|Welcome to GeorgiaInfo | What's New | This Day in Georgia History | Instructional Handout Masters | Credits | Photos & Images | Georgia Trivia ||
1696 Georgia founder James Edward Oglethorpe, tenth and last child of Theophilus and Eleanor Oglethorpe, was born in London, England. Although the Oglethorpe family estate was in Godalming, located in Surrey County, the Oglethorpes lived in a London townhouse during the winter months. Educated at Eton and Corpus Christi College at Oxford, James yearned for adventure and served as aide to Prince Eugene of Savoy while fighting the Turks, who had invaded Europe. After a victorious truce, Oglethorpe returned to England, where he was elected to the same House of Commons seat that his father and one of his older brothers had held before him.
In Parliament he became known nationally for his efforts on behalf of prison reform. It was here that he and colleague Sir John Percival got the idea of pushing for a new colony in America to which England's worthy poor could be sent on charity. After several years of effort, they finally received a charter for the new colony of Georgia in June 1732. Oglethorpe was named one of twenty-one Trustees of Georgia, and in Nov. 1732 he personally accompanied the first boatload of colonists to Georgia. Arriving on Feb. 12, 1733, Oglethorpe obtained permission from Yamacraw chief Tomochichi to build the settlement of Savannah.
On and off, James Oglethorpe was in Georgia from 1733 to 1743. In 1736, he was given the rank of colonel and a British regiment to defend the colony from Spain. Oglethorpe lived the last six years of his stay in Georgia on St. Simons Island, where he built Fort Frederica. Here, in 1742, his forces turned back a Spanish invasion, for which Oglethorpe was promoted to brigadier general in the British Army.
Oglethorpe returned to England in 1743, where he became less and less involved in the affairs of Georgia because of his opposition to the trustees abandoning such key cornerstones of the colony as the prohibition on slavery. He married Elizabeth Wright and lived his final four decades divided between London and his wife's inherited estate in Cranham. James Oglethorpe died at age 88 on June 30, 1785. Following his death, Georgia's founder was buried in a tomb under the church floor within Parish Church of All Saints in Cranham.
1775 In London, King George III gave his approval to the "Prohibitory Bill," which prohibited all trade and commerce with the thirteen American colonies.
During debate in the House of Commons, Edmund Burke and others had unsuccessfully attempted to have Georgia exempted from the act's provisions on the grounds that Georgia, unlike other colonies, had never shown open rebellion and defiance against the king and Parliament.
1798 Politician George Crawford was born in Columbia County, Georgia. He graduated from Princeton University in 1820, subsequently reading law in Georgia. After being admitted to the bar in 1822, Crawford practiced law in Augusta. In 1827, he began a career of public service with his appointment as solicitor-general for one of the state's judicial circuits. From 1837 to 1842, Crawford served in the Georgia House of Representatives, where he became a leader of Whig lawmakers. He served two months in Congress filling a vacancy, and then was elected governor of Georgia in 1843, serving until 1847. As governor, Crawford pushed for reducing state expenditures and debt, eliminating the state-run Central Bank of Georgia, and supporting construction of the state-owned Western and Atlantic Railroad.
Crawford subsequently served as U.S. Secretary of War under Pres. Zachary Taylor (1849-50), though he resigned on Taylor's death and returned to his Georgia plantation near Augusta. After the election of Lincoln, Crawford supported secession and presided over Georgia's secession convention in January 1861 (though he does not appear to have played a major role in the proceedings). At age 74, he died in Richmond County on July 22, 1872.
1829 Gov. George Gilmer signed an act forbidding the teaching of slaves or free blacks to read or write. The law was enacted following the appearance in Savannah of copies of David Walker's Appeal--a Sept. 1829 pamphlet advocating slave resistance published by a black abolitionist in Boston. [Click here to view excerpts of Walker's pamphlet.]
According to Georgia's new law, a slave or free black caught teaching another slave or free black to read or write faced punishment of a fine and/or whipping. For whites, the punishment was a fine up to $500 and/or imprisonment.
1830 Gov. George Gilmer signed legislation creating Heard County as Georgia's 78th county. Created from portions of Carroll, Coweta, and Troup counties, Heard County was named for Georgia Revolutionary War patriot Stephen Heard.
1842 Though the town of Marthasville would not be incorporated for another year, the U.S. Post Office Department designated a new Marthasville Post Office for the village that was initially known as Terminus. Sam Mitchell, who had deeded the land for the southern terminus of the Western & Atlantic Railroad, had initially wanted to name the growing village Lumpkin or Lumpkinsville (after then-governor Wilson Lumpkin). Lumpkin thought it improper, so Mitchell then picked the name Marthasville (after Lumpkin's daughter, Martha). Apparently, the name came into use around July 1842.
1853 Martha "Mittie" Bulloch, daughter of Maj. James Bulloch and great-granddaughter of Archibald Bulloch (Georgia's first chief executive after breaking from England), married Theodore Roosevelt at Bulloch Hall in Roswell, Georgia.
One of their sons, Theodore, would become president. Another, Elliott, became the father of Eleanor Roosevelt, who would later marry her fifth cousin, Franklin Roosevelt. Thus, Georgia-born Martha Bulloch would become mother of a U.S. president and grandmother of a first lady. She would later die Feb. 16, 1884, in New York.
