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Atlanta and Environs

A Chronicle of Its People and Events, 1820s-1870s

Franklin M. Garrett

Publication Year: 1969

Atlanta and Environs is, in every way, an exhaustive history of the Atlanta Area from the time of its settlement in the 1820s through the 1970s. Volumes I and II, together more than two thousand pages in length, represent a quarter century of research by their author, Franklin M. Garrett a man called "a walking encyclopedia on Atlanta history" by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. With the publication of Volume III, by Harold H. Martin, this chronicle of the South's most vibrant city incorporates the spectacular growth and enterprise that have characterized Atlanta in recent decades.

The work is arranged chronologically, with a section devoted to each decade, a chapter to each year. Volume I covers the history of Atlanta and its people up to 1880 ranging from the city's founding as "Terminus" through its Civil War destruction and subsequent phoenixlike rebirth. Volume II details Atlanta's development from 1880 through the 1930s including occurrences of such diversity as the development of the Coca-Cola Company and the Atlanta premiere of Gone with the Wind. Taking up the city's fortunes in the 1940s, Volume III spans the years of Atlanta's greatest growth. Tracing the rise of new building on the downtown skyline and the construction of Hartsfield International Airport on the city's perimeter, covering the politics at City Hall and the box scores of Atlanta's new baseball team, recounting the changing terms of race relations and the city's growing support of the arts, the last volume of Atlanta and Environs documents the maturation of the South's preeminent city.

Published by: University of Georgia Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. ix

HE preparation of this history of the Atlanta area, primarily Atlanta itself and Fulton and De Kalb counties, is based upon a quarter century of research and some four years' writing time. The undertaking has been arduous, but nevertheless pleasant. It is offered to the people of Greater Atlanta,...


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pp. xvii-xx


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pp. xxi

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Section I. A Brief Prelude to the Coming of the White Man

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pp. 1-7

JAMES MONROE, enunciator of the famous Doctrine, was beginning his second presidential term before that section of Georgia now occupied by Atlanta and environs could be called much except a vast wilderness. That is to say it was a wilderness compared to...

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pp. 8-19

IN ALL probability no place name has ever become more thoroughly associated with a locality than has the name Peachtree with Atlanta and vicinity. The association has been attested by the fact that letters have been delivered here from abroad bearing the address, "Peachtree Street, U. S. A."...

Section III THE ElGHTEEN-TWENTIES Age of the Pioneers. Their Names Now Cover the Land

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CHAPTER 1: 1821-1822-1823

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pp. 20-37

BECAUSE the land lot is such an integral designation in connection with all real estate transactions in this section, it might be well to look into the matter of its origin. Indeed, the land lot was the basic unit in the laying out of all Georgia counties subsequent to the Indian cession of 1802. Land acquired prior to that cession and including all territory in

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CHAPTER 2: 1824

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pp. 38-47

DURING 1824 while Andrew Jackson, of Tennessee, John Quincy Adams, of Massachusetts, and William H. Crawford, of Georgia, ran a three-cornered race for the presidency, Adams winning, De Kalb County attained a free white population of 3569.1 The town of Decatur could now boast a jail, an academy and about fifty houses and stores.2 George Clifton joined James Hicks in the Georgia house of representatives from...

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CHAPTER 3: 1825

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pp. 48-54

AS THE first quarter of the nineteenth century drew to a close De Kalb was still a frontier county with Cherokee lands to the northwest and Creek lands to the west. In Washington John Quincy Adams was inaugurated president; in Massachusetts General LaFayette dedicated the Bunker Hill Monument, and in New York the Erie Canal was opened to commerce. At Indian...

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CHAPTER 4: 1826

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pp. 55-61

NEWS of the death, on July 4, 1826, of both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson was received with sorrow by the people of De Kalb, for certainly no two individuals had more to do with the founding of the Republic than these distinguished citizens. Three months later, on October 7, in Massachusetts, occurred another event, then by no means as newsworthy as the passing of the Messrs. Adams...

