Tales Of The Deep South : A Passage on "Wanderer"

Updated on October 3, 2017
Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin is a true southern male who enjoys writing about the past in his part of the world. I hope you enjoy my Tales of the South.


The Passage

“We lay back tuh back, or sometimes nose tuh neck ye might say. Fo mo dan six weeks we had tuh turn ober together cause dey warn’t nuff room fo us tuh lay on our backs. Dey knowed dat when dey loaded us up on dat ole ship, knowed some o’ us warn’t gone make it noways."

"I still cain’t 'bide sleeping on my side, cain’t sleep in dat position no mo’. Lots o' us got sick befo’ eber leaving the riber., befo’ we even got out in de ocean. I wuz 14 yare ole den. My brother wuz 12 and so small fo his age. He wuz too small I spose. He die after only two weeks at sea.”

“No, dats alright, I tole dis part afore. I be past it purty quick now……… I couldn’t see ’im from where dey had me chained. But I could hear ‘im callin’ out my name. Oh lawd…I still hear him sometimes late at night, hear him cryin’ so softly as he growed weaker and weaker. I call out to ‘im. Be strong I say, be brave. But he wuz jest too small.”

“Us wuz all weak from not havin’ nuff to eat after a week or so. Dey gave us water when dey thought us needed it. Not enuff though, not nearly enuff. Looky here, ye can still see de scars where dey chained us tuh de side o' de ship. Sometimes now when dey chainin’ up a dog or mule close by I gits de urge ta jest run off, fly away like. I spose I’ll die bein’ scared o' hearin' dem ole chains."

"Dey froed my lil' brother ober de side wit de mess dey cleaned offen de flo where us lay. Mess us all made cause we cain’t move but a few inches at de time. Dats all he wuz to ’em, jest more mess ta git rid of. He wuz de fust tuh go, but 50 mo o' dem cargo went 'hind ’im fore we landed right down yonder, jest roun' de bend. I walks down dere sometimes. Don’ t know why I does. Sumpthin’ jest makes me go an' look fo some reason.”

"Back tuh back, nose tuh neck.......

This is a drawing of a lower deck on a typical slave ship.  Often 3 decks were similarly packed with human cargo.
This is a drawing of a lower deck on a typical slave ship. Often 3 decks were similarly packed with human cargo. | Source

Privileges Of Birth

There is no certain age when a young man begins to understand the realities of being born into a privileged life. Certainly some never do. But my own such enlightenment became apparent in the early 1900’s as I was taking a break from my studies for my future career in the medical profession.

My father, William T. Gaines--a quite well known businessman in his own right-- had arranged for me--me being known as Bill Jr.-- to spend a few months on the wonderful isle of Jekyll, just off the coast of Georgia and adjacent to the city and port of Brunswick.

Having arrived at the private dock on Jaye P. Morgan’s private yacht, and firmly ensconced in a pleasant room at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, I felt the stress of my previous few years begin to fade from my mind and body as I watched America’s most affluent families frolicking in the warm waters and basking on the pure white sands of the exclusive sanctuary.

I marveled at the modern conveniences the wealthy members had adorned the spot with when, just across the river, ordinary folks lived much as they had for many decades. One might go bowling or gamble in the casino, play golf on the private 18 hole course, or as the club was intended, go hunting for all manner of wildlife on the surrounding islands and hammocks, as the thickly wooded cays are referred to.

Jekyll Island Club Hotel
Jekyll Island Club Hotel | Source

A Break From Paradise

But even in such a paradise Mother Nature often makes her presence known, despite the power of those puny human beings she is offending in her manner. It is not out of the ordinary for rain and cold fog to shroud this minute isle, to hide it from view for a week or more in the late winter. And in fact, this is what made me walk down to the docks where those hired to cater to the very rich waited and performed their particular duties on such a cold dreary day.

The rain blew steadily, cold as can be imagined in this part of the world. The wind too tried in vain to tear the Spanish moss from the very limbs of the ancient live oaks shading the premises, whistling around the sashes of the windows of both owners fine cottages and helpers weathered shacks. One such unpainted building was particularly inviting as I braved the wet downpour on my hasty stroll between the hotel and the docks.

