Eye-Gougers and ‘Duellists’: A Sense of Continuity

Art is born of pain; art is currency ∴ pain is money.

We live in a violent world ∴ we live in a beautiful world.

Zora Neale Hurston criticized her own color during the Harlem Renaissance, died poor in Florida beyond sandy beaches, abandoned. Hurston was buried in a pauper’s grave, unmarked. Her grave was so lost until Walker asked Hurston’s ghost to lead her, and Hurston’s spirit did. After Walker stepped in the grave, Hurston was found. Alice Walker brought Zora Neale Hurston’s works like Their Eyes Were Watching God back to life. Alice Walker brought Zora Neale Hurston back to life.

Alice Walker won the Pulitzer Prize. Walker’s work is immortal. She published a poem in 1973 about Rock Eagle, a Native American animal effigy just north of Milledgeville in Putnam County, Georgia:

Eagle Rock

In the town where I was born

There is a mound

Some eight feet high

That from the ground

Seems piled up stones

In Georgia

Insignificant.

But from above

The lookout tower

Floor

An eagle widespread

In solid gravel 

Stone

Takes shape

Below; 

The Cherokees raised it

Long ago

Before westward journeys

In the snow

Before the 

National Policy slew

Long before Columbus knew.

I used to stop and

Linger there

Within the cleanswept tower stair

Rock Eagle pinesounds

Rush of stillness

Lifting up my hair.

Pinned to the earth

The eagle endures

The Cherokees are gone

The people come on tours. 

And on surrounding National 

Forest lakes the air rings

With cries

The silenced make.

Wearing cameras

They never hear

But relive their victory

Every year

And take it home

With them.

Young Future Farmers

As paleface warriors

Grub

Live off the land

Pretend Indian, therefore

Man,

Can envision a lake

But never a flood

On earth

So cleanly scrubbed

Of blood:

They come before the rock

Jolly conquerors.

They do not know the rock

They love

Lives and is bound

To bide its time

To wrap its stony wings

Around

The innocent 4-H Club.

(“Eagle Rock”, Revolutionary Petunias, pp. 20-3)

It’s a beautiful poem.

“Cherokees” didn’t build Rock Eagle, but the mistake is a perfect example of misinformation approved by The State of Georgia and extended to Walker at a young age, as a student. Creeks didn’t name themselves Creeks no more than the Cherokee named themselves. In all, it’s an ultimate example of how malleable history is and how wrong, and rhetorical, history is. When I was young, Alabama History taught me Creeks were “belligerent”, yet Cherokees were good because they were peaceful. I’ve no doubt Georgia History taught Walker the same.  What is peaceful?

Emma Johnekin was/is from Putnam County. Walker and Emma Johnekin grew up near the same road near Lake Oconee–a lake created by damming the Oconee River, for power. The road is called Old Phoenix.  The lake was dammed after 1949.

Enough pain put into words, music, or other media makes one rich. Enough pain put into words also can make one poor. If not for Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston would remain intentionally forgotten, particularly forgotten by the Harlem Renaissance. Jean Toomer oversaw a school in Sparta, and Toomer often passed as a white man.

Flannery O’Connor lived in Milledgeville. Alice Walker lived here when her bluest eye was shot-out by her brother. Jean Toomer lived in Sparta. Joel Chandler Harris is also from Eatonton, which is where Brer Rabbit is thrown in the briar patch after the run-in with Tar Baby, which put Brer Rabbit at the mercy of Brer Fox who set the unspeaking trap made of pitch, dead, in the rabbit’s path.

