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Studbook for the Brown hyaena
Columbia Star - Warner Montgomery
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The Explorers Club is an international multidisciplinary professional society dedicated to the advancement of field research and the ideal that it is vital to preserve the instinct to explore. Since its inception in 1904, the Club has served as a meeting point and unifying force for explorers and scientists worldwide.

The Club provides assistance in expedition planning, awards fieldwork grants to scientists, writers, and photographers, and at our famed annual dinners, honors accomplishments in exploration. But probably the most powerful resource available to those who join the Club is fellowship with other members--a global network of expertise, experience, technology, industry, and support. The Explorers Club actively encourages public interest in exploration and the sciences through its public lectures program, publications, travel program, and other events. The Club also maintains Research Collections, including a library and map room, to preserve the history of the Club and to assist those interested and engaged in exploration and scientific research.

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Next Chapter Meeting:

September 9th, 2016 Meeting:

The September meeting of The Greater Piedmont Chapter of The Explorers Club will be Friday, September 9th.

Our speaker will be Chapter member David Brinkman and the topic will be “Where is the Truth and Justice? A Search for Charleston’s 1850 John C. Calhoun Statue”. See below for more information on our speaker and the topic.

We will meet at noon in The Capital City Club. This is on the 25th floor of the Capital Center at the corner of Main and Gervais Street, and Assembly and Gervais Street in Columbia, SC. There is a parking garage behind the Capital Center off Lady Street. Cost for the lunch is $20.00. Remember that The Capital City Club dress policy prohibits blue jeans and denims, shorts, tennis shoes and flip-flops. Gentlemen must wear a collared shirt. Please email your attendance plans (by Tuesday. 6th) to David Brinkman at .

About the topic:

In 1843, American neoclassical sculptor Hiram Powers produced "The Greek Slave" which was one of the best-known and critically acclaimed artworks of the nineteenth century. The statue inspired Elizabeth Barrett Browning to write a sonnet on it and it would be used in the abolitionist cause as copies of it appeared in many Union-supporting State Houses.

Powers, whose move to Rome was financed by John Preston of Columbia, SC, would followup (starting in 1844) with a masterpiece statue of South Carolina's most famous son, two-times Vice-President and US Senator, John C. Calhoun. Under the design direction of Calhoun himself, the finished toga covered (and larger than life) marble image of Calhoun would go through an amazing journey as the nation headed toward civil war (as Calhoun had predicted years before.)

In 1850, just following the death of John C. Calhoun, the newly finished statue would be lost at sea with Margaret Fuller, (the first woman foreign corespondent). The tragedy would be the inspiration of another Elizabeth Barrett Browning piece: Aurora Leigh.

Under national attention through the news media, the City of Charleston, SC spared no expense in finding and recovering the Calhoun statue. The statue would finally take its place in Charleston's City Hall in 1858. It soon became the inspiration of the Secessionists of 1860 and its image would later appear on many Confederate dollar bills. Expecting a Union invasion, Charleston hid the statue in Columbia during the war but it disappeared in the attack and burning of Columbia in 1865.

After being completely forgotten with the passing of the Civil War generation, David Brinkman began what has been six years of on-and-off research on the statue capped off by recent significant discoveries by Brinkman and historian Tom Elmore. The discoveries have now led to very involved research on the Old South Carolina State House and what may have been buried in the rubble of its basement when the Union Army burned the structure in 1865. Come hear this forgotten story and witness a full range of evidence (circumstantial, physical, and even a DNA connection) as we explore and ultimately solve multiple history mysteries.

About the speaker:

David Brinkman is just now finishing his four-year term as Chair of the Greater Piedmont Chapter of the Explorers Club. David was born in Myrtle Beach, SC but has spent most of his life in Columbia. He graduated from the University of South Carolina with a B.S. in Computer and Electrical Engineering and from Midlands Technical College with an A.S. in Electronics Technology Engineering. For almost 30 years, he has worked as a software engineer for NCR, AT&T, and Intel Corporations. He current serves on the Industry Advisory Board of Midlands Technical College.

Exploration Work:
* Extensive research of Columbia's River history (1700's to early 1900's):
* Specialized work with computer overlays of old surveys and maps onto today's
   maps (This work helped: Find the lost Broad River Confederate Bridge and
   General Sherman's pontoon crossing site; Find the site of Jacob Geiger’s Mill on the
   Congaree river; Verify the location of Friday's Ferry (at Granby) with that of
   remains found in 2007; Find the location of the 1748 Fort Congaree in 2013.
* GPS mapping and photography of hundreds of South Carolina Ferry and Bridge sites.
* Creation of Smartphone GPS enabled tours for Android and iPhone smartphones (You do the
   walking and your phone does the talking): :
        Phone apps created:
          -Columbia's Three Rivers History Tour (150 points of interest over 15 miles).
          -Midlands' Historical Markers App (140 markers).
          -Riverbanks Zoo Tour App (70 points of interest including Saluda Mill Ruins).
          -Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum App: The first smartphone
             museum app that has automatic detection of a person's location in a museum.
          -Charleston 3D Tour App (350 markers and over 400 stereoscopic images of Charleston
             from the Civil War and today.
          -Clarendon County Tour App featuring the Swamp Fox Murals
* Finding Granby project: Team leader over a Historical and Archaeological project to
   find the remains of the old South Carolina town of Granby. The dig has produced over
  7000 artifacts from the Granby period:
              2009: The Historic Columbia Foundation’s Helen Kohn Hennig Award
                 for Historic Preservation to David Brinkman for the PBS History Detectives
                 “Civil War Bridge” nationally television episode.
              2011: Columbia, SC Chamber of Commerce Pillar Award finalist: Pillar of Technology
                 in the Arts for David Brinkman’s South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and
                 Military Museum Smartphone Application which uses phone sensors to
                 determine a visitor’s position in the museum.


The Greater Piedmont Chapter holds luncheon meetings on the second Friday of each month at 12 noon at the Capital City Club in Columbia, SC.
Cost for lunch is $20.00. Please email your attendance plans to David Brinkman at . Often people show up who have not made reservations. We try to make sure there is more seating than reservations, but please notify us in advance to be assured a place. If you are bringing any guests, please email David their name(s). We like to record who attended each meeting.

Past Meetings

The Fort Congaree II Flag Expedition 



Information on Chapter Events
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Phil BartlettFrank Knowlton

Frank Knowlton

David Brinkman
Jack Boggs
Past Chair
David Brinkman
Jack Boggs 
Nena Rice
John Adams Hodge Jerry Bright
Program Directors
Nena Rice and Claudia Benitez-Nelson
Membership Committee Chair
John Adams Hodge
Jerry Bright

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