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CHAPTER 5: 1827

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pp. 62-67

WHILE the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was being chartered in Maryland and the first general strike of the various building trades for a ten-hour day came to an unsuccessful conclusion in Philadelphia,1 the chief preoccupation of the people of De Kalb County was the Cherokee Nation to the northwest. That the envious eyes of restless people, not only in De Kalb, but in...

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CHAPTER 6: 1828

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pp. 68-71

THE long and bitter controversy upon the subject of state's rights, culminating more than a generation later in internecine warfare assumed tangible form this year. On December 19, 1828, the South Carolina legislature adopted eight resolutions, drafted by John C. Calhoun, protesting against the tariff as unconstitutional. These resolutions constituted a first formal statement...

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pp. 72-78

TWO events of 1829 boded ill for the Cherokee Indians and served to hasten the day for their final removal from the state less than a decade later. One was the inauguration of Andrew Jackson as President of the United States. The other was the discovery of gold in the neighborhood of the future town of Dahlonega. Jackson knew Indians. He had fought with and against them for a generation,...

Section IV THE EIGHTEEN-THIRTIES More Pioneers. Railroad Building Begins A Future City Starts Modestly as "TheTerminus33

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CHAPTER 8: 1830

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pp. 79-98

NEWS of the successful demonstration of steam motive power on the Liverpool and Manchester was not long in reaching the United States. It served as a priming charge to set off a veritable deluge of railroad building projects in this country. Indeed the decade of the 1830's is best remembered for the tremendous changes wrought upon the land by the laying of iron rails. Even so, it was not until 1837 that the trees and soil of De Kalb County...

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CHAPTER 9: 1831

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pp. 99-105

THE day of the stagecoach and canal tow boat made progress in the direction of its end during 1831 when the "West Point", second locomotive built in America, made its first trial trip on the South Carolina Railroad and the "DeWitt Clinton", the third, made a run on the Mohawk and Hudson,...

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CHAPTER 10: 1832

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pp. 106-114

WHILE the State of Illinois was experiencing the episode of Indian trouble known as the Black Hawk War in 1832, and thereby providing a military record for a young citizen of New Salem known as Abraham Lincoln, the State of Georgia continued to wrestle with its Cherokee problem. In September, 1831, Samuel A. Worcester, a missionary to the Cherokees,..

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CHAPTER 11: 1833

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pp. 115-124

THE subject of State Rights, culminating a generation later in fratricidal warfare, came again to the fore in early 1833. President Jackson, in his message to Congress on January 16, asked for power to enforce the collection of customs in South Carolina. A bill conferring this power was introduced on January 21 and was characterized by State Rights men the "Force Bill." It was passed March 2 and gave the President power to suppress opposition to...

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CHAPTER 12: 1834

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pp. 125-128

THE State of Georgia furnished the United States with a Secretary of State in 1834. John Forsyth, late Governor (1827-29), and long an ardent supporter of Andrew Jackson, was appointed to the top cabinet position by the President on June 27 and retained it through the succeeding administration...

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CHAPTER 13: 1835

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pp. 129-136

WHITEHALL STREET in Atlanta, like its opposite number, Peachtree, in the downtown section, received its name from a settlement or landmark, in existence years before Atlanta itself came into being. Whitehall, in its heyday was a tavern, stage coach stop, post office and election precinct. The chief business section of West End, at Lee and Gordon streets, is its lineal descendant. Founder of this pioneer locality and proprietor of the "White Hall...

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CHAPTER 14: 1836

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pp. 137-146

THE historian of the Atlanta area has at his command, beginning with the year 1836, an invaluable and illuminating record upon which to draw. Reference is thus made to the Minutes of the De Kalb County Superior Court in general and to the Grand Jury Presentments therein contained in particular1 It is the opinion of the writer that these presentments provide for the...

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CHAPTER 15: 1837

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pp. 147-155

ON MARCH 4, 1837, while Martin Van Buren was being inaugurated President, and Chicago received a charter as a city, Governor Schley was carrying on a brisk correspondence in an effort to secure the services of some experienced engineer to survey and build the newly authorized Western and Atlantic Railroad. The Governor's interest in the project was sincere and active. Writing to...

