The Last Laird of Sapelo is based on the tragic story of Randolph Spalding, the youngest son of Georgia’s most well-known antebellum-era coastal planter and influential political figure, Thomas Spalding. Following his father’s death in 1851, Randolph parlays his father’s fame and gifted landholdings on Sapelo Island, hobnobbing from Charleston to Savannah to Milledgeville and ultimately failing to thwart Georgia’s decision to follow South Carolina into secession by early 1861.
Within weeks after the assault on Fort Sumter, Lincoln’s naval blockade threatens the entire southern coast. Colonel Randolph Spalding, now a reluctant commander of militia, faces a storm of life-altering events in the months that follow, imperiling his family’s legacy, livelihood, and lands. He ultimately must decide between supposed justice and saving the life of a slave who exacted revenge for the murder and rape of two children on Sapelo Island.