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In Their Own Words

October 30, 1847

Journal Entry on Formation of Atlanta as City

Atlanta schoolmaster William White, who was active in the movement to make Atlanta an official city, wrote in his journal:

“Was present this evening at the meeting of the citizens of Atlanta to petition for a City Government… . A committee of Colonel [John] Collier, Dr. [Benjamin F.] Bomar, Dr. [George G.] Smith, Jonathan Norcross, and [Wm. H.] Thurmond were appointed to draft a bill of incorporation for the city. Atlanta now contains 2000 inhabitants, yet everyone does what is right in his own eyes. There is no government [the commissioners of the town of Atlanta apparently no longer met] and it is wonderful that they are as stead as they are at present; no minister, no church and little preaching; a Sabbath school is in successful operation and that is almost the only religious privilege that is enjoyed.

“I may consider myself one of the fathers of the City; - being present at its birth. A meeting could not be conducted with a more complete disregard to order than the one last night. Half a dozen motions were at once before the house.”

Source: Franklin M. Garrett, Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1969 reprint of original 1954 volume), Vol. I, p. 259.