Dale Cox's Books and Publications Spotlight
Attending my genealogical society meetings has been a challenge for the last few years, but I got there today. The GSOC is one of those vibrant organization with excellent leadership--the society refuses to close its doors or shrink into obscurity; in these times and days that can happen to small or large societies.
As long as there are speakers like Dale Cox willing to visit and share, the society will continue to be a boon to the community. That's just one element of success, but it's an essential part of the recipe.
Dale spoke without giving a power point presentation. Thank goodness--I often think ppp's can get in the way of the speaker's and audience commune-i-cation. His stories were based on factual research of the early history of Florida and its denizens. He has written several books in an effort to bring to light the various battles and sites that were involved in the early Seminole wars occurring as early as 1818.
Many of us came away from the presentation truly concerned about the lack of our state's participation in educating our children regarding the Scott Massacre, and other important events that helped to shape not just local history, but national history as well.
Mr. Cox was asked by the blogger (me), if he had done any historical research on the recent issues which were raised regarding the Dozier School in Marianna. He had and gave a short summary of the facts and interviews that he had gathered. He believes that between the fire of 1914 and the Spanish Flu in 1918, some of the unmarked graves, if not all, will be found to correlate with those two events. Punishment of wayward children during the years that the institution was operating, was very corporal; society had not arrived at the level of enlightenment then, that exists now. This being said, there are all kinds of social clues to what did and didn't take place on the campus of this state institution. Some of the boys that "graduated" from the program left, never to return again. Several took up residence in Marianna, Florida, suggesting that life back home was no picnic, either.
It is easy to jump to conclusions and judge people according to our understanding of decency. Sensational accusations can sometimes become inflated and politicians may use any excuse to gain publicity and/or laurels in stirring up trouble. My own husband spent several of his early years in an orphanage run by a religious institution and the stories he told me are enough to make you sick. Were all of his memories bad ones? Not necessarily; he spoke of a Christmas when the trustees brought candy for the children (that was the happy time). I gathered from Mr. Cox that the stories you will read at Wikipedia and other web sites, don't convey a totality of the actual situation at the school, during the years it was operational.
Dale Cox column