‘Skin me, Brer Fox,’ sey Brer Rabbit, sezee, ‘snatch out my eyeballs, t’ar out my years by de roots, en cut off my legs,’ seize, ‘but please, Brer Fox, don’t fling me in dat brier-patch,’ seize. (Harris 18) 

Brer Fox is smart, but Brer Rabbit is smarter. The briar patch is the rabbit’s home. The fox and the rabbit, the crow, the turtle, and others, are tricksters borrowed, or taken, from Native American lore known as Trickster Tales retold through oral tradition from indian to slave to indian to slave to indian-slave until the stories reached Harris’s ears, and eventually Walt Disney makes a movie called Song of the South that offends. Actual bombs that kill thousands are expected, but words are painful. Savage is now a cool, hip word. If anyone at all, the word offends few. It’s a rad word. It’s applied many times in The Declaration of Independence to describe a people The United States of America reduced to 1% of the current North American population. The original document is behind bullet-proof glass. Officials in Washington DC are also bulletproof. If you’re important enough, it’s another person’s honest job to take a bullet for you. Read past the two famous paragraphs of the eternal document if you want to see the savage words.

Toomer’s Cane, O’Connor’s works, Walker’s juke joint, The Color Purple and Walker’s mothers’ gardens might be, or might range a twenty mile radius from Milledgeville. Dee (Wangero) moved to the big city, but Mama and Maggie lived in the country. Maggie was scarred by a fire.

Continue reading “Eye-Gougers and ‘Duellists’: A Sense of Continuity”

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“The game ain’t worth winning if you’re breaking all the rules:” G.N. & I.C.’s own Crime & Punishment, or Rules and Regulations of the Founding Years (1890-1924)

Note: This is the final part of a three part series on the day to day administration and life of Georgia Normal & Industrial College students from 1890 to 1930. Find part one here and part two here.

“We don’t need no education…”

“School’s out forever…”

While housing and fashion are the somewhat more glamorous parts of college, today we’re here to talk about the respected and resented, controversial topic of rules and regulations. Girls at Georgia Normal & Industrial College had more than just the Student Judicial Board and Honor Code to worry about while out and about in Milledgeville. These girls were held to a high standard, as former President John Harris Chappell, and later President Marvin M. Parks, expected them to abide by a code of conduct that would probably impede even the most rule-abiding student among us today.

To examine these particular codes of conduct, I initially turned to what has become my favorite resource – A Centennial History of Georgia College. (The name has gotten familiar enough that I feel like I don’t even have to write out the full name agnic main buildingnymore, but here you are.) And if you’ve ever wondered why historians rely so heavily on prospectuses from 1891 to 1924, here’s your answer: the main building of the G.N. & I.C. campus burned in 1924, sending all administrative records up in smoke. What have we got to go on, then? Prospectuses, photographs, and personal histories recorded in memorabilia.

At this point, it is important to note that the ages of G.N. & I.C. students was much different than Georgia College students today. Students during this era ranged in age from 16 to 20, with preference given to younger girls rather than older. This differs wildly from the 17-22 year old age range on campus today. Younger students in the 1890s meant that Chappell took his role of “in loco parentis” very seriously, leading to his autocratic reign as president. Chappell was absolute in his enforcement of rules on his students, going so far as to admonish parents of students for breaking them, and asking them to avoid sending their young daughters to the school if they were not willing to play by his rules. However, there were also pockets of delightful resistance, of which I hope to highlight. Continue reading ““The game ain’t worth winning if you’re breaking all the rules:” G.N. & I.C.’s own Crime & Punishment, or Rules and Regulations of the Founding Years (1890-1924)”

A Natural Born Citizen: How The West Was Won and Where It Got Us

Blood from a stone

Water from wine

Born under an ill-placed design

A stroke of bad luck,

Wrong place, wrong time

This flier is out of the lime

The story is a sad one, told many times

The story of my life in trying times

Just add water, stir in lime

How the west was won and where it got us

–R.E.M.

Forts like Fidius and the 1797 west bank Fort Wilkinson on the Oconee River evolved into townships and communities with cool, unique names like Blood Town, which was near Fort Wilkinson. When whites dared establish structures outside fort walls, the west was won. Houses ranged from plantations to shotgun shacks. In Milledgeville’s early days, there were public springs. There were taverns, hotels, and public toilets. There was at least one “whorehouse,” which Mulford writes in 1809 on a map, “these [houses] are plenty, and make money out of the adventurous old Bachelors of this town” (Mulford Map). Before the bridge across the Oconee was built that Sherman will burn, there were ferries across like Fluker’s, Holt’s, and Bolan’s.

