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Title: Stories Of Georgia
Author: Harris, Joel Chandler, 1848-1908
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Stories Of Georgia" ***

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By Joel Chandler Harris

Copyright, 1896, by American Book Company


In preparing the pages that follow, the writer has had in view the
desirability of familiarizing the youth of Georgia with the salient
facts of the State's history in a way that shall make the further study
of that history a delight instead of a task. The ground has been gone
over before by various writers, but the narratives that are here retold,
and the characterizations that are here attempted, have not been brought
together heretofore. They lie wide apart in volumes that are little
known and out of print.

The stories and the characterizations have been grouped together so
as to form a series of connecting links in the rise and progress of
Georgia; yet it must not be forgotten that these links are themselves
connected with facts and events in the State's development that are
quite as interesting, and of as far-reaching importance, as those that
have been narrated here. Some such suggestion as this, it is hoped,
will cross the minds of young students, and lead them to investigate for
themselves the interesting intervals that lie between.

It is unfortunately true that there is no history of Georgia in which
the dry bones of facts have been clothed with the flesh and blood of
popular narrative. Colonel Charles C. Jones saw what was needed,
and entered upon the task of writing the history of the State with
characteristic enthusiasm. He had not proceeded far, however, when the
fact dawned upon his mind that such a work as he contemplated must be
for the most part a labor of love. He felt the influence of cold neglect
from every source that might have been expected to afford him aid and
encouragement. He was almost compelled to confine himself to a bare
recital of facts, for he had reason to know that, at the end of his
task, public inappreciation was awaiting him.

And yet it seems to the present writer that every person interested
in the growth and development of the republic should turn with eager
attention to a narrative embodying the events that have marked the
progress of Georgia. It was in this State that some of the most
surprising and spectacular scenes of the Revolution took place. In one
corner of Georgia those who were fighting for the independence of the
republic made their last desperate stand; and if they had surrendered to
the odds that faced them, the battle of King's Mountain would never have
been fought, Greene's southern campaign would have been crippled, and
the struggle for liberty in the south would have ended in smoke.

It is to illustrate the larger events that these stories have been
written; and while some of them may seem far away from this point of
view, they all have one common purpose and tend to one common end.



[Illustration: De Soto 014]

So far as written records tell us, Hernando de Soto and his companions
in arms were the first white men to enter and explore the territory now
known on the map as the State of Georgia. Tradition has small voice in
the matter, but such as it has tells another story. There are hints that
other white men ventured into this territory before De Soto and his men
beheld it. General Oglethorpe, when he came to Georgia with his gentle
colony, which had been tamed and sobered by misfortune and ill luck,
was firmly of the opinion that Sir Walter Raleigh, the famous soldier,
sailor, and scholar, had been there before him. So believing, the
founder of the Georgian Colony carried with him Sir Walter's diary. He
was confirmed in his opinion by a tradition, among the Indians of the
Yamacraw tribe, that Raleigh had landed where Savannah now stands.
There are also traditions in regard to the visits of other white men
to Georgia. These traditions may be true, or they may be the results
of dreams, but it is certain that De Soto and his picked company of
Spaniards were the first to march through the territory that is now
Georgia. The De Soto expedition was made up of the flower of Spanish
chivalry,--men Used to war, and fond of adventure. Some of them were
soldiers, anxious to win fame by feats of arms in a new land; some were
missionaries, professing an anxiety for the souls of such heathen as
they might encounter, but even these men were not unfamiliar with the
use of the sword; some were physicians, as ready to kill as to heal;
some were botanists, who knew as much about the rapier and the poniard
as they did about the stamens, pistils, and petals of the flowers;
and some were reporters, men selected to write the history of the
expedition. As it turned out, these reporters were entirely faithful
to their trust They told all that happened with a fidelity that
leaves nothing to be desired. The record they have left shows that the
expedition was bent on finding gold and other treasures.

On the 30th of May, 1539, De Soto's expedition landed at Tampa Bay,
Fla., and his men pitched their tents on the beach. The army was not
a large one; but it was made up of chosen men, who were used to the
dangers of war, and who, as stated before, were fond of adventure. There
was but one gray head in the expedition: therefore, though the army was
a small one, it was the most enthusiastic and warlike array that had
ever been seen in the New World. The soldiers wore rich armor, and
the cavalry rode gayly caparisoned horses. The army was accompanied by
slaves and mules to bear the burdens. It had artillery and other weapons
of war; handcuffs, neck collars, and chains for prisoners; crucibles for
refining gold; bloodhounds, greyhounds, and a drove of hogs.

For nearly a year the little army of De Soto wandered about in Florida,
ransacking the burying grounds of the Indians in search of treasures,
and committing such other depredations as were common to the
civilization of that age. When inquiries were made for gold, the
Indians always pointed toward the north; and, following these hints,
the expedition pursued its way through Florida, wandering about in the
swamps and slashes, but always held together by the enthusiasm of the
men and their hopes of securing rich spoils.

On the 3d of March, 1540, De Soto's army left Anhayca, which is said to
have been near the site of Tallahassee, and marched northward. Before
leaving the Spaniards seized from the Indians a large supply of maize
(now commonly known as corn), and appropriated whatever else struck
their fancy. They had spent some time with the Indians at this town of
Anhayca, and had sent out parties that committed depredations wherever
an Indian settlement could be found. They made slaves of many Indians,
treating them with more severity than they treated their beasts of
burden. It is no wonder, therefore, that the Indians, discovering the
greed of the Spaniards for gold, should have spread rumors that large
quantities of the yellow metal were to be found farther north.

Reports came to the Spaniards of a wonderful Indian queen who reigned
at a place called Yupaha, a settlement as large as a city. One day an
Indian boy, who had been brought to camp with other prisoners, told the
Spaniards a good deal about this great Indian queen. He said that she
ruled not only her own people, but all the neighboring chiefs, and as
far as the Indian settlements extended. The boy told the Spaniards that
all the Indians paid tribute to this great queen, and sent her fine
presents of clothing and gold. De Soto and his men cared nothing about
fine clothing. They were greedy only for gold and precious stones. They
asked the Indian boy many questions, and he answered them all. He
told how the gold was taken from the earth, and how it was melted and
refined. His description was so exact that the Spaniards no longer
had any doubt. Their spirits rose mightily, and, after robbing and
plundering the Indians who had fed and sheltered them during the winter
months, they broke up their camp and moved northward.

Four days after leaving Tallahassee, the Spaniards came to a deep river,
which Colonel C. C. Jones, jun., in his "History of Georgia," says was
the Ocklockonnee, very close to the southwest boundary of Georgia. Two
days later they came to an Indian village from which the inhabitants
fled, but a little later a squad of five soldiers was set upon by the
Indians hiding near the encampment. One of the Spaniards was killed,
while three others were badly wounded. De Soto left this Indian village
on the 11th of March, and presently came to a piece of country which the
Spanish historian describes as a desert. But it was not a desert then,
and it is not a desert now. It was really a pine barren, such as may
be seen to this day in what is called the wire-grass region of southern
Georgia. In these barrens the soil is sandy and the land level,
stretching away for miles. De Soto and his men saw the primeval pines;
but these have long since disappeared, and their places are taken by
pines of a smaller growth. On the 21st of March, the Spaniards came to
the Ocmulgee River, near which they found an Indian town called Toalli.

There will always be a dispute about the route followed by De Soto in
his march. This dispute is interesting, but not important. Some say that
the expedition moved parallel with the coast until the Savannah River
was reached, at a point twenty-five miles below Augusta; but it is just
as probable that the route, after reaching the Ocmulgee, was along the
banks of that stream and in a northwesterly direction.

At Toalli the Indians had summer and winter houses to live in, and they
had storehouses for their maize. The women wore blankets or shawls made
of the fiber of silk grass, and the blankets were dyed vermilion or
black. Thenceforward the Indians whom the Spaniards met with were of a
higher order of intelligence, and of a more industrious turn, than those
left behind in Florida and along the southern boundary of Georgia.

As De Soto marched along, he seized Indians and made guides of them,
or made prisoners and held them until he was furnished with guides and
interpreters. He also announced to the Indians that he was the Child of
the Sun, who had been sent to seek out the greatest Prince and Princess.
This made a great impression on the Indians, many of whom were sun

Many times during the march the Spaniards were on the point of
starvation, and the account of their sufferings as set forth in the
history of the expedition is intended to be quite pathetic. We need
not pause to shed any tears over these things, for the sufferings the
Spaniards endured were nothing compared to the sufferings they inflicted
on the Indians. They murdered and robbed right and left, and no doubt
the Indians regarded them as demons rather than Christians. More
than once when the Spaniards were wandering aimlessly about in the
wilderness, they were found by the Indians and saved from starvation. In
turn the simple-minded natives were treated with a harshness that would
be beyond belief if the sickening details were not piously set forth by
the Spanish historian of the expedition.

[Illustration: Indian Queen 020]

About the 28th of April the expedition reached the neighborhood of
Cutifachiqui, having been told by three Indians whom they had taken,
that the queen of that province knew of the approach of the Spaniards,
and was awaiting them at her chief town just across the river. As De
Soto came to the shore of the stream, four canoes started from the
opposite side. One of them contained a kinswoman of the queen, who
had been selected to invite the Spaniards to enter the town. Shortly
afterwards the queen came forth from the town, seated on a palanquin or
litter, which was borne by the principal men. Coming to the water side,
the queen entered a canoe, over the stern of which was stretched an
awning to shelter her from the sun.

Under this awning she reclined on cushions; and thus, in company with
her chiefs, and attended by many of her people in canoes, she crossed
the river to meet De Soto. She landed, and gave the Spaniard a gracious
welcome. As an offering of peace and good will, she took from her neck
a long string of pearls, and gave the gems to De Soto. She also gave him
many shawls and finely dressed deerskins. The Spaniard acknowledged the
beautiful gifts by taking from his hand a gold ring set with a ruby, and
placing it upon one of the queen's fingers.

The old historian pretends that De Soto and his men were very much
impressed by the dignity and courtesy of the Indian queen. She was the
first woman ruler they had met in their wanderings. She was tall, finely
formed, and had great beauty of countenance. She was both gracious and
graceful. All this is set down in the most pompous way by the Spanish
chroniclers; but the truth seems to be that De Soto and his men cared
nothing for the courtesy and hospitality of the queen, and that they
were not moved by her beauty and kindness. The Spaniards crossed the
river in canoes furnished by the queen's people, and found themselves
surrounded by the most hospitable Indians they had yet seen. They were
supplied with everything the land afforded, and rested in comfortable
wigwams under the shade of mulberry trees. The soldiers were so
delighted with the situation, that they were anxious to form a
settlement there; but De Soto refused to forget the only object of
the expedition, which was to search for gold and other treasures. His
determination had the desired effect His men recovered their energies.
While enjoying the hospitality of the queen, they found out the burial
places of her people, and gathered from the graves, according to the
statement of the Spanish historian, "three hundred and fifty weight of
pearls, and figures of babies and birds, made from iridescent shells."

The mother of the queen lived not far from the town where the Spaniards
were quartered, and, as she was said to be the owner of many fine
pearls, De Soto expressed a desire to see her. Upon hearing this, the
queen sent twelve of her principal men to beg her mother to come to
see the white strangers and the wonderful animals they had brought
with them; but the mother of the queen was very shrewd. She rebuked the
messengers, and sent them back with some sharp words for her daughter;
and though De Soto did his best to capture the woman, he was never able
to carry out his purpose.

He then turned his attention to a temple that stood on the side of
a deserted settlement which had formerly been the chief town of the
queen's people. This temple, as described by the Spanish chronicler,
was more than one hundred steps long by forty broad, the walls high in
proportion, and the roof elevated so as to allow the water to run off.
On the roof were various shells arranged in artistic order, and the
shells were connected by strings of pearls. These pearls extended from
the top of the roof to the bottom in long festoons, and the sun shining
on them produced a very brilliant effect. At the door of the temple were
twelve giant-like statues made of wood. These figures were so ferocious
in their appearance, that the Spaniards hesitated for some time before
they could persuade themselves to enter the temple. The statues were
armed with clubs, maces, copper axes, and pikes ornamented with copper
at both ends. In the middle of the temple were three rows of chests,
placed one upon another in the form of pyramids. Each pyramid consisted
of five or six chests, the largest at the bottom, and the smallest at
the top. These chests, the Spanish chroniclers say, were filled with
pearls, the largest containing the finest pearls, and the smallest only
seed pearls.

It is just as well to believe a little of this as to believe a great
deal. It was an easy matter for the survivors of the expedition to
exaggerate these things, and they probably took great liberties with
the facts; but there is no doubt that the Indians possessed many pearls.
Mussels like those from which they took the gems are still to be found
in the small streams and creeks of Georgia, and an enterprising
boy might even now be able to find a seed pearl if he sought for it

It is not to be doubted that rich stores of pearls were found. Some were
distributed to the officers and men; but the bulk of them, strange to
say, were left undisturbed, to await the return of the Spaniards another
day. De Soto was still intent on searching for gold, and he would hear
of nothing else. He would neither settle among the queen's people for a
season, nor return to Tampa with the great store of pearls discovered.
Being a resolute man and of few words, he had his way, and made
preparations to journey farther north to the province called Chiaha,
which was governed by a great Indian king. The conduct of the Spaniards
had been so cruel during their stay at Cutifachiqui, that the queen had
come to regard them with fear and hatred, and she refused to supply
them with guides and burden bearers. De Soto thereupon placed her under
guard; and when he took up his march for Chiaha, the queen who had
received him with so much grace, dignity, and hospitality, was compelled
to accompany him on foot, escorted by her female attendants. The old
Spanish chronicler is moved to remark that "it was not so good usage
as she deserved for the good will she shewed and the good entertainment
that she had made him." This was the return the Spanish leader made
to the queen who had received and entertained his army,--to seize her,
place her under guard, and compel her to accompany his expedition on

One reason why De Soto made the queen his prisoner and carried her with
the expedition was to use her influence in controlling the Indians along
his line of march. The result was all that he could have expected. In
all the towns through which the Spaniards passed, the queen commanded
the Indians to carry the burdens of the army; and thus they went for a
hundred leagues, the Indians obeying the queen without question. After a
march of seven days, De Soto arrived at the province of Chelaque, which
was the country of the Cherokees. Here the soldiers added to their
stores of provisions, and renewed their march; and on May 15 they
arrived in the province of Xualla, the chief town of which is supposed
to have been situated in the Nacoochee valley. Inclining his course
westwardly from the Nacoochee valley, De Soto set out for Guaxule, which
marked the limit of the queen's dominion, and which has been identified
as Old Town, in Murray County. On this march the queen made her escape,
taking with her a cane box filled with large pearls of great value. This
box had been borne by one of the queen's attendants up to the moment
when she disappeared from the Spanish camp. De Soto made every effort
to recapture the queen. No doubt the bloodhounds, which formed a part of
the expedition, were called in to aid in the search; but it was all to
no purpose. The queen hid herself as easily as a young partridge hides,
and neither men nor dogs could find her. De Soto went on his way,
deploring the loss of the valuable pearls.

From Nacoochee to Murray County the march was fatiguing. The route lay
over mountains as well as valleys. One of the foot soldiers, Juan Terron
(his folly has caused history to preserve his name), grew so weary on
this march, that he drew from his wallet a linen bag containing six
pounds of pearls. Calling to a cavalryman, Juan Terron offered him the
bag of pearls if he would carry them. The cavalryman refused the offer,
and told his comrade to keep them. But Juan Terron would not have it so.
He untied the bag, whirled it around his head, and scattered the pearls
in all directions. This done, he replaced the empty bag in his wallet,
and marched on, leaving his companions amazed at his folly. Thirty of
the pearls were recovered by the soldiers. The gems were of great size,
and perfect in every particular; and it was estimated that the six
pounds of pearls would have fetched six thousand ducats in Spain (over
twelve thousand dollars). The folly of the foot soldier gave rise to
a saying in the army, that is no doubt current in Spain to this
day,--"There are no pearls for Juan Terron," which means that a fool
makes no profits.

Continuing their march, the Spaniards came to the town of Chiaha,--a
site that is now occupied by the flourishing city of Rome. De Soto
remained at Chiaha a month, sending out exploring expeditions in search
of the much-coveted gold. They found traces of the precious metal, but
nothing more. On the 1st of July, 1540, De Soto left Chiaha, going down
the valley of the Coosa. His expedition was organized by the spirit of
greed. It spread desolation wherever it went, and it ended in disaster
and despair. De Soto himself found a grave in the waters of the
Mississippi, and the survivors who made their way back home were broken
in health and spirits.

An attempt has been made to throw a halo of romance over this march
of the Spaniards through the wilderness of the New World, but there
is nothing romantic or inspiring about it. It was simply a search for
riches, in which hundreds of lives were most cruelly sacrificed, and
thousands of homes destroyed.


General James Edward Oglethorpe, the founder of the Colony of Georgia,
was among the few really good and great men that history tells us of.
We need to keep a close eye on the antics of history. She places the
laurels of fame in the hands of butchers, plunderers, and adventurers,
and even assassins share her favors; so that, if we are going to enjoy
the feast that history offers us, we must not inquire too closely into
the characters of the men whom she makes heroes of. We find, when we
come to look into the matter, that but few of those who figured as the
great men of the world have been entirely unselfish; and unselfishness
is the test of a man who is really good and great. Judged by this test,
General Oglethorpe stands among the greatest men known to history.

He had served in the army with distinction, as his father had before
him. He was on the staff of the great soldier Eugene of Savoy, and
under that commander made himself conspicuous by his fidelity and
fearlessness. A story is told of him that is interesting, if not
characteristic. While serving under Eugene, he one day found himself
sitting at table with a prince of Würtemberg. He was a beardless
youngster, and the prince thought to have some sport with him. Taking up
a glass of wine, the prince gave it a fillip, so that a little flew in
Oglethorpe's face. The young Englishman, looking straight at the prince,
and smiling, said, "My prince, that is only a part of the joke as the
English know it: I will show you the whole of it." With that he threw a
glassful of wine in the prince's face. An old general who sat by laughed
dryly, and remarked, "He did well, my prince: you began it."

[Illustration: Oglethorpe 028]

Born in 1689, Oglethorpe entered the English army when twenty-one years
of age. In 1714 he became captain lieutenant of the first troop of the
queen's guards. He shortly afterwards joined Eugene on the continent,
and remained with that soldier until the peace of 1718. On the death of
his brother, he succeeded to the family estate in England. In 1722 he
was elected to Parliament from Haslemere, county of Surrey, and
this borough he represented continuously for thirty-two years. His
parliamentary career was marked by wise prudence and consistency;
and his sympathies were warmly enlisted for the relief of unfortunate
soldiers, and in securing reform in the conduct of prisons. In this way
Oglethorpe became a philanthropist, and, without intending it, attracted
the attention of all England. Pope, the poet, eulogizes his "strong
benevolence of soul."

In that day and time, men were imprisoned for debt in England. The
law was brutal, and those who executed it were cruel. There was no
discrimination between fraud and misfortune. The man who was unable to
pay his debts was judged to be as criminal as the man who, though able,
refused to pay. Both were thrown into the same prison, and subjected
to the same hardships. In "Little Dorrit," Charles Dickens has told
something of those unfortunates who were thrown into prison for debt.

There was apparently nothing too atrocious to be sanctioned by the
commercial ambition of the English. It armed creditors with the power to
impose the most cruel burdens upon their debtors, and it sanctioned the
slave trade. Many crimes have been committed to promote the commercial
supremacy of Great Britain, and on that blind policy was based the law
which suffered innocent debtors to be deprived of their liberty and
thrown into prison.

This condition of affairs Oglethorpe set himself to reform; and while
thus engaged, he became impressed with the idea that many of the
unfortunates, guilty of no crime, and of respectable connections, might
benefit themselves, relieve England of the shame of their imprisonment,
and confirm and extend the dominion of the mother country in the New
World, by being freed from the claims of those to whom they owed money,
on condition that they would consent to become colonists in America.
To this class were to be added recruits from those who, through lack
of work and of means, were likely to be imprisoned on account of their
misfortunes. Oglethorpe was also of the opinion that men of means,
enterprise, and ambition could be enlisted in the cause; and in this he
was not mistaken.

He had no hope whatever of personal gain or private benefit. The plan
that he had conceived was entirely for the benefit of the unfortunate,
based on broad and high ideas of benevolence; and so thoroughly was this
understood, that Oglethorpe had no difficulty whatever in securing
the aid of men of wealth and influence. A charter or grant from the
government was applied for, in order that the scheme might have the
sanction and authority of the government. Accordingly a charter was
granted, and the men most prominent in the scheme of benevolence were
incorporated under the name of "The Trustees for establishing the
Colony of Georgia in America." Georgia in America, was, under the terms
of the charter, a pretty large slice of America. It embraced all that
part of the continent lying between the Savannah and Altamaha rivers,
and extending westerly from the heads of these rivers in direct lines to
the South Seas; so that the original territory of Georgia extended from
ocean to ocean.

In aid of this enterprise, Oglethorpe not only contributed largely from
his private means, and solicited contributions from his wealthy friends,
but wrote a tract in which he used arguments that were practical as well
as ingenious.

On the 17th of November, 1732, all arrangements having been completed,
the "Anne" set sail for the Colony of Georgia, accompanied by
Oglethorpe, who furnished his own cabin, and laid in provisions not
only for himself, but for his fellow-passengers. On the 13th of January,
1733, the "Anne" anchored in Charleston harbor. From Charleston the
vessel sailed to Port Royal; and the colonists were soon quartered
in the barracks of Beaufort-town, which had been prepared for their
reception. Oglethorpe left the colonists at Beaufort, and, in company
with Colonel William Bull, proceeded to the Savannah River. He went up
this stream as far as Yamacraw Bluff, which he selected as the site of
the settlement he was about to make. He marked out the town, and named
it Savannah. The site was a beautiful one in Oglethorpe's day, and it is
still more beautiful now. The little settlement that the founder of the
Colony marked out has grown into a flourishing city, and art has added
its advantages to those of nature to make Savannah one of the most
beautiful cities in the United States.

Close by the site which Oglethorpe chose for his colony was an Indian
village occupied by the Yamacraws,--a small tribe, of which Tomochichi
was chief. At this point, too, was a trading post, which had been
established by a white man named John Musgrove. This man had married a
half-breed woman whose Indian name was Coosaponakesee, but who was
known as Mary Musgrove. In order to insure the friendly reception of his
little colony and its future safety, Oglethorpe went to the village and
had a talk with Tomochichi. Mary Musgrove not only acted as interpreter,
but used her influence, which was very great, in favor of her husband's
countrymen. This was fortunate, for the Indians were very uneasy when
they learned that a colony of whites was to be established near their
village, and some of them even threatened to use force to prevent it;
but Oglethorpe's friendly attitude, and Mary Musgrove's influence, at
last persuaded them to give their consent. They made an agreement to
cede the necessary land, and promised to receive the colonists in a
friendly manner. Oglethorpe returned to Beaufort when he had concluded
this treaty, and the Sunday following his return was celebrated as a day
of thanksgiving. After religious services there was a barbecue, which,
history tells us, consisted of four fat hogs, turkeys, fowls English
beef, a hogshead of punch, a hogshead of beer, and a quantity of wine.

[Illustration: Mary Musgrove 032]

On the 30th of January, 1733, the immigrants set sail from Beaufort, and
on the afternoon of the next day they arrived at Yamacraw Bluff. On the
site of the town that had already been marked off, they pitched four
tents large enough to accommodate all the people. Oglethorpe, after
posting his sentinels, slept on the ground under the shelter of the
tall pines, near the central watch fire. As a soldier should, he slept
soundly. He had planted the new Colony, and thus far all had gone well
with him and with those whose interests he had charge of.

To bring these colonists across the ocean, and place them in a position
where they might begin life anew, was not a very difficult undertaking;
but to plant a colony amongst savages already suspicious of the whites,
and to succeed in obtaining their respect, friendship, and aid, was
something that required wisdom, courage, prudence, and large experience.
This Oglethorpe did; and it is to his credit, that, during the time he
had charge of the Colony, he never in any shape or form took advantage
of the ignorance of the Indians. His method of dealing with them was
very simple. He conciliated them by showing them that the whites could
be just, fair, and honorable in their dealings; and thus, in the very
beginning, he won the friendship of those whose enmity to the little
Colony would have proved ruinous.

Providence favored Oglethorpe in this matter. He had to deal with an
Indian chief full of years, wisdom, and experience. This was Tomochichi,
who was at the head of the Yamacraws. From this kindly Indian the
Georgia Colony received untold benefits. He remained the steadfast
friend of the settlers, and used his influence in their behalf in every
possible way, and on all occasions. Although he was a very old man,
he was strong and active, and of commanding presence. He possessed
remarkable intelligence; and this, added to his experience, made him one
of the most remarkable of the Indians whose names have been preserved
in history. There was something of a mystery about him that adds to the
interest which his active friendship for the whites has given to his
name. He belonged to the tribe of Lower Creeks; but for some reason or
other, he, with a number of his tribemen, had been banished. The cause
of his exile has never been made known; but at this late day it may be
guessed that he became disgusted with the factional disputes among the
Creeks, and sought in another part of the territory the peace and repose
to which his years of service had entitled him; and that when he had
taken this step, the factions which he had opposed succeeded in having
him banished. Some such theory as this is necessary to account for the
tributes that were paid to his character and influence by the Creek
chiefs who assembled at Savannah to make a treaty with Oglethorpe.
Tomochichi was ninety-one years old when the Georgia Colony was founded,
and he had gathered about him a number of disaffected Creeks and
Yemassees, known as the tribe of the Yamacraws. When the Creeks came to
Savannah to meet Oglethorpe, the greatest of their chiefs said that
he was related to Tomochichi, who was a good man, and had been a great

Thus, with Oglethorpe to direct it, and with Tomochichi as its friend,
the little Georgia Colony was founded, and, as we shall see, thrived and


When Oglethorpe landed at Yamacraw Bluff, he was greatly aided in
his efforts to conciliate the Indians by the wife of John Musgrove, a
half-breed woman whose Indian name was Coosaponakesee. She was known by
the colonists as Mary Musgrove, and her friendship for the whites was
timely and fortunate. She was Oglethorpe's interpreter in his first
interview with Tomochichi. She was very friendly and accommodating,
giving aid to Oglethorpe and his colony in every possible way. Finding
that she had great influence, and could be made very useful to the
colonists, Oglethorpe employed her as interpreter, and paid her yearly
one hundred pounds sterling, which in that day was equal to a great deal
more than five hundred dollars; but Mary Musgrove earned all that was
paid her, and more. She used all her influence in behalf of the whites.
She aided in concluding treaties, and also in securing warriors from
the Creek nation in the war that occurred between the colonists and the
Spaniards who occupied Florida.

General Oglethorpe had a sincere friendship for Mary Musgrove, and his
influence over her was such that she never refused a request he made.
If Oglethorpe had remained in Georgia, it is probable that the curious
episode in which Mary took a leading part would never have occurred.

Oglethorpe left Georgia on the 23d of July, 1743, and never returned.
John Musgrove died shortly afterwards, and Mary married a man named
Matthews, who also died. She then married a man named Thomas Bosomworth,
who had been chaplain to Oglethorpe's regiment. In 1743, before
Oglethorpe's departure, Bosomworth had been commissioned to perform all
religious and ecclesiastical affairs in Georgia. Previous to that he had
accepted a grant of lands, and had taken up his abode in the Colony. He
appears to have been a pompous and an ambitious person, with just enough
learning to make him dangerous.

Before Mary Musgrove married Bosomworth she had never ceased to labor
for the good of the Colony. No sacrifice was too great for her to make
in behalf of her white friends. It is true, she had not been fully
paid for her services; but she had faith in the good intentions of
the government, and was content. In 1744, a year after Oglethorpe's
departure from the Colony, Mary married Bosomworth, and after that her
conduct was such as to keep the whites in constant fear of massacre and

In 1745, Thomas Bosomworth went to England and informed the trustees
of the Georgia Company that he intended to give up his residence in the
Georgia Colony. The next year he returned to Georgia, and violated
the regulations of the trustees by introducing six negro slaves on the
plantation of his wife near the Altamaha River. This action was at once
resented; and President Stephens, who had succeeded Oglethorpe in the
management of the Colony's affairs, was ordered to have the negro slaves
removed from the territory of Georgia. This was done, and from that time
forth Bosomworth and his wife began to plot against the peace and
good order of the Georgia Colony. He used the influence of his wife to
conciliate the Indians, and secure their sympathy and support. While
this was going on, he was busy in preparing a claim against the
government of the Colony for the services rendered and losses sustained
by his wife, which he valued at five hundred pounds sterling. In
her name he also claimed possession of the islands of Ossabaw, St.
Catharine, and Sapelo, and of a tract of land near Savannah which in
former treaties had been reserved to the Indians.

Bosomworth was shrewd enough not to act alone. In some mysterious way,
not clearly told in history, he secured the sympathy and support of
Major William Horton, commander of Oglethorpe's regiment stationed at
Frederica, and other officers. Colonel Heron, who succeeded Major Horton
as commander of the regiment in 1747, was likewise gained over to the
cause of the Bosomworths. By the connivance of this officer, a body
of Indians, with Malatche at their head, marched to Frederica for a
conference. At this conference Malatche made a speech in which he told
of the services which his sister Mary had rendered the colonists, and
requested that a messenger be sent to England to tell the King that he,
Malatche, was emperor of all the Creeks. He declared, also, that Mary,
his sister, was confided in by the whole Creek nation, and that the
nation had decided to abide by her will and desire.

Bosomworth saw the necessity of pushing the matter forward, and so
he suggested to Malatche the importance of having himself crowned as
emperor by those who were with him. Accordingly a paper was drawn up
giving to Malatche full authority as emperor. This done, Bosomworth was
quick to procure from the Creek emperor a deed of conveyance to
Thomas and Mary Bosomworth of the islands of Ossabaw, Sapelo, and St.

Matters went on peaceably for a while; but Bosomworth was active and
energetic, and his wife appears to have been entirely under his control.
He bought on credit a great number of cattle from planters in South
Carolina, and these he placed on the islands that had been given him
by Malatche. When his debts fell due, he was unable to pay them. Rather
than surrender the property for which he was unable to pay, he suggested
to his wife that she take the title of an independent empress. It is
doubtful if she knew what an empress was; but she had an idea, that, if
she claimed to be one, she would be able to buy some red calico at the
nearest store, as well as an extra bottle of rum. So she fell eagerly
into the Rev. Mr. Bosom-worth's plans. She sent word to the Creeks that
she had suddenly become a genuine empress, and called a meeting of the
big men of the nation. The big men assembled; and Mary made a speech,
in which she insisted that she was the Empress of Georgia. She must have
been a pretty good talker; for the Indians became very much excited, and
pledged themselves to stand by her to the last drop of their blood.

Having thus obtained the support of the Indians, Mary set out for
Savannah, accompanied by a large body of them. She sent before her a
messenger to inform the president of the Province that she had become
empress over the whole territory belonging to the Upper and Lower
Creeks; that she was on her way to demand the instant surrender of all
the lands that had belonged to Doth nations; and that, if there should
be any serious opposition to her demands, the settlement would be
attacked and destroyed.

[Illustration: Empress Mary 039]

It was a dark hour for the colonists, who were vastly outnumbered by the
Indians. The president and council were disturbed by the bold threats
made by Mary Bosomworth. Their first plan was to meet the Indians
peaceably, and, by gentle measures, find an opportunity to seize Mary
Bosomworth and ship her to England. In the town of Savannah there were
only one hundred and seventy men able to bear arms. The president of
the Province sent a messenger to Mary, while she and her followers were
still several miles distant, warning her to give up her wild scheme.
Mary sent back a message expressing her contempt for the Colony and its
officials. Thereupon the president of the Province determined to put
the best possible face on the matter, and receive Mary and her savage
followers boldly. Accordingly the militia was ordered under arms; and as
the Indians entered the town, they were stopped by Colonel Noble Jones,
who, at the head of a company of horse, demanded to know whether they
came with friendly or hostile intentions. He received no satisfactory
answer to his demand, whereupon he informed the Indians that they must
ground their arms, as he had orders not to permit an armed man
among them to set foot within the town. The Indians submitted to the
unexpected demand, but with great reluctance.

Having grounded their arms, the Indians were allowed to enter the town.
They marched in regular order, headed by Thomas Bosomworth, who, decked
out in full canonical robes, with Mary by his side, was followed by
the various chiefs according to their rank. The army of Indians made a
formidable appearance as they marched into the town, and the inhabitants
were terror-stricken at the sight. They marched to the parade ground,
where they found the militia drawn up to receive them. Here they were
saluted with fifteen guns, and then conducted to the president's house.
When the Indians were assembled there, Thomas and Mary Bosomworth were
ordered to withdraw. Then the president and council asked the Indian
chiefs in a friendly manner why they visited the town in so large a
body, not having been sent for by any person in lawful authority. The
Indians replied that Mary, their empress, was to speak for them, and
that they would abide by what she said. They had heard that she was to
be made a prisoner and sent across the great waters, and they wanted to
know why they were to lose their queen. They said they intended no harm
to the whites, and begged that their arms might be restored to them.
Then, after talking with Bosomworth and his wife, they would return and
settle all public affairs. Their arms were restored to them, but orders
were given that on no account should any ammunition be issued until the
true purpose of their visit was made known.

The Indians then had a conference with Mary Bosomworth, and on the
following day began to conduct themselves riotously, running up and down
the streets like madmen. As all the men were obliged to perform guard
duty, the women were compelled to remain alone in their houses. They
were in a constant state of terror and alarm, expecting every moment to
be set upon and killed by the unruly savages. While the confusion was at
its worst, a rumor was circulated that the Indians had cut off the head
of the president of the council. The report was false; but the colonists
were in such a state of excitement, that they could scarcely be
restrained from firing on the Indians. The situation was very critical.
Great prudence was necessary in order to prevent bloodshed, and save the
town from destruction.

At this crisis orders were given to the militia to lay hold of Thomas
Bosomworth, and place him in close confinement. When this order was
carried out, Mary became frantic, and made threats of vengeance against
the whole Colony. She cursed General Oglethorpe, declared that his
treaties were fraudulent, and ordered the colonists to depart from her
territory. She raved furiously, and claimed control over the entire
earth. But while engaged in cutting up these extraordinary capers, she
kept an eye on the leading men among the Indians, who she knew could be
easily bribed.

The president of the Province, finding that nothing could be done with
the Indians while they remained under the influence of their so-called
empress, caused Mary to be privately arrested, and placed her under
guard with her husband. When this was done, quiet was at once restored.
The Indians ceased to be boisterous. When the time seemed to be ripe,
the president of the Province employed men acquainted with the Creek
language to entertain the chiefs and their warriors in the friendliest
way. A feast was prepared; and in the midst of it the chiefs were told
that Bosomworth had become involved in debt, and was anxious to secure
not only all the lands of the Creeks, but also a large share of the
bounty paid to them by the King of England, so that he might be able to
pay his creditors in Carolina. He was also told that the King's presents
were intended only for the Indians; that the lands near the town were
reserved for them for their encampments; that the sea islands were
reserved for them to hunt upon when they should come to bathe in the
salt waters; and that neither Mary nor her husband had any right to
these lands, which were the common property of the Creek nations.

For the moment this policy was successful. Even Malatche, Mary's
brother, seemed to be satisfied; and many of the chiefs declared that
they were convinced that Bosomworth had deceived them, and that they
would trust him no more. But Malatche, at his own request, had another
talk with Thomas and Mary Bosomworth, and was again won over to support
their wild pretensions; so that, when the Indians were gathered together
to receive their shares of the royal bounty, Malatche stood up in the
midst of them, and delivered a most violent speech in favor of the
claims of Mary as the Empress of Georgia. He declared that she had three
thousand warriors at her command, and that every man of them would take
up arms in her defense. At the conclusion of his speech, Malatche drew
forth a paper and presented it to the president of the council This
paper was merely the sum and substance of Malatche's speech; and it
was so clearly the production of Bosomworth, that the effect was far
different from what the Indians had expected. The astonishment of the
president and council was so apparent, that Malatche begged to have the
paper again, so that he might deliver it to the person from whom he had
received it.

It was important that another conference should be had with the Indians.
Accordingly they were called together again; and the president of the
Province made an address, recalling to their minds the fact that when
General Oglethorpe and his colony landed in Georgia, they found Mary,
then the wife of John Musgrove, living in a hut at Yamacraw; that at
that time she was comparatively poor and friendless, being neglected
and despised by the Creeks, and going about in rags; that General
Oglethorpe, finding that she could speak both the English and the Creek
tongues, employed her as an interpreter, gave her rich clothes, and made
her a woman of some consequence; that she was respected by the colonists
until she married Thomas Bosomworth, but from that time forth they no
longer had any confidence in her; that she had no lands of her own; and
that General Oglethorpe had no treaty with her, but dealt with the old
and wise leaders of the Creeks, who voluntarily surrendered their waste
lands to the whites. The president then went on to show that Mary's
claims had been invented by Thomas Bosomworth as an easy means of
paying a debt of four hundred pounds which he owed in South Carolina for
cattle, and that his quarrel with the colonists was due to the fact
that they had refused to give him a third part of the royal bounty which
belonged by right to the Indians.

At this point the Creek chiefs begged the president to stop. They had
heard enough to convince them, they said, and now they wanted to smoke
the pipe of peace. Apparently this was a happy ending to a very serious
dispute. But at the very moment when everything was serene, Mary
Bosomworth made her appearance amongst those who were patching up their
differences. She had escaped from her guards, and, having secured a
supply of rum, now made her appearance drunk and furious. She filled the
air with threats. The president told her, that, unless she ceased her
efforts to poison the minds of the Indians, he would again order her
into close confinement. Thereupon Mary turned to Malatche and told him
what the president had said. In a rage, Malatche seized his arms, and,
calling to the rest of the Indians to do the same, dared the whites to
touch the empress. The uproar was great. Every Indian had his tomahawk
in his hand, and the council expected nothing less than instant death.

At this moment, Captain Noble Jones, who commanded the guard, ordered
the Indians to deliver up their arms. The savages were overawed by the
coolness and courage of this intrepid officer. They yielded up their
arms, and Mary was shut in a private room, and a guard set over her.
There she was securely kept, and while the Indians remained she had no
further communication with them. Her husband was then sent for, and
the president and council tried to reason with him; but he remained
obstinate, declaring that he would stand up for his wife's rights to
the last. Finding Bosomworth unreasonable, the council caused him to
be seized and confined. This done, the authorities then set about
persuading the Indians to leave the town peaceably and return to their
own settlements. This the savages did after a while, leaving Savannah in
small parties until all were gone.

Finding himself no longer supported by the Indians, Thomas Bosomworth
at last repented of his folly. He wrote to the president and council,
apologizing for his wanton conduct. He acknowledged the title of his
wife to be groundless, and relinquished all claim to the lands of the
Province. Though his offense had been serious, the colonists pardoned
him, and thus ended the career of Coosaponakesee as Empress of Georgia.

And yet, after all, the Rev. Thomas Bosomworth had his way. Mary seems
to have lived long; and her husband pressed her claims in London,
so that, when Henry Ellis was made governor of the Province, he was
authorized, in 1759, to sell the islands of Ossabaw and Sapelo, as well
as other Indian lands near Savannah, and out of the moneys received to
settle the demands of the Bosomworths, and to give them a title to
the Island of St. Catharine, which they had settled and improved. Mary
Bosomworth was given four hundred and fifty pounds for goods she had
expended in the King's service, and it was provided also that she should
be allowed sixteen hundred and fifty pounds for her services as agent.
In addition, she was given two thousand pounds, the sum for which
Ossabaw and Sapelo sold at auction. A grant of St. Catharine Island was
also made to Mary Bosomworth; so that it may be considered that she was
richly rewarded for the many good turns she did the colonists in
her better days, before her mind had been poisoned by the Rev. Mr.


[Illustration: The Liberty Boys 048]

In 1765, what is known as the Stamp Act was passed by the Parliament of
Great Britain, in spite of all the protests made by the agents of
the Colonies. The people of the Colonies felt that taxation without
representation was an exercise of power not to be tolerated.

The Stamp Act itself was a very small matter; but many of the American
Colonies had been setting up claims of independence in various matters.
As Benjamin Franklin said, the British nation was provoked by these
claims of independence, and all parties proposed by this piece of
legislation to settle the question once for all. While the agents of the
Colonies, and among them Franklin, protested against the Stamp Act, none
of them supposed that it would be met by armed resistance; and yet the
terms of the act were insolent and sweeping. It was provided that if the
stamps were not used, "marriages would be null and void, notes of
hand valueless, ships at sea prizes to the first captors, suits at
law impossible, transfers of real estate invalid, inheritances
irreclaimable." In spite of these sweeping terms, Benjamin Franklin did
not doubt that the act would be carried into effect, and other patriotic
Americans thought that the colonists should submit. Even James Otis of
Boston, who was afterwards among the first to advocate the calling of an
American congress to deliberate upon the propriety of the acts of Great
Britain, was of this opinion.

The Georgia authorities regarded the stamp duty as just as any that
could be generally imposed on the Colonies, though the manner of
imposing it greatly inspired alarm. But while the other Colonies were
hesitating, a voice was heard in Virginia. Patrick Henry, speaking
for the Virginians, made an eloquent protest against the law, and his
boldness kindled into flames the spirit of opposition that had been
smoldering in all the Colonies. The Sons of Liberty were organized
North and South. In Georgia they were known as "Liberty Boys." "Liberty,
property, and no stamps!" was the cry, and it was a cry that stirred the
country from one end to the other.

The congress suggested by James Otis of Boston assembled on Monday, the
7th of October, 1765, Georgia had no delegates in the congress, but
was represented by a messenger who was sent to obtain a copy of the
proceedings. Such representation was not because the Colony of Georgia
failed to sympathize with the purpose for which the congress was called,
but was entirely due to the influence and popularity of Governor Wright,
the royal governor, who was not only a good man personally, but wise,
prudent, and far-seeing. Owing to his exertions, Georgia was not
represented in the person of delegates. The speaker of the Georgia
House of Assembly had indeed called a convention of the members for the
purpose of selecting delegates to the Colonial Congress called to meet
in New York, and sixteen members had responded to the call; but such
was the influence of Governor Wright, that these members of the assembly
were prevailed upon not to send delegates to the congress. But they
could not be prevented from preparing and sending a response to the
Massachusetts invitation. They had resolved, they said, to support
heartily every measure that might be suggested for the support of the
common rights of the Colonies.

We learn from the letters of Governor Wright, written to the Earl of
Halifax, that it was as much as he could do (and he was a very active
as well as a very wise governor) to prevail on the people to maintain at
least the outward show of loyalty to the King. And he was not successful
even in this, for he informs another correspondent (Mr. Secretary
Conway) on the 31st of January, 1766, that the same spirit of "sedition,
or rather rebellion, which first appeared at Boston," had reached
Georgia, and that he had been constantly engaged for the space of three
months in trying to convince the people that they ought to submit to the
King's authority until they could point out their grievances and apply
for redress in a constitutional way. Governor Wright also states to
the same correspondent that he has had much trouble in preserving from
destruction at the hands of the people the stamp papers that had been
forwarded for the collection of the tax. He received "incendiary"
letters; he had to issue proclamations against riots and "tumultuous
and unlawful assemblies;" and he had also to take measures against the
Liberty Boys, who began to have private meetings, and who had formed
themselves into a society to oppose and prevent the distribution of the
stamp papers.

