasing numbers of international meetings 
and trade shows, provides an example of the state government's 
growing assistance to international intercourse. 

Fifth, part of any city's degree of internationalization involves the 
number of foreign governments that feel obliged, because of trade 
and investment considerations, to establish some type of formal 
diplomatic representation within the city. In 1975 Atlanta had seven 
consulates staffed by career diplomats and twenty-one honorary 
consulates or trade offices in the city. Eight years later, the number of 
career consulates had jumpted to thirteen and the countries with 
trade offices or honorary consulates stood at twenty-seven. The 
government of the Philippines opened a trade office in Atlanta early 
in 1983. The expansion of consulates and trade offices in Atlanta 
came about in part to service the increasing number of foreign 
companies having trade and investment relationships within the 

Sixth, a significant indicator in determining the degree of interna- 
tionalization for any city is how many foreign nationals live there and 
in what activities they participate. 


The number of foreign natonals living in a city may be considered a 
function of those that come when a foreign firm sets up a manufactur- 
ing or other facility or who come on their own volition searching for 
jobs or perhaps for an opportunity to start their own businesses. 
Growing numbers of foreign nationals from East Asia have come to 
Atlanta in recent years, especially from Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and 

Taiwan's Presence in Atlanta 

Professor George Wang, formerly of National Taiwan University, 
recently arrived in Atlanta and asserted that business opportunities in 
Atlanta are very attractive to many Taiwanese. According to Profes- 
sor Wang, Atlanta's principal attractions are a growing business com- 
munity and the "courtesy and friendly relations that Atlantans have 
with all peoples." 11 Professor Wang estimated that Atlanta now has 
about 4,000 Chinese residents, many of whom originate from Tai- 
wan, as well as from Hong Kong, Indochina, mainland China, and 
elsewhere. 12 

The government on Taiwan opened an Atlanta consulate, its first in 
the Southeast, in June 1973. In 1979 the United States broke diplo- 
matic relations with the government on Taiwan and formally recog- 
nized China. Since 1979 a private organization, the Coordination 
Council for North American Affairs, has represented the interests of 
the government of Taiwan in Atlanta. (See Krebs' article, in this 
volume, on the intricacies of Sino-American relations). Lin Tsun- 
hsien, Director of the Coordination Council's Atlanta office in 1983, 
explained that his government felt that locating a representative 
office in Atlanta was logical because Atlanta not only was the com- 
mercial and cultural center for the Southeast, but also the center for 
international air cargo for the region. The director further stated his 
government's procurement mission has purchased significant amounts 
of Georgia peanuts and tobacco in recent years. He also expected 
that his government would send a commercial attache to his office 
because of Taiwan's increased trade and in the Atlanta area. 

Andrew Li, the Council's secretary, commented as did Professor 
Wang, that the reason why increasing numbers of Taiwanese have 
immigrated to Atlanta is because of the business opportunities here, 
plus the favorable geographical climate. He remarked that Atlanta 


now has 170 Chinese restaurants, a ten-fold increase between 1972 
and 1982. Many of Atlanta's restauranteurs are Taiwanese. 

The Republic of Korea's Presence in Atlanta 

In June 1976 a Consulate General of the Republic of Korea was 
estabished in Atlanta. The consul general in 1983, Hak Won Song, 
stated that his government felt that Atlanta was becoming the center 
for trade and investment activity in the Southeast for his country. 
Because of this fact his government at the same time determined it 
should also establish a regional office of the Korea Trade Promotion 
Corporation (KTPC). The KPTC is involved in trade and investment 
promotion in both directions. Mr. Song said that KTPC was interested 
in promoting joint ventures between Korean and American firms that 
would result in increased exports from the United States to Korea. 

Mr. Song estimated that 7,000 Korean nationals live in the Atlanta 
metropolitan area and that the reason for most of them coming here 
was to start their own businesses. 

Japan's Presence in Atlanta 

Yoshinori Tsujimoto, acting Japanese consul general in Atlanta in 
1983, indicated that the consensus within his government back in 
1974 was that Atlanta was the hub of transportation, banking, and 
insurance services within the southeastern United States. Mr. Tsujim- 
oto also remarked that "the enthusiastic reception given to the Japa- 
nese business community from former Governor Busbee and other 
state officials has been a positive force in helping Japanese firms 
decide on a Georgia location for manufacturing plants and other 

Nippan-Daido was the first Japanese supermarket chain to estab- 
lish itself in Atlanta. The increased number of companies from East 
Asian countries that have located in Atlanta over the last several 
years, and the increasing numbers of nationals from these countries 
who have moved to Atlanta for other reasons, prompted Nippan 
Daido in 1981 to consider opening an Atlanta supermarket. In Octo- 
ber 1982, opening day customers at Nippan Daido's Atlanta market 
found the store's shelves filled with all kinds of Asian delicacies. The 
Nippan Daido store offers a full line of groceries including specialty 
seafood as well as Asian books and magazines for Georgia's ex- 


panding Asian population. 

The facility was Nippan Daido's fourth to be established in the 
United States and its first in the Southeast. It was not by any means 
the first East Asian grocery to be established in the Atlanta area. 
Koreans operated a spacious "Asian Super Market" in Atlanta's 
Broadview Shopping Plaza. 

The fact that close to 20 percent of the 500 foreign companies thai 
have located in Georgia are Japanese testifies to the state's suc- 
cessful effort in attracting both small and large Japanese firms to 
locate here. The Lancasters' and Waldner's articles give further 
specifics on this recent growth. 

China's Presence in Atlanta 

The extent of recent contact between China and Georgia, including 
Georgians who have been to China and Chinese scholars who have 
come to Georgia, is covered in Krebs' article. Georgia's trade with 
China does not nearly equal its trade with Taiwan despite visits to 
China by ex-Governor Busbee, Trader Commissioner Milton Folds, 
and International Trade Director John Welsh to stimulate commerce. 
The Shanghai exhibit at the July 1982 Asian Gift Show in Atlanta 
marked the first sales effort of its kind by a People's Republic ol 
China firm in Georgia. Coca-Cola, as Krebs mentions, made a pio- 
neering commitment to the China market, as it did some years ago in 
Japan. In the view of former Undersecretary of State Georgia Ball 
"The question no one can answer today is whether we are witnessing 
merely a Chinese version of Lenin's NEP (National Economic 
Plan)-that brief season of free enterprise which the Soviets permitted 
in 1921 -or whether Peking is definitely moving with traditional prag- 
matism toward some kind of indigenous compromise between Marx 
and Adam Smith." 13 To the extent that Georgia, Atlanta, and the 
Southeast have a role to play in future trade and investment with the 
PRC is a function of the decisions that must be made in Beijing 


As an economist, I feel confident in asserting that Atlanta and 
Georgia are well on their way to prominence in the Southeast relative 
to trade and investment with Asian countries. The state's economy 


icreasingly feels the impact of the East Asian world in terms of 
xports, imports, diplomatic representation, foreign investment, cul- 
jral ties, and the ever-increasing number of nationals from East 
,sian countries living and working in Georgia. 


Discovery, (May-June, 1982), p. 64A. 

Announcements of Foreign Investments in U.S. Manufacturing Industries. The Confer- 
ence Board, Investment Data Department, Fourth Quarter, 1980. 
The term "Sunbelt" generally applies to the southern tier of states from the east to the west 
coast. Within the Sunbelt states there are two sub-areas, the Southeast and the South- 
west. The Southwest is generally considered to begin with Texas and extends west 
through the southern half of California. The Southeast extends east from Texas to the 
Atlantic Ocean. 

French Investment in the Southeast, Bernard Imbert, Georgia World Congress Institute 
and Credit Lyonnais, March 1980. 
Ibid, p. 48. 

Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, December 1982, p. 56. "Southeast- 
ern Employment after the Recession." 
Ibid., p. 62. The number increased from 10 to 19. 

Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, October, 1982, p. 15. "International 
Banking Activity in the Southeast: Rapid Growth and Change." 

Agricultural Economic Report No. 447, February, 1980, p. iii. "Foreign Ownership of U.S. 
Agricultural Land." Natural Resource Economics, Division of Economics, Statistics and 
Cooperative Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

Statement by Governor George Busbee in the introduction to Georgia Directory of 
International Services (Atlanta, 1982), n.p. 

Ann Valdes, "International City — It's Becoming a Reality," Atlanta Journal/Atlanta 
Constitution, May 13, 1979, p. 1E. 

George Ball, "America and Asia in the 1980's: Prospects and Hazards," an unpublished 
address to the Asia Society, New York, May 13, 1980. 


The Georgia-Japan Relationship: 
Into the Twenty-first Century 


For Americans, Japan may be a jumble of contradictory images. 
Japanese quality automobiles, electronic products, and cameras 
mingle with pictures of paper houses, rickshaws, and cheap toys ol 
forty years ago. And to confuse matters further, there is often no cleai 
differentiation between Japan and China. No wonder so many Ameri- 
cans have such a hard time comprehending the "inscrutable" Japa- 

In Georgia, however, there is a growing awareness and under- 
standing of Japan and the Japanese that increasing interaction with 
that country has brought on. The origins of this growing involvement 
and some of the consequences, merit our attention. 

The Japanese commonly identify Georgia with Gone With the 
Wind, Jimmy Carter, and peanuts, in that order. Unfortunately, none 
of them are contributing very much to Georgia's trade balance with 
Japan, but at least the state does have a positive image as a result 
At present, peanuts comprise a portion of Georgia's exports tc 
Japan, but it is not large, due to tough competition from China, 
Perhaps with a better marketing strategy that highlights their origin, 
Georgia peanuts would do better in the Japanese market. 

*Day Lancaster, Senior Project Manager for the State of Georgia Department of Industry anc 
Trade, has also served as Managing Director of the Tokyo office of the Department. He was 
born in Kobe, Japan, in 1 954, to missionary parents, and received a B.A. in Japanese studies 
from Earlham College in 1976. He has worked as a Japanese-English interpreter foi 
Matsushita Electronics Corporation [Panasonic], and has been employed by Topri, Inc., £ 
Japanese manufacturing company in Peachtree City, Georgia. 


The largest quantifiable export product is kaolin. Approximately 
400,000 tons of Georgia kaolin are shipped to Japan every year to be 
used primarily in the paper industry. The paper industry also ac- 
counts for the other major Georgia exports-wood and paper pulp. 
Other products include soybeans, wheat, and poultry products. 

In terms of agricultural exports, Georgia is at a disadvantage to 
those states in the Midwest and West that are geographically closer 
to Japan. Georgia's agricultural products must be considerably better 
in quality and price in order to offset greater transportation costs. 
Poultry products and wood and paper pulp have that advantage. 

Unfortunately, exports of manufactured goods to Japan lag far 
behind those of other states. Georgia traditionally has not had the 
large industrial base that could support a strong export drive. In- 
creasingly, however, more and more Georgia businessmen are step- 
ping up their search for new markets, and though efforts are still in an 
embryonic stage, in the 1990s we should see a growing number of 
Georgia companies looking to the Japanese market place. 

One example of this trend is the Carpet and Rug Institute, a 
national organization headquartered in Dalton, Georgia. The Insti- 
tute, in conjunction with the United States Department of Commerce, 
sponsored a trade mission to Tokyo and Osaka in March 1983. Of 
the sixteen participating companies, ten were from Georgia. The 
carpet and rug industry in Japan is still not as technologically ad- 
vanced as it is in the United States. Therefore, marketing opportuni- 
ties for Georgia carpet makers should be better than for other types 
of United States manufacturers whose expertise is superseded by 
that of the Japanese. 

Another example of growing interest in Japan was the visit to 
Japan in May 1982 by members of Georgia Institute of Technology's 
Advanced Technology Development Center. The purpose of the trip 
was to pursue opportunities for Georgia's high technology compa- 
nies to do business with Japanese firms, as well as to promote 
Georgia as an investment location for Japanese capital. 

These are some recent examples of trade activity between Geor- 
gia and Japan. Several companies have been doing business in 
Japan for many years. By far the earliest Georgia company to 
establish operations in Japan was Coca-Cola, which began selling its 
soft drinks back in the early 1900s. It took until 1957 to form Coca- 


Cola/Japan. Even then, growth was limited because the Japanese 
government, for reasons still unclear, imposed restrictions on the 
ingredients needed to make Coke. In 1961 those restrictions were 
lifted and the company began to expand. Within two years three 
Coca-Cola bottling companies had been founded. And since that 
time fifteen more have been formed. In 1990 there is virtually 
nowhere in Japan where one cannot purchase a bottle or can of 
Coke or of "Georgia," a coffee drink Coca-Cola/Japan began market- 
ing several years ago exclusively for the Japanese market. In fact, 
over half of Coca-Cola/Japan's product line was developed for Japa- 
nese tastes and is not marketed elsewhere. That certainly reflects 
the commitment that has made Japan Coca-Cola's third largest 
market outside the United States. 

Kleentex, a manufacturer of doormats headquartered in LaGrange, 
also has a solid foothold in Japan. The company opened a sales 
office in Tokyo in 1977. Soon after, Kleentex incorporated in Japan 
and began production in the city of Akashi three and a half years 
later. Business is apparently increasing steadily. 

Another pioneer in the Japanese market was American Family Life 
Assurance, based in Columbus. Starting with a representative sales 
office in Tokyo in 1974, American Family was the first company to 
offer cancer insurance in Japan. Since that time the company has ex- 
panded rapidly to include twelve sub-branch sales offices with over 
1500 agencies handling their insurance. By 1983 the Japanese 
market accounted for fifty percent of American Family's total reve- 

American companies in general have been quite successful in 
exporting the fast food franchise business to Japan. McDonald's, 
Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Dunkin Donuts were among the first; 
and now Denny's, Wendy's, Mister Donut, Seven-Eleven, and 
Hardee's, to name a few, have joined the ranks. The latest to take 
advantage of this still-expanding market in Japan is Arby's of Atlanta. 
They opened their first restaurant in May of 1982 and now have six 
stores throughout Japan. 

Besides these examples of Georgia companies that have actually 
established subsidiaries or branch offices in Japan and are now 
successfully conducting business, there are a number of firms that 
are involved with Japanese business, but in a less visible fashion. 


Major Atlanta banks have extensive correspondent relationships with 
many of the large Japanese banks. And several Georgia companies 
have supplier or customer relationships with Japanese manufactur- 

In terms of the number of companies, the involvement of Georgia 
business in Japan is small, but quite diversified. In terms of revenue, 
however, Japan represents a substantial market for those firms 
mentioned above. A large potential still remains for Georgia compa- 
nies that are willing to invest the time and money to research the 
Japanese market and provide a service or product that either fills a 
need or competes effectively with what is already available. 

The key words here are time and money. Very few foreign compa- 
nies now doing business in Japan were instant successes. Consider- 
able amounts of hard work, and a patient and committed home office, 
are prerequisites for creating a successful operation in Japan. In the 
opinion of this trade official, it seems that too often American compa- 
nies have dropped out before really getting started, due to lack of 
commitment on the part of top management. Some United States 
companies have passed over a very lucrative market. 

On the other side of the business relationship is the Japanese 
presence in Georgia. With the dramatic expansion of Atlanta as a 
regional center in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Japanese firms 
began locating sales in the city. (See Professor Ogram's article in this 
volume on Atlanta's expansion as an international city). A district 
sales office of Japan Air Lines was among the first Japanese compa- 
nies to arrive, along with general trading firms that needed a regional 
presence in order to expand their export and import business in the 
United States. Representative of this group were Mitsubishi Corpora- 
tion and Mitsui and Co., two of the largest trading firms in Japan, 
which opened in Atlanta offices in approximately 1970. By 1983 
three of the top seven Japanese trading companies had opened 
Atlanta offices to service the Southeast. 

Following along the same lines, the United States subsidiary sales 
companies of Japanese manufacturers also began putting offices 
and warehouses in the Atlanta area. Panasonic, the sales arm of 
Matsushita Electronics Corporation of America, opened a southeast- 
ern regional sales warehouse and distribution center in Norcross, 
Georgia, approximately the same time the trading companies were 


moving in. Soon, other Japanese subsidiary sales companies, recog- 
nizing the advantages of an Atlanta location for coverage of the 
Southeast, began locating sales centers in and around the city. In 
1 983 there were fifty-six United States subsidiary sales companies of 
Japanese manufacturers located in Georgia, primarily in the Atlanta 

While Atlanta gained recognition as a prime spot to expand Ameri- 
can markets, Georgia also gained increasing attention as an ideal 
location for manufacturing operations. The first Japanese company 
to utilize these advantages by establishing a factory in the state was 
Yoshida Kogyo (YKK), the world's largest producer of zippers and 
fasteners. After studying numerous possible locations in United States, 
YKK decided that Macon, Georgia's favorable labor climate, low land 
cost, geographical location, and excellent transportation system, 
among other factors, justified putting their plant there. 

Initially starting out with final assembly of zippers, the production 
process at the YKK Macon plant now encompasses everything from 
the spinning of yarn to stamping zipper sliders. What began as a 
250,000 square foot facility employing 120 workers is now a sprawl- 
ing 700,000 square feet with 600 employees on the payroll. In 1981 
YKK purchased a nearby 250 acre tract of land on which to build a 
major industrial/residential complex that is designed to fill the working 
and living needs of YKK employees. When fully completed, it will 
include several major manufacturing facilities as well as single and 
multi-family housing with adjoining recreational facilities. Already, a 
50,000 square foot monofilament plant has been completed and 
another 250,000 square foot facility is currently under construction. 

