County, Georgia History
Historical Collections of Georgia.
Compiled From Original Records and Official Documents.
Illustrated by Nearly One Hundred Engravings of Public Buildings, Relics
of Antiquity, Historic Localities, Natural Scenery, Portraits of
Distinguished Men, Etc., Etc.
By The Rev. George White, M. A., Author of the "Statistics of Georgia."
New-York: Pudney & Russell. Publishers.
No. 79 John Street.
This county is bounded on the north by Henry, on the east by Monroe and
Butts, on the south by Pike, and on the west by Fayette. Length, 20 m.;
breadth, 11 m.; area square miles, 220. Laid out in 1851.
The streams are, the Flint River, and Potato, Cabin, Grape and Head's
The soil and productions are similar to those of Pike.
Griffin is the county town, situated on the Macon and Western Railroad. It
is called after General L. L. Griffin, its founder.
The Synodical Female College is located at Griffin. It is under the care
of the Synod of Georgia. The college edifice is built of brick, 100 feet
long, and 50 wide; two stories high. It contains on the lower floor a
large chapel-room for the primary department, and a parlour. On the second
floor are four large recitation-rooms, and a large study-room, well
furnished with desks and chairs. The building occupies a commanding
situation, and is surrounded by beautiful grounds. The funds for erecting
this building were mostly contributed by the citizens of Griffin.
Among the early settlers were, John G. Hill, A. A. Gaulding, John B. Reid,
Wm. Cline, General E. P. Daniel, Curtis Lewis, Miles G. Dobbins, Wm. S.
Herronton, Jas. A. Beers, Absalom Gray, A. M. Nall, Thos. D. Johnson,
James S. Jones, A. W. Humphreys, Hugh G. Johnson, David Johnson, Dr. Jno.
R. Clark, Joseph P. Manly, James Butler, Ishmael Dunn, William Ellis,
Garlington Leak, Burrell Orr, Simeon Spear, John H. Akins, Robert Walker,
Garry Grice, Dr. James S. Long, William R. Phillips, and Wm. Dismuke.
Spalding, after whom this county was named, was born at Frederica, on the
Island of St. Simon's, Glynn County, on the 26th March, 1774, and was of
Scottish descent. He was the son of James Spalding, Esq., who
married the oldest daughter of Colonel William McIntosh, the latter being
the same person who, when a lad, with his younger brother, Lachlan,
(afterwards General McIntosh, of the Revolutionary War,) followed their
father, John More McIntosh, a Highland chieftain, when, with a band of
intrepid Highlanders, he accompanied General Oglethorpe to the wilds of
Georgia, in 1736, and from whom sprang many of that name, who perilled
their all for the independence of their country during our Revolutionary
father was a gentleman of fine abilities, and a great reader of men and of
books, the advantages of which he seemed to have early and indelibly
impressed upon the mind of his son, who read everything, and whose
surprisingly tenacious memory, retaining all that he read, made him as a
living book and depositary of literary treasures, especially those of
For those gentle
and benevolent traits which he so liberally practised in mature manhood,
he was indebted to the influence and example of his excellent and
venerated mother, of whom he ever spoke with the most filial tenderness.
He was their only child. AT the time of his father's deceased he was
a student of law, in the office of Thomas Gibbons, Esq., of Savannah,
whose practice was extensive and profitable; and had circumstances at this
period permitted Mr. Spalding to "pursue the profession of his choice, he
doubtless would have been eminent in it; but his fortune being ample, and
requiring his personal attention, he declined to proceed int he practice.
He married the daughter and only child of Richard Leake, Esq., which union
added much to his already comfortable estate.
About this time,
though very young, he was elected to the Legislature, and shortly after,
with his family, visited Europe, and took up his residence in London,
where he remained two years a regular attendant on, and observer of, the
proceedings of Parliament, and in the enjoyment of that society to which
his pecuniary means and position among his countrymen abroad entitled him
in the British metropolis.
The lady whom he
married was of rare accomplishments, good sense, and of singular beauty;
yet she alone seemed unconscious of those irresistible fascinations which
secured her the respect, admiration, and love of all. They had born
to them many children, five only of whom survived their parents, and are
still living. Mr. Spalding had the misfortune to lose his oldest
son, James, while a member of the Legislature from McIntosh County, during
its session in 1820--an amiable young man, of superior talent, and of
great promise. The Legislature erected a monument to his memory in
the capital of the State.
On his return
from England, Mr. Spalding was elected to Congress, and served two
sessions, and was for many years afterwards a prominent and leading member
of the Senate of his native State, and until he retired from public life,
to superintend his extensive private affairs, and to enjoy the repose and
comforts of his attractive home, surrounded by his books, and friends, and
strangers visiting our country, to whom he was ever attentive.