In short, the good governor was kept in a constant state of alarm lest
the Liberty Boys should seize some advantage and cause his Majesty the
King of England to have a moment of grief. The Liberty Boys were so
active, and made so many threatening demonstrations, that Governor
Wright was driven to what he describes as extreme measures. He was
compelled to send the obnoxious stamp papers to a place of safety to
prevent the people from destroying them; and when he had the papers
securely hidden, he was compelled to place men on duty day and night to
protect the precious stamps. He was obliged to send a posse of men to
protect the stamp distributer by hiding him, and was then moved to send
him into the country for a season, in order to avoid the resentment of
the people; and then, after all his trouble, the good governor found
that the people had determined not to apply for any papers, stamped
or unstamped, until the King had acted on the petitions sent from the
Colonies. No wonder that he was moved to call it "a wretched situation."
It was indeed a wretched situation for one who had no higher ideas of
duty than to continue to serve the King and oppose the interests of the

There was something more of an uproar in South Carolina than in Georgia;
but the truth of history appears to be that the resistance offered to
the Stamp Act in Georgia was much more serious than that displayed in
Carolina. Although Governor Wright used all his influence to support the
act, the people exercised so much vigilance in watching the stamp papers
and the officer sent to issue them, that none of the papers found their
way into use.

The Colonies were bordering on a state of revolution, when, through the
influence of the Earl of Chatham, the Stamp Act was repealed. There
was great rejoicing among the people, and a general manifestation of a
renewal of loyalty to the mother country. But the seeds of dissension
had been sown. The Stamp Act unnecessary and uncalled for, had given the
people cause to ponder over their real relations to the Crown; and out
of the discussion that had taken place arose a spirit of independence
that grew and thrived and spread day by day.

In short, the repeal of the Stamp Act gave the people of the Colonies
only momentary satisfaction. Their success in securing its repeal
gave them a new taste for liberty of action, and a new sense of their
importance as individuals. But King George III. was never satisfied with
the repeal of the Stamp Act of 1765. He declared that it had wounded
the Majesty of England. It fretted him, and the irritation that he felt
extended like a contagion to his cabinet. When the Earl of Chatham died,
there was no statesman to take his place. The mantle of his office fell
on Charles Townshend, who was more anxious to please the King than to
secure good government to the people of the Colonies. He was anxious
for the British Government to assert with vigor its right to govern the
Colonies as it saw fit.

Meanwhile the spirit of independence in the Colonies continued to assert
itself more openly day by day, and the determination grew among them
not to submit to taxation without representation in Parliament. The
organization of Sons of Liberty and Liberty Boys grew and spread both
North and South. One of the most fruitful causes of discontent was the
fact that Georgia and the other Colonies were compelled to depend upon
the will of the British Government in all matters. Every act passed by
a colonial assembly must receive the sanction of the British Parliament
before it became a law. Petitions were disregarded. Frequently there
was a delay of two years between the passage of an act by the Colonial
General Assembly and its ratification. But every measure had to receive
the approval of the Crown. While the affairs of the country were in this
peculiar condition, the people became more and more dissatisfied.

It is now known that Governor James Wright, loyal to the King as he
proved himself to be, was fully sensible of the injustice to which
the Colonies were compelled to submit. On the 15th of August, 1769, he
addressed a letter to the Earl of Hillsborough, which was not read until
fifteen months after it was written. In this letter the governor warned
the British cabinet that the Colonies would never submit to taxation
without representation. There was no disaffection, he said, toward the
King or the royal family, but simply a determination on the part of the
people to stand on their rights. But the governor's letter lay unread
for fifteen months, and there was no reply to the numerous petitions
sent from the Colonies. At last the Americans determined to appeal to
the pockets instead of to the sentiments of the people of Great Britain.
They determined to import no goods whatever that could be manufactured
or produced at home.

This determination, instead of causing the British people to conciliate
the Americans by securing the repeal of unfriendly laws, turned the
popular opinion against the Colonies; and this feeling was intensified
by the Boston Tea Party. A bill was passed by both Houses of the British
Parliament to close the port of Boston, and the discussion of the
measure gave an opportunity to some of the statesmen of the mother
country to show their spite. Another law was passed, limiting and
cutting down the power of the representative assembly of Massachusetts,
and providing that town meetings should not be held except on permission
in writing from the royal governor. Another act was passed, giving the
governor of the Province the power to send to Great Britain or to other
Colonies persons indicted for murder or charged with capital crimes
committed in aiding the government of Massachusetts. These acts,
intended to humiliate the Colonies, had the effect of inflaming them,
and the Liberty Boys grew in numbers and determination.

[Illustration: Tondee's Tavern 055]

On the 20th of July, 1774, "The Georgia Gazette," published at Savannah,
contained an invitation to the people of the Province to meet at
Tondee's Tavern on the 27th of July to take into consideration the
unjust laws that had been passed by the British Parliament. The cause
of Massachusetts was the cause of all. The meeting was held, and stood
adjourned to the 10th of August, in order to give all the parishes an
opportunity to be represented by delegates. Governor Wright, loyal to
the last, issued a proclamation warning the people of the Province to
avoid attending the meeting; but the proclamation was disregarded, and a
meeting of the people of the Province was held at Tondee's Tavern on
the 10th of August, 1774. Resolutions were adopted, declaring that
his Majesty's subjects in America owed the same allegiance, and were
entitled to the same rights and privileges, as their fellow-subjects
in Great Britain; that the act lately passed for blockading the port
of Boston was contrary to the British constitution; that the act for
abolishing the charter of Massachusetts Bay tended to the subversion of
American rights; that the Parliament of Great Britain had not, nor ever
had, the right to tax his Majesty's American subjects; and that every
demand for the support of government should be by requisition made to
the several houses of representatives. The resolutions covered all the
grievances of the people of the Colonies.

Meanwhile, Governor Wright was not idle. He called a convention of
Royalists, which met, and signed a protest against the resolutions.
Copies of this protest were made, and sent into all the parishes, by the
governor's friends. Under pressure, many timid men who were really in
sympathy with the Liberty Boys signed the protest. The signatures of
dead men were used, and other frauds practiced, in order to make the
demonstration in favor of the King sufficient to overawe those who
had pledged themselves to American independence. In all this, Governor
Wright was aided by the fact that the only newspaper in the Province,
"The Georgia Gazette," was under his control. He was also aided by the
geographical situation of Georgia, and by his own personal popularity.
He had made a good governor. He had worked as hard for the prosperity
and progress of the Province as he now worked to prevent the people from
joining the movement for independence.

The governor was successful to the extent that he was able to prevent
Georgia from sending duly accredited representatives to the First
Continental Congress; and this fact has been taken by some writers of
history to mean that the spirit of liberty and independence was not as
earnest and as enthusiastic in Georgia as in the other Provinces. Later,
when Georgia was overrun by British and Tory influences, and appeared to
be conquered, ill-natured critics recalled the fact that her people were
slow to join hands with those who advocated resistance to tyranny.

When the South Carolina delegates to the First Continental Congress
returned to their homes, bearing with them copies of the Declaration of
Colonial Rights, the Liberty Boys of Georgia renewed their movement with
great zeal. Copies of the Declaration were distributed throughout the
Province. The result was, that the Liberty Boys grew steadily stronger
in numbers, and more defiant in action. An idea of the situation at this
time may be gathered from a letter written by Governor Wright to the
Earl of Dartmouth on the 13th of December, 1774. He declared that the
spirit of independence, or, as he called it, the spirit of enthusiasm,
which many were possessed of before, "is raised to such a height of
frenzy, that God knows what the consequences may be, or what man or
whose property may escape their resentment."

No doubt the amiable governor misunderstood the situation. What he
regarded as "frenzy" was merely the eager desire and the determination
of the Liberty Boys of Georgia to redeem themselves in the eyes of their
brethren in the other Colonies. They were humiliated by their failure to
send representatives to the Continental Congress, and they endeavored to
redeem themselves by increased zeal and enthusiasm.

They arranged to hold a provincial congress in Savannah on the 18th
of January, 1775. Governor Wright, on hearing of this, determined to
convene the Provincial General Assembly on the same day, hoping and
believing that this would prevent a meeting of the Provincial Congress,
or greatly hamper its action. But the governor was mistaken. The
General Assembly met in response to the call, and so did the Provincial
Congress. Governor Wright addressed the members, declaring to them the
danger of the situation, and imploring them to be prudent and loyal.
The upper house of the General Assembly made a response agreeable to the
governor's expectations, but the lower house gave to its address a tone
of independence that was not at all pleasing to the King's officer. He
showed his displeasure, and placed a serious obstacle in the way of the
Liberty Boys by adjourning the General Assembly until the 9th of the
following May. The Assembly had met on the 18th of January, and was
adjourned on the 10th of February; so that the Liberty Boys, who made up
a majority of the lower house, had no time to appoint delegates to the
Philadelphia congress soon to be held, nor to take any official action
in behalf of the independence of Georgia.

Governor Wright's plans were certainly very shrewdly laid. His
adjournment of the General Assembly not only hampered the Provincial
Congress (or convention) that had met at Savannah simultaneously with
the legislature, but threw the delegates into confusion and disorder,
and was the means of causing the convention to adjourn without taking
such action as the friends of liberty hoped for. All that it did was
to elect three representatives to the Philadelphia congress. This
was something, but it was not enough. The Liberty Boys expected
the Provincial Convention to adopt all the measures and resolutions
suggested by the Continental Congress. They therefore felt mortified
when the convention adjourned, and left Georgia still outside the
continental association.

This event was a serious embarrassment to the other Colonies, and
aroused the anger of those friends of liberty who were unable to
understand the peculiar conditions that surrounded the movement for
independence in Georgia. The friends of liberty in South Carolina were
so indignant, that they denounced the Georgians "as unworthy the
rights of freemen, and as inimical to the liberties of their country."
Throughout the Colonies, the partisans of American independence were
deeply wounded by the apparent hesitation of the Georgians, while the
Royalists were delighted.

Though the Provincial Convention remained in session only seven days
before adjourning, the delegates of St. John's Parish had withdrawn from
the body. These delegates insisted on an emphatic indorsement of the
acts of the Continental Congress, and they retired as soon as they
found there would be some difficulty in bringing some of the hesitating
members to their way of thinking. They retired, and selected Dr. Lyman
Hall to represent St. John's in the Philadelphia congress. He took his
seat in that body, and although he cast no vote, he made his voice heard
in the discussions.

In spite of all the drawbacks which the Liberty Boys in Georgia had
experienced, their enthusiasm did not cool. They never ceased their
efforts, and the independence movement continued to grow. The public
mind became more and more inflamed with resentment against the tyranny
of King George and his Parliament, as the people heard of the progress
of events in the more northern Colonies. By the 10th of May the people
of Savannah had heard of the shedding of American blood by British
troops at Lexington and Concord. As the news spread from parish to
parish, the people became aroused, and the response of public sentiment
was all that American patriots could expect.

[Illustration: Seisure of Ammunition in Savannah 060]

The first response of the Liberty Boys at Savannah was to seize the
ammunition stored in the magazine. This event occurred on the night of
the 11th of May, and was planned and carried out by the members of the
Council of Safety. About six hundred pounds of powder fell into the
hands of the Liberty Boys. Some was sent to South Carolina, and the rest
was hidden in the garrets and cellars of the patriots who had seized it.
Tradition says that some of this powder was sent to Massachusetts, where
it was used by the patriots who drove the British before them at the
battle of Bunker Hill.

Other events occurred that showed the temper of the Liberty Boys. On the
4th of June, when Governor Wright came to fire salutes in honor of King
George's birthday, he found the cannon had been spiked, dismounted, and
rolled to the bottom of the bluff. On the 5th of June the first liberty
pole in the Colony was set up at Savannah. A young man named Hopkins,
who spoke contemptuously of the members of the Committee of Public
Safety was seized by a mob, tarred and feathered, placed in an
illuminated cart, and paraded up and down the streets of Savannah.

As the days went by, the independence movement in Georgia became more
enthusiastic, the Liberty Boys more active. The first vessel armed and
equipped for naval warfare during the Revolution was fitted up by
the Liberty Boys of Georgia under the authority of the Provincial
Convention, which had assembled in Savannah on the 4th of July, 1775.
This event is interesting. The Carolina Committee of Safety had heard
that a British ship had sailed for Georgia with a cargo of powder
intended for the Indians and for the use of the Royalists. The
Carolinians at once resolved to capture the ship and seize the cargo.
To that end, two barges, manned by forty well-armed men, were embarked
from Beaufort, and went to the mouth of the Savannah River, where they
encamped on a point that commanded a full view of Tybee Lighthouse. The
Provincial Convention, hearing of this expedition, offered to assist the
officers in every way possible. There was an armed British schooner in
the river at that time; and the Liberty Boys of Savannah determined to
join forces with the Carolinians at Tybee, and effect her capture. For
this purpose a schooner was equipped by the Provincial Convention, and
placed under command of Captain Bowen and Joseph Habersham. This vessel
was armed with ten carriage guns and swivels, and carried fifty men. The
British armed vessel was not inclined to enter into a contest, but,
when the Georgia schooner appeared, weighed anchor and sailed away. The
schooner then took position beyond the harbor bar, and waited for the
ship carrying the cargo of powder. She had not long to wait. On the 10th
of July, 1775, the powder ship, commanded by Captain Maitland, made her
appearance. Before entering Tybee Inlet, however, Captain Maitland saw
the armed schooner. Suspecting that he was about to fall into a trap, he
brought his vessel round, tacked, and stood out to sea. But he had gone
too far. The Georgia schooner gave chase, and soon overtook and captured
the ship. It was a fortunate capture for the Colonies. Five thousand
pounds of powder were sent to Philadelphia, and nine thousand fell to
the share of Georgia.

The convention that commissioned the first armed vessel of the
Revolution did more important work than this. It placed the Province
of Georgia in political union with her sister Colonies, and gave her
fellowship with those struggling Provinces. She was welcomed into the
United Colonies with joyful demonstrations by the Continental Congress.
By the 15th of April, 1776, the Liberty Boys in Georgia were so strong
that Governor Wright had taken refuge on one of the King's vessels at
Tybee; and on that date the patriots took full charge of the government
of the Province. Archibald Bulloch was the first republican president of

This is how the Liberty Boys took the Province of Georgia from his
Majesty the King, and made a free and independent government. Their
struggle did not end here, but the details of that struggle must be left
to history to relate.


The Revolutionary War in Georgia developed some very romantic figures,
which are known to us rather by tradition than by recorded history.
First among them, on the side of the patriots, was Robert Sallette.
Neither history nor tradition gives us the place of his birth or the
date of his death; yet it is known that he played a more important part
in the struggle in the Colony than any man who had no troops at his
command. He seems to have slipped mysteriously on the scene at the
beginning of the war. He fought bravely, even fiercely, to the end,
and then, having nothing else to do, slipped away as mysteriously as
he came. "In Liberty County," says history, "there lived during the
Revolution a man by the name of Robert Sallette, distinguished for
his opposition to the Tories. It is not known with certainty to what
particular command he was attached. He appears to have been a sort of
roving character, doing things in his own way." Here is the mystery of
romance to begin with. Here is the wanderer,--the character so dear to
the imagination of youth.

"The Tories," says history further, "stood very much in dread of him;
and well they might, for never had they a more, formidable foe." Here,
then, is the hero and the wanderer combined in one person, and
that person fighting for the holiest cause in which man can take up
arms,--the rights and liberties of the people. What more could be asked?

Curious as we may be to know something of the personal history of Robert
Sallette, it is not to be found chronicled in the books. The French
twist to his name makes it probable that he was a descendant of those
unfortunate Acadians who, years before, had been stripped of their lands
and possessions in Nova Scotia by the British, their houses and barns
burned, and they themselves transported away from their homes. They were
scattered at various points along the American coast. Some were landed
at Philadelphia, and some were carried to Louisiana. Four hundred were
sent to Georgia. The British had many acts of cruelty to answer for in
those days, but none more infamous than this treatment of the gentle and
helpless Acadians. It stands in history to-day a stain upon the British

Another fact that leads to the belief that Robert Sallette was a
descendant of the unfortunate Acadians was the ferocity with which he
pursued the British and the Tories. The little that is told about
him makes it certain that he never gave quarter to the enemies of his

His name was a terror to the Tories. One of them, a man of considerable
means, offered a reward of one hundred guineas to any person who would
bring him the head of Robert Sallette. The Tory had never seen Sallette,
but his alarm was such that he offered a reward large enough to tempt
some one to assassinate the daring partisan. When Sallette heard of the
reward, he disguised himself as a farmer, and provided himself with
a pumpkin, which he placed in a bag. With the bag swinging across his
shoulder, he made his way to the house of the Tory. He was invited in,
and deposited the bag on the floor beside him, the pumpkin striking the
boards with a thump.

[Illustration: The head of Robert Sallette 066]

"I have brought you the head of Robert Sallette," said he. "I hear that
you have offered a reward of one hundred guineas for it."

"Where is it?" asked the Tory.

"I have it with me," replied Sallette, shaking the loose end of the bag.
"Count me out the money and take the head."

The Tory, neither doubting nor suspecting, counted out the money, and
placed it on the table.

"Now show me the head," said he.

Sallette removed his hat, tapped himself on the forehead, and said,
"Here is the head of Robert Sallette!"

The Tory was so frightened that he jumped from the room, and Sallette
pocketed the money and departed.

On one occasion Robert Sallette is known to have spared the lives of two
Tories, at least for a little while. Once when he and Andrew Walthour
(for whom Walthourville in Georgia is named) and another man were riding
along a narrow trail late in the afternoon, they met three other
riders whom they suspected to be Tories. The plan that Sallette and his
companions adopted to capture the men was very simple. Andrew Walthour,
who was riding in front, was to pass the first and second men, Robert
Sallette to pass the first. As Walthour came to the third man when
Sallette had come to the second, and their companion to the first, the
Liberty Boys seized the guns of the three simultaneously. The men had no
opportunity either to fight or escape.

"Dismount, gentlemen!" said Sallette. Then he addressed himself to the
leader. "What is your name?"

In reply to this, a fictitious name was given, as Sallette and his
companions afterwards found out.

"Where is your camp?" asked Sallette.

"We are from over the river," answered the man, meaning the Altamaha.

"Where did you cross?"

"At Beards Ferry." This was where the Whigs and the Liberty Boys were
most numerous.

"That is not true!" exclaimed Sallette.

Then he turned to the second man, asked the same questions, and received
the same replies. He turned to the third man, asked the same questions,
and received the same replies.

"If you do not tell me the truth," exclaimed Sallette to this last man,
"I'll cut off your head!"

The man persisted, and Sallette was as good as his word. The others
begged for their lives, and declared that they would guide Sallette
straight to their camp. This they did; and Sallette, aided by his
prisoners, captured a large party of Tories.

Once when Robert Sallette and Andrew Walthour were marching with the
advance guard of the American troops, they suddenly met the advance
guard of the British. A short but sharp skirmish followed, during which
a very large man of the British guard was killed. Observing that the
dead man wore a pair of good boots, Sallette determined to get them.
While he was pulling them off in the midst of a furious fire from the
enemy, his companions called out to him to come away or he would surely
be killed. "I must have the boots!" cried Sallette to his companions. "I
want them for little John Way!"

Here was fun in the midst of tragedy; for it is said that little John
Way could have put both his feet and his fists into one of the boots.

One day Sallette dressed himself up as a British officer and accepted
an invitation to dine with a party of the enemy. Suddenly, in the midst
of the toasting and drinking, Sallette drew his sword, killed the men
who sat to the right and left of him, sprang on his horse, and rode off
unhurt, though he was in such a hurry that he had no time to throw the
bridle reins over the horse's head.

At the White House, near Sunbury, Major Baker, of the patriot army, with
thirty men, attacked and defeated a party of Tories under command of
Captain Goldsmith.

Among the slain was Lieutenant Gray, whose head was almost severed from
his body by a stroke of Robert Sallette's sword.

On many occasions, when a battle was in progress, Sallette would detach
himself from the American army, gain the rear of the enemy, and kill
many men before he was discovered. If this brave man was indeed a
descendant of the Acadians, he avenged the wrongs of many of his

Another character who attracted attention during the War of the
Revolution was Patrick Carr, whose hatred of the Tories made his name
celebrated among the Liberty Boys of Georgia. Paddy Carr, as he was
called, lived and died in Jefferson County. He was born in Ireland, but
came to Georgia before the Revolution. When the independence movement
began, he threw himself into it with all the ardor of his race. Owing to
the cruelty of the Tories, he conceived a special hatred against them.
He showed them no quarter. History gives but a word or two to his
achievements, but tradition still keeps his name alive in the region
where he operated. Like Sallette, he was an independent partisan; but,
unlike Sallette, his operations were among those who could remember well
enough, but who would not take the trouble to preserve the particulars
of even the least of his exploits. We know that Patrick Carr lived. We
know that he became famous where recklessness and daring were common.
But that is nearly all we know. It is said of him that during the war he
killed one hundred Tories with his own hands. Once, when praised for his
bravery, he smiled and shook his head, saying that he would have made
a very good soldier, but the Lord had given him a heart that was too
merciful. He no doubt remembered the atrocities of the Tories in the
section that is now Jefferson, Columbia, Burke, and Wilkes counties. The
cruelties they committed in that region during the Revolution have no
parallel in civilized warfare.

Among the adventurous characters of that time, on the side of the
British, Daniel McGirth stands easily first. The history of his career
during the war is a strange one. He was born in South Carolina,
and entered into the struggle against the British with the utmost
enthusiasm. He was a brave man, a hard fighter, and one of the most
active of those who took up arms against the King. He was an expert
woodsman, and was at home in the saddle. He was assigned to duty as a
scout, and was better equipped for that service, perhaps, than any man
in the American army. The ease with which he secured information of the
enemy's movements and plans, and the energy that marked his movements,
made his services of great value to the patriot cause. This was not
thoroughly appreciated by some of the officers under whom McGirth acted.

He brought with him into the army a mare which he called "The Gray
Goose." She is said to have been an elegant animal, and McGirth was
very proud of her. With this mare under him, he always felt safe
from pursuit. One of the American officers, who was a good judge of
horseflesh, and who probably wanted to "cut a dash," as the saying is,
saw this beautiful mare, and coveted her. Finding that McGirth scorned
all offers to sell her, the officer adopted various means to obtain her.
These efforts were resisted by McGirth, mainly on the ground that the
mare was his own private property, and that she was essential to the
duties he was called on to perform. Failing to gain his ends in this
way, the officer continued to worry McGirth in other ways. He no doubt
did something to rouse the ire of the scout, who was an irritable man,
and who felt the importance of the service he was rendering to the
cause. It is not now known how McGirth insulted the officer,--whether
in a moment of passion he struck him, or whether he merely used rough
language to him.

Whatever the offense, McGirth was placed under arrest, tried by a
court-martial, found guilty of violating the articles of war, and
sentenced to be whipped. He received this punishment, and was placed
in confinement again, where he was to remain until he received another
whipping. While thus held, he saw his mare picketed near the camp, and
he immediately resolved to escape. He was successful in this. Once free,
he secured The Gray Goose, leaped into the saddle, turned around, and,
in the face of his pursuers, pronounced threats of vengeance against all
the Americans for his ill treatment.

There is no doubt that he was illtreated; but if he had not been an
ignorant man, he would not have pronounced against the cause of liberty
on account of the treatment he received at the hands of individuals.
But the savage in his nature was aroused, and he carried out his fierce
threats to the fullest extent. For the time being, he attached himself
to another American command; but at the first opportunity he deserted
to the enemy, and became the scourge and terror of those who opposed the
British cause. He spared none. His field extended from the Florida line
to the Savannah River, in what is now Elbert County, and far into South
Carolina. He appeared when least expected, and carried destruction with
him. His mare became as noted as her master. In what was then Upper
Georgia, she was known as "The Bald-faced Pony." On many an occasion
he owed his life to the fleetness of his mare. But his vengeance was
never satisfied: it was always active, and thirsting for the blood of
the American patriot. The whim of the officer to possess McGirth's mare
was a foolish one at best. It was the cause of great public and private

[Illustration: McGirth and his mare 072]

When South Carolina was rescued from the British, McGirth retreated
into Georgia, and finally into Florida. When the Spaniards regained
possession of that territory, he became subject to their laws. For some
reason or other he was thrown into one of the dungeons of the old fort
at St. Augustine, where he was confined for five years. When released,
his health was broken, and it was with great difficulty that he managed
to return to Sumter District, in South Carolina, where his wife lived.

A very queer and eccentric character in the Revolution was Captain Rory
Mcintosh, of Mallow. Though Rory was a kinsman of General Lachlan and
Colonel John Mcintosh, who were among the most active Liberty Boys in
Georgia, he took up arms for the King, and a very devoted Tory he was.
His eccentricities would have been called whims if he had not stuck
to them with such constancy. He was a Highlander and a follower of the
Stuarts. How and why he became loyal to the new line of British kings,
history does not state; but his clan had a chief, and he no doubt
thought that every government ought to have a monarch. When the
Revolution began, he was over sixty years of age, and was living
comfortably on his plantation at Mallow; but he volunteered, and fought
through the war.

A story is told of Rory Mcintosh that once when the Spaniards held
East Florida, he carried to St Augustine a drove of cattle. He received
payment in dollars, which he placed in a canvas bag behind him on his
horse. When near his home, the bag gave way, and a part of the money
fell out. He secured what was left and rode on, paying no attention to
that which had fallen from the bag. When in need of money some years
after, he returned to the place where the dollars had spilled, picked
up as many as he wanted, and went back home. Whenever he could, he went
about accompanied by a piper. Rory was a tall, finely formed man,'with
bristling whiskers and a ruddy complexion: consequently when he appeared
on parade, he attracted great attention.

[Illustration: Captain Rory McIntosh 074]

In 1778 two expeditions were sent from St. Augustine for the purpose
of attacking Savannah,--one by sea, and one by land under command of
Lieutenant Colonel Prevost. This land expedition had been joined by
Captain Roderick Mcintosh, in the capacity of a volunteer. He attached
himself particularly to the infantry company commanded by Captain
Murray. When the British laid siege to Sunbury and the fort, Captain
Murray's company was in the line near the fort. One morning when Captain
Rory had had a dram too much, he determined to sally out and summon
the fort to surrender. His comrades tried to restrain him, but he was
determined. Finally he strutted out, a drawn claymore in his hand, with
his trusty slave Jim. He approached the fort and cried out,--

"Surrender, you miscreants! How dare you presume to resist his Majesty's

Colonel Mcintosh, who commanded the fort, saw at once the condition of
Captain Rory, and forbade the men to fire. Then he threw open the gate,
and said,--

"Walk in, Mr. Mcintosh, and take possession."

"No," cried Rory, "I'll not trust myself among such vermin. I order you
to surrender!"

At that moment a rifle was fired by some one in the fort, and the ball
passed through Captain Rory's face from side to side under the eyes.
He fell backwards, but immediately recovered, and stood on his feet
flourishing his claymore. Then he began to walk backward, his face to
the fort. Several shots were fired at him, and Jim called out,--

"Run, massa, run! dey kill you!"

"Run!" cried Rory scornfully. "You may run, but I belong to a race that
never runs!"

It was at the siege of Sunbury that Colonel Mcintosh, when summoned by
Colonel Prevost to surrender the fort, sent back the reply, "Come and
take it!"


There lived in Georgia, during the Revolutionary struggle, the most
remarkable woman in some respects that the country has produced. To find
her match, we shall have to go to the fables that are told about the
Amazons. The Liberty Boys called her Aunt Nancy Hart. The Indians,
struck by her wonderful feats in behalf of her country, called her "The
War Woman;" and there is a creek in Elbert County, where she lived, that
was named by the Indians "War Woman's Creek."

There are other heroines to whom history has paid more attention, and
whose deeds have been celebrated in song and story; but not one of them
was more devoted to the high cause of freedom, or more courageous, or
depended less on aid from others, than Aunt Nancy Hart. In this last
respect, the War Woman of Georgia stands alone in history, just as she
stood alone when the Tories were waging a war of extermination, sparing
neither women nor children, in the region in which she lived. Invention
and fable have kindly come to the aid of the most famous of the world's
heroines, but neither fable nor invention has touched the character or
the deeds of this heroine of the Revolution. She stands out on the
pages of history rough, uncouth, hot-tempered, unmanageable, uneducated,
impolite, ugly, and sharp-tongued; but, as her friends said of her,
"What a honey of a patriot she was!" She loved the Liberty Boys as well
as she loved her own children. It has been said that she was cruel; but
this charge may as well be put out of sight. Before passing upon it,
we should have to know what the War Woman's eyes had seen, and
what terrible revelations her ears had heard. Standing for American
independence in a region that swarmed with Tories, whose murderous deeds
never have been and never will be fully set forth, Aunt Nancy Hart had
to defend her own hearthstone and her own children.

The maiden name of this remarkable woman was Morgan, and she was born in
North Carolina. She married Benjamin Hart, a brother of Colonel Thomas
Hart of Kentucky. Thomas Hart was the father of the wife of Henry Clay,
and the uncle of the celebrated Thomas Hart Benton. Aunt Nancy and her
husband moved to Georgia with the North Carolina emigrants, and settled
on Broad River, in what is now Elbert County. She was nearly six feet
high, and very muscular,--the result of hard work. She had red hair,
and it is said that she was cross-eyed, but this has been denied on
good authority. It matters little. Her eyes were keen enough to pierce
through all Tory disguises, and that was enough for her. It is certain
that her courage and her confidence kept alive the spark of liberty
in hearts that would otherwise have smothered it, and was largely
responsible for kindling it into the flame that finally swept the
British out of that section, and subdued the Tories. When the Whigs and
patriots who had been her neighbors were compelled to flee before the
murderous Tories, she refused to go with them, but stood her ground and
never ceased to speak her sentiments boldly. Nothing but the wholesome
dread with which she had inspired them prevented the Tories from
murdering her and her children. When General Elijah Clarke moved the
women and children of the Broad River region to an asylum in Kentucky,
and the Liberty Boys had taken refuge in South Carolina, Aunt Nancy Hart
remained at home, and for a long and dismal period she was unprotected
save by her own remarkable courage.

At that period the houses were built of logs, and the chimneys were
built of sticks plastered with clay. They were called "stack chimneys."
One evening Aunt Nancy and her children were sitting around the fire, on
which a pot of soap was boiling. Now, a pot of soap must be constantly
stirred, and for this the strong, muscular arms of Aunt Nancy were
peculiarly fitted. So she stirred the soap, and, as she stirred, told
the youngsters the latest news of the war. Presently one of her children
chanced to discover some one peeping through the crack of the chimney,
eavesdropping. By a gesture or a nod of the head Aunt Nancy was informed
of what was going on. She smiled, and grew more spirited in her talk,
rattling away and laughing as she gave exaggerated accounts of the
recent defeats of the Tories. As she talked, she stirred the bubbling
soap, and kept her keen eyes on the crack where the eavesdropper had
been seen. Suddenly she dashed a ladleful of boiling soap through the
crack full into the face of the intruder. It was so quickly and deftly
done, that the eavesdropper had no time to dodge the scalding stuff. He
received the full benefit of it Blinded and half crazed by the pain,
he howled and screamed at a tremendous rate. Aunt Nancy went out,
and, after amusing herself at his expense, bound him fast and held
him prisoner. The probability is that the next day she H tucked up her
petticoats, shouldered her gun, and compelled the unlucky Tory to ford
the river ahead of her; and that, once on the other side, she kept in
constant communication with the Clarkes and with other partisans of the
American cause.

[Illustration: Aunt Nancy Hart 079]

Her husband, whom she sometimes jokingly described as "a poor stick,"
assisted her in her communications. A conch shell was kept at the
spring, some distance from the house. On this conch shell the children
were taught to blow the blasts that gave Mr. Hart information. One
signal was, "The enemy is at hand;" another was, "Keep close;" another,
"Make tracks for the swamp;" and still another was that he and his
friends were wanted at the cabin.

At the very darkest hour of the Revolution in Georgia, Aunt Nancy
performed one of her most remarkable feats,--one that brought into play
all the courage and devotion of her strong nature, and all the tact and
audacity that belonged to her character.

Brigadier General Andrew Williamson, with three hundred men, was
encamped near Augusta. When Charleston fell, this officer, who was
already a traitor, though his treachery had not been avowed, called his
officers together, and expressed the opinion that it would be foolish
to further resist the King. He therefore advised them to return to their
homes, and there accept the protection which would be offered them. He
then abandoned his command, which was immediately disbanded. Shortly
afterwards Colonels Brown and Garrison, two partisans of the King's army
who had made themselves notorious by their cruelty to Americans, seized
Augusta. Brown had been tarred and feathered in Augusta just before the
breaking-out of the Revolution, and he made the patriots of that town
and of the country roundabout pay dearly for the indignities that
had been heaped upon him on account of his loyalty to the Crown. He
confiscated the property of the patriots, and issued an order banishing
all Whig families beyond the borders of Georgia.

Raiding parties were sent into the region in the neighborhood of Augusta
to compel the inhabitants to take the oath of allegiance to the King.
One of these parties entered the house of Colonel John Dooly, a gallant
officer, and murdered him in cold blood in the presence of his wife and
children. Colonel Dooly was the father of Judge Dooly, who became famous
in Georgia after the war.

A detachment of this murdering party found its way to Aunt Nancy Hart's
cabin. There were five Tories in the detachment, and Aunt Nancy received
them coldly enough. They told her they had come to inquire into the
truth of a report they had heard to the effect that she had aided a
well-known rebel to escape from a company of King's men by whom he
was pursued. With a twinkle of malice in her eyes, Aunt Nancy boldly
declared that she had aided her Liberty Boy to escape, and then she
described the affair.

She said that one day she heard the gallop of a horse. Looking out, she
saw a horseman approaching, and at once knew him to be a Whig flying
from pursuers. She let down the bars near her cabin, told him to ride
his horse right through her house, in at the front door and out at the
back, to take to the swamp, and hide himself the best he could. She then
put up the bars, entered her house, closed the doors, and went about her
business. In a little while a party of Tories rode up, and called to her
with some rudeness. She muffled her head and face in a shawl, opened
the door slowly, and asked in a feeble voice who it was that wanted to
pester a sick, lone woman. The Tories said they had been pursuing a man,
and had traced him near her house. They wanted to know if any one had
passed that way. "I told 'em," said Aunt Nancy to the listening Tories,
"that I had seen a man on a sorrel horse turn out of the road into the
woods a little ways back. So they went back and took to the woods, and
my Whig boy got off safe and sound."

Naturally this story, boldly told, did not please the five Tories who
heard it; but something in the War Woman's eye prevented them from
offering her any personal injury. Instead, they ordered her to give them
something to eat.

"I never feed King's men if I can help it," she replied. "The scamps
have fixed me so that I can't feed my own family in a decent manner.
They have run off with all my pigs and poultry except that old gobbler
you see in the yard there."

"Well, you shall cook the old gobbler for us," exclaimed one who seemed
to be the leader of the party. Suiting the action to the word, he raised
his musket and shot the gobbler. One of his men brought it into the
house and gave it to Aunt Nancy, with orders to clean and cook it at
once. This, of course, made that stanch patriot very angry, and she gave
the Tories a violent tongue lashing.

It is probable that while she was dressing the turkey for the pot, the
Tories let some hint drop about the outrageous murder of Colonel John
Dooly, who was a warm friend of Aunt Nancy's. At any rate, she suddenly
changed her tactics. She ceased to storm and quarrel, the scowl left
her face, and she soon seemed to be in high good humor. She went about
getting the meal ready with great good will. She sent her little girl
to the spring after water, but told her to sound on the conch shell the
signal to "keep close," so that her husband and his neighbors who were
with him might know there were Tories in the cabin.

While the daughter was gone after water, one of the Tories volunteered
to take her place in helping to get everything ready. Aunt Nancy
accepted his services, and joked with him with great freedom and
familiarity. Like all women of spirit and independence, Aunt Nancy
possessed a considerable fund of humor, and it stood her in good stead
now. She contrived to thoroughly interest the Tories, and it was not
long before they were in the most jovial frame of mind imaginable. They
had expected to find a bad-tempered, ill-conditioned woman; and they
were agreeably surprised when they found, instead, a woman who could
match their rude jests, and make herself thoroughly entertaining.

The Tories had brought a jug with them, and they were so pleased with
Aunt Nancy's seeming friendliness that they invited her to drink with
them. "I'll take one swig with you," said Aunt Nancy, "if it kills every
cow on the Island," meaning a neck of land at the junction of river and
creek where the Whig families of the neighborhood pastured their cattle
and hid them. The Tories laughed and drank, and then they laughed and
drank again. They kept this up until the old gobbler had been cooked to
Aunt Nancy's satisfaction; and by the time they were ready to sit down
to table they were in a very merry mood indeed.

They had stacked their arms within easy reach of where they had been
sitting and drinking; but Aunt Nancy had moved her table to the middle
of the floor, so as to be able to walk around it on all sides while
waiting on the Tories. In helping the men to the turkey and other
eatables that she had prepared, she frequently came between them and
their muskets. The Tories had hardly begun to eat before they called for
water. Aunt Nancy, expecting this, had used up in cooking all that had
been brought: consequently her daughter had to take the piggin and go
to the spring after a fresh supply. She went with instructions to signal
her father, and the neighbors who were with him, to come immediately to
the cabin. While her daughter was at the spring, Aunt Nancy managed to
pull off one of the boards that filled the space between the logs of the
house, and through this crack she slipped two of the muskets. She was
slipping the third through when her movements caught the eye of one of
the Tories. Instantly the men sprang to their feet, but Aunt Nancy
was now in her element. Quick as a flash she clapped the musket to her
shoulder, and threatened to shoot the first man that approached her. The
men, knowing her reputation as a fighter, and awed by her appearance,
hesitated. At last one bolder than the rest began to advance toward her.
She fired promptly, and at the report of the gun the man fell dead on
the floor.

Before the others could recover from their consternation, Aunt Nancy
had seized another musket, and held it in readiness to fire again. Her
daughter had now returned from the spring with the information that her
father and his neighbors would soon arrive. Directed by her mother,
the girl took the remaining musket and carried it out of the house. The
Tories, seeing that no time was to be lost in recovering their arms,
proposed to rush upon Aunt Nancy in a body and overpower her. But the
War Woman was equal to the occasion. She fired again, and brought down
another Tory. As she did so, the daughter, acting on her orders, handed
her another musket. Then, taking position in the doorway, she called on
the men to "surrender their ugly Tory carcasses to a Whig woman."

[Illustration: Aunt Nancy captures the Tories 085]

The Tories agreed to surrender, and wanted to shake hands to make the
bargain binding; but Aunt Nancy kept her position in the doorway until
her husband and his friends made their appearance. The Whigs wanted
to shoot the Tories; but Aunt Nancy, whose blood was up, declared that
shooting was too good for them. "They've murdered John Dooly," she
exclaimed; "now let them hang for it!" Thereupon the Tories were taken
out and hanged. The tree from which they swung was still standing as
late as 1838, and was often pointed out by old people who had lived
through the troubled times of the Revolution.

One day Aunt Nancy met a Tory going along the highway. She engaged him
in conversation, diverted his attention, and suddenly seized his gun and
wrenched it away from him. She then ordered him to take up the line of
march for a fort not far distant. Not daring to disobey, the man marched
before her, as many others had been compelled to do, and she turned him
over to the commander of the fort.

When Augusta was in the hands of the British, and their raiding parties
had been driven in by the Americans under Colonel Elijah Clarke, it
became necessary for that commander to get some positive information
in regard to the intentions of the British. At this juncture Aunt Nancy
came to the rescue. She disguised herself as a man, and went boldly into
the British camp. She remained there for several days, pretending to be
crazy. In this way she secured a great deal of important information,
and made haste to carry it to Colonel Clarke.

Aunt Nancy was once left in a fort with several other women and a number
of small children, her own among the rest. The men had gone out in
search of supplies. They had not expected an attack, and had left only
one of their number, a young man, to protect the women and children.
Suddenly a party of Tories and Indians made its appearance, and
surrounded the fort, which was nothing more than a stockade. The
yelling of the savages threw all the women and children into the utmost
confusion,--all except Aunt Nancy. That wonderful woman, who never knew
what fear was, only became more energetic in the face of danger. There
was a small cannon in the fort, but it was not in position to reach
the enemy with its fire. After trying her best to lift the cannon into
position, Aunt Nancy remembered the young man who had been left in
the fort, and looked about for him; but he was not to be seen. A close
search discovered him hiding under a cowhide. Aunt Nancy pulled him
out by the heels, and vowed she would make mince-meat of him unless he
helped her to move the cannon. The fellow knew perfectly well that Aunt
Nancy was not to be trifled with when her blood was up. He gave her the
necessary assistance. She aimed the cannon and fired it, and the Tories
and savages promptly took to their heels.

On another occasion when the river was high, it became necessary for the
Americans on the Georgia side to know what was going on on the Carolina
side; but no one could be induced to venture across. Hearing of the
difficulty, Aunt Nancy promptly undertook to go.

The freshet had swept away all the boats, but to Aunt Nancy this was
a trifling matter. She found a few logs, tied them together with
grapevines, and on this raft made the voyage across the river. She
gathered the necessary information, and made haste to communicate it to
the Georgia troops.

Aunt Nancy was the mother of eight children,--six sons and two
daughters. Her eldest daughter, Sally, married a man named Thompson,
who was as quicktempered as his mother-in-law. After the war, Aunt Nancy
moved to Brunswick. Sally and her husband followed a year or two later.
In passing through Burke County, they camped for the night by the
roadside. The next morning Thompson ordered a white man, who had been
hired as a teamster, to perform some duty. Thompson's tone was so
peremptory that the man returned an insolent answer, and refused. In a
fit of rage, Thompson drew his sword, and severed the man's head from
his body with one swinging stroke. He then drove the team himself until
he came to the first house, where he gave information that he had cut
off a fellow's head at the camp down the road, and that they "had best
go and bury him." He then drove on, but was overtaken, arrested,
and lodged in jail at Waynesboro. As soon as Aunt Nancy heard of the
trouble, she made her appearance in the upcountry again. Within a few
days after her return, the jail was found open one morning, and
Thompson was gone. Speaking of this afterwards, Aunt Nancy was heard to

"Drat 'em! that's the way with 'em all. When they get into trouble, they
always send for me!"

Not long after this episode, Mr. Benjamin Hart died. Aunt Nancy mourned
his loss for a while, and then married a young man. Then, as the saying
is, she "pulled up stakes," and moved to what is now the State of
Alabama, on the Tombigbee. There she had the French and the Spaniards
for neighbors, and she felt at home with neither race. She was bluntly,
emphatically, and unaffectedly American. To add to her troubles, a big
rain flooded the river, destroyed her crops, and surrounded her house.
This, with the French and Spaniards, was too much for her. She returned
to Georgia, but, finding her old home occupied by others, she settled in
Edgefield, S.C.

