The Friends of the Georgia Archives and History presented the Appling Sword to Gov. Nathan Deal yesterday. The sword had been missing from Georgia since 1909.
After it was discovered recently in a private collection, FOGAH raised $100,000 to buy it back for Georgia. For that effort FOGAH is to be commended.
The sword was commissioned in 1816 to honor Lt. Col. Daniel Appling of Columbia County. Appling and his men defeated the British at Big Sandy Creek in upstate New York in May of 1814. The sword was made for a real Georgia hero.
It was a tragedy that Appling died before the sword could be presented to him. Today’s tragedy is that the Georgia Archives is still virtually off-limits to the citizens of Georgia.
Does Georgia have a modern-day hero who will return the Archives to the people of Georgia, the people to whom it belongs? Gov. Deal?
Vivian Price Saffold
One response to “What Gov. Deal and Daniel Appling Could Have in Common”
I hope that Governor Deal will come through for us. I wish that he would take a look at what knowledge will be lost on November 1 if he does not retain all of the current staff. Once that knowledge is gone, it may very well be lost forever. And so may access to many of Georgia’s records. An archives is not like a public library within a library system, with a system-wide, somewhat self-explanatory database. The collection is unique at each archives, and so the cataloging and databases are unique as well. It takes years to learn the collections of an archives. The knowledge must be past on from veteran employees to new hires so that access to records is not lost. I cannot see under the current plan how staff from the University System of Georgia will learn the collections next year when many of the knowledgeable staff members of the current Archives will be gone as of November 1. I wish that he would step forward and give us some real answers as to how the staff knowledge will be transferred to new hires so that access to all of Georgia’s unique records is maintained for the future. Just keeping a building open is not providing access to the treasures within. It would be like shelving the records in a giant warehouse, giving a Georgia citizen a warehouse door key, and wishing him or her good luck.