TDGH - February 14
This Day in Georgia
- Ed Jackson and Charles Pou
- The University of Georgia
1779 In the
backcountry northwest of Augusta, Lt. Col. Elijah Clarke led
a force of Georgia patriots and South Carolinians in a victory
against British loyalists in the Battle of Kettle Creek.
it was not a major battle of the American Revolution, it was
an important one in securing the support of Georgians who had
been undecided on whether to support the patriot or loyalist
general Alfred Iverson Jr. was born in Clinton, Georgia. He served
in the Mexican War, then practiced law. In 1855, he was commissioned
as an officer in the 1st U.S. Cavalry. After Georgia's secession,
Iverson resigned from the U.S. Army and became a captain in the
Confederate Army in Wilmington, N.C., where he recruited the
20th North Carolina. In Aug. 1861, he was promoted to colonel
and served in the battles of Seven Days, South Mountain, and
Sharpsburg. In Nov. 1862, Iverson was promoted to brigadier general
in command of his own brigade in Rodes' Division.
He served at
Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, but in the latter battle he
reportedly performed poorly and was reassigned to command state
troops in Georgia. During Sherman's Georgia campaign in 1864,
Iverson commanded a brigade in Wheelers' brigade. After the war,
he served as a businessman and farmer. He died March 31, 1911
1850 Gov. George
Towns signed legislation creating Clinch
County as Georgia's 95th county.
Created from Lowndes
and Ware counties, the county was named for Gen.
Duncan L. Clinch, who defeated Osceola in the Second Seminole War and who also represented Georgia in
the U.S. House of Representatives (1844-45).
1858 A group
of Atlanta Presbyterians met across the street from the combination
City Hall/Fulton County Courthouse and established the Central
Presbyterian Church. After the Civil War, the city hall/county
courthouse was torn down and Georgia's state capitol built on
the spot. The church has remained active and today is one of Atlanta's
oldest standing structures.
Jefferson White and former slave Richard C. Coulter opened the
Augusta Baptist Institute. In 1879, the school moved to Atlanta,
where it name was changed to Atlanta Baptist Seminary, then Atlanta
Baptist College (1897), and finally Morehouse College (1913).
years after beginning his march through Georgia, former Union
general William Sherman died in New York City.
station WTOC first went on the air as Savannah's CBS affiliate.
1956 On the day
after S.B. 98 (which changed Georgia's state flag) was signed
into law, three of its authors -- senators Willis Harden, Jefferson
Lee Davis, and Nelson Coffin --were joined by Sen. James Dykes
of Cochran in introducing S.R. 48, a joint resolution calling
on protection of the Confederate flags of Georgia regiments in
the state capitol, and specifically directing Georgia's Secretary of
State to have the flags cleaned, insect proofed, and placed in
protective display cases. The resolution would be approved by
both houses and signed into law on Feb. 27. [Click here
to read text of resolution.] For more on Georgia flags, see the Flags That Have Flown Over Georgia site.
1957 The Southern
Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) was organized in Atlanta,
with Martin Luther King Jr. as its first president.
1958 Gov. Marvin
Griffin signed a joint resolution of the Georgia General Assembly
censuring Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower for calling out the National
Guard to enforce integration of Central High School in Little
Rock, Ark. [Click here
to read text of resolution.]
1975 A statue
of U.S. Senator Richard B. Russell was unveiled on the grounds
of the Georgia state capitol.
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1730 James Oglethorpe is widely credited as the founder of Georgia. One reason is that
he personally led the first English settlers to the new colony
in 1733. Yet, there is another reason. Oglethorpe was an important
force in the origin of the Georgia movement in Parliament, as
noted by Sir John Percival in his diary:
". . . I afterwards went to the House
[of Commons] . . . . I met Mr. Oglethorp, who informed me that
he had found out a very considerable charity, even fifteen thousand
pounds, which lay in trustees' hands, and was like to have been
lost, because the heir of the testator being one of the trustees,
refused to concur with the other two, in any methods for disposing
the money, in hopes, as they were seventy years old each of them,
they would die soon, and he should remain only surviving trustee,
and then might apply all to his own use. That the two old men
were very honest and desirous to be discharged of their burthen,
and had concurred with him to get the money lodged in a Master
of Chancery's hands till new trustees should be appointed to
dispose thereof in a way that should be approved of by them in
conjunction with the Lord Chancellor. That the heir of the testator
had opposed this, and there had been a lawsuit thereupon, which
Oglethorp had carried against the heir, who appeled against the
decree; but my Lord Chancellor had confirmed it, and it was a
pleasure to him to have been able in one year's time to be able
at law to settle this affair. That the trustees had consented
to this on condition that the trust should be annexed to some
trusteeship already in being, and that being informed that I
was a trustee for Mr. Dalone's legacy, who left about a thousand
pounds to convert negroes, he had proposed me and my associates
as proper persons to be made trustees of this new affair; that
the old gentlemen approved of us, and he hoped I would accept
it in conjunction with himself, and several of our Committee
of Gaols [Jails] . . . . I told him it was a pleasure to me to
hear his great industry in recovering and securing so great a
charity, and to be joined with gentlemen whose worth I knew so
well; that I had indeed been thinking to quit the trusteeship
of Dalone's legacy, because we were but four, and two of them
were rendered incapable of serving and the third was a person
I never saw. That when I accepted the trusteeship it was in order
to assist Dean Berkley's Bermuda scheme, by erecting a Fellowship
in his college for instructing negroes . . . .
