Buddy Sullivan - Coastal Georgia Historian/Lecturer, Researcher, Consultant

BUDDY SULLIVAN is the author of 18 books on coastal Georgia history, specializing in antebellum agriculture and the maritime heritage of the tidewater. He frequently lectures on request on these and other topics including Spanish settlement on the Guale coast, Oglethorpe and the founding of Savannah, Scottish settlement in Georgia, the 19th century timber and shipping industry and the commercial shrimp and oyster fishery. His thematic approach focuses on the ecological and environmental influences of the coast and how three centuries of peoples have adapted their lives and livelihoods to these prevailing conditions locally.

LECTURES and CONSULTATIONS--Buddy Sullivan is available for lectures and slide talks on a variety of specialized coastal Georgia historical topics for your group or organization for reasonable speaking fees and travel costs. He provides a special slide lecture on an overview of Georgia state history, in addition to his popular "Ecology as History: Life, Labor and Landscape on the Georgia Coast." He also provides consultative services related to community history, special projects and events.


New Revised Edition of Early Days on the Georgia Tidewater Now Available
Early Days on the Georgia Tidewater: A New Revised Edition represents a complete recasting of a book issued under the same title by the author in 1990, and reprinted five times since. Author Buddy Sullivan has incorporated into a single narrative all of the material in the original version of Early Days in addition to considerable new information based on more recent research.
     The new edition of Early Days on the Georgia Tidewater, at 1,000 pages, is thoroughly documented with 90 pages of source notes and an expanded 50-page index, which is more comprehensive than the original with sub-entries for major topics. The book also includes a selection of 150 archival maps and photographs to provide the geographical, topographical and visual context necessary for an understanding of the economic, cultural and social dynamics of the Georgia coast. The new edition of Early Days is issued in an 8 x 10 perfect-bound format.  
     The new Early Days has been reformatted to reflect improved chapter sequence and content arrangement to provide a smoother, more continuous narrative flow than the original edition of the book. In essence, this reorganized edition represents a completely new book that will be of improved utility to researchers, students, and the general reader. Early Days  is a comprehensive history of Sapelo Island, Darien and McIntosh County, Georgia, and a general overview of the history of coastal Georgia, including Glynn, Liberty and Bryan counties, Savannah and St. Simons and St. Catherines islands. It covers the full scope of local history: early settlement by Guale Indians, Spanish missionaries and English colonists; the prosperous rice and cotton economy of the region during the antebellum plantation era—built on the labors of enslaved people; Civil War events, including the controversial burning of Darien; the timber industry, and associated international shipping activity that made Darien the leading center for the export of pine lumber in the world 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 Sapelo Island. Significantly, the revised edition of Early Days tells in detail the story of the area’s African American community and the developing Geechee settlements of Sapelo, Harris Neck and Darien in the years from the end of the Civil War to the 20th century.
The author’s thematic approach to Early Days 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, particularly in the analysis of just how people utilized the environmental circumstances so 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 local tidal waterways and fresh-water river systems, another thematic approach by the author that gives the new edition of Early Days a distinctly maritime flavor.
     The book is now available from Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com.

Buddy Sullivan's new monograph, The First Conservationists? Northern Money and Lowcountry Georgia has recently been published and is now available to those interested in coastal history at Amazon.com. An abridged version of this essay was presented at the recent coastal history symposium in Savannah.  The paper analyzes the acquisition of the Georgia sea islands by wealthy Northerners after the Civil War and how succeeding generations of these families sought to preserve their properties until they eventually came under protected status in the 1960s and 1970s. Sullivan's A Georgia Tidewater Companion: Essays, Papers, and Some Personal Observations on 30 Years of Research in Coastal Georgia History" remains available from Amazon.com for $24.95 per copy. The 500-page illustrated softcover book is an extension of the author's earlier works on coastal history. An Introduction discusses his coastal  Georgia roots and legacy, family history, and research methodology.  

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