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CHAPTER 16: 1838

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pp. 156-163

THE Act of December 23, 1837, authorizing the southeastward extension of the W. & A. Railroad from the Chattahoochee also provided for the election of three Commissioners to supervise generally the business of the road, and to act jointly with the Governor in raising funds for constructing it. The first Commissioners elected were Joel Crawford, Chairman, Thomas Hamilton, and Charles L. Bolton.1 The settlement which grew up around the...

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CHAPTER 17: 1839

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pp. 164-172

DURING the summer of 1839 a young man of 27, even then upon the road to distinction, was traveling through De Kalb County with a companion, C. C. Hammock. The young man was Alexander Hamilton Stephens. Stopping at the southeastern terminus of the Western & Atlantic Railroad, he stood apart from others who may have been present and, gazing into the distance, became silent in contemplation. His companion, noticing this,...

Section V. THE ElGHTEEN-FORTIES Railroad Operation Begins. Urban Pioneers. Churches. Marthasville and, in 1845, Atlanta

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CHAPTER 18: 1840

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pp. 173-178

HE "log cabin and hard cider" campaign of 1840 in behalf of William Henry Harrison and Johh Tyler for President and Vice-President, bore fruit in Georgia, for "Tippecanoe and Tyler too" carried the State for the Whigs with the large majority of 8,340 votes. Even so the Whig triumph in...

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CHAPTER 19: 1841

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pp. 179-182

THE hard times prevailing throughout the United States, beginning in 1837, were felt for some years to come, and by 1841 were the subject of considerable concern in De Kalb County. Economy, particularly in government, was the order of the day. The De Kalb Grand Jury for the March term, 1841, took cognizance in the following language: "In approaching anything of a public nature and expressing our opinion...

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CHAPTER 20: 1842

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pp. 183-198

A PARTICULAR years mark turning points in the careers of individuals, so do they mark important developments and changes in the growth of communities. Certain events which transpired in 1842 decided exactly where the center of the future City of Atlanta was to be. It was not destined to remain where Abbott Hall Brisbane, with the approval of Stephen Harriman...

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CHAPTER 21: 1843

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pp. 199-204

DURING the first half of the year 1843, which period saw the death of Francis Scott Key, author of the Star Spangled Banner; the appropriation by Congress of $30,000,000 to aid S. F. B. Morse in establishing the first telegraph line between Washington and Baltimore, and the dedication of the Bunker Hill Monument by Daniel Webester,1 the hamlet called Marthasville...

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CHAPTER 22: 1844

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pp. 205-212

"WHAT God hath wrought." Those four words constituted the first message sent by Morse's telegraph, between Washington and Baltimore on May 24, 1844. Three days later the Democratic National Convention at Baltimore nominated James Polk and George M. Dallas for president and vice-president. The news was flashed over the telegraph between..

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CHAPTER 23: 1845

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pp. 213-229

DURING the year in which Florida became the twenty-seventh state and Texas the twenty-eighth, De Kalb County received a partial new deal in Inferior Court Justices; Marthasville, a practically new slate of Town Commissioners, and the State of Georgia, a Supreme Court. John N. Bellinger, the lawyer, and William Hairston, planter, continued...

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CHAPTER 24: 1846

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pp. 230-243

EIGHTEEN HUNDRED AND FORTY-SIX is remembered chiefly as the Mexican War year, the war having officially begun in May. Its impact upon De Kalb County was relatively mild, much more so, in fact, than the Indian wars of the preceding decade. Two reasons for the lack of excitement locally were the remoteness of the conflict, and the small requisitions made...

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CHAPTER 25: 1847

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pp. 244-262

CONSTRUCTION of a new De Kalb County Court House, following the fire of January, 1842 became a lengthy chore. Some differences over the work developed between the Inferior Court and G. V. Margerum and W. H. Graham, of Marietta, the contractors. They were finally submitted to a two-man board of arbitration, which handed the following...

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CHAPTER 26: 1848

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pp. 263-276

ONE month to the day after being chartered, the fledgling City of Atlanta proceeded to the election of officers. So on Saturday, January 29, 1848, great excitement prevailed as 2151 citizens cast their votes for the two candidates for mayor, Moses W. Formwalt and Jonathan Norcross. Only one polling place was available, Thomas Kile's grocery,2 on the present site of the...