In 1973, when YKK made their move to Macon, Sony was the only 
other Japanese company with a manufacturing base in the United 
States. Consequently, YKK's decision received major attention in 
Japan. This, coupled with the nearly simultaneous establishment of 
the State of Georgia Department of Industry and Trade's Tokyo 
office, served to highlight Georgia as a potential site for other Japa- 
nese manufacturers looking to start making products in America. 

Whether influenced by YKK's move or not, three Japanese textile- 
related companies established their first United States factories in 
Georgia shortly after YKK. Locating in Augusta, Columbus, and 
Macon, these companies have begun fabric printing operations. 


Partially spurred on by United States government pressure to com- 
pete on equal terms with United States textile manufacturers, these 
companies perceived Georgia's experienced textile work force as a 
particular plus in their decisions to locate in the Peach State. 

Subsequent manufacturing investment in Georgia has not followed 
any particular pattern. Makers of products ranging from ceramic 
capacitors to high voltage circuit breakers to automobile oil seals 
have come from Japan to set up shop in Georgia. The approximately 
thirty-five manufacturers that have invested in the state represent a 
truly diversified product range. This illustrates the compatibility of 
Georgia as a location for numerous types of industry. Georgia ranks 
second in the nation for the number of Japanese factories in opera- 
tion in one state. 

Despite growing competition from other states in attracting Japa- 
nese industry, Georgia remains in good position to maintain its lead 
as a desirable location for Japanese investments. The momentum 
generated by the nearly one hundred Japanese companies which 
have come to the state has served to create an infrastructure unpar- 
alleled outside the major metropolitan centers of Los Angeles, New 
York and Chicago. This will continue to draw Japanese businesses to 
Georgia in the future and further develop what is already consider- 
able activity. 

An early manifestation of the large Japanese presence in the state 
was the formation of the Georgia konwakai (discussion group), an 
organization made up of native Japanese company managers resid- 
ing in Georgia. The konwakai provided an opportunity for Japanese 
businessmen to get together to discuss common problems and 
develop community projects, as well as socialize on an informal 
recreational basis. As membership increased the group changed 
their name to the Georgia shokokai (Japanese Chamber of Com- 
merce) to reflect more accurately their expanded function in the 

The most notable accomplishment of the shokokai so far has been 
the creation of a supplementary Saturday school for Japanese chil- 
dren in the Atlanta area. For grades one through nine, Japanese 
housewives with teaching experience hold classes in Japanese lan- 
guage, science, and mathematics. Originally the school used class- 
rooms at Oglethorpe University, but as enrollment grew, the shokokai 


decided to relocate the school to more appropriate surroundings in 
1980. With the assistance of Atlanta's Japanese Consulate, the 
Georgia Department of Industry and Trade, and the Gwinnett County 
Chamber of Commerce, the school moved to the Beaver Ridge 
Elementary School in Norcross. 

Also in 1980, since enrollment had reached one hundred pupils, 
the Japanese government, through its Atlanta Consulate, dispatched 
a full-time principal from Japan to supervise the school. In 1 990, over 
400 Japanese children attend the school every weekend. The school 
has satellite branches in Mableton, Columbus, and other Georgia 
cities with a Japanese population nearby. These schools are major 
incentives for Japanese companies trying to decide where to put their 
United States facilities. 

Another result of the concentration of Japanese businesses in the 
Atlanta area is the proliferation of Japanese food stores and restau- 
rants. In 1973 there was only one authentic Japanese restaurant in 
the entire state. By 1983, there were ten that served traditional 
Japanese cuisine, with another four specializing in steak dishes. In 
1990 there are also at least ten Japanese and Asian food stores in 
Atlanta that provide a full complement of cooking ingredients. 

An interesting example of how a Japanese company directly influ- 
enced the location of a Japanese restaurant in Atlanta is the case of 
Hitachi, Ltd.'s telecommunications division and Gojinka Restaurant. 
Hitachi's telecommunications headquarters factory is located outside 
of Yokohama, where most of the managers staffing Hitachi's Dorav- 
ille, Georgia, facility are from. Many of the managers had frequented 
a Yokohama restaurant called Gojinka before being assigned to the 
Atlanta post. Often when back at headquarters on business, these 
managers would go to Gojinka after work and relate their experi- 
ences of life in Atlanta. Apparently the suggestion was made that 
Gojinka's owner should also move to Atlanta and set up shop there. 
After repeated urgings, the owner began to take the idea seriously. 
When he learned that an existing Japanese restaurant in Atlanta was 
looking for a chef, he applied for the job and was hired. 

Selling his restaurant in Yokohama, the chef and his wife moved to 
Atlanta and spent their first several years in Georgia working for what 
was then called Ginza Benkay Restaurant (now Benihana). When 
Ginza Benkay closed down, the chef took his savings, invested in a 


location off of Buford Highway, and opened up a new Gojinka Res- 
taurant. Needless to say, the Japanese employees of Hitachi's Dorav- 
llle facility are now regular customers. 

Georgia's growing relationship with Japan is also reflected in the 
jevelopment of a number of organizations and programs devoted to 
ncreasing the opportunities for exchange on business, cultural and 
educational levels. In the Spring of 1 975, a group of about ten senior 
executives of large Japanese corporations visited Atlanta, and in 
conversation with then-Governor George Busbee and various busi- 
nessmen, became convinced of a growing potential for business 
exchange between Japan and Southeast. The outgrowth of these 
conversations was the establishment in December 1975 of the Ja- 
oan/U.S. Southeast Association, comprised of seven member states 
(Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennes- 
see, and Virginia) and Japanese firms doing business in the South- 
east. The State of Georgia hosted the first meeting in Atlanta in 1 976. 
Subsequent annual meetings have rotated among the seven mem- 
oer states during the even years, while the Japanese side hosts the 
odd numbered year. There are other organizations of this kind in the 
United States, but as of 1990 the Japan/U.S. Southeast Association 
is by far the most active. 

On a social and cultural level, the Japan-American Society of 
Georgia, established in 1980, has played an increasingly active part 
in promoting understanding of Japan in Georgia as well as providing 
a venue for Japanese living in Georgia to associate with Georgians 
interested in Japan. (See Professor Waldner's article in this volume 
on the history of the Japan-America Society). 

Besides these organizations, there are a number of civic and 
educational programs designed to foster exchange. In 1966 the 
Prefecture of Kagoshima, located in the southernmost region of 
Japan, decided it wanted a sister state. After some study, prefectural 
officials decided that Georgia was a good match because of the 
shared traits of mild climate, a citizenry that believe in traditional 
hospitality, a distinct southern accent, and defeat in a civil war. Based 
on their recommendation, Katsushi Terazono, then Governor of 
Kagoshima, approached then-Georgia Governor Carl Sanders, who 
agreed that a sister state relationship would be mutually beneficial, 
and an agreement was signed by both governors in a ceremony at 


the Georgia State Capitol in 1966. "Kagoshima Corner" of Georgia's 
State Capital was devoted to exhibits from Kagoshima Prefecture. 

Exchange of people between Kagoshima and Georgia since that 
time has been quite active, with a group of Kagoshima high school 
students visiting Athens every summer and an ongoing faculty ex- 
change program between the University of Georgia and Kagoshima 
University. In 1981 a large group of Georgia government and busi- 
ness leaders, led by former Governors George Busbee and Sanders, 
visited Kagoshima to commemorate the fifteenth anniversary of the 
sister state relationship. The University System of Georgia has sent a 
group of college students to Kagoshima for a summer of foreign 
study. In September 1 982, outgoing Governor George Busbee and a 
small delegation paid a "farewell" visit to Kagoshima and other parts 
of Japan important in Georgia's foreign trade. 

Georgia also has an active sister city program with Japan. As of 
1 990 four relationships exist, and in each case a Japanese or Ameri- 
can firm has played a vital role in forging the link: YKK linking Macon 
and Kurobe; American Family Life joining Columbus and Kiryu; 
Nippon Oil connecting LaGrange with Aso City; and TEC uniting 
Gainesville with Ohito City. 

YKK initiated the first sister city relationship, between Macon, the 
site of its United States city, and Kurobe, its headquarters on the 
coast of the Japan Sea. Groups of official and unofficial visitors have 
been visiting back and forth on a regular basis since the beginning of 
the relationship and recently YKK announced plans to implement a 
scholarship program that would fully subsidize a year of study in a 
Japanese university for students in Macon-area colleges. 

Columbus is a sister city of Kiryu, a community north of Tokyo. This 
relationship was the result of Kiruy officials going to the major bank in 
the area to ask for suggestions on possible candidate cities in 
America. The bank, in turn, requested help from American Family 
Life, which was one of their clients, in recommending a place, and the 
result was the development of a sister city agreement with Colum- 

In the case of LaGrange and Aso City, which is located on the 
same island as Kagoshima Prefecture, the go-between was Nippon 
Oil Seal, Inc., which has factories in both cities. And the most recent 
sister city relationship, between Gainesville and Ohito City, was an 


outgrowth of discussions between Georgia state officials and TEC 
America, which has a large manufacturing plant in Ohito as well as a 
sales and service center in Georgia. In 1983 the two cities inaugu- 
rated a three-month homestay program for students. 

Educational exchange programs are not just limited to those men- 
tioned above. In 1982 Georgia State University began including a 
one-week study tour of Tokyo area businesses as part of its Execu- 
tive MBA Program. As of 1990 various types of exchange programs 
are now being considered by a number of organizations, so the 
chances for Georgians to learn more about Japan, and vice versa, 
will increase. 

The relationship between Georgia and Japan is still young, and the 
future points towards continued strong and positive growth. The 
danger exists, however, that the relationship will become too uneven. 
As of 1 990 some one hundred Japanese companies have operations 
in Georgia while only four Georgia companies are represented in 
Japan. Japan represents a substantial marketplace. Admittedly, the 
Japanese market is not an easy one to penetrate, but for those 
Georgia companies truly committed to maintaining a competitive 
edge in the world marketplace, selling in Japan is increasingly attrac- 

The potential also exists for an imbalance to develop on a cultural 
and educational level. Though no accurate figures are available, a 
safe guess is there are more than one thousand Japanese students 
studying in Georgia schools and universities. And if study and tour 
groups are included, the flow of people from Japan to Georgia, is 
considerable. By comparison, there are only a handful of Georgians 
studying in Japan. If this is to be corrected, more opportunities must 
be developed for Georgians to learn and travel to Japan. 

Until these areas are addressed and properly remedied, the Geor- 
gia-Japan relationship remains in danger of being lopsided. Fortu- 
nately, the many examples of increased interest in Japan and the 
growing Japanese-related activity in the state are positive signs that 
an appropriate equilibrium can and will be achieved. 


The Georgia-Japan Relationship: 

A Comparison of Japanese Investment in 

Massachusetts and in Georgia 


The following article is by a layman, not a scholar. The opinions are 
mine, gathered from experience in the trade and international devel- 
opment offices of the State of Georgia and the Commonwealth oi 
Massachusetts. I hope my ideas will initiate further research anc 

The presence of Japan in Georgia has intrigued me for years 
Georgia has attracted close to 200 Japanese companies over the 
last twenty years, creating a strong infrastructure for future growth 
Scholars and experts attribute the success to low cost of living anc 
transportation, non-union labor, quality of life, and Southern hospital- 
ity. The evidence suggests, however, a more fundamental factoi 
based on the history and development of industrial manufacturing ir 
the United States. 

In studying the history of industrial development in the Unitec 
States, one observes different regional rates of development anc 
inherent strengths and weaknesses resulting from the different rates 
The length of a region's industrial involvement has an effect or 
worker relations, economics, politics, and culture. If we compare 
Massachusetts and Georgia, we can see how varying rates of indus- 

*George Lancaster is Director of International Sales for INFORUM/Atlanta, a division of The 
Portman Companies. He has worked for the State of Georgia Department of Industry anc 
Trade and has been Program Director for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office o 
International Trade. Mr. Lancaster was born, raised, and educated in Japan and holds a 
Bachelor of Arts degree in Japanese studies from Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana. 


rial development impacted a state's ability to create a sound interna- 
ional investment policy, primarily in regard to Japan. 

United States industry began in the Northeast corridor. Massachu- 
;etts, the regional power, began manufacturing firearms as early as 
he late eighteenth century. The manufacturing process required 
sophisticated forging techniques and the skilled use of crude ma- 
chine tools. 

Another feature of the Massachusetts region was its textile indus- 
ry, with the cities of Lowell, Fall River, Taunton and Lawrence 
iominated by sprawling mills. As the textile industry modernized over 
ime, the machines and processes required more sophistication, both 
n development and maintenance. A strong infrastructure developed 
>eneath Massachusetts' burgeoning industrial might. 

The advent of heavy manufacturing in Massachusetts, as opposed 
o firearms and textiles, began with the shipping and shipbuilding 
rade. As far back as the eighteenth century sleek, swift clipper ships 
)lied the waters between Massachusetts, Europe, and Asia. Ship- 
f ards in the port cities of Boston, Salem, Quincy, and New Bedford 
ittracted thousands of skilled and unskilled laborers. 

The shipbuilding industry so dominated these cities that subse- 
juent industry developed only to serve one industry. Even today 
nuch pride arises from the seafaring history of the region and forms 
nuch of the basis for regional identity. 

On the other hand, there were negative aspects of the region's 
ndustrial development. Progress is rarely a smooth and effortless 
)rocess. In Massachusetts the mills were frightful places to work for 
nen, women, and children. Work was never lacking, and the hours 
stretched to twelve and fourteen a day in dim, dust-filled factories. 

The workers' lives were controlled entirely by their employers, 
similar to the Chicago meat-packing industry depicted by Upton 
Sinclair. It took horrible disasters such as the raging fire that engulfed 
i multistory mill in Lowell, killing hundreds of women and children, 
)efore a workers' rights movement gained momentum in Massachu- 

From the Massachusetts employers' viewpoint, the worker was 
lever more than a means to an end. At the turn of the century violent 
hashes erupted between employers and workers, with crippling 
strikes. As popular uprisings grew in number and magnitude, the 


workforce became more organized and powerful. Unions developed, 
and suddenly the worker had the support and alliance of others in the 
same industry and not just in one factory. 

The unions and solidarity of inter-company laborers created a 
formidable negotiating force. Slowly control was wrested away from 
the owners. As a result, laws governing minimum wages, child labor, 
compulsory school attendance, and workmen's compensation were 
enacted to protect both child and adult workers. The viciousness and 
horror of the earlier period were not easily forgotten. As the twentieth 
century unfolded, unions and manufacturers stood in extreme polar- 
ity, remaining mutually suspicious and antagonistic. 

Rather than meet the rising demands of the now-powerful unions 
for higher wages and better working conditions, manufacturers exer- 
cised one remaining option: They moved, and more often than not, to 
the South. 

The post-Civil War South, continuing an antebellum trend, was 
gripped in a subservient economic role to the North. Raw materials 
exhumed from the ground and grown on the fields of the South fed 
the Northern engines. Over time great disparity in wealth emerged 
between the two regions. The effects are still evident today in terms 
of per capita income, educational performance, and cultural ameni- 

Low wages and even lower expections created an excellent envi- 
ronment for incoming industries in the South. The trickle turned to a 
flood as more mills and machine shops discovered a pliant work 
force suspicious of unionism and its violent birth. Many a small 
Southern town could not thwart the power of manufacturers and in 
the end owed its existence to one industry. 

Fortunately, industry had learned a lesson from its troubled North- 
ern past. This attitude, coupled with protective labor laws, created 
conditions in Southern factories and mills much less barbaric and 
inhumane than what had exited in mid-nineteenth century Massa- 
chusetts factories. 

It took a national emergency to finally lift the South out of its vassal 
existence and into self-sufficiency. The sudden need for national 
manufacturing power during World War II marked a turning point for 
Georgia and surrounding Southeastern states. Lockheed spearheaded 
the drive by building a massive aircraft factory in Marietta. The 


venture was considered an extreme risk because of its large scale 
and its reliance on hundreds of unskilled and untested Southern 

The risk turned out to be unfounded as thousands of inexperienced 
out willing laborers descended from the Appalachians and emerged 
out of the Piedmont to man the production lines. Smaller automobile 
olants in Atlanta geared up for the manufacturing of transport 
vehicles and in the process increased the scale of factory and work 
force. The workers came into the factories from the woods, mines, 
and farms, proving to the nation that the South could produce a 
capable and efficient laborer. The industrialization of the South was 
under way in a process qualitatively different from what had occurred 
over the previous century in the North. 

The South benefitted from welcoming industrialists "enlightened" 
oy many labor battles on Northern soil. Although unions followed the 
large manufacturing concerns into the South, workers were reluctant 
to join them. 

Smaller industries opened factories without unions, and though 
wages were low and benefits slim, workers proved to be more 
interested in earning a steady living at less than optimum conditions 
than in facing the vagaries and hardship of farming and mining. 
Unions never made any headway beyond the large national manu- 
facturing companies, and to this day, the South overall has the lowest 
union participation of any region in the country. 

After World War II, the movement of industry congregated in 
specific regions in the South. Steel and heavy industry went to 
Alabama and its port cities. Textiles and carpets centered on the 
Carolinas and Georgia. 

The movement decimated the economies of parts of the Northeast. 
Massachusetts was especially hard hit. The traditional textile for- 
tresses of Lawrence, Fall River, Lowell, and Taunton soon resembled 
ghost towns as no new industry stepped in to fill the void. The 
machine tool industry, so strong in Springfield and Worcester, began 
to decline rapidly as factories disappeared. As no new industries 
emerged, workers either followed the jobs south or relied on the 
government for assistance. Once-proud and defiant laborers were 
now helpless and angry. 

