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This Day in Georgia History

February 03, 1842

Sidney Lanier Born

Poet Sidney Lanier was born in Macon, Georgia. He graduated from Oglethorpe University in 1860, serving as a tutor there until the outbreak of the Civil War. In the spring of 1861, Lanier joined the Macon Volunteers. He was captured in 1864 and imprisoned in a Union prison in Maryland, where he contacted a lung disease. After the war, Lanier had a series of jobs, during which time he began writing novels and poems. His best works were written in 1869 and afterwards. Some, such as “Thar’s More in the Man Than Thar Is in the Land,” were written in rural Georgia dialect, while others such as “The Marshes of Glynn” were more serious in nature. As his health continued to deteriorate, Lanier traveled to the mountains of North Carolina, where he died of tuberculosis in Lynn, N.C. on Sept. 7, 1881.