A Methodist society was formed in her neighborhood, and its influence
became so active that Aunt Nancy's conscience began to trouble her. She
listened to the preaching of the Word from a distance until she became
worried about her future state. She went to the meetinghouse, but found
the door closed against intruders. The deacon and members were holding
a class meeting. The closed door was no obstacle to Aunt Nancy. She cut
the fastening and walked in without ceremony. Once in, she found what
she wanted. She became an enthusiastic Methodist, and is said to have
fought Satan and sin as manfully as she fought the Tories and the

When Governor George R. Gilmer of Georgia was in Congress, in 1828-29,
the members were very anxious to attract the notice of General Jackson,
who had been elected President. A proposal was made to fill the vacant
niches in the rotunda with paintings descriptive of the battle of New
Orleans and the general's other victories. Governor Gilmer offered as an
amendment a resolution to fill one of the niches with a painting of Aunt
Nancy Hart wading Broad River, her petticoats held up with one hand,
a musket in the other, and driving three Tories before her, to deliver
them up to Colonel Elijah Clarke.

Governor Gilmer's proposition was a more sensible one than he intended
it to be. Georgia has perpetuated Aunt Nancy's name by calling a county
after her; but the Republic owes something to her memory.


The pen of the historian is not always as impartial as it should be. It
has its spites and prejudices; and it frequently happens that the men
who wield the pen with which history is written, have their whims,
their likes, and their dislikes. It is certain that two of the hardest
fighters in the War for Independence--two of the most distinguished
officers that Georgia gave to the cause--have had tardy justice done
to their valor. The names of these men are General James Jackson and
General Elijah Clarke. The independence and the individuality of these
men stand clearly out in all the records that we have of them, and it
is no doubt true that these qualities made them to some degree unpopular
with those who inspired the early chroniclers of the Revolution in the
South. Neither of these officers was capable of currying favor with his
superiors, or of doing injustice to the humblest of his comrades. They
were not seekers after the bubble reputation, but had their minds and
all their energies bent on liberating Georgia and her sister Colonies.

General James Jackson was born in the county of Devon, England. He
came to this country in 1772, landing at Savannah penniless and almost
friendless. He began the study of law; but when the Liberty Boys began
their movement for resisting British oppression, he placed his books
on their shelves, and gave himself entirely to the cause of the people.
When only nineteen years old, he was one of the volunteers that fired
the British armed vessels sent to attack Savannah by water, while Major
Maitland and Major Grant attacked it by land. The crews of these vessels
were compelled to escape without their clothes and arms. General Jackson
served in the lower part of Georgia until the fall of Savannah in 1778,
when he and his friend John Milledge made their way to the patriot
troops, commanded by General Moultrie. Such was the condition of these
men, both of whom afterwards became governors of Georgia, that they
were compelled to make the greater part of their journey barefoot and in
rags. Their appearance was so much against them that they were arrested
as spies by some American soldiers, and would have been hanged but for
the timely arrival of a gentleman who knew them.

General Jackson was at the siege of Savannah, and, after the disastrous
result of that affair, returned to South Carolina. The victory of the
Americans at Blackstock's House, in South Carolina, was almost wholly
due to the Georgians who were there. Sumter commanded at the beginning
of the action, but a severe wound compelled him to retire from the
field. The command then devolved upon the oldest Georgia officer,
General John Twiggs, who was assisted by Jackson, Clarke, and Chandler.
In this engagement Tarleton, the famous leader of the British dragoons,
was defeated for the first time, and he was never able to recover the
prestige he had lost. Tarleton fled from the field, and Jackson was
ordered to pursue him. It was owing only to the fleetness of his horse
that Tarleton escaped.

[Illustration: General James Jackson 093]

At the battle of The Cow-pens, Jackson again distinguished himself.
"Major Jackson," says General Andrew Pickens, "by his example, and firm,
active conduct, did much to animate the soldiers and insure the success
of the day. He ran the utmost risk of his life in seizing the colors of
the 71st British Regiment, and afterwards introducing Major Mc-Arthur,
commanding officer of the British Infantry, as a prisoner of war to
General Morgan." His services brought him to the attention of General
Greene, and he was sent on a tour of difficult duty through North
Carolina. He was so successful in this, that the commanding general
authorized him to raise a partisan legion of infantry and cavalry for
service in Georgia. By means of his native eloquence, which was said
to be almost irresistible, he succeeded in raising the legion in a very
short time. Wherever he addressed the people, there were loud cries of
"Liberty and Jackson forever!" When his legion had been organized, he
was appointed lieutenant colonel. His dragoons were clothed and armed by
themselves, with the exception of their pistols. Their coats were made
of dressed deerskins, and faced with the little blue that could be

Just before the siege of Augusta, Jackson was called upon to employ
his eloquence in preventing the militia from giving up in despair
and returning to their homes. These men were utterly worn out. Being
ignorant men, they could see no ray of hope. They lacked every necessary
of life. Jackson roused their drooping spirits, restored their hopes,
and revived their old-time enthusiasm. At the siege of Augusta these men
fought fiercely. Jackson himself led one of the advance parties. After
the surrender of the town, he was ordered to level the fortifications,
and he was appointed commandant. He was afterwards ordered to take
position midway between Augusta and Savannah. While he held this
position, a conspiracy was formed in the infantry to kill him in
his bed. A soldier named Davis, who waited in the commander's tent,
suspected that something was wrong. So he mingled among the men, and
applied many harsh epithets to Jackson. Thinking to make Davis useful to
them, the conspirators told him their plans, which he made haste to lay
before his superior officer. Shortly afterwards the infantry were drawn
up in line, and the ringleaders in the conspiracy arrested, tried, and

After the war the Legislature gave Davis a horse, saddle, and bridle,
and five hundred acres of land, as a reward for his fidelity.

Jackson was with General Wayne in his Georgia campaign, and was
intrusted by him with many hazardous duties. When Savannah surrendered,
General Wayne issued an order in which he said, "Lieutenant Colonel
Jackson, in consideration of his severe and fatiguing service in the
advance, is to receive the key of Savannah, and is allowed to enter the
western gate."

In 1786, Jackson was made brigadier general, and had command of the
forces operating against the Indians. Between 1788 and 1806 General
Jackson held almost every high office within the gift of the people of
the State,--member of the Legislature, governor when only thirty-one
years old, member of the first Congress held under the Federal
Constitution, member of the State Constitutional Convention,
presidential elector, and United States senator.

With General Jackson in many of his engagements was General Elijah
Clarke, who in many respects was the most remarkable soldier
that Georgia contributed to the War for Independence. With fairer
opportunities than he had, he would have made a great commander. He had
small knowledge of tactics, but he had what is better,--the skill to
take advantage of quickly passing events, and the coolness that made him
complete master of all his resources. He was a man of the most striking
characteristics, and he came out of the war with many bitter enemies
among those with whom he came in contact. This feeling was perpetuated
by the political campaigns in which his son, John Clarke, took part
after the war. A trace of this is to be seen in the sketch which
Governor Gilmer gives to Elijah Clarke in his curious book entitled
"Georgians." It is undoubtedly true that Elijah Clarke was ignorant of
what is called book knowledge, but he was not much worse off in this
respect than the famous Confederate General Forrest, who is thought by
some high military critics to have been the most remarkable commander
on the Southern side in the civil war. Elijah Clarke, as well as General
Forrest, had something that served them a better turn than a mere
knowledge of books. They had a thorough knowledge of men, and a quick
eye for the situations that follow each other so rapidly in a skirmish
or battle.

[Illustration: Elijah Clarke 097]

Elijah Clarke was born in North Carolina, but moved to Georgia in 1774.
He was among the first of the inhabitants of Upper Georgia to take
up the cause of American independence; and his example, for he was a
notable man even in private life, did much to solidify and strengthen
those who leaned to that cause. When the British troops marched from the
coast into Upper Georgia, Elijah thought the time had come to take
his gun from the rack over the door, and make at least some show of
resistance. His courage, and the firmness and decision of his character,
made him the natural leader of those of his neighbors whose sympathies
were with the Liberty Boys in other parts of the State, and he soon
found himself a commander without commission or title. He cared less
for these things than for the principles of liberty for which he was

For a while Elijah Clarke and his followers fought as partisan rangers,
but he soon drew around him a compact and disciplined body of men who
were ready to go wherever he might lead them. He did not confine his
efforts to his new neighborhood We hear of him with Howe's ill-fated
expedition against East Florida, where, at Alligator Creek, he was asked
to perform the impossible feat of storming with a troop of horse a camp
intrenched behind logs and brushwood. He was no doubt amazed at the
stupidity of General Howe in issuing such an order, but he attempted to
carry it out with his usual courage. He did succeed in floundering over
the logs with his troops, but he came to a ditch that was too wide for
his horses to leap, and too deep to be ridden through. At this moment he
and his men were saluted with a heavy fire from the enemy, and they were
compelled to retire in confusion. In this attempt Elijah Clarke was shot
through the thigh. Later he was in South Carolina, at Blackstocks, and
at The Cowpens.

In some quarters an effort has been made to blacken the reputation of
General Clarke by comparing his treatment of the Tories with the mild
and humane policy pursued by Francis Marion. There was, indeed, some
misunderstanding between the two men in regard to the methods that might
be adopted. The policy of Marion was undoubtedly the correct one, so far
as South Carolina was concerned; but if the Tories in that Province had
been guilty of the crimes committed by their brethren in Wilkes and the
surrounding region, General Marion's policy would not have been very
different from that of General Clarke. The Tories with whom Clarke was
familiar were guilty of murder, rapine, pillage, and incendiarism. The
Tories in South Carolina were kept under by the presence of Marion and
his men. Clarke went wherever his services were needed; and during his
absence, the Tories of the Broad River region were free to commit
every excess. Marion refused to leave the region where he made his name
famous, and thus kept the Tories in constant fear and dread.

Who shall say that Marion would not have been as ready to exterminate
the Tories as Clarke was, or that Clarke would not have been as humane
as Marion, if each of these distinguished patriots had been in the
other's place?

At the battle of Kettle Creek, in what is now Wilkes County, Elijah
Clarke distinguished himself by his readiness and skill as a commander.
The Americans under Colonel Pickens were in pursuit of the British under
Colonel Boyd. Their line of march was the order of battle, and following
the vanguard came the right and left wings. The left wing was commanded
by Elijah Clarke. The center was led by Colonel Pickens, who was in
command of the expedition. Colonel Boyd, the British commander, appeared
to be unconscious of pursuit. He had halted on a farm on the north side
of Kettle Creek. His horses were left to forage on the young cane that
grew on the edge of the swamp; and his men were slaying cattle and
parching corn, preparing for a feast after their short rations. The
British encampment was formed near the creek, on a piece of open ground
flanked on two sides by a canebrake. Colonel Boyd was in utter ignorance
of the approach of the Americans, who advanced at once to the attack.
The British colonel formed his line in the rear of his encampment, and
there received the assault. The battle was hotly contested for more than
an hour, and then the Tories retreated through the swamp.

Elijah Clarke, seeing a piece of rising ground on the farther side
of the creek, on which he suspected the Loyalists would try to form,
ordered the left wing to follow him, and was about to cross the stream
when his horse was shot under him. Mounting another, he soon crossed
the creek, followed by not more than a fourth of his division. There had
been some mistake in sending the order along the line. Clarke gained the
hill that had attracted his eye just in time to attack Major Spurgen, a
brave British officer, who was forming his command. The firing attracted
the notice of the rest of Clarke's division, and they soon joined their
leader. Pickens and Dooly also pressed through the swamp, and the battle
was renewed with great vigor. For a while the result was in doubt,
but at the end the Americans held the hill. The Tories fled in all
directions, leaving seventy dead on the field, and seventy-five wounded
and captured. Of the Americans, nine were slain, and twenty-three
wounded. To Elijah Clarke must be given the credit for this victory,
which, coming at the time it did, revived the hopes and courage of the
Liberty Boys in all parts of the country.

The Tories, on the other hand, were so depressed by it, that many
of them left that part of the State, and those who remained became
comparatively quiet. The situation was so encouraging, that many of the
people of Georgia, who had been driven from their homes by the cruelty
of the Tories, returned with their families. They were not long left in
peace, however. The British and the Tories had their active agents among
the Creeks and Cherokees, urging these tribes to take up arms and attack
the Americans. In view of this, Clarke was sent to guard the frontier
forts. Then the Tories again began to pillage and devastate the Broad
River region. Some of the crimes they committed would have disgraced
savages. Clarke's house was burned, and his family ordered to leave
the State. Mrs. Clarke and her two daughters started on their perilous
journey with nothing but a small pony of little value, and even this was
taken from them before they had gone very far. This only served to renew
the activity of Clarke in behalf of the American cause. He defeated
the Tories wherever he met them; and if he gave them no quarter, it was
because they had shown no mercy to the Americans. The savage character
of the warfare waged by the Tories against men, women, and children,
must ever stand as an explanation and as an excuse for the fierce spirit
displayed by Clarke and the Americans who lived in the Broad River

In the battle near Musgrove's Mill, Clarke defeated the British, killing
sixty-three men, and wounding and capturing one hundred. During the
battle he was twice severely wounded on the head and neck; and once he
was surrounded by the enemy, captured, and placed in charge of two men.
One of these he knocked down with a blow of his fist, and the other
fled. At one time, acting without orders, he was near taking Augusta,
and was only prevented by the desire of his men to see their families.
After this he returned to Wilkes County, where he was compelled to take
under his protection nearly four hundred women and children who had been
driven from their homes by the savage Tories. He resolved to carry
these to a place of safety, and, with a sufficient guard, set out for
Kentucky. Cornwallis, hearing of this movement, and taking for granted
that it was a retreat, sent one hundred men under Captain Ferguson to
cut Clarke off, the supposition being that the great partisan fighter
would march through South Carolina, but he had re-crossed the mountains
in the Piedmont region. Hearing of this movement, Clarke detached
Major Chandler and Captain Johnston with thirty men to take part in
the operations against Ferguson. Thus it was the pursuit of Clarke that
brought on the memorable battle of Kings Mountain, which resulted in
a great victory for the cause of American independence; and although
Clarke was not there in person, his heroic spirit animated the brave men
who won the day.

He was the first to teach the militia to stand against the bayonets of
the British; and at Blackstocks, in South Carolina, at the head of his
Wilkes riflemen, he charged and drove the British light infantry in an
open field,--a movement that turned the enemy's right flank, and insured
the victory of the Americans. At the siege of Augusta, Clarke had
anticipated the movement of Colonel "Light Horse Harry" Lee, and had
confined the British garrison to their works for weeks before Colonel
Lee's arrival.

At the close of the Revolution, Clarke led the movement against the
Indians. He defeated the Creeks in the battle of Jacks Creek. After
peace was declared, Clarke, who had been made a general by a grateful
State, settled on lands that had been reserved to the Indians. For this
he has been criticised very severely; but it is curious that the policy
for which he was attacked, shortly afterwards became the policy of the
whole people. The States and the United States have made treaties
with the Indians, only to break them. Having personal knowledge of the
Indians, and having been made the victim of some of their raids, he had
no respect for them or for their rights. To this view the whole country
afterwards came, and the red men disappeared before it.

It will be well to bear in mind, that, whatever failings he may have
had, there was not a more heroic figure in the Revolution than General
Elijah Clarke.


[Illustration: A War of Extermination 104]

Some of the barbarous features of the Revolutionary War in Georgia have
been briefly noted.

History has turned her eyes away from the more horrible details; but
by reading between the lines, and taking advantage of the hints and
suggestions, it is not hard to get a tolerably fair idea of the methods
that were pursued on both sides. Even Colonel Charles C. Jones, jun.,
whose "History of Georgia" is thus far the most complete that has been
written, touches lightly on the cruelties practiced in the efforts of
the British and Tories to wrest Upper Georgia from the control of the
Americans. There are matters that History cannot deal with and maintain
her dignity.

There can be no doubt that the British and the Tories began their
cruelties without considering the results to which their acts would
lead. It is an easy matter at this late day to see how naturally the
war, in the region tributary to Augusta, degenerated into a series of
crimes and barbarities foul enough to cause History to hold her hands
before her eyes. When Colonel Campbell, assisted by Colonel Brown,
advanced to attack Augusta, it was the only American post that had
not surrendered to the King's men, and its capture would complete the
subjugation of Georgia from a military point of view. The city fell
without a struggle, and the American forces retreated across the river.
It was natural that the British, and the Tories who were acting with
them, should take advantage of this victory to bring the whole region
above and around Augusta to terms. The sooner this was done, the sooner
would all Georgia be restored to her relations with his Majesty George
III. No time was to be lost. Therefore Colonel Campbell, the British
commander, tarried in Augusta but a few days. He left Colonel Brown
in charge, and marched in the direction of Wilkes County. Those of the
inhabitants who had Tory sympathies were to be encouraged; but those who
were disaffected were to be dealt with summarily, so as to put an end,
at once and forever, to the disloyalty that had been active in that
region. This plan was carried out promptly and violently. The severest
punishment was the portion of those who refused to take the oath of
allegiance. Plunder and the torch were the portions of those who chanced
to be away from home, fighting for their country. Their helpless
wives and children were left homeless, and destitute of provisions.
Fortunately a great many stanch Liberty Boys had carried their families,
their household effects, and their cattle, into South Carolina as soon
as they heard of the fall of Augusta; but many had remained at home, and
the sufferings of these were severe.

Another explanation of the extreme cruelty with which the war in Upper
Georgia was waged after the fall of Augusta, was the fact that Colonel
Brown, who had been left in command by Colonel Campbell, had some old
scores to settle. At the very beginning of the struggle he had been
arrested in Augusta by some of the Liberty Boys, tarred and feathered,
and paraded through the public streets, on account of his outspoken
loyalty to the King. Still another reason was the fact that Daniel
McGirth, who had been maltreated by an American officer, was among the
officers who had accompanied Colonel Brown. McGirth held every American
responsible for the treatment he had received, and he spared few that
fell into his hands. Thus, between the anxiety of the British to conquer
Georgia completely, and the desires of Brown and McGirth to revenge
themselves, the Americans in Upper Georgia were made the victims of the
most inhuman barbarities.

The Americans under Elijah Clarke lost no time in retaliating, and
thus was begun a contest that may be aptly described as a war of
extermination. Clarke was enabled to defeat the British and the Tories
wherever they opposed him on anything like equal terms, and this fact
added to the rigor with which they treated the Americans who were so
unfortunate as to fall into their hands. Shortly after the affair at
Musgrove's Mill, in which Clarke defeated the British and the Tories,
Lord Cornwallis addressed a circular letter to the officers commanding
the advanced posts. He declared, "The inhabitants of the Provinces who
have subscribed to and taken part in this revolt shall be punished
with the utmost rigor; and also those who will not turn out shall be
imprisoned, and their whole property taken from them or destroyed. I
have ordered," he goes on to say, "in the most positive manner, that
every militiaman who has borne arms with us, and afterwards joined the
enemy, shall be immediately hanged. I desire you will take the most
vigorous measures to punish the rebels in the district in which you
command, and that you obey in the strictest manner the directions I have
given in this letter relative to the inhabitants in this country."

Here was authority broad enough to cover every crime that the British
and the Tories might see fit to commit, and they stretched it to the
utmost limit. They burned houses and destroyed property. They insulted
and inhumanly treated women and children. They hanged the innocent. They
went about the country practicing every barbarity that their savage and
bloodthirsty natures could suggest. It was no wonder that the Americans
retaliated whenever they had the opportunity. It was no wonder that
Elijah Clarke, naturally independent and irritable, should fail to see
the justice or necessity of treating the Tories he captured as prisoners
of war.

The situation of the Americans became so serious that Clarke determined
to strike a heavy blow. He returned from Carolina to Wilkes County in
September, 1780, and in two days succeeded in placing in the field
three hundred and fifty men. With this force, strengthened by eighty men
recruited in Carolina, he boldly marched on Augusta. The movement was so
unexpected, that, but for the fact that the advance guard fell in with
an Indian camp which it was compelled to attack, Colonel Brown would
have been taken completely by surprise. But the retreating Indians gave
him notice, and he took refuge with his command in a strong building
known as the White House. The siege began on the 14th. By daylight on
the 16th Clarke had succeeded in cutting the garrison off from its water
supply. The sufferings of the men, especially the wounded, became most
intense. The Americans could hear their cries for water and for medical
aid. Brown appears to have been as brave as he was cruel. Though he was
shot through both thighs, he remained at the head of his men; and his
great courage sustained the spirits of his followers. Clarke summoned
him to surrender on the 17th. He not only refused, but warned the
American commander that the demonstration he was making against the
King's men would bring destruction to the western part of Georgia.

Meanwhile some of Clarke's men had gone to visit their families, and
others were more interested in securing plunder than in forwarding
the cause of independence. Colonel Brown, as soon as he heard of the
approach of the Americans, had sent several messengers by different
routes to inform Colonel Cruger of the state of affairs. Cruger, who was
in Carolina at Ninety-six, promptly set his men in motion, and on the
morning of the 18th appeared on the bank of the Savannah, opposite
Augusta. Under the circumstances, Clarke was compelled to retreat. He
had suffered a loss of sixty, killed and wounded. In retreating, he was
compelled to leave twenty-nine of his wounded men behind. Among these
was Captain Ashby, one of the bravest and most humane of the officers
of the American army. This unfortunate officer and the men with him fell
into the hands of the enemy. Colonel Brown was so severely wounded that
he was unable to move about; so he ordered Captain Ashby and twelve of
the wounded prisoners to be hanged on the staircase of the White House,
where he might see their sufferings and gloat over their agonies. These
men were cruelly strangled before Brown's eyes. But their fate was a
happy one compared with that of their wounded companions. Those men were
turned over to the red savages, who were the allies of the British. The
Indians received the prisoners with howls of delight, and began at once
to torture them in every conceivable way. They formed a circle, and
marched around the Americans, cutting and slashing them with their
knives. The end of the unfortunates was most horrible. They were ripped
with knives, scalped, and then burned. No doubt, Colonel Brown enjoyed
this scene more thoroughly than he did the tame and commonplace
spectacle of strangling Captain Ashby and his companions.

Before raising the siege, Elijah Clarke paroled the officers and men
whom he had captured,--fifty-six men, all told. This fact is mentioned
to show that the Georgia militia had not then begun those acts of
retaliation which have attracted the notice of historians. They had
had, as we know, abundant provocation; but after the horrible crimes
perpetrated by Brown reached their ears, they threw off all restraint.
Self-preservation is the first law of nature, and the men who acted
with Elijah Clarke thought that the best way to preserve the lives of
themselves and their families was to destroy the Tories as fast as they
caught them. The fact is chronicled by Colonel Jones, and it is worth
noting, that the officers and men paroled by Clarke, in utter disregard
of their obligations, took up their arms as soon as the Americans
had departed. The probability is that they were driven to this by the
commands of Brown.

It is well known, that, as soon as Clarke and his men had retreated,
Colonel Brown sent detachments of troops in all directions, with orders
to arrest all persons who had taken part in the siege, or who had
sympathized with the efforts of the Americans to recapture Augusta.
Under this sweeping order, men of all ages and conditions were dragged
from their homes and thrown into prison. Those who were suspected of
taking part in the siege, or of belonging to Clarke's command, were
seized and hanged out of hand. Old men, no longer able to bear arms,
were imprisoned for welcoming the return of members of their families
who had fought on the American side. One instance out of many that
might be cited was the arrest of the father of Captains Samuel and
James Alexander. In the seventy-eighth year of his age, this old man
was arrested at his home, tied to the tail of a cart, and dragged forty
miles in two days. When caught leaning against the cart to rest his
feeble limbs, he was whipped by the driver. It was at this time that
in the region round about Augusta the hopes of the patriots grew very
faint. The women and children assembled, and begged Elijah Clarke to
take them out of the country; and in response to the appeals of these
defenseless ones, he undertook the movement that culminated in the
glorious victory of Kings Mountain.

[Illustration: Old man whipped at the tail of a cart 111]

The winter of 1780 was the darkest hour of the Revolution in Upper
Georgia. There was no trade. Farming was at a low ebb. The schoolhouses
were closed. Many of the patriots had carried off their families.
Many had gone with Elijah Clarke to Kentucky. The patriots had betaken
themselves to South Carolina, though the services they rendered there
have been slurred over by the historians of that State.

When General Greene began his Southern campaign, and gradually rid South
Carolina of the British and the Tory element, the patriots of Upper
Georgia ventured to return to their homes. Captain McCall, who was among
them, says, in his history, that they returned in parties of ten and
twelve, so as to attract as little attention as possible. They appointed
Dennis's Mill, on Little River, as a place of meeting. "When these small
parties entered the settlements where they had formerly lived," says
Captain McCall, "general devastation was presented to view; their aged
fathers and their youthful brothers had been murdered; their decrepit
grandfathers were incarcerated in prisons where most of them had been
suffered to perish in filth, famine, or disease; and their mothers,
wives, sisters, and young children had been robbed, insulted, and
abused, and were found by them in temporary huts more resembling a
savage camp than a civilized habitation." Though Captain McCall was
an eyewitness of some of the scenes he describes, the picture he draws
might seem to be too highly colored were it not supplemented by a great
mass of evidence. One more instance out of many may be given. In a
skirmish with the Americans under Colonel Harden, Brown captured several
prisoners. Among them was a youth only seventeen years old named Rannal
McKay, the son of a widow who was a refugee from Darien. Being told that
her son was a prisoner in the hands of Brown, Widow McKay, providing
herself with some refreshments that she thought might suit the taste of
the British commander, went to Brown's headquarters, and begged that
her son might be set free. The cruel wretch accepted the present she
had brought him, but refused even to let her see her son, and caused the
sentinels to put her out of the camp by force. Next day young McKay and
four other prisoners were taken out of the rail pen in which they had
been confined. By Brown's order they were hanged upon a gallows until
they were nearly strangled. They were then cut down and turned over to
the tender mercies of the Indians, by whom they were mutilated, scalped,
and finally murdered in the most savage manner.

The cruelty of Colonel Brown and the Tories acting under him was so
unbearable that the patriots of that region felt that their existence
depended on the capture of Augusta. They decided on an aggressive
movement when they met again at Dennis's Mill, on Little River.

Colonel Clarke, who was suffering from the results of smallpox, was
too feeble to lead them. His place was taken for the time by Lieutenant
Colonel Micajah Williamson; and on the 16th of April, 1781, the
Americans moved to the vicinity of Augusta. They were there reënforced
by a detachment from southern Georgia under Colonel Baker, and by a
number of recruits from Burke County. A few days afterwards they were
joined by some Carolina militiamen under Colonel Hammond and Major

With this force, Colonel Williamson took up a position twelve hundred
yards from the British works, and fortified his camp. The Americans were
compelled to wait nearly a month for the aid they expected from General
Greene. The militia, worn out with waiting for the reënforcements, were
about to withdraw from the camp in despair, when Jackson, that truly
great Georgian, made them an address full of the most passionate and
patriotic eloquence, and this appeal changed their purpose. Jackson's
voice was afterwards heard in the halls of Congress; but we may be sure
that he was never more in earnest or more truly eloquent than when he
pleaded with the faint-hearted Americans to stand to their cause and
their arms. Jackson's address revived their courage; and when, on
the 15th of May, Elijah Clarke rode into camp, restored to health
and accompanied by one hundred fresh recruits, the confidence of the
militiamen was fully renewed.

It was at this time that General Pickens and "Light Horse Harry" Lee
(the father of General Robert E. Lee) were ordered by General Greene to
march on Augusta and capture that post When Lee reached the neighborhood
of Augusta, he learned, from a party of light horse which he had sent on
ahead to collect prisoners and gain information, that the annual royal
present intended for the Indians had arrived at Fort Galphin, some
distance below Augusta. The present comprised blankets, liquor, salt,
small arms, powder, and ball. There was a great lack of these articles
in the American camp, and Lee resolved to capture them. The supplies
were so valuable, that Brown, the British commander, had sent two
companies from Augusta to garrison Fort Galphin. This was the situation
when "Light Horse Harry" arrived on the ground. The British in Augusta
had not yet discovered his approach, and promptness was necessary.
Leaving Eaton's battalion, the artillery, and the footsore men of the
legion, to follow more slowly, Lee mounted a detachment of infantry
behind his dragoons, and made a forced march to Fort Galphin.

This point he reached on the 21st of May, 1781. The weather was
extremely hot, and for miles the troopers and their horses had been
unable to find a drop of water: consequently neither the men nor the
animals were in a condition to make the attack when the command was
brought to a halt under the pines that skirted the field surrounding
the fort. The British within the fort were resting quietly, and were
not aware that an enemy was at hand. A prompt and decisive movement was
necessary; and when his men and horses had rested a little while, Lee
dismounted the militiamen he had brought with him, and ordered them to
make a demonstration against the fort on the side opposite the position
he had taken. This famous commander reasoned, that, as soon as the
militiamen appeared before the fort, the garrison would sally from the
stockade. The militia would retreat, the garrison pursuing, and he would
seize upon that moment to assault and capture the post left defenseless.
To carry out this plan, Captain Rudolph (who was supposed to be some
great general in disguise), with a detachment of picked infantry, was
held in readiness to rush upon the fort; while the rest of the troops,
supported by the dragoons, were placed where they could shield the
militia from the pursuit of the British.

The affair took place just as Lee had foreseen. The garrison sallied out
to the attack. The militia, before making a show of resistance, began
a retreat. The garrison gave pursuit. Captain Rudolph dashed across the
field, and captured the fort without any trouble, The end came, when the
militia rallied, and the foot soldiers and dragoons closed around the
soldiers of the garrison. During the engagement the Americans lost one
man from sunstroke. The enemy lost only three or four men. The rest,
together with the valuable stores in the stockade, fell into the hands
of the patriots.

Following this successful affair, which was of more importance than it
seems now to be, Lee formed a junction with General Pickens; and these
two then joined their forces with those of Clarke, who commanded the
Georgia militia, and the siege of Augusta began. The first movement
was the capture of Fort Grierson, so called in honor of the man who
commanded its garrison. Grierson, hard pressed, threw open the gates of
the fort, and endeavored to escape. Thirty of his men were killed, and
forty-five wounded and captured. Grierson was made a prisoner, but was
killed by a Georgia rifleman. He was as cruel and vindictive as Brown
himself. He was a monster who had made himself odious to the followers
of Clarke. In his history, Captain McCall strongly hints that Grierson
was shot by one of the sons of the aged Mr. Alexander, who had been made
prisoner and dragged to Augusta tied to the tail of a cart. A reward
was offered for information that would lead to the arrest of the man who
shot Grierson, but the reward was never claimed. The whole army probably
knew who had fired the fatal shot, and no doubt the commanders knew,
but their knowledge was not official. No further notice was taken of the

The capture of Fort Grierson cheered the hearts of the besiegers, and
gave them renewed courage. Fort Cornwallis was next invested. This
stronghold was commanded by Colonel Brown himself, who was as bold as
he was cruel. He was mean enough to expose to the American fire the aged
Mr. Alexander and other unfortunate patriots who had long been held as
prisoners. Captain Samuel Alexander commanded one of the companies close
to the fort, and could see and recognize his venerable father, who had
been placed in an exposed position by Brown.

It is not necessary to describe all the events of the siege. Brown held
out as long as he could, but was finally compelled to surrender. On the
5th of June, 1781, Brown, with three hundred men, marched out of Fort
Cornwallis, and that stronghold was immediately taken possession of by
Captain Rudolph. A strong guard was detailed by the American commanders,
to protect Brown from the just anger of the Georgia soldiers, under
Clarke, Williamson, and Jackson. To insure his safety, he was carried
to the quarters of "Light Horse Harry" Lee. The next day he and a few of
his officers were paroled and sent down the river in charge of a party
of infantry instructed to guard him. Ramsay, in his "History of the
Revolution of South Carolina," says that Brown was recognized at Silver
Bluff by Mrs. McKay, who thus addressed him: "Colonel Brown, in the late
day of your prosperity I visited your camp, and on my knees supplicated
for the life of my son; but you were deaf to my entreaties. You hanged
him, though a beardless youth, before my face. These eyes have seen him
scalped by the savages under your immediate command, and for no better
reason than that his name was McKay. As you are now prisoner to the
leaders of my country, for the present I lay aside all thoughts of
revenge; but when you resume your sword, I will go five hundred miles to
demand satisfaction at the point of it, for the murder of my son." The
probability is that Mrs. McKay used no such stately language. No doubt
she walked up to Brown, shook her finger in his face, and exclaimed,
"You miserable villain! I can't get at you now; but if the day ever
comes, I'll flay you alive for the murder of my poor boy."

The fall of Augusta was received with rejoicings by the patriots
everywhere, and the British and the Tories were correspondingly
depressed. Men who had been overawed by the cruelty of the Tories, now
came out boldly for the cause of independence, and the forces of the
Americans were rapidly strengthened. Preparations were made for an
aggressive campaign in Georgia by the Liberty Boys; and in this purpose
they had the active aid and sympathy of General Greene, whose skill and
ability as a commander were not greater than the wisdom he displayed in
dealing with the people.

In January, 1782, General Greene ordered General Anthony Wayne to take
charge of the campaign in Georgia. At the same time he wrote a letter
to Governor Martin that displays better than any document now extant
the sagacity and conservatism that were the basis of General Greene's
character and the source of his great success as a commander. "I cannot
help recommending to your Excellency," he wrote to the governor of
Georgia, "to open a door for the disaffected in your State to come
in, with particular exceptions. It is better to save than to destroy,
especially when we are obliged to expose good men to destroy bad. It
is always dangerous to push people to a state of desperation; and the
satisfaction of revenge has but a momentary existence, and is commonly
succeeded by pity and remorse. The practice of plundering, which, I am
told, has been too much indulged with you, is very destructive to the
morals and manners of the people. Habits and dispositions founded
on this practice soon grow obstinate, and are difficult to restrain;
indeed, it is the most direct way of undermining all government, and,
never fails to bring the laws into contempt, for people will not stop at
the barriers which were first intended to bound them after having tasted
the sweets of possessing property by the easy mode of plunder. The
preservation of morals and an encouragement to honest industry should be
the first objects of government. Plundering is the destruction of both.
I wish the cause of liberty may never be tarnished with inhumanity, nor
the morals of people bartered in exchange for wealth." This letter was
intended to put an end to the war of extermination that the Tories of
Upper Georgia had begun, and to prevent the patriots from carrying out
their plans of revenge. The letter did great good. It was turned over
to the Legislature by the governor, and thus made public; and its
sentiments were taken to heart by hundreds who had suffered the most
cruel wrongs at the hands of the Tories. General Greene's letter was
also made the basis of two proclamations, both issued by the governor
after conference with General Wayne. One opened the door to disaffected
Georgians who might desire to return to the ranks of the republicans,
and the other was addressed to the Hessian troops who had already
begun to sympathize with the Salzburghers at Ebenezer. Stevens, in his
"History of Georgia," says that many citizens who had been compelled
from various reasons to seek protection under the British Government,
and who had even joined the armies of the enemy, took advantage of the
proclamation which referred to them, returned to their State allegiance,
and joined the forces of General Wayne, where they proved their
sincerity by making the most zealous efforts to merit the pardon and
protection that had been promised them by the governor.

After a brilliant campaign, lasting from January to July, 1782, General
Wayne, assisted by Elijah Clarke, James Jackson, and other bold spirits
who had never suffered the fires of liberty to go out in Georgia,
cleared the State of the British. Savannah was occupied on the 11th of
July, the keys having been surrendered to James Jackson. This was the
end of British rule in Georgia.


[Illustration: A Negro Patriot 122]

Along with the emigrants from North Carolina who first settled Wilkes
County, there came a man named Aycock. He brought with him a mulatto boy
named Austin. This boy passed as Aycock's slave; but when the conflict
between the Liberty Boys and the Tories in that part of the country
became desperate,--when the patriots were fighting for their lives as
well as for the liberties of their country,--Aycock's neighbors called
on him to do his part. According to all accounts, Aycock was not much
of a warrior. His sympathies were with his liberty-loving neighbors;
but his enthusiasm did not invite him to expose himself to the fire of
musketry. It is said that he joined the neighbors, and strove to be a
faithful militiaman, but he was in a state of constant fear. Governor
Gilmer says of Aycock, that, from the time he was required to fight, he
saw a terrible Tory constantly pointing a loaded gun at him. His alarm
finally became so extreme that he offered as his substitute the mulatto
boy Austin, who had then grown to be a stout and serviceable lad.

Objection was made that Austin was a slave, and could not therefore be
received as a soldier. At this, Aycock acknowledged that Austin was no
slave; that, although he was a mulatto, he had been born free. This fact
was made so clear to the patriots, that they willingly received Austin
as a soldier, and he was mustered into the service under the name of
Austin Dabney. He fought under Elijah Clarke, being under the command of
Colonel John Dooly, who was afterwards so foully murdered by the Tories.
Of all the brave men that fought under the heroic Clarke, there was none
braver than Austin Dabney, none that did better service.

He was in the battle of Kettle Creek, and was foremost among those who
followed Clarke. Toward the close of this the bloodiest battle fought in
Georgia between the patriots and Tories, Austin Dabney was shot through
the thigh, and so dangerously wounded that he became a cripple for life.
He was taken by his comrades to the house of a Mr. Harris, where he was
carefully nursed until his wound healed. He was not able to do military
duty after that, but he devoted himself to Harris and his family more
faithfully than any slave could have done. It may be said of him that
gratitude became the ruling passion of his heart.

After the Americans had won their independence, and peace with it,
Austin Dabney became prosperous. Being a quick-witted man, with an
instinct for business, he accumulated property. He finally moved to
Madison County, taking with him his benefactor and family, to whose
wants and desires he continued to minister with as much devotion as he
displayed at the beginning of his service. It was in Madison County
that Austin Dabney became noted for his fondness for horse-racing. He
attended all the races in the neighboring counties. He was the owner of
some of the finest race horses to be found in the country; and such was
his popularity, that he always found prominent men to stand for him.

Shortly after he removed to Madison County, he received a pension from
the United States Government. He sent Harris's oldest son to school,
and afterwards to college. When the young man graduated from Franklin
College, now the State University, Austin Dabney supported him while
he studied law with Hon. Stephen Upson at Lexington, Oglethorpe County.
When young Harris was undergoing his examination for admission to the
bar, Austin Dabney stood leaning against the railing that inclosed the
court, listening to the proceedings with great anxiety. When the young
man was sworn in, and was shaking hands with the members of the bar,
Austin, unable to control himself, burst into a flood of tears, happy
that he had been able to make a gentleman of the son of the man who had
nursed him so long and patiently while his wound was healing.

When the public lands in Georgia were distributed among the people by
lottery, the Legislature gave to Austin Dabney a lot of land in Walton
County. The next year the voters of Madison County were in a condition
bordering on distraction, being divided into Dabney and anti-Dabney
parties. Austin had not been permitted to have a chance in the lottery
with other soldiers of the Revolution. Consequently Stephen Upson, one
of Georgia's most prominent men at that time, employed his influence
with such effect that a law was passed giving Dabney a valuable lot.
One of the members of the Legislature from Madison County voted for
this law. At the next election the constituents of this member divided
themselves into two parties, one faction indorsing the vote, and the
other denouncing it. Those who denounced the vote did it on the ground
that it was an indignity to white men for a mulatto to be put on an
equality with them in the distribution of the public land, though, as
Governor Gilmer bluntly puts it, not one of them had served his country
so long or so well. Governor Gilmer, from whose writings all facts about
Austin Dabney are taken, tells a very interesting anecdote about him. In
order to collect the pension which the United States Government allowed
on account of his broken thigh, Austin went once a year to Savannah.
Once when he was on his way to draw what was due him, he fell in with
Colonel Wiley Pope, his neighbor, who was also journeying to Savannah.
They were very intimate and social on the road, and until they found
themselves in the streets of Savannah. When they reached the fashionable
part of the city, Colonel Pope observed to his companion that he was
a sensible man, and knew the prejudices that prevented them from
associating together in the city. Austin Dabney replied that he
understood it very well, and with that he checked his horse and fell in
the rear of Colonel Pope after the fashion of a servant following
his master. Their way led them in front of the house of General James
Jackson, who was at that time governor of the State. The governor was
standing in his door at the time. Colonel Pope passed on unrecognized,
but, chancing to glance around, he saw Governor Jackson run from the
house into the street to greet Austin Dabney. The governor seized the
negro's hand, shook it heartily, drew him from his horse, and carried
him into the house, where he remained a welcome guest during his stay in
the city. Colonel Pope (so Governor Gilmer says) used to tell this story
with great glee, but owned that he felt put out when he realized, that,
whilst he was a stranger at a tavern, Austin Dabney was the honored
guest of the governor of the State. The explanation was, that Governor
Jackson had seen Dabney's courage and patriotism tested on the field
of battle, and he knew that beneath the tawny skin of the mulatto there
beat the heart of a true man.

Austin Dabney was always popular with those who knew of his services in
the Revolutionary War. Governor Gilmer says that he was one of the
best Chroniclers of the stirring events of that period. His memory was
retentive, his understanding good, and he had a gift of description
possessed by few. He moved to the land the State had given him, taking
with him the family of the man who had nursed him. He continued to serve
them while he lived, faithful to the end, and when he died left them the
property he had accumulated.


Some writers on the early history of Georgia have been under the
impression that the speculation known as the Yazoo Fraud had its
beginning in the efforts of General Elijah Clarke and his followers to
settle on the Indian reservation lying west of the Oconee River; but
this is not the case at all. General Clarke's movement was the result
of an enterprise which was aimed against the Spaniards; and, though the
facts have no real connection with the Yazoo speculation, they may
be briefly told here, especially since Stevens, in his "History of
Georgia," turns them all topsy-turvy.

Genet was the first envoy sent to represent the wild and revolutionary
republic of France,--the republic of Robespierre and the Jacobins. He
represented, as well as any man could, the ideas and purposes of those
who had wrought such havoc in France. He was meddlesome, wrong-headed,
unreasonable, and bold with it all. He sailed from France in a
ship which he commanded himself; and instead of going straight to
Philadelphia (then the seat of government), where his business called
him, he landed at Charleston in South Carolina. War was then pending
between France and Spain; and Genet, after landing in Charleston, found
ready sympathizers in the French Huguenots of South Carolina, and indeed
in all those who had fought for American liberty. There were two reasons
why the fiery appeals of Genet to the people of Carolina to take up
arms against Spain were received enthusiastically. One was, that the
Spaniards in Florida had been at constant war with the people of Georgia
and Carolina, and had committed many crimes and depredations. The other
was, that the people felt grateful to France for the aid she had given
the American Colonies in their efforts to shake off the yoke of Great

Genet's plan was to raise in this country an army large enough to seize
the Spanish possessions in Florida, and to reconquer Louisiana. For
the reasons stated, Genet found the people enthusiastic in favor of his
enterprise. The enthusiasm was intense. It crossed the Savannah,
and found General Elijah Clarke, with his strong nature and active
sympathies, ready to embrace it. His military prestige in the South
commended him to Genet as the man to lead the military enterprise
against the Spanish settlements in the South. Accordingly he was given
command of the army that was to be raised, and was made a major general
in the French service with a pay of ten thousand dollars.