For the various
measures which he advocated during a long political career, through
anxious and perplexing periods of our history, he acted always from a
conscientious conviction of being right, and for the interest of his
country. There never was a more ardent or a purer patriot. At
the close of the war of 1812, in compliance with a commission from the
General Government, he proceeded to Bermuda, and negotiated relative to
the slaves and other property taken from the South by the British forces.
in 1826, he was
appointed Commissioner on the part of the State to meet the Commissioner
of the United States, Governor Randolph, of Virginia, to determine on the
boundary between Georgia and the Territory of Florida, but which was not
conclusively settled, the Commissioners disagreeing as to what should be
considered the true source of the St. Mary's--the Georgia Commissioner
insisting on the southern and most distant of the two lakes from the mouth
of the river discharging its waters into the Atlantic, which lake has
since been called after him.
assigned for biographical sketches in this work admits of nothing more
than a mere outline of the life of Mr. Spalding. He was a fluent,
energetic speaker, and a fine writer. Ease of style and originality
characterize the productions of his pen. He was the author of the
Life of Oglethorpe, and of many other sketches, and furnished much useful
matter for various agricultural journals of the country, was among the
earliest cotton planters of the State, and introduced the cane, its
successful culture, and the manufacture of sugar, into Georgia. He
was the last surviving member of the Convention that revised the
Constitution of the State in 1798.
appearance he was agreeable, of middling stature, of easy, unassuming
manners, courteous and affable. His hospitality was boundless, and
accessible to all; and it may be truly and emphatically said of him, that
he was the friend of the distressed. Kind in all the relations of
life, his slaves, of whom he had a large number, felt neither irksome toil
nor disquiet under his mild and indulgent government.
intensely interested in the Compromise measures of Congress, and, though
in delicate health, declared his wish to go as a delegate to the
Convention in Milledgeville, even if he should die in the effort. He
reached that city in a very feeble state, was elected President of the
Convention, and commenced his duties by a neat and appropriate address,
remarking in the conclusion, that "as it would be the last, so it would
also be a graceful termination of his public labours." After the
adjournment, he passed on homeward through Savannah, greatly debilitated,
and reached his son's residence, near Darien, where he expired in the
midst of his children, calmly relying on his God for a happy futurity,
January 4th, 1851, in the 77th year of his age, and in sight of that
island home in which it is hoped no spoiler will ever be suffered to
trespass, but long to remain a sacred memorial of his taste for the
sublime beauties of nature. His residence was a massive mansion, of
rather unique style, int he midst of a primeval forest of lofty,
out-branching oaks, of many centuries, arrayed in the soft and
gracefully-flowing drapery of the Southern moss, waving in noiseless
unison with the ceaseless surges of the ocean, which break upon the strand
of this beautiful and enchanting spot.
Moseley resides in Griffin. He is the son of Elijah Moseley, and was
born in Elbert County, Georgia, on the 21st of October, 1796. His
education was limited, not having attended a school altogether more than
nine months. When he was about twenty years old, he was commissioned
as first lieutenant of a company intended for an expedition against the
Indians. In 1819, he was elected Receiver of Tax Returns for Putnam
County. In 1820, he removed to Dallas County, Alabama, where he
connected himself with the Baptist Church, and two years afterwards, began
his ministerial career. Returning to Georgia, he resided a year in
Jasper County, and then went to Henry County. In 1843, he was
elected to the Senate and in 1846 was nominated by the Whig party for
Congress, and was defeated by only one hundred and fifty-seven votes.
In 1847, he was elected to the representative branch of the Legislature,
in 1848 was chosen an elector, and voted for General Taylor and Mr.
Fillmore, and in 1851 was again sent to the Legislature as Senator.
In 1836, there
was a division among the Baptists in the Flint River Association.
Mr. Moseley took sides with that portion called the Primitive Baptists,
"who hold to the predestinarian doctrine, repentance, faith, good works,
the final perseverance of the saints," & c. The denomination of
which Mr. Moseley is a minister believe that "the Church alone is the
institution of Heaven, and that all the combinations of men, irrespective
of the Church, are wrong."
He is a friend
to education, and has been heard to say, that he will never die satisfied
unless he sees a system adopted by which every child in the country will
receive an education. Mr. Moseley is an orator by nature. His
mode of speaking fixes attention; and although he pays no regard to the
decorations of language, it is easy to perceive that he understands his
subject. "It is remarkable" says one, "that Mr. Moseley was born in
October, married in October, his son was born in October, his daughter
born in October, and the only slave he ever owned died in October."
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