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CHAPTER 27: 1849

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pp. 277-303

MERE mention of the year 1849 calls to many minds a vista of clipper ships and covered wagons, all destined for the new El Dorado known as California, where gold had been discovered in Captain John A. butter's mill race the year before. It brings to mind also the theme song of the 49'ers, Stephen Collins Foster's, Oh, Susannah! or rather a modification...

Section VI. THE ElGHTEEN-FlFTIES Ante-Bellum Days. Atlanta Becomes a County Seat

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CHAPTER 28: 1850

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pp. 304-327

THE decade of the 1840's represents the basic formative period in the development of Atlanta. Indeed the thirteen years after 1837, when its site was chosen as the terminus of the Western and Atlantic Railroad, can well be characterized as a mould in which the city was cast. The pioneer railroads cast the mould physically, and, to a large extent,...

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CHAPTER 29: 1851

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pp. 328-339

BY 1851 law and order in Atlanta had come perilously close to extinction. The authority of the municipal government was being openly flouted by hundreds of "toughs" from Murrel's Row and the Snake Nation, none of whom had visible means of support.1 The De Kalb County grand juries for both the first and second weeks...

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CHAPTER 30: 1852

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pp. 340-352

NUMBER of events commanded national attention in 1852. Henry Clay and Daniel Webster were removed by death from the stage they had so long and ably occupied. First publication of Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" in book form was to fan the smoldering embers of the slavery question into flame, and the course of empire moved westward when the first passenger train left Chicago for Joliet on the Rock Island, first...

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CHAPTER 31: 1853

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pp. 353-367

DR. GIBBS made a second try for the office of mayor on January 17, 1853, but was defeated by John F. Mims, the vote being 193 for Gibbs and 369 for Mims. B. N. Williford and Paschal House were elected marshal and deputy marshal, respectively. Seven, instead of the usual six, councilmen served during 1853. They were Julius A. Hayden, Jonathan Norcross,...

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CHAPTER 32: 1854

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pp. 368-385

NUMBER of newsworthy events occupied the national stage while the new County of Fulton was being organized and experiencing its first year. On March 31, 1854, through the efforts of Commodore Matthew C. Perry, Japan abandoned its ancient policy of isolation and signed a treaty...

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CHAPTER 33: 1855

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pp. 386-404

"TWAS in fifty-five that the Deacon's durable and famous "One-Hoss- Shay," after running a hundred years to the day, went to pieces all at once,—"all at once, and nothing first,—just as bubbles do when they burst, dumping the parson out on a rock, at half-past nine by the meetin5-house clock."1 It was also in 1855 that Septimus Winner, of Philadelphia, wrote the...

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pp. 405-422

THE presidential election of 1856 brought victory to James Buchanan, nominee of the Democrats. His opponents were John C. Fremont, standardbearer of the newly organized Republican Party, and Millard Fillmore, candidate of the Know-Nothings. It was to be nearly thirty years before the Democrats were able to elect another president. The result of the contest in Georgia was a victory for Buchanan of 14,000 votes. The only counties carried by Fillmore were in those parts of middle...

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CHAPTER 35: 1857

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pp. 423-433

ON a hot summer afternoon in June, 1857, thirty-six year old Judge Joseph Emerson Brown, of the Blue Ridge Circuit was helping his hands to cut wheat in his field on Town Creek near Canton in Cherokee County. About sundown he went home and was shaving and preparing to...

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CHAPTER 36: 1852

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pp. 434-450

THE year 1858 was relatively devoid of political excitement in Georgia. It was a period of reflection; and reflection brought determination. While there were differences of opinion in unimportant matters, the people generally were of only one mind on the vital issues of slavery and State rights....

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CHAPTER 37: 1859

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pp. 451-470

DURING a gloomy, wet spell of weather, on August 10, 1858, Atlanta played host to a convention of the "American" ex-"Know-Nothing" party of Georgia, whereat it nominated Warren Akin, of Cass, now Bartow County, to oppose Joseph E. Brown in the gubernatorial contest of 1859. Despite the fine character and legal and speaking ability of Mr. Akin,...