The differing historical development of industry between the North 


and South had far reaching repercussions on the economic, political, 
and social landscape of both regions. The wrenching conflict attend- 
ing the North's birth of industrial unions never threatened the South. 
For the Southerner, industrialization triumphed over poverty and oc- 
cupational uncertainty and replaced lost pride in the aftermath of the 
Civil War. Industry helped the South gain confidence and strength, 
and such positive effects carry on today. 

Political relations between industry and government have suffered 
mightily in the North because of taxes and pollution. Pollution con- 
trols being nonexistent in the early stages of the industrial revolution, 
much of Massachusetts felt the adverse effects first. The Common- 
wealth became one of the first states to represent the worker against 
industry in advocating pollution-free manufacturing environments. 
Adding insult to injury, as industries left, those remaining faced a 
heavier tax burden to both cover the lost revenue and help the 
government feed and clothe its unemployed. 

In Massachusetts, taxes and pollution remain such volatile issues 
today that strict controls of industrial waste and business tax hikes 
can have disatrous results for an elected official. Governor Michael 
Dukakis was defeated resoundingly in 1 978 in a second term election 
bid due to his policy favoring increased taxes upon industry. 

In Georgia, on the other hand, the relationship between govern- 
ment and industry is almost cozy, having experienced only the 
positive effects of industrialization. By the time industrial processes 
moved here, their pollution controls were in place. Textiles and 
carpet manufacturing did not produce devastating pollution. Paper 
mills in south Georgia are great polluters, but they are distant enough 
from major population centers to elicit little popular protest. Thus 
government never had to step in as the regulator of industry. 

Moreover, taxation has hardly been an issue between government 
and industry in Georgia due to the continued growth of industry and 
population. Analyses of the 1980 United States Census indicate that 
by the year 2030 Massachusetts' population will have grown barely 
4% while Georgia is pegged at 45%. This is reassurance of future 
taxpaying and a stable tax policy. In fact, Georgia has not changed its 
corporate tax rate for some forty years. 

Economic effects are more difficult to qualify. Massachusetts in 
1 989 enjoyed one of the lowest unemployment figures in the country, 


at 3% compared to a 5% figure in Georgia. The service industry is 
larger in Massachusetts than Georgia and seems well poised for the 
next industrial wave. 

Questions remain, however, as to the ability of the service industry 
to replace manufacturing in terms of wage levels, benefits, and job 
security. And, as in the textile age, the dominance of one industry in a 
'egion may be disastrous once the industry falters. A case in point is 
[he town of Lowell which, empty of textile firms, became the home of 
i/Vang computers. The computer crash in 1985 devastated Lowell 
Dnce again as Wang was forced to lay off hundreds of employees, 
:housands by 1989. 

Others question the real cause of the Massachusetts resurgence. 
VI assachu setts' economic preeminence closely parallels President 
Reagan's tenure and his Strategic Defense Initiative. Massachusetts 
nstitute of Technology (MIT) defense contracting and its vast sup- 
Dort infrastructure have been major components of the economic rise 
Df Massachusetts. 

Be that as it may, the economic success achieved through local 
afforts, coupled with government-industry antagonism over taxes 
and pollution and the social effects of industrial upheaval, create an 
anvironment adverse to international investment in Massachusetts. 
Dne more factor needs to be explored before a clear picture emerges 
as to why the number of Japanese manufacturers are so small in 
:omparison to Georgia. 

The last factor, the one perhaps with the biggest downside for 
Japan, is the perceived loss of competitiveness of Massachusetts' 
ndustry in Japan. The once-proud shipping industry all but disap- 
Deared in the face of first Japanese and now Korean manufacturing 
night. The great Quincy shipyard built its last Navy ship in 1986. The 
site has been scheduled for conversion to waterfront housing. Mas- 
sachusetts' machine tool industry was ravaged by the disappearance 
Df the heavy industry it once served. Also decimated by low priced 
and highly automated machine tools made in Japan, the Massachu- 
setts machine tool industry is all but dead. The shoe industry was 
billed off by cheap Korean, Hong Kong, and Taiwanese labor. The 
textile industry, after first losing ground to the South, was additionally 
debilitated by cheap Asian imports. It is always easier to justify a loss 
Df competitiveness using external evils of protectionism, low wages, 


and high-dollar than internal causes leading to deterioration. 

Today, Japan is seen as a threat to Massachusetts' emerging 
technologies. The concentration of universities in Massachusetts 
spurs on cutting-edge research and manufacturing. Fiberoptics ; 
photovoltaics, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and superconduc- 
tivity are seen as new battle grounds between the United States anc 
Japan. Massachusetts is a leader for the United States. 

Since Japan has been the most visible and successful competitor 
there is a reluctance to welcome Japan to Massachusetts. The irony 
is that Massachusetts universities are crowded with Japanese re- 
searchers, both from industrial and educational facilities. MIT ever 
has an Industrial Liaison Program whereby interested firms gair 
access to all its research by donating substantial sums. Most majoi 
Japanese firms are members. Even so, few researchers have the 
clout to sway a company's location decision for a manufacturing site 
in the United States. One exception is the Nippon Electric Corpora- 
tion (NEC) plant in Boxborough, Massachusetts, located there be- 
cause the present NEC president wanted to repay the debt he owec 
for the education he received at MIT many years ago. Moreover, ir 
Massachusetts as elsewhere in the United States, there is both 
popular and official xenophobia regarding the Japanese. 

All the conditions described above — union strife, tax and regula- 
tory instability, and xenophobia — are deterrents to an incoming for- 
eign manufacturer. The United States market is difficult enough foi 
American companies. Thus, foreign companies must reduce control- 
lable risks to compete effectively. 

The risk reduction process can be seen in the manufacturing 
investment strategies of the Japanese. Although 80% of Americans 
live east of the Mississippi, most Japanese firms first establishec 
plants in California. Proximity to the homeland and existing communi- 
ties of Japanese ancestry reduced perceived risks. Only after gaining 
experience and confidence in California did Japanese firms begin tc 
venture into other regions. 

Georgia benefitted from the lessons of others. The manner in 
which Japanese firms established a presence in Georgia prevented 
antagonism against Japanese investment from developing in Geor- 

Acutely mindful of its foreign status, Japan, from day one, took a 


cooperative stance in Georgia. Just as the Southern textile industry 
began to suffer the full effect of cheap foreign imports in the late 
1960s, Japanese companies arrived to buy out dying firms and 
create new ones. Japanese firms beneficially stepped in to fill a void 
left by bankrupt United States companies, timing themselves so that 
little disruption occurred. In effect, company ownership was less a 
concern for Georgians than the availability of good jobs. 

In some small Georgia and Carolina towns the biggest employer 
was Japanese. The firms were seen as a godsend, not a plague. The 
perception of Japan as rescuer began in the textile industry and laid a 
fertile ground for future Japanese investment in a variety of indus- 

The historical circumstances of American industrial development 
helped create a welcome environment for Japanese investment in 
Georgia. Japan's timing and expertise ensured its growth and expan- 
sion. One has only to read about "the next Japanese plant location" 
to realize Japan is a full partner in Georgia's manufacturing commu- 
nity. Contrast this with NEC in Massachusetts, where months of 
negotiating were necessary to appease suspicious townspeople, and 
the company arrived as quietly as a thief in the night. Even today, few 
outside Boxborough know NEC has for ten years been building 
computers just west of Boston. 

I think the historical differences between Massachusetts' and 
Georgia's industrial development will be of great importance in the 
years ahead as more companies establish roots around the world 
and in the process lose their outward national identities. The future of 
Japanese investment looks bright for Georgia and surrounding states. 
Interstate competition to woo the Japanese is intense. Yet Georgia 
continues to win an inordinately large number of firms, third behind 
California and Illinois. As proximity to Japan is no longer a factor, 
California's popularity has waned over the years. The actual number 
gap between Japanese plants in Georgia and Illinois can be counted 
on the fingers of one hand. 

If current trends continue, Georgia has the potential of hosting the 
largest number of Japanese companies in the nation. But inherent 
weaknesses in the Georgian economy due to the short history of 
industrialization could undermine this development. The absense of 
suppliers and services for the manufacturing industry must be ad- 


dressed. Many Japanese manufacturers get components and pre- 
fabrication from distant points in the Midwest and North, wreaking 
havoc on their just-in-time-inventory systems. Industrial development 
authorities need to establish clearly defined, coordinated programs 
to attract these industries or there will be no support for existing and 
incoming manufacturers. 

Employee training costs in Georgia are high in comparison with 
industrialized states equipped with workers trained over generations. 
Although it is not mentioned by the state development agencies in 
their promotional literature, Japanese firms usually spend more than 
originally budgeted for training once they set up in Georgia. The best 
remedy is education. The State of Georgia's Quality Basic Education 
program, while a good start, must be improved and expanded and 
become the priority program passed from one administration to the 
next. An educated work force is easier to train than an uneducated 
one, thus saving costs and time for industry. 

Georgia must improve its infrastructure. Time will inevitably erase 
the lingering negative effects of industrial history that still hamper 
international development in Massachusetts. Content and successful 
today, Georgia could one day discover its glory days of welcoming 
Japanese investment are in the past. 


The Georgia-Republic of Korea (ROK) 
Connection: Into the Twenty-first Century 


In September 1 988, Seoul, capital of the Republic of Korea (ROK), 
lecame the first city on the Asian mainland east of the Urals to host 
le Olympic Games. The XXIV Olympiad was one of the largest, 
lest-attended sports spectacles in history. Dignitaries from the ROK's 
Dngtime enemies as well as its old allies were on hand for the 
sstivities. One of the guest delegations was from Atlanta, a city 
>usily promoting its own Olympic hopes. The Georgia capital recently 
lad been chosen as the United States candidate for the 1 996 Games, 
ind Mayor Andrew Young was in Seoul to present his case to 
)lympic officials. Assisting him in the lobbying effort was Korean- 
iorn Atlanta banker Joon H. Song, head of Georgia's Olympic Sup- 
>ort Committee. Another Georgian who came to observe the Olym- 
)ics was Chang Bin Yim, a Korean-born textile executive from Dal- 
on. As a member of the Southeast United States-Korea Economic 
Council, he was also interested in attracting more investment from 
lis native country to his adopted state. 

In 1 990 the mission of attracting the Olympics to Atlanta still seems 
in extraordinary long shot, while the effort to boost trade between the 
10K and Georgia is being pursued with high expectations. But in 
)oth campaigns, as they did in Seoul in September 1988, Koreans in 

Mr. Dyer, a journalism graduate of Georgia State University, served three tours of duty with 
ie United States Army in the Republic of Korea, where he acted as liaison between the Greek 
Mhodox Chuch of Korea and United States servicemen. Mr. Dyer has been employed by The 
\tlanta Journal-Constitution since 1984. He authored "Will Atlanta Become the Seoul of the 
>outh?" in the May 22, 1 988, Journal-Constitution. He also wrote a guide to Georgia for South 
Koreans published by Hankook llbo of Seoul. 


Georgia play prominent roles, establishing themselves as key play- 
ers in the state's future. The Korean presence in Georgia is all the 
more impressive for having emerged in a single generation. Esti- 
mates of its precise size vary because of the continued high growth 
rate. The Directory of the Korean Association of Atlanta estimates 
that there are 15,000 Koreans in Atlanta and 30,000 in Georgia, 
making them the largest group of Asians in the state. Joon H. Song, 
of C & S Bank, and Kyu Chul Lee, of Korean American Broadcasting, 
Inc., estimate 30,000 Koreans in Atlanta and 50,000 in Georgia. 

Georgia's Koreans are well organized, despite the fact that they 
have not tended to cluster in specific neighborhoods. Among the five 
Asian populations — Chinese, Filipinos, Indians, Koreans and Viet- 
namese — that operate ethnic associations in Atlanta, the Koreans 
have by far the widest range of services and programs. They support 
about 30 churches in the Atlanta area alone, more than the combined 
total of other ethnic congregations in the entire state. A Korean- 
American Chamber of Commerce, active in Atlanta since 1975, esti- 
mates that there are 700 Korean-owned businesses in Georgia, most 
of them family firms in the service sector. 

International commerce is another matter. While the ROK is fre- 
quently likened to Japan as an emerging economic power and formi- 
dable United States trading partner, its potential for growth in Geor- 
gia remains to be seen. Georgia's International Facilities Register, 
which lists foreign businesses operating in the state, shows 206 
Japan-based enterprises and only four based in the ROK. In 1986, 
the ROK ranked 33rd among nations that import Georgia products. 1 

If large-scale international trade seems to lag badly behind immi- 
gration, this can be explained in purely linear terms. South Korea was 
an exporter of people well before it was capable of significant interna- 
tional commerce. But if its economic presence in Georgia expands as 
rapidly as has the state's Korean population, the next two decades 
will see soaring trade relations. 

Background of the Korean Presence in Georgia 

Most Asian populations in the United States have grown dramati- 
cally in recent years, but this is particularly true of Koreans. As 
recently as 1940, when the former Asian kingdom was in the final 
years of Japanese domination, the total number of Koreans in this 


country was 8,562, eighty percent of whom were residents of Ha- 
waii. 2 

Many Koreans had a keen awareness of, and admiration for, 
America during the Japanese colonial period, and large numbers 
adopted the faith of American Christian missionaries. This interest, 
however, was rarely reciprocated in the United States, even in official 
circles. Schoolbooks mentioned Korea as a province of Japan, and 
some government records failed to distinguish between Koreans and 

The military experiences of two prominent Korean-Americans illus- 
trate how little understanding there was of their ethnic group as late 
as the 1940s. Young Oak Kim of Los Angeles, now a retired United 
States Army colonel and a highly decorated hero of two wars, began 
his military career in World War II by being drafted into a unit set 
aside for Japanese-Americans. Susan Ahn, who in 1 942 became the 
first Asian woman to join the United States Navy, initially was refused 
enlistment because of confusion over her ethnic status. Navy recruit- 
ers "did not know what a Korean was." 3 

The Korean War of 1950-1953 raised American awareness about 
the existence of Koreans and left the government in Seoul facing 
enormous population problems. The ROK government controlled 
slightly less than half the land on the Korean peninsula, but an influx 
of refugees had left it with about eighty percent of the peninsula's 
people. The economy had been shattered by years of colonialism 
and war, and the country was dependent on United States aid. 

Under these circumstances, the ROK encouraged emigration, 
especially to the United States, while discouraging any outflow of its 
meager capital. But United States immigration laws were not accom- 
modating. Anti-Asian admission quotas and the realities of military 
occupation shaped Korean immigration into a peculiar pattern. Most 
newcomers to the United States from the ROK were either war brides 
or war orphans. They were absorbed into American families as 
individuals and rarely established contact with one another. Between 
1960 and 1965, 12,000 of the 13,000 Koreans entering the United 
States were the wives or children of United States servicemen. 4 

United States immigration reform, approved in 1965 and imple- 
mented in 1968, increased the volume and altered the character of 
the Korean influx. In Georgia, where military communities previously 


were the centers of a limited Korean population, Atlanta began to 
develop a recognizable Korean community in the late 1960s. 

As late as 1962, there were only three Korean families living in the 
Atlanta area, in addition to a few students, military brides and adop- 
tees. 5 The first recorded gathering of Koreans in Atlanta took place in 
1 964, when five students began a regular Christian prayer meeting at 
Emory University. This meeting has sometimes been described as 
the ancestor of the city's Korean Association. 6 

By 1972, Atlanta was considered sufficiently important for the 
opening of a ROK consulate. The diplomatic mission established the 
Georgia capital as the Seoul government's contact point for the 
Southeast, and it continues to serve the entire area east of Texas 
and south of the Baltimore-Washington corridor. It also made Atlanta 
the Korean media center for the region. Three Seoul-based Korean- 
language publications opened bureaus in Atlanta: Hankook llbo in 
1976, the Joong-Ang Daily News in 1976, and Chosun llbo in 1978. 
The Korean-language Korean Journal (Georgia Edition), a weekly 
free-ad paper, commenced publication in Atlanta in 1987. It is affili- 
ated with similar Korean-language papers in Chicago and Los Ange- 
les. The Sae Gae Times, a New York-based Korean-language daily 
newspaper that concentrates on world and national news, opened a 
Georgia bureau in 1983. 

In the early 1970s, the authoritarian government of President Park 
Chung-hee began to sense the political potential of overseas Kore- 
ans, almost all of whom owed at least formal allegiance to the ROK in 
Seoul instead of to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea 
(DPRK) in the North. In several of his speeches in 1973, Park 
criticized his countrymen abroad who allegedly had tried to pass as 
Japanese or Chinese, and he called for an "I am Korean" philosophy. 
He directed his government to assist the promotion of traditional 
culture and loyalty to the homeland among emigrants. 

Some of Park's efforts led to controversy, as in the "Koreagate" 
scandal of the mid-1970s, when his agents allegedly tried to exert 
illegal influence on United States policy through Korean-Americans. 
But most aspects of this campaign were more benign, including the 
distribution of flags and patriotic literature and the worldwide promo- 
tion of the national sport of taekwondo, the teaching of which in- 
cludes the veneration of traditional Korean symbols. The campaign 


also fostered the formation of Korea Societies and Korean Associa- 

The Korean Association of Atlanta was organized in 1974. Over 
the years it has become an umbrella group for a host of other Korean 
organizations and a clearinghouse for information about them. The 
most important of these organizations are the Korean-American 
Chamber of Commerce and the Korean Grocers Association. 