Milledgeville was born a capital in the fading light of an Indian war dance,” says Nelle Womack Hines, historian and writer. “It died a capital city in the fading light of a burning bridge as Sherman passed on. (Perkerson 65)

Mulford Map of Milledgeville 1808
Mulford Map: 6 July 1809

When the Oconee water level stages low, ruins of the old bridge are a common sight, sitting like an island of rubble mid river. The pylons were made of brick, and they wash when it floods. On occasion, I find a white brick one with Dixie imprinted and fired into its center.

Emma Johnekin was shot three to four times in Oconee Heights, which would’ve been near/ if not Blood Town. The place with its many names is on the way from Milledgeville to Midway where Central State Hospital is located, which, again, was once called the Georgia Lunatic Asylum.

Continue reading “A Natural Born Citizen: How The West Was Won and Where It Got Us”

Wine Not?

Dr. Bob Wilson of Georgia College spends many of his afternoons in the research room of Special Collections, rifling through stacks of folders and pages of books from the archive, as he updates the college’s history. Recently he stopped by to request help in locating a very specific, rather unusual item. He recalls a story he heard from a  dinner party thrown by Dr. James C. Bonner several years ago. Somewhere in Bonner’s collection existed an elusive “Dandelion Wine” recipe. Mikaela and I vaguely recalled coming across a wine recipe of sorts, but where it lay within the stacks, we had no idea where to begin. Bonner’s papers house eight shelves in the archive, an entire section of an aisle. We knew finding the recipe would be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Dr. Bob first learned of the recipe through Dr. George Kirk, the chair of his graduate program at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. He invited Dr. Bob to a dinner party where they enjoyed the distinct yellow colored wine. “The idea was cool, but I wasn’t a big fan then. So hopefully now, my tastes have changed.” He remembers it being very potent. Dr. Bob had forgotten about the wine until Dr. Ralph Hemphill, former Vice President and Dean of Faculties of Georgia College from 1968-2002, shared a story with him from a dinner party Bonner held years ago. Hemphill worked with Bonner, who was head of the social studies department at the time.They often saw each other outside of the university. Since his conversation with Hemphill, Dr. Bob has wanted to give the recipe a go himself. Continue reading “Wine Not?”

Eternal Debt: linsey, nankeens, hollands, romans, buttanias, mamodies, hum hums, cantons, guerahs, prinsums, durant, punjums, and India

West of the Oconee River, Milledgeville is the oldest white settlement in Georgia–land ceded by the Creeks through legitimate and bogus treaties such as the Shoulder Bone Creek Treaty, which was named for a former boundary creek northeast of Milledgeville near Sparta. Shoulder Bone was a 1786 attempt to acquire the lands east of the Oconee.

From the Atlantic coastline and up from the Gulf, whites moved inward introducing European economics into an indigenous culture that had no concept of the new way. Compound interest and/or microeconomics might be understood and/or misunderstood the same these days; however, many would just call it math. Besides genocide, incurred debt won the West. The land of The United States was acquired through as simple of means as annual percentage rates on student loans, home loans, a bottle of rum for a hundred acres, or car loans such as the 1941 Chevrolet bought and financed by Marion Wesley Stembridge then bargained to the Cooper family at an inflated rate with the deal sweetened with a spurious insurance policy.

Debt has been around since at least the Middle Ages, spanning Europe’s feudal serfdom to America’s sharecropping then its credit cards. It’s not a stretch of the imagination that a supposed free American is also his/her credit score.

