Edward Joseph Cashin Jr.

Received the Breath of Life
22 July 1927 — Augusta GA

Called to Accept the Marist Brotherhood
26 July 1946

Married Mary Ann Klug
St Benedict's Church
Bronx NY — 30 March 1969

Was Commended to God
8 September 2007
Atlanta GA

Mass of Christian Burial
11 September 2007
St. Mary's on the Hill Catholic Church
Augusta GA

Westover Memorial Park
Augusta GA




Ed Cashin entered the Marist Postulate in Poughkeepsie NY in September 1945.  He had graduated from Boys Catholic High School of Augusta the preceding June. As a postulant, he took college courses.  After completing the Novitiate, he transferred to Marist College for two years (1947-1949).  He was then assigned to Mount St. Michael Academy, Bronx NY, where he taught history and took extension courses from Marist so that he received his BA from from Marist in 1952.  He continued to teach at Mount Saint Michael until 1959.  During that time he completed his Masters and Doctoral degrees from Fordham University.

Upon completion of his doctorate, Ed was assigned to Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, FL.  He remained there until January 1963 when he moved to Fribourg, Switzerland for his second novitiate.  In Summer 1963 he was appointed assistant professor of history at Marist College, and also filled the newly created post of Academic Vice President with primary responsibility the long-range development of faculty and curriculum for Marist.

He was elected a delegate to the General Chapter of the Marist Brothers held in the Falls of 1967 and 1968.  At the end of 1968 he resigned from the College and the Brothers.  After a short stay with the New York State Education Department in Albany, he returned to Augusta College as a professor in the history department.  He remained there until his retirement in 1996, acting as professor and from 1975 onward as chair of the history department.  Upon retirement from Augusta College, he founded the Center for the Study of Georgia History at Augusta State University.  He was a past president of Historic Augusta Inc. and a longtime benefactor of the Augusta Museum of History.  He continued his research on the history of Georgia and the city of Augusta until his death.

Edward Joseph Cashin, Jr.
A Celebration of His Life

 Delivered at the Memorial Service
September 11, 2007

St Mary’s on the Hill Catholic Church
Augusta, Georgia
Lee Ann Caldwell

I am humbled by Mary Ann’s request that I speak this afternoon, but one of my greatest honors has been Ed Cashin’s belief in me and one of the great privileges for me and Richard has been our close friendship with Edward and Mary Ann.  Over thirty-five years ago, Ed Cashin changed the direction of my life.  It was he who told a young woman raised in a South where expectations and options for women were limited, a young woman who graduated from a southern research university without ever having a female professor, that I belonged in graduate school.  So it is in a spirit of gratitude for my beloved mentor and friend that I speak today, understanding that no one could capture in mere words the extraordinary person that he was.  His son Ed will speak for the family of which Edward, as the oldest, was the non-patriarchal patriarch.  I will share some thoughts on his remarkable life as a teacher, scholar, and friend.   Mary Ann told me that she wants today to be a celebration in the tradition of Edward’s Irish roots, and while his loss is still painfully raw, there is much to celebrate in a life so well lived.

After completion of his Ph.D. in history at Fordham University, Ed began his academic career in New York, teaching and serving as academic vice president at Marist College.  But he wanted to come home.  Whenever asked what drew him to history, Ed always went back to his boyhood in Augusta.  In school, he had learned of the events of history, but always in other places.  He said he knew something must have happened here.  He devoted his intellectual life to the discovery of what happened in his hometown and home state, and connected it to the larger world.  In 1969 with his new wife Mary Ann, he returned home as a history professor at Augusta College; in 1975 he became department chair, a position he held until his retirement in 1996, when he received emeritus status and became the founding director of the Center for the Study of Georgia History at Augusta State University.  

While instilling an appreciation for history in two generations of students, he shared his passion for the subject in the over twenty books, many of them award-winning, and the numerous book chapters and articles that he wrote.  One reviewer said his William Bartram and the American Revolution on the Southern Frontier had created “a new genre of historical writing.”  Most of what we know about the history of Augusta, and much of what is known about early Georgia’s past, is because of Edward Cashin’s intellectual curiosity, his diligent research, and his gifts as a wordsmith.  Few authors are so prolific.

