His real interest was in social history. It was the architecture first, then the people and their stories. I don’t remember anyone ever telling Bill what to write about. He chose his topics, and they were consequently connected to his heart and mind.
The itinerant artist is a staple figure in the cultural history of nineteenth-century America, but no one roamed more widely—in terms of both miles and artistic development—than the landscape and nature painter Martin Johnson Heade (1819–1904), who went from a farmland boyhood to become a favorite of princes and tycoons.
The once famous career of the musical prodigy Thomas “Blind Tom” Wiggins, born a slave and raised to entertain audiences here and abroad with uncanny feats of musical mastery, tainted virtually everyone who touched it. Wiggins’s owners exploited him and profited hugely from his earnings (his concerts and sheet music yielded an astonishing $20,000 in 1879); critics and reporters wrote …
On the homes and history of Madison, Georgia