Dr. William Ramsey, chair of Lander University's Department of History and Philosophy, was awarded the 2008 George C. Rogers Jr. Book Award by the South Carolina Historical Society for his most recent book on the Yamasee War. Pictured: Ramsey, left, accepts the award from Dr. Faye Jensen, executive director for the South Carolina Historical Society.
Dr. William Ramsey, chair of Lander University's Department of History and Philosophy, has been selected as the winner of the 2008 George C. Rogers Jr. Book Award, sponsored by the South Carolina Historical Society.
Ramsey received the award in February for his book "The Yamasee War: A Study of Culture, Economy and Conflict in the Colonial South." The book explores the political, economic and cultural events that led up to, surrounded and followed a war between southeastern Native American tribes and South Carolinians during the early part of the 18th century.
"I'm grateful for this award from the South Carolina Historical Society in part because I have such respect for the organization and what it has meant for our state over the last 150 years," said Ramsey. "As a writer, it offers me some confirmation that perhaps I have achieved a few of the objectives I set out for myself when I began working on the book: to present a compelling case for the historical significance of the Yamasee War and to do it in clear, accessible language. It may also help to bring the arguments in the book to a larger audience of readers."
The George C. Rogers Jr. award is presented annually to the author of the best book of South Carolina history published during the preceding calendar year. Ramsey's book was selected as a finalist by the editorial board of the South Carolina Historical Magazine and chosen as the winner by an independent panel of three judges.
At the awards ceremony Ramsey had the opportunity to say a few words of thanks to those in attendance.
"No one spends a dozen years of their life doing research and writing about South Carolina history without a deep and abiding love for the state and for the South generally, said Ramsey. "Yet when I graduated from Tulane University in 1998, I found myself drawn away from my home region to teach first in upstate New York and then for five years in northern Idaho, close to the Canadian border. ... And while I'm very honored to receive this award, simply to be invited to the Yacht Club on a 65-degree day in Charleston, S.C., is an award in itself for me."
Ramsey returned to South Carolina in August 2008 when he started his position at Lander. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia, a master's from Valdosta State University and a Ph.D. from Tulane University. His areas of specialty are the old south and slavery, the colonial south, Indian-white relations and the American Revolution.
"The Yamasee War: A Study of Culture, Economy and Conflict in the Colonial South" was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2008.