In Georgia's urban areas, as elsewhere in the United States, 
Koreans have become known as the new wave of immigrant shop- 
keepers. They own hundreds of small, family-run businesses such as 
restaurants, neighborhood groceries, laundries, and motels. Their 
seemingly sudden infiltration into this sector has generated some 
suspicions about the source of their financing. 

Gyehs, or informal credit unions, have been an essential though 
little-publicized factor in the development of this business structure. 
Gyehs are formed, often under the auspices of churches, by groups 
of families that pool cash resources. Each month the cash pool is lent 
to a member family, generally interest-free and with no restrictions on 

Since the gyeh system is built totally on trust, members have no 
legal recourse if their trust is abused. Participants are disinclined to 
talk about specific instances, but some gyehs have failed in the 
Atlanta area, sending ripples of financial hardship through segments 
of the community. 

Georgia's Korean population entered its greatest period of growth 
during the administration of President Jimmy Carter, when the state 
became well-known around the world. Since then, the Korean Cham- 
ber of Commerce and individual businessmen have sought to attract 
Koreans to Georgia from other parts of the United States, especially 
Southern California and the New York area. 

Future Immigration Prospects 

The ROK has worked successfully in the past two decades to curb 
its population growth, but it still forecasts a population for the year 
2000 of 49.2 million in a country about the size of Indiana. 7 Immigra- 
tion to the United States will continue to be encouraged, and an 
increasing number of immigrants will find their way to the Southeast. 
The Atlanta area has the potential to become "another Los Angeles," 


which has 250,000 Koreans, at some point in the future. This predic- 
tion seems improbable in the near future, but even conservative 
estimates are that Georgia's Korean population will double by 1993. 

The Korean organizational structure in the state will have to face 
this influx, and it has shown signs in the late 1 980s of a new maturity. 
Atlanta's Korean Association "democratized" in 1987, electing a 
president by secret ballot after a formal campaign by three prominent 
leaders. Dr. Soo-wong Ahn, who has been in the city since 1 964, was 
elected. Dr. Ahn is a physician and his selection may signal a 
lessening of influence by the merchant sector in Korean affairs. 

Another recent significant event was a party in Marietta on August 
8, 1988, inaugurating the United Korean Federal Credit Union, the 
first chartered Korean credit union in the Southeast. The party was 
attended by prominent Koreans from throughout Georgia and was 
given wide coverage in the Korean-language Joong-Ang Daily News, 
Hankook llbo, Chosun llbo, Sae Gae Times, and Korean Journal. 
This was unusually thorough attention for what was essentially a 
private event. Whatever the success of this particular financial ven- 
ture, it is clearly a sign that the gyeh system is in decline and that 
Korean ownership of small businesses may not spread so rapidly as 
it has in the past decade. 

Korean churches continue to wield strong influence among first- 
generation Korean immigrants, but even the clergy fear that this will 
decline among those born or raised in this country whose primary 
language is English. In 1980 a Korean school was begun at Atlanta's 
Baptist Tabernacle primarily to keep knowledge of the language 
alive. But enrollment has remained at about 100, suggesting that 
Korean language instruction, if any, is carried on at home. 

The political influence of Koreans in Georgia remains minimal, 
mainly because many first-generation immigrants are still not citi- 
zens. An example of the community's relative weakness is its inability 
thus far to persuade the state government to allow the use of the 
Korean language on drivers' license tests. But the importance of 
South Korean money, which has been fortified by the flow of black ink 
into the ROK in the 1980s, is still to be felt in Georgia. 

The Slow Rise in Trade 

Korean Air Lines has had a sales office in Atlanta since 1974, 


making it the longest-established Korean company in Georgia. But 
the airline still does not fly into the Southeast's aviation hub, a sign of 
the long-stalled penetration of Southeastern markets by Korean 
companies. Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines initiated direct service to 
Seoul in 1986, an event that attracted regionwide attention to the 
ROK's emerging importance. Since 1986 the Republic of Korea flag 
has flown at Hartsfield International Airport alongside the flags of 
other nations with direct air service to and from Atlanta. 

Young Kang, a businessman and former director of Atlanta's Ko- 
rean Association, approached Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson in 
1981 with a proposal that Atlanta acquire a sister city in the ROK. 
Kang's choice was Taegu, the country's third-largest city. Taegu, as 
he pointed out to the mayor, was a southeastern metropolis, a 
provincial capital, and roughly equal in population to Atlanta. It was 
also his own hometown. 

Jackson liked the proposal, and before year's end he had visited 
Taegu and signed the necessary documents of friendship. The fol- 
lowing year, Taegu's mayor paid a reciprocal visit to Georgia and 
received an honorary doctorate from Atlanta University. 

The sister cities program is basically geared toward understanding 
between cultures, and much of the Taegu-Atlanta relationship has 
involved student exchanges and tourist visits. But Kang, who has 
since become vice chairman of Atlanta's sister cities committee, saw 
the program from the first as a vehicle for increasing commercial ties 
between Georgia and his native country. 

This attitude has been shared by Atlanta's current mayor, Andrew 
Young, who succeeded Jackson in 1982. In keeping with his experi- 
ence as a United Nations ambassador and his determinedly interna- 
tionalist outlook, Young has maintained quasi-diplomatic contacts 
with foreign leaders and travelled widely to promote Atlanta as a 
business center. He made his first trip to Taegu in 1982 and has 
overseen reciprocal visits of administrative and public safety officials 
of the two cities. 

Joe Frank Harris, who became Georgia's governor in 1983, has 
complemented Young's initiatives with his own vigorous courtship of 
Korean business. He has visited the ROK three times as part of East 
Asia trade missions and in 1985 was the first governor in the United 
States to announce plans to open a state trade office in Seoul. 


Georgia's endeavors have brought mixed results. Despite the 
state's lead in making its intentions known, it was second to Alabama 
in actually putting its Seoul office into operation. Direct investment 
from the ROK has remained low, and as of late 1 988 none of it was in 
manufacturing. A small, ROK government-affiliated Korea Trade 
Center, which opened in Georgia in the late 1970s, quietly sus- 
pended activities in October 1987. In addition, United States pres- 
sure on the ROK to allow in more United States agricultural imports is 
being met by stiff resistance in the South Korean countryside. 

Two bright spots in this picture have been Hanjin Container Lines 
Ltd. and Hyundai Motor Company, both of which established Atlanta- 
area offices in the 1980s and use Georgia port facilities for their 
Southeastern imports. Hyundai's opening of a regional sales office in 
Lithia Springs in late 1985 was particularly welcome because it was 
in an area on the west side of Atlanta that the state targeted for 

The Southeast United States-Korea Economic Council, founded in 
1985 to promote trade between South Korea and seven Southeast- 
ern states, alternates its annual meetings between Seoul and various 
Southeastern cities. Its members from Georgia include Joon H. 
Song, Chang Bin Yim, and SDI International's Edward I.S. Kil. The 
Southeastern member states are likely to be competing against one 
another for Korean business. An ROK government study released in 
May 1988 rated the 10 best states for direct investment. Nine were 
either Southern or border states, with Florida placing first and Geor- 
gia fifth. 8 

The ROK government, after concentrating much of its energies in 
the 1980s on staging a successful Olympiad, is now pushing its 
business sector to invest abroad. The nation recorded its first-ever 
trade surplus in 1 986 and the figure has been climbing steadily since. 
Government planners want to take advantage of the won's apprecia- 
tion against the dollar and provide a hedge against growing protec- 
tionist sentiment in the United States. To that end, longstanding re- 
strictions on the flow of capital out of the country have been eased. 
As of January 1988, it is legal to carry as much as $1 ,000,000 out of 
the ROK, up from a previous ceiling of $40,000. 

The ROK government's direct influence on industry has weakened 
since opposition parties gained control of the National Assembly in 


the spring of 1988. Patrick A. Travisano, of International Business 
Networks, Inc., visited Seoul twice during 1988 to campaign for more 
ROK trade with Georgia and reported that government officials seemed 
more receptive than business leaders to his efforts. He found ROK 
companies eager to gain a niche in United States markets but fearful 
of the economic risks involved. 

Korean business leaders in Georgia see Atlanta's Olympic candi- 
dacy as a unique opportunity for the state to outdistance its regional 
rivals and win over reluctant Asian investors. When the host for the 
1996 Games will be chosen in the autumn of 1990, local Koreans 
with ties to the International Olympic Committee will again be making 
contacts on behalf of the city. 

Young Kang, citing the importance of the Taegu region in ROK 
politics since 1948, predicts that Atlanta's sister city will swing the 
Seoul government away from its support of Athens, Greece, and 
behind the Olympic bid from Atlanta. He may overestimate the 
current influence of Taegu in ROK politics and of the ROK in Olympic 
circles, but the selection process has been full of surprises in the 
past. Choosing Seoul was one of them. 

The outlook for Georgia-Korean trade is colored by extremes. If 
Atlanta succeeds in attracting the Olympics, its attractiveness to 
Korean investment should rise enormously, with firms that helped 
rebuild the face of Seoul vying for contracts along Peachtree Street. 

On the other hand, no major economic power is more vulnerable to 
war than the ROK. The Korea Development Institute predicts a 
continued easing of tension on the peninsula, but with the threat of 
hostilities persisting past the year 2000. So long as the DPRK 
remains unpredictable, Seoul is in an exposed position near the 
border, and even a limited military conflict could reverse years of 
progress in the ROK. 

If events unfold at a more measured pace, Georgia can expect to 
find itself competing heavily with Florida, which has impressed ROK 
analysts with its dynamic growth. Opening a ROK consulate in 
Miami, discussed and abandoned in previous years, is under serious 
consideration again. 

Koreans in Georgia, however, take an unruffled view of the chal- 
lenge from the Sunshine State. Florida lacks hills, evergreens, and 
identifiable winters, they say, things that appeal to Koreans both 


private and corporate. When asked to sum up the Peach State's 
appeal, two leaders of Atlanta's Korean community came up with an 
identical sentence: "Georgia looks like Korea." 9 In future decades, 
they hope that will become truer than ever. 


I am grateful for the cooperation of many people, most of them Koreans living in 
Georgia. Several are mentioned by name in this article, although none sought recognition. I 
wish to thank particularly Mr. Edward I.S. Kil, who worked especially hard to assist me and 
whose dreams for the future of Georgia and Korea are inspirational. 

1 From statistics on file at the Georgia Department of Industry and Trade. Figures are for 
1986, the last full year for which information is complete. 

2 Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University 
Press, 1980), p. 603. Korean section written by Hyung-Chan Kim. 

3 Korea Newsreview, July 9, 1988, for the Kim account; June 11, 1988, for Ahn's story. 

4 Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups, p. 602. 

5 Interview with Joon H. Song, February 1988. 

6 Interview with Dr. Soo-wong Ahn, January 1988. 

7 Korea Development Institute statistic cited in 2000 Days, Korea's Fifth Republic, (Seoul: 
Korean Overseas Information Service, 1987), p. 66. 

8 Business Korea (Seoul), May 1988, p. 43. , 

9 Interview with Joon H. Song, February 1988, and with Young Kang, August 1988. 


Profiles of Civic 

Organizations Involved 

With Georgia-East Asian 



Japan, Georgia, and the Japan- America 

Society of Georgia (JASG): 
The Viewpoint of Its Executive Director 


Japan and Georgia 

Emperor Jimmu, the founder of the Japanese nation, is said to 
have ascended the throne on February 1 1 , 606 B.C. General James 
Edward Oglethorpe founded what is now the state of Georgia on 
February 12, 1733. Allowing for the fact that the international date 
line bisects the Pacific, it can be concluded that the estabishment of 
Japan as a nation and the founding of Georgia are separated by two 
days and two thousand three hundred and thirty-nine years. 

One need not, however, go back much more than a century to find 
the origins of diplomatic, cultural and commercial relations between 
Japan and the United States. A still shorter time frame is required to 
describe the beginnings of major and sustained contacts between 
Japan and Georgia. 

At the nation to nation level, Commodore Matthew C. Perry initi- 
ated diplomatic contact with Japan in 1853 by demanding that the 
Japanese end their policy of isolation from the outside world. The 

*ln 1975 George Waldner received his Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University, where his 
dissertation was on "Japanese Foreign Policy and Economic Growth: Ikeda Hayato's 
Approach to Trade Liberalization." He became a member of the Board of Directors of the 
Japan-America Society of Georgia in 1980 and served as the Society's first Executive 
Director. Dr. Waldner has served as Provost of Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, Georgia, and 
in 1 987 became Vice President for Academic Affairs at Wilkes College, Wilkes-Barre, Penn- 
sylvania. The original version of this article was published in the Japan-America Society of 
Georgia Yearbook & Directory 1982and is reprinted with the permission of the Japan-America 
Society of Georgia, Inc. 


size of Perry's fleet and the insistence of his demands persuaded the 
Japanese government that they had little alternative but to acqui- 
esce, and so it was that Japan began its contacts with the United 
States and the rest of the world in the modern era. 

Contact with the United States catalyzed Japan's start on a course 
of national development and economic growth that has continued 
and gathered speed ever since. In the modernization of their public 
and private institutions, the Japanese have on many occasions 
looked to the American experience as a guide for their own growth 
and tranformation. Some of the forces unleashed by the rapid pace of 
change in Japanese society expressed themselves in a policy of 
conquest, which brought the United States and Japan into mortal 
combat and thus riveted the attention of millions of people in both 
societies on the other. 

After World War II, American officials of the Allied Occupation set 
about the task of democratizing and otherwise reforming Japan's 
economy, politics, and education system, usually with the willing 
cooperation of their Japanese counterparts. In recent years, the two 
countries have been political and military allies in Asia. Increasingly, 
cultural influences have begun to flow in both directions. Many 
Americans are now interested in uniquely Japanese styles of the 
martial arts, tea ceremony, flower arranging and horticulture. People 
to people interactions have grown with improved air travel between 
Japan and America now accessible to millions. Most significantly, the 
commercial and financial relationships between the two countries 
have developed to the point at which Japan is now the largest 
overseas trading partner of the United States. 

Trade between the two countries in 1981 reached $64 billion in 
value. The United States is the major foreign market for Japanese 
motor vehicles and electronic products, while Japan is America's 
best overseas customer. In 1981, the U.S. shipped nearly $22 billion 
worth of goods to Japan-an amount almost equal to combined 
American sales to the United Kingdom and West Germany. 

The extent of United States-Japan trade has given rise to a steady 
stream of people and goods flowing between the two countries and 
has also generated some frictions, controversies, and problems of 

It was not until the 1 960s and 1 970s that Georgia began to develop 


as a major focal point of U.S. -Japan relations. Among a number of 
"first causes" for the budding of Japan-Georgia relations, the efforts 
of Governor Carl E. Sanders should be noted. Governor Sanders, 
along with Governor Katsushi Terazono of Kagoshima Prefecture, 
established a sister state relationship between Georgia and Kagoshima 
in 1 966. Governor Sanders made an official visit to Japan in that year 
to inaugurate this new tie. The link to Kagoshima and the governor's 
visit focused attention in Japan on Georgia and also paved the way 
for regular visits of Georgia businessmen and academics to Japan 
and for delegations of Japanese to visit Georgia. 

Another primary factor in the development of Japan-Georgia ties 
was the maturation of Japan as an advanced industrial state with a 
substantial export market in the United States to supply with products 
and to provide with after-purchase service and parts. As the transpor- 
tation hub of the southeast, the Atlanta area became a key location 
for warehouse, distribution, and sales offices for Japanese firms, just 
as it is for U.S. companies. As Japanese firms experienced growth in 
their U.S. markets and began to require U.S. manufacturing facilities, 
Georgia again became a leading location for investments. The fac- 
tors which attracted Japanese manufacturing facilities-a skilled, highly 
motivated work force, access to transportation, availability of raw 
materials and energy, and low land costs-again were similar to the 
factors which have motivated U.S. firms to select Georgia as a site 
for new manufacturing investment. 

Japanese firms, however, did not focus on Georgia without a 
substantial nudge. That was provided during Governor Jimmy Carter's 
administration. As Mr. Lancaster has indicated in his article in this 
journal, Georgia opened a trade and investment development office 
in Tokyo in 1973 to publicize Georgia's advantages to potential in- 
vestors. Governor Carter also succeeded in his effort to persuade the 
Japanese government to locate its new Consulate General of the 
U.S. Southeast in Atlanta. Consul General Kazuo Chiba arrived in 
1974, establishing the consulate's offices in the Colony Square 
complex and his official residence on Blackland Road. Since 1974, 
nearly 100 Japanese firms have invested in Georgia. This more than 
any other factor has made Georgia an important and growing part of 
the U.S. -Japan relationship, rivaling California, Illinois, and the New 
York-New Jersey area in number of Japanese investments. 


Governor George Busbee built upon and greatly extended the 
achievements of the Carter years. Most notably Governor Busbee 
took the lead along with Consul General Chiba in founding the U.S. 
Southeast/Japan Association in 1975. The Association brings top 
private and public sector leaders from seven southeastern states into 
contact with nationally prominent figures in Japanese business and 
industry for annual meetings. The meetings are held in Japan in odd 
numbered years and in alternate southeastern states in even num- 
bered years. Governor Busbee led a one hundred member Georgia 
delegation to the Association's sixth annual meeting in Japan in 
1981. It was the Governor's sixth official visit to Japan during his 
tenure in office. 