". . . He [Oglethorpe] then returned
to the new trusteeship, and said that though annexed to this
of Dalone's, Dalone's legacy might be a matter remaining distinct
from the scheme he proposed for employing the charity he had
acquainted me with . . . . That he had acquainted the Speaker,
and some other considerable persons, with his scheme, who approved
it much, and there remained only my Lord Chancellor's opinion
to be known. . . .[T]hat the scheme is to procure a quantity
of acres either from the Government or by gift or purchase in
the West Indies and to plant thereon a hundred miserable wretches
who being let out of gaol by the last year's Act, are now starving
about the town for want of employment; that they should be settled
all together by way of colony, and be subject to subordinate
rulers, who should inspect their behaviour and labour under one
chief head; that in time they with their families would increase
so fast as to become a security and defence of our possessions
against the French and Indians of those parts; that they should
be employed in cultivating flax and hemp, which being allowed
to make into yarn, would be returned to England and Ireland,
and greatly promote our manufactures. All which I approved. .
Source: U.K. Historical Manuscripts Commission,
Diary of the First Earl of Egmont (London: His Majesty's
Stationery Office, 1923), Vol. I, pp. 44-46.
1839 Fanny Kemble
Butler traveled from Butler Island to Darien for a return visit
with some of the "local gentry." In her journal entry
for this day, she wrote of the trip, as well as Sunday church
service four days earlier:
". . . The road was a deep, wearisome
sandy track, stretching wearisomely into the wearisome pine forest
. . . .
"On our drive we passed occasionally
a tattered man or woman, whose yellow mud complexion, straight
features, and singularly sinister countenance bespoke an entirely
different race from the Negro population in the midst of which
they lived. These are the so-called pinelanders of Georgia, I
suppose the most degraded race of human beings claiming an Anglo-Saxon
origin that can be found on the face of the earth -- filthy,
lazy, ignorant, brutal, proud, penniless savages, without one
of the nobler attributes which have been found occasionally allied
to the vices of savage nature. They own no slaves, for they are
almost without exception abjectly poor; they will not work, for
that, as they conceive, would reduce them to an equality with
the abhorred Negroes; they squat, and steal, and starve, on the
outskirts of this lowest of all civilized societies, and their
countenances bear witness to the squalor of their condition and
the utter degradation of their natures. To the crime of slavery,
though they have no profitable part or lot in it, they are fiercely
accessory, because it is the barrier that divides the black and
white races, at the foot of which they lie wallowing in unspeakable
degradation, but immensely proud of the base freedom which still
separates them from the lash-driven tillers of the soil.
". . . On Sunday morning [February 10]
I went over to Darien to church. Our people's church was closed,
the minister having gone to officiate elsewhere. With laudable
liberality, I walked into the opposite church of a different,
not to say opposite sect . . . . The bulk of the congregation
in this church was white. The Negroes are, of course, not allowed
to mix with their masters in the house of God, and there is no
special place set apart for them. Occasionally one or two are
to be seen in the corners of the singing gallery, but any more
open pollution by them of their owners' church could not tolerated.
Mr.'s [a reference to her husband, Pierce Butler] people have
petitioned very vehemently that he would build a church for them
on the island. I doubt, however, his allowing them such a luxury
as a place of worship all to themselves. Such a privilege might
not be thought well of by the neighboring planters; indeed, it
is almost what one might call a whity-brown idea, dangerous,
demoralizing, inflammatory, incendiary. . . ."
Source: John A. Scott, Journal of a Residence
on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839 by Frances Anne Kemble
(Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1984), pp. 181-186.
1865 From Augusta,
Confederate soldier Lavender Ray wrote his father back in Newnan:
". . . What is your opinion about our
present situation? It appears gloomy enough, but I hope and think
we will yet be independent. Our only hope is to fight until we
conquer a peace. . . .
"I regard the Negro as the prime cause
of our separation from the old Union, and it is humiliating to
have to surrender one of our greatest institutions, both for
the prosperity of our country and protection and civilization
of the black race, to popular opinion of other nations. Yet,
I think this will have to be done, sooner or later, and I believe
Congress is of the same opinion. If so, why not make the Negro
useful to us in achieving our independence/ We can put 100,000
in service and discipline them so they will do good fighting.
. . ."
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), pp. 344-345.
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