The way to control is through being owed, and it didn’t take European culture long to deduce that Indians liked things and had little concept that land could be owned or lost. Later, it won’t take the haves long to deduce that the have nots want and need things with little concept that a debtor, in may ways, is owned by the grantor of a debt. Of course, it didn’t take long for Marion Wesley Stembridge to do the same in the former capital of Georgia of the former Confederate States of America as progressiveism turned a blind eye to early twentieth and mid-twentieth century Milledgeville. Continue reading “Eternal Debt: linsey, nankeens, hollands, romans, buttanias, mamodies, hum hums, cantons, guerahs, prinsums, durant, punjums, and India”

“What can’t she do?” Julia Anna Flisch: Author, Scholar, Journalist, Professor, and Women’s Education Activist in Georgia, 1861-1941

The founding of Georgia Normal & Industrial College — a college dedicated to the goal of educating women and supporting women in their quest for knowledge — is marked in the timeline on Georgia College’s website by a simple statement:

1889. Due to the lobbying efforts of Julia Flisch, a journalist in Augusta, support builds to establish a publicly funded college for women that would prepare them for the demands of the new industrial age. In 1889, the Georgia Normal & Industrial College is chartered as a two-year college emphasizing teacher training and business skills.

For the purposes of a timeline friendly history of the college, this statement serves well. But I’m never one to take summarized history laying down. Histories of the foundation of the college intimately describe the process of the college’s charter at the legislative level, but what of the women campaigning for the establishment of the teaching and industrial college behind the legislature? Digging deeper into the history of our Georgia College reveals the relentless efforts of the women’s suffrage movement in the South, and particularly the efforts of Julia Flisch, as well as Susie Cobb Milton Atkinson, Rebecca Latimer Felton, and Martha Moss Neel Northen (Hair). Specifically, without the push of author, activist, and professor Julia Flisch, Georgia College would not exist today. Special Collections houses an extensive collection of Flisch’s papers and publications, as well as a dissertation and thesis on Flisch from Georgia College alumna and professor Dr. Robin O. Harris. Because of this, I decided to dive into Flisch’s collection to highlight the push from her and the suffrage movement in Georgia for the foundation and continuation of Georgia Normal & Industrial College.

Education in Georgia became tied with the exponentially growing women’s rights movement that began in the early 1800s. Women’s activists demanded education reform that included education for women at the college level. Schools for women already existed in the state, but their curricula were based on forming a more “socially oriented [woman]” and would not be considered true collegiate-level scholarship (Hair). The most prominent educational opportunity for Georgia women was the Lucy Cobb Institute in Athens, founded in 1859. Students generally came from wealthy families in the area, and subjects emphasized art, music, and French (Case). Under the later leadership of sisters Mildred Lewis Rutherford and Mary Ann Lipscomb, the curriculum expanded to include a collegiate track offering sciences, mathematics, logic, rhetoric, languages, history, and literature (Case).

Specifically on the collegiate front, Representatives Duncan G. Campbell and Tomlinson Fort attempted to appropriate funds from the Georgia Legislature to “endow a college for female education in Georgia” in 1822 (Hair). They petitioned again in 1825, joined by Representatives John Singleton and Wilson Lumpkin, for a women’s college in Milledgeville. The House approved the bill, but it failed to pass the Senate. It seemed at the time that Milledgeville had lost its chance in establishing a degree-granting university. The Legislature approved a charter in 1836 for an institution in Macon to be called the Georgia Female College, which later became Wesleyan College. Georgia also chartered 35 women’s “schools” between 1836 and the start of the Civil War; while many of these then subsequently failed, three remain open and functional today, and Wesleyan remains the only all-female institution.flisch-3

After the Civil War, higher education became increasingly male-oriented with the establishment of agricultural colleges and technical schools closed to women, while women in the suffrage movement became increasingly vocal in demanding  training for jobs in business and teaching that were opening to them. One such woman was then twenty-one year old Julia Anna Flisch of Augusta, Georgia. On November 20, 1882, the Augusta Chronicle published an anonymous letter to the editor, signed as “A Young Woman,” entitled “Give the Girls a Chance” (Flisch papers, Box 6). The letter writer, who was later identified as Flisch, strongly condemned the lives of financial dependency that were forced on women because of their lack of educational opportunities.

