Redemptive Era of Georgia

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1 Redemptive Era of Georgia “Georgia Moves Towards the 20 th Century”

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Page 1: Redemptive Era of Georgia


Redemptive Era of Georgia

“Georgia Moves Towards the 20th Century”

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Georgia’s Redemption Era

In 1876, Rutherford B. Hayes and Samuel Tilden were in a fierce struggle for the presidency. Electoral votes in the military-controlled South were under suspicion. It was decided to give their votes to Hayes; in exchange the southern states would be free from military control and hold their own local elections. It meant that states would begin to find ways to limit the rights of the “freedmen”.

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Bourbon Triumvirate

Once Georgia was allowed to control their own local politics, three men became leaders of the state. They were known as the “Bourbon Triumvirate”, as the Bourbons had been powerful kings in France; A triumvirate means three leaders in power. This was a powerful time in local Georgia history for Democrats.

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Bourbon Triumvirate

The first member of the Triumvirate was Joseph E. Brown. He was governor of GA during the Civil War. He was elected to 4 terms! He lost popularity when he argued for Georgia to go along with reconstruction policies; he felt it would speed up the healing process. Brown later served in the U.S. Senate and worked to improve education.

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Bourbon Triumvirate

Alfred H. Colquitt was the 2nd man of the Triumvirate. He had served as a general in the Civil War. He was elected to 2 terms as governor of GA. When 1000’s of people applied for 30 jobs, several got mad when they did not get them. They accused Colquitt of illegal dealings; these charges were found to be false. Colquitt had the state constitution revised, and he also later served in the U.S. Senate.

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Bourbon Triumvirate

John B. Gordon was the third member of the Triumvirate. He also was a Confederate general in the war. He later defeats Alexander Stevens for U.S. Senate in 1872. In 1876, he is elected governor of GA. Under the Triumvirate’s leadership, taxes were lowered, businesses grew, and debt was reduced; the poor and the educational system were areas of weakness.

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Dr. William & Rebecca Felton

The Feltons were concerned about the power of the Bourbon Triumvirate. They were especially concerned about the poor and the convict lease program (that Bourbon leaders had used). Companies would pay $25,000 to have prisoners work for them. The Feltons also pushed for the Temperance Movement and the Suffragist Movement in Georgia. Dr. Felton later serves in the U.S. Senate, and Rebecca does too (for one day after her husband dies).

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Sidney Lanier and the Agrarian Ideal

Sidney Lanier was Georgia’s 1st great poet. He served in the Civil War, was captured, and got very sick in a prison camp. After the war, he returned to Georgia; he felt that Georgia’s land was still good. Sherman may have burned the top of the soil, but the land was still as good as ever for farming. He felt the South should rebuild, relying on its great farms.

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“Thar’s More in the Man Than Thar is in the Land”– by Sidney Lanier (1869)

*I knowed a man, which he lived in Jones,Which Jones is a county of red hills and stones;

And he lived pretty much by gittin’ of loans,And his mules was nuthin’ but skin and bones!And his hogs was flat as his corn-bread pones,

And he had ‘bout a thousand acres of land.

Questions: Why are so many words misspelled?

Why would a linguist misspell so many words?How was Mr. Jones’ farm doing?

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“Thar’s More in the Man Than Thar is in the Land”– by Sidney Lanier (1869)

This man- which is name it was also Jones-He swore that he’d leave them old red hills and stones,

Fur he couldn’t make nuthin’ but yallerish cotton,And a little o’that, and his fences was rotten!

And what corn he had, hit was boughtenAnd dinged ef a livin’ was in the land!

Questions:What is “ironic” about his last name and the county?

What was wrong with his cotton crop?How did Jones get his corn? What is ironic about that?

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“Thar’s More in the Man Than Thar is in the Land”– by Sidney Lanier (1869)

*And the longer he swore, the madder he got,And he riz and he walked to the stable lot;

And he hollered to Tom to come thar and hitchFur to emigrate somewhar whar land was rich!

And to quit raisin’ cock-burrs and sich,And a wastin’ ther time on the cussed land!

Questions:Why did the land seemed “cussed” (cursed) to

Jones?Who is Tom?

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“Thar’s More in the Man Than Thar is in the Land”– by Sidney Lanier (1869)

So him and Tom, they hitched up the mules,Pertestin’ that folks was mighty big fools

That’ud stayed in Georgy ther lifetime out,Jest a scratchin’ a livin’ when all of’em moughtGit places in Texas whar cotton would sprout

By the time you could plant it in the land.

Questions:Why would they go to Texas?

How fast does the cotton grow there?