Having secured a commander whose courage and resources in the field
could be depended on, Genet went from Charleston to Philadelphia
overland, stirring up sympathy for his enterprise and enlisting men. His
success was greater than he had dreamed of. He found but one thing in
his way, and that was the firmness and vigilance of George Washington.
This great man set his face sternly against the project; but such was
the enthusiasm of the people--artfully stirred by Genet, who was as
accomplished as he was unscrupulous,--that a French party was formed.
Genet took advantage of the formation of this party to arouse prejudice
against Washington; and such was his success, that John Adams, who
was afterwards President, says that there was a multitude of men in
Philadelphia ready to drive Washington from the executive chair.

A considerable army was raised, recruits reported to General Clarke from
the Ohio River to the St. Mary's, and everything was ready for action.
At that moment the heavy hand of Washington descended on the enterprise.
The recall of Genet was demanded, the French party went to pieces,
the project collapsed, and Elijah Clarke was left without resources,
surrounded by a considerable force of men who had come at his bidding
to take part in the attack on the Spanish possessions. These men were on
his hands, expecting the fulfillment of promises that had been made to
them. What was to be done? It was at this critical period that the eyes
of General Clarke turned to the Indian reservation west of the Oconee.
He marched his men to these lands, and took possession. He, and those
who engaged in the movement for settling the lands, had risked their
lives for their country on a hundred battlefields. They thought that
the lands that had been claimed by the King belonged to those who had
conquered the King's armies. They were right in principle, but wrong
in action. The lands that had belonged to the King now belonged to
the people, not as individuals, but as a corporate body,--to the whole
people represented by the State government. These principles had not
been made as clear by discussion in General Clarke's day as they have
been made since. He engaged in no speculation. He boldly settled the
lands, and was prepared to boldly hold his position. The settlement was
made in 1794. On the 28th of July, Governor George Matthews issued a
proclamation forbidding the settlement, and likewise directed one of
the judges to issue a warrant for the general's arrest. At the Superior
Court of Wilkes County, Clarke surrendered himself to the judge, who
referred the case to the county justices. These judges made a decision,
setting forth the fact that Elijah Clarke had surrendered himself into
custody; that, being desirous to do speedy justice to the State as well
as to the party charged, they had proceeded to maturely consider the
case; and that after examining the laws of the State, and the treaties
made and laws passed by the United States, they gave it as their
"decided and unanimous opinion that the said Elijah Clarke be and
is hereby discharged." Encouraged by this decision, General Clarke
returned to his settlement with the intention of holding the lands; but
finally both the Federal and the State governments moved against
him, and he abandoned the enterprise. The policy that Clarke began in
settling the Indian lands without regard to the rights of the savage has
since become the policy of the government. It is not a wholesome
policy, nor is it authorized by the moral or civil law; but it has been
unblushingly carried out nevertheless.

The Yazoo Fraud was a far different matter. The very name of it was
foreign to Georgia. It was borrowed from the Indian name of a small
stream which empties itself into the Mississippi River. When the
Colony of Georgia was first settled, the land granted to Oglethorpe was
described as lying along the Savannah River, extending southward along
the coast to the Altamaha, and from the head waters of these rivers
westward to "the South Seas." Afterwards Great Britain changed the line
which he had established. She carried the boundary line of West Florida,
a part of her possessions, higher up. The new line started from the
Mississippi at the mouth of the Yazoo River, and ran due east to the
Chattahoochee at a point near where the town of West Point now stands.
As the upper boundary of British West Florida this line came to be known
as the Yazoo line, and the country above and below it to an indefinite
extent came to be known as the Yazoo country. No boundary can now be
fixed to the region then known as the Yazoo country. At the close of
the Revolutionary War, Great Britain made a treaty which has been
interpreted as vesting in the United States and in Georgia the right
and title to these lands, reaching from the Chattahoochee to the Yazoo
River, and extending on each side of this line to a distance that has
never been estimated.

The Yazoo Fraud itself had a somewhat vague beginning. From the best
information that can now be obtained, it may be said that it was set on
foot in 1789, shortly after the close of the Revolution, by a sharper
who was famous in that day. He was known as Thomas Washington, but his
real name was Walsh. Washington, or Walsh, is described as being a very
extraordinary man. He had fought in the service of Georgia, but he
had the instinct of a speculator; and when the war was ended, he gave
himself up to the devices of those who earn their living by their
wits. He was a man of good address, and his air of candor succeeded in
deceiving all whom he met. Those who dealt with him always had the worst
of the bargain.

When Washington, or Walsh, began to operate in Georgia through agents,
he found the way already prepared for him. The War for Independence
had barely closed, when certain individuals, most of them men of some
influence, began to look on our Western possessions with a greedy
eye. They had an idea of securing these lands and setting up a new
government,--a sort of Western empire. To further their designs they
began by forming themselves into an association called the "Combined
Society," the members of which were bound to secrecy by oaths and other
solemn pledges. The purpose of the Combined Society became known, and
the force of public opinion compelled the members to disband. Some of
them were men of aristocratic pretensions.

Thus Washington, or Walsh, found a great many sympathetic people in
Georgia. He was too well known in the State to undertake any scheme to
which his name was attached: so he worked through an agent, a man named
Sullivan. This man Sullivan had been a captain in the patriot army; but
he had headed the Philadelphia mob which insulted Congress, and he was
compelled to flee to the Mississippi to save his neck. When the old
Congress went out, Sullivan felt free to return. He came to Georgia,
representing, or pretending to represent, the Virginia Yazoo Company, of
which the celebrated Patrick Henry was a member, and made application to
the State Legislature for the purchase of the Western lands. Sullivan's
description of the Yazoo lands was so glowing that another company
was formed in Georgia. Some of the members of the new company formerly
belonged to the Combined Society, but others were men of good standing.
This company employed active agents; but no corrupt means were used so
far as is now known, though some members of the General Assembly were
interested. The efforts of the company were successful. Their act was
passed, and the sale made. Immediately the people began to oppose the
scheme, and to demand the repeal of the act The demand grew into a State
issue, and the new Legislature declared the sale null and void.

[Illustration: The Yazoo Scheme 134]

For a while the land grabbers were quiet; but in 1794 it seemed to the
most eager of the speculators that the time had come for them to make
another effort to secure the rich Western lands that belonged to the
State. They were evidently afraid, that, unless they made haste to get
hold of the lands, the people's Legislature would divide them out or
sell them to the Federal Government. So they formed another conspiracy,
and this time they laid their plans very deep. Acting on the principle
that every man has his price, they managed, by bribery and other
underhanded schemes, to win the sympathy and support of some of the
most prominent men in the State,--men whose names seemed to be far
above suspicion. Some of the highest judges lent their aid to the land
grabbers. Members of Congress were concerned in the scheme. Generals
and other high officers of the militia took part in it. Nothing was left
undone that was calculated to win the support of men who, up to that
time, had enjoyed and deserved the confidence and respect of the
State. The extent of the bribery and corruption that existed would be
altogether beyond belief if the records were not left to show it. The
swindlers were both bold and cunning, and in one way or another sought
to win the support of all the leading men in the State. And they came
very close to succeeding.

The Legislature held its session in Augusta at that time; and while the
Yazoo land sale was up for discussion, the agents of the land grabbers
swarmed around it, coaxing, bribing, and bullying the people's
representatives. Among these agents was a judge of the Supreme Court of
the United States, from Pennsylvania, with twenty-five thousand dollars
in his hands. There was a judge of the United States District Court for
Georgia, paying shares in the land company for the votes of members. A
United States senator from Georgia, James Gunn, who had neglected to
return to his post of duty in Congress, was seen bullying members with a
loaded whip, to secure their support for the land-sale scheme. A judge
of the State courts was also present, with other prominent citizens,
buttonholing the members of the Legislature, offering them shares,
sub-shares, and half sub-shares to secure their votes. General James
Jackson, who was then a United States senator from Georgia, was told by
a prominent judge of the State that he might have any number of acres he
pleased up to half a million, without the payment of a dollar, if he
would use his influence in behalf of the corrupt schemes of the land
grabbers. In reply, General Jackson said he had fought for the people of
Georgia; that the land belonged to them and to their children; and that,
should the conspirators succeed, he, for one, would hold the sale to be
void. Many weak men in the Legislature were intimidated by threats; and
some who could not be persuaded to vote for the sale, were paid to go
home, and remain away from the Legislature.

In this way the representatives of the people were persuaded and bribed
to support the scheme of the land grabbers. In 1795 the bill was passed,
selling to four companies--the Georgia Company, the Georgia
Mississippi Company, the Upper Mississippi Company, and the Tennessee
Company--thirty-five million acres of land for $500,000. Nothing was now
wanting to complete the fraud but the signature of the governor. If he
put his name to the bill, it became a law. If he refused to sign it,
the scheme of the swindlers would fail. General George Matthews was the
governor at that time, and, though two of his sons had been made members
of the land-grabbing companies, it was hoped that he would refuse to
sign the bill. The hope was justified by the fact that he had refused to
sign a similar bill, and had given some very good reasons for it. It
was known, too, that he was a man of great courage, and honest in his
intentions; but the influence brought to bear on him was too great. His
judgment was weakened by the clamor of the prominent men around him, who
had become the paid agents of the swindlers. He resisted for some time,
but finally agreed to sign the bill. The secretary of Governor Matthews,
a man named Urquhart, tried to prevent the signing of the bill by
working on the governor's superstitions. He dipped the pen in oil,
thinking that when Matthews came to write with it, and found that the
ink refused to flow, he would take it as an omen that the bill should
not be signed. The governor was startled, when, after several efforts,
he found the pen would not write; but he was not a man to let so
trifling a matter stand in his way. He directed his secretary to make
another pen, and with this he made the land-steal bill a law. By a
stroke he made the bill a law, and also signed away his own popularity
and influence. The people of Georgia never trusted him afterwards; and
he left the State, finding it unpleasant and uncomfortable to live among
those who had lost their respect for him. Yet no charge of corruption
was ever made against him.

When the people learned that the Yazoo Fraud had become a law, they rose
up as one man to denounce it. Those who lived in the neighborhood of
Augusta determined to put to death the men who had betrayed them. They
marched to the legislative halls, and were only prevented from carrying
out their threats by the persuasion of the small minority of the members
that had refused to be coaxed, bullied, or bribed into voting for the
Yazoo Fraud. But the indignation of the people continued to grow as
they learned of the corrupt methods that had been employed to pass the
measure. Meetings were held in every county; and public opinion
became so strong that those who had voted for the Yazoo Fraud found it
dangerous to remain in the State. A senator from Hancock County became
so alarmed that he fled to South Carolina. He was followed by one of his
neighbors, found in a lonely cabin at night, and shot to death. Except
in one or two counties, the men who voted for the Yazoo Fraud were
compelled to hide themselves until the anger of the people had cooled.

In his "Sketches of the First Settlers of Upper Georgia," Governor
George R. Gilmer tells a little story that will serve to show the state
of feeling in Georgia at that time. After the Yazoo Fraud was passed,
the people of the counties held indignation meetings. A meeting was
called in Oglethorpe County, and on the morning of the day, a citizen on
his way to town stopped at the gate of a neighbor to wait until he could
get ready to go. The man who was getting ready was named Miles Jennings.
The citizen, waiting, saw Mr. Jennings put a rope in his pocket.

"What is that for?" the citizen asked.

"To hang Musgrove!" replied Mr. Jennings, Musgrove being the name of the
member of the Legislature.

When the two neighbors arrived at the courthouse, all the people had
assembled. Mr. Jennings hitched his horse and went into the crowd,
pulled the rope from his pocket, and, holding it above his head where
all could see it, cried out,--

"Neighbors! this rope is to hang Musgrove, who sold the people's land
for a bribe!"

[Illustration: Rope to hang Musgrove 138]

The words of Jennings and the sight of the rope made the people furious.
Musgrove had been given a hint by Jennings's neighbor, and he had made
good his escape. But for that, no human power could have saved him.

The whole State was in a condition of excitement that is hard to
describe. Grand juries made presentments, county and town meetings
passed resolutions, and petitions were sent from hand to hand, and
signed by hundreds of people. A State convention, called to alter the
constitution, had been chosen to meet in May, 1795, but the members had
been chosen at the same time that the members of the corrupt Legislature
had been elected; and a majority of them had been "tarred with the same
stick," as the saying goes. The presentments, resolutions, and petitions
crowded so fast upon the convention, that it was decided to postpone the
changing of the constitution to a time when the people were in a better
humor. The convention referred all the papers it had received to the
next Legislature, and adjourned in some confusion.

This added to the excitement and anger of the people. They were in doubt
how to act. Delay would give the land grabbers time to sell the lands
they had secured through bribery and corruption. But whom could the
people trust? They had been betrayed by many of their highest judges,
by one of their United States senators, and by a large majority of their
Legislature. A great many believed that all the powers of government had
come to an end.

During the troubled times of the Revolution it had been the custom of
military officers having the confidence of the people to convene the
Legislative Assembly when an emergency seemed to call for it. In the
midst of their doubt and confusion, the people applied to General
Twiggs, the senior major general, to convene the Legislature in order
that action might be taken before the swindlers sold the lands they had
obtained by fraud; but General Twiggs refused to act in a case in which
he had no clear right and power, so the people remained for the time
being without a remedy.

From the very beginning of this scheme to defraud the people of the
State, it had been bitterly opposed by General James Jackson, who was
representing Georgia in the United States Senate. He denounced it in the
Senate. He corresponded with the most eminent men in the State, he wrote
to the newspapers, and in every possible way held up to the scorn and
contempt of the public the men who were trying to defraud the State of
its rich Western lands. On the other hand, the conspirators left nothing
undone to injure the reputation of General Jackson. His character was
attacked, and his life was several times threatened. As early as the
spring of 1795, he took occasion in full Senate, and in the presence
of General James Gunn (the Georgia senator who was representing the
swindlers), to denounce the scheme as "a speculation of the darkest
character and of deliberate villany."

By his bold, even violent opposition to the Yazoo sale, General Jackson
had made himself the leader of the people. Therefore in 1795, while he
was still senator, many of the people requested him to resign, so that
he might use his influence and great talents in bringing about the
repeal of the obnoxious law. He tendered his resignation at once, and
returned home. He was elected a member of the Legislature, and devoted
all his time and all his energy to blotting out the odious law. He
became a member of the committee appointed to investigate the means used
to pass the law, and under his leadership the whole scandalous affair
was probed to the bottom.

In electing the new Legislature, the only issue was Yazoo and
anti-Yazoo. The people were successful in electing men who favored
the repeal of the law. There was no other business before the General
Assembly until this matter was disposed of. The body was flooded with
the petitions and remonstrances that had been sent to the convention.
The Legislature had met in January, 1795. At once a day was set to
"consider the state of the Republic." On that day the petitions and
presentments were considered, and referred to a committee, of which
General Jackson was appointed chairman. On the 22d of January the
committee reported not only that the act was unconstitutional, but that
fraud had been practiced to secure its passage. On these grounds they
declared that the act was a nullity, and not binding on the people of
the State.

The bill declaring the sale void was drawn up by General Jackson. It
passed both Houses by large majorities, and was signed by Governor
Irwin. The feeling of the Legislature was so strong, that, after the
Yazoo act had been repealed, it was decided to destroy all the records
and documents relating to the corruption. By order of the two Houses a
fire was kindled in the public square of Louisville, which was then the
capital. The enrolled act that had been secured by fraud was brought out
by the secretary of state, and by him delivered to the President of the
Senate for examination. That officer delivered the act to the Speaker
of the House. The Speaker in turn passed it to the clerk, who read the
title of the act and the other records, and then, committing them to the
flames, cried out in a loud voice, "God save the State and preserve her
rights, and may every attempt to injure them perish as these wicked and
corrupt acts now do!"

The flames in which the records were burned were kindled by means of
a sun glass, so that it might be truly said that fire came down from
heaven to destroy the evidences of corruption. There is a tradition that
when the officers of the State had met to destroy the records, an old
man, a stranger to all present, rode through the multitude, and made
his way to where the officials stood. Lifting up his voice, he declared,
that, feeble as he was, he had come there to see an act of justice
performed, but he thought the fire in which the records of corruption
were to be destroyed should come from heaven. The people watched him in
silence. He drew from his bosom with trembling hands a sun glass, and in
this way burned the papers. Then, says tradition, the white-haired old
man mounted his horse and rode away, and was never seen again.


[Illustration: George Matthews and John Clarke 143]

In giving the history of the Yazoo Fraud, mention has been made of
General George Matthews, who was governor at the time, and who was
compelled to leave the State because he had been persuaded to sign the
bill. General Matthews was one of the most remarkable characters of his
time. Governor Gilmer has drawn a very interesting portrait of him.
It is not a pleasing picture in some respects, but it gives a very
interesting glimpse of a man who in his day was one of the strongest
characters in the State.

He was the son of an Irishman named John Matthews, who settled in
western Virginia in 1737. George Matthews began to fight the Indians at
an age when most boys are at school. In 1761 the Indians attacked and
murdered a family not far from his father's home. He heard the guns, and
thought that a shooting match was going on. With some companions of his
own age, he rode forward to join in the sport; but the youngsters saw
the dead bodies of their neighbors lying in the yard where they had been
left by the murderous savages, and at once turned their horses' heads
and fled. They were not a moment too soon; for the Indians, who had
been lying in ambush, rose and fired at the boys. Matthews had a narrow
escape; for a bullet cut off the wisp of hair (known as a queue) that
hung dangling from the back of his head. The danger that he had passed
through, and the sight of his murdered neighbors, roused young Matthews
to action. He collected a party of men, put himself at the head of them,
followed and overtook the savages, and killed nine of their number.

In the greatest battle that ever took place between the Virginians and
the Indians, Matthews commanded a company, and bore a very conspicuous
part. The battle took place at the junction of the Ohio River with the
Kanawha, on what was called Point Pleasant. The fight began at sunrise,
and was kept up all day, with no great success on either side. The
Indians held their ground, and refused to give way before the most
stubborn attacks of the Virginians. Near sundown, Matthews, with two
other captains, made a strategic movement. The three companies were
withdrawn from the battle. Out of sight of the enemy, they got into the
bed of a creek. Hidden by the banks of the stream, they marched to the
rear of the Indians, and from this point made an attack. The movement
had been so cleverly carried out, that the savages were taken completely
by surprise, and driven across the Ohio.

Early in the Revolutionary War, General Washington, who knew well the
value of the training Matthews had received on the frontier, ordered him
and the regiment which he commanded to join the main army. He took part
in the battle of the Brandywine; and at the battle of Germantown he
led his regiment against the British opposing him, drove them back, and
pushed on to the center of the town, where he captured a regiment of the
enemy. Shortly after this, while engaged in a skirmish, his courage led
him too close to the British. He was knocked down, severely wounded by
a bayonet thrust, and taken prisoner. He was sent to the British prison
ship in New York Harbor. He was there treated with so much cruelty that
he appealed to his government for relief. In response to that appeal,
Thomas Jefferson, who was then governor of Virginia, wrote him a
personal letter, in which he said, "We know that the ardent spirit and
hatred of tyranny which brought you into your present situation
will enable you to bear up against it with the firmness which has
distinguished you as a soldier, and look forward with pleasure to the
day when events shall take place against which the wounded spirit of
your enemies will find no comfort, even from reflections on the most
refined of the cruelties with which they have glutted themselves."

General Matthews was not exchanged until the close of the war. He then
joined the Southern army under General Greene, and commanded the Third
Virginia Regiment. While in the South, he bought a tract of land on
Broad River, known as the Goose Pond. He settled there with his family
in 1784. The fame he had won as a soldier made General Matthews at that
time the principal man in Georgia. He was elected governor in 1786. When
his term expired, he was sent to Congress. In 1794-95 he was again made
governor; and it was at this time, that, contrary to all expectations,
he was prevailed on to sign the Yazoo Act. No charge of corruption was
ever made against him. No thief or swindler was ever bold enough to try
to bribe such a high-spirited and fearless man. But excitement in
the State ran so high, that General Matthews was ruined so far as his
influence was concerned. He left Georgia, and never afterwards made the
State his home for any long period.

In 1811 a lot of runaway negroes, ruffians, and lawless men congregated
in Florida in such numbers that they were able to get control of
affairs. They formed a government of their own, and then petitioned
the United States to make Florida one of their territories. President
Madison appointed General Matthews the agent of the United States to
negotiate with the "constituted authorities" for the annexation of
Florida. General Matthews made a treaty with those who were in control
of Florida; but Spain protested, and the President finally declared that
the treaty had not been made with the "constituted authorities."

General Matthews was not a learned man (he knew nothing of books),
and he could not understand the fuss that was made over the term
"constituted authorities." He became very angry with the President, said
that that officer had a cowardly fear of Spain and Great Britain, and
declared that he would go to Washington to "thrash" the President. He
actually set out on that errand; but the fatigue and exposure which he
had experienced in Florida, and the high state of excitement under
which he labored, threw him into a fever while he was on his journey to
Washington, and he died in Augusta in March, 1812.

Previous to his Florida appointment, General Matthews had been nominated
to be governor of the Territory of Mississippi by President Adams; but
the opposition was so great that the President withdrew the nomination.
When General Matthews heard of this, he promptly set out for
Philadelphia to call the President to account. He rode to Mr. Adams's
house, gave a loud knock on the door, and told the servant he wished
to see the President. The servant said the President was engaged; but
General Matthews bristled with anger at the bare thought that any man,
even the President, could be engaged in any business more important
than talking to George Matthews, late colonel of the Virginia line, and
governor of the State of Georgia. Therefore he told the servant to go at
once and tell the President that a gentleman wished to speak to him;
and he added, that, if the message was not carried at once, the servant
would find his head taken from his shoulders. General Matthews wore his
Revolutionary sword and cocked hat, and he succeeded in convincing the
servant that he was not to be trifled with. He was promptly admitted
into the presence of Mr. Adams, and, with the touch of Irish brogue he
had caught from his father, he made himself and his business known. He
introduced himself, and then said to the President,--

"Now, sir, I understand that you nominated me to the Senate of these
United States, to be governor of the Territory of Mississippi, and that
afterwards you took back the nomination. Sir, if you had known me, you
would not have taken the nomination back. If you did not know me, you
should not have nominated me to so important an office. Now, sir, unless
you can satisfy me, your station as President of these United States
shall not screen you from my vengeance."

Mr. Adams at once made himself agreeable, for he had nothing but good
will for the stanch Georgia Federalist. The outcome of the meeting was
that the President promised to appoint the general's son John to be
supervisor of the revenue, and this promise he carried out.

Governor Gilmer, in his racy reminiscences of the people who settled
in the Broad River region, draws an interesting portrait of General
Matthews. He describes him as a short, thick man, with stout legs, on
which he stood very straight. "He carried his head rather thrown back.
His features were full and bluff, his hair light red, and his complexion
fair and florid. He admitted no superior but General Washington. He
spoke of his services to his country as unsurpassed except by those of
his great chief. He wore a three-cornered cocked hat, top boots, a shirt
full ruffled at the bosom and wrists, and sometimes a long sword at
his side. To listen to his talk about himself, his children, and his
affairs, one would have thought that he was but a puff of wind. Trade
or talk of history with him, and he was found to be one of the shrewdest
of men. Fight with him, and he never failed to act the hero. He was
unlearned. He spelled 'coffee' k-a-u-g-h-p-h-y. He wrote 'Congress' with
a K."

When it is considered that he had small opportunity to train himself in
any direction except rough fighting, General Matthews must be regarded
as one of the most remarkable men of his time.

Another remarkable man who figured largely in both the military and
political history of the State was General John Clarke, son of the
famous Elijah Clarke. John Clarke became a soldier in the Revolutionary
War when a mere boy. He had followed his father to camp, and remained
with him. He took part in many skirmishes; but at the battle of Kettle
Creek, in Wilkes County, he distinguished himself by his coolness and
courage. He fought through the war. He was made a lieutenant at sixteen
years of age, and when the war ended he was a major. After the war he
was made a brigadier, and then a major general of the militia. After
aiding to run the British out of the State, and subduing the Tories,
General Clarke turned his attention to the Indians. At the battle
of Jacks Creek, in Walton County, in 1787, he greatly distinguished
himself, having charge of one of the wings of the Georgia forces.

It was natural that a man raised in camp, and brought up in the midst of
the rough and tough elements that are collected together there, should
possess qualities not calculated to fit him for the polite transactions
that take place in drawing rooms and parlors. General Clarke's
self-reliance was extreme. Having commanded men from the time he was
sixteen, it was natural that his temper and his manners should be
offensive, to some extent, to those who were not thoughtful enough to
make due allowance for these things. It thus happened that when peace
came, John Clarke's methods and practices made him many bitter enemies.
On the other hand, the sterling qualities of his character made him many
strong friends.

Coming out of the war with neither trade nor profession, and with only
the rudiments of an education, John Clarke was compelled to turn his
attention to politics. With him politics was simply a modified form of
war. He had never given any quarter to the Tories, and he gave small
quarter to his political enemies. But he was as faithful to his friends
in politics as he had been to the cause of American liberty. He was
uncompromising, whether dealing with friends or enemies, and his temper
was such that he regarded his opponents as his personal enemies. Of
his political career, mention will be made in another place. It is
sufficient to say that a quarrel he had with a judge divided the people
of the State into two parties, and the contest between them was carried
on for several years. The prejudices that sprang up in that contest
lasted for more than a generation, and strong traces of them are to be
found in estimates of General Clarke's character written long after he
was dead.

Only a man of the strongest character, and possessing the most
remarkable qualities, could have made such a marked impression on the
political history of a commonwealth.


[Illustration: After the Revolution 152]

The Revolution came to an end in Georgia when, on the 11th of July,
1782, Savannah was taken possession of by the American troops under
General Anthony Wayne. It ended for the whole country when, on the 30th
of November of the same year, the treaty of peace was signed at Paris
between the United States and Great Britain. The King of Great Britain
acknowledged the independence of the Thirteen States, and declared them
free and sovereign. This was a very happy event for the country, and
had been long looked forward to by the people, sometimes doubtfully, but
always hopefully.

But the great victory that had been won found the people of Georgia
prostrate. The little property that they possessed when the war
began had either been spent in maintaining the struggle, or well-nigh
destroyed by the raids of the British and Tories. In the larger
communities of Savannah and Augusta, the citizens had the resources of
trade and commerce to fall back on, but in the smaller settlements
and rural districts the condition of the inhabitants bordered on

At the time that Savannah was surrendered to the American troops, there
was almost a famine in the land. The soldiers were without shoes, and
sometimes they were without supplies. The crops were short on account
of the lack of farmers. The condition of the people was quite as bad as
that of the troops, especially when the disbanded militia returned to
their homes. Houses, barns, and fences had been burned; stock and cattle
had been slaughtered or driven away; and there was a great lack of even
the necessities of life.

But those whose energy and spirit upheld them through the long struggle
for independence were not the men to surrender to the hard circumstances
that surrounded them. They went to work as bravely as they had fought;
and the sacrifices they made to peace were almost as severe, though
not so bloody, as those they had made to war. Slowly, but surely and
steadily, they reclaimed their waste farms. Slowly, but surely and
steadily, they recovered from the prostration that the war had brought
on their industries. Slowly, but surely and steadily, the people worked
their way back to comparative prosperity. There may have been a few
drones in the towns, but there were no idle hands in the country places.

The men built for their families comfortable log cabins; and these,
with their clean sanded floors, are still the fashion in some parts of
Georgia. This done, they went about the business of raising crops, and
stocking their farms with cattle. The women and children were just as
busy. In every cabin could be heard the hum of the spinning wheel, and
the thump of the old hand loom. While the men were engaged in their
outdoor work, the women spun, wove, and made the comfortable jeans
clothes that were the fashion; while the girls plaited straw, and made
hats and bonnets, and in many other ways helped the older people. In
a little while peddlers from the more northern States began to travel
through Georgia with their various wares, some with pewter plates and
spoons, and some with clocks. The peddlers traveled in wagons instead
of carrying their packs on their backs, and in this way brought a great
deal of merchandise to the State.

As was natural, the political development of Georgia was much more rapid
than its industrial progress. In January, 1783, Lyman Hall was elected
governor. He was distinguished for the patriotic stand he took at the
very beginning of the controversy between the Colony and the King. The
Legislature met in Savannah after the evacuation of the town by the
British; but it was so far from the central and upper portions of the
State, and there was so much dissatisfaction among the people on this
account, that in May Augusta was made the capital. In that town the
General Assembly met July 8, 1783. Measures were at once taken to seize
land, and confiscate the property of those Royalists who had lived
in Georgia. This property was sold for the benefit of the public. In
November of the same year a new cession of land was obtained from the
Creek nation by treaty. This was divided into the counties of Franklin
and Washington, and the land distributed in bounties to the soldiers of
the war.

It is worthy of note that about this time, when the State had hardly
begun to recover from the effects of the war, the representatives of
the people began to move in the matter of education. The Constitution
of 1777 had declared that "schools shall be erected in each county, and
supported by the general expense of the State." On the 31st of July,
1783, the Legislature appropriated one thousand acres of land to each
county for the support of free schools. In 1784, a short time after
the notification of the treaty of peace, the Legislature passed an
act appropriating forty thousand acres of land for the endowment of a
college or university. A year later the charter for this university was
granted; and the preamble of the act declares it to be the policy of the
State to foster education in the most liberal way. It so happened that
some of the provisions that had been made for public education were
not carried out at once, and the people of the various settlements
established schools of their own. Many of the best teachers of the
country came to Georgia from the more northern States; and some of them
won a reputation that has lasted to this day. Later, more than one
of these teachers established schools that became famous all over the
country. In this way the reign of the "old field schoolmaster" began,
and continued for many years.

[Illustration: Early Cultivation of Cotton 156]

The people had been cultivating cotton on a small scale before 1791; but
the staple was so difficult to handle, that the planting was limited.
Those who grew it were compelled to separate the seed from the lint by
hand, and this was so tedious that few people would grow it. But in
1793, Eli Whitney, who was living on the plantation of General Greene,
near Savannah, invented the cotton gin. The machine was a very awkward
and cumbrous affair compared with the gins of the present day; but in
that day and time, and for many years after, the Whitney was sufficient
for the needs of the people. It was one of the most important inventions
that have ever been made. It gave to the commerce of the world a staple
commodity that is in universal demand, and it gave to the people of the
South their most valuable and important crop. But for this timely
invention, the cultivation of cotton would have been confined to the
narrowest limits. The gin proved to be practicable, and it came into use
very quickly. The farmers prospered, and gradually increased the cotton

The population also increased very rapidly. The rich lands were
purchased and settled on by farmers from Virginia and the Carolinas. The
colony that had been planted by Oglethorpe had never ventured very far
from the seacoast. A few probably followed the course of the Savannah
River, and made their homes in that region; but the people brought
over by Oglethorpe were not of the stuff that pioneers are made of. The
experience they had undergone in the mother country had tamed them
to such a degree that they had no desire to brave the future in the
wilderness. Adventures of that kind were left for the hardy North
Carolinians and Virginians who first settled what was then known as
Upper Georgia. After the Revolution, this tide of immigration increased
very rapidly, and it was still further swelled by the profits that the
Whitney gin enabled the planters of Georgia to make out of their cotton

The settling of Georgia began with the charitable scheme of Oglethorpe.
The making of Georgia began when the North Carolinians and Virginians
began to open up the Broad River region to the north of Augusta. It was
due to the desperate stand taken by these hardy pioneers that Georgia
continued the struggle for American independence. To Upper Georgia
came some of the best families from Virginia and North Carolina,--the
Grattons, the Lewises, the Clarkes, the Strothers, the Crawfords,
the Reeses, the Harrises, the Andrewses, the Taliaferros (pronounced
Tollivers), the Campbells, the Barnetts, the Toombses, the Doolys,
and many other families whose names have figured in the history of
the country. Here also settled James Jack, the sturdy patriot who
volunteered to carry the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence to
Philadelphia. The Congress then in session chose to shut its eyes to
that declaration, but it was the basis and framework of the Declaration
afterwards written by Thomas Jefferson.

After the Revolution, when the Cherokees went on the warpath, the
Virginia settlement was in a state of great alarm. Men, women, and
children met together, and decided that it would be safer to camp in
the woods in a body at night rather than run the risk of being burned to
death in houses that they could not defend. They went into the depths
of the woods and made an encampment. One night while they were around a
fire, cooking their supper, suddenly the report of a gun was heard, and
then there was a cry of "Indians!" The men seized their guns; but they
hardly knew where to turn, or what to do. Suddenly a lad who had not
lost his head emptied a bucket of water on the fire. This was the
thing to do, but no one else had thought of it. The name of the lad
was Meriwether Lewis. He went into the regular army, became the private
secretary of President Jefferson, and was selected to head the party
that explored the Territory of Louisiana, which had been bought from
France. Meriwether Lewis selected for his companion Captain Clark, an
old army friend and comrade. Leading the party, Lewis and his friend
Clark left St. Louis, and pushed westward to the Pacific coast, through
dangers and obstacles that few men would have cared to meet. The famous
expedition of Lewis and Clark has now become a part of the history of
the country. Lewis took possession of the Pacific coast in the name of
the United States. There was a controversy with Great Britain some years
afterwards as to the title of Oregon, but that which Lewis and Clark had
established was finally acknowledged to be the best.

Meriwether Lewis won a name in history because the opportunity came to
him. His name is mentioned here because he was a representative of the
men who settled Upper Georgia,--the men who kept the fires of liberty
alive in the State, and who, after helping to conquer the British and
the Tories, became the conquerors of the wilderness that lay to the west
of them. From Wilkes, Burke, Elbert, and the region where Clarke and his
men had fought, the tide of emigration slowly moved across the State,
settling Greene, Hancock, Baldwin, Putnam, Morgan, Jasper, Butts,
Monroe, Coweta, Upson, Pike, Meriwether, Talbot, Harris, and Muscogee

Some of the more adventurous crossed the Chattahoochee into Alabama, and
on into the great Mississippi Valley and beyond. Their descendants live
in every part of the South; and Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas have had
Georgians for their governors, and their senators and representatives in
Congress,--men who were descended from the Virginia and North Carolina
immigrants. One of the most brilliant of these was Mirabeau B. Lamar,
scholar, statesman, and soldier, the president of Texas when that
Territory had declared itself a free and an independent republic.


Brief mention has been made of Whitney's invention of the cotton gin.
The event was of such world-wide importance that the story should be
told here. Whitney, the inventor of the gin, was born in Massachusetts
in 1765, in very poor circumstances. While the War of the Revolution was
going on, he was earning his living by making nails by hand. He was such
an apt mechanic that he was able to make and save enough money to pay
his way through Yale College, where he graduated in 1792. In that year
he engaged himself to come to Georgia as a private tutor in the family
of a gentleman of Savannah; but when he reached that city, he found that
the place had been filled.

While in Savannah, Whitney attracted the attention of the widow of
General Nathanael Greene, who lived at Mulberry Grove, on the river at
no great distance from the city. Mrs. Greene invited the young man to
make his home on her plantation. He soon found opportunity to show his
fine mechanical genius, and Mrs. Greene became more interested in him
than ever.

The story goes, that soon after the young man had established himself on
the Mulberry Grove Plantation, several Georgia planters were dining with
Mrs. Greene. During their conversation the difficulty of removing the
seed from the cotton fiber was mentioned, and the suggestion was made
that this might be done by machinery. At this Mrs. Greene mentioned the
skill and ingenuity of young Whitney, and advised her guests that he
should be given the problem to solve. This advice was followed. The
planters had a talk with the young man, and explained to him the
difficulty which they found in separating the seed from the lint.

At that time one pound of lint cotton was all that a negro woman could
separate from the seed in a day; and the more cotton the planters
raised, the deeper they got in debt. The close of the war had found them
in a state of the utmost poverty, so that they had been compelled to
mortgage their lands in order to get money on which to begin business.
Cotton was the only product of the farm for which there was any constant
demand; but, owing to the labor of separating the lint from the seed,
it could not be raised at a profit. Thus, in 1791, the number of pounds
exported from the South to Europe amounted to only about 379 bales of
500 pounds each.

When the planters went to Whitney with their problem, he was entirely
ignorant of the whole matter. He knew nothing of cotton or of cotton
planting; but he at once set himself at work. He made a careful study of
the cotton plant. He shut himself in a room with some uncleaned cotton,
and worked at his task during a whole winter. He made his own tools at
the plantation blacksmith shop; and all day long, and sometimes far into
the night, he could be heard hammering and sawing away.

In 1793 he called together the planters who had asked him to solve the
problem, and showed them the machine, which he called a cotton gin. When
they saw it work, their surprise and delight knew no bounds. They
knew at once that the problem had been solved by the young genius from
Massachusetts. Little calculation was needed to show them that the
cotton gin could clean as much cotton in a day as could be cleaned on
a plantation during a whole winter. What before had been the work of a
hundred hands for several months could now be completed in a few days.

[Illustration: Whitney and his Cotton Gin 163]

But it seems to be the fate of the majority of those who make wonderful
inventions never to enjoy the full benefits of the work of their genius.
Eli Whitney was not an exception to the general rule. While he was
working on his cotton gin, rumors of it went abroad; and by the time it
was completed, public expectation was on tiptoe. When the machine was
finished, it was shown to only a few people; but the fact, of such
immense importance to the people of the State, was soon known throughout
the State, and the planters impatiently waited for the day when they
would be able to put it in use.

One night the building in which Whitney's cotton gin was concealed
was broken into, ransacked, and the machine carried off. It was a bold
robbery, and a very successful one. The inventor made haste to build
another gin; but before he could get his model completed, and obtain
a patent right to the invention, the machine had been manufactured at
various points in the South by other parties, and was in operation on
several plantations. Whitney formed a partnership with a gentleman who
had some capital, and went to Connecticut to manufacture his gin; but he
was compelled to spend all the money he could make, fighting lawsuits.
His patent had been infringed, and those who sought to rob him of the
fruits of his labor took a bold stand. The result of all this was, that
the inventor never received any just compensation for a machine that
revolutionized the commerce of the country, and added enormously to the
power and progress of the Republic. Lord Macaulay said that Eli Whitney
did more to make the United States powerful than Peter the Great did to
make the Russian Empire dominant. Robert Fulton declared that Arkwright,
Watt, and Whitney were the three men that did more for mankind than any
of their contemporaries. This is easy to believe, when we remember that
while the South shipped 6 bags of cotton to England in 1786, and only
379 in 1791, ten years after the cotton gin came into use, 82,000
bales were exported. The very importance of Whitney's invention made
it immensely profitable for the vicious and the depraved to seize and
appropriate the inventor's rights. These robberies were upheld by those
who were anxious to share in the profits; and political demagogues made
themselves popular by misrepresenting Whitney, and clamoring against
the law that was intended to protect him. It was only by means of this
clamor, half political and wholly dishonest, that the plain rights
of Whitney could be denied and justice postponed. His invention was
entirely new. It was distinct from every other. It had no connection
with and no relation to any other invention that had been made. It stood
alone, and there could be no difficulty whatever in identifying it. And
yet Whitney had just this difficulty. In his efforts to prove that he
was the inventor of the cotton gin, and that he was entitled to a share
of the immense profits that those who used it were reaping, he had to
travel thousands of miles, and spend thousands of dollars in appearing
before Legislatures and in courts that denied him justice. The life
of his patent had nearly expired before any court finally enforced
his right, and Congress refused to grant him an extension beyond
the fourteen years that had then nearly expired. Associations and
combinations had been formed for the purpose of defrauding Whitney, and
these were represented by the ablest lawyers that could be hired. It is
no wonder that Whitney, in writing to Robert Fulton, a brother inventor,
declared that the troubles he had to contend with were the result of a
lack of desire on the part of mankind to see justice done. The truth is,
his invention was of such prime importance that the public fought for
its possession, and justice and honesty were for the moment lost sight
of. At one time but a few men in Georgia were bold enough to go into
court and testify to the simplest facts within their knowledge;
and Whitney himself says, that in one instance he had the greatest
difficulty in proving that the machine had been used in Georgia,
although at that very moment three, separate gins were at work within
fifty yards of the building in which the court sat. They were all so
near, that the rattle and hum of the machinery could be heard from the
court-house steps.

In December, 1807, a judge was found to affirm the rights of Whitney
under his patent. The judge's name was Johnson; and in his decision he
said, "The whole interior of the Southern States was languishing, and
its inhabitants emigrating for want of some object to engage their
attention and employ their industry, when the invention of this machine
at once opened views to them which set the whole country in active
motion. From childhood to age it has presented to us a lucrative
employment. Individuals who were depressed with poverty, and sunk in
idleness, have suddenly risen to wealth and respectability. Our debts
have been paid off. Our capital has increased, and our lands have
trebled themselves in value. We cannot express the weight of the
obligation which the country owes to this invention. The extent of it
cannot now be seen."

The language of the learned judge was high-flown; but he was a just
judge, and he had a faint and glimmering idea of the real importance of
this remarkable invention. It was a very simple affair. The principle
came to Whitney in a flash, and he had a model constructed within ten
days after the despairing planters had gone to him with their problem.
But it may be doubted whether any other individual, by one simple
invention, ever did so much for the progress and enrichment of human
interests, and for the welfare and the comfort of the human race. This
little machine made the agriculture of the South the strongest and the
richest in the world, and gave to this section a political power that
was for years supreme in the nation, and was only surrendered as the
result of a long and exhausting war. By means of the cotton gin, towns
and cities have sprung up, and a vast network of railways has been
built; and yet the most that Whitney received was a royalty on his gin
in North Carolina, and a donation of fifty thousand dollars from the
State of South Carolina. In Georgia his right to his invention was
stolen, and all that he got out of it was a number of costly lawsuits.

After struggling for five years against the overwhelming odds that
avarice and greed had mustered to aid them, Whitney turned his attention
in another direction, and made a still more remarkable display of his
genius. This part of his career does not belong directly to the history
of Georgia, but it is interesting enough to be briefly recorded here.
The United States Government was in want of arms, and this want various
contractors had failed to meet. Through the influence of the secretary
of the treasury, Whitney was given a contract to make ten thousand
muskets at $13.40 apiece. He had no capital, no works, no machinery, no
tools, no skilled workmen, no raw material. In creating a part of these
and commanding the rest, he called into play an inventive genius, the
extent of which must always excite wonder and admiration.

Within ten years he created his own works, and invented and made his own
tools, invented and made his own machinery. More than this, he invented
and applied a wholly new principle of manufacture,--a principle that
has done more to advance human industry and increase wealth all over the
world than any other known effort of the human mind to solve material
problems. He invented and developed the principle or system of making
the various parts of a musket or any other complex manufactured
article, such as the sewing machine, so absolutely uniform as to be
interchangeable. This principle has been carried out in hundreds of
thousands of different ways. It has entered into and become a feature of
a vast range of manufactures. The principle was established by a series
of inventions as wonderful as any that the human mind ever conceived,
so that Whitney has been aptly called the Shakespeare of invention. His
inventions remain practically unchanged. After ninety years of trial,
they are found to be practically perfect.