The salt rimed windows of this particular shack seemed to glow with the yellow light of welcome to such as I, seemed to say “come inside where it is dry, where companionship resides.” Or so my memory now tells me. This particular abode was where the members had their game mounted, whether it be a massive 12 point buck, a bobcat, fox, or even a sharp tusked wild boar the hammocks seemed home to.

The smell of preservatives and tanning chemicals used to treat the hides, fins and feathers of the game, though strong in odor, gave a rather pleasant scent to the air inside the cozy shack. A rusty, but yet efficient, pot bellied wood stove with a steaming coffee pot perched atop it, crackled and expanded as the wind cast huge raindrops against the two lone windows looking out over the fog shrouded white capped river. What little could be seen of it at this time that is.

Prisoner Or Privilege: Stations Of Life

The Crane "Cottage" at The Jekyll Island Club
The Crane "Cottage" at The Jekyll Island Club | Source


“How do,” came a voice from behind a huge deer head being mounted for some lucky member. As I peered around the stags antlers the head of an ancient black man became apparent as he too strived to see who had entered his lair on such a day. “Good day,” I said before actually thinking how my remark might seem a bit ironic.

“Didn’t mean to disturb you and really, I’m merely attempting to cure a bit of boredom on this dreary day. I couldn’t help but notice how cozy your place looked compared to its surroundings. I won’t stay long, just till this squall eases up somewhat. Go right ahead with your work and pay me no mind. I’ll simply stay out of your way,” I almost pleaded.

“Dat’s jest fine” the gray head shook in affirmation “I’se jest ’bout ready tuh take a break anyways. How ’bout a cup o’ coffee while you waitin’ on de rain to let up some?” I smiled at the question as the hot liquid sounded very inviting to me at the time. Sure, I only had to run a few hundred feet to gain access to the hotel’s environs and order a special blend of imported java, but somehow the old man’s offer seemed irresistible at the time.

The view from the docks.
The view from the docks. | Source

Coffee and Memories

“Sounds great,” I replied, which caused him to remove himself from behind his work counter and reached into a cupboard for a couple of heavy chipped cups and a bowl of white sugar. “I ain’t got no cream for ye sir, have ta drink it black if ye don’t mind, de milkman aint been here dis mawnin’ cause o' de rain. Cain’t say as I blame him tho, not at all.” I told him I didn’t normally require milk for my coffee and this seemed to please him to no end.

“How long have you worked here on the island,?” I asked him when we were sipping the delicious brew. “Over 50 years now, suh. I landed on dis very island when only 14 year old, landed as a slave from de las’ slave ship ever tuh brang cargo from Africa.” After having said this he looked out over the rain fogged river as if he could remember the day of his arrival, could see it in his minds eye, as he certainly did that day.

“You were aboard the Wanderer,?” I gasped? During the previous days of the deluge I had borrowed a few books to entertain me as I sat alone in my hotel room watching the sky shed its gloomy tears. One of the tomes was a history of the tiny islet and it told of the Wanderer and those who made a fortune from its illicit cargo.

And now right in front of me was a passenger on the vessel, an eyewitness to the whole thing. I could only sit there astonished for a few moments, could only imagine what the old man had been through in his long life.


Curiosity Wins Out

About then the rain suddenly slacked off and the old man said “Now’s yore chanct, young man. I gotta git back ta work fer awhile.” I realized he didn’t much want to discuss his experience on the Wanderer right now, but somehow I got the idea he would eventually open up to me a bit more about his life. I bid him adieu and thanked him for the coffee and conversation. “Come agin” he said. But southerners always say that, no matter how they feel about you.

The next morning it was still raining, still gray, wet and cold. I hadn’t slept much thinking about the old man and how he had been brought here so long ago. Sure, I had read about the slave ships and how the people had been treated on their long voyage to the land of the free. Somehow saying this leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, makes me wonder how it sounds to men such as old Nicholas.