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“Thar’s More in the Man Than Thar is in the Land”– by Sidney Lanier (1869)

And he driv by a house whar a man named Brown,Was a livin’ not fur from the edge o’town’

And he bantered Brown fur to buy his place,And said that bein’ as money was skace,And bein’ as sheriffs was hard to face,Two dollars an acre would git the land!

Questions:Where does Brown live? What does that signify?How much does Jones want (# of acres X $2)?

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“Thar’s More in the Man Than Thar is in the Land”– by Sidney Lanier (1869)

They closed at a dollar and fifty cents, And Jones, he bought him a waggin and tents, And loaded his corn, and his wimmin and truck,

And moved to Texas, which it tuck His entire pile, with the best of luck, To git thar and git him a little land.

Questions: How much did Jones get for his 1000 acres?

Besides his wife, what other wimmin (women) would be included in his family?

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“Thar’s More in the Man Than Thar is in the Land”– by Sidney Lanier (1869)

But Brown moved out on the old Jones’ farm,

And he rolled up his breeches and bared his arm,

And he picked all the rocks off’n the ground,

And he rooted it up and he plowed it down,

Then he sowed his corn and his wheat in the land.”


What did Brown do with his new farmland?

Why did he grow corn & wheat (instead of cotton, like Mr. Jones had done)?

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“Thar’s More in the Man Than Thar is in the Land”– by Sidney Lanier (1869)

Five years glid by, and Brown, one day (Which he’d got so fat that he wouldn’t weigh),

Was a settin’ down, sort of lazily, To the bulliest dinner you ever see,

When one o’ the children jumped on his knee And says, “Yan’s Jones, which you bought his land.”

Questions: How many years have gone by?

Why does the poet tell us that Mr. Brown has gained weight? What does the weight signify?

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“Thar’s More in the Man Than Thar is in the Land”– by Sidney Lanier (1869)

*And thar was Jones, standin’ out at the fence, And he hadn’t no waggin, nor mules, nor tents,

Fur he had left Texas afoot and come To Georgy to see if he couldn’t get

Some employment, and he was a lookin’ as humble As ef he had never owned any land.

Questions: Was Texas as great as Mr. Jones had hoped?

What does it mean to look so humble as if he’d “never owned any land”?

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“Thar’s More in the Man Than Thar is in the Land”– by Sidney Lanier (1869)

But Brown he axed him in, and he sot Him down to his vittles smokin’ hot,

And when he had filled hisself and the floor Brown looked at him sharp and riz and swore That, “whether men’s land was rich or poor,

Thar was more in the man than thar was in the land.”

Questions: What are vittles?

What is the point of the story? What does it say about the soil of Georgia?

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Henry Grady & The New South

Henry Grady, born in 1850 in Athens, became the greatest spokesman for the New South. He felt like the South should expand beyond farming, and attempt to bring industry to the South as well. (This would be a way to be like a “phoenix”- to rise up and become better than we were before).

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Henry Grady & The New South

In 1880, Grady become the editor of The Atlanta Constitution. In his editorials, Grady argued for industrialization and civil rights. He spoke against the Ku Klux Klan. He traveled around to encourage Northern investment (carpetbaggers), and encouraged Southern businesses to accept their aid (scalawags).

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Henry Grady & The New South

In a famous speech, Grady told about an ironic burial that he attended in Georgia. The story shared how Georgia could easily become an industrialized state. Read the following slide and list how many products COULD HAVE been made in Georgia, IF those industries were encouraged to be developed in Georgia:

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An Unusual Burial in Georgia

“I attended a funeral in a Georgia county. It was a poor one gallused fellow. They buried him in the midst of a marble quarry; they cut through solid marble to make his grave. Yet, the little tombstone they put above him was from Vermont. They buried him in the midst of a pine forest, but his pine coffin was imported from Cincinnati. They buried him within touch of an iron mine, but the nails in his coffin and the iron in the shovel that dug his grave were from Pittsburgh. They buried him near the best sheep-grazing country in the world, yet the wool in the coffin bands was brought from the North.”

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An Unusual Burial in Georgia

“They buried him in a New York coat, a Boston pair of shoes, a pair of breeches from Chicago, and a shirt from Cincinnati. Georgia furnished only the corpse (body) and a hole in the ground.”

--Henry Grady gave this speech in Boston in the middle of a thunderstorm in 1889. Sadly, he caught pneumonia and died at age of thirty-nine. One of his legacies was fundraising for the Georgia Institute of Technology (Ga. Tech) and the Young Men’s Christian Association building in Atlanta. (Grady Hospital, pictured above, was named for him).