Section VII. THE ElGHTEEN-SlXTIES The Peace is Breached. The Result and Its Aftermath State House Moves to Town

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CHAPTER 38: 1860

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pp. 471-492

WITH the dawn of the sixties Atlanta entered its decade of greatest travail, a decade from which it emerged as changed as was Chicago after its fire of 1871 and San Francisco following the earthquake of 1906. Ante-bellum Atlanta all but disappeared in the crucible of war, but the seeds of its future survived the ordeal and flowered mightly in the years to...

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CHAPTER 39: 1861

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pp. 493-519

ATLANTA, as has been seen, experienced a remarkable career of growth and business prosperity thus far in its history. But when the first sounds of war's alarms were heard throughout the land, the march of uninterrupted progress diverged from its accustomed course and sought new and hitherto untried channels. Normal building operations were, to a great extent,...

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CHAPTER 40: 1862

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pp. 520-544

DURING 1862 the tempo of the war increased mightily and the original territory of the Confederate States of America grew smaller, through Federal occupation of some of its most important river cities and other points. In February came the surrender of Fort Henry on the Tennessee and Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River, followed by the occupation of Nashville during the same month. In April the Confederacy lost one of its best soldiers...

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CHAPTER 41: 1863

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pp. 545-562

THE observations of Samuel P. Richards, as the New Year dawned, are set down in his diary: "Thursday 1. We enter upon the^new year with renewed hope that ere many months the dark tide of war will have passed away, and the blessings of peace be again restored to us. The tidings of another great victory have come to us from Tennessee; the invading army of Gen. Rosecrans, one of the...

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CHAPTER 42: 1864

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pp. 563-668

IT WOULD have been difficult indeed to have found two more dissimilar American cities than the Atlanta of January 1, 1864, and the Atlanta of January 1, 1865. On the first day of the former year the city was throbing with all the manifold activities of an industrial center in a wartime economy....

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CHAPTER 43: 1865

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pp. 669-700

ON DECEMBER 7, 1864, under the supervision of Edward M. Talliaferro, Jethro W. Manning and James G. McLin, an election had been held for mayor and councilmen. James M. Calhoun, who had guided local municipal affairs since early 1862, was elected for a fourth consecutive term. The council for 1865 was composed of the following gentlemen:...

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CHAPTER 44: 1866

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pp. 701-732

DURING 1866 the government of Georgia functioned normally except for the presence of Federal troops and the Freedmen's Bureau. Considerable progress, in fact, was made in the re-establishment of the economic life of the people. The year, however, did mark the beginning of the memorable struggle between the President and Congress of the United States...

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CHAPTER 45: 1867

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pp. 733-770

...for officers to serve during 1867. James E. Williams was re-elected mayor while the council, elected at the same time to serve with him was composed of: First Ward—M. T. Castleberry and D. P. Ferguson. Second Ward—F. M. Richardson and A. W. Mitchell. Third Ward—W. C. Anderson and George W. Terry. Fourth Ward—J. E. Gullatt and W. B. Cox....

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CHAPTER 46: 1868

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pp. 771-800

THE Constitutional Conveention of 1868, called by military order and held under military supervision, met in Atlanta, as previously noted, on December 9, 1867. Of the 169 delegates to the convention, 37 were Negroes, nine were white Carpetbaggers, and about 12 were conservative whites. The remainder, and majority, were native whites, known as Scalawags, because they went over to...

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CHAPTER 47: 1869

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pp. 801-826

ON NOVEMBER 14, 1868, S. P. Richards recorded in his diary: "... . Considerable excitement has been manifested today in town at the nomination of a candidate for Mayor. I voted for E. E. Rawson, but he was beaten by a young man Hulsey, only 28 years old I am told. . . ." There was indeed a degree of excitement over the forthcoming municipal...