The middle to late 1 970s was a time of transition and growth in the 
Georgia-Japan relationship. Consul General Chiba departed for 
another assignment in 1975, and Yoshifumi Ito became Japan's 
official representative from 1976 to 1978. In 1978 Ito was posted to 
Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Consul General Ryo Kawade arrived to take 
up his duties. Kawade served until 1983, when he was replaced by 
Kagechika Matano. During the Kawade consulship, the Japanese 
business community in Georgia underwent transition. The earliest 
organization of Japanese in the Atlanta area, the konwakai (discus- 
sion club), was transformed into the more formally organized nihonjin 
shokokai (Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry) in early 
1980. This group's work is supplemented by the programming of the 
hanamizukai (Flower and Water Club-Women's Club). The nihongo 
gakko (Japanese Language School) was established so that Japa- 
nese children would not be too far behind in language skills when 
they would return to Japan for subsequent education. The school has 
been crucial in calming the fear of many Japanese parents that a 
three or four year assignment in the U.S. would cause their children 
to incur serious educational handicaps that would disadvantage 
them upon their return to Japan. 

Transition and growth was also evident in the efforts of Georgians 
to develop the relationship. The Georgia Ports Authority established 
a representative office in Japan in 1976. As Mr. Day Lancaster has 
noted, a number of Georgia communities began or strengthened 
sister city linkages with communities in Japan. In the education area, 
student and faculty exchanges were inaugurated between Kagoshima 


University and the University of Georgia. 

The Japan-America Society of Georgia, 

At the end of the 1970s, there were approximately one thousand 
Japanese citizens residing in Georgia and some fifty-five Japanese 
firms located here. It was evident that the Japanese presence in 
Georgia had grown to a substantial size and that the 1980s and 
1990s were likely to be decades of further growth. A study by the 
Japan Economic Research Center indicated that while Japanese 
investment in North America was $4.5 billion in 1975, it had grown to 
$8.5 billion by 1979 and will likely reach $155 billion by 1990. In a 
recent opinion survey, Japanese business leaders ranked the top ten 
locations for investment in the U.S. as follows: (1) California; (2) 
Texas; (3) Illinois; (4) Georgia; (5) Tennessee; (6) Arizona; (7) Indi- 
ana; (8) New Jersey; (9) Washington; (10) Michigan. 1 Georgia's 
experience in the 1 970s and the preliminary evidence of future trends 
available in the late 1970s showed that the Japanese economic role 
and human presence in Georgia's future would be an important one. 

In 1979 a group of Georgians from business and academia came 
together to form a planning committee for the creation of a Japan- 
America Society of Georgia (JASG), an organization whose object 
would be to upgrade knowledge of Japanese society, culture, and 
public affairs among the citizens of Georgia. The organization also 
aimed to extend hospitality to the more than one thousand Japanese 
citizens temporarily in residence in Georgia and to make them aware 
of the history and traditions of Georgia. The planning committee was 
composed of people with substantial knowledge of Japan and long- 
term residence in Japan for business or cultural purposes. They 
recognized that because of the profound linguistic and cultural differ- 
ences between Americans and Japanese, increased contact and 
interaction would hold not only a promise of mutual benefit but also 
possibilities for misunderstandings or simply a dearth of meaningful 
communiccation. The organization's mission was to conduct pro- 
grams and activities to bridge the cultural gap and thereby insure that 
the Japanese presence in Georgia would be a fully realized opportu- 
nity for the state's growth and development. 

The planning committee members-Ann Godwey, Allen Judd, Mi- 
chael McMullen, and George Waldner-were aided greatly in their 


efforts by the enthusiastic support of the leadership of Coca-Cola 
Company, particularly Ian Wilson, officer-in-charge of the company's 
Pacific operations. This assistance was highly appropriate because 
Coca-Cola Company is the leading example of a Georgia-based 
company to have established itself in Japan. In Japan, moreover, as 
Mr. Day Lancaster has noted, Coca-Cola is also identified with the 
State of Georgia through the marketing of its coffee-flavored soft 
drink called "Georgia." 

The leading figure in the Japanese business community to sponsor 
the formation of JASG has been Fred Chanoki, President of Murata- 
Erie North America, Inc., one of the original Japanese manufacturing 
investors in Georgia. In June 1 980 the founding meeting of the Board 
of Directors of JASG was held in Atlanta. The decision was made to 
incorporate the organization and to elect Ian Wilson as Chairman, 
Fred Chanoki as Vice-Chairman, D. Raymond Riddle, President of 
the First National Bank, as Treasurer, and George Waldner as 
Executive Director. Governor Busbee and then-Consul General 
Kawade were elected Honorary Co-Chairmen. The Articles of Incor- 
poration adopted at the founding board meeting listed the 
organization's purposes: 

1 . To promote greater knowledge of Japan's culture, society, and 
public affairs among the citizens of Georgia. 

2. To promote greater knowledge of crucial issues and problems in 
U.S. -Japan relations. 

3. To provide Japanese citizens resident in Georgia with aspects of 
American history, culture and lifestyles. 

4. To promote friendly relations between the people of Georgia and 
Japanese citizens residing in Georgia in order to secure better 
understanding by the people of Georgia of the country, people, 
and customs of Japan. 

5. To provide a forum for discussion of topics of common interest to 
the people of Georgia and the people of Japan, including the 
arts, literature, and cultural ideas, aspirations, and development 
of each of these areas. 

6. To foster and promote scholarship among the students of the 
colleges, universities and other institutions of higher learning, of 
both countries, especially in those areas which would lead to a 
better understanding of one country and its people by the other. 


The newly-formed organization joined the Associated Japan-Amer- 
ica Societies of the United States, Inc. The parent organization gave 
programming help to the Atlanta chapter as well as to thirteen other 
societies around the U.S.A. to best fulfill its purposes. The JASG 
incorporated as a non-profit, non-governmental, cultural and educa- 
tional organization. 

In January 1 981 Betty Weltner became the first full-time JASG staff 
member, as Executive Secretary. Mrs. Weltner opened the JASG's 
Atlanta Office at 100 Colony Square. 

Since September 1980, JASG has sponsored a wide range of 
activities in support of its basic purposes. JASG hosted eight corpo- 
rate luncheons, a corporate reception, and annual dinners, at which 
experts in Japanese-American relations addressed the member- 
ship. 2 In 1981 JASG co-sponsored educational 'Japan Caravan' at 
Georgia State University. JASG's women's activities have included a 
luncheon honoring the director of the Association Japan-America 
Societies; a tea ceremony; and half-Japanese, half-American tomo- 
dachi (friendship groups), which meet bimonthly. JASG has spon- 
sored other Japanese cultural activities in Atlanta including beginner 
and intermediate level Japanese language classes. 3 Through the 
efforts of paid staff and of hundreds of volunteers, JASG continues to 
foster understanding, communication, and friendship among Japa- 
nese and Georgians. 


M Survey of Japanese Investments in the United States, (Chicago: Economic Development 
Commission of the City of Chicago, 1 981 ). 

September 23, 1980: Kenji Kawamura, Managing Director, Foreign Press Center, Japan, 
"Recent Developments in Japanese Politics: Implications for U.S./Japan Relations; "Feb- 
ruary 23, 1981: James Balloun, Managing Director, McKinsey & Company, Atlanta. "The 
White Paper Report Written for the American Chamber of Commerce, Tokyo;" March 13, 
1981: Shigemitsu Kuriyama, Chief Economist, IBM/Japan, "Japanese Culture and Econ- 
omy;" May 7, 1981: Thomas N. Hague, Former President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce/ 
Japan, "Japan and America-Charting a New Course;" October 8, 1981 : Clyde Prestowitz, 
Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Economic Policy, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, 
"Current Issues in U.S./Japan Economic Affairs;" December 3, 1 981 : Jack Welsh, Director, 
International Division, Georgia Department of Industry & Trade, "Report of 1981 Georgia 
Mission to Japan;" February 8, 1 982: Tadayoshi Yamada, Executive Advisor, Nippon Steel 
Corporation, "Behavioral Characteristics of Japanese Business;" and February 25, 1982: 
Prof. James Buck, University of Georgia, "Japan's Defense Policy." 

3 November 3, 1980: "Japan and Culture" Day, Oglethorpe University; December 8, 1980: 
Kabuki demonstration, Atlanta Historical Society; May 14-30, 1981: Japanese Film Festi- 
val, High Museum of Art, June 21, 1981: Family Outing, co=sponsored by shokokai at 


Stone Mountain park; November 7, 1981: Okinawa Court Dancers at the Civic Center 
Auditorium. Beginning and intermediate Japanese language classes were offered quar- 
terly by Toshiko Jedlicka, a graduate of Rikkyo University with a M.A. degree in teaching 
Japanese as a second language. As of 1990 the offices of JASG are located at 225 
Peachtree Street, Suite 801 , South Tower, Atlanta, Georgia, 30303, TEL: (404) 524-7399. 


Enhancing Understanding of Japan Through 

an Informal Coalition of 

Scholars, Educators and Others: 

The Japan Education Network in Georgia 



In January 1985 a group of educators, scholars, and others inter- 
ested in Georgia's youth's understanding of Japan came together to 
explore the possibility for facilitating instruction about the Japanese 
people and their nation in the state's elementary and secondary 
schools. This initial meeting was inspired by the vision of Robert 
Broadwater, the Executive Director of the Japan-America Society of 
Georgia (JASG), who in the fall of 1984 had enlisted the support of 
Emory faculty member and past president of the National Council for 
the Social Studies, Carole Hahn. With modest support from JASG, a 
group that was to become the Japan Education Network in Georgia 
(JENGA) met the same month at Hahn's invitation at Emory Univer- 
sity to: 1) identify resources in Georgia for teaching about Japan; 2) 
project a vision of the possibilities for teaching and learning about 
Japan; 3) outline specific projects that might be undertaken to achieve 
the vision; and 4) determine a plan of action for implementing pro- 
posed projects. 

*Donald Schneider received his Ph.D. in history and education from George Peabody College 
in 1965. He is Professor of Social Science Education at the University of Georgia and is 
President of the National Council for the Social Studies. Dr. Schneider edited, with John C 
Cogan, Perspectives on Japan: A Guide to Teachers (Washington, D.C: National Council for 
the Social Studies, 1983). 


Among the two dozen people attending this meeting were profes- 
sors of history, social science, and education; teachers and curricu- 
lum specialists from public schools; personnel from the State of 
Georgia Department of Education; and representatives from Atlanta 
area businesses, the Japanese Consulate in Atlanta, and JASG. 

The Creation of JENGA 

This group recognized that since there was no Japan Center of 
Asian Studies Outreach Center in Georgia, an alternative coordinat- 
ing unit would be desirable. Accordingly, the participants agreed to 
establish an informal coalition to be titled The Japan Education 
Network in Georgia, or JENGA. They also took action on the tasks 
outlined by Hahn. They identified a number of existing resources and 
programs related to curriculum, instructional materials for students 
and teachers, exchange programs or study abroad programs, speak- 
ers on Japan, support groups and organizations, and public informa- 
tion programs that might be useful to schools and teachers. They 
proceeded to create a list of possible projects, some short term, 
others longer term, that would enhance the teaching about Japan in 
Georgia. Individuals or groups then agreed to begin work on various 
of these projects or continue on with those projects that they had 
already initiated. Carole Hahn agreed to serve as chair of JENGA 
and members agreed to meet again in May and report on the 
progress of the various projects. 

By the second meeting in May 1985, varying degrees of progress 
were reported on 13 different projects. These included completion of 
a slide-tape presentation for middle grades, video taping by the State 
Department of Education of 14 films selected from among the 96 
titles the Consulate had available and that could be duplicated for 
local school use, initiation of work on a resource directory, implemen- 
tation of a special program for schools by the Consulate entitled 
Japan Caravan, planning of a teacher workshop on Japan, develop- 
ment of a special course on the Far East in one of Atlanta's high 
schools, development of a teaching unit for middle grades, initiation 
of a video exchange project between a Fulton County middle school 
and a Japanese middle school, planning of a project tentatively 
entitled Japan in a Box, to be undertaken by Japanese parents of 
students in the Atlanta area Japanese language school, inclusion of 


articles about education in the Newsletter of JASG, and initiation of a 
program of essay writing about Japan in Atlanta Public Schools. 

Encouraged by the amount of ongoing activity, JENGA members 
discussed the need to coordinate their efforts in a more comprehen- 
sive and systematic manner. Informed that the Japan-United States 
Friendship Commission might be willing to consider funding a state- 
wide project for improving the teaching about Japan, several mem- 
bers agreed to meet in June to explore a possible proposal. Out of 
that meeting came a plan for a comprehensive multi-year project. 
The plan called for an initial assessment of students' knowledge and 
attitudes about Japan, obtaining teacher views of what was needed 
and feasible, and identifying available instructional materials for teach- 
ing about Japan. Phase two of the project was to involve the develop- 
ment of exemplary materials to meet the specific needs and circum- 
stances in Georgia schools. The plan for the third or dissemination 
phase called for a series of teacher workshops, presentations at 
professional meetings, and classroom demonstrations. 

Such a project posed some problems for JENGA. As an informal 
organization it was not possible for JENGA to submit a grant pro- 
posal. It was therefore decided to have the JASG submit the proposal 
and subcontract with one of the universities to provide some of the 
needed services. The decision to have the JASG serve as the project 
agency raised another issue: that of JENGA's relationship to the 
Japan-America Society. Key members of JENGA did not want to 
simply become an arm of JASG. The writing team nevertheless 
decided to proceed and a grant proposal was drafted, approved by 
JENGA members, and subsequently sent on to the United States- 
Japan Friendship Commission in the late summer of 1985. The 
Friendship Commission is an agency of the United States Congress 
empowered to distribute funds Congress controls. 

The issues that had been raised in the proposal deliberations 
resulted in a review of JENGA's mission and structure. By early fall 
1985, a formal mission statement and organizational plan were 
circulated. The mission statement was accepted, as was the pattern 
of quarterly meetings, but members backed away from the proposal 
for establishing a formal structure and instead supported the original 
conception of an informal coalition of educators and friends of educa- 
tion concerned with teaching about Japan. The major purposes of 


JENGA as outlined in the revised statement were to: 

1. Disseminate information about events, activities, educational 
products, and areas of need related to education about Japan; 

2. Serve as a forum for exchange of ideas and information related 
to education about Japan; 

3. Serve as a liaison organization for various interested parties 
such as the Japanese Consulate, the Japan-America Society of 
Georgia, the Georgia Department of Education, local school 
districts, universities and colleges, and teachers; 

4. Serve as a consultation group for those developing educational 
projects related to Japan. 

With the matter of aims and organization resolved, members awaited 
word on the grant proposal. Partial funding was approved by the 
Friendship Commission, but was to be used primarily for curriculum 
development and diffusion efforts. What had been planned to take 
three or four years had to be accomplished in less than two years 
with considerably less funding than initially projected. Nevertheless, 
JENGA and JASG decided to proceed. Under the leadership of co- 
chairs Beverly Armento of Georgia State University and Helen 
Richardson of Fulton County Schools, a revised plan was conceived 
and the timetable telescoped. 

Work began on the project in February 1 986, with an initial meeting 
of five teams of teachers and other educators and a small core of 
Japan specialists. Each team worked on a single sub-project for a 
designated grade level. For the primary grades two projects were 
undertaken. One was the development of a prototype artifacts kit and 
accompanying teacher guide that focused on 13 typical topics in- 
cluded in the kindergarten-grade 3 social studies program. A second 
team developed a set of lessons for grades 3-5 on various aspects of 
Japanese life and culture. For middle school level, one team devel- 
oped a multi-disciplinary unit on Japan's land and people for grades 
6-7 and another team developed a unit focusing on economic rela- 
tionships of Japan and Georgia for the eighth-grade Georgia studies 
curriculum. The high school team developed a series of lessons in 
five units that could be integrated in their entirety in world geography 
or world cultures courses or used more selectively in the govern- 
ment, economics, or sociology courses. 

Sufficient funds were available for pilot-testing of all materials 


except the artifacts kit in 50 to 100 classrooms in the winter and 
spring of 1987. As a result of the extensive field testing, JENGA 
received many positive comments and some suggestions for im- 
provement and revision of the materials. Unfortunately, neither JASG 
nor JENGA has been able to follow-up with further development of 
these materials because additional funding was not available and 
because the co-chairs and other key members of JENGA had taken 
on new professional responsibilities and were unable to continue 
providing the leadership needed to keep the network active. 

JENGA In Retrospect 

Keen observers of schooling in the United States, such as John 
Goodlad, have long called for collaborative efforts and linkages of 
schools, teachers, academicians, researchers, and others (Goodlad, 
1975, 1984). Such efforts, however, should be true partnerships with 
school people. As the limited impact of many of the school curriculum 
projects of the affluent 1960s made clear, money is not the issue. 
Academicians cannot expect to bring about pervasive and enduring 
curriculum change using a top-down model of development and 
dissemination. JENGA members had organized their projects with 
this lesson clearly in mind. 

The current wave of educational reform exhibits the same strong 
concern with students' academic preparation that has been a recur- 
ring theme in reform efforts of the last century. Professional meet- 
ings, educational journals, as well as the popular media, express 
increasing concern about the substance of the curriculum, and about 
the ways to improve the teaching of history, geography, and other 
disciplines. With this resurgence of interest in traditional disciplines 
there continues to be a need for the development of students' aca- 
demic skills. Skills, however, cannot be taught in a vacuum. Teach- 
ers need the scholarly background and resources that will enable 
them to blend the teaching of skills with content about other cultures. 

