Google+

History Runs Deep on St. Simon’s Island!

 History Runs Deep on St. Simon’s Island!

There is one thing that the most magical locations in the world all have in common, and that is the aura – the feeling that literally clings to the surface of historical sites whether they be battlefield or sunken ship – reminding us of what once was. What I mean by this, plain and simple, is the history – the lives of the people who lived before that none of us will ever have the pleasure of knowing. Some of these lives quite literally changed our world. Without them, the days of 2012 would be far different. These are the ones who, without knowing it, left their indelible impression on our present-day lives.

 

One of the most amazing locations for historical facts, sites and people is an island off the coast of Georgia called, St. Simon’s. This is a true ‘kingdom’ that housed some of the most magnificent minds and power-hungry individuals who ever walked the face of the planet.

 

Hidden in this once ‘unknown’ place were true visionaries – from writers to builders to architects that would offer new innovations to the world. There were also those who were part of the evil ministrations that COULD have won; people who COULD have become larger than life and turned this land into something that neither you or I would ever have wanted to live in.

 

St. Simon’s has its roots firmly planted in everything from the American Revolution to the Civil war. This particular article is about a plantation, the roots of which are now buried deep beneath a stunning golf course that people use every single day.

 

We enter into this realm because of the slew of articles that have been written about the King and Prince Resort, which is a place of sheer luxury where visitors come to enjoy the undisturbed nature and the warm sun that beats down on the mighty Atlantic. Here, people dwell in rooms fit for royalty. They dine on the finest cuisine, golf on the most beautiful course in the nation, bike, hike, and photograph the absolute best scenery that Mother Nature can provide

 

But over a hundred years ago, this whole island was quite a different scene. There was still a man who lived in the lap of luxury, but there was also one woman who made sure to stand up for the people and alter the course of the Civil War.

Before the five sparkling pools were created for the visitors to enjoy at the King and Prince, before there was a stunning golf course by the name of The Hampton Club, there was a place known as Hampton Plantation that sat on the northernmost tip of St. Simon’s. Resting on three hundred acres hemmed by marshlands, and sitting under a canopy of live oaks, this plantation was where the ‘land of the free’ would take a step forward.

 

Imagine the grandeur! Take a walk back in time with me over a century ago, back to the antebellum era – a time that is such an intricate part of the St. Simon’s experience. It was here, on this plantation (which was one of four elegant plantations at the time), where Major Pierce Butler thrived. This is a man who had everything from fruit orchards to endless fields of indigo and cotton and, unfortunately, slaves.

 

Hampton Plantation ‘saw’ a great many things during its time; it was at Hampton that the Major grew hundreds of acres of sea island cotton, and brought hundreds of slaves from South Carolina to work his vast fields. These men and women who worked so hard and suffered daily under his hand would eventually number almost a thousand, and the plantation would soon be recognized as one of the largest in the South.

 

The Major had a wealth of pride, and his ego-driven sensibilities made him by far the wealthiest planter to settle on St. Simons. After several years of building and expanding, the plantation went from a house with fields to a true ‘complex’ that included a main house, an overseer’s house, a smokehouse, poultry house, washhouse, cotton barn, corn house, horse mill, two store houses, a hospital, a stable, six duplex slave cabins and more – a grand monument to Butler‘s voracious appetite for money and power.

 

Mother Nature – perhaps the only thing at the time that was more powerful than Butler – destroyed the large house in 1824 with a massive hurricane, which meant the Butler family had to move to the overseer’s house for their infrequent visits.

 

To understand the ultimate ‘gift’ a young British woman gave to this country, all readers need to know how the Butler clan operated. Major Butler ran his plantation with military precision. This was a stern disciplinarian who maintained strict control, and he passed along this persona to his grandson, another power-hungry man also named, Pierce.

 

The Hampton Club, the golf course that truly shines with some of the most amazing scenery in the world, was actually once a vacation spot for some of Butler’s extremely high-profile friends. The most famous was Vice President Aaron Burr who, after killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel, sought refuge in the South. Burr even summed up his feelings about St. Simon’s in some beautiful letters he wrote to his daughter about the graciousness and beauty that he found there. It would, however, be thirty years later when the one visitor that saved us all would arrive…

 

Fanny Kemble was a beautiful English actress who married the Major’s grandson. She was the person who visited Hampton in 1839, and although Fanny was also quite taken with the beauty of St. Simon’s, and offered a stunning and eloquent tribute to the area, she also was extremely upset about the ‘way of life’ that Butler led.

 

She was literally shocked by slavery and how people were being treated by her new ‘family.’ It came as no surprise when Fanny divorced Butler and returned to England to resume her career on the stage. But having Fanny’s diary published in 1863 gave motivation to the abolitionist movement on both sides of the Atlantic.

 

Her words were powerful and from her own ‘private’ civil war with the Butler clan, she would single-handedly convince the British empire NOT to support the South during the Civil War.
Again, the imagination of the historian jumps into overdrive with this story. You see, Fanny Kemble was a strong and spirited woman who had absolutely NO formal training as an actress. Oddly enough, she could hold audiences in the palm of her hand – her sheer force and magnetism made everyone around her spellbound. As a writer, she was highly intelligent and wrote about subjects she was truly passionate about. And her journey to the most important subject of her life began in 1832. This was when Fanny set out on a two-year theater tour in America, where audiences were enraptured. Because of her newfound American celebrity, Fanny was even meeting with political and cultural dignitaries quite high up on the ladder.

Pierce Butler was an admirer who simply would not let Fanny go. He was on the cusp of inheriting his grandfather’s fortune (becoming one of the largest slaveholders in the nation) when Fanny Kemble came along.

Pierce Butler’s infatuation turned into a marriage proposal, and Fanny entered into a life of extreme wealth. The differences between these two were far too much to bear, especially their opinions on slavery. Pierce saw only the benefits, whereas Fanny wanted to emancipate his slaves. Early in their marriage Fanny even attempted to publish an antislavery treatise that she had written, but Pierce stopped her.

It was in 1836 that Pierce and his brother John inherited the Georgia plantations. Fanny wanted to see the Hampton Plantation firsthand, but nothing in her life had prepared her for what she found there.

Spending only four months on St. Simon’s Island, Fanny recorded her experiences in letters which she later compiled and published called, Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation. It is the most detailed look at plantation slavery ever recorded by a white northern abolitionist.

The marriage, of course, ended in a battle of wills, to say the least but Fanny did support herself with her highly acclaimed Shakespearian readings, It was Pierce who was soon destroyed, as he gambled the vast Butler fortune away on the stock market. He sold everything and eventually his trustees decided to sell the property he held in Georgia – a property that only had human beings left. What happened next was hideous. In 1859, these people were ‘assessed’ and sold, becoming the largest single sale of human beings in United States history. It was an event that is now known as, the weeping time.

Pierce’s financial situation was saved by this ‘sale,’ yet the country hovered on the brink of war. In 1861 the war erupted and Fanny Kemble turned her words, her contacts, and her incredible summation about life and what she’d seen people go through at the hand’s of Butler, into a quest to convince the entire British Empire to change heir minds. They supposedly were about to stand behind the South, which would’ve changed the course of history. Think about it. With the British Navy, machinery, money, and everything else at their disposal – the South would have won and everything you see around you would be no more.

 

Visionaries…saviors that went unrecognized in their time…this is history. This is the thrill and excitement of the ‘unknown’ which can only be found in the magnificent ‘realm’ of St. Simon’s Island.

 

http://www.kingandprince.com/

http://twitter.com/#!/kingandprince

http://www.facebook.com/TheKingandPrince

http://blog.kingandprince.com/

http://www.youtube.com/user/KingandPrince1

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kingandprinceresort/

http://www.kingandprince.com/

 

 

The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort

201 Arnold Road
St. Simons Island, Georgia 31522
(912) 638-3631: Phone

(800) 342-0212: Reservations
(912) 638-7699: Fax

Entertainment

133070_ori.jpg

Cruise and Company Reunite to Topple Terrorist Organization

  Mission: Impossible Rogue NationFilm Review by Kam Williams Cruise and Company Reunite to Topple Terrorist Organization Rogue Nation is the fifth installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise featuring Tom Cruise as the dashing and daring Ethan Hunt. This episode has everything you'd expect from an action-oriented espionage thriller: international intrigue, irresistible eye candy and edge-of-your-seat fight and chase sequences.Just past our … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

