2018-06-07 / Front Page

Young will be guest speaker at History in the Park tonight

BOB YOUNG BOB YOUNG Author Bob Young will speak on his latest book, The Hand of the Wicked, at the Lincoln County Historical Society’s “History in the Park Series” Thursday, June 7, at 7 p.m. in the May House at the Lin­coln County Historical Park.

The Hand of the Wicked tells the true story of the murder of Nellie West which occurred in July 1865 in Taliaferro County, just months after the end of the Civil War. Nel­lie West was a crippled, middle- aged freedwoman who was walk­ing to Washington so that she could report the abusive conditions at the plantation where she worked and lived.

The plantation overseer and a companion tracked her down and murdered her before she got to Washington. They were caught, convicted, and sentenced to be hanged. The rest of the story in­volves patronage and a miscarriage of justice which included hundreds of citizens, led by Alexander Ste­phens, appealing to President An­drew Johnson to spare the men. It’s a surprising and even shocking story that happened early in the Reconstruction era and sheds light on conditions in the post-Civil War South.

Bob Young is the former mayor of the City of Augusta and served in the Senior Executive Service in the administration of President George W. Bush. An Emmy-nom­inated broadcast journalist, Young has been presented the Jefferson Davis Award by the United Daugh­ters of the Confederacy for his work in southern history. His first book, The Treasure Train, was a fi­nalist for the Frank Yerby Award at the Augusta Literary Festival.

Young grew up in Thomson and is a 1965 graduate of Thomson High School. He attended Wofford College and Augusta University. He is an Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War. Young and his wife, Gwen, a retired real estate broker, live in Augusta’s historic Summer­ville district.

“Our last ‘History in the Park’ covered the politics of the Recon­struction period, and we learned that the name was a misnomer be­cause little reconstruction actually occurred,” Lincoln County Histori­cal Society President Lamar said. “Young’s talk brings it down to a human level by telling the story of an ugly murder and the lack of jus­tice that followed it. He has a gift for taking the historical facts and melding them into a very interest­ing story. Recently he’s been doing research on Dionesis Chenault and we might be able to get him to tell some of that story too. I’m really looking forward to it; you won’t want to miss it.”

For more information, contact Wade at 706-401-0820, or Gary Edwards, vice president, at 757- 831-9556

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