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In Their Own Words

August 05, 1855

Journal Account of Seeing Alexander Stephens

From Richmond County, Gertrude Thomas recorded her account of seeing one of Georgia’s leading citizens:

“So long a time has passed since writing I am almost at a loss to remember events as they have occurred in succession… I have not had time to write an account of the principal event which has taken place in some time - I have seen [Alexander] Stephens - Long wished to see him and to hear him. Had heard him described as common looking even worse than ordinary but when he mounted the rostrum and I saw him for the first time! As his diminutive size and person bearing the stamp of a real ‘Piney Woods Cracker’ first dawned upon my sight, what a shock I received.”

Source: Virginia Ingraham Burr (ed.), The Secret Eye: The Journal of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas, 1848-1889 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990), p. 132.