He won too many awards to name, but they came from all the major state historical associations, including the lifetime achievements awards from the Georgia Historical Society and the Georgia Association of Historians.  He also received the Governor’s Award in the Humanities and recognitions from many other groups.  At Augusta State University, he won each of the awards given to faculty.  His generosity with his knowledge, time, and talent were well-known and he occupied leadership positions in many organizations, including several presidencies and chairmanships.  He was a section editor for the online New Georgia Encyclopedia (which is posting a more in-depth biography on its website), served on journal editorial boards, and refereed for several academic presses and journals.  Ed Cashin was an inspiration to his students and a role model for his colleagues; he excelled in all three areas of the academic life—teaching, scholarship, and service.  One of his most recent honors came as a result of his forthcoming book on the Augusta band of Chickasaws.  That nation gave him a name that appropriately translates as “one who tells an important story.”  Ed told many important stories.

His own life is an important story as well.  He was not only knowledgeable, he was wise. He was interesting, funny (read General Sherman’s Girlfriend and Other Stories for a glimpse of his wry sense of humor), good-natured, always even-tempered.  He took what life brought in stride.  He had the most remarkable ability to focus and concentrate.  He could write four or five pages of a book while everyone else in the room was talking.  Like the rest of us, he had twenty-four hours in a day, but he used his extremely well to live a balanced life.  While he worked hard, he always reserved time for the family he treasured; for travel all over the country (he took language classes to speak to natives); for pleasure reading (he taught himself to speed read to accommodate his voracious appetite for the written word); and for physical exercise (he and Mary Ann walked every day, he hiked and climbed mountains, and visited every waterfall in the north Georgia/North Carolina Appalachians).  He loved a New York Times crossword puzzle and he did them with PEN!  He loved a good game of golf, especially when he could best his family members.

Ed enjoyed his life.  He lived the life he wanted and did it with passion and with great generosity of spirit.  And in spite of all his accomplishments and awards, he remained humble, unassuming, and always gracious.  People revered Ed Cashin the teacher and intellectual and they loved Ed Cashin the person.  He was, and will be remembered as, the embodiment of the phrase “a scholar and a gentleman.”  In the words of American poet Robert Hillyer: 

“. . . In him was a perfection, an unconscious grace,
Life could not mar, and death cannot efface.”

While he has gone physically, his zest for life, his passion for history, and his spirit of adventure and inquiry will continue to serve as an inspiration for those of us who seek to carry on his legacy.  So, Edward, my dear, dear friend, thank you for letting us share your path; the road will be lonely without you.

Obituary in Journal of Southern History
 the major journal in that field

On September 8, 2007, preeminent Georgia historian Edward Joseph Cashin Jr. died while in Atlanta for research on his latest book.  Born July 22, 1927, he graduated in 1945 from Boys Catholic High School in Augusta.  After receiving a B.A. degree from Marist College and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Fordham University, Ed began his academic career at Marist in 1963.  Wishing, however, to return home, he accepted a faculty position at Augusta State University (then Augusta College) in 1969.  He became chair of his department in 1975, a position he held until his retirement in 1996, when he became founding director of the Center for the Study of Georgia History.   During his career he won each of the major awards given at the university, including Outstanding Faculty Member.  He was an inspiring teacher to two generations of undergraduate students.

He was also a prolific scholar, remarkable at an institution with heavy teaching and administrative loads.  His first five books in the 1970s/early 80s focused on local history. By the late 1980s and 1990s he was exploring the influence of key figures in the colonial and Revolutionary South which led to biographies of the king’s ranger Thomas Brown (winner of the Fraunces Tavern Award of the American Revolution Round Table for best book on the American Revolution); Indian trader Lachlan McGillivray; Georgia royal governor Henry Ellis; and naturalist William Bartram.   After completion of Beloved Bethesda: A History of George Whitefield’s Home for Boys, he returned to his examination of Augusta topics with his last four books (two at press).   He wrote several chapters in scholarly works and many journal articles, edited two collections of eighteenth century Georgia primary documents and a book of essays on paternalism in Augusta, and served as a section editor for the New Georgia Encyclopedia. His lighter side is evident in works such as General Sherman’s Girlfriend and Other Stories and Oglethorpe’s London: A Guide to Georgia Sites in London, which he co-wrote with London cab driver, Danny Amor. 

His generosity with his knowledge, time, and talent were well-known and he occupied leadership positions in many state and local organizations.  His innumerable contributions were recognized with the Governor’s Award for the Humanities. He excelled in all areas of the academic life—teaching, scholarship, and service.

