A busy month, a visit to Knoxville, and some autumn inspiration...

Despite the lack of blog posts here on The Posterity Project, I have had a very busy month. Following a talk that I gave at the Lebanon Rotary Club in early October, my wife, Traci, delivered a presentation at the Southern Festival of Books, where we had a great turnout for our joint session with Dr. Brian McKnight, discussing the topic of "Rebel Soldiers and Citizens: Examining the Personal Motives of Confederates," and promoting our book, Onward Southern Soldiers. We are genuinely appreciative of this opportunity to share our story, and are grateful for the warm reception from our audience. It was also an honor for us to meet Dr. McKnight, whose own book, Confederate Outlaw: Champ Ferguson and the Civil War in Appalachia, is a must-read.

My wife, Traci, at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville.

Immediately following the festival, I traveled to Knoxville for the Society of Tennessee Archivists annual meeting where I attended a very interesting and informative series of sessions focusing on the theme, "Red, White, Blue, and Recorded! Collecting and Preserving Politics in Tennessee." I also had the high honor of presenting the Society's "John H. Thweatt Award" to two very good friends and colleagues, J. Mark Lowe and Ken Fieth, both of whom have given so much to Tennessee's archival community through their advocacy and support. It was a moment that I will always treasure.

Proud to present the John H. Thweatt Award to two very deserving men, Ken Fieth and J. Mark Lowe.

Following the Society's conference, I attended a very productive business meeting, culminating in a strong statement of support for Georgia's Archives, fully endorsed and approved by a vote of our membership. Breaking news on this front since our vote may have changed the landscape of the issue, nonetheless, I am proud of our society for taking a stand on this important matter.

The meeting also marked my transition to the role of Past President of the Society of Tennessee Archivists. I have had the distinct honor of serving my profession through active participation in STA for many years, and I am grateful to our members for entrusting me to the position of Vice-President and President during the last two years. I am very pleased to hand over the reins of STA to our new President, Eric Head, and look forward to another great annual meeting in 2013, organized by our new Vice-President/President-Elect, Ralph Sowell. Congratulations and Godspeed, gentlemen!

Fortunately, amidst all this activity I found a short window of opportunity to explore a few historic sites of note, including John Sevier's grave and his home at Marble Springs, just to name a few. I also participated in a Civil War walking tour of Knoxville during my stay. Knoxville has a rich history that can be easily explored within walking distance or a short drive from many downtown hotels. The East Tennessee History Center is also a must-see for anyone with an interest in Knoxville's historic past. October is such a great time of year to visit East Tennessee with the autumn colors on full display. If you have not been to Knoxville in the fall, I would highly recommend a visit.

My visit to Gov. John Sevier's grave at the Old Knox County Courthouse in Knoxville, Tennessee

This trip really gave me some much-needed inspiration to pursue a goal that I have had in mind for some time. I plan to begin writing a manuscript based on the subject of John Sevier and Historical Memory, and I will spend more time writing on this subject in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, I hope you'll take some time to re-visit my series on John Sevier and Historical Memory. For a regional historical figure largely obscured by time and the long shadow cast by the memory of Andrew Jackson, it is refreshing to know that this series is one of my most popular and widely viewed series of blog posts. Enjoy!



Traci and I visited John Sevier's home at Marble Springs near Knoxville, Tennessee.



Gordon Belt is the Director of Public Services for the Tennessee State Library & Archives, and past president of the Society of Tennessee Archivists. On The Posterity Project, Gordon blogs about archives, local history, genealogy, social media advocacy for archives and cultural heritage organizations, and occasionally writes about the convergence of history and memory.

1 comment:

Ralph Poore said...

Gordon, just an interesting sidebar. The publisher's book description for "Champ Ferguson" on Amazon says that the Clint Eastwood movie, "The Outlaw Josey Wales" was partially based on Ferguson. Actually, the movie is a near faithful adaptation of Asa Carter's book "The Rebel Outlaw: Josey Wales." I may be wrong, but I don't think Carter based his novel on Ferguson.

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