Published Resources

Published resources for coastal Georgia history, many focusing on the African-American experience

This is a work in progress. Suggestions, comments, feedback are welcome! Please contact me or leave a comment below. I own or have easy access to the books with ** and am happy to do look-ups for names so you can decide if the book is worth buying.

Books (Links are to Amazon, but check your library! Links are for convenience only; I get no compensation for purchases.)

African American Life in the Georgia Lowcountry: The Atlantic World and the Gullah Geechee (Race in the Atlantic World, 1700-1900)

All Under Bank: Roswell King, Jr. and Plantation Management in Tidewater Georgia, by Buddy Sullivan The plantation journal of the manager of the Butler Plantation. Does contain African-American names. **

Anna: The Letters of a St. Simons Island Plantation Mistress, 1817-1859, by Anna Matilda Page King (edited by Melanie Pavich) Account is by a white slaveholder, but contains names of enslaved persons. **

Drums and Shadows: Survival Studies among the Georgia Coastal Negroes (Illustrated and Annotated Note of African-American Folklore) **

Early Records of Liberty County, by Lois Helmers (2013) An extremely useful compilation of existing printed summaries of early Liberty County wills, deeds, marriage records, etc. Huge time-saver for researchers of white Liberty County history. Slave names mostly mentioned only in deeds. **

Georgia Free Persons of Color, Volume I: Elbert, Hancock, Jefferson, Liberty, and Warren Counties, 1818-1864, by Michael A. Ports

God, Dr. Buzzard and the Bolito Man: A Saltwater Geechee Talks About Life on Sapelo Island, Georgia, by Cornelia Walker Bailey (2001) **

Freedom’s Shore: Tunis Campbell and the Georgia Freedmen, by Russell Duncan (1986) **

History of the Midway Congregational Church, Liberty County, Georgia, by James Stacy (downloadable for free from!) **

Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838–1839, by Frances Kemble The “Georgian Plantation” is the Butler plantation, remains of which still exist near Darien, Ga. Fanny Kemble’s graphic account of her visit there influenced the British abolitionist movement. **

Liberty County (Images of America), by Meredith Devendorf (2009) (general Liberty County) **

Liberty County: A Pictorial History, compiled by Victoria Fraser Evans (1979) (general Liberty County) **

Lines in the Sand: Race and Class in Lowcountry Georgia, 1750-1860, by Timothy Lockley (2001) (available via Very focused on Savannah. Has extensive bibliography.)

Lowcountry Hurricanes: Three Centuries of Storms at Sea and Ashore, by Walter Fraser, Jr. (2009)  Few African-American names, but a fascinating account. **

Major Butler’s Legacy: Five Generations of a Slaveholding Family, by Malcolm Bell (1987) **

Making Gullah: A History of Sapelo Islanders, Race, and the American Imagination, by Melissa L. Cooper (2017)

Praying For Sheetrock: A Work of Nonfiction, by Melissa Fay Greene **

Recollections of a Southern Daughter: A Memoir by Cornelia Jones Pond of Liberty County Account is by a white slaveholder, but contains names of enslaved persons. **

Savannah River Plantations, by Mary Granger **

Slave Life in Georgia: A Narrative of the Life, Sufferings, and Escape of John Brown, a Fugitive Slave, Now in England, by John Brown **

Slavery and Rice Culture in Lowcountry Georgia, by Julia Floyd Smith Rich and authoritative treatment of this topic. Does contain some African-American names. **

Sunbury On the Medway, by John McKay Sheftall Free download at this link. Contains a few African-American names.

Sweet Land of Liberty : A History of Liberty County, Georgia, by Robert Long Groover Important book for Liberty County history but out of print, hard to find/expensive and focused on white history — look for a library copy. Also note that much of this book is repeated on the Liberty County Historical Society site ( **

Taylors Creek : story of the community and her people through 200 years, by Bird Yarborough and Paul Yarborough (free download at this link) **

Ten Years on a Georgia Plantation Since the War, by Frances Butler Leigh Also an account of life on the Butler plantation, but from the perspective of a pro-slavery white slaveholder. **

The Children of Pride: A True Story of Georgia and the Civil War, by Robert Manson Myers Lengthy compilation of letters from a white slaveholding family in Liberty County. Important historical work but those interested in African-American history will want “The Dwelling Place,” a re-telling of that story from the perspective of the slaveholder’s slaves. **

The Dwelling Place: A Plantation Epic, by Erskine Clarke (2005) Re-telling of the Charles Colcock Jones letters/story from The Children of Pride from the slaves’ perspective. Has an excellent genealogy section for the African-Americans mentioned in the Jones letters. A must-have for descendants of those enslaved people. **

Voices Seldom Heard: Women, Blacks and Children of the Georgia Coast, 1850-1870, by Jean Choate (2017) (link is to, the publisher – book is not available on Amazon) **

‘Ware Sherman: A Journal of Three Months’ Personal Experience in the Last Days of the Confederacy, by Joseph LeConte  Account is by a white slaveholder, but contains names of enslaved persons. **

Wrestlin’ Jacob: A Portrait of Religion in Antebellum Georgia and the Carolina Low Country, by Erskine Clarke  Focuses on African American religious life during the pre-Civil War period in Liberty County and Charleston, South Carolina. Contains many African American names and is indexed.**

Yankees A’Coming: One Monthe’s Experience During the Invasion of Liberty County, Georgia, 1864-1865, by Mary Sharpe Jones and Mary Jones Mallard  Account is by a white slaveholder, but contains names of enslaved persons. **



The Ownership of Property by Slaves in the Mid-Nineteenth-Century Low Country, by Philip D. Morgan. Source: The Journal of Southern History, Vol. XLIX, No. 3, August 1983. [NOTE: Has names of Liberty County freedmen and women who presented claims to the Southern Claims Commission.]

Slavery, Freedom, and Social Claims to Property among African Americans in Liberty County, Georgia, 1850-1880, by Dyan Penningroth. Source: The Journal of American History, Vol. 84, No. 2 (Sep., 1997), pp. 405-435.

“Midway” a sociological study of the peculiarities of the black people in the midway community of Liberty County, Georgia, by Williams, Clarence Jr. (1974). Source: ETD Collection for AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library. Paper 541. (NOTE: Clarence Williams, Jr’s father was a prominent figure in Liberty County.)