After her first publication in the Augusta Chronicle in 1882, Flisch became a “special correspondent” for the paper by permission of Patrick Walsh, editor and co-owner of the Chronicle. Walsh saw his own causes in Flisch and gave Flisch the platform to expound her own cause of women’s education. She took this up resoundingly, using the rallying cry of “Give the girls a chance!” (Harris 63). Notably, Flisch sought education reform not out of some abstract theory, but because she herself was denied admittance to the then all-male University of Georgia after graduating from the Lucy Cobb Institute in 1877 with honors. Ten years later when sent to cover the commencement exercises of UGA, Flisch penned multiple pieces criticizing the students apparent lack of scholarly pursuits, and a final, emotional piece detailing her own rejection from UGA:

Our hearts might thrill at the music and the applause; our minds might hunger for the crumbs that fell from that table, but the feast was not for us. These provisions were for the sons of Georgia, in them her daughters could not share…Oh! Georgia, little as thou hast done for thy sons, it is yet something, but what has thou done for thy daughters? (Flisch papers, Box 6, 15 July 1887)

It is clear to historians that her rejection from UGA placed Flisch on a path towards agency for herself and for her gender. Furthermore, Flisch could not rely upon family wealth or influence to mediate her outspoken nature. However, Flisch continued to publish throughout the 1880s in the Augusta Chronicle and Athens Banner, as well as speak for women’s organizations on the need for industrial education for women (Harris 83).

It was Flisch’s persistence in pointing out the inadequacy of opening up a myriad of institutions for men, but denying this knowledge to women, that persuaded more prominent women like Rebecca Latimer Felton, famous for being the first woman to serve in the U.S. Senate, and Mrs. Susan Cobb Milton Atkinson, wife to then Representative and future Governor of Georgia William Y. Atkinson, to push for the opening of a woman’s institution. The original proposal came in 1887, which the legislature rejected because of the construction of the new School of Technology (GA Tech) and of a new capitol building (Sheehee 41). Flisch did not accept this answer, continuing to campaign for the opening of a state-funded school for women. In her 1889 piece “Give the Girls a Chance” for the Augusta Chronicle, Flisch lays out an argument for transitioning the role of women in Georgia from a passive role to a more active role (1889, as seen in Harris) Harris states: “While our more modern sensibilities may not readily recognize the radical implications of her carefully-crafted argument, neither did those in a position to block her proposed advances for women” (Harris 93).

This hard work paid off in having Representative Atkinson introduce legislation to fund a state-supported women’s college in Georgia. While Atkinson was technically convinced by his  wife Susan, the vocal hard work of Flisch is what influenced Susan and prepped the state for the success of this piece of legislation. As residents of Milledgeville and students alike know, this bid was ultimately successful. On the date of November 27, 1890, the city welcomed dignitaries from across the state to celebrate the opening of Georgia Normal & Industrial College. As the festivities went on, Governor Northen regaled Susan Atkinson with praise for inspiring her husband’s role as originator of the legislation (Harris 98). However, twenty-eight year old Flisch was the only woman to have her own part of the program; speaking to a mixed crowd of men and women, a rarity in the South at this time, Flisch challenged women to take hold of their education — “It has come to pass that the question now is not ‘What can woman do?’ but ‘What can’t she do?’” (Flisch papers, Box 5, “Girls Industrial School: Paper Read by Miss Julia A. Flisch at the Lying[sic] of the Corner Stone,” Union Recorder 9 December 1890).

