The arrival of the slave ship Wanderer to the Georgia coast in 1859 was one of the most controversial events of its day. It involved the illegal capture and transport of Africans, a conspiracy, the hierarchy of both Savannah society and the United States government, over 40 years of failed U.S. policies, and a capital punishment trial.

 

Through this online exhibit the chronicle of the Wanderer is explored, along with the historical context within which this intriguing story unfolded. The history of the slave trade is examined along with U.S. legislation regarding slavery such as the abolition of the Slave Trade Law, the Fugitive Slave Act, and the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The influence of John Brown's abolitionist actions and the historic and stunning Dred Scott Supreme Court decision are also featured. Finally, the culpable actions of a group of radical Southerns known as the "Fire Eaters" are also revealed.

 

FOR TEACHERS: suggested classroom assignment.

SLAVERY, AN INSTITUTION THAT DIVIDED A NATION AND THE TRIAL OF THE SLAVE SHIP WANDERER

In the first handbook for Girl Scouts (written in 1913) maritime activities were not highly endorsed, in fact, they were all but frowned upon. Four years later, in the new Girl Scouts' handbook, these same pursuits were actively encouraged.  Perhaps this change in the handbook was due to it being personally re-written by the organization’s founder, Juliette Gordon Low from Savannah, Georgia.  Low had a genius for understanding the wants of girls, and what girls apparently wanted in 1917 was more maritime oriented activities.Over the next decade participation by Girl Scouts in nautical pastimes flourished and by the early 1930s it was clear to the Girl Scout organization that a new course was being charted leading to the development of the Girl Scout Mariner program. 

CHARTING A COURSE: THE QUEST OF GIRL SCOUT MARINERS

The mbira is a melodic and rhythmic instrument unique in that it has an exclusively African heritage.  This exhibit will show you how to make an mbira from available materials and begin to play it.

 

This presentation features performance and instructional videos by T. J. Reddy, instructions for making and assembling the parts of an mbira, tuning information, resources, suggestions, and an exhibit of traditional and available-material mbiras.

MBIRA BUILD: MAKE AND PLAY THE MBIRA

The “Golden Age of Postcards” occurred from 1905-1915. During this decade billions of  “photographic”postcards were mailed in the United States – 700 million in 1908 alone. The use of actual photographs uniquely distinguished this era’s postcards from the graphic compositions produced in later decades, resulting in a credible portrait of the country’s pastimes, resources, and figurative and literal views.

WISH YOU WERE HERE! VIEWS OF THE SAVANNAH RIVER DURING THE GOLDEN AGE OF POSTCARDS

Ships of the Sea Museum presents an online exhibit featuring the West Broad Street School: one of the oldest city-supported schools for black students in Savannah. "A Thirst for Learning" chronicles the history of the William Scarbrough House as the West Broad Street School through text, vintage photographs, and video interviews with former students.

A THIRST FOR LEARNING: THE HISTORY OF THE WEST BROAD STREET SCHOOL, 1873-1962

On the morning of September 11, 1943, the USS Savannah (CL-42) was struck by a German radio-controlled Fritz X glide-bomb at the Battle of Salerno, Italy. The explosion resulted in a gaping hole in Savannah's keel and more than 200 causalities.  For the next seven hours Savannah's crew fought arduously to seal off the flooded and burned compartments, correct her list, and recover and rescue fellow crew members.

 

"Battle Voices" is an account of the punishing occurrences onboard ship during the Battle of Salerno, Italy. Stories from various crew members have been woven within the ship's log to provide first-hand reports of the harrowing events at the time they actually occurred. The juxtaposition of human struggle with the fact-based data of the ship's log is an attempt to provide an all-inclusive view of this historic event.

BATTLE VOICES: SALERNO, ITALY, 1943

On November 8, 2014, the Feral Scholars presented an original multi-media performance piece at the Museum entitled "O My Aiken Lowry - a Literary Cabaret," which explored the lives, works and relationship between Savannah native and Pulitzer Prize winning poet Conrad Aiken and his protege Malcolm Lowry, author of Under the Volcano.

 

The performance features live and recorded music, readings, comedy, masks and some rather peculiar props. Attention is paid to Aiken's Savannah roots, the oceanic link between Savannah and Liverpool (the birthplace of Lowry), and the importance of the sea and maritime imagery to both writers.

 

This online exhibition includes not only a six-part video of the entire performance, but an extensive program including a bibliography and a description of the props used in the piece. The section entitled "The Cabaret" gives summaries of the topics covered in each of the six videos.

O MY AIKEN LOWRY - A LITERARY CABARET

In an attempt to address the effects of water pollution, Ships of the Sea and twelve Savannah artists joined together to create the exhibit "Making Waves."

 

Through the use of artistic works depicting the damaging consequences of water pollution we hope to encourage individuals to make small changes which will have a large impact on the health of our local and global waterways.The online exhibit also includes relevant information, resources, and solutions for the residents of this area.   

Image Above: Watercourse, by Henry Dean

MAKING WAVES: A COLLECTIVE PERSPECTIVE ON THE POLLUTION OF OUR WATERWAYS

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Museum Hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 10-5

41 Martin Luther King Jr., Boulevard, Savannah, Georgia 31401

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