I had asked around and found out more about the one-time slave. He had rarely left Jekyll during his long life, and never before he was freed at the end of the Civil War. He preferred to work on the same isle he was first landed on as if it was a replacement for the home he would never see again. Even a beaten dog will lick his masters hand if there is no one else to notice his life. We all need to be acknowledged by someone I suppose.


Another Gray Day On Jekyll

Of course I would visit Nicholas again today. Perhaps if I became friends with him he would deign to honor me with his story. I went into the hotel dining area and begged some cream from the kitchen. I also ordered a couple of sandwiches and made a run for the docks between squalls. Just like the day before, the orange glow of the lantern through the window beckoned me inside the old shack. Nicholas looked up from his work and smiled as if we were old friends instead of new acquaintances.

“Good mawnin tuh ye master Bill” he said. Jest a bit wet but still, a good mawnin tuh be out o’ de weather.” I placed the food and cream I’d scrounged on the counter hoping he would offer me another cup of coffee as I did not ask for any at the hotel dining room. “Brought you some food and some cream for your coffee, Nicholas. I figured the milkman probably wouldn’t make the sail over today either.”

“Why bless yore heart Bill, I can drink coffee widout cream but it somehow seems more cibilized wid it,” he grinned, revealing a few missing teeth with the rest being filed to a point, just as I had heard others say. I was taken aback by this in the beginning, but soon it seemed natural somehow, like it fit the old man and his life. And it did…..fit his life I mean.

Jettisoning "Dead" Weight

| Source

The Voyage

So we sat down and had some coffee, ate the food, and began our friendship properly. “I know ye wants ta hear my story, doncha young Bill? No….dat’s okay…I usually don’t talk ‘bout it much, but I can tell ye are a young man with feelins'. How does I know? Yore eyes tell me, an' your voice tells me, an' yore hands tells me too.”

He began his tale with him and his brother’s capture by the slave catchers. He wondered about his parents, figured they knew what had happened to them. After all, so many of his friends and family had been sold into slavery and perhaps his parents were over here too. But of course, he’d never seen them again.

This was when he told me about the voyage, about his brother’s horrible end. And yes, my eyes told him much about me, much about my feelings and thoughts. I cried with him with no regrets. We mourned the death as though it had just happened yesterday. And truly, for me it did.

After his brother died, Nicholas himself had almost given up. “Nuthin’ much ta lib fo,” was the way he put it. But he decided he couldn’t let them kill him like they did his brother, decided to live and maybe get some revenge somehow, someway.

He told me about the storms the little ship ran through. How they were shaken violently, almost drowned by the water flooding in through the hatches, how the filth sloshed back and forth over them, how their skin was so wrinkled and soft it came off in strips where the manacles encircled their wrists.

He told me of misery so deep I felt ashamed of my good fortune in life. Nicholas saw this after a bit and gently laid his hands upon my shoulders, making me raise my head and look at him through my tears. He was smiling now. "Don't tek it so hard, honey," he said "dis happen a long time gone now, too long tuh be sorry for like you feel. I'se grieved 'nuff fer de bof o' us."

Some of the last Africans illegally transported to America in the slave trade.
Some of the last Africans illegally transported to America in the slave trade. | Source

Scars and Memories, Never Forgotten.

“See here,” he said. “Dese scars growed right long wit me. I was smaller den too, didn’t weigh a hunnert pound den.” Nicholas would occasionally look out the window over the foggy gray river. Gazed upon it allmost as if he was seeing everything again, feeling the chains around his wrists, smelling the odors now burned into his memories, hearing the sounds of misery.

“Six weeks be a long time tuh lie down,” he finally said. “Dey say I wuz lucky. I say, depend on whut folks thank lucky be. But still, some o' my people wuz ober two months acrossin’ de ocean. So, I ’spose bein’ on a fast ship is sumpthin tuh be thankful fo’. I ain’t thanked nobody fer it yet, tho.”

Nicholas told of them being unloaded during the night, right down the road a piece towards the north end of the island. Most of the slaves were sent further upstate around Augusta, to a plantation owned by one of the men responsible for financing the illicit voyage.

