TDGH - August 23
This Day in Georgia
- Ed Jackson and Charles Pou
- The University of Georgia
1781 Lawyer and
well-known Georgia political John M. Berrien was born in Princeton,
New Jersey. Two years later, his parents moved to Savannah, where
at age 18 he began the practice of law. In 1822, he served a term
in the Georgia state senate, and in 1824 the General Assembly
elected him to represent Georgia in the U.S. Senate. In 1829,
he resigned to serve as Pres. Andrew Jackson's attorney general.
In 1831, he returned to practice law in Savannah, where he helped
form the Georgia State Rights party. In 1840, Berrien was reelected
to the Georgia Senate, where he served for the next 12 years.
Afterwards, he practiced law in Savannah until his death on Jan.
1 1856. The next month, the General Assembly created a new county
and named it in his honor.
1864 Near Atlanta,
Sherman issued Special
Field Order 59 prohibiting his forces from trading with Georgia
merchants except for items needed by Union troops, and setting
the conditions under which Union quartermasters could obtain what
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1870 H.I. Kimball
sold the former Kimball
Opera House to the State of Georgia for $250,000. During 1868-69,
the building had been transformed into the Georgia State Capitol.
for more information on the Kimball Opera House.
1913 This was the twenty-fourth
day in the trial of Leo Frank in the Fulton County Courthouse.
Prosecutor Hugh Dorsey continued
his eloquent, yet ferocious, closing argument, condemning Frank
for his abhorrent behavior and contending that he could not care
less what opposing attorneys or Frank's family thought of him
– his duty was to Mary Phagan and the people of Georgia. Click here for a detailed accounting of the case.
to the city of Atlanta's argument in federal court two days earlier
that city parks were no longer segregated, four blacks attempted
to play tennis at the Bitsy Grant Tennis Courts. As they arrived,
they found hastily posted "closed for repairs" signs.
1969 To mark
the 11th International Botanical Congress in Seattle, Wash., the
U.S. Post Office issued four commemorative stamps showing plants
from the major regions of America. One of the stamps showed the
Franklinia alatamaha, a plant found near the mouth of the
Altamaha River by the Bartrams in 1765. Click here
to view the stamp and read more about the Franklinia.
Georgia towns and cities first incorporated
by acts approved on August 23:
1889 Lovett (Laurens
(Walton County), Cobbtown (Tattnall County), Dacula
(Gwinnett County), Garfield (Emanuel County), Haddock
(Jones County), Lela (Decatur County), Ludowici
(Liberty County), Molena (Pike County), Odessadale
(Meriwether County), Pembroke (Bryan County), Pitts
(Wilcox County), Smithsonia (Oglethorpe County), and Walnut
Grove (Walton County)
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1734 From Skidaway
Island, William Dalmas wrote James Oglethorpe about the problem
he was getting colonists to build a fortification on the coast
". . . All our settlement is in tolerable
good health but have been a little alarmed with a report of fifty
or sixty Spaniards and Spanish Indians being seen in a boat on
our frontiers to the Southward, which made me assist and give
directions to our people in erecting a square redoubt upon our
point with an entrenchment on the inside and a fosse without.
We have four swivel and a carriage gun mounted, which both commands
the river and the approaches to our huts . . . . I can't help
but take notice that we were but six to carry on the aforesaid
work, with rest refusing to do any thing without being paid for
it. . . ."
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), General Oglethorpe's
Georgia: Colonial Letters, 1733-1743 (Savannah: Beehive Press,
1990), Vol. I, p. 47.
1738 George Whitefield,
who would eventually became one of famous evangelists of his time
in America, began his career ministering to Georgia colonists
in Savannah. Even at this young age he took his calling very seriously,
as evidence by today's entry in his journal:
"A Necessity was laid on me to Day to
express my Resentment against Infidelity by refusing to read
the Burial Office over the most professed Unbeliever I ever yet
met with.-- God was pleased to visit him with a lingring [sic]
Illness, in which Time I went to see him frequently. – Particularly
about five Weeks agone, I asked him what Religion he was of,
he answered, 'Religion was divided into so many Sects he knew
not which to chuse [sic].' – Another time, I offer'd to pray
with him, but he would not accept it, upon which I resolv'd to
go see him no more; – But being told two Days before he dyed
[sic], that he had an Inclination to see me, I went to him again,
and after a little Conversation, I put to him the following Questions,
'Do you believe Jesus Christ to be God, the one Mediator between
God and Man?' – He said, 'I believe Christ was a good Man.'-'Do
you believe the Holy Scriptures?' 'I believe,' replied he, 'something
of the Old Testament, the New I do not believe at all.' – Do
you believe, Sir, a Judgement to come?' he turn'd himself about
and replied, 'I know not what to say to that.' – 'Alass' [sic]
said I, 'Sir, if all these Things should be true' – which Words
I believe gave him Concern, for he seemed after to be very uneasy,
grew delirious, and departed in a Day or two. – Unhappy Man,
how quickly was he convinced that all I said was true. Now he
and I are of one Mind: the Day after his Decease he was carried
to the Ground, and I refuse to read the Office over him, but
went to the Grave and told the People what had passed between
him and me, warned them against Infidelity, and asked them whether
I could safely say, 'as our Hope is this our Brother doth,' upon
which I believe they were thoroughly satisfied that I had done
right. – GOD grant this may be a warning to surviving Unbelievers."
