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This Day in Georgia History

December 22, 1902

James Boynton Died

Lawyer and politician James S. Boynton died in Griffin, Georgia. Born in Henry County on May 7, 1833, Boynton attended the Georgia Military Institute. He read law and was admitted to the bar in 1852. Boynton practiced law in Monticello, and later in Jackson. With the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted as a private with the 13th Georgia Infantry. Seven months later, Boynton was elected major in a reorganized unit, and by the end of the war he was promoted to colonel. He was assigned to the Army of Tennessee just prior to the Battle of Chickamauga. On July 22, 1864, he was severely wounded in the Battle of Atlanta. After the war, Boynton joined his family in Griffin, where he served as judge of county court and mayor. In 1880, he was elected to the Georgia Senate, where though a freshman he was unanimously elected as President of the Senate. After the death of Gov. Alexander Stephens in March 1883, Boynton became acting governor on March 5. Subsequently, he sought election to the remainder of Stephens’ term, but in a tight race with A.O. Bacon, the Democratic Party convention went through 17 ballots unable to pick a winner and finally chose Henry McDaniel as a compromise candidate. Boynton served as governor until May 10, 1883. Afterwards, he served two terms as a superior court judge, and one more term in the General Assembly.

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Source: Photo: Ed Jackson