Flisch taught stenography, typewriting, and telegraphy at G.N.& I.C. in 1891, but was most popular for teaching ancient and medieval history. In 1899, UGA awarded her an honorary degree, and she left her post in 1905 to pursue true bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She continued to teach after returning to Georgia, even becoming dean of women and professor of history at the Junior College of Augusta (now Augusta University). Upon her death in 1941, obituaries stated that Flisch had “done more than any other person to advance the cause of women’s [higher] education in the state of Georgia” (NGAE).img_5293

On this International Women’s Day in 2017, over 125 years after the founding of Georgia College, it is crucial to remember the contributions from Julia Flisch. Twelve years after her rejection from UGA, Flisch was finally able to see Georgia “give the girls a chance.” And the next time you think about your education at Georgia College, be sure to give a little thanks to Julia for her hard work and dedication to crusading for the public to ask women “What can’t she do?”

And, in the spirit of Flisch’s first published editorial, this is signed: A Young Woman

 

Works Cited

Case, Sarah H. “Lucy Cobb Institute.” New Georgia Encyclopedia. 21 August 2013. Web. 12 January 2017.

Hair, William Ivy, James C. Bonner, Edward B. Dawson, and Robert J. Wilson III. A Centennial History of Georgia College, University of Georgia Printing Department, 1979, Print.

Harris, Robin O. A New Representative of Southern Intellect: Julia Anna Flisch, a New Woman of the New South. Ph.D. diss., Georgia Institute of Technology, 1996.

Holliman, Irene V. “Julia Flisch (1861-1941).” New Georgia Encyclopedia. 20 March 2013. Web. 10 January 2017.

Julia A. Flisch papers, Special Collections, Ina Dillard Russell Library, Georgia College. 12 January 2017.

Shehee, Blanche Alvenia. The Movement for and Establishment of a State College for Women in Georgia. 1953. Print.

 

A Closer Look at Archival Appraisal

As graduate assistants working in Special Collections, Mikaela and I have gotten hands-on experience in just about every step of what it means to sustain a collection and/or donation. We’ve inventoried materials from the acquisitions room, we’ve processed and re-processed documents, and we’ve learned about the actions taken to seek out a collection. But how do we get there? How do the items in the acquisitions room come to be in our possession? Suffice it to say they do not magically appear though that would certainly make things easier, wouldn’t it? Of course, that wouldn’t make for as interesting a story…

Recently we took our first “field trip” (as I like to call it) out to Lake Sinclair in Milledgeville to appraise personal items at the home of William Julian Usery, Jr., a labor union activist who served in the Ford and Nixon Administrations and was eventually named United States Secretary of Labor under Ford. Born in Hardwick, Georgia, W.J. Usery attended Georgia Military College and later enlisted in the Navy as an underwater welder on a repair ship in the Pacific Feet. He’s also widely known for being a special mediator in resolving labor conflicts. When we arrived at his home, we met with Doug Heene, executor of W.J. Usery Jr.’s estate. Doug was Mr. Usery’s assistant in his consulting business. We came into his acquaintance through Melvin Usery, W.J. Usery’s son, who hoped to have several of his father’s possessions detailing his accomplishments placed in an archive. We’re grateful he’s chosen Georgia College and the town in which W.J. Usery grew up to do so.

Appraisal is defined by the National Archives as “the process of determining the value and thus the final disposition of Federal Records, making them either temporary and permanent.” The National Archives and Records Administration “works with interested parties to ensure that essential evidence is created, identified, appropriately scheduled and managed for as long as needed.” I asked Digital Archivist, Holly Croft, what appraisal has come to mean for her. She describes it as a more three-dimensional act, looking at the entire picture.

“There’s this belief that archives are ‘neutral’ and there’s a concern in the community today about the difficulty of keeping everything. There’s just no way to keep every single scrap of paper. You want to be sure you’re getting the items that are most representative of the contribution the person made.” In Usery’s case, we were concerned with showcasing his contributions in labor relations on the national level, but also Usery as a person. Some of the objects featured in this blog post, such as what we’ve dubbed, “The Dung Pony”, exemplify this. (Scroll down for a detailed picture).  Holly says, “It’s really about creating the story of who the person is. It’s not a neutral act; it is making a judgment call. You have to be aware of biases, think about who is going to be using this information in the future, and do your research on whose stuff is being appraised.”