While people respected Edward Cashin the teacher and scholar, they loved Edward Cashin the warm, funny, and good-natured person.  In spite of his many awards and accomplishments, he remained humble, unassuming, and always gracious, an embodiment of the phrase “a scholar and a gentleman.”   His zest for life, his passion for the study of history, and his spirit of inquiry will continue to serve as an inspiration.

Surviving family includes his beloved wife Mary Ann; son Ed and daughter-in-law Mary; daughter Milette Esposito and her husband Victor; three grandchildren; three sisters and two brothers; and many nieces and nephews.

[prepared by Lee Ann Caldwell, Georgia College & State University]


Lee Ann Caldwell is the Chair and Professor of History of George College and State University She received her PhD from University of Georgia in 1986.  Dr. Caldwell's main areas of interest are American Women's history, Colonial and Revolutionary America, Gilded Age and Progressive Era, Georgia history, and historic restoration and preservation. Dr. Caldwell is on the board of the Georgia Association of Historians, and is on the editorial board of Atlanta History: A Journal of Georgia and the South. Prior to accepting the chair's position at GCSU, Dr. Caldwell was an Associate Professor of History at Augusta State University.  Lee and her husband Richard remained close friends with Ed and Mary Ann Cashin

Obituary published in The Augusta Chronicle on 9/10/2007

AUGUSTA, Ga. - Dr. Edward Joseph Cashin, 80, husband of Mrs. Mary Ann Klug Cashin, entered into rest on Saturday, September 8, 2007 in Atlanta, Georgia. A memorial mass will be held on Tuesday, September 11, 2007 at 1:00 p.m. at St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church with the Reverend Justin Ferguson officiating. Additional survivors include one son, Edward L. Cashin (wife Mary) of Atlanta, Ga.; one daughter, Milette Cashin Esposito (husband Victor) of Roswell, Ga.; two brothers, Daniel J. Cashin (wife Julie) of Tucker, Ga., Bob Cashin (wife Karine) of Augusta, Ga.; three sisters, Margie Cashin Fogarty (husband Jack) of Savannah, Ga., Kay Cashin Nohe of Augusta, Ga., Eleanor Cashin Johann (husband Christopher) of Augusta, Ga.; three grandchildren, Edward Charles, Elliot Joseph, Margaret Grace, of Roswell, Ga.; and numerous nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Historic Augusta, Inc, 415 7th Street, Augusta, Georgia 30901 and Catholic Social Services, 811 12th Street, Augusta, Georgia 3090l. Platt's Funeral Home, 721 Crawford Avenue, Augusta, Georgia 30904. 706-733-3636. Sign the guestbook at AugustaChronicle.com


Vignettes by Richard Foy

Ed Cashin was born in Augusta,, the son of Edward Joseph Cashin Sr.(1899 – 1978) and Margaret O’Leary Cashin (1898 – 1987).  Ed's father was at one time President of the Augusta Cotton Exchange and a vice President of B. T. Lowe, a cotton exporter on the Exchange whose officers included several of Ed's uncles.  Ed was the oldest of six children.

Boys Catholic High School in Augusta was run by the Marist Brothers.  Before opening that school, the Brothers had taught in the Marist School for Boys in Savannah GA from 1919 to 1941.   The Brothers left as part of their transition from teaching in elementary schools to operating high schools.  The Augusta school fit into the Brothers' long range plans.   Brother Kieran Thomas Brennan was among those who had taught in Savannah prior to his appointment to the staff of the Juniorate in Esopus NY.

Ed's religious name was  Brother Edward Lawrence.

At Fordham, Ed's doctoral thesis was on the Catholic Layman’s Association of Georgia.  Ed was helped considerably by his uncle, Richard Reid, who was born in Georgia and later became editor of “The Catholic News”, for the Archdiocese of New York. 

Ed did his Second Novitiate in Fribourg, Switzerland with Dan Kirk and Bill Buckley Spring 1963  This was the last group to live in a rented house in the city of Fribourg.  Later groups moved into the newer facilities on the edge of town, in a building designed to house the General Council should a third world war occur.  The Council members chose Switzerland because of its historic neutrality.

Mary Ann Klug Cashin was from Caledonia Minnesota, but was teaching in New York City when the couple met.  The couple were married on Palm Sunday at St Benedict's Church, with a reception following in the apartment of Pat O'Rourke, a close friend of Elizabeth Slevin Nolan.