It was his peculiar gift to be able to convey into inanimate machinery
the skill that a human being could acquire only after years of study and

It is almost like belittling the greatest of marvels to call it a
stroke of genius. He made it possible for the most ordinary laborer
to accomplish a hundred times as much in an hour, and with the most
exquisite perfection, as a skilled laborer could accomplish in a day.

On these wonderful inventions Whitney took out no patents. He gave them
all to the public. In this way he revenged himself on those who had
successfully robbed him of the fruits of his labor and genius in the
invention of the cotton gin. Perhaps if he had been more justly treated
in Georgia, he might have set up his works in this State, and this fact
might have made the South the seat of great manufacturing industries.
Who knows?


The credit of inventing the steamboat is by general consent given to
Robert Fulton. Every schoolboy is taught that such is the case, and yet
the fact is at least very doubtful. There is preserved among the papers
in the Archives of Georgia a document that indicates, that, while Robert
Fulton has won the credit for an invention that has revolutionized
the commerce of the world, the real inventor may have been William
Longstreet of Augusta, an uncle of General James B. Longstreet, and the
father of Judge A. B. Longstreet, author of "Georgia Scenes." On the
26th of September, 1790, William Longstreet sent the following letter to
Edward Telfair, who was then governor of Georgia:--

     Sir,--I make no doubt but you have heard of my steamboat
     and as often heard it laughed at. But in this I have only
     shared the fate of all other projectors, for it has
     uniformly been the custom of every country to ridicule even
     the greatest inventions until use has proved their utility.

     My not reducing my scheme to practice has been a little
     unfortunate for me, I confess, and perhaps for the people in
     general, but until very lately I did not think that either
     artists or material could be had in the place sufficient.
     However, necessity, that grand science of invention, has
     furnished me with an idea of perfecting my plans almost
     entirely with wooden materials, and by such workmen as may
     be got here, and from a thorough confidence of its success,
     I have presumed to ask your assistance and patronage.

     Should it succeed agreeable to my expectations, I hope I
     shall discover that source of duty which such favors always
     merit, and should it not succeed, your reward must lay with
     other unlucky adventurers.

     For me to mention to you all the advantages arising from
     such a machine would be tedious, and, indeed, quite
     unnecessary, Therefore I have taken the liberty to state in
     this plain and humble manner my wish and opinion, which I
     hope you will excuse, and I will remain, either with or
     without approbation,

     Your Excellency's most obedient and very humble servant,

     William Longstreet.

There are two features of this letter that ought to attract attention.
One is that William Longstreet has the name of "steamboat" as pat as if
the machine were in common use. The second is his allusion to the fact
that his conception of a boat to be propelled by steam was so well known
as to be noised abroad.

Credit is sometimes given to John Fitch, who, it is said, invented a
boat propelled by steam, that carried passengers on the Delaware River
in 1787. An Englishman named Symington is said to have run a steamboat
in 1801, while Robert Fulton's success was delayed until 1806. All these
men have received credit for their efforts to benefit humanity, but
history is silent in regard to William Longstreet. In one book about
Georgia the remark is made that "James Longstreet is said to have
invented the steamboat in 1793," but in this instance neither the name
nor the date is correct.

In old St. Paul's churchyard in Augusta there is a tombstone which
bears the inscription, "Sacred to the memory of William Longstreet, who
departed this life September 1, 1814, aged 54 years, 10 months, and
26 days." Below this runs the pleasant legend, "All the days of the
afflicted are evil, but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual
feast." We are thus left to infer that William Longstreet was a man of a
merry heart; and that fact is certified to by the cleverness with which
his son, the author of "Georgia Scenes," has preserved for us some of
the quaint characters that lived and moved and had their being on the
borders of Georgia society directly after the Revolution.

[Illustration: William Longstreet and his Steamboat 172]

Being an inventor, a man of ingenious ideas, and somewhat ambitious of
serving the public in that way, William Long-street certainly had need
of a merry heart; for, as he himself says, the way of the projector
is hard. The term itself is used in Georgia to this day to express a
certain sort of good-natured contempt. Go into the country places and
ask after some acquaintance who has not prospered in a worldly way, and
the answer will be, "Oh, he's just a prodjikin around."

It is certain that William Longstreet knew that steam could be used as
a motive power long before it was so applied; and because he employed
a good deal of his time in trying to discover the principle, he was
ridiculed by his neighbors and friends, and the more thoughtless among
them didn't know whether he was a crank, a half-wit, or a "luny." From
all accounts, he was a modest, shy, retiring man, though a merry one. He
had but little money to devote to the experiments he wished to make, and
in this was not different from the great majority of inventors.

For a long time Longstreet's zeal and enthusiasm attracted the attention
of a few of his wealthy friends, and these furnished him such money as
he wanted; but no very long time was needed to convince those who
were spending their money that the idea of propelling a boat by steam,
instead of by sails or oars, was ridiculous. Longstreet made many
experiments, but he had not hit upon the method of applying the
principle he had in mind: consequently his rich friends closed their
purses, and left him entirely to his own resources. A newspaper
publication, in giving some of the facts in regard to Longstreet's
efforts, says that he and his steamboat were made the subject of a comic

          "Can you row the boat ashore,
          Billy boy, Billy boy?
          Can you row the boat ashore,
          Gentle Billy?

          Can you row the boat ashore
          Without a paddle or an oar,
          Billy boy?"

Though he had failed many times, Longstreet was not disheartened. He
continued his experiments, and at last succeeded in making a toy boat,
which he exhibited to a few friends. His idea at this time, it seems,
was not to construct a steamboat, but merely to convince some of his
friends that steam could be used as a motive power. But in this he was
not very successful. His toy boat did all that he wanted it to do; but
his friends declared, that while steam might be used to move a small
boat, it could never be used to move a large one. The experience of a
new generation showed that there was one wise man in Augusta and a great
many fools. Nevertheless William Longstreet determined to show that
a large boat could be moved by a large amount of steam as easily as a
small boat could be moved by a small volume.

Now, while he was making his experiments; and trying to overcome the
difficulties that presented themselves, Robert Fulton was living in
Paris with Joel Barlow. He was in Paris when Napoleon became first
consul. At that time he was experimenting with his diving boat and
submarine torpedo. Napoleon was so much interested in this work that
he gave Fulton ten thousand francs to carry it on. The inventor was
in France in 1803 when Napoleon organized his army for the invasion of
England. He was surrounded by influential friends, and he had money at
his command.

Compared with William Longstreet, Robert Fulton was "in clover."
Longstreet was compelled to work without money, and in the midst of a
community whose curiosity had developed into criticism and ridicule.
Thus it was not until 1806 that he succeeded in completing a steamboat
that would accommodate twenty or twenty-five persons. He went on board,
accompanied by such of his friends as he could persuade, and in the
presence of a curious and doubting crowd the first real steamboat was
launched on the Savannah River. Some of the friends of those on board,
feeling anxious for their safety if the "contraption" should explode,
secured a skiff, and followed the steamboat at a safe distance, ready
to pick up such of the passengers as might survive when the affair had
blown to pieces. Longstreet headed the boat down the river, and went in
that direction for several miles. Then he turned the head of the little
boat upstream; and, although the current was swift, he carried his
passengers back to the wharf, and several miles above.

From that hour William Longstreet became a man of some consequence in
the community. Those who had ridiculed him now sang his praises, and
those who had doubted that steam could be used as a motive power were
now convinced. His friends tried hard to get him to go to Washington and
secure the benefits of a patent for his invention; but he persistently
refused to take any steps to profit by the results of his genius, or
indeed to make his invention known. His constant reply to all those who
tried to persuade him to go to Washington was, that he had carried
on his experiments simply to prove the truth of his theory to his own
satisfaction, and to convince those whose respect he coveted that he was
neither a fool nor a crank.

Some of his friends and admirers were themselves preparing to go to
Washington in behalf of the inventor, but they had put off their journey
until the year after the exhibition was made in Augusta, and at
that time they heard that Robert Fulton had exhibited his steamboat
"Clermont" on the Hudson River. They then gave up their design, and
William Longstreet continued to remain in the seclusion that was so
pleasant to him.

It is a noteworthy fact, that twelve years after William Longstreet made
his successful experiments on the Savannah River, Georgia enterprise
built, launched, and managed the first steamship that ever crossed the
ocean. This great enterprise was organized in Savannah in 1818. The
Georgia Company contracted to have the ship built in New York; and when
completed, it was named the "Savannah." The vessel was finished and
brought to Savannah in April, 1819. In May the steamship left Savannah
bound for Liverpool. From Liverpool it went to St. Petersburg, and then
returned to Savannah, having made the voyage in fifty days.

The first sewing machine was invented by Rev. Frank R. Goulding, a
Georgian who has won fame among the children of the land as the author
of "The Young Marooners." He invented the sewing machine for the purpose
of lightening the labors of his wife; and she used it for some years
before some other genius invented it, or some traveler stole the idea
and improved on it.

Dr. Crawford W. Long, in 1842, when twenty-seven years of age, performed
the first painless surgical operation that is known to history. In 1839,
Velpeau of Paris declared that the attempts to find some agent by which
to prevent pain in surgical operations was nothing less than chimerical;
and as late as 1846 Sir Benjamin Brodie said, "Physicians and surgeons
have been looking in vain, from the days of Hippocrates down to the
present time, for the means of allaying or preventing bodily pain." And
yet three years after the declaration of Velpeau, and four years before
the statement of Sir Benjamin Brodie, the young Georgia physician had
removed a tumor from the neck of a patient, and that patient had felt no

The story is very interesting. Dr. Crawford W. Long was born in
Danielsville, Madison County, Ga., on the 1st of November, 1815. He
graduated at the University of Georgia, studied medicine, and graduated
at the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania. He then
went to Jefferson, Jackson County, where he opened an office, and
practiced medicine for many years.

[Illustration: Laughing Gas 177]

In those days the young men living in the country districts, for want
of something better to amuse them, were in the habit of inhaling
nitrous-oxide gas, or, as it was then popularly known, "laughing gas."
The young people would gather together, and some of them would inhale
the gas until they came under its influence. The result was in most
cases very amusing. Some would laugh, some would cry, and all in
various ways would carry out the peculiarities of their characters and
dispositions. Thus, if a young man had an inward inclination to preach,
he would, under the influence of "laughing gas," proceed to deliver a
sermon. As these "laughing-gas" parties were exhilarating to the young
people who inhaled the gas, and amusing to those who were spectators,
they became very popular.

But it was not always easy to secure the gas. On one occasion a company
of young men went to Dr. Long's office and asked him to make them a
supply of "laughing gas." There was no apparatus in the office suitable
for making it, but Dr. Long told the young men that the inhalation of
sulphuric ether would have the same effect. He had become acquainted
with this property of ether while studying medicine in Philadelphia.
The young men and their friends were so well pleased with the effects
of ether inhalation, that "ether parties" became fashionable in that
section, as well as in other parts of the State. At these ether parties,
Dr. Long noticed that persons who received injuries while under its
influence felt no pain. On one occasion a young man received an injury
to his ankle joint that disabled him for several days, and he told Dr.
Long that he did not feel the slightest pain until the effects of the
ether had passed off. Observing these facts, Dr. Long was led to believe
that surgical operations might be performed without pain.

Dr. Long's theory was formed in 1841, but he waited for some time before
testing it, in the hope that a case of surgery of some importance--the
amputation of an arm or a leg--might fall in his practice. On the 30th
of March, 1842, Dr. Long removed a tumor from the neck of Mr. James
M. Venable. On the 6th of June, the same year, another small tumor was
removed from the neck of the same patient, and both operations were
painless. Mr. Venable inhaled sulphuric ether, and the effect of it was
to render him insensible to the pain of cutting out the tumors.

Dr. Long had told Mr. Venable that he would charge little or nothing for
removing the tumors under the influence of ether. The bill rendered
for both operations amounted to $4.50; but, small as the bill was,
it represented the discovery and application of ether in surgical
practice,--one of the greatest boons to mankind. Up to that time no
patient under the surgeon's knife had ever been able to escape the
horror and pain of an operation.

Dr. Long did not at once print the facts about his discovery. He wanted
to make assurance doubly sure. He waited in the hope of having an
important case of surgery under his charge, such as the amputation of
a leg or an arm. But these cases, rare at any time, were still rarer at
that time, especially in the region where Dr. Long practiced. He finally
satisfied himself, however, of the importance of his discovery, but,
having waited until 1846, found that at least three persons--Wells,
Jackson, and Morton--had hit on the same discovery, and had made
publication of it. Morton patented ether under the name of "Letheon,"
and in October, 1846, administered it to a patient in the Massachusetts
General Hospital.

In 1844, Horace Wells, a native of Vermont, discovered that the
inhalation of nitrous-oxide gas produces anaesthesia. He was a dentist.
He gave it to his patients, and was able to perform dental operations
without causing pain. Thus we may see how the case stands. Long produced
anaesthesia in 1842; that is to say, he caused his patients to inhale
sulphuric ether in that year, whenever he had a painful operation to
perform, and in each case the operation was painless.

In 1846, when the surgeons of the Massachusetts General Hospital
performed painless operations on patients, after administering to them
Morton's patented "Letheon," which was his name for sulphuric ether,
there came about a great war of pamphlets, and it ended tragically.
Long had never made any secret of the substance which he used. He gave
information of it to all the surgeons and doctors with whom he came in
contact; and he was not in any way concerned in the conflict that was
carried on by Jackson, Morton, and Wells. He simply gathered together
the facts of his discovery, proved that he was the first physician to
perform painless operations in surgery, and that was the end of it so
far as he was concerned.

Wells became insane, and committed suicide in New York in 1848. Morton
died in New York City of congestion of the brain. Jackson ended his days
in an insane asylum.

In Boston a monument has been erected to the discoverer of anaesthesia.
The name of Crawford W. Long should stand first upon it, and should be
followed by the names of Wells, Morton, and Jackson.

[Illustration: Early Progress of the State 181]


After the invention of the cotton gin, the progress of the people
and the development of the agriculture of the State went forward very
rapidly. The population began to increase. The movement of families from
Virginia and North Carolina grew constantly larger. In Virginia, and
in settled portions of North Carolina, it was found that the soil
and climate were not favorable to the growth of the cotton plant:
consequently hundreds of families left their homes in these States, and
came to Georgia.

When Oglethorpe settled the Colony, the charter under which he acted
prohibited the introduction and use of negro slaves in the Colony. It
is hard to say at this late day whether this portion of the charter was
dictated by feelings of humanity, especially when we remember that
in those days, and in most of the Colonies, there were many white
people--men, women, and children--employed and used as slaves. From
the very first, many of the Georgia colonists were anxious to introduce
negro slaves, but the trustees firmly refused to allow it. There was a
strong party in favor of introducing negroes, and those who opposed
the movement presently found themselves in a very small and unpopular
minority. By 1748 the excitement over the question had grown so great,
that those colonists who were opposed to negro slavery were compelled to
abandon their position. Rev. Mr. Whitefield, the eloquent preacher, had
already bought and placed negro slaves at his Orphan House at Bethesda,
near Savannah. The colonists had also treated this part of the charter
with contempt. They pretended to hire negroes' homes in South Carolina
for a hundred years, or during life. They paid the "hire" in advance,
the sum being the full value of the slaves. Finally negroes were
bought openly from traders in Savannah. Some of them were seized; but
a majority of the magistrates were in favor of the introduction of
negroes, and they were able to postpone legal decisions from time to

Rev. George Whitefield, whose wonderful eloquence has made his name
famous, and Hon. James Habersham, had great influence with the trustees;
and it was mainly due to their efforts that the colonists were legally
allowed to purchase and use negro slaves. Mr. Habersham affirmed that
the Colony could not prosper without slave labor. Rev. Mr. Whitefield,
on the other hand, was in favor of negro slavery on the broad ground of
philanthropy. He boldly declared that it would be of great advantage
to the African to be brought from his barbarous surroundings and placed
among civilized Christians. When we remember what has happened, who
can deny that the remark of the eloquent preacher was not more to the
purpose, and nearer to the truth, than some of the modern statements
about American slavery? What really happened (as any one may discover by
looking into impartial history) was, that thousands of negroes who had
been captured in battle, and made slaves of in their own country,
were taken from that dark land and brought into the light of Christian
civilization. Their condition, mentally and morally, was so improved,
that, in little more than a century after White-field made his
statement, the government of the United States ventured to make citizens
of them. The contrast between their condition and that of the negroes
who remained in Africa is so startling, that a well-known abolitionist,
writing twenty years after emancipation, has described slavery as a
great university, which the negroes entered as barbarians, and came out
of as Christians and citizens.

The efforts of the Colony to secure a repeal of the act prohibiting
slavery were successful. The trustees in London concluded that it would
be better to permit slavery, with such restrictions and limitations as
might be proper, than to permit the wholesale violations that were then
going on; and so in 1749 the colonists of Georgia were allowed by law to
own and use negro slaves.

Thus, when the cotton gin came fairly into use, slavery had been legally
allowed in Georgia for nearly half a century. The rest of the Colonies
had long enjoyed that privilege. The cotton gin, therefore, had a
twofold effect,--it increased the cotton crop and the value of the
lands, and it also increased the use of negro slaves. The Virginians and
North Carolinians, who came to Georgia, brought their slaves with them;
and the Georgians, as their crops became profitable, laid out their
surplus cash in buying more negroes. The slave trade became very
prosperous, and both Old England and New England devoted a large amount
of capital and enterprise to this branch of commerce.

As the population increased, and the cotton crop became more valuable,
the demand for land became keener. To this fact was due the intense
excitement kindled by the Yazoo Fraud in 1794. The cotton gin had been
introduced the year before, and the people were beginning to see and
appreciate the influence the invention would have on their prosperity.
Instead of selling land to speculators, they wanted to keep it for
themselves and children, or at least to get something like its real

The cotton gin had increased not only the demand for negro slaves, but
also the demand for land; and indirectly it was the cause of the various
troubles the State had with the Indians after the close of the War for
Independence. The troubles with the Indians also led finally to serious
misunderstandings between the United States Government and that of
Georgia. In May, 1796, a treaty was made between the United States and
the Creeks. This treaty created some indignation among the people, and
was denounced as an interference by the General Government with State
affairs. The lands which the Indians ceded to the United States were a
part of the Territory of Georgia, and the transaction gave rise to much
discussion and considerable bad feeling.

In ten years, from 1790 to 1800, the population in Georgia had increased
more than eighty thousand. During the next ten years the increase in the
population was more than ninety thousand. This increase meant a still
greater demand for farm lands. Westward the Territory of Georgia
extended to the Mississippi River. The agitation which began over this
rich possession when the Yazoo Fraud was attempted, was kept up until
1800, when Georgia appointed four of her most prominent citizens to
meet with commissioners appointed by the United States; and settle all
questions that had arisen. The result was, that Georgia ceded to the
General Government all her lands belonging to the State, south of
Tennessee and west of the Chattahoochee River. These lands were to be
sold, and out of the proceeds the State was to receive $1,250,-000. It
was also provided that the United States, at its own expense, should
extinguish the Indian titles to the lands held by the Creeks between
the forks of the Oconee and Ocmulgee rivers, and that in like manner the
General Government should extinguish the Indian title to all the other
lands within the State of Georgia. Under this agreement, and the Indian
treaty based upon it, nearly all of the lands lying between the Oconee
and Ocmulgee rivers were opened up for occupation and cultivation.

All the Territory of Georgia was looked upon by the people as a public
domain, belonging to the State for distribution among the citizens. The
lands east of the Oconee were divided among the people under the plan
known as the "Head Right System." By this system every citizen was
allowed to choose, and survey to suit himself, a body of unoccupied
land. This done, he received a title called a "head right land warrant,"
which was issued to him when he paid a small fee and a nominal price
for the land. If no one had previously appropriated the same land, the
warrant was his title. But much confusion arose in the distribution of
titles, and serious disputes grew out of it. The poorer sections of land
were neglected, and only the most fertile sections surveyed.

When the lands west of the Oconee were acquired, the clumsy Head Right
System was given up for what is known as the "Land Lottery System." "All
free white males, twenty-one years of age or older, every married man
with children under age, widows with children, and all families of
orphan minors," were allowed to draw in the lottery. Lists of these
persons were made out in each count, and sent to the governor. The
lottery was drawn under the management of five responsible persons. The
tickets to be drawn were marked with the numbers of the land lots, and
these were put into boxes with numerous blanks. Those who were fortunate
enough to draw numbered tickets were entitled to plats and grants of
their lots, signed by the governor.

The lots were not all of the same size. Some contained 202 1/2 acres,
others 490 acres. Twelve months after the drawing was completed, the
fortunate person was required to pay into the State treasury four
dollars for every hundred acres contained in his lot.

Many of those who had the good fortune to draw prizes in the
land-lottery scheme paid the necessary amount of money, and received
titles to their land lots; but many others neglected to pay in the
money, and thus forfeited their titles.

It has been said that the land hunger of the people at this time was
both selfish and sordid; but if we come to look at the matter closely,
selfishness is behind much of the material progress that the world has
made. The selfishness of individuals is not more conspicuous than the
selfishness of communities, commonwealths, and nations. In history we
find the rumseller, the land grabber, and the speculator following
hard upon the heels of the missionary. The selfishness of nations is
frequently given the name of "patriotism," and rightly so, since it is a
movement for the good of all.

When Georgia had fairly begun to recover from the disastrous results of
the War for Independence, the troubles that resulted in the War of 1812
began to make themselves felt. France and England were at war; and the
United States Government tried to remain neutral, giving aid to neither
the one nor the other. But this was not pleasing to either of these
great powers. Both were interested in the trade and commerce of this
country, and both issued orders affecting American affairs. The United
States resented the interference, and protested against it Great
Britain, with an arrogance made bitter by the remembrance of her
humiliating defeat at the hands of a few feeble Colonies, replied to the
American protest, declaring that American ships would still be searched,
and American sailors impressed into the service of the British, wherever
found on the high seas. In 1807 a British man-of-war fired on an
American merchant vessel as it was leaving harbor. Three men were
killed, eighteen wounded, and four sailors seized. This outrage inflamed
the whole country, and in December of that year Congress passed a law
preventing American vessels from leaving their ports to trade with
foreign nations. This law was deeply resented by the New England States,
and they held at Hartford, Conn., the first secession convention that
ever met in this country.

[Illustration: British Impressement of Americans 188]

Georgia was foremost among the States to denounce and resist the
aggressive acts of Great Britain. In 1808 the Legislature sent an
address to the President of the United States, approving the measures he
had taken, and declared that the people of Georgia were strong in their
independence, and proud of their government, and that they would never
wish to see the lives and property of their brethren exposed to the
insult and rapacity of a foreign power; but if the war should come, they
would, in proportion to their number and resources, give zealous aid to
the government of their choice.

The British, meanwhile, made arrangements to force a cotton trade with
Georgia and South Carolina, and for the purpose fitted out a number
of vessels of from ten to fifteen guns each. These vessels were to
be employed in opening the ports of Georgia and Carolina. A war brig
anchored at Tybee, and two of its officers went to Savannah. When they
had made known their purpose, they were peremptorily ordered away. They
returned to their vessel and put to sea; but as they were leaving, they
fired at a pilot boat in the harbor, and committed other outrages.

This incident and others aroused the indignation of the people. The
Legislature passed resolutions, addressed to the President of the
United States, declaring that all hope of a peaceful termination of
the difficulty had been lost, that the duty of the United States was to
maintain its sovereign rights against the despots of Europe, and that
the citizens of Georgia would ever be found in readiness to assert the
rights and support the dignity of the country whenever called on by the
General Government. By the time the treaty of peace was made, the day
before Christmas in 1814, the war spirit in Georgia had been roused
to the highest pitch by the numerous outrages committed by the Indian
allies of the British.

But the story of the Indian troubles belongs to a chapter by itself.


[Illustration: The Creek War 191]

If all the stories of the troubles of the early settlers of Georgia with
the Indians could be written out, they would fill a very large book. All
the whites with whom the red men came in contact in Georgia were not as
just, as generous, and as unselfish as James Edward Oglethorpe. On the
other hand, not all the Indians with whom the whites had dealings were
as wise and as honest as old Tomochichi. Consequently misunderstandings
arose, and prejudices grew and developed. This was greatly helped by
dishonest traders and speculators, who were keen to take advantage of
the ignorance of the Indians.

The controlling influence among the Indians in Georgia was the Creek
Confederacy (or nation); and this, in turn, was practically controlled
by the Muscogees.

North of the Creeks, Broad River being the dividing line, lived the
Cherokees, a nation even more warlike than the Creeks. The impression
made upon the Indians by Oglethorpe and some of his more prudent
successors, made them the strong friends of the British. Of course, the
red men were unable to appreciate the merits of the quarrel between
the Georgia settlers and King George: but, even if matters had been
different, they would probably have remained on friendly terms with the
Royalists; for Governor Wright, who was a wise as well as a good man,
took great pains, when the Liberty Boys began their agitations against
the Crown, to conciliate the Indians, and to show them that the King was
their friend. What was known as "the royal presents" were promptly
sent from England, and promptly delivered to and distributed among the
Indians. The governor sent for the chiefs, and had conferences with
them; so that when the Revolution began, the Upper and the Lower Creeks,
and the Cherokees as well, were the firm friends of the British.
During the Revolution, as we have already seen, they made constant and
unprovoked attacks on the patriots, burning their houses, carrying off
their cattle, and murdering their helpless women and children. These
raids were continued even after the Americans had compelled Great
Britain to recognize their independence, and hundreds of incidents
might be given to show the ferocity with which the savages attacked the
whites. In many cases the settlements were compelled to build stockades,
in which the people took shelter, for safety as well as defense,
whenever there was an alarm.

On one occasion shortly after the close of the war, the Indians attacked
the family of a man named William Tyner, who was living in what is known
as Elbert County. Tyner himself was absent, and his family was entirely
without protection. Mrs. Tyner was killed, the brains of her youngest
child were dashed out against a tree, and another child was scalped and
left for dead. A young boy named Noah, the son of Mr. Tyner, escaped in
the general confusion, and hid himself in a hollow tree. This tree was
for many years known as "Noah's Ark." Mary and Tamar, two daughters,
were suffered to live; but the Indians carried them off to the Coweta
towns on the Chattahoochee. These children remained with the Indians
several years. John Manack, an Indian trader, saw them there, and
purchased Mary. He then brought her to Elbert County, and afterwards
made her his wife. He returned to the Indian nation shortly afterwards,
and tried to purchase Tamar; but, as she was useful to the Indians in
bringing wood and fuel for their fires, they refused to sell her. When
Manack went away, an old Indian woman, who was fond of Tamar, learned
that the Indians, suspecting the girl was preparing to escape, had
decided to burn her at the stake. The old woman helped her to escape
by providing her with provisions and a canoe. She also gave Tamar
directions how to go down the Chattahoochee. By day the fleeing girl hid
herself in the thick swamps along the banks of the river, and by
night she floated down the river in her canoe. She finally reached
Apalachicola Bay, took passage on a vessel, and shortly afterwards
arrived at Savannah. Here she was assisted to her home in Elbert County
by the citizens. She married a man named Hunt, and no doubt many of her
descendants are still living in Georgia.

There was once an Indian village in Troup County, on the west bank of
the Chattahoochee, where the Indians who lived on the Alabama side of
the river were in the habit of meeting before and after their raids upon
the white settlements. Before the raids they would meet there to arrange
their programme; and afterwards they would assemble at the village to
count the scalps they had taken, dispose of their prisoners, and divide
the spoils. On one occasion, after a very destructive raid into the
white settlements, the Indians returned to this village, and began to
celebrate the success with which they had been able to creep upon the
settlements at dead of night, murder the unsuspecting whites, burn their
dwellings, and drive off their horses and cattle. This time, however,
the Indians had been followed by a few hundred men, under the leadership
of General David Adams, who was at that time a major in the militia,
and a scout. Major Adams had taken part in the closing scenes of
the Revolution when quite a young man. When the Creeks renewed their
depredations after the war, Major Adams, both as a scout and as a
leader, fought the Indians with such success as to win distinction.

He followed the Indians on this occasion with a few hundred men, who had
volunteered to accompany him. His pursuit was not active. The men under
him were not seasoned soldiers; and even if they had been, the force
of Indians was too large to justify an attack. Major Adams followed the
Indians in the hope that he and his men would find an opportunity to
surprise them. The Indians marched straight for the village on the west
bank of the Chattahoochee, about eight miles beyond the point where La
Grange now stands. At this village, which was the central point of the
Lower Creek nation at that time, there were many Indians--men, women,
and children--awaiting the return of the raiders. It was in the late
afternoon when they reached the village, and as the sun went down they
began the celebration of their victories; and in this they were joined
by the Indians, who had been waiting for their return.

Major Adams had halted his command a few miles from the river, where he
waited until night fell. He then advanced silently to the banks of the
stream, which was not so wide that he and his men could not see the
Indians dancing around their fires, and hear their whoops and yells. On
one bank stood the men whose families and friends had been murdered; on
the opposite shore, and almost within a stone's throw, the red murderers
danced and howled in savage delight.

For half the night, at least, the orgies were kept up by the Indians;
but at last they grew weary of the song and dance. Their fires slowly
died out, and there came a moment when the whites, who were watching and
waiting, could hear nothing but the murmur of the flowing water, as it
rippled over the shoals or lapped the bank. The time had come to strike
a blow, if a blow was to be struck. It was characteristic of Major
Adams, that, instead of sending one of his little party to find out the
position of the village and its surroundings, so as to be able to make a
swift, sudden, and an effective attack, he himself proposed to go.

[Illustration: Major Adams scouting and Indian camp 197]

It was a hazardous undertaking, and required a bold heart to undertake
it. Major Adams knew there was a ford near the point where his men lay.
The trail led into the river; but, once in the river, it was lost. He
had to find the ford for himself, and it proved to be a very narrow and
difficult one. It led in a direct line across the river nearly halfway,
and then turned down the stream in an oblique direction. A part of the
ford was over a slippery shoal. At some points the water was knee-deep,
at others it was chin-deep.

With great difficulty Major Adams reached the opposite bank in safety.
The paths leading from the ford into the swamp that lay between the
Indian village and the river were so numerous that the stout-hearted
scout hardly knew which one to take. He chose one almost at random, and,
after following it through the thick underbrush, he found that it had
led him some distance below the village. He followed the margin of
the swamp back again, and soon found himself in the outskirts of the
village. There he paused to listen. A dog somewhere in the settlement
barked uneasily and sleepily.

Pushing forward, but moving with the utmost caution, Major Adams soon
found himself in the center of the village. In every hut the Indians
were sleeping; and, in addition to these, the ground seemed to be
covered with warriors, who lay stretched out and snoring, their rifles
and tomahawks within easy reach. The brave Georgian went through the
village from one end to the other. Once a huge Indian, near whom he
was passing, raised himself on his elbow, grasped his gun, and looked
carefully in every direction. Having satisfied himself, he lay down,
and was soon snoring again. Fortunately, Major Adams had seen the Indian
stir, and sank to the ground near a group of sleeping warriors, where he
remained until he was sure the savage was asleep.

He had examined every point of attack and defense in the village, and
was returning to the river, when he saw a pony tethered to a sapling.
Thinking that the little animal would be able to find the ford without
trouble, and could thus be used as a safe guide, Major Adams resolved
to capture it. He approached the pony with that intention, but not until
too late did he discover that it had a bell hung on its neck. The pony,
frightened at the sight of a white man, broke the rope by which he was
tied, and went scampering through the village, arousing and alarming
warriors, squaws, children, and dogs with the jingling bell.

At the sound of the bell, Major Adams knew that there would be a
tremendous uproar in the village, and he made an instant rush toward
the river, but soon found himself entangled in the briers and thick
underbrush of the swamp. It was fortunate that he missed the path
leading to the ford; for a party of Indians ran in that direction,
either to catch the pony, or to find out whether they were about to be
attacked. Some of them passed within a few feet of the spot where Major
Adams stood.

In a short time the Indians returned to the village, and it was not long
before everything was as quiet and as peaceful as before the uproar.
Major Adams, instead of hunting for the path, made his way directly
to the river, slipped into the water, and swam straight across to the
opposite bank. He soon found his men, and told them of his adventure
and of the plans he had matured. Up to this moment he had been second in
command. A colonel of militia was with the party, and it was his right
to be the leader of the expedition; but now the men declared that they
would cross the river under the leadership of no one but Adams. It was
Adams or nobody; and the militia colonel, as gracefully as he could,
yielded to the demand.

Major Adams led the volunteers safely across the treacherous ford and
into the Indian town. The surprise was complete. Scarcely a warrior
escaped. The women and children were spared as far as possible, but the
village was burned to the ground. In retreating from that point, which
was the center of the famous Muscogee nation, Major Adams made long
marches during the day, and camped without fires at night, and in this
way brought his command out of the Indian country without the loss of a

But Adams's excursion to the center of the Muscogee (or Creek) nation
did not settle matters. The troubles continued. The temper of the people
was not improved by the efforts of the United States Government to take
affairs into its own hands. In some instances the agents of the General
Government sought to stir up active strife between the people of the
State and the Indians, and it was their habit to belittle the State
government by speaking of it contemptuously before the Indians. In many
instances the United States stepped in between the agents of the State
and the Indians, and prevented settlements and treaties that would have
been of lasting benefit to both the whites and the Indians. This was not
due to any purpose or desire of the General Government to trample on the
rights of the State, but grew altogether out of the folly of the agents,
who wanted to put on airs and advertise their importance.

In 1796 there was a treaty of peace arranged between the Creek nation
and the United States. Three commissioners represented the General
Government, and Georgia also had three present; but the business was
conducted without regard to the wishes of the Georgia commissioners,
and, as the commissioners thought, without regard to the interests of
the State. Seagrove was the name of the agent representing the General
Government at that time, and his attitude toward Georgia was not
calculated to give the Indians any respect for the commonwealth. After
the treaty was signed, General James Jackson, on the part of Georgia,
made an eloquent speech, in which he showed that the Creeks had not
faithfully observed the treaties they had made with the State. He
exhibited two schedules of property which they had stolen, amounting in
value to $110,000, and demanded its restoration. When General Jackson
had concluded, one of the prominent chiefs of the Creeks remarked that
he could fill more paper than Jackson showed with a list of outrages of
the Georgians upon his people. There was something more than a grain of
truth in this; but on that very account the Indians and the Georgians
should have been allowed to settle their difficulties in their own way,
without the interference of the United States.

The result of the treaty at Coleraine, in 1796, was, that the Georgia
agents were offended with Seagrove (the Indian agent for the United
States), offended with the Indians, and displeased with the United
States commissioners. To these last the Georgians presented a protest
in which the Federal commissioners were accused of disregarding the
interests of Georgia. Charges were brought against Seagrove, who, it was
claimed, had influenced the Creeks not to cede the lands as far as the
Ocmulgee. A bitter controversy grew out of this. It was, in fact, very
nearly the beginning of the discussion that has continued from that day
to this, in some shape or other, over the rights of the States and the
power of the General Government. Pickett, in his "History of Alabama
and Georgia," says that General Jackson, and Seagrove the Indian agent,
became enemies, and afterwards fought a duel.

Other treaties were made with the Creeks up to 1806, but all these were
violated when the Indians became the allies of the British during the
War of 1812. It is only fair to the Indians to say that the leader in
whom they placed the greatest confidence was a man who for many years
nourished hot resentment against the United States, and especially
against Georgia. This man was General Alexander McGillivray, who became
famous as an opponent of the Americans and the Georgians in all their
efforts to come to a just, fair, and peaceable understanding with the

As has been stated, when the War of 1812 began, the Creeks became the
allies of the British, and the attacks they made on the unprotected
settlements were so numerous and so serious as to call for some action
on the part of the General Government. In September, 1813, Congress
called for a levy of Georgia troops, and, the State authorities ordered
3,600 men to assemble at Camp Hope, near Fort Hawkins, on the Ocmulgee
River. The ruins of Fort Hawkins may be seen to this day on the
Ocmulgee, in the city of Macon.

The men who assembled at Camp Hope were volunteers, and all eager for
service. The command of this force fell to General John Floyd, who made
haste to take charge, and endeavored to make arrangements for taking the
field at once. He found his men assembled according to orders, and all
anxious to be led against the hostile Indians. But the little army could
not march. The Federal Government had failed to supply the necessary
funds. What is called "red tape" stood in the way of prompt action. A
dispute arose. Federal officials placed the blame on the contractors
who were to furnish supplies, and the contractors placed it on the
officials, who had failed to furnish the necessary money. While this
dispute was raging, General Floyd, who was a brave and gallant spirit,
applied to the State Legislature, then in session, for a loan of
$20,000. The request was granted, and he was able to equip his troops,
procure supplies, and march into the country of the Creeks, by the
middle or latter part of November.

Meanwhile the hostile Creeks had already challenged Georgia and begun
their attack. On the 30th of August, seven hundred and twenty-five
Creek Indians attacked Fort Mims on the Chattahoochee. The attack was as
sudden as it was unexpected. It was made at twelve o'clock in the day,
and the inmates of the fort were taken entirely by surprise. The savages
massacred nearly three hundred men, women, and children in the most
cruel manner. This horrible outrage spread consternation on the
frontier, and aroused indignation in all parts of the country. Hundreds
of frontier settlers fled from their homes, and sought safety in the
more thickly settled regions.

It was owing to this massacre that the troops commanded by General Floyd
were called out. This active and energetic leader began his campaign
by building a line of forts and blockhouses from the Ocmulgee to the
Alabama River, and in this way completely protected the northern part of
the State from invasion by the Creeks. General Floyd accomplished this
work in spite of the failure of the United States officials to supply
with provisions and transportation the troops they had called out.

He completed his line of defense by building Fort Mitchell. Leaving a
sufficient garrison in this fort, General Floyd placed himself at the
head of nine hundred and fifty men, and marched on Autossee, one of the
most populous towns of the Creek nation, situated on the left bank of
the Tallapoosa River, and near the town of Tallassee, which was nearly
as large. The distance from Fort Mitchell to Autossee was sixty miles,
and General Floyd made it by forced night marches, resting his troops
during the day. He was accompanied on this expedition by General William
Mcintosh, the famous Indian chief, who led four hundred friendly Creeks.

Arriving at Autossee and Tallassee at daybreak on the 29th of November,
1813, General Floyd arranged and ordered a simultaneous attack on both
towns. By nine o'clock the Indians had been defeated and driven from the
towns, and their houses burned. Four hundred houses were burned, with
all the provisions and stock. Two hundred Indians were killed, including
the kings of both towns. The pipe which the old chief of Tallassee had
smoked at a treaty forty years before, was taken and presented to the
governor, who placed it in the executive office of the State Capitol.
Eleven whites were killed, and fifty-four wounded; among them, General
Floyd himself, who had received a ball in the knee early in the fight.
He refused to have his wound dressed, and continued on horseback,
directing his troops, until after the battle was over. He never entirely
recovered from the effects of this wound. After the towns had been
entirely destroyed, the troops returned to Fort Mitchell, having marched
a hundred and twenty miles in bitter cold weather, and fought a severe
engagement on five days' provisions.

In January, 1814, General Floyd heard that the Upper Creeks had
collected in great force at the Indian town of Hothlewaulee. By that
time his wound had so far healed that he was able to ride a horse,
and he determined to make an attack on the town. For this purpose he
detached from the troops at Fort Mitchell a force of fifteen hundred
men. The weather was cold, and the winter rains had so obstructed the
roads that the troops found the march a weary and a difficult one; but
they pressed on, nevertheless, cheered by the energy and enthusiasm of
their gallant leader. They marched to within fifteen or twenty miles of
the town, and there encamped. Between midnight and day a large body
of Indians, led by the warrior Weather-ford and Colonel Woodbine, an
English officer, attacked General Floyd's camp. His troops were taken by
surprise, but they were not demoralized. They had been fighting for six
months, and were seasoned to all the dangers of Indian warfare. Above
all, they had a leader who possessed in a wonderful degree a genius for

No sooner had the alarm been sounded than General Floyd rallied his
little army, formed it in a square, the baggage in the center, and held
the savages at bay until daylight. There was no faltering in any part
of the line or on any side of the square. The dauntless courage of Floyd
himself seemed to control every man, down to the humblest private. When
day dawned, a charge was sounded, and Floyd's troops drove the Indians
before them at the point of the bayonet. Within a quarter of an hour
after the charge was made, the battle was won. The loss of the Indians
was never discovered, as they had an opportunity to carry off their
killed and wounded up to the moment the charge was sounded. Seventeen
Georgians were killed, and a hundred and thirty-two wounded. Floyd's
camp was known as Camp Defiance, but in the official report the fight is
called the battle of Chalibbee. The attack was made on Floyd in order
to prevent a junction between his troops and those of General Andrew
Jackson, who was fighting the Indians in the lower part of Alabama. The
result of the fight made a junction unnecessary; and shortly afterwards
the term for which Floyd's Georgia troops had enlisted expired, and they
were discharged.

In 1814, when peace was declared between the United States and Great
Britain, the Creeks remained quiet for some time.


Among the Indian leaders who made Georgia the scene of their operations,
the most celebrated were General Alexander McGillivray and General
William Mcintosh. If these men had been born and brought up among the
whites, both of them would have won lasting renown. They possessed the
energy and the genius: all they lacked was the opportunity to direct
their gifts into channels that would have benefited humanity.

Alexander McGillivray was one of the most remarkable men of his time,
whether we regard him as a leader of the Indians or simply as an
individual. His father, Lachlan McGillivray, being a lad of adventurous
turn, ran away from a home in Scotland where he enjoyed all the
advantages and comforts that wealth could give him, took passage on
a ship bound for South Carolina, and shortly afterwards landed at
Charleston. Wandering about in that city, and enjoying the sights that
were new to his experience, he soon found himself in the suburbs of the
city. There he found the headquarters of the Indian traders, who came to
Charleston with their pack horses to carry merchandise of all kinds to
the red men. One of these traders persuaded young McGillivray to go with
him. His Scotch eye and mind were quick to appreciate the possibilities
of this new business, and in a few years he became one of the most
enterprising and prosperous of the Indian traders. He pushed his trade
farther than any of his predecessors had ever dared to go. He went,
indeed, to the neighborhood of Fort Toulouse. A few miles above that
fort, where Wetumpka, Ala., now stands, he met Sehoy Marchand, a
beautiful girl of about sixteen years. This girl was the daughter of
Captain Marchand, who had commanded at Fort Toulouse, but who had been
killed by his own soldiers in August, 1722. The soldiers rose against
the officers of the garrison on account of the failure of France to
forward money and supplies to the troops in her American settlement.
The girl's mother was a Creek woman of the tribe of The Wind, the most
powerful and influential family in the Creek nation. The young Scotchman
fell in love with the dark-haired maiden, and she fell in love with the
blue-eyed Scotchman, with his fair skin and red hair. Lachlan
McGillivray built him a trading house on the Coosa, not far away, and
soon married Sehoy, and carried her home. He became very wealthy. He
owned two plantations on the Savannah River, which were well stocked
with negroes, and stores filled with merchandise in both Savannah and
Augusta. When Lachlan McGillivray's son Alexander reached the age of
fourteen, he was carried to Savannah and placed at school, and in a few
years was made a clerk in a counting-house at Savannah.