Although the contemporary school curriculum is less exclusively 
centered on Western Culture than formerly, there remains a need for 
more content about non-Western cultures in the curriculum. Content 
about Asia in general and Japan in particular remains spotty. Asian 
scholars can influence curriculum content to the extent that they help 
to produce textbooks and other materials that more accurately, per- 


ceptively, and interestingly present East-Asian content. 

Academicians can do even more to have an impact on the curricu- 
lum as taught (as opposed to that described in curriculum docu- 
ments) if they enter into cooperative efforts with educators instead of 
criticizing from the sidelines. JENGA represents one such effort to 
bring together Asianists and pre-college teachers. 

The JENGA experience also helped identify some of the issues 
and problems encountered in such ventures. The informal organiza- 
tion is both an asset and a problem. It is difficult to sustain such a 
coalition or to provide continuity, especially without a source of funds. 
JENGA relied heavily on the efforts of a few key people for leadership 
and the Japan-America Society of Georgia for logistical support. 

What assessment then can be made of JENGA? Although its 
members failed to meet the challenge of maintaining the coalition 
and building on initial successes, JENGA demonstrated what can 
temporarily be achieved through an informal organization of schol- 
ars, teachers, business people, and government officials. It ad- 
dressed educational and professional collegial needs not otherwise 
met at the time. With the development of the University System of 
Georgia Asian Studies Consortium, headquartered at Georgia South- 
western College and discussed in the next article, and with the 
emergence of centers such as the University of Georgia's recently 
established Asian Studies Center, perhaps the void left by the recent 
inactivity of JENGA will be filled. 


Goodlad, J. The Dynamics of Educational Change (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 

Goodlad, J. A Place Called School. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1984) 


The Asian Studies Consortium of Georgia 




Through a long process of meetings and exchange of ideas among 
many faculty members from the system's institutions, the Asian 
Studies Consortium of Georgia (ASCOG) was established in 1 986 as 
a system-wide program under the auspices of the International Inter- 
cultural Studies Program (MSP) of the University System of Georgia. 
Dr. Don Chang Lee, Professor of Anthropology at Georgia South- 
western College, was appointed by the Office of the Chancellor as 
Director for the Consortium. 

As a first step, faculty members who were interested in Asian 
Studies were identified and contacts were made with many of them to 
seek suggestions and support for the program. The favorable re- 
sponses to the idea of establishing the program in the University 
System were overwhelming. 

On January 1 8, 1 986, at the Southeastern Conference of the Asso- 
ciation for Asian Studies in Raleigh, North Carolina, the MSP called a 
meeting to discuss and share the ideas of ASCOG. The meeting was 
presided over by Pamela J. Dorn, Administrative Coordinator of the 
MSP. Eighteen people, most of them professors from colleges and 
universities in the State of Georgia, attended. 

The participants at the meeting enthusiastically received and ac- 

*Dr. Lee is Professor of Anthropology at Georgia Southwestern College and Director of the 
Asian Studies Consortium of Georgia. In 1 972 he received his Ph.D. in cultural anthropology 
from the University of Georgia. In 1 981 -82 Dr. Lee was professor-in- charge of the Japanese 
Studies Program of the University System of Georgia Studies Abroad Program. 


cepted the proposal to establish an Asian Studies Consortium and 
presented many constructive ideas to aid in its inception. These 
ideas ranged from specific academic programs to the seeking of 
support from businesses, communities, and government agencies. 

Following the aforementioned meeting, the MSP sponsored an 
International Studies Conference at Georgia College in Milledgeville 
in March 1986. One of the topics discussed at the conference was 
the establishment of ASCOG. Dr. Don Chang Lee of Georgia South- 
western College presented a brief outline to the group about ASCOG 
purposes and needs, activities, organizational structure, funding, and 
the benefits to University System institutions. 

On April 25, 1986, an ASCOG steering committee meeting was 
held at the office of I ISP. Seven faculty members from different 
institutions and MSP staff were present. The participants discussed a 
wide range of topics related to the Consortium such as means of 
publicizing the program and ways of seeking participation and coop- 
eration within the System and externally. The following general agree- 
ments were reached at the meeting: 

1 . The name of the organization will be the Asian Studies Consor- 
tium of Georgia (ASCOG). 

2. ASCOG will have an advisory council which will consist of ad- 
ministrators, faculty, government officials, and individuals from 
the private sector. ASCOG would wish to designate a represen- 
tative from each institution in the University System. 

3. The formulation of the mission statement and goals will be done 
by the I ISP staff and Dr. Don Chang Lee. The mission statement 

In a changing world of increasing interdependence and 
interaction, the acquisition of knowledge and skills to cope 
with international and intercultural differences is an impor- 
tant quality of American citizenship. The educational pro- 
grams carried out by ASCOG will contribute to the develop- 
ment of more capable Georgians today and tommorrow.The 
future of humanity depends upon the extent to which people 
in the many corners of the world understand and appreci- 
ate the differences in culture, institutions, and practices 
among other human populations. Having insight into, and 
awareness of, such differences will eventually contribute to 


the development of a peaceful global community. 
Within the framework of international affairs, the importance of 
economic relationships between Asia and the United States fur- 
ther heightens the need for developing an Asian Studies Pro- 
gram. In the global community, Asia is an increasingly important 
region in terms of our national interests. The programs linking the 
Asian and American peoples will result in mutual benefits for both 
and strengthen the world community. 

ASCOG will strive to achieve these ends by developing educa- 
tionally rich and meaningful Asian Studies Programs for Geor- 


ASCOG will develop high quality academic programs related to 
Asia. The programs will include the development of Asian area 
studies courses, major and minor programs in Asian Studies, student 
exchanges, Asian language courses, and study-abroad programs in 

ASCOG will contribute to faculty development programs by ar- 
ranging faculty exchanges and research collaboration among the 
University Systems faculty and also between the faculties of Asian 
institutions and the University System. In addition, faculty workshops 
and conferences will be sponsored by ASCOG. 

ASCOG will render services to business communities and the 
public at large. The services will include efforts to attract Asian 
industries to Georgia; to open markets in Asia for Georgia products, 
including agricultural goods; to sponsor seminars and conferences 
for Georgia business people to increase their awareness of cultural 
factors involved in business, management, and trade; and to provide 
any other services for Georgia's economic growth and development 
in relation to Asia. 

ASCOG will work in cooperation with public and private school 
systems in Georgia to promote the study of Asia by providing instruc- 
tional materials and human resources. ASCOG will also work with 
Georgia school systems to teach Asian languages to elementary and 
secondary school children. 

ASCOG will serve as a resource center for Asian Studies in 
Georgia. Collection and production of resource materials such as 


books and audio-visual aids will be made available to the System's 
institutions and the elementary and secondary schools. 

ASCOG will function as an intermediary to establish a sister rela- 
tionship between educational institutions in Georgia and Asia. 

ASCOG will serve as a center for the exchange of activities, ideas, 
works, events, and any other matters related to Asia through publica- 
tion of a periodic newsletter. The publication may eventually expand 
to include a scholarly journal of Asian Studies. 


ASCOG has an ongoing exchange agreement with Tunghai Uni- 
versity in Taiwan. An English professor from Georgia Southwestern 
College taught at Tunghai University as a Fulbright professor in 
1988. The Consortium also has an exchange and cooperation agree- 
ment with the Hokkaido, Japan, International Foundation. As of 1 990, 
there are some fifty Japanese students from the Hokkaido Interna- 
tional Foundation on campus at Georgia Southwestern College. 
These students are taking courses in English, linguistics, and meth- 
ods of teaching Japanese as a second language in preparation for 
teaching assignments in the Fall throughout the country and in 
Canada. Three of these students have been selected to teach within 
Georgia at the University of Georgia, Brenau College, and Georgia 
Southwestern College. 

During the summers of 1987, 1988, and 1989, ASCOG, in coop- 
eration with Hokkaido International Foundation, sent students, fac- 
ulty, and interested member of the public to Hakodate, Japan, for a 
program of summer studies. The two-month stay included intensive 
study of the Japanese language, culture, history, and business man- 
agement practices. ASCOG has sent approximately 20 individuals to 
Hakodate, where they lived with Japanese families for the entire 
period. In 1989 six full tuition scholarships were being furnished to 
the students by ASCOG through the courtesy of HIF. 

The Board of Regents designated Georgia Southwestern College 
as a Center for Asian Studies for the University System of Georgia. 
The new Center has as its primary purpose to promote Asian lan- 
guages and culture and serve as a model for the University System 
institutions. In addition, the Center, being the base of ASCOG, will 
work in cooperation with the Consortium to promote the study of 


Asian languages and cultures in the State of Georgia. The Center, 
working with ASCOG, will initially promote the teaching of the Japa- 
nese language at University System institutions. In addition, it will 
focus on developing Japanese language teaching at public schools 
in Georgia. 

The advisory council to ASCOG meets on a quarterly basis to plan 
the activities. A sub-committee is compiling an inventory of Asian 
studies resources available at institutions in Georgia. ASCOG pub- 
lishes a quarterly newsletter about exchange experiences, publica- 
tions, activities, and programs related to Asia. Items for publication in 
the newsletter should be sent to: 

The Center for Asian Studies 

Georgia Southwestern College 

Americus, Georgia 31709 

TEL: (912)928-1325 

TEL: (912)928-1577 


The Atlanta Basha of the China-Burma India 
Veterans Association (CBIVA) 


Within the United States there are numerous groups organized to 
ain recognition and advance the rights and benefits accrued to 
eterans of this country's wars and conflicts. Among them is the 
hina-Burma-lndia Veterans Association (CBIVA), founded in Mil- 
'aukee, Wisconsin, in 1947. As stated in its articles of incorporation, 

aims to promote a feeling of fellowship by renewing old acquain- 
inceships and making new friends among those who have a com- 
lon bond, by reason of their mutual service in or with the Armed 
ervices of the United States of America in the China-Burma-India 
leater of operations in World War II. The articles also state that 
'hile this group will cooperate with other veterans organizations, it 
smains a social and non-political entity and must never merge with 
ny political group or organization. It also aims to better acquaint 
jnericans with problems of East, South, and Southeast Asia. The 
ational officers include a commander, senior vice commander, judge 
dvocate, provost marshal, nine regional junior vice commanders, 
nd an adjutant-finance officer. State departments and local bashas 
re organized in a similar manner. 

The CBIVA has continued to grow since its founding. It established 
)cal branches throughout the country. Each local branch is called a 
asha and reports to national headquarters, either directly or through 

state department organization. The term basha is the Assamese 
ford for a dwelling. As of 1988 this organization had over 7,000 

\Ar. Felecki is Public Relations Officer of the Atlanta Basha (local chapter) of the China- 
urma-lndia Veterans Association. 


members nationwide, over 1,000 in the South and more than 120 
members in Georgia. Thus far membership continues to grow de- 
spite the aging and demise of eligible veterans. 

As the CBIVA continued to grow, it expanded; and today there are 
bashas located in almost every state in the country. It is particularly 
active in the South and Southeastern states. The state of Florida 
boasts the largest number of CBIVA members in the country. Florida 
has a state department organization and 17 local bashas throughout 
the state. 

The Atlanta Basha, CBIVA, is the only basha located in the state of 
Georgia. However, it is one of the largest bashas of the national 
CBIVA organization with a current (1988) active membership of 125 
veterans. CBIVA bashas are also located in the other Southeastern 
states of Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, 
Tennessee, and Virginia. 

The Atlanta Basha was founded in 1977. Its founding was insti- 
gated by the selection of the city of Atlanta as the site for the 28th 
national reunion of the CBIVA in 1976. The founder of the Atlanta 
Basha, James S. Fletcher of Austell, Georgia, a CBI Veteran, inad- 
vertently chanced upon the reunion proceedings at the hotel when 
the convention was in progress. 

The Atlanta Basha held its initial meeting on October 15, 1977 at 
the Ramada Inn, Six Flags, Atlanta, Georgia. The National Executive 
Committee was represented by Marvin A. Walker, Jr., Vice Com- 
mander-South; Victor Tamashunas, Junior Vice Commander-South- 
east, and his wife Doris; and Charles W. Rose, Past Junior Vice 
Commander-South. A telegram of congratulations from Georgia's 
United States Senator Herman E. Talmadge was read. Through the 
courtesy of Senator Talmadge the Atlanta Basha received a United 
States Flag which had flown over the National Capitol. 

Commander Walker of the National Executive Committee admini- 
stered the oath of office to the new officers. The initial slate of officers 
of the Atlanta Basha were: James S. Fletcher, Basha Commander; 
R.E. Wilson, Adjutant; C.P. Blackman, Finance Officer; and W.A. 
Moye, Chaplain. 

In accordance with the aims of the CBIVA, the Atlanta Basha 
conducts its affairs on a purely social and non-political basis. Dinner 
meetings are usually held at hotels in the metropolitan Atlanta area 


several times a year. Meetings are also attended by members' wives, 
relatives, friends, and potential members. Various dignitaries attend 
from time to time. 

Following dinner at each of the regular meetings, a program or 
speaker is presented. Usually these programs present information 
about past or present events in Asia. Speakers appearing before 
meeting audiences have been of Chinese, Burmese, and East Indian 
origin as well as missionary and military personnel who have served 
in Asia. In recent years several of the Atlanta Basha members have 
revisited the old China-Burma-India Theater of Operations. Past 
Atlanta Basha Commanders George B. Hightower and Ralph S. 
Turner made trips back to India and China in 1987. They were 
successful in recording their travels on film. Soon after their return to 
this country, their films, with a narration of familiar places they visited, 
were presented at regular basha meetings. 

There have been numerous guest speakers over the years who 
have given interesting speeches about events and affairs in Asia. 
More notable among them are the following: 

Mrs. Gerry O'Connor briefed the basha members in May 1987 
about her family's escape from Rangoon, Burma, ahead of advanc- 
ing Japanese armies in 1 942. She explained how, as a child, she fled 
with her family, traveling at times in dugout canoes on the Chindwin 
River to the northern border of Burma. She ultimately crossed the 
border into India and went on to Calcutta to reach a safe haven, 
where she remained until the end of the war. 

At a February 1985 meeting, Mrs. Lucille Turner, the missionary 
wife of American evangelist and CBI veteran Harold L. Turner, 
discussed her experiences while serving with her husband in India. 
She spoke at length about her trials and tribulations while endeavor- 
ing to raise a family under the stressful conditions encountered 
during their Indian years. 

In June 1985 Mr. Yun-Feng Pai, Director of Information for the 
Atlanta Office, Coordination Council For North American Affairs, 
Republic of China, was a guest speaker. Mr. Pai described Taiwan's 
economy, culture, industry, and trade practices. 

In October 1987 the Atlanta Basha was entertained by the Cere- 
monial Kukri Combat Drill Team of the American Bando Association. 
The Kukri Drill teams were initially trained by a retired Gurkha officer, 


Dr. U. Maung Gyi. Bando drill teams introduced the kukri knife to this 
country as a drill weapon. The Georgia Black Panthers Kukri Drill 
Team is under the direction of Dr. Geoff Willcher, founder of the class 
at Georgia State University. 

In February 1988 the Atlanta Basha invited Dr. Ravi Sarma to 
speak on the topic of "India Since World War II." 

Occasionally meetings are held away from the Atlanta area. In the 
spring of 1983 the Atlanta Basha and the South Carolina Basha held 
a joint dinner meeting in Augusta, Georgia. In March 1 986 the Atlanta 
Basha was invited to a meeting with the Heart of Dixie Basha in 
Montgomery, Alabama. In May 1986 the Atlanta Basha held its 
regular dinner meeting at Fort Benning, Georgia. While visiting in 
Fort Benning, members were taken on a tour of the United States 
Infantry Museum. This museum features displays about the CBI 
Theater of Operations during World War II. 

For one week during the summer the CBIVA holds a national 
reunion at a city somewhere in the United States. Boston, Massachu- 
setts; Louisville, Kentucky; San Diego, California; and Denver, Colo- 
rado, were the sites chosen for the 1985, 1986, 1987, and 1988 
reunions. A delegation of members from the Atlanta Basha always 
attends to deliver a report on local basha activities. 

In the fall, winter, and spring the national CBIVA organizations 
conduct executive board meetings in various regions of the country. 
These meetings are open to all members. Regional meetings were 
held in Biloxi, Mississippi, in the spring of 1986; in New Orleans, 
Louisiana, in the spring of 1987; and in Jacksonville, Florida, in the 
fall of 1987. 

The Atlanta Basha maintains a close association with the Atlanta 
Office of the Coordination Council for North American Affairs of the 
Republic of China (Taiwan). This relationship was established prior 
to 1978, when the United States ended diplomatic recognition of the 
Republic of China. As previously noted, the Atlanta Basha is bound 
to be in compliance with national by-laws and must remain neutral 
and non-political in all affairs. Consequently it remains amenable to 
established relations with the People's Republic of China (mainland 
China) as well as with Burma and India, if and when consulates from 
those countries are established in Georgia. The basha attempts to 
maintain good relations with all nations of East, South, and South- 


>ast Asia as well as with other veterans' organizations. 

