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This Day in Georgia History

April 23, 1855

Harry Stillwell Edwards Born

Author and journalist Harry Stillwell Edwards was born in Macon, Georgia. His formal education cut short by the Civil War, but he read extensively in the Library of Congress while working as a clerk in the U.S. Treasury. He returned home to Macon in 1874, studied law and was admitted to the bar, but never actively practiced because of his desire to write. His first short story, “Elder Brown’s Backslide,” appeared in Harper’s Monthly in 1886. Numerous other stories followed; these stories were eventually collected and published in book form. His first novel, Sons and Fathers (a mystery), was written in 1895. Another popular mystery, The Marbeau Cousins, was published soon afterwards. Meanwhile, Edwards became owner and editor of the Macon Telegraph, where he published a regular column called “What Comes Down My Creek.” This column was very popular and he continued publishing it for the rest of his life. But Edwards’ most popular work was a story called Eneas Africanus, which first appeared in the Macon Evening News (of which he was also part owner and co-editor). Eneas Africanus was subsequently published as a book and has sold over three million copies. Edwards remained a well-liked public figure both at home and on the lecture circuit. Edwards died in Macon October 22, 1938, and was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery. His rustic home, Kingfisher Cabin, was later restored and placed on the grounds of Museum of Arts and Sciences in Macon.