But the humdrum business of buying, selling, and adding up long rows of
tiresome figures, did not please him, and so he neglected his duties to
read books, mainly histories. His father, taking the advice of friends,
placed young Alexander under the tutorship of a clergyman in Charleston,
where the lad learned Latin and Greek, and in that way became well
grounded in what our dear old grandfathers called polite literature. But
one day word came to the young man that the chiefs of the Creek nation,
who were getting into trouble with the people of Georgia, were waiting
for the moment when he, as a descendant of the tribe of The Wind, should
return and take charge of the affairs of the nation. So he departed
suddenly from Charleston, and turned his horse's head toward the

[Illustration: McGillavray joins the Indians 208]

On his way to the Creek nation, he fell in with Leclerc Mil-fort, an
adventurous Frenchman, who afterwards wrote a book of travels, and
was made a general of brigade by Napoleon. Milfort married one of
McGillivray's sisters, was made Tustenug-gee (or grand war chief), and
was the right-hand man of his powerful brother-in-law. The first that
was heard of McGillivray after he left Charleston, he was presiding at
a grand national council of the Creeks at the town of Coweta on the
Chattahoochee. When Alexander arrived among the Creeks, Colonel Tait of
the British army was stationed on the Coosa, and he used all his tact
and influence to prevail upon the young man to take the side of the
English in the war that was then going on between the Colonies and
the mother country. To this end Colonel Tait pursued McGillivray with
attentions, loaded him with favors, and finally caused him to be given
the rank and pay of a colonel in the army. The result was that the great
chief was throughout the war devoted to the cause of the British.
This would have been natural in any event, for his father was a stanch
Royalist. During the war, McGillivray frequently acted in concert with
the notorious Daniel McGirth, sometimes leading his Indians in person;
but his main dependence was on his brother-in-law Milfort, who was
possessed of the most daring spirit. McGillivray preferred to plan and
engage in intrigue, which gave the remarkable powers of his mind full

There is no doubt that the authorities of Georgia made a great mistake,
after the war, in neglecting to win the friendship of McGillivray. Such
a course would have prevented much suffering and bloodshed. The father
of the great chief, Lachlan McGillivray, was living in Savannah at the
close of the Revolution; and when the British were compelled to evacuate
the city, he scraped together an immense amount of money and other
valuables, and sailed for Scotland. He abandoned his plantations and
negroes, in the hope that his wife and three children might be permitted
to inherit them; but the Georgians confiscated the whole of the valuable
estate, and thus the Creek leader had another reason for entertaining a
bitter prejudice against the Whigs.

The result was, that until the day of his death, which occurred in
1792, he succeeded in baffling all the efforts of the Federal and State
authorities to come to an understanding with the Creek nation. He was
perhaps the most accomplished diplomat in the country,--a veritable
Talleyrand, able to cope with the most distinguished statesmen among the
Americans. Such of his letters as have been preserved do not suffer by
comparison with the writings of even the greatest of the Americans. The
most of these depended on a stately and scholarly diction to attract
attention. McGillivray paid little regard to diction; but his letters
possess the distinction of style, and in this particular but one
American writer can be compared to him,--Benjamin Franklin. There is,
in fact, a modern touch and flavor about McGillivray's letters that
even the writings of Franklin do not possess. He wrote thus to
Andrew Pickens, who had addressed him on behalf of the United States

"When we found that the American independence was confirmed by the
peace, we expected that the new government would soon have taken some
steps to make up the differences that subsisted between them and the
Indians during the war, to have taken them under their protection
and confirmed to them their hunting grounds. Such a course would have
reconciled the minds of the Indians, and secured the States their
friendship, as they considered your people their natural allies. The
Georgians, whose particular interest it was to conciliate the friendship
of this nation, have acted in all respects to the contrary. I am sorry
to observe that violence and prejudice have taken the place of good
policy and reason in all their proceedings with us. They attempted to
avail themselves of our supposed distressed situation. Their talks to us
breathed nothing but vengeance, and, being entirely possessed with the
idea that we were wholly at their mercy, they never once reflected that
colonies of a powerful monarch were nearly surrounding us, to whom, in
any extremity, we might apply for succor and protection, and who, to
answer some ends of their policy, might grant it to us. However, we yet
deferred any such proceeding, still expecting that we could bring them
to a true sense of their interest; but still finding no alteration
in their conduct towards us, we sought the protection of Spain, and
treaties of friendship and alliance were mutually entered into; they
guaranteeing our hunting grounds and territory, and granting us a free
trade in the ports of the Floridas.

"How the boundary and limits between the Spaniards and the States will
be determined, a little time will show, as I believe that matter is
now on foot. However, we know our limits and the extent of our hunting
grounds. As a free nation, we have applied, as we had a right to do,
for protection, and obtained it. We shall pay no attention to any
limits that may prejudice our claims, that were drawn by an American
and confirmed by a British negotiator. Yet, notwithstanding we have
been obliged to adopt these measures for our preservation, and from real
necessity, we sincerely wish to have it in our power to be on the same
footing with the States as before the late unhappy war, to effect which
is entirely in your power. We want nothing from you but justice. We want
our hunting grounds preserved from encroachments. They have been ours
from the beginning of time, and I trust that, with the assistance of our
friends, we shall be able to maintain them against every attempt to take
them from us."

Undoubtedly McGillivray was unscrupulous, and the probability is that
he was mercenary; but such charges may be brought against some of the
ablest men who have figured in history. When all is said, the fact
remains that Alexander McGillivray was one of the most accomplished and
ingenious of the politicians of his time. If he had been on the side of
the whites, and had managed their interests with the skill and ability
which he displayed in behalf of the Creeks, history would have written
him down as a great statesman. It was only by an accidental suit at law
that some of his most characteristic letters were brought to light; but
those that have been rescued from oblivion show that in wielding the
pen he was more than a match for the many able men who corresponded with

In September, 1789, Washington sent General Andrew Pickens, with three
other commissioners, to treat with McGillivray. They found the great
chief at Rock Landing, on the Oconee, with two thousand Creek warriors,
where he had been encamped more than a week. The Indian camp was on the
western bank of the river. The commissioners pitched their tents on the
eastern bank. They were received by McGillivray with great courtesy.
Everything progressed favorably, so much so that the commissioners read
to the assembled chiefs a copy of the treaty which they had drawn up.
This treaty was all in favor of the whites. The Indians were offered
no equivalent for the terms proposed. It is worthy of note that Andrew
Pickens wholly dissented from the terms of the proposed treaty. He knew
that the Indians would have to be paid for the valuable land which the
Georgians were then cultivating in the neighborhood of the Oconee, and
the commissioners had been advised by the Federal authorities to pay
for these lands. McGillivray broke up his encampment and retired to
the Ocmulgee, nor could he be induced at that time to renew the

President Washington was urged by the Georgia delegation in Congress to
declare war against the Creeks, and this indeed was his first impulse;
but when he found, from a careful estimate, that the expenses of such
a war would amount to fifteen millions of dollars, he prudently gave
up the idea. He took the matter in hand in a more conservative way. He
appointed Colonel Marinus Willett a secret agent to visit Mc-Gillivray,
and urge him to visit President Washington in New York. In this Colonel
Willett was entirely successful. Accompanied by McGillivray and a number
of the leading men of the Creeks, Willett set out on his return journey.
At Guilford Court House, McGillivray attracted great attention on
account of a very pathetic incident that occurred there some years
before. A man named Brown had been killed by the Creeks, and his wife
and children captured and made slaves. Their unfortunate condition came
to the notice of Alexander McGillivray, and, as he had done in the case
of many other captive white women and children, he paid their ransom and
redeemed them from slavery. He maintained them at his house for over a
year, and finally assisted them to return to their friends. Mrs. Brown,
hearing that McGillivray had arrived, went to see him. At that moment
he was in the courthouse, the center of a large assembly of ladies
and gentlemen who had gathered to pay their respects. But this was no
obstacle to Mrs. Brown. She rushed through the assembly, and, in a flood
of tears, expressed her gratitude to him for saving her life and the
lives of her children. She also expressed her strong admiration for his

In due course, McGillivray arrived in New York, where he was treated
with great consideration. He had long private conferences with
Washington and other officials of the government, and was finally
induced to make a treaty which was satisfactory to the United States,
and would have been satisfactory to Georgia if it had been carried out,
but in fact the terms of it were never fulfilled. While in New York,
McGillivray made a secret treaty with Washington, a fact that was not
discovered for many years. It provided, that after two years from date
(August, 1790) the commerce of the Creek nation should be carried on
through the ports of the United States, and in the mean time through
the present channels; that a number of chiefs of the Creeks and of the
Seminole nation should be paid one hundred dollars a year each, and
be furnished with handsome medals; that the United States should feed,
clothe, and educate Creek youth at the North, not exceeding five at one
time; and that Alexander McGillivray should be constituted agent of the
United States, with the rank of brigadier general, and the pay of twelve
hundred dollars a year. In 1792, McGillivray was a British colonel, an
American brigadier general, an agent of the United States, and an
agent of Spain. This extraordinary man died in Pensacola on the 17th of
February, having been seized with a fatal illness while returning from
one of his plantations on Little River in Putnam or Baldwin.

Another famous Creek was General William Mcintosh, a half-breed. His
father was Captain William Mcintosh, and his mother was an Indian
of unmixed blood. He was not so brilliant a man intellectually as
McGillivray; but he had a native force of character, and an inborn sense
of justice, that McGillivray seems to have been a stranger to. History
tells us little enough of Mcintosh, but that little is all to his
credit. Almost from the days of Oglethorpe, there were two parties in
the Creek nation, and the issue on which they divided was the
treatment that should be accorded to the whites. The party division was
geographical as well as political. The Upper Creeks, living upon the
Alabama, Coosa, and Tallapoosa rivers, were not present at the Coweta
town when James Oglethorpe treated with the Lower Creeks in August,
1730. At that time they were under the influence of the French, and
afterwards they sought the protection of the Spaniards. They refused to
recognize any of the treaties made by the Lower Creeks with the English,
and the great body of them remained to the end the bitter enemies of
the Georgians. On the other hand, the majority of the Lower Creeks
were friendly with the English from the days of Oglethorpe; and that
friendship continued, with but few interruptions, down to the days of
Governor Troup.

Now, McGillivray, in his day and time, represented the Upper Creeks
of the Tallapoosa country and their policy, while William Mcintosh
represented the Lower Creeks of the Coweta country and their policy. The
division in the Creek nation was so serious, that, when the Upper Creeks
took sides with the British in the War of 1812, they found themselves
opposed in the field by a large party of Lower Creeks under the command
of Mcintosh. Thus, at the battle of Autossee, William Mcintosh led a
large band of Lower Creeks against those who were making war on the
whites. He made himself so conspicuous in that affair, that General
Floyd mentions him in the official report of the battle.

The treaty at Indian Spring, and the results that followed, cannot be
clearly understood unless we bear in mind the political differences that
existed between the Upper and the Lower Creeks. The Creek chiefs and the
commissioners met at Indian Spring on the 15th of February, 1825. The
chiefs and warriors of the Upper Creeks declared that no treaty could
be made for a cession of lands, and on the night of the 11th they went
home. On the 12th a treaty was signed with the Mcintosh party. Colonel
John A. Crowell, agent for the Creek Indians, sent a letter to the
secretary of war, in which he declared that the treaty was in direct
opposition to the letter and spirit of the instructions to the
commissioners; but the treaty was sent to Washington, and was ratified
on the 3d of March, 1825. When the Indians of the Upper Creeks and their
party learned that the treaty had been ratified, they became very much
excited. Mcintosh and his party went to Milledgeville, and told the
governor that they expected violent treatment at the hands of the
Upper Creeks. They begged the protection of the State and of the United
States, and this was promised them.

Out of this treaty grew a very serious conflict between the Federal and
State governments. After a good deal of discussion, the President asked
Congress to reconsider the treaty of Indian Spring, and presented a
new one as a substitute, which was ratified and proclaimed; but popular
indignation ran so high in Georgia, that Governor Troup felt justified
in paying no attention to this new treaty. He proceeded to carry out the
terms of the Indian Spring treaty. Charges were brought against Crowell,
the Indian agent. The governor informed T. P. Andrews, the special
agent, that he would hold no further correspondence with him. The
conduct of General Gaines had been such that Governor Troup requested
the Federal Government to recall, arrest, and punish him. In 1826 the
State Legislature declared that the attempt to repeal the treaty of
Indian Spring by the substitution of another treaty was illegal and
unconstitutional. In September, 1826, Governor Troup ordered the
districts ceded by the treaty of Indian Spring to be surveyed. When the
Indians complained of this, the secretary of war wrote to Governor Troup
that the President felt himself compelled to employ all the means under
his control to maintain the faith of the nation by carrying the treaty
into effect, meaning the treaty made at Washington, and intended to be
a substitute for the Indian Spring treaty. In his reply, Governor Troup
declared that he would feel it to be his duty to resist to the utmost
any military attack which the President of the United States should
think proper to make upon the Territory, the people, or the sovereignty
of Georgia. "From the first decisive act of hostility," he wrote to the
secretary of war, "you will be considered and treated as a public
enemy. You have referred me, as the rule of my conduct, to the treaty
of Washington. In turn I refer you to the treaty of prior date and prior
ratification, concluded at the Indian Spring."

The President issued orders that the surveyors appointed by the State
be prosecuted. Governor Troup thereupon ordered the proper officers, in
every instance of complaint made of the arrest of any surveyor, to take
all necessary and legal measures to effect their liberation, and to
bring to justice all the parties concerned in such arrests, as violators
of the peace and personal security of the State. He also ordered
the major generals of the militia to hold the various regiments and
battalions in readiness to repel any hostile invasion of the State. But
no acts of violence were committed. The surveyors were not arrested, the
surveys were made, and the lands ceded by the treaty of Indian Spring
were divided by lottery in 1827.

The Upper Creeks, who had always been unfriendly to the Georgians,
were so angry at the signing of the treaty of Indian Spring, that they
determined to assassinate General William Mcintosh. They had never
forgiven him for leading his party of Lower Creeks against them in the
campaign that was made necessary by the terrible massacre of Fort Mims,
and they now determined to rid themselves of him at once and forever.

We have seen that General Mcintosh, and his party of Lower Creeks,
suspecting that an attack would be made on them by the powerful tribes
on the Tallapoosa, went to Milledgeville to beg the governor to protect
them. Protection was promised, but never given. Meanwhile the Upper
Creeks held a secret council, and selected a hundred and seventy of the
boldest warriors in the nation to murder Mcintosh. They marched in the
most cautious way. They reached the neighborhood of Mcintosh's home,
and concealed themselves, to wait for night to fall. About sundown, or
a little before, the Indians saw from their hiding place two persons
riding along a trail. One was Mcintosh, and the other a man named
Hawkins, who had married one of Mcintosh's daughters. It would have been
an easy matter for the savages to have killed Mcintosh at this time; but
they had made up their minds to kill him upon his own premises, so that
his blood might stain the land that had been granted him by the State.
While still in sight of the men who had been sent to slay him, Mcintosh
bade Hawkins good evening, wheeled his horse, and rode back on the trail
toward his home. Although he was now alone, the Indians would not kill
him. They had fixed up a different plan, and they carried it out.

Before dark the Indians gathered together a supply of "fat lightwood,"
as the resinous pine was called. This they split into convenient length,
and made up into three bundles to be carried on the backs of their
warriors. They remained hidden within half a mile of Mcintosh's house
till three o'clock in the morning, and then silently and swiftly marched
to the place. They had taken along with them a man named James Hutton to
act as interpreter, the reason for this being that Mcintosh was in the
habit of entertaining travelers.

It was to be Hutton's duty to assure such as might be found there that
they would not be disturbed in any manner. Guests of Mcintosh were
commonly lodged in an outhouse in the yard; and Hutton, accompanied by
two Indians, went to this building to see who might be sleeping there.
They found a peddler in one bed, and Chilly, a son of General Mcintosh,
in another.

Young Mcintosh, as if instinctively understanding the nature of the
visit, sprang from the bed and leaped out at a window. He was fired upon
by the Indians, but was not touched, and succeeded in making his escape.
The peddler was nearly scared out of his wits; but his pack of goods
was removed to a place of safety, and the house in which he had been
sleeping was soon in flames.

[Illustration: Indian Attack 220]

Meanwhile most of the Indians had surrounded Mcintosh's house, and
torches of the fat pine were used to set it on fire. The red men danced
around the burning building, yelling, and crying out, "Mcintosh, we have
come, we have come! We told you if you sold the land to the Georgians
we would come. Now we have come!" At the first alarm Mcintosh had
barricaded his front door. He stood near it; and when it was broken
down, he fired upon his assailants. At that moment, one of his firmest
friends, Toma Tustenuggee, who had thrown himself upon the party at the
door, fell on the threshold, riddled with bullets. General Mcintosh then
retreated to the second story with four guns, which he continued to fire
from the windows.

The flames drove him from the second story to the first floor again. He
fought bravely to the end, but was soon compelled to expose himself to
the fire of his enemies. He fell to the floor, pierced by many bullets,
and was dragged into the yard by his heels. He breathed defiance to
the last, and was finally stabbed to death. After this savage deed, the
Indians plundered the houses, killed such cattle as they could find,
and committed other outrages. A small party of the Indians had followed
Hawkins the evening before. His house was surrounded about daybreak the
next morning, and he was ordered to come out. He refused, and defended
himself the best he could; but he was finally taken prisoner and tied,
until the fate of Mcintosh was known. Then he was murdered, and his body
thrown into the river near where he lived. The Indians marched back
to the Tallapoosa country with the scalps of these unfortunate men.
Mcintosh's scalp was suspended from a pole in the public square of
Ocfuskee, and young and old danced around it with shouts of joy.

General Mcintosh was a cousin of Governor Troup, being the son of
Governor Troup's uncle, Captain William Mcintosh, who was frequently on
the Chattahoochee before the breaking-out of the Revolution.


When Georgia had begun to recover its breath, after the difficulties
with the Creeks, the people had time to discover that they had a much
more serious problem to deal with in the Cherokee nation, which occupied
all the northwestern portion of the State. Those who mingled thrift with
their benevolence, and had the courage to think about the future of
the whites as well as the future of the savages, thought that both
ends would be attained by making a permanent settlement for the Indians
beyond the Mississippi River. Those whose benevolence was a mixture of
sentimentality and romantic misinformation thought the Indians ought
to be left where contact with the whites would tend to civilize
and Christianize them. Consequently there were two parties to the
discussion, and a good deal of practical selfishness at the bottom of it
all. There used to be an old song running in this wise,--

     "All I want in this creation,
     Is a pretty little wife and a big plantation
     Away up yonder in the Cherokee nation,"--

and this song no doubt represented the real feeling behind the whole
matter. The big plantation was what was really wanted. At the same time
it should not be forgotten that it was for the benefit of the Indians as
well as the whites that they should be settled in a section where they
would remain undisturbed. This policy has been proven by time to be the
true one.

Travelers and romancers have done no end of harm by exalting the Indian
character, covering up its faults, and exaggerating its merits. Romance
has made great heroes of the Indians; but in the whole history of the
red men, so far as it has been faithfully chronicled, the names of the
Indians of unmixed blood who are worth remembering can be counted on the
fingers of two hands.

Sequoia, or George Guess, who invented the Cherokee alphabet, was the
grandson of a white man. This invention, however, was a very remarkable
achievement, and it is worthy of a word here. Sequoia was altogether
illiterate. He could neither write nor speak English, but he saw that
the whites could talk with each other by means of pieces of paper. So
he set himself to work to examine his own language. He found that sixty
monosyllables could be so combined as to represent every word in
the Cherokee language, and for each of these syllables he formed a
character. Many of these characters were taken from an English spelling
book which he managed to get hold of. Some are Greek characters, and
others are letters of the English alphabet turned upside down; but
each character in the Cherokee alphabet stands for a monosyllable. It
happened, too, from the structure of the Cherokee language or dialect,
that the syllabic alphabet is also in the nature of a grammar; so that
those who know the language by ear, and master the alphabet, can at once
read and write. Owing to the extreme simplicity of this system, it can
be acquired in a few days. Some have learned it even in one day. Thus
it happened that the Cherokees, who were at the beginning of one year
ignorant and illiterate, had become in the course of a few months able
to read and write their own language. They accomplished this without
going to school, and without expense of time or money.

This curious and useful invention is dwelt on here because it stands
alone. The Indian grandson of a white man remains to-day the only man,
in the long history of the aborigines, who has done anything for the
real and lasting benefit of his race.

When the people of Georgia insisted on the removal of that nation to the
Far West, the Cherokees were neither better nor worse than the rest of
the Indians. Some of the half-breeds had indeed begun to put on the airs
of civilization, and many of them had put off their barbarian garbs; but
from time to time they gave evidence that contact with the whites had
only whetted their savage appetites for cruelty. The Indian in Cooper's
novels and the Indian in real life are two different creatures. They
were tall and straight because they refused to do manual labor. The
drudgery was left to the women, who hoed the corn when at home, and
carried the burdens when the warriors were moving about. They cultivated
the passion of revenge. Those who know them best have declared in
a thousand ways that they never found in the red men any solid
substantial, or agreeable quality. They were brave, but so is a bulldog.

There is no wonder that Georgia wanted to get rid of them as neighbors.
The people showed their anxiety in this matter when, in 1802, they
conveyed to the United States Government all the valuable lands that now
form the States of Alabama and Mississippi; the consideration being that
the General Government would secure from the Indians, and open up to
settlement, the lands which they then held in the State. In 1808 the
Cherokees asked the United States to allow them to examine the public
land west of the Mississippi, and, if pleased, to settle on it.
Permission was given, and the Cherokees sent a party to explore
the lands. The country suited them so well that many of the Indians
emigrated at once. The General Government thus had an opportunity to
carry out the contract of 1802, but failed to do so. It had another
opportunity in 1814, when the conquered Creeks sued for peace. The
General Government had the right to demand of them the cession of the
land they occupied in Georgia. Instead, it took land in Alabama, which
it sold for its own benefit.

And so the matter went on from year to year, and the people waited
patiently; for they had become aware, from costly experience, that one
of the prices they have to pay for popular government is the occasional
rule of the political demagogue.

In 1827, when the people of Georgia began to grow restive under the
failure of the government to carry out its contracts, the Cherokees
had declared themselves to be an independent state. They had their own
printed constitution and code of laws. So that here in the limits of
Georgia there were three governments going on at one and the same
time. The United States prohibited any person from settling on Indian
territory, or trading with any Indian, without a special license from
the proper authority. In addition to this, the State of Georgia had
found it necessary to extend her criminal courts over the Cherokee
territory, in order to protect her own citizens.

The half-breeds among the Cherokees were very shrewd and unscrupulous.
They had caused some of their tribe to take possession of lands ceded
to Georgia by the Creeks, and in this way sought to add confusion to the
discussion that was then going on. The Indians took possession by force.
They were armed and painted, and led by Chief Ridge. Fourteen or fifteen
houses were burned by these savages, and the white women and children
were left exposed to the weather, the ground being covered with snow.

The great trouble with the Cherokees then and afterwards was, that the
government of their nation had fallen into the hands of half-breeds,
whose education only gave them fresh opportunities to gain wealth
and power at the expense of the rest of the tribe. They owned trading
houses, big plantations, numbers of slaves, had charge of the ferries,
and controlled all the traffic between the whites and the Indians. As
these half-breeds became wealthier, the rest of the tribe became poorer.
They had forsaken their primitive habits and customs, and taken up those
of the most depraved whites who lived among them. It is worthy of note
that the most progressive spirits among the Cherokees were in favor
of emigration beyond the Mississippi. The leaders of this party were
natives of unmixed blood, who saw that the control of the corrupt
half-breeds was carrying the nation to ruin. Several of these leaders
were waylaid and shot down by the agents of those whose policy they were
opposing. The alarm in some sections was very great. The citizens met,
and adopted resolutions requesting the government to station troops at
suitable points, for the protection of the lives and property of the
whites and friendly Indians.

Under an act of the Legislature, a body of militia had been organized,
under the name of the "Georgia Guard." It was the duty of the Guard to
protect the citizens of Georgia and the friendly Cherokees. John Howard
Payne, the famous author of "Home, Sweet Home," was arrested by this
Guard. The poet was traveling among the Cherokees for information, and
was no doubt ignorant of the state of feeling then existing. He was
finally suspected by the vigilant Georgia Guard of writing improper
papers. He had been seen making notes, and when he was arrested his
papers were searched. The commander of the Georgia Guard, Colonel
William N. Bishop, reported to the governor that he had examined some
of Mr. Payne's papers, and found some very improper and indiscreet
statements about the President, the government, and the State
authorities, and many bitter remarks concerning Cherokee matters.
Evidently, Colonel Bishop was of the opinion, that, while a politician
or a newspaper editor might be allowed to indulge in improper and
indiscreet statements about Presidents and other public men, a poet
had no such rights. But the colonel finally discharged Mr. Payne from
custody, and the very foolish proceeding was condemned by a resolution
of the General Assembly.

In 1835 two parties had developed in the Cherokee nation. One was in
favor of removal to the Western lands, and the other was opposed
to removal. John Ridge headed the removal party, and John Ross the
opposition. In February of that year these men went to Washington at
the head of deputations, and entered into negotiations with the General
Government. After a great deal of talk, excitement, confusion, and
trouble, the Cherokee people finally concluded to hold a meeting at Red
Clay in October, 1835. There was a good deal of angry feeling between
those of the Cherokees who were in favor of a treaty of removal and
those who were opposed to it. Major Ridge, John Ridge, and David Vann
were impeached for holding opinions contrary to those held by the
Cherokee authorities. On the other hand, many of those in favor of
removal met, and passed resolutions, in which they declared that their
people could not prosper in the midst of a white population, and that,
while they loved the lands of their fathers, and would leave the place
of their birth with regret, they considered that it would be better to
become exiles than to submit to the laws of the State.

At the Red Clay meeting, arrangements were made for discussing with the
United States authorities the terms of a treaty of removal. The Ross
party was still violently opposed to removal. John Ross, the leader of
this party, was only one fourth Indian, the other three fourths
being Scotch and American. Ross was very shrewd and thrifty, and had
accumulated a great deal of property, with the prospect of accumulating
more. He had many sympathizers and admirers in all parts of the country.
It seems to have been thought a wonderful thing in that day, that a man
one quarter Indian should be able to read and write English, and make
political speeches. When everything had been arranged for the final
treaty, and while negotiations were going forward, Ross and his party
put an end to them, and went to Washington, where they hoped to delay
matters. But the Ridge party met the United States commissioners at New
Echota on the 21st of December, 1835, according to appointment, and on
the 29th the treaty was concluded. On May 23, 1836, it was ratified.

By the terms of this treaty, the Cherokees, in consideration of the sum
of five million dollars, relinquished all claims to lands east of the
Mississippi. In addition to the money to be paid, they were to receive
seven million acres of land west of the Mississippi. Should this
territory be found to be insufficient, the United States, in
consideration of five hundred thousand dollars, was to convey to them
an additional body of land. The land thus granted was not to be included
within the limits of any State at any future time. The Cherokees were
guaranteed protection against domestic strife and foreign enemies, and
it was provided that the tribe should be entitled to a delegate in the
House of Representatives whenever Congress passed a law to that effect.
The United States authorities were to remove the Cherokees to their new
homes, and to provide for their support for one year after they were
settled. There were other provisions, all in favor of the Cherokees. The
Indians were to be removed within two years after the ratification of
the treaty.

Ross, and other leaders opposed to removal, had gone to Washington.
While there they were informed, by Major Ridge and others, of the treaty
at New Echota. Ross refused to make any reply to the communication, but
tried to make a new treaty. He was told that he could not be received to
make a new treaty. The attitude of the Ross party, together with certain
threats that had been made by their followers, led many citizens
of Georgia to believe that the Indians opposed to removal would, in
accordance with their character and history, revenge themselves by
making night attacks on the unprotected people. Consequently those most
likely to be the victims of such attacks petitioned the governor for
arms, ammunition, and troops; and these petitions were granted. A
battalion of militia was raised, and placed at Lashley's Ferry on the
Coosa River, with orders to keep the Cherokees in check, and also to
prevent the Creeks from coming into Georgia. Many of the Cherokees were
disarmed; and five hundred muskets, with ammunition, were sent into
Cherokee County, for the use of the people in the event of any hostile
movement on the part of the Indians.

The State of Georgia was to take possession of the territory ceded by
the treaty on the twenty-fourth day of May, 1838, and the military were
got in readiness for removing the Indians. General Scott, of the United
States army, called on the governor of Georgia for two regiments, and to
this call there was a prompt response. By the 18th of May enough men had
arrived at New Echota, where the troops were to assemble, to organize a
regiment; and on the morning of the 24th the troops took up the line of
march for the purpose of collecting the Indians. This continued until
the 3d of June, when the troops and the Indians started for Ross's
Landing on the Tennessee River. About fifteen hundred Indians had been
collected by the Georgia troops, and these troops were then dismissed
from the service of the United States.

The rest of the work was done by the regular army, which, being
divided into small detachments, went about the Cherokee country, making
prisoners of family after family, and carrying them to the camps. The
most careful arrangements had been made to prevent cruelty or disorder,
and there has never been any complaint as to the manner in which the
troops performed their duty. Nearly the whole nation had been gathered
into camps by the end of June. At that time some of the Indians began
their march to the West; but the great body of the tribe, fourteen
thousand in number, did not begin their westward journey until
September, owing to the hot weather. Every arrangement that could be
suggested was made for the comfort of the Indians in their march; but
from May, when the removal began, to the time when the last company had
completed its journey, more than four thousand persons died.

One year afterwards, on the 22d of June, 1839, Major Ridge, John Ridge,
and Elias Boudinot, all of whom had taken an active part in negotiating
the treaty of removal, were assassinated.

Since their removal the Cherokees have prospered to a greater extent
than any other Indian tribe. They have a government of their own,
flourishing schools, and books and newspapers printed in their own
language. It is the only tribe of American Indians that has shown any
desire or ability to share in the benefits of civilization.


The first serious political division in Georgia after the Revolution had
a very curious beginning. There is always, of course, a division among
the people on great public questions as they arise. But the War of the
Revolution had so solidified public sentiment that nothing occurred to
jar it until the Yazoo Fraud created some division. Even then public
sentiment was so overwhelmingly opposed to the sale of the lands to
the speculators, that the few who favored it were not numerous nor
respectable enough to be called a party.

On the 24th of February, 1806, Mr. Josiah Glass, having come all the way
from North Carolina in search of a Mr. Robert Clary, went to the town of
Sparta with a warrant which he requested Judge Charles Tait to indorse.
This Judge Tait did in due form. The warrant was for negro stealing,
and was directed against Mr. Robert Clary. Mr. Clary was arrested by
Mr. Josiah Glass in Washington County, and was carried to Greene County
Superior Court. On the first day of the court, Mr. Josiah Glass wrote
a letter to Judge Tait, and requested him to attend, and take the
examination of a man then in his custody, who would make confessions
highly interesting to the State and the United States. Judge Tait,
accompanied by Squire Oliver Skinner, attended that night, and took
a part of the confessions of Mr. Robert Clary, and completed them the
following night. Then he gave Mr. Josiah Glass a certified copy of the
same to take with him to North Carolina, to which State he was taking
Mr. Robert Clary, on a warrant charging him with negro stealing.

Now, it seems that the warrant against Clary was merely intended as
a scheme to get him to North Carolina to testify against a man named
Collins. History has suppressed the confessions made by Mr. Robert
Clary; but it is certain that they contained a most offensive charge
against General John Clarke, whose patriotic services in behalf of the
people during the Revolution gave him great fame and popularity. No
sooner did John Clarke hear of this affair than he proceeded to act with
his usual promptness. When he learned the particulars about the taking
of the affidavit at night, he at once jumped to the conclusion that
he had been made the victim of a conspiracy. There had been some
disagreement between him and Hon. William H. Crawford; and as Judge
Tait had been the partner of Mr. Crawford, and was his firm friend,--for
Crawford was a man great enough to command and deserve friends,--General
Clarke suspected that Clary and Glass had been made tools of to damage
his reputation. General Clarke acted at once. He presented a memorial to
the Legislature, making certain charges against Judge Tait with respect
to the taking of the "dark-lantern affidavits," as they were called by
his friends. The Legislature found, as it ought to have done, that the
charges made in the memorial of General Clarke were unsupported by fact
or evidence. In the very nature of things, it could not be shown that
an honorable judge of the Superior Court of Georgia, in certifying to an
affidavit containing the confession of a mere adventurer, was engaged
in a conspiracy; but the question with which General Clarke had to
deal was, how did the offensive and malicious matter, contained in
an affidavit taken by a judge and one witness at night, become public
property? If General Clarke had been a more thoroughgoing politician, he
would have found a better way to confound his enemies than that which he
adopted; but he was deeply wounded by a foul charge made at night, and
put in circulation by means of nods and winks and whispers. His first
recourse was to the Legislature, consequently it had the effect of
strengthening both his friends and his enemies. His friends were
indignant at the action of the Legislature. His enemies professed to
be astonished that arrogance should fly so high as to bring before the
Legislature unfounded charges against a judge of the superior courts.

The legislative record is not as full as it might be. There was
something behind the Clary business that does not appear on the records
of the House and Senate. General Clarke wrote a pamphlet entitled "A
Legacy for My Children," in which, according to Judge Garnett Andrews
(see "Reminiscences of an Old Georgia Lawyer"), the matter of his
memorial to the Legislature is differently stated. According to Judge
Andrews, who bases his authority on General Clarke's pamphlet and on the
testimony of those who were familiar with the facts, Clary was arrested
and carried before Judge Tait on a charge of stealing horses. Clary
charged General Clarke with complicity. Mr. Crawford was the prosecuting
attorney. General Clarke accused Judge Tait and Mr. Crawford with
instigating Clary to make the charge.

The truth seems to be, that Clary, knowing the differences that existed
between these distinguished men, sought to help his own case by making
the charge against General Clarke, and that the latter was quite ready
to believe that his two opponents had originated the charges for the
purpose of doing him a mortal injury. Feeling assured of the justice
of his cause, he appealed to the Legislature. This failing, he took the
matter into his own hands. He challenged Mr. Crawford, shot him through
the wrist, and then challenged him again. A little later, cantering
along a street in Milledgeville on his fine sorrel horse, General Clarke
saw Judge Tait before him in a sulky. He spurred his horse forward, and
laid his whip across the judge's shoulders two or three times.

[Illustration: General Clarke whips Judge Tait 237]

These events created great excitement throughout the State. There had
already been controversy and division caused by the duel between Mr.
Crawford and Van Allen, a cousin of President Van Buren, and at that
time attorney-general of the State. Van Allen was killed; and there was
a great controversy in Georgia, in consequence, as to who was right
and who was wrong. This excitement became furious in the course of the
contest between Clarke and Crawford. Crawford was fortunately lifted out
of it by being made a United States senator in 1807. His distinguished
career afterwards is well known. He was minister to France, secretary of
the treasury, Vice-President of the United States, and would have been
elected President but for reports circulated throughout the country that
he had been stricken down with a fatal illness. But the contest between
the Clarke and Crawford parties continued to rage. Whatever issue the
Clarke men were favorable to, the Crawford men opposed. Whatever scheme
the Clarke men suggested, the Crawford men fought. There was nothing
polite about the contest. People who wore gloves pulled them off.
In cold weather the voters were warm, and in hot weather they were
steaming. The contest went on before elections, and was kept up with
just as much energy after elections. No vote could settle it, and no
success could quiet it. It was in the nature of a political squabble,
covering the whole State, dividing districts, counties, cities, towns,
villages, settlements, beats, crossroads groceries, and families. It
was a knock-down-and-drag-out fight, in which hair pulling, gouging, and
biting were allowed.

While Crawford was advancing step by step in national politics, his
party in Georgia took up George M. Troup, one of the most brilliant and
aggressive men in the State. The contest had been going on for twenty
years when Troup came upon the scene, in 1830, as a candidate
for governor. He had been a member of the State Legislature, a
representative in Congress, and a United States senator: therefore in
1820, when he was nominated for governor by the Crawford party, he was
ripe in experience. He was forty years old, and full of the fire and
energy that marked his whole career. The Crawford party now became the
Troup party, and the contests that followed were the most exciting
that ever took place in the State before, or that have ever taken place

At that time the General Assembly elected the governor, the people
selecting members favorable to the candidates they preferred. As the
result of the first campaign between the Clarke and Troup parties,
General John Clarke was elected by a majority of thirteen legislative
votes. When Governor Clarke's term expired, he was again opposed by
Troup, and was again elected, but this time by a majority of only two
legislative votes. In 1823, Matthew Talbot represented the Clarke party,
but was defeated by Troup. In 1825, General Clarke again entered the
contest. The election was no longer in the hands of the Legislature, but
was by popular vote. Governor Troup's treatment of the Indian question,
and the firm stand he had taken in favor of the rights of the State, had
materially increased his influence, and he was elected over Clarke by a
majority of 683 votes.

Curious to relate, the old Clarke party became the Union party, and
in 1840 was the Democratic party. The Crawford party became the States
Rights party, and in 1840 was the Whig party. Such was the evolution of
parties in Georgia.


[Illustration: A Queer Case 241]

A very queer, not to say mysterious case, was brought to trial in Jones
County in 1837, at the April term of the Superior Court. It has had no
parallel in Georgia before or since, and had none in any other country,
so far as the present writer is aware, until the celebrated Tichborne
case was brought to trial in England a few years ago. The Bunkley case
created quite as much excitement, and caused quite as much division in
public opinion in Georgia, as the Tichborne case did in England.

Jesse L. Bunkley belonged to a good family in Jones County, and when
he came of age would have fallen heir to an estate worth forty thousand
dollars. An effort was made to give him all the advantages of education,
but these he refused to accept. He was a wild boy, and was fonder
of wild company than of his books. He went to school for a while in
Eatonton, but got into some scrape there and ran away. He was afterwards
sent to Franklin College, now the State University, where he entered the
grammar school. Such discipline as they had in those days was irksome to
young Bunkley, and he soon grew tired of it. He left the college, and,
after roving about for a while, returned to his home in Jones County.
In his twentieth year, 1825, being well supplied with money, he left his
home for the purpose of traveling. He went to the Southwest, and in that
year wrote to his mother from New Orleans.

No other letter was received from him during that year or the next, and
in 1827 word was brought to Jones County that Jesse Bunkley was dead.
The rumor, for it seems to have been nothing more, was regarded by the
family as true. At any rate, no attempt was made to investigate it.
Jesse was the black sheep of the family; he had been away from home a
good deal; his conduct when at home had not been such as to commend
him to the affections of his people; and his mother had married a third
husband, a man named Lowther: consequently the vague news of the young
man's death was probably received with a feeling of relief. There was
always a probability that such a wild and dissipated youngster would
come to some bad end; but with his death that probability ceased to
be even a possibility, and so, no doubt with a sigh of relief, young
Bunkley's people put aside the memory of him. He was dead and buried.
Those who survived him were more than willing to take the care and
trouble of managing the estate which young Bunkley would have inherited
had he returned and claimed it.

But in 1833, Major Smith of Jones County received a letter purporting to
be from Jesse L. Bunkley, and it related to matters that both Smith and
Bunkley were familiar with. In December, 1833, Mrs. Lowther, his mother,
received a letter from a person claiming to be her son Jesse. The letter
was dated at the New Orleans prison. It appears from this letter that
the family of Bunkley had already taken steps to disown the person who
had written to Major Smith, and who claimed to be Jesse Bunkley. The
letter to Mrs. Lowther was very awkwardly written. It was misspelled,
and bore no marks of punctuation; and yet it is just such a letter
as might be written by a man who took no interest in his books when a
schoolboy, and had had no occasion to look into them or to handle a pen.
He said in this letter that he wrote to convince his mother that he was
her own child, though it appeared that she wished to disown him. This,
he declared in his awkward way, he knew no reason for, unless it was on
account of his past folly. He then went on to relate some facts about
the family and his own school days. The mother did not answer this
letter, because, as she said afterwards on the witness stand, she did
not consider that it was from her son. She was satisfied, she said, that
the letter was not in her son's handwriting.

The person claiming to be Jesse L. Bunkley reached Jones County some
time afterwards. His case, in the nature of things, excited great public
interest. Hundreds of people who had known Jesse recognized him in this
claimant. On the other hand, hundreds who had also known Bunkley when
a boy failed to recognize him in the claimant. Meanwhile those who had
charge of the Bunkley property took prompt action. They went before the
grand jury, and had the claimant indicted for cheating and swindling;
and thus began the celebrated case of the State against Elijah Barber,
alias Jesse L. Bunkley.

The claimant came to Jones County in 1836, was indicted in that year,
and his case was brought to trial in the Superior Court in April, 1837.
A great deal of time was taken up in the investigation. More than one
hundred and thirty witnesses were examined. Ninety-eight, the majority
of these being disinterested persons, declared that they believed
the claimant to be an impostor. More than forty disinterested persons
declared under oath that they believed the claimant to be Jesse L.
Bunkley, and the majority of these last witnesses had known Bunkley long
and intimately.

The efforts of the prosecution were directed to showing that the man
claiming to be Jesse Bunkley was in reality Elijah Barber, who in
1824-25 was a wagoner who hauled lumber from Grace's Mill near Macon,
who was also known in Upson County, and who had served in the Florida
war. Some of the witnesses who had never known Bunkley recognized the
claimant as a man who had called himself Barber. Some of the witnesses
who had known Jesse from his boyhood testified that they recognized the
claimant as Bunkley on sight. Bunkley had various scars on his face,
neck, and body. The claimant exhibited all these to the jury. One of the
witnesses remembered that Bunkley bore the marks of a snake bite on one
of his legs. The claimant immediately showed these marks. Hundreds of
questions had been put to the claimant to test his memory. A great many
he answered correctly, a great many others he failed to answer; but his
replies to all vital questions were wonderfully clear and satisfactory.
The jury was out but a short time before it returned, bringing in a
verdict of guilty; and the claimant was sentenced to the penitentiary,
where he served out his term.

[Illustration: The Bunkley Trial 245]

This verdict and sentence settled the case in law, but it remained as
unsettled as ever in the public mind. The writer of this has heard it
discussed on more than one occasion among old ladies and gentlemen who
knew Bunkley, and who saw the claimant; and, without exception, they
declared that the verdict of the jury was cruelly unjust.

And yet, if any wrong was done, Bunkley himself was to blame for it.
Being a young man of fortune and of the fairest prospects, he owed it to
himself, his family, his friends, and to society at large, to become
a good citizen, so that his ample means might be properly employed.
Instead of that, he became a rowdy and a rioter, spending his days and
his nights in evil company and in dissipation. If the claimant in this
mysterious case was really Jesse Bunkley, it may be said of him that his
sins had found him out.