The Atlanta Basha remains concerned with current events in East, 
South, and Southeast Asia. An example of its recent interest oc- 
curred in October 1987 when it was reported from Washington, D.C., 
hat the remains of several crewmen from a World War II cargo 
airplane had been located at a crash site in the jungles of northern 
3urma. The crash site was discovered by troops of the Kachin 
ndependence Organization, a rebel faction that controls much of 
lorthern Burma along with several other rebel groups. A United 
States Army spokesman said a request would be made to Burma to 
;ee if there was any possibility of going into the area to make a 
ecovery. In an article about the crash discovery, The Atlanta Jour- 
nal-Constitution interviewed CBIVA member James S. Fletcher. 
r letcher was quoted as saying, on the basis of his experience in 
ighting with Kachins for two and a half years, "to get back in there 
'ou would definitely have to have the help of the Kachins." Although 
nost members of the CBIVA would favor actions to recover the crew 
nembers' remains, the official position of the CBIVA is to observe our 
country's attempts to negotiate a recovery through channels the 
Jnited States Government officially deems to be appropriate. 

In October 1987 the Atlanta Basha celebrated its tenth anniver- 
>ary. The group met to socialize in hospitality rooms at the Raddison 
nn-Central on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, October 16th 
and 17th. The meeting rooms were filled with displays, exhibits, 
souvenirs, photos, and articles reminiscent of China, Burma, and 
ndia during World War II. During the banquet on Saturday evening, 
Dctober 18th, the audience was addressed by National Commander 
Darl De Leeuw, of Palos Verdes, California, and several past national 
commanders from Ohio and Virginia. Visitors were recognized from 
)ashas in the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, 
and Tennessee. All of the Atlanta Basha commanders were also 
jiven recognition. They were: 

Commander's Name Year 

James S. Fletcher 1 977-1 978 

Anthony C. Serkadakis 1 978-1 979 

William A. Moye 1979-1980 

Floyd L. Whittle 1980-1981 

Clifford P. Blackman 1 981 -1 982 


Ralph S. Turner 1982-1983 

David P. Doughty 1 983-1 984 

Elmer E. Feleki 1984-1985 

George C. Ward 1 985-1 986 

George B. Hightower 1 986-1 987 

Eugene G. Smith 1 987-1 988 

Eleven people in attendance at the tenth anniversary banquet had 
also attended the first official meeting of the Atlanta Basha. 

The tenth anniversary observance of the Atlanta Basha was brought 
to a close with a reaffirmation of CBIVA aims and purposes. Notable 
among these are the aims to preserve the recollections, comrade- 
ships, and experiences of those who have served in East, South, and 
Southeast Asia. 


Georgia's Place in the History of 

Friends of Free China (FOFC): 

The Viewpoint of Its Executive Director 


Friends of Free China (FOFC) is a private non-profit organization 
of Americans interested in maintaining contacts and good will with 
the Republic of China. It was incorporated in New York in 1972 by F. 
Clifton White, the political strategist behind the early presidential 
campaign of Senator Barry Goldwater. The first national co-chairmen 
were Goldwater and James A. Farley, Postmaster General under 
President Franklin Roosevelt. The idea behind the fledgling organi- 
zation was to create a non-partisan privately funded American group 
that would shore up the long-standing friendship between the people 
of the Republic of China and the people of the United States. 

After James Farley's death in 1 976, when I joined FOFC, I saw the 
necessity to reconstitute a national board of directors and find a new 
national co-chairman. Anna Chennault, Washington businesswoman, 
widow of Louisiana native and Flying Tiger General Clair Chennault, 
and a prominent Friend of Free China, suggested that Thomas G. 
Corcoran, Sr., would be a good Democrat to balance Republican 
Goldwater. Corcoran agreed to take the honorary position. With 
funds donated mostly by Chinese businessmen, we set about organ- 
izing local chapters around the country. In Georgia, we concentrated 
on two cities, Atlanta and Savannah. As of 1990 there are also 

*Mr. Buttram is Executive Director of Friends of Free China. He was a communication's major 
at Bob Jones University, served in Richard M. Nixon's White House as principal staff assistant 
to Counsellor to the President Anne Armstrong, and has been a registered foreign agent for 
the Republic of China. 


chapters in Augusta, Dawson and northern Georgia near Mount 
Berry, with more Georgia chapters likely to be formed. 

United States Background 

After World War II, China enjoyed a great reservoir of good will in 
the United States. Walter Judd, former medical missionary to China 
and United States Congressman from Minnesota, had spoken all 
over the Midwest before the war trying to warn Americans about the 
disaster we were preparing for ourselves by sending scrap iron and 
oil to a restive Japan bent on building a world empire. He continues to 
be an outstanding Friend of Free China today, but he is part of an 
aging group of supporters. Also in the early days of FOFC United 
States House of Representatives Speaker John McCormack of Mas- 
sachusetts lent his name and influence to the budding organization, 
as did other prominent members of Congress. 

Over the years there was a constant erosion of the "old friends." 
Attrition took its toll, and the political leaders of Taiwan's ruling 
Kuomintang (KMT) party on Taiwan failed to give sufficient attention 
to making new friends, choosing instead to rely upon old tried and 
true allies. In the late summer and early fall of 1971 the "handwriting 
was on the wall" at the United Nations. The KMT's worst fears came 
to pass. Representatives of the World War II Nationalist government 
of China, our staunch Pacific ally and one of the four great powers 
signatory to the establishment of the United Nations, were barely 
saved from being physically booted out. They "took a walk" before a 
vote to admit the People's Republic of China was actually cast. Later 
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger flew a secret mission to Guilin in 
the People's Republic of China to set up details of President Nixon's 
visit, a precursor of United States recognition of the People's Repub- 

So FOFC began in 1972 as a rallying point to keep old friends and 
make new ones. The basic plan included organizing as many state 
chapters as could be managed on the donated budget and staging 
social and cultural events that would call attention to the island 
republic of Taiwan that was engaged in a desperate struggle to retain 
its identity and survive. State chapters were organized in Georgia, 
Alabama, Florida, New York, Illinois, California, and Rhode Island, 
and more were planned. 


Dormancy Threatens 

In 1976 FOFC was relatively dormant. F. Clifton White had a busy 
political consulting practice to attend to and had handed the reins 
over to conservative activist Marvin Leibman, the moving force be- 
hind the old "Committee of One Million," often dubbed by the press 
"The China Lobby." For Marvin, too, the basic problems of getting 
people in diverse areas of a state together proved too difficult to 
manage from New York. The meager budget did not allow for much 
travel. There were only about six "paper" state chapters in the early 

The Crisis Comes 

On December 15, 1978 President Jimmy Carter, former Governor 
of Georgia, woke United States Ambassador Leonard Unger in Taipei 
at three in the morning with the news the United States would, on 
January 1 , shift its diplomatic recognition from the government of the 
Republic of China (on Taiwan) to the People's Republic of China, the 
Communist government headquartered in Peking. He was instructed 
to communicate that to Taiwan's President Chiang Ching-kuo in 
person immediately. Next day, in a flash of passion, Special Trade 
Representative Warren Christopher's car was overturned and burned 
by a Taipei mob accompanied by widespread cheers and jeers. 

Open Window-Two Weeks 

In the wake of this recognition, a brief window was left open for a 
symbolic action. "Twin Oaks," the residence of the last Chinese 
Ambassador, James C.H. Shen, is on the national landmark registry 
for historic homes in northwest Washington. At one time the imposing 
frame mansion on Woodley Road near the Washington National 
Cathedral was owned by a close relative of Alexander Graham Bell. It 
was purchased in the 1930s by the government of China as a 
residence for its ambassador. That made it an official embassy. 

The large house, its outbuildings, and the ten acres it sat on were 
worth several million dollars in the 1978 Washington real estate 
market. Its spacious lawns and veranda were the setting for many 
important functions on the Washington social calendar. If the normal 
course of events was allowed to transpire, similar to what had 
happened a few months earlier when the government of Iran was 


overthrown, the valuable and symbolic Shen property would become 
property of the People's Republic of China. Indeed, it was rumored 
that such was part of the deal struck by President Carter's represen- 
tatives when diplomatic recognition was offered to the People's 
Republic of China. 

Thomas Corcoran was one of Roosevelt's whiz-kids — called the 
"Brain Trust" in the days of the New Deal — and a frequent visitor to 
the winter White House at Georgia's Warm Springs. Corcoran devel- 
oped a plan to keep this "symbol of free China" in "free hands." He 
began to execute a legal maneuver he had perfected and success- 
fully defended before the United Kingdom's highest court-the Privy 
Council. His legal work established a precedent in international law 
which stands today. Corcoran, an adroit Washington attorney and 
confidant of many famous figures besides Franklin D. Roosevelt, had 
assisted General Chennault in keeping the planes of the Chinese Air 
Force — which had been spirited out to Hong Kong in 1949 — out of 
the hands of the Chinese Communists. Those planes helped organ- 
ize the Flying Tiger Line, an important air freight carrier in East Asia 
today. In 1978 as counsel to the Republic of China he transferred the 
real estate property to an organization independent of the govern- 
ment and protected by United States laws, FRIENDS OF FREE 
CHINA. The Legislative and Executive Yuan in Taipei officially au- 
thorized the move. 

How The Deed Was Done 

So it came about that at about eight o'clock one evening in late 
December, 1978, in the dining room of Washington's prestigious 
University Club, only three blocks from the White House, I handed 
over a check for ten dollars to Thomas Corcoran as "consideration," 
and took possession, in the name of FRIENDS OF FREE CHINA, of 
the title and deed to a ten million dollar parcel of property. I had to get 
my son to write his personal check since we had rushed to Washing- 
ton so fast in a private plane that I had left my money and checkbook 
at home. 

Now FOFC had a mansion but no money to run it or keep it up. I 
hired security guards to keep the People's Republic government from 
coming and just taking it over. That is what happened when the 
Shah's government was overthrown and his representatives were 


ousted by those of the Ayatollah from Washington's Iranian em- 
bassy. But now I needed money for heating fuel, electricity, phones, 
and taxes. Since the property was no longer considered an embassy 
by the D. C. government, it was subject to real-estate taxes. During 
the four years FOFC owned the property, real estate taxes amounted 
to more than half a million dollars. 

Mrs. Chennault, who served on the board of the District of Colum- 
bia National Bank, put us in touch with people at the bank who 
enabled us to secure a loan. We borrowed $100,000 against 
$10,000,000 collateral to operate. It was a hectic time. My wife had 
the upstairs-downstairs experience of writing all the checks for main- 
taining the upkeep of a very large and drafty mansion, and we prayed 
for the day we could stop being Washington landlords. 

Property Returned to the Republic of China 

Over four years later we were able to return the property to the 
Coordination Council for North American Affairs (CCNAA) — the or- 
ganization that serves as the Republic of China embassy. Our 
United States "embassy" in Taipei is the American Institute in Tai- 
wan, staffed by State Department personnel who are either retired or 
on "temporary assignment" and thus relieved of their regular duties 
while they continue to acquire seniority, pension, and health benefits. 
In this way, the United States manages not to have "official" relations 
with the Republic of China. 

In order to maintain FOFC's necessary arm's length independence 
from the government of the Republic of China, FOFC sold the 
embassy residence of Twin Oaks back to the CCNAA. With the 
proceeds the Board of Directors established a trust fund which is 
used to maintain scholarship programs of FOFC and carry on other 
cultural and historical programs. 

Present Work of FOFC 

As of 1989 FOFC has about eighty active chapters in most States 
and one in Canada. They engage in various kinds of expressions of 
friendship with the people of the Republic of China. One of our most 
popular efforts is a high-school pen pal program. We have worked in 
establishing sister-cities relationships through the regular sister-cit- 
ies program. We have conducted tours for young students and 


adults, made two motion pictures, helped sponsor performing groups 
especially in the fine arts, established scholarships, conducted essay 
and speech competitions and generally tried to foster increased 
exchange and mutual understanding between the peoples of our two 
nations. Atlanta, Savannah, and Rome represent three of our most 
active chapters in Georgia, and one of America's former Ambassa- 
dors to Taiwan, Walter P. McConaughy, makes his winter home in 
Atlanta and is active in the work of the chapter there. For further 
information about FOFC movies, scholarships, essay contests and 
other activities, contact: Friends of Free China, 1629 K. Street, N.W., 
Washington, D.C. 20006 or 1 21 2 Haywood Road, Suite #400, Green- 
ville, SC 29615, TEL: (803) 288-6651. 

Our chapters take on the character of the people in the local areas 
who are interested in Taiwan: 
*ln San Jose, California, one of our most active chapters is headed 
by Mrs. Helen Serenka, who stages an annual flag-raising cere- 
mony on the grounds of the county office building when the 
Republic of China celebrates its founding day on October 10. 
*Until recently our Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Chapter was headed by 
a retired Navy Captain Murry Cohn, who loved to put on Chinese 
dinners at a local restaurant as well as entertain the young 
baseball players from Taiwan who played in a tournament staged 
in Ft. Lauderdale. 

*Another chapter, in Montgomery, Alabama, is largely composed 
of former service personnel, some of whom served with General 
Chennault in China. They have just installed a new chairperson, 
Mr. Y. W. Chang. 

*Our New York chapter has a mixture of younger and older people 
from many cultures. Our chairman, Ed Murphy, helped stage a 
front line version of South Pacific while serving in China during 
World War II. 

*The Boston chapter is headed by Robert Mansfield. An activist 
extraordinary, Mansfield tries not to miss a chance to write a letter 
in behalf of the cause of freedom and has one of the most eclectic 
and wide ranging scrapbooks of replies one may find. 
*The Georgia chapters are headed by Penny Rosenkranz, an en- 
ergetic Atlantan who is assisted by Rosie Clark, a well-known 
local artist. Cord Middleton, long a devoted friend to the Republic 


of China, oversees the Savannah chapter. Tom Crittenden is in 
charge of the Dawson chapter, while John R. Lipscomb heads the 
Mount Berry chapter. Georgia Chen and Scott Loo share the helm 
in Augusta. Each chapter has its own agenda of programs and 

We think FOFC is in many ways typical of America and typical of 
the Chinese people. We have many Americans of Chinese ancestry 
involved in the work of the chapters. Although most are now citizens 
of the United States, they find their Chinese heritage and culture still 
draws them to participate in the programs of FOFC. 

We believe FOFC has a unique and continuing role to play in 
American-East Asian relations. "Tiny" Taiwan is a nation of more 
than nineteen million people. Ireland, the Benelux countries, and 
Israel each do not match it in population. Beyond that, we believe that 
it's not sheer numbers, but the willingness of Americans from all 
sections to reach beyond their regional borders to embrace the 
transcendent values which draws us all together in a struggle to see 
that ultimately democracy prevails. 


History of the United States- China People's 
Friendship Association (USCPFA) of Atlanta 


In February 1 972, three Atlantans who soon afterward would travel 
to China, established the United States-China People's Friendship 
Association (USCPFA) of Atlanta. The Atlanta group was one of the 
first of many chapters of a loosely-federated organization then start- 
ing in American cities. In 1974, 350 delegates from thirty-six cities 
formed a national organizational structure at a meeting in Los Ange- 
les. At both local and national levels, membership reached a high 
point in 1978 and has gradually declined since then; at both levels, 
however, the organization remains vital. 

Throughout its existence the Atlanta USCPFA has maintained its 
own strong identity and program. Originally included in the Eastern 
region of the national organization, the Atlanta chapter helped to 
launch chapters in other cities and towns in the Southeast, and in 
1975 Atlanta became the headquarters of a separate Southern re- 

The USCPFA's brief history covers a time of momentous events in 
American-East Asian relations. The Atlantans who started their city's 
USCPFA chapter made their first China trips in 1972, only weeks 
after President Richard Nixon launched a new era in Sino-American 
relations with his own visit to the People's Republic. Like the Chi- 

*Dr. Krebs, co-president of the Atlanta chapter of the United States-China People's Friendship 
Association, lives in Douglasville, Georgia. He received a Ph.D. in modern Chinese history 
from the University of Washington in 1977. His dissertation focused on Liu Ssu-Fu, one of 
China's most active anarchists. Dr. Krebs has published articles on modern Chinese history 
and has taught the subject at several Atlanta-area colleges. This article was written by Dr. 
Krebs prior to the events in Beijing of June 4,1 989. 


nese, USCPFA members regard Nixon's overture to China as one 
positive feature of his administration. The Watergate crisis and con- 
tinuing involvement in Vietnam shook American national life until 
1 975. Then in 1 976 a new series of dramatic developments began in 
China. The deaths of Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong in 1976 and the 
subsequent fall of Mao's heirs-apparent, the "Gang of Four," precipi- 
tated an apparent reversal of many basic policies in the People's 

The history of Atlanta USCPFA reflects the vagaries and ironies of 
politics. While many of its early members hoped to spread Maoist 
teachings in this country, the group now seeks to welcome Chinese 
scholars to Atlanta and to help them understand the United States 
and its culture. Initially attractive to student radicals of the late 1960s, 
the Association subsequently was composed mostly of middle-aged, 
middle-class Atlantans. USCPFA was, in its first few years, viturally 
the sole agent for trips to China. USCPFA subsequently became only 
one of many opportunities to tour China. Despite these changes, the 
Friendship Association has been an unusual organization, bringing 
many kinds of people together in a genuinely popular movement that 
has offered much more than a chance to study China or to go there. 
This essay will survey some of the main themes in the group's 
history, attempt to account for its appeal, and explore some of the 
ironies that have entered into its life. 