Ed died unexpectedly  8 Sept 2007  in Atlanta Georgia while doing research on  the history of the Georgia Power Company.  Georgia Power is a subsidiary of Southern, the largest supplier of electricity in the Southeast, with generating plants in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and North Carolina.

Ed entered the postulantcy as a high school graduate, unusual at that time, but more common shortly afterwards with admission of WW II veterans, Ed Lyons, John Russell, and Dennis Hyndsman.

As a high school student at Boys Catholic HS, Ed participated in oratorical  contests. Brother Edmund Conrad, affectionately known as “Sparky”, was his coach.   He reached the finals of the state in his senior year.  The competition consisted of two speeches, one on a topic of the student’s choosing, the extemporaneous.   Sparky guessed at four or five possible topics for the extemporaneous section.  When the topic was drawn out of a hat, Ed was elated to find a topic Sparky had guessed, and delivered an excellent speech.  He came out second.  As he left the auditorium, one of the judges said to him:  “Nice job, Edward.  You would have won if you had your coat buttoned on straight.”  He had cross buttoned his suit coat, and lost points for appearance!

Ed continued his interest in oratory and debate while at Mount Saint Michael.  One of his best pupils was Louis Zuccarello, who later became Academic Vice President at Marist College.  Lou had a distinguished career in oratory and debate when a student at Saint John’s University.  He completed his bachelors at Saint John's (on scholarship implemented through Cashin's good graces) and received a PhD from Fordham University in political science.

In 1954, Edward and I were selected by the National Catholic Educational Association to make presentations at the annual convention held in Saint Louis during Easter Week.  My topic was something about the teaching of mathematics, and I had prepared a twelve page paper, double spaced, for presentation.  Ed’s topic was the use of speech making in the writing of composition.  We arrived two days early, and Ed used the spare time to convince me to discard my carefully prepared presentation, and instead limit myself to memorizing:  1 the opening sentence   2 the four principal ideas and 3 the closing sentence.  After a momentary sense of panic facing an audience of 400 expecting an expert, I managed to do pretty well.  This approach was consistent with Ed’s thesis that if a student were made to prepare a speech in like manner, he had in essence developed the outline for a later written composition.

I attended the session on English, curious to see if a speaker who had never taught English would get away with this proposal.  Ed’s presentation was excellent, and there were many interesting questions and comments from the audience.  Finally came the question I awaited:  “Have you ever tried this out in the classroom?”   Before Ed had the chance to respond, a priest at the other side of the auditorium jumped up and shouted: “That’s an unfair question and has nothing to do with the validity of the thesis”  Just then the moderator announced that the session was ended.  I always remember this as a good example of being saved by the bell!

Important as our speeches were, they were secondary in Ed’s mind to a visit to the Anheuser Busch Brewery.  He also reveled in being able to purchase Michelob at the local bars.  At that time Michelob was sold only on tap, and Ed knew of only four places in New York City which carried Michelob.  Ed was so excited at his success in finding Michelob that he taught me how to stand dimes on end on a bar top.

While teaching westward expansion at Marist College, Ed took an unusual approach.  When most think of westward expansion as from the Mississippi to the Pacific, Ed concentrated on the expansion from the East Coast to Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.  He taught the same forces drove expansion in both cases, and wanted his students to physically experience what was involved.

Ed also taught the Brothers on the college faculty a lot of local history.  Often our Sunday afternoons were dedicated to visits to local historical sites.  Olana,   the home of 19th century landscape artist Frederic Church of the Hudson River School;  Slabsides, the rustic cabin featured in the life of the naturalist John Burroughs; Roxbury, the birthplace and burial ground of John Burroughs; at the site of the now destroyed Catskill Mountain House,  Ed would read passages from James Fenimore Cooper describing the view over the Hudson to Connecticut.; Lake Mohonk with its view of five states; Mount Greylock in western MA, with its view of five different states; Gilboa, site of a dam constructed in the 1920s which reversed the flow of the Schoharie River from southward to northward into the Mohawk River, and where important prehistoric fossils were found during construction. 

These mini-tours gave us a glimpse of why some many of Ed’s students at Mount Saint Michael, Christopher Columbus, and Marist College considered him an outstanding teacher.   He brought history to life.

