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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.
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.
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:
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
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
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.
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.
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
About the speaker:
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
* Extensive research of Columbia's River history (1700's to early 1900's):http://dobrinkman.net/bridge/
* 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): http://historysoft.com/ :
Phone apps created:
-Columbia's Three Rivers History Tour (150 points of interest over 15
-Midlands' Historical Markers App (140 markers).
-Riverbanks Zoo Tour App (70 points of interest including Saluda Mill
-Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum App: The first smartphone
museum app that has automatic detection of a person's location in a
-Charleston 3D Tour App (350 markers and over 400 stereoscopic images
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
“Civil War Bridge” nationally television episode.
2011: Columbia, SC Chamber of Commerce Pillar Award finalist: Pillar of
in the Arts for David Brinkman’s South Carolina Confederate Relic Room
Military Museum Smartphone Application which uses phone sensors to
determine a visitor’s position in the museum.
MEETINGS, GREATER PIEDMONT CHAPTER
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.
The Fort Congaree II Flag Expedition