Some were given away in payment for silence, a few others--including Nicholas--were hidden here on Jekyll. The DuBignon family--whose ancestor was part of the smuggling operation--still owns a house right behind the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. "I ain't holdin' no grudge," Nicholas said "de law tried dem in cote, but dey had too many friends tuh evah haveta pay fo dere crimes. My little brother still daid, no matter whut."

Return of the "Wanderer"

The “Wanderer” eventually fell into the hands of the US Navy and was used to blockade the eastern and gulf coasts during the Civil War. “I seed dat ole ship a few yars later,” Nicholas said. "Mebbe it was my ‘magination, but it still smelt tuh high heaven, still carried de stink o' pure evil an' death. It ‘minded me o’ such bad thangs. I broke down when I seed it come afloatin’ down de riber.”

A few days later--when the sun finally decided it had hidden long enough--I found myself walking with Nicholas, meandering along the river to the spot where the infamous ship had disembarked its human cargo. It was a lonely spot, certainly dismal looking to those who tried to walk for the first time in over a month and a half.

I cannot imagine how frightened those poor souls were, but now I know at least one of them and his story. But Nicholas had said to me, “I was one o’de lucky ones.” I will not ask him to tell me more. I can already smell the misery. As I said, some recognize privilege at an early age....

Author's Note

Although the historical events and places in this story are true, all of the main characters are merely fictional.

Questions & Answers


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      • Phyllis Doyle profile image

        Phyllis Doyle Burns 14 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

        It is indeed very nice to see this story featured in LetterPile. Very happy for you, Randy. Well done, my friend.

      • profile image

        Randy Godwin 20 months ago

        I'm very pleased to finally have a semi-fictional tale featured on LetterPile, and especially this one. Thanks HP staff! :)

      • Randy Godwin profile image

        Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Yes Junko, racism is still very much alive and well in my part of the country. It seems any black organization for peaceful change is immediately attacked by the racists as being racist themselves. I wish everyone had to witness the things I did when growing up down here. It's difficult to even imagine what black folks went through back in the 50's and I can only imagine how much worse it was before I was born.

        Thanks for your time and comments on this rather sad story.

      • Randy Godwin profile image

        Randy Godwin 21 months ago from Southern Georgia

        Shyron, I'm pleased you enjoyed the semi-factual hub. It even affected me especially while doing the research for the tale. The actual facts were in some ways even worse than I described in this story. I really appreciate your time and input. :)

      • junko profile image

        junko 21 months ago

        Now after Hundreds of years of slavery followed by over one hundred and fifty years of Jim Crow and Racism which caused the death of countless descendants of African Slaves and millions of Slaves, Blacks declared "Black Lives Matter". "All lives Matter" and "Blue Lives Matter" was a mockery just as "We shall over come" when song by the KKK was a mockery. It is time for Black lives to matter, if not now, when?

      • Shyron E Shenko profile image

        Shyron E Shenko 21 months ago from Texas

        Randy, this was an awesome read, and informative. I can see how this could be an actual event, this friendship between the two people.

        Blessings to you.

      • Randy Godwin profile image

        Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

        Thanks you for checking this tale out, Nancy. It's based on a real event and do so like to create historical fiction and Jekyll is the perfect place for a story setting. I really appreciate your nice comments on my writing style. Nicholas represents many such folk who lived to tell this sad story of bondage and misery.

      • OhMe profile image

        Nancy Tate Hellams 3 years ago from Pendleton, SC

        Its been years since I was on Jekyll Island. We stayed there for one of the Bowl Games to watch our Clemson Tigers play. We stayed some extra days and I got to take the tour around the island. I sure enjoyed your story and wanted to hear more from Nicholas. It seemed so real. You are very talented. Thank you for sharing.

      • Randy Godwin profile image

        Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

        She writes about the various plantation owners, their families on St. Simon's Island, and their lives up until and after the Civil War. I believe "Beloved Infidel" is one of the series.

