Author Buddy Sullivan's Early Days on the Georgia Tidewater: A New Revised Edition represents a complete recasting of a book issued under the same title in 1990, and reprinted five times. Sullivan is a prominent coastal Georgia historian and lecturer with nineteen titles to his credit. This new edition of Early Days incorporates all the material in the original version, in addition to considerable new information based on the author s recent research. Additionally, the new Early Days has been reformatted to reflect improved chapter sequence and content to provide a smoother, more continuous narrative flow than that of the original edition. In essence, the revised edition is a completely new book that will be of improved utility to researchers, students, and the general reader. Early Days on the Georgia Tidewater is a comprehensive history of Sapelo Island, Darien and McIntosh County, Georgia, as well as a general overview of the history of coastal Georgia, focusing on Glynn, Liberty and Bryan counties, Savannah, and St. Simons and St. Catherines islands. It covers the full scope of coastal history: Guale Indians, Spanish missionaries, and early settlement by English colonists; the rice and cotton ecomy during the plantation era built upon the labors of enslaved people; Civil War events, including the controversial burning of Darien; the timber industry, and the associated shipping activity that made Darien a leading center for the export of pine lumber for forty years; the emerging commercial oyster and shrimping fisheries; and the impact of millionaires, scientists and resident African Americans on the 20th century history of the region, especially Sapelo Island. Significantly, the new edition of Early Days relates the story of the area s African American communities, particularly the developing Geechee settlements at Sapelo, Harris Neck and Darien in the years from the end of the Civil War through the 20th century. The author s thematic approach is that of establishing the important connection between the ecology of the area with its history. This recurring theme will be apparent throughout the book in an analysis of just how people utilized the environmental circumstances unique to their region and adapted them to virtually every aspect of their lives and livelihood for 300 years. Early Days is thus essentially a story of land use and landscape: soils, tides, salt marshes, river hydrology, weather, and how these conditions impacted the agricultural, commercial and social development of the region. Of equal significance is the use people have made of the tidal waterways and fresh-water river systems, giving the new edition a distinctly maritime flavor. Early Days on the Georgia Tidewater is documented through source tes and an expanded index, and includes photographs of places and people, and localized maps that provide the geographical context necessary for an understanding of the ecomic, maritime and cultural dynamics of the coast.
Buddy Sullivan, a fifth-generation coastal Georgian and native of Savannah and McIntosh County, has researched and written about the history, culture and ecology of coastal Georgia for over thirty years. He is the author of sixteen books and monographs and is in frequent demand as a lecturer on a variety of coastal historical topics. He is a recipient of the Governor s Medal in the Humanities from the Georgia Humanities Council in recognition of his literary and cultural contributions to the state. Mr. Sullivan s books include Georgia: A State History, and two comprehensive histories, Early Days on the Georgia Tidewater, and From Beautiful Zion to Red Bird Creek. The latter volume received the Georgia Historical Society s Lilla M. Hawes Award for Georgia s outstanding work of local history. In addition, he has written several books on nineteenth century agriculture, focusing on rice cultivation and plantation management, and High Water on the Bar, covering the economic and maritime aspects of the post-Civil War coastal lumber industry. His most recent book is A Georgia Tidewater Companion: Essays, Papers and Some Personal Observations on 30 Years of Research in Coastal Georgia History, containing the author s memoirs and family legacy in McIntosh County, along with his research methodology from 1985 to 2015. Sullivan has prepared a new history, Sapelo: People and Place on a Georgia Sea Island, to be published in early 2017 by the University of Georgia Press. His paper, The First Conservationists? Northern Money and Lowcountry Georgia, 1866-1930, will appear in the forthcoming University of Georgia Press volume, Coastal Nature, Coastal Culture: Environmental Histories of the Georgia Coast. Sullivan is also a contributor to the online New Georgia Encyclopedia, and the UGA Press volume, The New Georgia Guide. He was manager of the Sapelo Island Research Reserve from 1993 to 2013 and is now an independent consultant.