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An In-Depth Look at Georgia’s Boundaries Reveals the Fascinating Story of How the State Was Shaped

book cover: The Story of Georgia's BoundariesMore than mere lines on a map, the boundaries of present-day Georgia reflect centuries of wars, treaties, political maneuvering, litigation, heroic actions, and even human error.

William J. Morton, MD, JD, has written a well-researched book discussing the boundaries of his home state in the context of the events and the personalities of those that helped to determine them.

Throughout The Story of Georgia’s Boundaries: A Meeting of History and Geography, Morton sprinkles anecdotes that illuminate the facts. For example, he introduces readers to the brilliant Andrew Ellicott, foremost surveyor of his time and associate of Washington, Jefferson and Franklin. Morton observes, “Ellicott’s knowledge of astronomy, mathematics, and surveying instruments provided measurements that have proven to be extremely accurate even today,” then contrasts him with the bumbling James Camak, whose incompetent surveys “haunt Georgians to this day.” Morton also recounts details of James Oglethorpe’s life when he returned to England after establishing the Colony of Georgia.

In addition, Morton examines every lawsuit affecting the common boundaries between Georgia and its neighbors and explains the resulting opinions rendered by the U.S. Supreme Court and others.

Georgia map, 2009 (copyright)Numerous maps and illustrations in the book span from the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494 to Georgia in 2009, including the boundaries after the Revolutionary War in 1783, as described in the state’s constitution in 1798, and more.

The Georgia Humanities Council president, Jamil Zainaldin, enthusiastically endorses the book for all students of history.

Mortor later wrote the "Boundaries of Georgia" article in the New Georgia Encyclopedia, based on his research for this book.


Awards, Reviews & Media Coverage

  Georgia Historical Society, Lilla M. Hawes Award (2010) for best book in Georgia county or local history published 2008-2009

  Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Georgia, C. Sims Bray Award (2010) recognizing enterprising and significant work perpetuating the memory of the events of Colonial History and inspiring respect and reverence for those whose public services made our freedom and unity possible

 Nominated for 46th annual Georgia Author of the Year Award

 Nominated for Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR) Book Prize (2010)

 Nominated for Southern Historical Association Charles S. Snydor Award (2010)

Chattanooga Times Free Press story  Chattanooga Times Free Press • Mar 2, 2011
"Mystery-shrouded cornerstone replaced at tri-state corners" [read full story]
AL-GA-TN tri-corner marker click image to enlarge

Professional Surveyor Magazine review  Professional Surveyor Magazine • January 2011
"Dr. Morton’s book is a gem. It is well researched, well organized and well written … in an easily readable style. It is succinct and coherent." [read full review]
— Wilhelm A. Schmidt, PLS

Georgia Bar Journal review  Georgia Bar Journal • December 2010
"It will be of interest not only to real estate practioners but a much wider audience given recent developments in the ongoing litigation between Georgia and its neighbors." [read full review]
— Robert J. Stubbs, editor-in-chief

Georgia Genealogy Society Quarterly review  Georgia Genealogy Society Quarterly • 2010, No. 3
"The book is well organized, flowing seamlessly from one era in Georgia’s history to the next … very useful to genealogists and family historians, particularly those with ancestors who settled near the boundaries of Georgia and her neighboring states, e.g. North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, and Alabama." [read full review]
— Linda Woodward Geiger, CG, CGL

AJC Genealogy article  Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Living section: Genealogy • Jan 10, 2010
"The book is a good and interesting story about how Georgia got to its present configuration and gives just enough information in each area and era to keep one's attention without being overwhelming." [read full review]
— Kenneth H. Thomas Jr.

Times-Georgian article  Times-Georgian (Carroll County, GA) • Jan 10, 2010
"Dr. William Morton’s book, 'The Story of Georgia’s Boundaries,' should be of great interest to the local genealogy and history communities with which the library has enjoyed long-standing partnerships. … [T]his author has done the kind of research that is vital to the continued historical study of Georgia families and communities." [read full review] [read full review as PDF]
— Martha Goodson, Special Projects Librarian, West Georgia Regional Library

AJC article  Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Living section • Jan 3, 2010

GHS press release  Georgia Historical Society, press release • Apr 23, 2010
Georgia Historial Society adds New Board Members, Presents Various Awards, and Hosts Garden Party at its 171st Annual Meeting [read as PDF]

Bill Morton, authorAbout the Author

William J. Morton is a board-certified urological surgeon who practiced in Atlanta for 30 years. He is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Medicine and did his post-graduate urology training at the Emory-Grady Residency Program in Atlanta. He served as a medical officer in the U.S. Air Force, sat on numerous hospital committees, has published over two dozen articles in medical journals, and is also the author of Medical Malpractice: Handling Urology Cases.

Bill received his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree in 1985 and has been a member of the State Bar of Georgia since that time. He has taught courses, written papers and made presentations on medico-legal topics throughout the United States. He is also a part-time Magistrate Court judge in Fulton County, Ga.

His wide interests include history, astronomy, ornithology and photography, and he holds private pilot and U.S. Coast Guard captain licenses. He has already started doing research on his next book, a biography of Andrew Ellicott.

Bill and his wife, Monna, both passionate about fly fishing, live in Atlanta and in Ennis, Montana.

For detailed professional information, visit www.wjmortonmdjd.com.

Resources

1-sheet PDF media promotion sheet

Morton headshot author photo: headshot (high resolution, 3.5 MB)

Morton headshot author photo: alternate (high resolution, 3.7 MB)

poster poster (1/8" bleed, enlarge 300%, 13.3 MB)

Ellicott's Rock photos Ellicott's Rock photo gallery

Ellicott's Mound photos Ellicott's Mound photo gallery

ACSM interview "Andrew Ellicott and the Boundaries of Georgia"
ACMS Radio Hour interview, Jan 23, 2012
American Congress on Surveying & Mapping

ACSM article "A Walk Through the Woods and a Swamp"
ACMS Bulletin, Feb 2010
American Congress on Surveying & Mapping