Once again, it’s been a while since my last post, for which, once more, I apologize. I’ve been chugging along, gobbling up antebellum Georgia newspapers, thanks to the wonderful web site “Digital Library of Georgia” (DLG) at “Galileo.” Today I finished looking at the last of the five online papers available to me through the DLG for the year 1843–three in the state capital, Milledgeville, the others at Macon and Columbus.
Even more interesting, tomorrow my old school cranks up for another year, without me, for the first time since the Fall of 1973. Of course, my wife will be there, so I’ll hear all about it–assuming I really want to know all about it, I guess. I have been thinking for most of the summer what I might do tomorrow, Friday, and the first couple of days of next week, as my spouse and former colleagues gather for “Faculty Forum,” to demonstrate the fact that I no longer need to attend. I was hoping for some sort of exotic road trip, but my willowy bride told me that I should not plan to go anywhere that would be too enjoyable, since she could not accompany me! So, I’m pretty much down to either a) several trips to the Georgia Archives to check out certain manuscript collections; or, b) staying home and using the cyberspace “way back machine” to “visit” antebellum Georgia through the columns of several newspapers. Frankly, at this point, my preference is for the latter, though I do need to hit the road looking at manuscript collections one of these days.
I’ve finally re-established a reliable internet connection. For a while, I thought that I’d be stuck with using the straight connection, without benefit of router. Then, my friend, the guy who passed the router on to me a few months ago and was convinced that, contrary to what the cable company techs told me, the router was not faulty, came back and reinstalled the thing. From then on, I had internet access, but, strangely enough, only for a few hours. The connection got more and more tenuous until it finally disappeared altogether. Then, the contractors installing sewer on our street made what turned out to be a helpful mistake: one of their dumptrucks severed the line that connected our cable TV and internet service from the house to the phone lines out front. When the cable company’s tech showed up the next day to reconnect things, we chatted and, after my description of what was happening to my internet connection as each day went on, he told me that, as I ‘d thought, there was a problem with the cable modem, which I’d had for five years. Following his advice, I called the cable company’s tech desk, told them what was happening, and was told that, yes, the modem was about dead, so I should take it to the local office and trade it in for a new one. I did that, then discovered that the company also had a modem that was connected to a router, which sounded to me like the answer to my prayers. And, as it turned out, it was–I arranged for a tech to come by a few days later to install the more sophisticated modem/router combination, and things have been going swimmingly since then.
At this point, it looks like I’ve got several weeks more work at home on the newspapers at the DLG. Once I’ve finished with them, or perhaps even while I’m trying to slog through them, I do need to revisit the Georgia Archives to look for manuscripts that might be helpful. After that, there’s the Hargrett Library at the University of Georgia, the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the manuscript library at Duke University in Durham, N.C. Once I’ve worked through all those repositories, there really will be no excuse not to write the book.
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For those interested in reading more of my reflections on history, here are links to my books on the subject: