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In Their Own Words

October 30, 1860

Stephen Douglas Visit Recorded in Diary

In Gwinnett County, planter Thomas Maguire wrote of Democratic presidential candidate Stephen Douglas’s visit to Atlanta:

“Up at 5:30, got breakfast and off for Atlanta. Got to Lithonia and put up our horses in Masonic lot and got Mr. George Graham to attend to them. Got to Atlanta midst a crowd, there was a great number of persons at the city. At twelve o’clock Douglas and Stephens [Alex. H.] arrived at the stand. Douglas with a reporter. Mr. Stephens introduced him with a brief history of Douglas’ labors for the South and fully endorsing his doctrine of territory sovereignty. He spoke about 15 minutes, then Douglas commenced and spoke about 2 1/2 hours. He is a strong man and made many good points, but some of his speech I did not like, particularly his secession doctrine in revolution and many other things I did not like. There was good order kept, and all broke up. We then went to Mescalin’s [John H. Mescalin] and took a snack of crackers and cheese, then out to see the family, and then to the wood and water station to get on the freight train which was crowded with passengers. We left at 5 1/4 o’clock and got safe to Lithonia at 7 1/2 and home at 9 1/2. All well, got supper and to bed.”

Source: Franklin M. Garrett, Atlanta and Its Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1969 reprint of original 1954 volume), p. 474.