For the acquisition, Special Collections’ Associate Director Nancy Davis Bray, did an initial appraisal to ensure what we are getting has enduring value. Nancy believes she has an “unorthodox opinion” of appraisal. “I recognize the pedagogy surrounding appraisal and try my best to abide by it, but there are times when you need to go past it, in that, not only are you accepting and soliciting materials, but you also need items that illustrate the person for exhibition.” She believes in an approach of “take more and then use a discerning eye later.” In other words, you do an initial appraisal and later take a closer look at what you’ve acquired.

Georgia State University owns W.J. Usery’s paper materials, oral histories, and speeches, while we have come into possession of his personal belongings: airplane model collections, hard hats in memory of his work in labor unions, framed certificates of his accomplishments, etc. during this appraisal.

On the day of the appraisal, Nancy, Holly, Mikaela, and I walked into a two story condominium filled with Usery memorabilia – empty boxes, packaging tape, and bubble wrap in hand. Doug showed us around and instructed us what was now Georgia College’s to take and, with that, we got to work. What seemed on the outside like another overwhelming game of tetris ended up being an entertaining and enlightening insight into who W.J. Usery, Jr. was. There’s a really nice pay-off to a task like this. Beforehand, we learned about Usery in the professional sense – what he did as Secretary of Labor, and what he will be remembered for doing. Boxing his personal items for the archive feels like part responsibility, part voyeurism. But I say this in a good way. I got to learn who Usery was as a person as well as outside of his career. The more I work in Special Collections, the more I realize the significance in knowing what the archive holds. It’s one thing to be familiar with the contents of the collections, but it’s another to know something of the people they’re about or the people who donated them. People come to this space to learn, to research, and it’s a good feeling knowing you helped them in their pursuit.

Below is a closer look at some of the items Nancy, Holly, Mikaela, and I came across in our appraisal that helped to create a full, three dimensional shape of who W.J. Usery was and will remain in his legacy.

 

Two different hard hats in relation to the unions W. J. Usery Jr. was affiliated with. The left picture is from the Boilermakers Union and the right features Mikaela wearing the Space Team hat, in association with Usery’s involvement in the Kennedy Space Center.

Below are two framed political cartoons we found among other framed photographs.

usery-political-cartoon
This cartoon plays on a 1973 teachers strike in Philadelphia that Usery helped mediate. The left side depicts the Board and the right depicts the Union. (1973)
usery-political-cartoon-2
In response to the 1994-1995 Major League Baseball strike to which W.J. Usery Jr. was appointed special mediator. Cartoonist Paul Szep from The Boston Globe writes a personal note on the side that reads: “Much applause and regards for pitching a good game.” (1995)

 

 

dung
To the super mediator who can always find the pony no matter how deep the dung! In solidarity and gratitude. -The United Mine Workers of America
usery-bust
A wax bust of W.J. Usery Jr. made by his wife, Fran Pardee Usery

 

What made the work extra special at the end of it all was getting to end the day with this lake view from W. J. “Bill” Usery Jr.’s backyard.

lake-view

 

 

 

Works Cited:

Bernstein, Adam. “W.J. ‘Bill’ Usery, renowned labor-management troubleshooter, dies at 92.” The Washington Post, 15 Dec 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/wj-bill-usery-renowned-labor-management-troubleshooter-dies-at-92/2016/12/15/913c1aec-c172-11e6-9a51-cd56ea1c2bb7_story.html?utm_term=.34c6e08ccfea

“Southern Labor Archives: W. J. Usery, Jr.: Biography and Timeline.” Georgia State University Library Research Guides, 07 Dec 2015, http://research.library.gsu.edu/c.php?g=115649&p=752736.

“Strategic Directions: Appraisal Policy.” National Archives, Sep 2007, https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/initiatives/appraisal.html