A fond look back, and the road ahead...
It's been more than a decade since I published the first blog post on The Posterity Project way back in 2008. What began as an experiment in social media, sharing links and stories about archives and public history in Tennessee, has grown into an author platform, gaining attention of interested readers from across the state and beyond its borders. Ultimately, the attention we received through our blog led us to our publisher, The History Press, and the publication of our first book, Onward Southern Soldiers: Religion and the Army of Tennessee in the Civil War. Three years later, we published John Sevier: Tennessee's First Hero, a subject that has been a centerpiece of attention here on The Posterity Project for much of this blog's lifespan.
Your interest in our work and our books has provided us with so many opportunities to visit readers, bookstores, heritage and lineage societies, colleges and universities, and historic sites to speak about our books beyond the limited confines of online conversation. We've met a lot of wonderful people who share our passion for history and we're grateful for each opportunity we have to engage with the public. After all, public history is by its very definition a "public" endeavor. I've long believed that social media should be a tool to facilitate public engagement in the real world. As much of our online public discourse has devolved into fits of name-calling, snark, and sarcasm, we need more "social" and less "media," in my opinion.
As we begin work on our third book, we plan to spend more time focused on writing and research. This means stepping away from social media for a while as we read the letters, diaries, journals, legends, and folktales of Tennessee's earliest pioneers and learn more about their interactions with native peoples who arrived at "America's First Frontier" long before them. Posts to The Posterity Project will be far and few between as we explore this topic in greater detail. But we're not going away entirely. As this latest "posterity project" takes shape, I look forward to sharing a few excerpts from our work in the months to come.
In the meantime, I want to express how grateful we are for the support we've received for our writings on this blog and in our books. It has been a labor of love to share this history with you. We're extraordinarily grateful for your shared interest in the past.
books. Traci Nichols-Belt is the author of Onward Southern Soldiers: Religion and the Army of Tennessee in the Civil War. Her book explores the significant impact of religion on the Army of Tennessee, C.S.A., on every rank, from generals to chaplains to common soldiers. Gordon Belt is the author of John Sevier: Tennessee’s First Hero, which focuses on the life and legend of Tennessee’s first governor, John Sevier. Both books are published by The History Press, an award-winning publisher of local and regional history titles from coast to coast. Gordon and Traci’s writings focus specifically on stories from their home state of Tennessee.