Alumni at Mount Saint Michael, spearheaded by Louis Zuccarello, class of 1954 and John Farrauto, class of 1957, have raised more than $15,000 to equip and dedicate a 'smart' classroom in Ed's memory.

While at Marist College, Ed Cashin came up with an interesting idea:  swap a group of students between Paine College, a traditional black college in Augusta, Georgia and Marist College of Poughkeepsie..  Include teachers.  Marist sent seven students to Augusta for a semester together with Italo Benin, a philosophy  professor.  Paine sent seven black students with a professor (who was blind!) to Marist.  The purpose was to immerse black students into a virtually all-white community, but also to immerse white students into a virtually all-black environment.  Surprisingly the critique of each group was similar— the students tended to hang out together, and the students had trouble mixing with the dominant environment.  The mechanics of adjusting course schedules led to the experiment’s abandonment.

In the summer of 2004, Edward was invited by Thomas Wermuth, director of the Hudson River Institute at Marist College to make a presentation at Overlook Lodge at Bear Mountain as part of Patriots Weekend..  Ed focused on a little known facet of Revolutionary War History.  There were ongoing peace negotiations between he warring parties, and it seemed that if a region were controlled by either party, it would revert to that side.  Georgia was in the hands of the British.  Washington sent three officers from New York,  Nathanial Greene whose wife Caty joined him,  Anthony Wayne and Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee..  They defeated the British at the battle of Augusta, and Wayne captured Savannah.  So they were considered heroes by the Georgia populace, and were granted extensive land holdings around Savannah.    Ed later transferred his speech to writing, and it was published as an article in Spring 2005 issue of The Hudson River Valley Review, A Journal of Regional Studies.

Nathanial Greene did not live long to enjoy peace and his plantation.  He died in 1786 at the age of 44. Caty Greene and a guest, Eli Whitney, invented the cotton gin on the plantation in 1793.

Coincidentally, Tom Wermuth, who invited Ed to give the speech, is the most recent person to hold the post of Academic Vice President of Marist College. He was appointed Summer 2008.

Barnes & Noble website lists 23 books by Edward Cashin, all of which deal with aspects of Georgia or Southern History.  Amazon.com lists 29 items attributed to Ed Cashin.

"He basically was the key to everything that involved this city's history, and we will miss him in many ways," said Erick Montgomery, the executive director of Historic Augusta.…


  • A blog by Edward Joseph Cashin, Ed’s nephew:

Remembering Edward . . .

Edward and I had something very personal in common: our names. As a kid this pretty much meant getting some special attention from Edward. Instead of saying "You've grown so much," he would say "Hello, Edward Joseph Cashin!" Of course he kept me in check by making sure I knew I was an EJC II. In my baby book are two letters from Uncle Edward (Brother Edward at the time) where he gives me advice for later on. He gave me a first day of issue stamp and said I should be a stamp collector (I was a few months old at the time; even when I started a stamp collection later on, I never realized I had that). He also sent me a book of matches from FDR's desk at the Little White House in Warm Springs. He said I could use some of the rest of the presidential matches for special occasions like lighting a cigar when my Uncle Harry came over. I had no way of appreciating this sense of humor, but 40 years later it is still pretty funny.

I got to know Edward better when we went on the Windjammer cruise. Before we went he got everybody t-shirts that said "Red Clay Sailors". I always knew he was an interesting guy but didn't realize how much fun it was to watch him cause trouble. He would throw some kind of comment out intended to get a reaction from his brothers and sisters and look over at me with a gleam in his eye as if to say "Now watch this!" It would be like lighting off a firecracker. When I could, I would try to get over to my parents house if he and Mary Ann were in town. They would travel so much and have good stories about where they had gone. After the Lake Hartwell reunion in 1993, Uncle Bob got canoes and a group of us got to paddle down the Augusta Canal with one of its foremost experts. What a great experience.


 Perhaps his fellow historian Lee Ann Caldwell said it best at the memorial service: , “He lived the life he wanted and did it with passion and with great generosity of spirit. And in spite of all his accomplishments and awards, he remained humble, unassuming, and always gracious. People revered Ed Cashin the teacher and intellectual and they loved Ed Cashin the person. He was, and will be remembered as, the embodiment of the phrase ‘a scholar and a gentleman' "

 Posted 12 February 2008
Most recent revision:  12 February 2008