Source: [no author or editor cited], Our
First Visit in America: Early Reports from the Colony of Georgia,
1732-1740 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1974), pp. 295-296.
1738 Like Whitefield,
William Stephens, the Trustees' secretary in Georgia, kept a journal.
Both men's journals for today dealt with the death of same colonist:
"Mr. William Aglionby, a Freeholder in
this Town, died this Morning, and was buried in the Evening.
His character was better forgot, than rememeber'd to his Infamy:
But it may not be improper with Regard to the Colony, to touch
upon it briefly. . . . [H]e had a little Smattering of the Law,
he made Use of that Talent, in being a great Advisor among divers
of our late Malecontents [sic]; most of whom had forsaken him,
feeling their Error. He was so far from any Improvements, that
he discouraged many others from it . . . and was a stirrer up
of ill Blood: And as he was a great Devotee to Rum, it is said,
that using it to Excess brought a Flux upon him, which . . .
at length carried him off; wherein the Colony (I conceive) sustained
no loss. During his sickness, Mr. Whitfield was divers Times
to attend him, offering to do his Duty in Prayer, &c. but
he refused such Assistance; and upon several Questions put to
him properly at such a Season, he denied any Mediator, and died
a confirmed Deist. . . . Mr. Whitfield . . . as soon as the Corpse
was interred, before the Company dispersed, came to the Grave,
and there made a very pathetick [sic] Exhortation to the People,
to be stedfast to the principles of Christianity, and careful
not to be seduced into damnable Errors. It is to be hoped we
have not many of the like Stamp among us, the Generality of the
People shewing [sic] a good Disposition; but I fear three or
four yet remain, who are fond of the modern way of Freethinking.
. . ."
Source: William Stephens, A Journal of the
Proceeding in Georgia (no city cited: Readex Microprint Corporation,
1966), Vol. I, pp. 268-270.
1864 The Southern Recorder of Milledgeville printed a badly mistaken prediction on the outcome of Sherman's Atlanta Campaign.
1865 In Washington,
Ga., 25-year-old Eliza Frances Andrews recorded in her journal the changed
lifestyle of her family following the Civil War:
"Up very early, sweeping and cleaning
the house. Our establishment has been reduced from 25 servants
to 5, and two of these are sick. Uncle Watson and Buck do the
outdoor work, or rather the small part of it that can be done
by two men. The yard, grove, orchards, vineyards, and garden,
already show sad evidences of neglect. Grace does the washing
and milks the cows, mammy cooks, and Charity does part of the
housework, when well. Cora has hired Maum Rose, a nice old darkey
that used to belong to the Dunwodys, to wait on her, and she
is a great help to us. I worked very hard in the morning because
I had a great deal to do. I got through by ten o'clock and was
preparing for a nap when Cousin Liza came in with some of our
country kin, and immediately after, Mrs. Jordan, with her sister,
two children and three servants, came to spend the night. Other
people came in to dinner – I counted twenty at table. Charity
was well enough to wait in the dining-room, mammy and Emily did
the cooking, but Mett and I had the other work to do, besides
looking after all the company. I never was so tired in my life;
every bone in my body felt as if it were ready to drop out, and
my eyes were so heavy that I could hardly keep them open. I don't
find doing housework quite so much of a joke as I imagined it
was going to be, especially when we have company to entertain
at the same time, and want to make them enjoy themselves. By
the way, Mrs. Jordan says I was right in dusting the top shelves
first, so the laugh is on the other side. After dinner Mrs. Jordan
and Mary Anderson wanted to do some shopping, and then we went
to make some visits. On our return home we met [former family
slaves] Dick and Emily, with their children, at the front gate,
going out to begin life for themselves. All their worldly possessions,
considerably increased by gifts of poultry, meal, bacon, and
other provisions – enough to last them till they can make a
start for themselves, besides crockery and kitchen utensils that
mother gave them, had gone before in a wagon. Dick's voice trembled
as he bade me good-by, Emily could not speak at all, and Cinthy
cried as if her heart would break. I felt very much like crying
myself – it was so pitiful. Poor little Sumter, who has been
fed every day of his life from father's own hand, as regularly
as old Toby from mine, was laughing in great glee, little dreaming
what is in store for him, I fear. Little Charlotte, too, the
baby, who always came to me for a lump of sugar or a bit of cake
whenever she saw me in the kitchen, sat crowing in her mother's
arms, and laughed when she held out her little fat hand to tell
me good-by. Poor little creature, I wonder how long it will be
before her little shiny black face will be pinched and ashy from
want! If it hadn't been for the presence of all those strangers,
I should have broken down and cried outright. Father took some
silver change out of his purse and placed it in the child's hand,
and I saw a tear trickle down his cheek as he did so. Dick has
hired himself out to do stable work, and has taken his family
to live in a house out at Thompson's, that den of iniquity. I
am distressed about Cinthy, exposed to such temptations, for
they say it is disgraceful the way those Yankee soldiers carry
on with the negro women. Altogether it has been a sad, trying
day, and as soon as I could go to my room and be alone for awhile,
I sat on the edge of the bed and relieved myself by taking a
good cry, while Metta, like Rachael – refused to be comforted."
Source: Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-65 (New York: Appleton, 1908),
To the best of our knowledge, images on this site are either (1) in the public domain, or (2) qualify for educational Fair Use under federal copyright law, or (3) are used by permission.