Section VIII. THE EIGHTEEN-SEVENTIES A City is Rebuilt. Public Schools, a Horse Car System and Waterworks Make for a More Abundant Life

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CHAPTER 48: 1870

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pp. 827-858

DURING the month of November, 1869, the voters of Atlanta were treated to some strenuous electioneering upon the part of several candidates aspiring to the office of Mayor for 1870. Before election day, December 1st, Joseph Winship, James E. Williams, and Judge Dennis F. Hammond had all dropped out, leaving the field to two Democrats, Judge William Ezzard and Dr. James F. Alexander, and one so-called Radical, William Markham....

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CHAPTER 49: 1871

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pp. 859-872

THE municipal election, held on December 7, 1870, for mayor and council to serve during 1871 was by no means a quiet affair. Numerous brickbats, both literal and figurative were hurled, not to mention the discharge of deadlier weapons which produced a few casualties among the colored population. Contestants for the mayor's chair were Dr. James F. Alexander, heading...

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CHAPTER 50: 1872

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pp. 873-890

FRIDAY, January 12, 1872, was a day long to be remembered in Atlanta and throughout Georgia. James M. Smith was inaugurated as governor, and, for all practical purposes, Reconstruction in Georgia was over. The Constitution jubilantly recorded the event:1 "A Day of Rejoicing "This, the 12th day of January, 1872, is one of Georgia's memorable days,...

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CHAPTER 51: 1873

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pp. 891-901

LOCAL voters in the municipal election of 1873, held on December 4, 1872, had a choice of two tickets. The "Democratic Municipal Ticket" was headed, as candidate for mayor, by Judge Cicero C. Hammock. The "Independent Ticket" by Colonel T. Stobo Farrow.1 Judge Hammock, a former judge of the Inferior Court of Oglethorpe...

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CHAPTER 52: 1874

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pp. 902-909

THE municipal election of December 3, 1873, at which a mayor and council for 1874 were selected, was one of the quietest on record. The vote was light and but little interest was manifested. Samuel B. Spencer, the Democratic candidate, had no opposition and polled a total of 798 votes.1 The new chief executive, Mr. Spencer, was born in Liberty County,...

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CHAPTER 53: 1875

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pp. 910-924

DESPITE its metropolitan trimmings, Atlanta by the middle 1870's was still basically an overgrown country town. To illustrate the point, council found it necessary, in March, 1875, to pass what was known as the "Cow Ordinance." This ordinance required all owners to keep their cows within enclosures at night, and required the...

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CHAPTER 54: 1876

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pp. 925-934

DIARIST S. P. Richards took pen in hand on New Year's day, 1876, and wrote: "The gentlemen have been calling upon their lady friends today pretty freely and Dora [eldest daughter of S. P. R.] went to Mrs. Belle Abbott's...

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CHAPTER 55: 1877

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pp. 935-942

NEW YEAR'S day, eighteen seventy-seven was a good day to stay at home. Mr. Richards recorded, on January 1st: "When we arose this morning the ground was all covered with snow three inches deep! The horse cars struggled with it all day but finally succumbed." The city election, held December 6, 1876, was even more quiet than its...

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CHAPTER 56: 1878

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pp. 943-951

THE municipal election of Detember 5, 1877, resulted in the choice of Russell C. Mitchell as alderman-at-large, and the following new councilmen: First Ward, J. M. Boring; Second Ward, Edward A. Werner; Third Ward, William E. Hayne; Fourth Ward, John H. Flynn, and Fifth Ward, Benjamin B. Crew. Alderman Oliver H. Jones served as mayor pro tern for 1878.1 The bonded debt of the city on January 1, 1878, was $1,827,000, the...

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CHAPTER 57: 1879

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pp. 952

THE election of December 4, 1878, for municipal officers to serve during 1879 and 1880 was somewhat more exciting than its immediate predecessors. Voters had a choice of three candidates from which to choose a mayor, William Lowndes Calhoun, James Warren English and Daniel Pike Hill....

E-ISBN-13: 9780820331270
E-ISBN-10: 0820331279
Print-ISBN-13: 9780820302638
Print-ISBN-10: 0820302635

Page Count: 992
Illustrations: 48 b&w photos, 8 maps
Publication Year: 1969