National Geographic : 1998 May
If you would like to know more about the Altamaha area as it was 150 years ago, find a copy of Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation, by Fanny Kemble Butler. A famous English actress, she mar ried Pierce Butler of Philadelphia, who owned a plantation on Little St. Simons, where they lived from 1838 to 1840. The London Times published her letters about the cruelty of slavery as she observed it, and the couple subsequently divorced. MILDRED WACHTER Port Orange,Florida The photographs brought to my mind the poetic imagery of Sidney Lanier's "The Marshes of Glynn." My atlas shows a Glynn County on the south side of the Altamaha. Ever since I first read the poem, I have had the most vivid mental pictures of its setting, and now I can compare them with something that must be pretty close to Lanier's original: the rosy colors of twilight, the tranquil sunset over the river's mouth, the waves of marsh grass; they are all there in Peter Essick's beautiful photographs. GALEN TACKETT Fremont,California Little Buzzard Creek, shown on the map on page 79, is one means of accessing one of the most remark able sights on the lower Altamaha, the old-growth cypress stand on Lewis Island. This impressive stand of about 50 trees is the only known grove of tide water virgin gum cypress in Georgia. NEWTON QUANTZ Atlanta, Georgia Forum One of the gems of the horticultural world, Frank linia alatamaha is a beautiful flowering tree with large white blooms in September. It is reputed to have grown wild on the banks of the Altamaha and to have been discovered and propagated by Benja min Franklin. It is no longer found in its original haunts but is now enjoyed in many gardens. ROBERT E. JACK Greenlawn,New York It was discovered and propagated by botanists John and William Bartram (pages 76 and 79), who named it for theirfriend Franklin.HistoricBartram'sGarden in Philadelphiais now taking a worldwide census of Franklinia; see www.libertynet.org/~bartram/. Letters for FORUM should be sent to National Geographic Magazine, Box 98198, Washington, D.C.20090-8198, or by fax to 202-828-5460, or via the Internet to ngsforum@ nationalgeographic.com.Include name, address, and day time telephone. Letters may be editedfor clarity and space.