Jekyll Island
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Jekyll Island's Early Years

From Prehistory through Reconstruction

Title Details

Pages: 296

Illustrations: 74 b&w photos

Trim size: 6.120in x 9.250in



Pub Date: 05/15/2014

ISBN: 9-780-8203-4738-7

List Price: $29.95


Pub Date: 05/15/2014

ISBN: 9-780-8203-4782-0

List Price: $29.95

Subsidies and Partnerships

Published with the generous support of Wormsloe Foundation Publications

Jekyll Island's Early Years

From Prehistory through Reconstruction

Discover the rich and surprising past of a popular destination on the Georgia coast

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  • Description
  • Reviews

From the foremost authority on the famed Georgia barrier island, here is the first in-depth look at Jekyll Island’s early history. Much of what defines our view of the place dates from the Jekyll Island Club era. Founded in 1886, the Club was the private resort of America’s moneyed elite, including the Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, and Pulitzers. In her new book that ranges from pre-Columbian times through the Civil War and its aftermath, June Hall McCash shows how the environment, human conflict, and a desire for refuge shaped the island long before the Club’s founding.

Jekyll’s earliest identifiable inhabitants were the Timucua, a flourishing group of Native Americans who became extinct within two hundred years after their first contact with Europeans. Caught up in the New World contests among France, Spain, and England, the island eventually became part of a thriving English colony. In subsequent stories of Jekyll and its residents, the drama of our nation plays out in microcosm. The American Revolution, the War of 1812, the slavery era, and the Civil War brought change to the island, as did hurricanes and cotton farming. Personality conflicts and unsanctioned love affairs also had an impact, and McCash’s narrative is filled with the names of Jekyll’s powerful and often colorful families, including Horton, Martin, Leake, and du Bignon.

Bringing insight and detail to a largely untold chapter of Jekyll’s past, June Hall McCash breathes life into a small part of Georgia that looms large in the state’s history.

Once again, June Hall McCash exceeds all expectations with her remarkable sense and feel for the history of Jekyll Island. Her impeccable research, combined with a clear and perceptive understanding of her topic, has resulted in an unusually fine study of Jekyll’s early history. This book will appeal both to serious students of the colonial and antebellum history of tidewater Georgia and to the general reader, and has been needed for a long, long time . . . well done in every respect!

—Buddy Sullivan, author of Georgia: A State History

From Jekyll Island's beginnings as an Edenic wilderness through exploration, settlement, revolution, and Civil War, June Hall McCash provides a fascinating foundation for understanding the historical origins of this coastal paradise.

—James C. Cobb, Spalding Distinguished Professor, University of Georgia

June McCash's panorama of Jekyll Island sweeps from prehistory through the nineteenth century, but with a clear focus on the individuals who forged its rich heritage. Each wave of people to come to the island—Native American villagers, planters and slaves, Civil War soldiers in gray and blue—left its mark on Jekyll. These many threads come together seamlessly in a fresh and insightful narrative. By deftly blending people and place, McCash captures the breadth and complexity of Jekyll's past.

—Martha Keber, author of Seas of Gold, Seas of Cotton: Christophe Poulain DuBignon of Jekyll Island

The writing style McCash utilizes in Jekyll Island's Early Years is quite readable and makes her topic material available to not only historians wanting to find out more about the island, but also to the general reader. . . . well researched and documented . . . McCash's Jekyll Island's Early Years is a solid piece of research on a rather obscure place within the larger framework of the American South.

Southern Historian

Penned by perhaps the preeminent authority on Jekyll Island, June Hall McCash's Jekyll Island Early Years fills a void in the historiography of Georgia. . . McCash's talents as a historian and writer shine. . . . McCash's work is an invigorating narrative, impressive in both scope and detail. It is an admirable prequel to her earlier studies of Jekyll Island and more than satisfies the need for a scholarly examination of the island's early years.

Georgia Historical Quarterly

About the Author/Editor

JUNE HALL McCASH is a professor emerita at Middle Tennessee State University and the author of The Jekyll Island Cottage Colony and coauthor of The Jekyll Island Club (both Georgia). She was named a Georgia Author of the Year in 2011 and 2013.