        Many of her real life characters are buried in the old cemetery at Christ's Church near the old Fort Fredricka site established by Oglethorpe in the 1730's. I highly recommend her books.

      • Phyllis Doyle profile image

        Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

        I will have to look up Eugenia Price's books. I love tales of the old south and these islands you mention are interesting. It seems there is never enough time for all we want to research and write about. My writing is going into a change and I feel it will be more on the creative side, historical fiction and short stories.

      • Randy Godwin profile image

        Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

        I do have some similar tales in the mix, Phyllis. There is so much uncharted drama in this particular coastal section of Georgia as Eugenia Price found in her great series of books. Saint Simon's Island--I could see it from my campsite on Jekyll--was the locale of her semi-fictional works. So much history....so little time. :)

      • Phyllis Doyle profile image

        Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

        Randy, when you created Nicholas it must have been a way of atonement for the past. Nicholas is such a gentle and forgiving character it is easy to love him and hard to let go of. Maybe he will have more stories to tell.

      • Randy Godwin profile image

        Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

        I appreciate your time and input so much, Phyllis. This tale got to me a bit as I was researching and writing it. To create such a character as Nicholas really took something out of me as it should have. My ancestors had slaves and I cannot forgive them for it. Perhaps I share their guilt of having done so. At any rate, I do what I can not to let history be forgotten. This was one of those attempts. :)

      • Phyllis Doyle profile image

        Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

        I really enjoyed reading your historical fiction, Randy -- you do this so well that ol' Nicholas seems real to me. I found I understood every word he said, as if I knew him personally, felt his emotions and quite used to listening to him.

        Jekyll Island must be a lovely place. The history must surely have left tears of inherited memory for some. I so appreciate and recognize excellent research and yours is very evident. Well done.

      • Randy Godwin profile image

        Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

        Long time no see, Quipper! :) Pleased you took a look at this one as I enjoyed writing it. Jekyll is my favorite Golden Isle because of its long history, and of course, the story is based on historical fact.

      • Drive By Quipper profile image

        Drive By Quipper 4 years ago from Wrong Side of Town


      • Randy Godwin profile image

        Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

        Thank you Angie for the nice comments on this rather sad tale. My goal was to make people look at slavery through the eyes of the enslaved and to experience what they went through before ever reaching this country. Your time is really appreciated. :)

      • Angie Jardine profile image

        Angie Jardine 4 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

        This really brought slavery to life for me, Randy … so much so it made me cry.

        It’s easy to see why you have so many followers on Hubpages.

      • Randy Godwin profile image

        Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

        Many thanks for your comments and time on this tale, Aubrey. Unlike most of my fiction this one got to me a bit while researching and writing it.

        I'm pleased you like my "voice" in the fiction I attempt here and it being recognizable to you. You don't know how much this means to me.

        Thanks again to fellow Georgian and Merry Christmas to you and yours.

        Your Friend,


      • CrazedNovelist profile image

        A.E. Williams 5 years ago from Hampton, GA

        Wow, Randy. You continue to amaze my. You have an awesome voice and style to your writing. It's so distinct and I always know I'm reading YOU. You're going to go places... good work. Good to read this, fellow Georgian. :)

      • Randy Godwin profile image

        Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

        Hello again, Penny! Yes, this tale differs from my other creative attempts in that it is based on real events and people who suffered so much during this sad time in my country's history.

        I suppose we all have things to be grateful for, even Nicholas who had seen the worst this country had to offer. Thanks again for checking out my fiction here as it seems all of it will be idled before long.

        Your time and input has really been appreciated, I promise.


      • pennyofheaven profile image

        pennyofheaven 5 years ago from New Zealand

        Well Randy, I take my last (ps) back. This was not your usual mystery and intrigue story. It made me sad, it made me cry and it made me grateful. I marvelled at the character of Nicholas feeling lucky after all he had endured. It is sad but inspiring at the same time. What a rare gift you have to capture the reader. Thanks so much. Glad you are here.

