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In Their Own Words

September 22, 1881

Woodrow Wilson Letter Announced Decison to Practice Law in Atlanta

While recuperating from ill health in Wilmington, N.C., Woodrow Wilson wrote a letter to Charles Talcott indicating his reasons for deciding to practice law in Atlanta:

“After innumerable hesitatings as to a place of settlement, I have at length fixed upon Atlanta, Georgia. It, more than almost every other Southern city, offers all the advantages of business activity and enterprise. Its growth during late years has been wonderful… . And then, too, there seem to me to be many strong reasons for my remaining in the South. I am familiar with Southern life and manners, for one thing - and of course a man’s mind may be expected to grow most freely in his native air. Besides there is much gained growing up with the section of country in which one’s home is situate, and the South has really just begun to grow industrially. After standing still, under slavery, for half a century, she is now becoming roused to a new work and waking to a new life. There appear to be no limits to the possibilities of her development; and I think that to grow up with a new section is no small advantage to one who seeks to gain position and influence.”

Source: Franklin M. Garrett, Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of its People and Events (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1969 reprint of 1954 volume), Vol. II, pp. 46-47.