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Rise & Fall: 1903

Rise & Fall: 1903
No nation rose so white and fair.
None fell so pure of crime.

        — Confederate Monument inscription

Augusta, Georgia, circa 1903. "Albion Hotel and Confederate Monument." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Still Broad, and a 'New' Facade

The hotel building itself appears original, with an 'updated' deco-esque veneer.

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Still "Broad"

Broad Street is still "Broad," it just has lots of trees and a median that was put in during a downtown renovation in the late '70s. When I was a kid growing up there in the '50, Broad Street was treeless, like in this photo. The Richmond Hotel seemed, to my small-town eyes, like the height of urbanity. Loved the overstuffed leather chairs, the barber shop, the newsstand in the lobby, the smell of cigars, when my mom would visit the beauty parlor there and I'd have to wait in the lobby with all the traveling drummers.

Not everyone was a criminal

Some, like my great-great grandfather fought for Georgia, not because he owned slaves, but for for things like protecting his friends, family, and property. Most memorials in the South, like this are to remember the dead that fell in a war, regardless of the issues. Respect the dead, and remember that racism wasn't, and isn't, exclusion to the South.

That teamster

Assuming he is literate, which is by no means certain, but which I wouldn't bet against, is no doubt using the broad brim of his hat to prevent his eyes from rolling at the sight of that inscription. This is a survival skill common to every black American in that era, and long after.

Well, they got the "white" part right

No disrespect intended to the fallen, but that inscription borders on the sanctimonious.

Pure of crime?

Only if atrocities toward Africans do not count as a crime. What blindness those Confederates had. Thank god they were crushed.

Street no longer so broad

Apparently the Albion Hotel burned to the ground in November 1921, and was replaced by Hotel Richmond (now the Richmond Summit Apartments), which still stands.

The Confederate monument is still there - at approx. 755 Broad Street (which is not quite so broad now)

But where are the automobiles?

Plenty of carriages and bicycles seemed to be in full swing, though.

Ye gads! The wires!

The Victorian Internet was in full swing with telephone, telegraph and electric power! So much so that crossarms are suspended from wires, just to add to the mix.

Birds had no problem looking for a place to rest.

Selective perception?

White? Fair? Pure of crime?


Where does "the other half" fit into this image? Or the "special institution"?

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