      • Randy Godwin profile image

        Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

        Thanks Hyphenbird for your very insightful input on this tale. I only used one drawing of the deck on the ship with the other deck just as crowded as the one depicted. I agree we hardly ever see the whole story of this shameful time in our country's history.

        Thanks so much Brenda for your time and comments on this fact based tale.


      • Hyphenbird profile image

        Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

        Hi Randy. As much as I read, learn and study the atrocities man commits against others, I never get used to it. That drawing of the slave ship with all those people crammed in like sardines makes me weep. It is incredible done. We know it happened. Stories like yours makes it real to people who read history and do not tie it to human beings who hurt, cried, bled and died. You did an amazing job on this story. Bless you. D

      • Randy Godwin profile image

        Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

        Always glad to hear from you, Dusty! I suppose we eventually realize our "stations in life" are simply what they are. Like you, I'm often tempted to close up my laptop and leave it that way. But also like you, I have too many memories, both photos and my own musings, to make the ultimate move.

        But time is a funny thing. What once seemed to be worthy of attaining eventually becomes only a fond craving. Of course, I mean the simple and most easily found moments of contentment such you mentioned. Time becomes most valuable to us.

        Even Nicholas forgot his strong thirst for revenge in this tale. As he discovered, life isn't always fair.

        Much appreciation for your visit, Dusty. Your input made my day.


      • 50 Caliber profile image

        50 Caliber 5 years ago from Arizona

        Randy, I been off and about and thought I needed to come see you.

        Damn son, this was a deep hurtful read in some ways but the voices in twixt the old ears as I read were period accurate and educational accurate for the years split between the boy and the Tanner.

        I reckon that where we were born and when and to who and their social strata and values can be a thing we might ought be thankful for.

        I put back as much as I could but still kept the electric, water and motor carriage. I just couldn't part with some of the conveniences that grew as I did.

        There's days I want to throw this computer out the door after spraying it with lead but it seems to be a scrapbook of a feller who took few pictures in life wrote little down and it's a library as well to read and study the days away, though unsure what good it does. I do get to choose the time I don't bother with it and set out and smoke and rock or swing, even round up a dirty old horse and slide on for a ride to somewhere and back.

        This was done most excellently and I voted all sans funny,

        May the Blessings be,


      • Randy Godwin profile image

        Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

        Will do, Becky! Yes, HP has removed my contact information just like spoiled little girls would do when they couldn't get their way. LOL!


      • Becky Katz profile image

        Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

        Randy, I was going to send you an email but you don't seem to have one listed. Come read my latest. I think you will like it. Tell me what you think.

      • Randy Godwin profile image

        Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

        I'm sure they have a copy at my local library because of the interest in Jekyll by many Georgia residents. Never read it myself, only bits and pieces. I need to read the entire book at any rate as I travel there often on camping trips.

        There are so many historical points of interest just a few miles away I've still not managed to view them all. A wonderful destination for history buffs, from the colonial era, to shortly after WWII when the Millionaires sold the island to Georgia for less than the value of the "Crane Cottage."

      • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

        Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

        Well, I realized I need to get the hard copy of the book - the Kindle version I saw was only a 'study guide,' which is interesting - means it has been used for academic purposes, I believe. I do plan to read it. The book is around 900 pages long or something huge like that. It sounds fascinating, and very timely, in view of our recent economic events.

        Thanks for the background on this island - I will put it on my Bucket List!

      • Randy Godwin profile image

        Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

        Hello Nate, thanks for taking the time to read this rather lengthy tale, and for your comments also. Yes, a very sad and horrifying time in our nation's history.

      • NateB11 profile image

        Nathan Bernardo 5 years ago from California, United States of America

        Engrossing story about a very significant subject. Thought provoking to say the least.

      • Randy Godwin profile image

        Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

        Yes Marcy, Jekyll seems to be a little known island to most here in the US, but for such a tiny isle it is chock full of colonial history as well as being home to the famous Jekyll Island Club. Check out the "cottages" of the wealthy who once spent the winter on their private island. Barely a mile long and only half as wide.


        I haven't read the kindle you mentioned, but there are many other great books about the historical isle.