1857 Gov. Joseph E. Brown signed legislation creating Schley, White, and Wilcox counties as, respectively, Georgia's 124th, 125th, and 126th counties.
White County, Georgia's 125th, was created from portions of Habersham County and named for Newton County state representative David T. White, who helped get the legislation creating White County passed.
Wilcox County, Georgia's 126th, was created from portions of Dooly, Irwin, and Pulaski counties and named for Gen. Mark Wilcox, who served in the General Assembly and helped get a constitutional amendment passed to create the Georgia Supreme Court.
1864 Just arrived in Savannah, Gen. William T. Sherman accepted Charles Green's offer to use his luxurious house as his headquarters. Here, Sherman met with U.S. Treasury agent A.G. Browne, who came requesting that the Treasury Department be allowed to claim all cotton, rice, and public buildings in Savannah.
Sherman agreed to turn over what his soldiers didn't need. It was at this point that Browne commented that a ship was about to depart Savannah for Fort Monroe and asked if Sherman didn't want to send a Christmas gift to the President. In response to the suggestion, Sherman reached for a piece of paper and wrote a brief note to Lincoln (see "In Their Own Words. . ." below for text).
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1886 Henry Grady delivered his famous "New South" speech in New York to the New England Society. Quotations from the speech, such as its beginning words – "There was a South of slavery and secession; that South is dead. There is a South of union and freedom; that South, thank God, is living, breathing, growing every hour." – brought nationwide acclaim to Grady.
1902 Lawyer and politician James Boynton died in Griffin, Georgia. Born in Henry County on May 7, 1833, Boynton attended the Georgia Military Institute. He read law and was admitted to the bar in 1852. Boynton practiced law in Monticello, and later in Jackson. With the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted as a private with the 13th Georgia Infantry. Seven months later, Boynton was elected major in a reorganized unit, and by the end of the war he was promoted to colonel. He was assigned to the Army of Tennessee just prior to the Battle of Chickamauga. On July 22, 1864, he was severely wounded in the Battle of Atlanta. After the war, Boynton joined his family in Griffin, where he served as judge of county court and mayor. In 1880, he was elected to the Georgia Senate, where though a freshman he was unanimously elected as President of the Senate.
After the death of Gov. Alexander Stephens in March 1883, Boynton became acting governor on March 5. Subsequently, he sought election to the remainder of Stephens' term, but in a tight race with A.O. Bacon, the Democratic Party convention went through 17 ballots unable to pick a winner and finally chose Henry McDaniel as a compromise candidate. Boynton served as governor until May 10, 1883. Afterwards, he served two terms as a superior court judge, and one more term in the General Assembly.
1939 Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, known as the "Mother of the Blues," died at age 53 in Rome, Georgia. Born in Columbus on Apr. 26, 1886, Gertrude Malissa Pridgett began singing at the Springer Opera House at age 14. She subsequently joined black vaudeville troupes and minstrel shows touring the south. Performing in tent shows, the groups mainly sang popular music hits. But shortly after she married "Pa" Rainey at age 18, "Ma" Rainey began bringing audience something different. She began to work into her Rabbit Foot Minstrels act plaintive, poignant music she had first overhead a young Missouri woman sing. As the music she dubbed the blues caught on, Rainey's fame grew. She was one of the first female artists to record the blues professionally. In 1934, she retired and purchased two theaters--one in Columbus and one in Rome – which she managed until her death.
On September 17, 1994, the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp honoring Rainey.
1943 Former Atlanta University professor W.E.B. Du Bois was elected the first black member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters.
1962 Missouri beat Georgia Tech 14-10 in the Bluebonnet Bowl.
1984 Georgia and Florida State played to a 17-17 tie in the Gator Bowl.
Georgia cities and towns first incorporated by acts approved on Dec. 22:
1857 Montour Village (Hancock County)
1888 Cordele (Dooly County)
1892 Leslie (Sumter County)
1898 Camak (Warren County) and (Thomas and Brooks counties)
In Their Own Words on This Day . . .
1763 The following ad appeared in Savannah's Georgia Gazette:
Source: Spencer B. King, Jr., Georgia Voices: A Documentary History to 1872 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1966), p. 179.
1864 General Sherman had already sent part of his army into Savannah; he followed on this day, as he describes his arrival:
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Marching Through Georgia: William T. Sherman's Personal Narrative of His March Through Georgia (New York: Arno Press, 1978), p. 178.
1864 On the day of his arrival in Savannah, Gen. Sherman wrote a one-sentence note to Pres. Abraham Lincoln:
Source: U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1893, reprinted by The National Historical Society, 1971), Series I, Vol. XLIV, p. 783.
1865 Gen. Tillson, assistant commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau in Georgia, issued the following order with respect to former slaves who refused to sign work contracts:
Source: Franklin M. Garrett, Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of its People and Events (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1969 reprint of 1954 original volume), p. 691.
January / February / March / April / May / June / July / August / September / October / November / December
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.
|©2013 Digital Library of Georgia||UGA | GALILEO | Contact Us|