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In Their Own Words

November 13, 1871

Resolution on Rufus Bullock

The closest a Georgia governor came to impeachment was in 1871, when Republican governor Rufus Bullock (1868-1871) resigned days before the convening of a new - and heavily Democratic - General Assembly [see Oct. 23 entry]. Many legislators were pledged to impeach Bullock for his actions as governor during Reconstruction. Rather than face impeachment, Bullock resigned and fled the state, resulting in adoption of this joint resolution by the House and Senate on Nov. 13, 1871:

“Resolved, That Rufus B. Bullock, late Governor of the State of Georgia, who has resigned his office and left the State under circumstances creating grave suspicion that he is guilt of high crimes and misdemeanors, has, in charging, in a letter bearing the date 23d October, 1871, addressed to his political friends and the people of Georgia, that a majority of the House of Representatives had pledged themselves to vote for articles of impeachment against him without investigation, and that the Senate had determined to unseat a sufficient number of Republican Senators to secure his conviction without regard to the truth and validity of the charges, defamed this General Assembly by charges which are untrue. That the statement in the same letter to the effect that the people of Georgia have recently denounced or ignored the Constitution of the United States is false and defamatory of the people of this State. On the contrary, we assert that the people of this State do now, as they did six months ago (when, according to the letter of the said Rufus B. Bullock, they were peaceably disposed, acquiesce in the result of the war, and neither entertain any hostility toward the United States, nor deny to any person within the limits of the State the equal protection of the laws.

“Of force through lapse of time, November 13, 1871.”

Source: Ga. Laws 1871-1872, pp. 263-264.