Thomas Spalding: Antebellum Planter of Sapelo
This monograph comprising a brief biography of antebellum planter Thomas Spalding and his times, the first such work specifically relating to Spalding since 1940, is gleaned from the author's previous writings about Sapelo Island and coastal Georgia. Chief among these works are Early Days on the Georgia Tidewater A New Revised Edition (2018), Environmental Influences on Life & Labor in McIntosh County, Georgia (2018) and Sapelo: People and Place on a Georgia Sea Island (2017). Thomas Spalding was one of the leading agrarians in the antebellum South and his Sapelo Island cotton and sugar cane plantation was among the region's most productive and efficiently managed. This book provides a review of Spalding's life, an assessment of his plantation and slave management philosophy, and a glimpse of the times in which he lived as the owner and master of a large agricultural operation with hundreds of bondsmen in the early-to-mid nineteenth century. Within are sections on barrier island ecology, planting techniques for sea island cotton and sugar cane, and the principles of tabby architecture as promoted by Spalding. The last section of the book carries the story into the early 20th century with the final years of the Spalding family's presence on Sapelo Island, and the growth of postbellum African American communities developed by the formerly enslaved people of Sapelo.
About the Author
Buddy Sullivan is a historian of coastal Georgia and is the author of 25 books and monographs on various aspects of coastal history including Early Days on the Georgia Tidewater (Revised), Sapelo: People and Place on a Georgia Sea Island, and Environmental Influences on Life & Labor in McIntosh County, Georgia. He is now an independent consultant and lives on the marshes and tidal creeks of his native McIntosh County, Georgia in coastal Georgia.