Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 October 2011 11:25 Written by Lou Phelps Sunday, 25 September 2011 16:21
SBJ Staff Report
Sept 30, 2011 – It’s one of Georgia’s premier local tourism events – the Vidalia Onion Festival – which draws as many as 75,000 visitors annually.
Festival organizers announced this week that country music star Craig Morgan will be the featured performer at the 35th annual festival that will run April 26 – 29, 2012. The concert will be Saturday, April 28 at the regional airport, the only venue in the area able to hold the crowd.
Morgan is an Army veteran and a father of four Craig Morgan, and has had a number of top-of-the charts records including
Morgan is the star of the Outdoor Channel’s show Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors, which chronicles his adventures onstage and in the field hunting each week. He has now launched a fantasy hunting team.
He was in the Middle East this summer entertaining the troops. Before he launched a successful music career, he spent 10 years active duty in the Army and continued his service for nine years in the Reserves. He was stationed in Panama from 1989-90 and was part of the military operation that removed dictator Manuel Noriega from power.
Last Updated on Thursday, 22 September 2011 15:46 Written by From Staff Reports Wednesday, 21 September 2011 12:00
Sept 21, 2011 – When Georgia Southern University history professor Robert Batchelor, Ph.D first moved to the Savannah area, he was intrigued by the history of the port, historic trade routes. This week he is at Oxford University in England presenting his findings on centuries-old Chinese trade routes that he uncovered that have been hidden for nearly 400 years.
Batchelor made the discovery while researching maps in Oxford University’s Bodleian Library, and is there discussing his discovery at a meeting of researchers being held today at Oxford.
“Like many researchers, I approached China in this period from the perspective of the Ming Empire, which because of The Forbidden City and The Great Wall is usually remembered for closure rather than openness,” explained Batchelor. “But when I moved to Georgia and began learning about the Savannah Port, it piqued my interest in the Chinese shipping trade of that era. I was studying a nearly 400-year-old map in the Bodleian Library when I discovered it was actually a map of Chinese trade routes. The Bodleian Library knew they had the map, but no modern scholars ever made the connection that the map actually documented Chinese trade routes.”
While studying the long neglected early 17th-century Chinese manuscript map, Batchelor discovered a finely drawn network of shipping routes. Unlike many Chinese maps that show only the empire itself, this map depicts the whole of East Asia and most importantly the trading routes used to reach Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and Southeast Asia. It also shows how such navigation worked, and restoration has revealed that the routes on the map were drawn before the coasts. Batchelor believes the map was most likely commissioned by a Chinese or perhaps Moslem merchant family-lineage group from Quanzhou, Fujian, who had strong connections in Southeast Asia.
“The map is a unique artifact that tells the story of East Asian commerce as open, dynamic and driven by coastal merchant networks with aspirations to trade as far away as the Persian Gulf,” said Batchelor. The map, known as the Selden Map of China, was donated to the Bodleian in 1659 by English legal philosopher John Selden.
“Professor Batchelor’s discovery is another example of Georgia Southern University’s research reaching far beyond our borders and impacting people around the world,” said College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Dean Mike Smith. “There is no question that international scholars and researchers will study this map to unlock secrets lost to time and to better understand the impact and implications of international trade centuries ago.”
While the map will prove invaluable to researchers who want to study Chinese shipping and trade history, Batchelor thinks the discovery also paves the way for a modern dialogue about China’s relationship with the U.S. and other countries.
“Many people don’t realize that South Georgia’s relationship with China goes back to at least the 1760s when Henry Yonge planted the first soybean crop in North America in Savannah with seeds brought from China. It’s important to think like early Americans and merchant Chinese --reaching out to build relationships rather than walls,” said Batchelor.
GSU prepared this story on Dr. Batchelor. Published by Savannah Business Journal, 2011.