        I highly recommend a stay at the wonderful old Jekyll Island Club Hotel to see how the rich spent their winters from after Christmas till Easter.

      • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

        Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

        Randy - this is so odd - your story today was the first time I'd heard of Jekyll Island, and just this evening I was at an event where someone mentioned the Federal Reserve issue you mentioned a bit ago. I'm going to get the book (Creature from Jekyll Island?) - it's about $5 on Kindle.

      • Randy Godwin profile image

        Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

        Yes, this happened in 1858, Alastar. I took all of the photos showing the Jekyll Island Club, including the marker on Jekyll Wharf. I always try to get some black and white images for my historical fiction efforts.

        I assume you are referring to the secret meeting at Jekyll to form the Federal Reserve by the wealthiest of gentlemen? JP was a hoot. I"ll bet he ticked off a few golfers when he fired the guns on his yacht.

        Oglethorpe was a frequent visitor to 19 year old William Horton, first settler on the island. He was also Oglethorpe's second in command at Fredericka for a while. What were we doing at that age? :)

      • Alastar Packer profile image

        Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

        Ah see, must have been in the 1850s then. No surprise with the trials in-state assume. The historic marker was interesting- JP Morgan reminds of the rather infamous meet there in what...1912-13? Oh, how did the pics of yours come about, how were they taken- or did you just do an adjustment? Shared hub Randy, hope it showed up.

      • Randy Godwin profile image

        Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

        Yes Alastar, the Wanderer was said to have been the very last slave ship albeit an "illegal" one at the time. The whole tale of the ship is very interesting as it involves some very important folks, both in the planning of the voyage, the building of one of the fastest ships of the day, and the entire scheme for importing almost 500 African natives to Jekyll island.

        Although there were 3 separate trials for some of the participants and everyone was well aware of the dastardly deed, only the ship itself was ever confiscated and used in the Northern blockade effort along the eastern seaboard and the Gulf coast.

        This tiny island is chock full of history without even mentioning the Jekyll Island Club, Thanks for your thoughts on this story and for your much appreciated time reading it.

      • Alastar Packer profile image

        Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

        A magical read. So the Wanderer was a real slaveship, what a you know. You've really created a special character with Nicholas, Randy-- one falls under his mellow wise persona almost from the get-go. Liked how you opened and closed with his story too. Btw sharks used to follow some of those ships over didn't they. High-toned Jekyll Isle-- perfect-- and fitting how the ship was later used suppose. Yes, great tale with awesome b&w pics of yours. Also seems a fitting publish with Morgan Freeman's passing today, he did pass didn't he? Up n all good man.

      • Randy Godwin profile image

        Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

        What a great compliment, Becky! If you found this one educating AND entertaining I can ask for nothing better as it was intended to be a bit of each. Thanks so much for your time! :)

      • Becky Katz profile image

        Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

        Wonderfully interesting story of how it was. I can imagine this old man sitting and telling this story to this young, privileged boy. I love the way you tell a story. I am now educated as well as entertained by this old man and his story.

      • Randy Godwin profile image

        Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

        Hello again, Marcy. Strange how a few different genes can make such a marked difference in the lives of so many human beings, isn't it? My ancestors were slave owners and I can't seem to forgive them for it. So I do my best to not allow this part of our sad history to be forgotten.

        Thanks again for your encouragement, Marcy. I am keeping busy writing no fear. Whether I can succeed as a fiction writer or not, I enoy the effort. I appreciate your comments.

      • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

        Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

        Randy, you may have created fictional characters, but your skillful writing has made them very real. Once again, thank you for bringing into sharp focus a piece of our collective history that reminds us we are but a short breath away from being either the victims or the perpetrators of inhuman acts. Nicholas represents many thousands (millions?) of people whose lives (and family connections) were forever scarred and diverted by such evil acts. He is also a lesson in dignified and perhaps resigned forgiveness.

        Even your title reflects the contrast between haves and have-nots. Those living in the privileged stratosphere book 'passages' on ships; those captured and sold are imprisoned there.

        Write that book, my friend. Write it.


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