The wit and humor of Georgia stand by themselves. They have no
counterpart in any other section of the country. Many attempts have been
made to imitate them, but there is always something lacking. The flavor,
the "bouquet," the aroma, is gone. The sun, the soil, the air, and
even the spring water, seem to have something to do with it. Just what,
nobody knows. Wit and humor are elusive,--they are unsubstantial. On the
other hand, the Georgia watermelon is something solid. It may be handled
and felt. It may be "thumped" and "plugged" and tested. Those who know
what a watermelon is and should be, know that there is none to compare
with the melons that are grown in Georgia, no matter what the variety.
The same may be said of the wit and humor that belong to Georgia. An old
man--Uncle Tom Norris he was called, on account of his gray hairs--was
once heard to say (speaking professionally), "Let me clap a drop of
the low-wines to my tongue, and I'll tell you what branch the fire was
kindled on." He was a distiller, and knew his business. One need not
be an expert to say the same of Georgia humor. It is almost possible to
tell the very militia district in which it originated. It carries not
only the flavor, but the color.

For a hundred years Georgia has remained the most democratic part of the
country. The sons of the richest men were put in the fields to work
side by side with the negroes, and were thus taught to understand the
importance of individual effort that leads to personal independence.
It thus happened that there was a cordial, and even an affectionate,
understanding between the slaves and their owners, that perhaps had no
parallel elsewhere. The poorer whites had no reason to hold their heads
down because they had to work for their living. The richest slave owners
did not feel themselves above those who had few negroes or none. When
a man called his neighbor "Colonel," or "Judge," it was to show his
respect, nothing more. For the rest, the humblest held their heads as
high as the richest, and were as quick, perhaps quicker, in a quarrel.

The Virginians and North Carolinians who settled in the Broad River
region intermarried, and spread out over middle Georgia. Those who were
not akin were bound to each other by ties of long acquaintanceship; but
the homogeneousness of the people, complete and thorough as it was, was
not marked by any monotony. On the contrary, character and individuality
ran riot, appearing in such strange and attractive shapes as to puzzle
and bewilder even those who were familiar with the queer manifestations.
Every settlement had its peculiarities, and every neighborhood boasted
of its humorist,--its clown, whose pranks and jests were limited by
no license. Out of this has grown a literature which, in some of its
characteristics, is not matched elsewhere on the globe; but that which
has been preserved by printing is not comparable, either in volume or
merit, with the great body of humor that has perished because of the
lack of some one industrious enough to chronicle it.

One of the most perfect types of the Georgia humorist was the late John
M. Dooly. Judge Dooly was a remarkable man in other respects, but it is
his wonderful fund of humor that has made his name famous in Georgia and
throughout the country. It has been told in these pages how Colonel John
Dooly was dragged from his bed by the Tories and murdered. This Colonel
Dooly was the father of John M., who was hid under the bed when the
Tories dragged his father out and murdered him. It might be supposed
that such an event would have a tendency to give a boy a very serious
view of life. Judge Dooly's views were no doubt serious enough; but they
were overwhelmed and overpowered by a temperament which found cause for
laughter in almost every person and passing event, and was the cause of
innocent mirth in others.

Judge Dooly was born in what he called the "Dark Corner" of Lincoln
County, which had not then been cut off from Wilkes. After the murder of
his father, the family was left in poverty. When he went to Washington,
the county seat of Wilkes County, to read law with Mr. Matthews, the
clothes he wore were in such a condition that he was compelled to
confine himself to the office in the daytime. He was very poor and
very bright. Old people who knew him when a boy, described him to Judge
Garnett Andrews as "a sallow, piney-woods-looking lad." "Piney-woods
people" was the local name for the tackies, the clay eaters, the
no-accounts, that had settled about on the poorer lands in that section
of Georgia, and given themselves over to thriftlessness for good and
all. But young Dooly had that within him which made him superior to the
conditions and limitations of poverty. Apart from his remarkable gift of
humor, he had a native brilliancy of mind that gave him an easy mastery
over the principles of law that he found in the books. He was admitted
to the bar in 1798, and was immediately successful as a lawyer. His
education had been limited to that which he found in the "old field
schools," and in that day they were not of the best; but such a mind as
his needed only the rudiments, the rest came as by instinct.

[Illustration: Judge Dooly 250]

Judge Dooly was not a student while practicing at the bar. He had
thoroughly mastered the principles, the groundwork, of the law; and his
mind, as logical as it was brilliant, fitted these principles to every
case he had charge of. His love of humor, and his fondness for the
society of those who preferred fun and frolic, placed many temptations
in his way, and some of these he did not always resist; but the faults
he had were the faults of the time in which he lived, the faults of the
society in which he was brought up and by which he was surrounded. Judge
Dooly has been described by a contemporary as having a large head,
with a bold, high forehead, heavy eyebrows, prominent nose, a small
compressed mouth, and large, vivid, sparkling eyes, which, when the
spirit of humor had possession of him, illuminated his countenance as if
an electric battery were in play.

On one occasion, Judge Dooly had been challenged by Judge Tait,--the
same Judge Tait who had made himself so obnoxious to General John
Clarke. Judge Tait had a wooden leg; and Judge Dooly, in replying to the
challenge, referred to this fact, and said he did not think they could
fight on equal terms. He hoped his refusal would not be interpreted as a
reflection on the misfortunes of Judge Tait. This reply made Judge Tait
more indignant than ever. He wrote a severe reply, suggesting to Judge
Dooly that his refusal to fight was the result of cowardice rather than
a desire not to shed the blood of an unfortunate cripple. In answer to
this insinuation, Judge Dooly declared boldly that he was ready to fight
his adversary on anything like equal terms. He announced that he would
meet Judge Tait anywhere, on any day, and exchange a shot with him,
provided he (Judge Dooly) was allowed to stand on the field of honor
with one leg in a bee-gum! The bee-gums of that day were made of
sections of hollow trees. Naturally this remarkable proposition made
Judge Tait madder than ever, and he wrote to Judge Dooly that he
intended to publish him as a coward. Judge Dooly calmly informed Judge
Tait by letter that he had no sort of objection to the publication,
provided it was at Tait's expense. He declared, that, for his part, he
would rather fill a dozen newspapers than one coffin. These unexpected
strokes of humor disarmed the anger of Judge Tait, and set the whole
State in a roar. They did more: they cleared the political atmosphere,
and took the edge off of party rancor, which was at that time very
fierce and keen.

Once, when dining at a public table, Dooly said something or did
something to irritate Major Freeman Walker. The latter, remarking that
he had borne with the liberties taken by Judge Dooly quite long enough,
said he proposed to resent them then and there. The attack on his
feelings had been made in public, and he proposed to resent it in
public. Seizing a chair, he advanced on Judge Dooly. The judge seized a
carving knife, and braced himself for defense. Several gentlemen caught
hold of the judge to prevent him from using the knife, while only one
held Major Walker. Surveying the scene, Judge Dooly calmly remarked,
"Gentlemen, one of you will be sufficient to prevent me from doing any
mischief. The rest of you had better hold Walker." The explosion that
this remark created put even Major Walker in good humor, and he and the
judge settled their differences in the most amiable and rational manner.

When the Legislature passed severe laws against gaming, Judge Dooly
enforced them rigidly. Some of the gamblers were brought to trial and
fined, and others were only saved from arrest by the fact that they kept
out of the way when court was in session.

But one night in Washington, Wilkes County, after the judge had been
holding court all the week and had closed the term, he went to his room
in the hotel and made all preparations to retire. He had barely settled
himself in bed, when he heard a noise in an adjoining room, and soon
discovered that a game of faro was going on. The noise disturbed him so,
that he dressed himself, went to the room, and told the players, that,
having tried all legal methods to break them up, and failed, he was
now determined to try another plan. He thereupon seated himself at the
table, and before the night was spent broke the bank. He then told the
gamblers to clear out, and be more careful in future how they interfered
with the court.

Once when sitting up late at night, trying a very complicated case, the
sheriff voluntarily placed on the bench beside the judge a small pitcher
half filled with toddy. When he had finished the toddy, the judge called
to the officer, "Mr. Sheriff, fetch in some more water out of the same
spring." A murder case was once tried before him. The point in the case
was whether the prisoner had shot in self-defense. There was a good deal
said by the lawyers about the right to shoot. The jury, intending to
justify the prisoner, brought in this verdict: "The prisoner has a right
to shoot." When this verdict was read to the court, the judge held up
his hands in pretended alarm, and cried out, "Mr. Sheriff, don't let him
shoot this way!"

A story is told of Judge Dooly and Tom Peter Carnes, another rare
humorist, that fairly illustrates the statement made in the beginning
of this chapter in regard to the plain and democratic character of the
people who settled Middle Georgia. Dooly and his friend Carnes were
traveling to court, having gone without breakfast in order to be up and
on their way at an early hour. At last they reached the place where they
were to get breakfast, and called for it with some show of impatience.
The lady of the house, however, was in no hurry. She said that they
should have breakfast the moment Charles came. So she called for
Charles, blew the horn for Charles, and finally sent for Charles. When
Charles put in an appearance, the two travelers found that he was a big
negro, so black and fat that he fairly glistened when the sun shone on
him. Naturally Dooly and Carnes were surprised. They were still more
surprised when the negro's mistress said in a coaxing tone, "Now,
Charles, I do wish you would sit down and let the gentlemen eat, as they
are in a hurry to go to court." Charles didn't like so much company;
but he finally sat down to the table, on which there was a big bowl of
clabber, three "hunks" of corn bread, and three pewter spoons. "Now,
Charles," said the woman, "do eat, and then the gentlemen will begin."
Making the best of the situation, and somewhat enjoying the humor of it,
Dooly and Carnes sat down at the table and began to eat. Carnes shook
his big spoon at the negro, and cried out, "Now, Charles, you must
spoony on your own side;" and he kept on warning him, "Spoony on your
own side, Charles, spoony on your own side." The two lawyers ate until
Charles's spoon began to make raids on their side of the bowl, and then
they abandoned the feast to him and went on their way.

A landlord of a hotel, having heard some of the lawyers, among them
Judge Dooly, bragging about the toothsomeness of a baked pig they had
tasted, probably at Milledgeville during the session of the Legislature,
concluded that he would surprise and please them by having something in
that line himself.

He was either ignorant or ill-advised; for, instead of baking a suckling
pig, he roasted a half-grown pig, stuffed him, put an apple in his
mouth, and stood him upon his stumps in a dish. In those days the seat
of honor at the head of the hotel table was reserved for the judge of
the court At the head of the table Mr. Pig was placed, facing Judge
Dooly's seat. The judge and the lawyers came in, sat down, and ate
dinner in comparative silence. They were overawed by Mr. Pig. Though
the carving knife lay handy, and the landlord and his wife were watching
with impatience and uneasiness to see what the lawyers would say when
they had tasted this particular roast pig, no one dared to touch it. At
supper Mr. Pig was still standing defiantly in his place. He presided at
every meal during the day following. On the morning of the second day,
when Judge Dooly came to the table, Mr. Pig was in his old position.
Thereupon the judge bowed to him gravely. "Good-morning, sir!" he said.
"I am afraid you have lost your appetite, seeing you have not eaten that
apple yet. I presume you are tired attending court.--Mr. Sheriff, you
may discharge him on his own recognizance, until court in course, seeing
we shall have no further use for him at this session, and return him the
thanks of the court for his prompt and faithful attendance."

[Illustration: The Roast Pig 255]

Judge Dooly was a member of the Clarke party; but on one occasion,
when he was a candidate for reëlection to the judgeship of the northern
circuit, some of the Clarke men declared that Governor Troup's warlike
message was an evidence that he was mad. Judge Dooly made the comment,
"If he is mad, I wish the same mad dog that bit him would bite me." This
happy remark came to the ears of the Troup men in the Legislature, and
it so pleased them that they put an end to all opposition to the judge
in the election.

Judge Dooly was one of the most charitable of men. He once refused to
give alms to an unfortunate woman in Savannah, and the refusal haunted
him all his life He declared that it taught him never to let Satan cheat
him out of another opportunity to help the unfortunate; that he had
determined to err on the safe side ever after.

Just before he died, a friend called to ask after his condition. His
reply was that he had a bad cold without any cough to suit it. And so,
humor bubbling from his lips to the last, there passed away, on the 26th
of May, 1827, the rarest humorist that Georgia, the especial mother
of humorists, has ever produced. Judge Dooly had a humor that was as
illuminating as it was enlivening. It stirred to laughter or it moved to
tears, according as this wonderful man chose to direct it.

A great deal of the humor that originated in Georgia has been printed
in books. We find it in Judge Long-street's "Georgia Scenes," in Major
Jones's "Travels," in Colonel Richard Malcolm Johnston's "Stories
of Georgia Life," and in other volumes that have attracted public
attention. But the best of it has been lost. It originated when the
lawyers were riding about on horseback or in buggies from court to
court, and tradition has only preserved a small part of it.


The dispute over slavery, which had been going on for many years, grew
furious in 1850; and its fury increased until, in 1860-61, it culminated
in the secession of the Southern States from the Union. Some of those
who have written the history of the secession movement contend that
slavery had little or nothing to do with the matter; that the South
seceded because the North had refused to grant her people their rights
guaranteed under the Constitution. This is true as far as it goes; but
the fact remains, that secession and the war grew out of the efforts of
the abolitionists of the North, and those who sympathized with them, to
keep slavery out of the Territories, and to prevent the new States then
forming from becoming slave States. There is no doubt that these efforts
were illegal and unconstitutional; and yet, in the minds of those who
made them, constitutionality was not a sufficient excuse for slavery,
which, whatever might be its political status, was morally wrong: that
is to say, they believed that such a wrong as slavery could not be
justified by paper constitutions and the like. Some of the more extreme
abolitionists of the North were just as ready to secede from the Union
that recognized slavery as the Southerners were to break up a Union
whose constitutional guaranties meant nothing.

It must be borne in mind that the antislavery movement began in the
South. While slavery was in full blast both North and South, Thomas
Jefferson, the greatest political leader the South has ever produced,
was at the head of an emancipation movement, and in all parts of the
South there were men whose minds revolted at the possibilities that
swarmed about human slavery. Georgia was the only one of the Original
Thirteen Colonies in which slavery was prohibited, and we have seen
how this prohibition was repealed at the demand of the planters. Seven
Northern States, finding slavery unprofitable, abolished the system,
and a majority of the slaves were sold to the Southern States. But the
emancipation movement went on in the South. There were more than fifty
thousand free negroes in Virginia in 1856, and there were a great many
in Georgia. A number of planters in Georgia, the most prominent among
them being Alfred Cuthbert, emancipated their slaves, and arranged to
send them to Liberia.

Nevertheless the invention of the cotton gin did more to strengthen
the cause of slavery than all other events combined. It became more
profitable than ever to own slaves; and in this way, and on this
account, all the cotton-growing States became interested in the system.
They had the excuse not only that slavery was profitable, but
that self-interest combined with feelings of humanity to make it a
patriarchal institution. And such, in fact, it was. It is to the glory
of the American character and name, that never before in the history of
the world was human slavery marked by such mildness, such humanity, as
that which characterized it in the United States.

But all such considerations as these, as well as the moral objections
to slavery of any sort, humane or cruel, were lost sight of in the great
controversy that grew so furious in 1850. In that controversy some of
Georgia's ablest men took part,--men who were famous as statesmen all
over the country. There were Alexander H. Stephens, who afterwards
became the Vice-President of the Confederacy; Robert Toombs, whose fiery
and impetuous character and wonderful eloquence made him a man of mark;
Howell Cobb, who was speaker of the House of Representatives; Herschel
V. Johnson, who was a candidate for Vice-President on the ticket with
Stephen A. Douglas in 1860; Benjamin H. Hill, who was just then coming
into prominence; and Joseph E. Brown, whose influence on the political
history of the State has been more marked than that of any other

The controversy growing out of the slavery question became so warm that
it led to the breaking-up of parties in 1850. Stephens and Toombs,
who had been Whigs, united with Howell Cobb, who was a Democrat. Other
Southern Whigs united under the name of the American party. At the North
the Whigs either joined the Republican party or united with the American
party. The spirit of disunion was rampant in all parts of the South.
In Georgia the Legislature had called a State convention, and a great
effort was made by some of the politicians to commit the State to
secession. Both Toombs and Stephens were strong Union men, and they
opposed the spirit and purpose of the call for the convention.
The speeches that Toombs had made in Congress were garbled by the
newspapers, and he was made to appear as favoring immediate secession.
He made short work of that scheme, however. He returned to Georgia in
the fall of 1850, and immediately began one of the most extraordinary
campaigns that has ever taken place in the State. He was in the prime
of life. His fiery energy, his boldness, his independence, and his
dauntless courage, were in full flower. He took issue with what seemed
to be the unanimous sentiment of the State. He declared that the call
for the convention had dishonored the State. He sent out a ringing
address to the people, urging the South to stand by the Constitution and
the laws in good faith.

By the time the convention was held, the efforts of Toombs, supplemented
by those of Stephens and other conservative men, had turned the tide of
disunion. Whigs united with Democrats. When the returns of the election
were made known, it was found that a large majority of the members
were for the Union. "With no memory of past differences," said Toombs,
"careless of the future, I am ready to unite with any portion or all of
my countrymen in defense of the integrity of the Republic." So it was
that the convention met, and adopted what is known in our political
history as "The Georgia Platform." This platform said that Georgia held
the American Union secondary in importance to the rights and principles
it was bound to perpetuate; that, as the Thirteen Colonies found union
impossible without compromise, the thirty-one of that day would yield
somewhat in the conflict of opinion and policy, to preserve the Union;
that Georgia had maturely considered the action of Congress in adopting
the compromise measures, and, while she did not wholly approve that
action, would abide by it as a permanent adjustment of this sectional
controversy; that the State would in future resist, even to the
disruption of the Union, any act prohibiting slavery in the Territories,
or a refusal to admit a slave State into the Union.

Thus the Union was saved in 1850 by the very man who had been charged
with trying to break it up. The eyes of the whole South were turned to
Georgia during that campaign; and when the people, under the leadership
of Toombs, Stephens, and Howell Cobb, voted to save the Union, the tide
of disunion was turned everywhere. The Georgia platform was made the
platform of the constitutional Union party in the Southern States. In
Mississippi, Henry S. Foote, the Union candidate, defeated Jefferson
Davis for governor. The action of Georgia strengthened the Union
sentiment in all parts of the country.

For a while the situation was secure and satisfactory; but, in the
nature of things, this could not last. The politicians were busy while
the people were asleep. The Know-nothing party sprang up in a night,
and divided the people again; and in Congress the slavery discussion was
renewed with extreme bitterness over the bills to admit the Territories
of Kansas and Nebraska as States. This controversy was even more
exciting than that which resulted in the Compromise Laws of 1850.
Following close upon this agitation came John Brown's raid into
Virginia, and his attack on Harpers Ferry. In ordinary times this raid
would have been regarded with contempt by the Southern people. It was
a ridiculous affair,--the act of a man who had worked himself up into
a frenzy of folly. If the people themselves had not been influenced by
passion cunningly played on by the smaller politicians in both sections,
poor old John Brown would not have been regarded as a murderer by the
South nor as a martyr by the North. He would have been an object of pity
to the sensible men of both sections.

But the state of public opinion was such at that time, that this
ridiculous venture of a crazy old man was a tremendous shock to the
South. It contributed more largely than any other event to alarm the
people of this section, and to turn their minds to secession as a relief
from, and a remedy for, such attacks upon the peace and good order of
society. It was a great stimulant to those who had long been in favor of
disunion, as well as to those at the North who were ready to get rid of
slavery by violence. Following this raid, public opinion both North and
South became so violently agitated, that the voices of conservative men
could not be heard above the storm. It was the hour of the agitator and
the extremist, and they made the most of it. The Democratic Convention,
to nominate a candidate for President and Vice-President, met in
Charleston on the 23d of April, 1860, and remained in session until the
second day of May. The confused state of public opinion was shown by the
turbulent division in that convention.

At a moment when the wise men of the Democratic party, or of any party,
ought to have taken hold of affairs and made their influence felt, they
seemed to be unequal to the occasion. The members of the convention
could not agree, and the body adjourned to meet in Baltimore. But the
division continued and grew wider. The differences could not be settled.
One faction nominated Douglas and Johnson, and the other nominated
Breckinridge and Lane. The result was the election of Lincoln and Hamlin
as the candidates of the Republican party.

[Illustration: Georgia Politics 264]

In Georgia three of the ablest men still stood for the Union,--Alexander
H. Stephens, Herschel V. Johnson, and Benjamin H. Hill. But they were
unable to stem the tide. The vote of the State for members of the
convention that passed the ordinance of secession showed a majority
of only thirteen thousand for disunion; but Toombs, Thomas R. R. Cobb,
Howell Cobb, and others seized the advantage that events gave them, and,
in a whirlwind of passion, swept aside all the arguments and appeals
of the more conservative men. But, of all those who were in favor of
secession, Toombs was at that time the most powerful and influential.
He so managed matters in Congress as to make the secession of Georgia
follow the inevitable failure of measures that he proposed in that body.

With the people of the South, and indeed with the people of the whole
country, divided between three parties, the election of a Republican
candidate was a foregone conclusion. Following this came secession, with
all the terrible disasters of a war in which the South could not have
hoped to succeed if reason and common sense had ruled. If the South
had fought for her constitutional rights in the Union and under the
old flag, the result might have been different. She would have had
the active sympathy and support of that large and influential body
of Northern men who were sincerely anxious to see the terms of the
Constitution faithfully carried out. But disunion was more than these
constitutional Democrats could stand. Daniel Webster had solidified
their love for the Union, and no consideration of party could affect it.

The course of the South, considering all that was involved, should have
been conservative; but it was not. It is perfectly well known now that
Abraham Lincoln was willing to sacrifice the abolition party on the
altar of the Union. He was prompt to announce his policy in this
respect. But secession came, and with it came the doom of slavery. That
all was ordered by Providence, it would be foolish to deny; and yet it
is impossible not to regret the great sacrifice of blood and treasure
that was demanded by the unhappy war that followed secession.


In 1857, when Bob Toombs was looking after his large landed possessions
in Texas, and bringing the squatters to terms, he received a letter
from one of his political friends, announcing that the Democratic State
Convention had adjourned after nominating Joseph E. Brown as a candidate
for governor. Toombs was traveling with a party of friends, and to one
of them he read the letter. Then in a dazed way he asked, "Who is Joe
Brown?" His friend knew no more about Joe Brown than Senator Toombs did,
and all the way home the travelers were puzzling themselves with the
question, "Who is Joe Brown?" They were destined to find out; for the
convention that nominated Joe Brown for governor brought to the front
in Georgia politics one of the most remarkable men the State has ever

Shortly after his return to Georgia from Texas, Toombs was compelled to
meet Joe Brown to consult in regard to the details of the campaign in
which both were interested. It must have been an interesting meeting. It
was as if Prince Charlie and Cromwell had met to arrange a campaign.
It was a meeting between Puritan and Cavalier. Toombs was full-blooded,
hotheaded, impetuous, imperious. Joe Brown was pale, angular, awkward,
cold, and determined. It was as if in a new land the old issues had been
buried. Toombs was a man of the people, but in his own way, and it was
a princely and a dashing way. Brown was a man of the people, but in
the people's way; and it was a cold, calculating, determined, and
common-sense way. Howell Cobb had written to Toombs to go to the aid of
Brown, expressing a fear that the nominee, being a new and an untried
man, would not be able to hold his own against Ben Hill, who was the
candidate of the American or Know-nothing party for governor. So the
dashing and gallant senator sought out the new and unknown Democratic
candidate for governor, and had a conference with him. Toombs found the
young man strangely cold and placid, and yet full of the determination
that martyrs are made of. He found that Joe Brown had already mapped
out and arranged the plans for his campaign, and the more experienced
politicians saw nothing to change in them. They were marked by
shrewdness and sagacity, and covered every detail of party organization.
This was satisfactory; but how could the young man sustain himself on
the stump against such a speaker as Ben Hill, who, although a young
man, was a speaker of great force and power? Toombs thought it would be
better to meet Hill himself, and he started out with that purpose;
but when he heard Joe Brown make two or three speeches, and saw the
tremendous effect he produced on the minds of the audiences that
assembled to hear him, the older campaigner went home, satisfied that
young Brown needed no instruction and no coaching in the difficult art
of influencing the people and winning their votes.

The personal history and career of Joseph E. Brown should be studied by
every ambitious boy in the land, especially by those who imagine they
cannot succeed because they lack opportunities that money and friends
would obtain for them. From 1857 to the close of the war, and after,
the political history of Joe Brown is the history of the State; but that
history, attractive as it is, is not so interesting as his struggle
to make a name for himself in the world. Joseph E. Brown was born in
Pickens County, South Carolina, and was the eldest of eleven children.
His family was English. His grandfather fought manfully against the
British and Tories in the Revolutionary War. His father fought under
Andrew Jackson during the War of 1812, and was at the battle of New
Orleans on the 8th of January, 1815.

Joe Brown was born in 1821. His parents were not so well off as to be
able to send the lad continuously to school as he grew up. He had to
"take his chances." He was compelled to work in the fields in season,
and was permitted to go to school only when there was nothing for him
to do on the little farm. He did farm labor from the time he was eight
until he reached the age of nineteen, and the schooling he had received
was only of the most haphazard kind.

Before he was grown, his father moved from South Carolina into Georgia,
settling in Union County, near a little valley named Gaddistown. Up to
this time, though young Brown was nineteen years of age, he had learned
nothing but reading, writing, and arithmetic, and very little of
these. He was now compelled to work harder than ever. Settling in a new
country, and on new land that had to be cleared before it would yield a
crop, the Browns had as much as they could do to get the farm in order
in time for the planting season; and in this severe work, Joseph E.,
being the eldest son, was the chief reliance of the family. He had a
pair of small steers with which he plowed; and when he wasn't plowing
on the farm, he was hauling wood and butter and vegetables to the small
market at Dahlonega, and taking back in truck and trade some necessary
article for the family. In this way he learned the lessons of patience,
self-control, and tireless industry that all boys ought to learn,
because they are not only the basis of content and happiness, but of all

When Joe Brown was twenty years old, his father allowed him to seek an
education. All he could do for the industrious and ambitious boy was
to give him his blessing and the yoke of steers with which he had been
plowing. With these young Brown returned to South Carolina and entered
an academy in Anderson district He gave the steers for eight months'
board, and went into debt for the tuition fee. In the fall of 1841 he
returned to Georgia and taught school for three months, and with the
money he received for this he paid for the schooling he had gone in debt
for. He returned to the Carolina academy in 1842, and went into debt not
only for his schooling, but for his board. His patience and his untiring
industry enabled him to make such rapid progress that within two years
he had fitted himself to enter an advanced class in college. But the
lack of means prevented him from entering college. Instead he returned
to Georgia and opened a school at Canton, Cherokee County. He opened
this school with six pupils, and the number rapidly increased to sixty,
so that he was able in a short time to settle the debts he had made
in Carolina. He taught school all day, and at night and on Saturdays
devoted himself to the study of law. He was admitted to the bar in 1845,
and was at once successful. He made no pretense of oratory; but his
simple and unpretending style, his homely and direct way of putting
a case, and his faculty of applying the test of common sense to all
questions, were as successful with juries as they afterwards proved to
be with the people; and before the people he was irresistible.

[Illustration: Joe Brown and his Steers 270]

But he was not yet through with his studies. A friend advanced him
the money necessary to enter the Law School of Yale; and there, from
October, 1845, to June, 1846, when he graduated, he took the lead in all
his classes, and had time to attend lectures in other departments of
the college. He returned home, began active practice, and was soon
prosperous. He became a State senator, and was afterwards made a judge
of the superior courts.

When the Democratic Convention met in Milledgeville in 1857, for the
purpose of nominating a candidate for governor, it had so many popular
candidates to choose from, and these candidates had so many and such
strong friends, that the members found it impossible to agree on a
man. A great many ballots were taken, and there was a good deal of
"log-rolling" and "buttonholing," as the politicians call it, on behalf
of the various candidates by their special friends. But all this did no
good. There was a deadlock. No one of the candidates was able to obtain
a two-thirds majority, which, according to Democratic law, was the
number necessary to a nomination. Twenty-one ballots had been taken with
no result, and the convention had been in session three days. Finally
it was decided to appoint a special committee made up of three delegates
from each congressional district. It was the duty of this committee to
name a candidate on whom the convention could agree. When this committee
retired, it was proposed that a ballot be taken, each committeeman
writing the name of the candidate of his choice on a slip of paper, and
depositing the slip in a hat. This was done; but before the ballots were
counted, Judge Linton Stephens, a brother of Alexander H., stated that
such a formality was not necessary. He thereupon moved that Judge Joseph
E. Brown of Cherokee be selected as the compromise man, and that his
name be reported to the convention. This was agreed to unanimously, and
Joseph E. Brown was nominated; and yet, if the written ballots had
been counted, it would have been found that Alfred H. Colquitt, who
afterwards became so distinguished in Georgia, had been nominated by
the committee. He received a majority of one of the written ballots
when they were afterwards counted through curiosity. Twenty-three years
later, Colquitt, who was then governor, made Joseph E. Brown a United
States senator under circumstances that aroused strong opposition, and
immediately afterwards Brown aided Colquitt to a reelection in one of
the bitterest contests the State has ever witnessed.

The unexpected nomination of Brown by the convention of 1857 introduced
into State politics the most potent element that it had ever known. The
nomination, surprising as it was, was not half so surprising as some
of the results that have followed it. At the moment the convention
nominated him, Joe Brown was tying wheat in one of his fields near
Canton, in Cherokee County. He was then judge of the Blue Ridge Circuit;
and on the day that his name was placed before the Democratic Convention
at Milledgeville, he had returned home. After dinner he went out into
his farm to see how his men were getting on. He had four men cutting
wheat with cradles, and he found the binders very much behind. About
half-past two o'clock he pulled off his coat and ordered the binders to
keep up with him. It was on the 15th of June, 1857. The weather was very
warm, but he kept at work all the afternoon. About sundown he went home,
and was preparing to bathe, when a neighbor, who had been to Marietta
and heard the news, rode to his house and told him about the nomination,
which had been made at three o'clock that afternoon. Telling about the
incident afterwards, Joe Brown, with a twinkle in his eye, said that he
had heard that a good many men were anxious to buy that wheat field,
so as to have an opportunity to tie wheat in it while a nominating
convention was in session.

The great majority of the people of the State were as much puzzled about
Joe Brown as Toombs was. Either they had not heard of him before, or
they had forgotten him. In those days a man who made a reputation in the
Cherokee country was not known to the rest of the State for a long time.
The means of communication were slow and uncertain. But the whole State
found him out just as Toombs did. He was prompt to begin the campaign.
Toombs had already left the Whig party, and was acting with the
Democrats. Stephens had left the Whigs, but had not become a Democrat.
He was an Independent. He was, as he expressed it, "toting his own
skillet." Ben Hill was Joe Brown's opponent, and these two met in debate
before the people on two or three occasions. It was thought at first
that Mr. Hill had the advantage of the tall and ungainly candidate from
Cherokee, but the end of the contest showed that the advantage was all
the other way. Mr. Hill was a man of very marked ability. He was one
of the few good speakers who could write well, and one of the few
fine writers who could speak well. He had courage, he had wit, he had
learning, he had eloquence; he had everything, in fact, to attract
popular approval and entice a popular following; but somehow, and until
the very latest years of his life, he fell far short of being a popular
idol. He was showy and effective before a mixed crowd, he never failed
to attract applause, and it was supposed that Brown was making a losing
campaign; but the campaign was going just the other way. Hill, in
the course of his discussion, said hundreds of things that the
people applauded; while Brown said hundreds of things that the people
remembered, and carried home with them, and thought over. Joe Brown was
not only a man of the people, but a man of the country people; and
he pleased the city people who had formerly lived in the country. The
result of the campaign was that Know-nothingism was buried out of sight
in Georgia. Joe Brown was elected by more than ten thousand majority,
and the Democratic majority in the Legislature was overwhelming.

Although he was only thirty-six years old when he became governor, the
people began to call him "Old Judg_ment_." This was due no less to his
peculiar gift of hard common sense than to his peculiar pronunciation.
His speech and his ways were "countrified," and they remained so all
the days of his life. His voice was not musical, and he had a peculiar
drawling intonation, which, if it had been a little more nasal, would
have been an exact reproduction of the tone and manner of the Down-east
Yankee. He shared these peculiarities with hundreds of the descendants
of the Puritans who settled in the mountains of East Tennessee and North
Georgia. He had no wish for the luxuries of life; and though he lived
comfortably, he never, even when by close economy he had accumulated one
of the largest fortunes in Georgia, cared to live finely. He was a plain
man at first and a plain man at last, always temperate, industrious, and

His term of office in the governor's chair was for two years, and at
the end of that time he had almost entirely remolded and refashioned his
party. He had stamped his own personality and character upon it, and it
became in truth and in fact the party of the people,--the common people.
In his management of State affairs he had introduced the plain business
methods suggested by common sense; he dispensed with all unnecessary
officials; he shook off all the hangers-on; he uprooted all personal
schemes: so that when the time came to nominate a man to succeed him, it
was found that the people had no other choice. His party thought of no
other name.

The year of Joe Brown's second nomination, as we have seen, was the year
that witnessed John Brown's ridiculous raid into Virginia. The people of
the South, however, thought it was a very serious matter, and the people
of Georgia were not different from those of the rest of the South. Some
very wise men allowed themselves to be led away by their passions. Even
Joe Brown, as Alexander Stephens once said, "tucked his judgment under
the bed" for the time being. Back of the indignation created by the John
Brown raid was the unconfessed and half-formed fear that the Northern
abolitionists would send their agents to the South and organize a negro
insurrection. Many of the Southern people remembered the horrors of San
Domingo, and there was a vague and an undefined but constant dread that
such a rising of the blacks would take place in the South. But there
never was any such danger in Georgia. The relations between the slaves
and their masters were too friendly and familiar to make such an
uprising possible. The abolitionists did send agents to the South to
stir the negroes to rebellion, and some of them came to Georgia, but
in every instance their mission became known to the whites through the
friendliness of the blacks. There was always some negro ready to tell
his master's family when the abolition agents made their appearance.
Still the people resented to the utmost the spirit that moved certain
so-called philanthropists of the North to endeavor to secure the freedom
of the negroes by means of the torch and midnight murder.

Consequently in 1859, when Joe Brown was nominated for governor the
second time, the people were greatly stirred. Sectional feeling ran
high. In that year began the active movement that led to secession and
the civil war. If all our statesmen had been as wise as Mr. Stephens
and Mr. Hill, war would have been averted. Slavery itself, in the very
nature of things, was doomed. It had accomplished its providential
mission. It had civilized and christianized millions of savages who had
been redeemed from slavery in their own land. It had justified its own
ends, and would have passed away in good time, no matter what compromise
may have been made.

Mr. Stephens and Mr. Hill were opposed to secession. They were for
fighting, if there must be a fight, in the Union, and this was the true
policy. For a while the people of Georgia were earnestly in favor
of this; but the efforts of the abolitionists to stir the negroes to
insurrection, and the inflammatory appeals of some of the leading
men, led them to oppose a policy which was at once just, wise, and
considerate. Even Joseph E. Brown, cool, calculating, placid, and not
easily-swayed by emotion, became a disunionist, demonstrating once again
that beneath the somber and calm exterior of the Puritan is to be
found a nature as combative and as unyielding as that which marks the

Joe Brown was reelected in 1859, and did everything in his power as
governor to hasten the event of secession. The National Democratic
Convention met in Charleston, and the meeting showed that the
differences between the Democrats could not be settled; and it so
happened, that, while the South was opposed by the solid and rapidly
growing Republican party, the people of the South were divided among
themselves. What is most remarkable, the people of the South, after
making the election of the Republican candidate certain by dividing
among themselves, seemed to be amazed at the result. In some instances
county meetings were held in Georgia, and resolutions sent to the
Legislature declaring the election of Lincoln and Hamlin "a violation of
national comity." Nothing could show more clearly that the minds of the
voters were upset.

On Dec. 20, 1860, South Carolina seceded from the Union, and the event
was made the occasion for great rejoicing by the secession element in
Georgia. Bonfires were kindled, guns were fired, and people seemed to
be wild with enthusiasm. Georgia did not secede until Jan. 19, 1861; but
Governor Brown did not wait for that event. He committed the first overt
act of the war. He seized Fort Pulaski, on the Savannah, Jan. 3, 1861.

On the 22d of January, ten cases of muskets belonging to a firm in Macon
were seized by the New York police after they had been placed on board a
vessel. Governor Brown sent a telegram to Governor Morgan, demanding
the release of these arms. Governor Morgan hesitated some time before he
made any response. Meanwhile, Governor Brown waited three days, and then
ordered the seizure of every ship in the harbor of Savannah belonging to
citizens of New York. Two brigs, two barks, and a schooner were seized
and held by the State troops. When this seizure was made known, Governor
Brown received official notification that the arms had been released. He
therefore ordered the release of the vessels. But when the agents of the
Macon firm made an effort to get the arms, they were refused. Promptly
Governor Brown seized other vessels, and caused them to be advertised
for sale.

This was merely the beginning of those greater events that cast a shadow
over the whole country. The farmer boy of Gaddistown was reelected
governor in 1861, and continued to hold the office until 1865.


[Illustration: Georgia in the War 279]

When the Southern Confederacy was organized at Montgomery, Ala., there
was great enthusiasm all over the South, especially in Georgia; and this
feeling kept up until the State had given to the Confederate armies
a hundred and twenty thousand soldiers, twenty thousand more than its
voting population. By reason of the fame and number of its public men,
Georgia had a controlling influence in the organization of the new
government. Howell Cobb was president of the convention of the seceded
States that met in Montgomery on the fourth day of February, 1861;
and it is well known that the convention itself was in favor of making
Robert Toombs president of the provisional government that was there
formed. Mr. Toombs, however, expressly forbade the use of his name.
The Georgia delegates then concluded to support Jefferson Davis of
Mississippi for president, and Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia for

Only a few men doubted that the South would conquer the North, and
among these was Herschel V. Johnson. There was an idea abroad, that one
Southerner could whip a dozen Northerners. Nobody knows how this idea
got out, nor why the absurdity of it was not plain to all; but the
newspapers were full of it, and the speech makers insisted on it so
roundly that the people began to believe it. One orator declared that he
could take one company of "Southrons," arm them with popguns, and run a
regiment of Yankees out of the country. Another stated that he would
be willing to drink all the blood that would be shed as the result
of secession. It is said that both of these orators were asked for an
explanation by their constituents after the war was over. The first
said that the reason he didn't run the Yankees out of the country with
popguns was because they wouldn't fight that way. The second one, who
had promised to drink all the blood, said that exposure in camp had
interfered with his digestion, and his appetite wasn't as good as it
ought to be.

At this time and afterwards there was an overwhelming sentiment in favor
of the Union in some parts of North Georgia. The people of that section
had few slaves, and the arguments in favor of the protection of slavery
in the Territories did not appeal to them: consequently they were
opposed to secession. There was but one thing that prevented serious
trouble between these Union men and the State government, and that
was the fact that Joe Brown was governor. He knew the North Georgians
thoroughly, and he knew precisely how to deal with them. General
Harrison W. Riley, a leading citizen of Lumpkin County, declared that
he intended to seize the mint at Dahlonega, and hold it for the United
States. This threat was telegraphed to Governor Brown by some of the
secession leaders in that part of the State, and they appealed to him to
send troops to Dahlonega at once, and seize the mint by force. But the
governor knew Riley and the people of North Georgia too well to make any
show of force. He knew that any such demonstration would excite sympathy
for Riley, and inflame the Union sentiment there.. So Governor Brown
wrote to some of Riley's friends, telling them what he had heard, and
saying that he had known General Riley too long, and had too high an
opinion of his good sense and patriotism, to believe the report. At the
same time the governor informed the superintendent of the mint that the
State of Georgia now held that institution. The superintendent said he
was willing to act under the orders of the governor.

At Jasper, the county seat of Pickens County, the feeling of loyalty to
the Union was very strong. The delegate from that county to the State
convention had refused to sign his name to the ordinance of secession.
Soon after the State had seceded, the citizens of Jasper planted a pole,
and raised on it a United States flag, and kept it floating there for
several weeks in open defiance of the Confederate and State authorities.
This was an event to be delicately handled. The slightest mistake would
have created a state of feeling in North Georgia that would have given
no end of trouble during the whole war. But the Union flag floating in
Pickens County irritated the rest of the State; and hundreds of appeals
were made to Governor Brown to send troops to Jasper, and have the flag
taken down by force. To these appeals he made but one response, and then
turned a deaf ear to all criticism. "Let the flag float there," he said.
"It floated over our fathers, and we all love the flag now. We have only
been compelled to lay it aside by the injustice that has been practiced
under its folds. If the people of Pickens desire to hang it out and keep
it there, let them do so. I shall send no troops to interfere with it."

While this wise management on the part of Governor Brown did not change
the sentiments of the Union men of North Georgia, it prevented any
serious outbreak, and kept them soothed and quieted throughout the war.
Matters were managed differently in East Tennessee; and the result
was, that the Union men of that section went into the business of
bushwhacking, and created a great deal of trouble. While Governor Brown
exercised authority without regard for precedent, the time and the
occasion being without precedent, he was very wise and very prudent in
meeting such emergencies as those that arose in North Georgia.

By the time the election for governor came on, Joe Brown had aroused a
good deal of opposition. He had had a controversy with the Confederate
authorities because the latter had enrolled troops from Georgia without
first making a requisition on the governor. He had seized several
cargoes of salt which the speculators had been holding for higher
prices. There was at that early day, and all during the war, a salt
famine in the South. The farmers found it difficult to save their meat,
owing to the scarcity of salt. It is a curious fact, that, when the
famine was at its height, a pound of salt was worth a pound of silver.
Foreseeing this famine, a great many shrewd business men had laid in
large stocks of salt, storing it about in large warehouses in different
parts of the State. They were about to realize immense fortunes out of
the sufferings of the people, when Governor Brown stepped in and seized
all the salt the State authorities could lay hands on, and prohibited
the shipment of the article out of the State. The Legislature afterwards
came to the support of the governor; but if the matter had been
discussed in the Legislature in advance of the action of the executive,
the speculators would have had timely notice, and the State authorities
would have found no salt to seize.

[Illustration: The Salt Famine 284]

This salt famine was almost as serious as any result of the war, and
it hung over the State until the close of the contest. In thousands of
instances the planters who had been prodigal of salt before the war, dug
up the dirt floors of their smokehouses, and managed to extract a small
supply of the costly article. The Legislature was compelled to
organize a salt bureau, and for that purpose half a million dollars was
appropriated. The State, in self-defense, took into its own hands the
monopoly of manufacturing salt and of distributing it to the people.