Organizations do not emerge from nothing; they depend on re- 
sponses to broadly felt needs and on the hard work of organizers 
who feel these needs acutely. Perhaps the chief impetus for USCPFA's 
establishment was the quarter-century of mutual hostility between 
the governments of the United States and China. Long before the 
Nixon visit to China in February 1 972, many in academia, journalism, 
and government had hoped for an end to the impasse and looked for 
some movement in the political sphere. Meanwhile China's revolu- 
tion had continued, and by the middle 1 960s had produced the Great 
Proletarian Cultural Revolution, which at its best appeared as a great 
drive for social equality. The youth of China took a direct role in the 
attempt to achieve social change, and the dedication of many young 
Americans to changing their own society gave them a sense of 
solidarity with their Chinese counterparts. The concurrence of "youth 
revolution" in China and the United States was a second major 


feature which gave rise to USCPFA's establishment. 

The three Atlantans who launched USCPFA made their China trips 
in this environment. Bill Cozzens and Bea Miner had written many 
letters to various Chinese agencies asking that they be allowed to 
visit China. They learned from a California couple who came to 
Atlanta in 1971 to report on their own trip to China that the China 
International Travel Service was a useful office to contact. 

Bill Cozzens had been a student activist while attending the Uni- 
versity of Georgia in the mid 1960s; his interest in China developed 
when he took a course on modern East Asia at the University. 1 He left 
school in 1968 to go to Atlanta to work for the Southern Student 
Organizing Committee. In time he took a job as an operating room 
attendant at Grady Memorial Hospital; his work in the health care 
field gave him a particular interest in observing health care in China. 
Meanwhile he met and married Bea Miner, who worked at the 
Georgia Mental Retardation Center and was also taking courses in 
the Urban Life School at Georgia State University. The couple were 
thrilled when, in December 1971, word came from China that they 
could come in two weeks. Except for a medical problem that required 
immediate attention, they would have made their tour of China before 
President Nixon made his. As things worked out, they went in April 
and May 1972, just weeks after Nixon's trip; they managed their 
expenses by taking a second mortgage on their house. 

Bill and Bea had met Hilda Keng during the summer of 1971 as 
they prepared themselves for a China trip by studying Chinese. Born 
in the Chang Jiang (Yangtze) valley province of Anhui, Hilda had left 
China in1947, not realizing it would be a quarter-century before she 
returned. 2 Hoping to contribute to her people's welfare, Hilda went to 
Nashville, where she studied at Scarritt and George Peabody Col- 
leges. She came to Atlanta for further work at Emory's Candler 
School of Theology, where she earned a divinity degree and became 
an ordained Methodist minister. Her work changed from the ministry 
to education as in the middle 1960s she became a teacher in the 
DeKalb County schools, offering courses in Chinese history and 
language at a number of high schools. Hilda retired in 1979. She 
became an American citizen and a respected member of Atlanta's 
Asian community. Meanwhile most of her family had remained in 
China, where vast change had occurred since 1949. Hilda's wishes 


or a trip to China centered on a desire to see her family again, and to 
;ee what had changed in her native land. Her role in the founding 
eadership of USCPFA in Atlanta was an extension of her teaching 
career. "We had our first meeting in my basement," she says proudly 
>f the group's inauguration in February 1972, just at the time of 
slixon's trip. 3 

The name chosen for the group is straightforward, in itself a 
statement of the organization's purpose. As best he can recall, Bill 
Dozzens believes the name was suggested by that of a similar 
>rganization, one of two or three launched before the Atlanta group, 
rhe other group called themselves "U.S. -China Friendship Associa- 
ion," as do such organizations in many other countries. The Atlanta 
ounders decided to insert "People's" in their name, to make it clear 
hat this was a grassroots organization. 4 The Atlanta chapter thus 
:an claim at least a share of the credit for the decision to use this 
lame for the national organization in the United States. 

The visits to China, coming soon after that first meeting for Bill and 
tea, then for Hilda, assured that the Chinese would make their own 
>olid contribution to the goal of U.S. -China people's friendship. Eve- 
ywhere they visited, the Americans received a warm welcome; Hilda 
vas allowed several days for the long-postponed reunion with her 
amily. In retrospect, their tours may be seen as prototypes for those 
aken by many thousands of Americans who have visited China in 
he decade since. Bill and Bea went to five cities — Beijing (Peking), 
Buangzhou (Canton), Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Xian (Sian) — and to 
)laces in the countryside near some of these cities. They visited 
lealth care facilities, saw the work of "barefoot doctors" (rural para- 
nedics), and saw acupuncture used for treatment and as anesthesia, 
rhey observed daily activities in schools, factories, and communes. 
\ll three returned to Atlanta eager to share their enthusiasm about 

Hoping to do just that and to generate interest in USCPFA Bill and 
3ea scheduled a press conference upon their return home. When no 
)ne came, their friend David Nolan urged them to go to the Journal 
and Constitution offices and to radio and television stations to distrib- 
jte the statement they had prepared. One result of this episode was 
hat Nolan caught the "China bug" from his friends. He had known Bill 
since coming to Atlanta from Nashville, working for the Southern 


Student Organizing Committee; but he'd had only a vague interest ir 
China. Quiet but talented and intense, David read some fifty book* 
on Chinese history and politics in a few weeks. He also assimilatec 
what he read. Soon David was devoting his own energies to USCPFA 
too. Cozzens credits Nolan with many of the ideas that were used tc 
build the Atlanta group. "I didn't mind getting up in front of a group 
and making a fool of myself," Bill says modestly of his own role, "bu 
I'd have to give David credit for many of our best ideas." 5 

Bill and Bea's trip was reported in the Constitution, as was Hilda 
Keng's a few weeks later. 6 As of 1972, however, the membership 
was very small. Most who had joined by that time were younc 
"movement" people who attached great importance to China's revo 
lution and were particularly attracted to Mao Zedong's revolutionary 
ideas. The USCPFA cause was new and less volatile than most tha 
had previously undertaken. If ordinary Americans could learn abou 
China's achievements and appreciate the ideas behind them, the} 
reasoned, soon enough these ordinary Americans would get the 
message for their own circumstances. Perhaps subconsciously, man} 
of the earliest Atlanta USCPFA members saw this new effort as ar 
extension of their earlier activities. From the beginning, the organiz- 
ers — Bill, Bea, Hilda, and David — hoped for a broadly-based mem 

Although USCPFA thus set out to be apolitical, the group die 
address one specific issue in American politics. This was the ques 
tion of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic; and Richarc 
Nixon, with his well-established record for opposing communism 
had spoken dramatically to this issue. USCPFA asked of those whe 
wished to join only that they accept the "Shanghai communque which 
Nixon had signed with Zhou Enlai at the end of his China visit; anc 
that they oppose continued American involvement in Vietnam. Al 
though the Shanghai communique has been subject to different inter- 
pretations by the U.S. and P.R.C. governments, the document basi- 
cally stated that the Beijing government was the only legitimate 
government of all China, and that Taiwan's future was an interna 
Chinese affair. Although hardline conservatives rejected these propo- 
sitions, the group had never counted on such support anyway, and ir 
a city of Atlanta's size and makeup, USCPFA could still build e 
sizeable membership. 


It is worth noting that the "movement" people might not have been 
iterested in USCPFA work if their top priority, anti-Vietnam war 
ctivities, had not wound down after 1973. Their early political in- 
olvement was a type of experience which would be useful in the new 
rganization, USCPFA. 

The challenge facing the Atlnata USCPFA was to increase mem- 
ership by reaching a broader constituency, capitalizing on a new 
ublic interest in China. After its first year the group did this with 
jmarkable success. And they achieved success because they did 
verything necessary to build an organization. They carried on an 
ctive, well-publicized program. They made people feel welcome 
nd wanted; they followed up on contacts. Despite failing to show up 
>r Bill and Bea's press conference, the Atlanta media soon realized 
le USCPFA leaders had become increasingly sophisticated in pub- 
sizing their work and in garnering newspaper coverage and radio 
nd television appearances when nationally-acclaimed USCPFA 
peakers came to Atlanta. They also worked very effectively at less 
lamourous forms of publicity. They used public service announce- 
lents on the radio and in newspapers and posted xeroxed handbills 
i schools, colleges, and any place else they thought people would 
ike notice. Some of the members worked for Atlanta's underground 
ewspaper, The Great Speckled Bird, which had a broad readership. 
J each USCPFA event, sign-up sheets were circulated, producing 
ames, addresses, and telephone numbers of potential new mem- 
ers. Without the necessary legwork, telephoning, and expression of 
ersonal warmth to develop these contacts, the organization would 
ave remained small. Volunteers undertood these details with an 
nthusiasm and dedication to purpose which had also characterized 
leir antiwar activities. USCPFA's early life may be seen as an 
xample of grassroots organization-building. 

As the group grew, it carried on a wide variety of programs. In the 
eginning the humble slide show served the organization well. Bill 
nd Bea and Hilda began spreading the word by making themselves 
vailable to present their China experience in pictures they had taken 
lemselves; many different audiences in Atlanta and in many towns 
1 the northern half of Georgia saw these presentations. Recognizing 
ie appeal of this kind of program, the group asked all applicants for 
. China trip to be prepared to show their slides to others after 


returning home. 

The Atlanta group also drew on the resources of the growing 
national USCPFA organization and its friends and supporters for 
attractive programs. A number of China experts supported the 
USCPFA movement through national speaking tours. William Hin- 
ton, a Pennsylvanian who had gone to China following World War II 
to assist in rebuilding agriculture and then returned many times as an 
advisor, came to Atlanta in the spring of 1973. Widely known for his 
book Fanshen about the post-1949 transformation of one rural area 
in Shanxi province, Hinton addressed large and varied audiences in 
three appearances in Atlanta. Other out-of-town speakers discussed 
law, health care, and the status of women in China. Atlanta audi- 
ences were intrigued with Americans who had visited China, or lived 
there, during those long years when many Americans had been 
conditioned to see China as a place of "deep red darkness." 

The national USCPFA network also circulated films to local groups, 
and the Atlanta chapter used these to attract interest. China films 
showed at the "Film Forum" in Ansley Mall. Owner George Ellis, long 
active in the arts in Atlanta (and better known to vintage television 
fans in the area as "Bestoink Dooley," the character he created), 
made his theater available to the Friendship Association, requiring 
only that the group pay his projectionist the union wage. Large 
crowds gathered at the "Film Forum" to learn about developments in 

USCPFA organized short courses to acquaint new members with 
Chinese history and current events. Hilda Keng was one of the 
regular instructors, anxious to teach her fellow Atlantans about China. 

Publication of a newsletter became one of the Association's earli- 
est activities. Sales revenue from a newsletter might at least partially 
alleviate the orgainization's chronic funding difficulties. Usually de- 
voted to a single topic, issues of the newsletter discussed the same 
themes in print as were covered by speakers or films. The newsletter 
carried only a nominal charge, and again the group found itself giving 
away more than it was taking in. Each issue also contained an appeal 
to interested people to join USCPFA at a cost of five dollars. In time, 
the growth of membership eased the financial problem. Most of all, 
however, this organization thrived on the enthusiasm of its members. 

The Atlanta USCPFA established contacts throughout the South- 


ast. A classified ad in The Great Speckled Bird brought inquiries 
om all over the Southeast and from other sections of the country as 
'ell. A number of letters came from men serving time in prison, who 
ften asked for all the free literature on China the group could send. 7 
nother of the group's devoted members, Becky Hamilton, wrote 
lost of the warm responses to these lettes. Devotion to the work 
ould generate devotion to another of the group's members; Becky 
let David Nolan through USCPFA work and in due course they were 

By about the middle of 1 974, all the exposure and hard work began 
) reap returns. Although "movement" people remained an important 
lement, the Atlanta chapter's membership was beginning to reflect 
3 outreach into the larger community. Among the first to join USCPFA 
om this broader constituency were Bill and Camille Funk, formerly 
lissionaries in Sarawak, where they had worked with many over- 
9as Chinese who had left China when the Communist government 
ame to power in 1949. 8 Back in the Atlanta area, Bill taught history at 
•ecatur High School. The Funks began to wonder whether the 
egative views they had heard from anti-communist Chinese in 
arawak represented the whole story. USCPFA offered information 
bout China and a chance to go there, which both Bill and Camille 
oped to do. After some hesitancy they decided to join, and after 
lining they worked hard for the organization. They helped to attract 
udiences who would come to hear "former missionaries," as the 
unks were often billed, but never to hear "young radicals." Both 
ecame leaders in the Atlanta group. Bill served as president and as 

regional representative on the national steering committee. 

As people of different backgrounds began to join, a healthy sym- 
iosis developed between the younger "old" USCPFA members and 
le older "new" members. This interaction became one of the group's 
lost appealing qualities and a major cause of its continued growth. 
,s they worked together, the membership saw something unusual 
nd extremely pleasant happening; they liked each other, and each 
earned that the others genuinely cared about other human beings. It 
'as the sort of thing that happens all too rarely in the lives of 

Camille Funk was one of two Atlantans selected for the first 
ISCPFA-sponsored China tour. She was in China in September 


1 974, just at the time the national USCPFA was formally organized at 
the Los Angeles convention. Tours became a major attraction for 
USCPFA. Local chapters were allotted places on tours organized by 
the regional offices of the organization. Even though individuals had 
to pay their own expenses, only a small number could be accommo- 
dated. Local chapters prepared applicants for trips through their 
study programs and then rigorously selected those judged best able 
to profit themselves and the organization with a trip. The selections 
were forwarded to the Chinese government for approval of visas. 
After several trips, the Atlanta USCPFA realized that the Chinese 
had not rejected a single applicant whom they had recommended. 
Until normalization of relations in 1979 broadened the options for 
travel to China, USCPFA was virtually the only way for most Ameri- 
cans to get a trip. Thus Atlanta and other local chapters now also 
attracted people who had hoped, sometime in their lives, to see the 
Great Wall or the Ming Tombs, plus those who simply loved to travel. 
To the membership now came people whose chief common trait was 
an adventurous spirit and a desire to be selected for the China trips. 

One of these adventurous types was Freddye Henderson, a black 
woman who operated a travel agency in Atlanta. Partly because of 
her own interest but also because USCPFA found few others in 
Atlanta willing to set up trips to China, Henderson's agency arranged 
the group's tours for some time. She also had taken a China tour 
herself, in 1973, traveling on Ethiopian Airlines' first flight from Addis 
Ababa to Beijing. 9 Through this and other associations, USCPFA 
developed links with Atlanta's black community. James Bond, then a 
member of the Atlanta City Council, went on a USCPFA tour and 
later served as a tour leader. 10 

Besides trips for paying customers, USCPFA operated member- 
ship tours, offering greatly reduced rates to those who had worked 
diligently for the organization. These tours helped to maintain solidar- 
ity for the core of "movement" people, still a vital element in the 
membership. Emulating the Chinese style they admired, they could 
sacrifice to see one of their own get a trip and trust that, in time, their 
own turn would come. 

For these and other admirers of Mao Zedong, 1 976 was a disheart- 
ening year. The death of Zhou Enlai in January removed a beloved 
leader, the source of stability in what had been a turbulent decade. 


iu De, builder of the Red Army, died the following July. The great 
angshan earthquake at the end of July seemed a portent of another 
jriod of momentous change. Bill Cozzens and twenty others in a 
Duthern Region tour group were in Beijing when the 'quake' hit. Bill 
)ted that the Chinese handled the crisis coolly and efficiently, 
oviding all possible assistance to the affected area, some ninety 
iles southeast of Beijing. 11 Mao had been failing for many months; 
} died in September. His passing set off political rumblings that 
>on produced a change of course in national policy. Although it 
)peared that Mao's widow, Jiang Qing, and associates who shared 
jr ultra-left views would accede to leadership, within a month this 
)ang of Four" had been arrested, charged with treason, and made 
rgets of a campaign to fix blame for China's difficulties in economic 
welopment. Within a year after Mao's death, Deng Xiaoping emerged 
ice again and began to lay out a new world. This reversal greatly 
irprised many USCPFA members who had come to know the China 
the Cultural Revolution. Deng's new policies were bound to cause 
percussions in USCPFA. because many of its members were so 
tracted to Maoist ideals. At the local level in Atlanta, however, the 
llout was limited, and the organization was not affected very directly 
immediately. 12 The chapter continued its broad outreach activities, 
ich as China tours and participation in the 1976 Piedmont Arts 

The Atlanta group's success at recruiting broadly seems most re- 
>onsible for the mild reaction locally. Much more likely to be simply 
dent travelers than ardent Maoists, those who had joined the 
Janta chapter during the preceding two or three years did not react 
rongly to the reversal of policy. While concerned about the welfare 
the Chinese people, most in the Atlanta group were prepared to 
ke China on its own terms, even though those terms might change. 
At the national USCPFA level there were significant reactions to 
hina's new course; these came to a head in the 1978 national 
invention at San Francisco. A small but insistent group in USCPFA's 
ctreme left wing urged that the organization be disbanded as a 
sponse to Deng Xiaoping's policies. The episode ended with this 
oup walking out of the meeting and the organization, having failed 
convince others of their proposal's merit. 13 
The 1977 national meeting, held in Atlanta, had produced another 


debate directly involving David Nolan, who for the previous few years 
had played an important role in the national leadership. 14 These 
discussions centered not on Chinese policies but on USCPFA's 
future. David favored the continual steady growth of a broadly-based 
organization; he was particularly concerned about the role of the 
magazine, New China, that USCPFA had begun to publish. The 
magazine was excellent but expensive to produce; Nolan felt that 
available funds should be used for more modest but nonetheless 
informative publications. He failed to carry a majority on these ques- 
tions, but he was less upset at losing on the issues than over what he 
considered unfair tactics which his opposition h