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1789 In inauguration ceremonies at Federal Hall in New York City, George Washington was sworn in as the the first president of the United States under the new national constitution.
1825 Creek chieftain William McIntosh died at his plantation home, Lockchau Talofau, in what is now Carroll County, Georgia. [Some sources – such as the Dictionary of Georgia Biography – incorrectly cite May 1 as the date of his death.]
McIntosh was the son of a Creek Indian mother and a Tory officer father. Through his father he was related to several notable Georgia officials, including his cousin George Troup, governor from 1823-1827. But the Creeks traced lineage through the mother; thus McIntosh became a chief among the Lower Creeks, who lived near and interacted more with whites than did the Upper Creeks, who lived along the Alabama, Tallapoosa, and and Coosa Rivers.
McIntosh was successful in the white man's world, operating a tavern and a large plantation. Much of his land was obtained through treaties he helped to negotiate, treaties that ceded more and more Creek lands to Georgia. McIntosh believed in living amicably with whites, which earned him many enemies among the Upper Creeks. Civil war actually broke out between the Creek factions in 1813, requiring federal intervention led by General Andrew Jackson. McIntosh fought with the Americans, eventually rising to the rank of brigadier general. In 1821, McIntosh helped negotiate the first Treaty of the Indian Spring, which ceded to Georgia all lands between the Ocmulgee and Flint Rivers. The Upper Creeks took a stand, vowing death to anyone who agreed to cede any more Creek land. When McIntosh's cousin Troup became governor he intended to remove all Indians from Georgia soil. No upper Creeks would negotiate with American officials, but a group of Lower Creeks, led by McIntosh, signed the second Treaty of Indian Springs in 1825 which ceded all remaining Creek lands to Georgia, giving them equal acreage in Arkansas, but also rewarding McIntosh with more money and land. The negotiations were rife with bribery and corruption; when the Upper Creeks received word of the treaty they took immediate action. Surrounding McIntosh at his plantation, they set the house on fire. When McIntosh was forced from the building he was attacked and killed, being stabbed numerous times, then scalped.
Due to the circumstances in which the Indian Springs treaty had been negotiated and signed, president John Quincy Adams refused to present it to the Senate for ratification, but separate treaties in the next two years completed the Creek removal from Georgia. William McIntosh remains an enigmatic figure in Georgia history, viewed by some as a talented businessman and military leader who foresaw the inevitable advance of the white man and tried to salvage what he could for the Creeks, while being viewed by others as a traitor to his people.
1861 John Archibald Campbell resigned from the U.S. Supreme Court to serve the Confederacy as Assistant Secretary of War. Born June 24, 1811 near Washington, Georgia, Campbell attended the University of Georgia, graduating at an early age. Campbell later practiced law in Alabama. In 1853, President Franklin Pierce appointed Campbell to the U.S. Supreme Court, where four years later he sided with the majority decision in the Dred Scott case, adding his own concurring opinion in the important case. Following the outbreak of the Civil War, Campbell resigned from the high court and became Assistant Secretary of War for the Confederacy. Imprisoned briefly after the war, Campbell was released by President Andrew Johnson. Afterwards, Campbell practiced law in New Orleans until his death in 1889.
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1886 Aboard a special train decorated with flags and bunting bound from Montgomery to Atlanta to participate in the unveiling of a monument to his loyal friend Benjamin Hill on May 1, former Confederate president Jefferson Davis stopped in LaGrange, Hill's birthplace, and briefly addressed the crowd that had turned out to honor him. Accompany Davis was his daughter, Winnie, and former Confederate general John B. Gordon.
1913 At an inquest into the death of Mary Phagan, more suspicion began to fall on Leo Frank, superintendent of the pencil factory where Phagan had worked.
George Epps, a fifteen-year-old friend of Phagan, testified that she had been afraid of Frank because he had flirted and made advances toward her. Newt Lee, the night watchman who had discovered her body, testified that Frank was nervous the day of the murder and had telephoned to see if everything was all right at the factory – which Lee said was not Frank's usual practice. But two mechanics who had worked on the top floor of the factory that morning disputed Lee's story, saying Frank had acted normally. For more, see the Leo Frank Case page.
1932 Franklin D. Roosevelt arrived in Warm Springs, Georgia for his twenty-third visit to his "second home." This was his first trip to Warm Springs after announcing the previous January that he would seek the Democratic nomination for President.
1953 A major tornado damaged all operations at Robins Air Force Base and other areas of middle Georgia. The tornado left 18 dead, 350 injured, 1000 homeless, and $10 million in damages.
1975 Elvis Presley opened a three-night concert in Atlanta's Omni. This was the third of four Presley concerts in Atlanta.
1985 Atlanta Brave Dale Murphy ended the month of April by knocking in two runs in an 8-4 victory over the Cincinnati Red. These two runs gave Murphy 29 runs batted in for the month of April, tying a National League record.
1996 The Carter Center launched the Global 2000 River Blindness Program in order to expand its efforts to fight river blindness disease.
2001 The Athens Daily News published its last edition. The daily publication began publication on June 17, 1965, giving Athens a morning newspaper to compete with the evening The Banner-Herald. On the initial staff was 19-year-old University of Georgia student Lewis Grizzard, who would later become nationally famous as a columnist, author, and speaker. In 1967, Morris Communications, owner of The Banner-Herald, purchased the Daily News. After 34 years, the publishers felt that Athens was not large enough to support two daily newspapers, so effective May 1, 2001, the two were combined into the Athens Banner-Herald.
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1740 The Duke of Newcastle was Britain's Secretary of State for the Colonies. On this day, from Ft. Frederica, James Oglethorpe wrote Newcastle on the status of his plans to try to capture St. Augustine, as directed by King George II:
Mills Lane (ed.), General Oglethorpe's Georgia: Colonial Letters, 1733-1743 (Savannah: Library of Georgia, 1990), Vol. II, pp. 458-459.
1772 This letter from James Habersham to one of the king's secretaries shows that, while disputes between the Crown and colonies were brewing, Habersham himself had not yet become a revolutionary. The dispute arose over the Commons House's repeated attempts to name Noble Wimberly Jones, an outspoken critic of British policies, as Speaker of the House:
Source: Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, The Letters of the Hon. James Habersham, 1756-1775 (Savannah, The Georgia Historical Society, 1904), Vol. VI, p. 174.
1861 From a new training camp for Georgia recruits at Marietta, Georgia, Tom Dowtin wrote his sister:
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), "Dear Mother: Don't grieve about me. If I get killed, I'll only be dead.": Letters from Georgia Soldiers in the Civil War (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), p. 7.
1865 On this day in 1865 Eliza Frances Andrews and family received the word her brother had been wounded in battle:
Source: Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865 (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1908), p. 190.
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
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