A Georgia Digital History Project



The story of Asaph Perry presented on this web site is an experiment in digital hypertext history. We designed the site to, in a sense, make Asaph's story not only knowable, but transparent.


The story is divided into six separate story lines. Each story line is comprised of multiple text blocks or lexia, which are stand-alone chunks of text as well as electronic links that join them. The links in lexia will take you to other parts of the story. This type of reading is non-linear, so if you prefer to read the story in linear fashion, you can start with the opening and follow the links highlighted next to the word "next" at the bottom of the lexia.


While reading the story you can also read about the development of the story by clicking on the "Writing" link on the left. Clicking the link titled "Learning" will allow you to read about how your students might learn about the past by engaging Asaph's story. The documents used to construct the story as well as an explanation of how these documents were used are available under the link title "Documenting."


An index of all the learning materials available on this site is available.


All the documents in the Asaph Perry Collection are also available.


The Asaph Perry Wiki (opens in new window) - Use this site to compose and edit new stories about Aspah Perry, his family, and world around him.





Writing the story


What truly sets Asaph apart from others who lived at the same time and in the same place is a collection of his documents housed at the Cherokee County Historical Society. These documents give us a glimpse into his daily life and provided the impetuous for our work. Because these documents were available Aspah emerged from the vastness of the past and his story came to life.


Our technique in telling Asaph's story is aggressive and purposeful. We want to capture as much of the time as possible with our story. While we were not willing to make up the past, we did make numerous inferences, many supported by assumptions and propositions.


We initially envisioned Asaph Perry as be a surrogate for white middle class southern males at the turn of the 20th century. Not the archetypical unreconstructed rebel, but the New South businessman. Aspah might be W. J. Cash's "Man at the Center." In this sense, Asaph transcends his nominal condition and becomes our vehicle for the exploration of identity in the early 20th century white southern male. But, the context proved to be less hearty than others


Asaph surrounding life story proved to be more interesting than we initially thought. We found a myriad of other stories lurking around Asaph. Some of these stories are represented as story lines and other contexts. The High Tower story line focuses on the development of North Georgia, set in the context of the demise of the Cherokee Nation and the arrival of a new breed of Georgians - including gold prospectors and small farmers - among whom, we believe, included Asaph's grandfather. We looked at Asaph's life as a businessman, an entrepreneur, who tried on many vocations before settling on one later in life. We looked at the emergence of a prototypical New South city in Canton, struggling to position itself as a textile leader in the region. We also look at women during the late 1800s and early 1900s by examining Ethel, Asaph's wife. We then expanded that focus to consider family structure at that time and how it changed over the span of Asaph's life.