The next difficulty with which the people of Georgia had to contend was
the Conscription Act. This act passed the Confederate Congress in April,
1862. It had been recommended by Mr. Davis in a special message, and
Congress promptly passed it. Nobody in Georgia could understand why
such a law had been recommended, or why it had passed. It was the most
ruinous blunder of the Confederate Government during the war. If such a
law was necessary, it showed that the Confederacy had fallen to pieces.
If it was not necessary, its enactment was a stupendous piece of
folly; and such it turned out to be. Under the last call for troops
for Confederate service, Governor Brown had no difficulty in furnishing
eighteen regiments. He could have gone on furnish ing troops as long as
there was any fighting material left in the State; but as soon as the
Conscript Act went into operation, the ardor of the people sensibly
cooled. The foolish law not only affected the people at home, but hurt
the army in the field. It was a reflection on the patriotism of the
whole Southern population. The law was the occasion of a controversy
between Governor Brown and President Davis, in which Brown, in the
nature of things, had a decided advantage; for the Conscript Act wiped
out the whole theory of State rights, on which the people of the South
depended to justify secession. But Georgia did not stand in the way of
the law. It was enforced, and the terms of its enforcement did the work
of disorganization more thoroughly than the hard times and the actual
war were doing it.

In March, 1863, the governor issued a proclamation convening the
Legislature in special session to discuss the subject of bread. This was
a very important subject at that time. In his message, the governor said
that the time had come for the farmers to raise bread instead of cotton.
He also laid before the Legislature' the reports of the distribution of
the fund of two and a half millions of dollars for the support of the
indigent families of soldiers. These reports showed what havoc the war
had created among the people of a State which, not much more than two
years before, was one of the most prosperous in the country. The fund
had been distributed among more than eighty-four thousand people.
Of this number, about forty-six thousand were children, twenty-four
thousand were kinswomen of poor living soldiers, eight thousand were
orphans, four thousand were widows of dead soldiers, and five hundred
were soldiers disabled in service. Governor Brown, out of his own barn,
gave the people of Cherokee County four thousand dollars' worth of corn.
These events show the straits to which the people had been reduced by
two years of actual war.

It should be borne in mind, however, that the people had to fight the
Union army in front, and the speculators and extortioners in the
rear. Governor Brown tried hard to make the lives of this latter class
entirely miserable, and he succeeded in a way that delighted the people.
Wherever he could get his hands on a speculator or extortioner, he shook
him up. He made many seizures, and confiscated the hoards of a great
many men who had influence with some of the newspapers; and in this way
life in the State was made almost as exciting as the experience of the
soldiers at the front.

In 1863, Governor Brown wanted to retire from office. The strain on
his health and strength had been very severe, and he felt that he was
breaking down. He wanted to make Toombs, who was then a general in the
army, his successor. But Brown's friends insisted that he should make
the race. The public opinion of Georgia and of the whole South
insisted on it. So he became a candidate for a fourth term. He had two
opponents,--Joshua Hill, who had been a strong Union man; and Timothy
Furlow, who was an ardent secessionist and a strong supporter of the
Confederate administration; but Governor Brown was elected by a large
majority over both candidates.

The war went steadily on, and during the year 1864 Georgia became the
battle ground,--the strategic point. This fact the Union commanders
realized very early, and began their movements accordingly. Virginia
was merely the gateway to the Confederacy, but Georgia was very near
the center of its vitality. This was shown by the fact that when Atlanta
fell, and Sherman began his destructive march to the sea, it was known
on all sides that the Confederate Government was doomed. This movement,
strange to say, was hastened by the Confederate authorities. General
Joseph E. Johnston, one of the greatest commanders of the war, was
removed at a critical moment, when his well-disciplined army had reached
Atlanta. He was ordered from Richmond to turn his army over to the
command of General Hood, and within a very few days the fate of
the Confederacy had been decided. Hood at once ordered an attack on
Sherman's lines. He was repulsed, and then compelled to evacuate the
city. General Sherman detached General Thomas from his main army to
follow Hood on his march toward the Tennessee, and moved across the
State to Savannah. Within a very few months thereafter the war was
brought to a close. Colonel I. W. Avery, in his "History of Georgia,"
says that on the thirty-first day of December, 1864, one dollar in gold
was worth forty-nine dollars in Confederate money. The private soldier
received eleven dollars of this money for a month's service. He could
buy a pound of meat with his month's pay. He could buy a drink of
whisky, and have one dollar left over. With four months' pay he could
buy a bushel of wheat. General Toombs once humorously declared that
a negro pressman worked all day printing money, and then until nine
o'clock at night to pay himself off. There was a grain of truth in this
humor,--just enough to picture the situation as by a charcoal sketch.


On the 12th day of April, 1862, the anniversary of the firing on Fort
Sumter by the Confederates, a passenger train pulled out of the old car
shed in Atlanta. It was a "mixed" train, being composed of three freight
cars, a baggage car, and the passenger coaches. The train started
from Atlanta at an early hour, arrived at Marietta about daylight,
and stopped at Big Shanty, about seven miles north of Marietta,
for breakfast. At Marietta, early as the hour was, quite a crowd of
passengers were waiting to take the train. This excited no remark. There
was a good deal of travel and traffic on the State Road at that time,
for it was the key to the Confederacy--the one artery that connected the
army at the front with its source of supplies.

The conductor of the train was Captain William A. Fuller, of Atlanta.
Captain Fuller's title was not one of courtesy. He was a captain in the
Confederate Army, on detached service. The engineer in charge of the
locomotive was Jeff Cain. Mr. Antony Murphy, an employee of the road,
was also on the train. At Big Shanty the passengers were allowed
twenty minutes for breakfast, but the train men were in the habit of
dispatching their meal a little quicker than this, so as to see that
everything about the locomotive was shipshape when the conductor tapped
the bell. Captain Fuller, sitting at a table near a window, had a
full view of the train. He had hardly begun to eat before he saw the
locomotive (the now famous "General") and the three freight cars pull
out, and heard the gong sound as the cord snapped. He rose instantly and
rushed from the breakfast room, followed by Engineer Cain and Antony
Murphy. He saw the "General" going at full speed up the road with
three freight cars attached. Without hesitation Captain Fuller started
after the flying train on foot, followed by Cain and Murphy. Hundreds of
soldiers were idling about the station. They had no idea what was taking
place. They thought either that the locomotive had been carried up the
track to take on or leave a freight car, or that some practical joker
was playing a prank. They showed their enjoyment of the situation by
laughing and cheering loudly when Captain Fuller, followed by Engineer
Cain and Mr. Murphy, started after the "General "on foot.

[Illustration: Capture of the Locomotive 289]

The locomotive had been captured, and had the plan of its captors been
successful, a paralyzing, perhaps a fatal, blow would have been struck
at the Confederacy. The way the capture had come about was this: Early
in 1862 the Federal commanders planned an advance on Chattanooga; but
the fact that stood in their way was, that at various points along the
line of railroad leading from Atlanta to Chattanooga, Confederate troops
had been posted: consequently the moment an advance on Chattanooga was
made, soldiers and war supplies could be hurried forward to the relief
of the city. It was General Mitchell of the Federal army who planned the
advance; and it was J. J. Andrews, an active spy in the Union service,
who planned a raid by means of which it was intended to burn the bridges
on the road north of Marietta, cut the telegraph wires, and thus destroy
for a time the lines of transportation and communication between Atlanta
and Chattanooga, and make the capture of the last-named point an easy
matter. Andrews suggested to General Mitchell that a party of bold men
could make their way to a station on the Western and Atlantic Railway
(called the State Road because it was owned by the State), capture a
locomotive, and then steam towards Chattanooga, burning the bridges and
cutting the telegraph lines as they went along. Although there seemed
to be small chance for the success of such a daring adventure, General
Mitchell gave his consent to it, agreeing to pay Andrews sixty thousand
dollars if he succeeded. To aid him, Andrews was allowed to select a
number of young men who had already made a reputation in the Federal
army for intelligence and bravery.

There were twenty-four men in this small expedition when it started for
Chattanooga. They were under the command of Andrews, who was a tall,
handsome man with a long black beard. He was cold, impassive, and had
the air of one who is born to command. He was bold as a lion, and never
once lost his coolness, his firmness, or his decision. He and his men
pretended to be Kentuckians who had become disgusted with the Lincoln
government and were making their way South, where they might find more
congenial company than that of the ardent Union men who were their
neighbors at home. This story was plausible on the face of it, for many
Southern sympathizers had fled from Tennessee and Kentucky when the
Federals began to take possession of those sections.

Andrews and his men tramped southward more than a hundred miles before
they reached Chattanooga. Before going into that city, they divided into
smaller squads, and all but two succeeded in eluding guards, sentinels,
and patrols, and passing into the town. They left Chattanooga on a train
bound for Atlanta, buying tickets for Marietta. They reached Marietta in
safety, and went to different hotels for the night. They had arranged
to meet again at four o'clock the next morning and take the north-bound
train. Two of the men were not called by the clerk of the hotel at which
they stopped: consequently they overslept, and their companions had to
go on without them when the train arrived. They had learned that Big
Shanty had no telegraph office, and that it was a breakfast station. At
that point Andrews determined to capture the locomotive. It was not long
before the brakeman put his head in at the door of the car and yelled
out, "Big Shanty! Twenty minutes for breakfast!"

Andrews and his men looked out of the windows of the car as the train
drew up at the station, and the sight they saw was not calculated to
make them feel certain of success. Opposite the station was a field
covered with the tents of soldiers, and in and around the station
thousands of soldiers were loitering and standing about. When the train
stopped, Andrews, the leader, and Knight, an engineer who had come with
the party, rose and left the coach on the side opposite the depot, and
went to the locomotive, which they found empty. They also saw that the
track was clear. Andrews and Knight then walked back until they came to
the last of the three box cars. Andrews told his engineer to uncouple
the baggage car from the box car, and then wait for him. Knight did as
he was told, while Andrews walked leisurely back to the passenger coach,
opened the door, and said quietly, "Now is our time, boys! Come on!"

The men rose at once and went out of the coach. Knight, as soon as he
saw them coming, climbed into the locomotive, cut the bell rope, and
stood with his hand on the throttle, waiting for the word. Andrews stood
near the locomotive, and motioned with his hand for the men to get into
the box cars, the doors of which were slid back. All the men were now in
the box cars except Andrews, Knight, and another engineer named Brown,
who ran forward and climbed into the locomotive. While this was going
on, a sentinel stood within half a dozen yards of the train, but he
had no idea what was occurring. Andrews gave the signal to go ahead.
Instantly Knight pulled the throttle valve open, and the locomotive
started forward with a jerk. It went puffing and snorting out of Big
Shanty without let or hindrance.

But the train had not gone very far before the speed of the locomotive
began to slacken. The fire in the furnace refused to burn, and the
steam was low. While the engineer was trying to discover what was wrong,
Andrews ordered the men to cut the telegraph wire and tear up a rail
from the track. By the time the rail had been torn up and the wire
cut, the engineer had discovered that the dampers of the fire box were
closed. With these open, the boiler began to make steam again, and
the locomotive was soon rattling over the rails once more. It was
the intention of Andrews to run the captured train on the time of the
regular passenger train, so that he would have only one train to meet
and pass before reaching the Resaca River, where he intended to burn the
bridge. This done, it would have been an easy matter to burn the bridges
over the Chickamauga. This crooked stream winds about the valleys so
unexpectedly, and in such curious fashion, that the railroad crosses it
eleven times within a few miles. These eleven bridges Andrews intended
to burn as he went along, and then he would not fear pursuit. His
success seemed to be certain.

The captured locomotive, an old-fashioned machine with a big heavy
smokestack, went clanking and clattering along the road, and reeling
and rumbling through the towns, dragging after it the three box cars
containing the men whom Andrews had brought with him. After passing
a station, the locomotive would be stopped and the wire cut. When the
train reached Cassville, wood and water were running low, and a stop was
made to get a fresh supply. The doors of the box cars were closed, and
the men inside could not be seen. The station agent at this place was
very inquisitive. He wanted to know why so small and insignificant a
freight train was running on the time of the morning passenger train.
Andrews promptly told the agent that the train was not a freight, but an
express, and that it was carrying three cars of gunpowder to Beauregard.
The agent believed the story, and furnished Andrews with a train

[Illustration: Tearing up the Rails 295]

From Cassville the distance to Kingston was seven miles, and at that
point a freight train was to be passed. When Andrews reached the place,
he found that the freight had not arrived. He therefore switched his
train into a siding to wait for the freight train, and repeated his
powder story for the benefit of the inquisitive. When the freight
arrived, he saw that it carried a red flag. This meant another train
was on the road. After another long half hour's wait, the second freight
train came in sight, and Andrews was dismayed to see another red flag
displayed. The railroad men said another train was following. The men
on the captured train were compelled to wait more than an hour. To those
shut up in the box cars this was a very trying time. They had no means
of knowing what had happened, or what was about to happen, until Knight,
the engineer, found an opportunity to saunter by and tell them what the
trouble was. At the end of an hour the long wait was over. The freight
trains had passed, and the captured locomotive, dragging the box cars,
went swiftly out of Kingston. A short distance beyond, the usual stop
was made, and the wires cut An attempt was made to tear up the track by
some of the men, while others loaded the box cars with railroad ties.
While engaged in this work, the men heard the screaming whistle of
a locomotive in full pursuit. They were more than amazed: they were
paralyzed. If a pursuing locomotive had sprung out of the ground at
their feet with a full head of steam on, they could not have been more
astonished. They had just passed three freight trains headed in the
opposite direction, and now here was a pursuing locomotive coming
after them at full speed, and with a full head of steam on. Making one
spasmodic effort, they broke the rail they were trying to tear up.

Reaching Adairsville, Andrews and his men found that the passenger train
had not arrived. But it was no time for waiting. They resolved to take
every chance. The engineer had orders to send the locomotive along at
full speed. He was very willing to do this. Calhoun was nine miles away,
and if that station could be reached before the passenger train left,
all would be well; if not, there was danger of a collision. But Andrews
took all the chances. The throttle of the locomotive was pulled wide
open, and the train started so suddenly and so swiftly that the men in
the box cars were thrown from their feet. The distance to Calhoun was
nine miles, and the train bearing Andrews and his men made it in seven
minutes and a half,--pretty swift traveling, when it is remembered that
the track was full of short curves, and not in the best condition.

As the locomotive neared Calhoun, Engineer Knight gave several loud
blasts on the whistle; and it was well he did so, for the passenger
train had just begun to pull out of Calhoun on its way to Adairsville.
If the whistle had been blown a moment later than it was, the passenger
train would have been under full headway, and the signal would not have
been heard; but the passenger train had just begun to move, and was
going slowly. The whistle was heard, and the engineer backed his train
to Calhoun again. But when Andrews and his men arrived, they found a new
difficulty in the way. The passenger train was such a long one that the
rear end blocked the track. Andrews tried to get the conductor to move
on to Adairsville and there meet the upbound passenger train; but that
official was too badly scared by the danger he had just escaped to take
any more chances, and he refused to budge until the other train should
arrive. This would be fatal to the plans of Andrews, and that bold
adventurer made up his mind that the time had come for force to be used.
The conductor was finally persuaded to allow Andrews to go ahead with
his powder train. He ran a little more than a mile beyond Calhoun,
stopped his train, ordered the wire cut and another rail torn up. While
they were busily engaged in this work, they were both amazed and alarmed
to see a locomotive approaching from the direction of Calhoun. They had
only bent the rail, and were compelled to leave it and get out of the
way of their pursuers.

Andrews and his men were bold and intrepid, even reckless; but the man
who had charge of the pursuit had all these qualities and more. Captain
Fuller was possessed of an energy and a determination that allowed
nothing to stand in their way.

We have seen how Captain Fuller sprang from the breakfast table at Big
Shanty, and went running after the flying locomotive. Engineer Jeff Cain
and Mr. Murphy followed after. The soldiers loitering about the station
laughed and cheered at the queer spectacle of a conductor giving chase
on foot to his locomotive which, with a part of his train, was running
away under a full head of steam. All of Captain Fuller's energies were
aroused to their highest pitch, and he easily distanced his companions.
He ran fully three miles, and then came upon a squad of section hands
who had been engaged in repairing the track. They were now very much
excited. The captured locomotive had stopped with them long enough for
the men on the box cars to seize all their tools and cut the telegraph
wire, being careful to take away about fifty feet, so that the wire
could not be promptly joined. From the demoralized section hands Captain
Fuller learned of the number of men on the locomotive, and was given
reason to suspect that they were Federals in disguise. The section hands
had what was then called a pole car, a small affair which they pushed
with poles from point to point. It had been derailed to make way for the
up passenger train. Conductor Fuller had it lifted upon the track,
and then debated with himself as to whether he should go back for his
engineer, Jeff Cain, who, with Mr. Antony Murphy, had been left far
behind. Concluding that it would be well to have his engineer with
him, Captain Fuller pressed some of the section hands into service, and
pushed down the road the way he had come, going more than a mile before
he met Cain and Murphy. Once on the old hand car, Captain Fuller turned
and again began the pursuit as energetically as before, although he knew
that valuable time had been lost. Something of their leader's energy
and dauntless spirit was imparted to the men with him, and they made
tolerable speed with the pole car; but, suddenly, while they were poling
along at a great rate, the car tumbled from the track. They had now come
to the place where the would-be bridge burners had torn up the first
rail. The pursuers were not hurt by the fall. They jumped to their feet,
pushed the car over the obstruction, and were soon on their way again,
going even more rapidly than before. In this way the pursuit led by
Captain Fuller came to Etowah Station. Here he found the old "Yonah," a
locomotive belonging to the Mark A. Cooper Iron Works. The "Yonah" was
a superannuated engine, but Captain Fuller pressed it and its crew into
his service. The rickety old "Yonah" seemed to enter into the spirit of
the pursuit, for the distance to Kingston--thirteen miles--was made in
twelve minutes.

As Andrews and his men had been delayed at Kingston for more than an
hour waiting for the freight trains to allow him to pass, the pursuers,
led by Captain Fuller, arrived at Kingston only ten minutes after the
raiders left. The tracks were crowded with these freight trains when the
"Yonah" arrived, and Captain Fuller saw at a glance that the locomotive
would be of no further service in the chase. He leaped from the engine,
and ran about two miles to the north angle of the Rome railway, where
he knew he would find the locomotive of the Rome road standing at this
hour. He pressed the engine and crew into service, and again took up the
pursuit of the fleeing raiders.

Andrews and his men, in the meantime, had stopped and loaded their box
cars with old cross-ties and discarded rails These they began to throw
out of the rear end of their hindmost car as a measure of safety. They
did not suspect pursuit at this time, but they took the precaution
to obstruct the track in this manner. Six miles north of Kingston the
raiders stopped and tore up several rails. Captain Fuller rode on the
pilot of his engine, and removed such of the obstructions as were not
knocked off by the cowcatcher.

When Captain Fuller reached the point where the rails had been removed,
his locomotive was useless. But his blood was now up. He abandoned the
engine, and ran on foot towards Adairsville, where he knew he would find
a through freight train. In fact he met it after he had run about three
miles, flagged it down, reversed it, and carried it back to Adairsville.
There, taking the engine, tender forward, with its crew, he renewed the
pursuit. The locomotive was run at an extraordinary rate of speed;
but Captain Fuller felt it to be his duty to ride on the bumper of
the tender, a precarious position even when there is no danger of
obstructions. Beyond Calhoun, Andrews and his men stopped to cut the
telegraph wire and tear up more rails. They had pried a rail above the
stringers when they heard the pursuing locomotive, and saw it rounding
a curve half a mile away. They scrambled into their cars in a hurry,
leaving the rail bent but not removed. Captain Fuller saw the bent rail,
but he had also seen the game, and he allowed his engine to be driven
over it under a full head of steam.

From this point the chase was the most thrilling and reckless of which
there is any record. Andrews resorted to his old trick of dropping
cross-ties, but he soon saw that this would not do. Then he uncoupled
one of his box cars. Captain Fuller picked it up, and pushed it ahead.
Andrews uncoupled another. This was served the same way, and at Resaca
the cars were run on a siding. The "General," commanded by Andrews,
was now forward, with one car, while the "Texas," commanded by Captain
Fuller, and driven by Peter Bracken, was running tender forward, with
Fuller standing on the brake board, or bumper. The locomotives were
about evenly matched. Both had five-foot ten-inch drivers, and both were
running under all the pressure their boilers could carry.

All thought of danger was lost sight of. The pursued had no time to
hatch any scheme calculated to delay pursuit. The pursuers forgot to
look for obstructions. On one side it was capture or die; on the other
it was escape at all hazards. The people of the towns and villages
through which the road passes knew not what to make of the spectacle.
Before they could recover from the surprise of seeing a locomotive with
one box car dash wildly past the station, they were struck dumb with
amazement by the sight of another locomotive thundering by, tender
forward, a tall man standing on the bumper and clinging to the brake

They were going at a terrific rate of speed, but Peter Bracken, the
brave engineer of the "Texas," knew his locomotive so well, and handled
her with such a nice eye for her weak as well as her strong points,
that the pursuers gradually shortened the distance between them and the
raiders. The "General" was a good locomotive in its day and time, but
it was in unfamiliar hands. Any locomotive engineer will tell you that a
man must be thoroughly acquainted with his machine, and somewhat in
love with it to boot, to get the best speed out of it, when speed is

The raiders were pushed so closely that they soon found it necessary to
abandon their engine and car. Three miles north of Ringgold, they slowed
down a little, and, seizing a favorable opportunity, tumbled out, and
fled through the woods in all directions. It might be supposed that
Captain Fuller would be satisfied with recapturing his locomotive, which
was in all respects a remarkable achievement. But he had other views. He
knew that there would be no safety for the road with the bridge burners
at large, and so he made up his mind to be satisfied with nothing less
than their capture. In passing through Ringgold, three miles back, he
had noticed a company of militia drilling in an old field. So he sent
word to the commanding officer by his engineer, Peter Bracken (who, with
his fireman, took the two locomotives back to Ringgold), to mount his
men as promptly as possible, and join in the chase of the fugitives.
This message dispatched, Captain Fuller and two of his men, Fleming Cox
and Alonzo Martin, ran into the woods after the fleeing raiders.
Jeff Cain, the engineer of the "General," had been left with the Rome
locomotive. Mr. Antony Murphy remained in the chase until the "General"
was recaptured, and returned to Ringgold with the two locomotives.

All the raiders were caught and imprisoned. Andrews was known to be a
spy, and he, with seven of his men who could establish no connection
with the Federal army in any branch of the service, was hanged.
Six escaped, and made their way to the Federal lines. The rest were
regularly exchanged.

Perhaps those that were hanged deserved a better fate. They were brave
to recklessness, and were engaged in the boldest adventure of the war.
Their scheme was most skillfully planned, and courageously undertaken,
and if it had succeeded,--if the bridges had been burned and the door
of the Confederate granaries closed,--the result would have been what
it was when Sherman, with a large army, and at the sacrifice of many
men and much treasure, closed the State Road to the Confederates in

Andrews and his men came near accomplishing, by one bold stroke, pretty
much all that Sherman accomplished in crippling the Confederates. It was
only by the merest chance that they had such a man as Captain Fuller to
oppose them. If they had arrived at Marietta the day before or the day
after, the probability is that they would have succeeded in their daring
venture. Captain Fuller was more than the equal of Andrews in all those
qualities that sustain men in moments of great emergency, and greatly
his superior in those moral acquirements that lead men to take risks and
make sacrifices on behalf of their convictions, and in the line of their


The people of the State had not recovered from the chaos and confusion
into which they had been thrown by Sherman's march to the sea, when the
news came that Lee had surrendered in Virginia, and General Joseph E.
Johnston (who had been restored to his command) in North Carolina. Thus
a sudden and violent end had been put to all hopes of establishing a
separate government. General Sherman, who was as relentless in war as
he was pacific and gentle when the war was over, had, in coming to terms
with General Johnston, advanced the theory that the South never had
dissolved the Union, and that the States were restored to their old
places the moment they laid down their arms. This theory was not only
consistent with the views of the Union men of the North, but with
the nature and character of the Republic itself. But in the short
and common-sense cut that Sherman had made to a solution, he left the
politicians out in the cold, and they cried out against it as a hideous
and ruthless piece of assumption on the part of a military man to
attempt to have any opinions after the war was over. Any settlement that
left the politicians out in the cold was not to be tolerated. Some of
these gentlemen had a very big and black crow to pick with the South.
Some of them, in the course of the long debate over slavery, had had
their feelings hurt by Southern men; and although these wrangles had
been purely personal and individual, the politicians felt that the whole
South ought to be humiliated still further.

The politicians would have been entirely harmless if the life of
President Lincoln had been spared. During the war, Mr. Lincoln was
greatly misunderstood even at the North; but it is now the general
verdict of history, that, take him for all in all, he was beyond all
comparison the greatest man of his time, the one man who, above all
others, was best fitted to bring the people of the two sections together
again, and to make the Union a more perfect Union than ever before. But
unfortunately Mr. Lincoln fell by the hands of an assassin, and never
had an opportunity to carry out the great policy of pacification which
could only have been sustained at that time by his great influence, by
his patience, that was supreme, and by his wisdom, that has proved to be
almost infallible in working out the salvation of the Union. After Lee's
surrender, the interests of the South could have sustained no severer
blow than the death of Lincoln. His successor, Andrew Johnson, was a
well-meaning man, but a very narrow-minded one in some respects, and a
very weak one in others. It is but justice to him to say that he did his
best to carry out Lincoln's policy of pacification, and his failure was
no greater than that of any other leading politician of his time would
have been.

It would be impossible to describe the condition of the people at this
time. There was no civil law in operation, and the military government
that had been established was not far-reaching enough to restrain
violence of any sort. The negroes had been set free, and were supported
by means of a "freedmen's bureau." They were free, and yet they wanted
some practical evidence of it. To obtain this, they left the plantations
on which they had been born, and went tramping about the country in the
most restless and uneasy manner.

[Illustration: The Negroes Freed 306]

A great many of them believed that freedom meant idleness, such as they
had seen white folks indulge in. The country negroes flocked to the
towns and cities in great numbers, and the freedmen's bureau, active
as its agents were, had a great deal more than it could attend to. Such
peace and order as existed was not maintained by any authority, but grew
naturally out of the awe that had come over both whites and blacks at
finding their condition and their relations so changed. The whites could
hardly believe that slavery no longer existed. The negroes had grave
doubts as to whether they were really free. To make matters worse, a
great many small politicians, under pretense of protecting the negroes,
but really to secure their votes, began a crusade against the South in
Congress, the like of which can hardly be found paralleled outside of
our own history. The people of the South found out long ago that the
politicians of the hour did not represent the intentions and desires of
the people of the North; and there is much comfort and consolation to
be got out of that fact, even at this late day. But at that time the
bitterest dose of reconstruction was the belief that the best opinion of
the North sustained the ruinous policy that had been put in operation.

The leading men of the State were all disfranchised,--deprived of
the privilege of voting, a privilege that was freely conferred on the
negroes. A newspaper editor in Macon was imprisoned, and his paper
suppressed, for declaring, in regard to taking the amnesty oath, that
he had to "fortify himself for the occasion with a good deal of Dutch
courage." The wife of General Toombs was ordered by an assistant
commissioner of the freedmen's bureau to vacate her home with only two
weeks' provisions, the grounds of the order being that the premises were
"abandoned property," and, as such, were to be seized, and applied
to the uses of the freedmen's bureau. The superior officer of this
assistant commissioner, being a humane and kindly man, revoked the

These were the days when the carpet-bagger and the scalawag
flourished,--the camp followers of the Northern army, who wanted money
and office; and the native-born Southerner, who wanted office and money.
There is no doubt that the indignities heaped on the people led to acts
of retaliation that nothing else could excuse; but they were driven
to desperation. It seemed, in that hour, that their liberties had been
entirely withdrawn. Governor Brown, who had formerly been so popular,
was denounced because he advised Georgians to accept the situation. He,
with other wise men, thought it was a waste of time and opportunity to
discuss constitutional questions at a moment when the people were living
under bayonet rule. Joe Brown's plan was to accept the situation, and
then get rid of it as quickly as possible. Ben Hill's plan was to
fight it to the last. There was a fierce controversy between these
two leaders; and such strong expressions were used on both sides, that
General Pope made them the subject of a curious letter to his commander
in chief, General Grant.

General Pope seemed to be afraid that war was about to break out again,
and he assumed charge of everything. He removed and appointed mayors of
cities, solicitors, and sheriffs. He closed the State University because
a student made a speech which was in effect a defense of civil law.
After a while the general said he would reopen the institution if the
press of the State would say nothing about the affair. In 1867, General
Pope ordered an election to be held for delegates to a State convention.
The polls were kept open five days, and voters were allowed to vote
in any precinct in any county upon their making oath that they were
entitled to vote. The convention met, but, in the nature of things,
could not be a representative body. Thousands of the best and most
representative men of the State were not allowed to vote, and thousands
of other good men refused to take part in an election held under the
order of a military commander: consequently, when the convention met,
its membership was made up of the political rag-tag-and-bobtail of
that day. There were a few good men in the body, but they had little
influence over the ignorant negroes and vicious whites who had taken
advantage of their first and last opportunity to hold office.

The authority of this convention was not recognized by the State
government, and this contest gave rise to a fresh conflict between the
State officials and the military dictators who had been placed over
them. The convention needed money to pay its expenses, and passed an
ordinance directing the treasurer of the State to pay forty thousand
dollars for this purpose to the disbursing officer of the convention.
General Pope issued an order to the treasurer to pay this amount. The
treasurer declined to pay out the money, for the simple reason that
he was forbidden by law to pay out money except on an order or warrant
drawn by the governor, and sanctioned by the comptroller general.

About this time General Meade was appointed to rule in Georgia in place
of General Pope, and he found this matter unsettled when he took charge.
So he wrote to Governor Jenkins, and requested him to draw his warrant
on the treasury for forty thousand dollars. The governor could find no
authority in law for paying over this sum, and he therefore refused.
But civil government was not of much importance to the military at that
time; so, when he had received the governor's letter, General Meade drew
a sheet of paper before him, called for pen and ink, and issued
"General Order No. 8," in which the announcement is made that "the
following-named officers are _detailed for duty_ in the district of
Georgia: Brevet Brigadier General Thomas H. Ruger, Colonel 33d Infantry,
_to be Governor of the State of Georgia_; Brevet Captain Charles F.
Rockwell, Ordnance Corps U. S. Army, _to be Treasurer of the State of

In this way the rag-tag-and-bobtail convention got its money, but it
got also the hatred and contempt of the people; and the Republican
party,--the party that had been molded and made by the wise policy of
Lincoln,--by indorsing these foolish measures of reconstruction, and
putting its influence behind the outrages that were committed in the
name of "loyalty," aroused prejudices in the minds of the Southern
people that have not died away to this day. Some of the more vicious
of the politicians of that epoch organized what was known as "The Union
League." It was a secret political society, and had branches in every
county of the State. Through the medium of this secret organization,
the basest deception was practiced on the ignorant negroes. They
were solemnly told that their old masters were making arrangements to
reënslave them, and all sorts of incendiary suggestions were made to
them. It was by means of this secret society that the negroes were made
to believe that they would be entitled to forty acres and a mule for
voting for the candidates of the carpet-baggers.

The effect of all this was to keep the blacks in a constant state of
turmoil. They were too uneasy to settle down to work, and too suspicious
to enter into contracts with the whites: so they went wandering about
the State from town to town and from county to county, committing all
sorts of crimes. As the civil system had been entirely overthrown by the
military, there was neither law nor order; and this condition was very
seriously aggravated by the incendiary teachings of The Union League.
The people, therefore, in some parts of the South, offset this secret
society with another, which was called the "Ku Klux Klan." This
organization was intended to prevent violence and to restore order
in communities; but the spirit of it was very frequently violated
by lawless persons, who, acting in the name of the "Klan," subjected
defenseless negroes to cruel treatment.

There is no darker period in the history of the State than that of
reconstruction. The tax payers were robbed in the most reckless way,
and the rights of citizens were entirely disregarded. Even when the
Republican Congress, responsive to the voice of conservative Northern
opinion, turned its back on the carpet-bag government of Georgia,
these men made a tremendous effort to extend their rule unlawfully. The
carpet-bag Legislature was in session three hundred and twenty-eight
days, and cost the State nearly one million dollars; whereas the cost of
legislation from 1853 to 1862, nine years, was not nine hundred thousand
dollars. In one year the State Road took in a million dollars and a
half; and of this immense sum, only forty-five thousand dollars was paid
into the treasury. Added to this, the road had been run into debt to the
amount of six hundred thousand dollars, and it had been run down to
such an extent that five hundred thousand was needed to place it in good

During this trying period, Joseph E. Brown, who had been so popular
with the people, was under a cloud. He had advised accepting the
reconstruction measures in the first instance, so that they might be
carried out by men who had the confidence and the esteem of the State;
but this wise proposition brought upon his head only reproaches and
abuse. The public mind was in such a state of frenzied uneasiness, the
result of carpetbag robbery and recklessness, that the people would
listen to no remedy except passionate defiance and denunciation. When
the name of Brown was mentioned only as a handle of abuse, Benjamin H.
Hill became the leader and the idol of the people. When, in 1870, Hill
issued an address declaring that the reconstruction must be accepted by
the people, he was at once made the object of the most violent attacks.
But Brown was right in 1864, and Hill was right in 1870, and the people
were wrong. They paid dearly for their blindness in the wrongs imposed
on them by men who were neither Republicans nor reconstructionists at
heart, but public plunderers.

In 1871 the carpet-bag government began to totter. The governor left the
State, and staid away so long that the State treasurer, a man of stern
integrity, refused to pay warrants that were not signed by a resident
governor. Finally the governor returned, but almost immediately
resigned. In a short time the real representatives of the people took
charge of affairs, and since that time the State has been in a highly
prosperous condition.


When the people of Georgia had once more gained control of their State
government, the political tempest that had been raging slowly quieted
down. A pot that has been boiling furiously doesn't grow cool in a
moment, but it ceases almost instantly to boil; and though it may cool
slowly, it cools surely. There was not an end of prejudice and unreason
the moment the people had disposed of those who were plundering them,
but prejudice began to lose its force as soon as men had the opportunity
to engage in calm discussion, and to look forward hopefully to the
future. In the midst of bayonet and carpet-bag rule, the State could
not make any real progress. It is only during a time of peace and
contentment that the industrial forces of a community begin to display
their real energy.

No State in the South had suffered so severely as Georgia during the
war. She placed in the field more than a hundred and twenty thousand
soldiers,--twenty thousand more than her voting population at the
beginning of the war. The taxable wealth of the State in 1867 was more
than four hundred and eighty-one millions less than it was in 1861,--a
loss of more than three fourths. After the reconstruction period,
all the State had to show, in return for the treasure that had been
squandered by the carpet-bag politicians, was a few poorly equipped
railroads that had been built on the State's credit. In some instances
railroad bonds were indorsed when there was no road to show for them;
in others, bonds were issued in behalf of the same road under different
names; so that the people lost by fraud as much or more than the amount
of improvement that had been made. The "developers" who had connected
themselves with the bayonet administration were much more interested in
"developing" their own private interests than they were in developing
the resources of the State.

But when the bayonet administration had been driven out, not less
by Northern opinion, which had become disgusted with the reckless
dishonesty that was practiced under the name of republicanism, than by
the energetic opposition of all good citizens of the State, there came a
welcome end to the bitter controversy that had been going on. The fierce
rancor and prejudice that had been aroused gradually died out; so that
in 1872, shortly after the State had been rescued from misrule, Horace
Greeley, the great abolition editor, received in Georgia a majority of
more than seventy-one thousand votes over the straight-out Democratic
candidate. This, more than any other event, showed the improving temper
of the people, and their willingness to make compromises and concessions
for the purpose of restoring the Union and burying the spirit of

With this improved temper there came an improvement in the material
conditions of the State. Free negro labor was a problem which the
planters had to meet. For a time it presented many difficulties. It
was hard to make and enforce contracts with the negroes, who had been
demoralized and made suspicious by The Union League and by the harsh and
unjustifiable acts of men who acted under the name, but not under the
authority, of the Ku Klux Klan. But gradually all these difficulties
were overcome. The negroes settled down to work, and with them a good
many white men who had been left adrift by the fortunes of war and the
prostration of industries. This vast change was not brought about in a
day or a month, or even in a year, but was the gradual outgrowth of a
bitter feeling,--the slow awakening to the fact that matters were not as
bad on a better acquaintance as they had seemed. There was, of course,
the negro problem; but the wiser men soon saw that this problem, such
as it was, would settle itself sooner or later. The result was that
everybody began to take a day off from politics occasionally, and devote
themselves to the upbuilding of the resources of the State.

At first, and for several years, the negro problem seemed to be a very
serious matter indeed. All the statesmen, all the politicians, all the
historians, and all the newspaper editors, discussed it morning, noon,
and night for a long time. Some wanted it settled one way, and some
another. At the North the men who had indorsed and approved the bayonet
governments of the South thought that laws ought to be passed giving the
negroes social equality with the whites. Finally a compromise was made
with what is called the "Civil Rights Law," which was intended to give
the negroes the same privileges at the hotels, theaters, and other
public places, that the whites had. The Northern politicians pretended
to believe that the efforts they were making were for the benefit of the
negroes, though no doubt the majority of them knew better. Of course,
the Southern people resisted the pressure thus brought to bear by
the Northern sectionalists, and the result was what might have been
expected. The condition of the negro was made more uncomfortable
than ever, and the color line was more closely drawn. To show how
shortsighted the politicians were and are, it is only necessary to call
attention to one fact, and it is this: that while the Civil Rights Law
has kept negroes out of public places both North and South, they ride
on the street cars side by side with the white people, and it frequently
happens that an old negro woman who comes into a crowded car is given
a seat by some Southerner who has tender recollections of his negro

[Illustration: Streetcar in the South 318]

It is worthy of note, that while the politicians on both sides were
fighting the shadows that the "negro problem" called up, the problem was
solving itself in the only way that such vast problems can be settled
in the order of Providence,--by the irresistible elements of time and
experience. A great deal of misery, suffering, and discontent would have
been spared to both races, if, after the war, the conservative men of
the North had either insisted on the policy that Abraham Lincoln
had mapped out, or had said to the pestiferous politicians who were
responsible for carpet-bag rule, "Hands off!" No doubt some injustice
would have been done to individuals if the North had permitted the
negroes to work out their political salvation alone, but the race itself
would be in a better condition every way than it is today; for outside
interference has worked untold damage and hardship to the negro. It has
given him false ideas of the power and purpose of government, and it
has blinded his eyes to the necessity of individual effort. It is by
individual effort alone that the negro race must work out its destiny.
This is the history of the white race, and it must be the history of all
races that move forward.

When Georgia, with the rest of the Southern States, had passed safely
through the reconstruction period, the people, as has been seen, found
themselves facing new conditions and new possibilities. Slavery had been
abolished utterly and forever; and wise men breathed freer when they
saw that a great obstacle to progress and development had been
abolished with it. Instinctively everybody felt that here was cause for
congratulation. A few public men, bolder than the rest, looking out on
the prospect, thanked God that slavery was no more. They expected to be
attacked for such utterances, but they were applauded; and it was soon
discovered, much to the surprise of everybody, that the best sentiment
of the South was heartily glad that slavery was out of the way. Thus,
with new conditions, new prospects, and new hopes,--with a new fortune,
in fact,--it was natural that some lively prophet should lift up his
voice and cry, "Behold the New South!"

And it was and is the new South,--the old South made new by events;
the old South with new channels, in which its Anglo-Saxon energies may
display themselves; the old South with new possibilities of greatness,
that would never have offered themselves while slavery lasted. After
these hopes, and in pursuit of these prospects, Georgia has led the way.
Hundreds of miles of new railroads have been built in her borders since
the dark days of reconstruction, hundreds of new factories have been
built, immense marble beds and granite quarries have been put in
operation, new towns have sprung into existence, and in thousands of new
directions employment has been given to labor and capital. In short, the
industrial progress the State has made since 1870 is more than double
that of the previous fifty years.

It was natural, that, out of the new conditions, new men should arise;
and, as if in response to the needs of the hour and the demands of the
people, there arose a man who, with no selfish ends to serve and no
selfish ambition to satisfy, was able to touch the hearts of the people
of both sections, and to subdue the spirit of sectionalism that was
still rampant long after the carpetbag governments in the South had been
overthrown by the force of public opinion. That man was Henry Woodfin
Grady. He took up his public work in earnest in 1876, though he had been
preparing for it since the day that he could read a school history. In
that year he became one of the editors of the "Atlanta Constitution,"
and at once turned his attention to the situation in which his State
had been left by the war, and by the rapacity of those who had come into
power by means of the bayonet. Whether he used his tongue or pen, the
public soon found out that he had control of that mysterious power which
moves men. Whether he wrote or whether he spoke, he had the gift and
the inspiration of eloquence; and from first to last he could never be
induced to use this great gift for his personal advancement, nor could
he be induced to accept a political office. With a mind entirely sincere
and unselfish, he addressed himself to the work of restoring unity
between the North and South, and to putting an end to the sectional
strife which the politicians were skillfully using to further their own
schemes. He was asked to be a United States senator, and refused; he was
asked to be a congressman, and refused. For the rest, he could have had
any office within the gift of the people of Georgia; but he felt that
he could serve the State and the South more perfectly in the way that he
had himself mapped out. He felt that the time had come for some one to
say a bold and manly word in behalf of the American Union in the ear of
the South, and to say a bold and manly word in behalf of the South in
the ear of the North. He began this work, and carried it on as a private
citizen; and the result was, that, though he died before he had reached
the prime of his life, he had won a name and a popularity in all parts
of the country, both North and South, that no other private citizen had
ever before succeeded in winning.

It was Henry Grady that gave the apt name of "The New South" to the
spirit that his tireless energy and enthusiasm had called from the dark
depths of reconstruction. Of this spirit, and the movement that sprang
from it, he was the prophet, the pioneer, the promoter. He saw the South
poor in the midst of the most abundant resources that Providence ever
blessed a people with, and he turned aside from politics to point them
out. He saw the people going about in deep despair, and he gave them the
cue of hope, and touched them with his own enthusiasm. He saw the mighty
industrial forces lying dormant, and his touch awoke them to life.
He saw great enterprises languishing, and he called the attention of
capital to them. Looking farther afield, he saw the people of two great
sections forgetting patriotism and duty, and reviving the prejudices and
issues that had led to the war, and that had continued throughout
the war; and he went about among them, speaking words of peace and
union,--appealing to the spirit of patriotism which held the Northern
and Southern people together when they were building the Republic, when
they stood side by side amid the sufferings of Valley Forge, and when
they saw the army of a mighty monarch surrender to the valor of American
soldiers at Yorktown. With the enthusiasm of a missionary and the
impetuous zeal of an evangelist, he went about rebuking the politicians,
and preaching in behalf of peace, union, and genuine patriotism.

Such was the mission of Henry W. Grady, and the work that he did will
live after him. "The New South" will cease to be hew, but the people
will never cease to owe him a debt of gratitude for the work that he did
in urging forward the industrial progress of this region, and in making
peace between the sections. He was the builder, the peacemaker.

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