51ViHdI1ZtL.jpg

Between the World and Me

   Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi CoatesSpiegel & GrauHardcover, $24.00168 pages, IllustratedISBN: 978-0-8129-9354-7Book Review by Kam Williams“In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about american history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis.Americans have built an empire on the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

1011366_678286552239036_816189435_n.jpg

More Than a Score

  ACRONYM TO FOLLOW by Peter Brav   Finally Our Day has come There’s a Day for everything For doughnuts, siblings, eight track tapes Grilled cheese, daughters and sons to work Encouragement, Alzheimer’s Coffee, math, chewing gum Blasphemy, yo-yos And now finally One for us Truly a Day to celebrate National Don’t Shoot An Unarmed Brother Doctor King Not Seeing Progress George Orwell Laughing It Is So About the … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

Housing Sales Increase but Questions Remain

Housing Sales Increase but Questions Remain By Burt Carey   Big bankers and mortgage lenders like Bank of America and Merrill Lynch say changing demographics are fueling a first-time home buyers market in 2015 that may be short-lived. Real estate, it seems, is heating up – at least for value seekers. At the current rate, home sales are on pace to post their best year since 2007, even with increased prices. Fueling the action are … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

F-Lions-Tigers-and-Twitter-OH-MY.jpg

Lions, Tigers, and Twitter, OH MY!

   Lions, Tigers, and Twitter, OH MY!  I'm Will Roberts, and this is the Daily Scream! Ahhh, Here we go!  So what kind of social humorist would I be if I didn’t chime in and talk about what’s on everyone's lips aka their social media? Today, we talk about Cecil and the dentist. Which sounds more like a kids book title than the top viral trending, horrific issue, that is now being used as a wedge or should I say CROWBAR into so many other … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

TG13GL1A_l.jpg

TRUGLO® TFX™ Sights, Tactical Review by Rich Grassi

TRUGLO® TFX™ Sights by Rich Grassi I often get asked to take a look at new products for the self-defense/law enforcement market. Sometimes the results are good and sometimes they’re not so good. As a police Physical Skills Trainer, Developer of the Premier Handgun/Long Gun Retention and Disarming System and Founder of the National Law Enforcement Training Center, Jim Lindell is often known to say, “Just because something’s possible doesn’t … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

download-2.jpeg

MLB’s Top 10 Stars Under Age 25

MLB's Top 10 Stars Under Age 25 By Burt Carey   Don't look now but Major League Baseball's stars of tomorrow have already checked in, and in a big way. A record 20 players at this year's MLB All-Star game in Cincinnati were under 25 years old, marking a youthful push that hasn't been seen in the game for decades. With young players becoming baseball's biggest stars, it's worth a tip of the cap to salute the top 10 rated … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

download.jpeg

Move Over Toyota: VW Leads Global Sales for 2015

  Move Over Toyota: VW Leads Global Sales for 2015 By Burt Carey   German automaker Volkswagen surpassed Toyota in the first six months of 2015, selling 5.04 million vehicles to become the world's top carmaker by sales. Industry analysts are weary, however, facing an unsure market in China, where economic struggles and a faltering stock market could have an impact on Volkswagen's sales for the rest of the year. China is VW's … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

images-2.jpeg

4 Great Tips for Booking a Fall Caribbean Cruise

  4 Great Tips for Booking a Fall Caribbean Cruise By Burt Carey Looking to slip away to the Caribbean for a week or two in the fall is a smart decision for those who enjoy cruises. Hurricane season in the Caribbean is classic deal season for experienced cruisers. With families and kids back in school and stormy weather threatening the region, the Caribbean actually becomes an adult playground in the fall, but you'll have to be … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

images-6.jpeg

The ‘Green’ World Delves into Animal Bias

  The ‘Green’ World Delves into Animal Bias   By Samantha Lewis   All headlines are packed with the horror and destruction that prejudice and violence are bringing about in the United States. People hurting people based on religion or skin color – issues that should have gone out of this country many, many decades ago. But there is also a great prejudice happening in the animal world – a bias that millions are trying to … [Read More its Good for You...]