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Empire State, Spalding County Georgia January 30, 1856
Whereas Harrold N. Byars applies to me for letters of Guardianship of the
property of Harrold M. Amos, a minor child of John R. Amos who has separate
property in his own right and who is under the age of 14 years.

These are therefore to cite and admonish all persons interested to be and
appear at my office on the second Monday in January next, to show cause, if any
they have why said letter should not be granted.

Given under my hand and official signature this 6th day of December 1855.

Henry Hendrick, Ordinary

Transcribed by Don Bankston, October 19, 2005

Empire State – Spalding County January 30, 1856
Sixty days after date application will be made to the Court of Ordinary of
Butts county in the State of Georgia, for leave to sell the land and Negroes
belonging to the estate of George L. Thompson, late of said county, deceased.

William W. Thompson, Admr.
December 18, 1855

Transcribed by Don Bankston, October 19, 2005

Empire State - Spalding Co., GA January 30, 1856
Will be sold before the Court House door in the town of Jackson, Butts County, Ga., on the first Tuesday of February next, within the legal hours of sale, the following property, to wit: one Negro boy by the name of Tom, about 18 years of age; one Negro man by the name of John about 60 years of age; 1 Bay Horse; 1 Roan Horse; 1 Grey Mule; 1 Buggy, and 1 two horse wagon. Levied on the property of William B. Hunt to satisfy one mortgage fi fa from Butts Inferior Court, in favor of Jesse B. Hunt, administrator of James K. Hunt, late of Washington county deceased, vs W. B. Hunt. Property pointed out in said mortgage fi fa.

R. G. Byars, D. S.
December 1855

Transcribed by Don Bankston, October 19, 2005

Empire State – Spalding County January 30, 1856
Sixty days after date application will be made to the Court of Ordinary of Butts county in the State of Georgia, for leave to sell the land and Negroes belonging to the estate of George L. Thompson, late of said county, deceased.

William W. Thompson, Admr.
December 18, 1855

Transcribed by Don Bankston, October 19, 2005

Empire State – Spalding County January 30, 1856
Whereas, James W. Harkness applies to me for letters of administration on the estate of James Price, late of said county deceased.

These are therefore to cite and admonish, all and singular, the kindred and creditors of said deceased, to be and appear at my office on or before the first Monday in February next, to show cause if any they have, why said letters should not be granted

Given under my hand and official signature, this 18th Dec, 1855

Henry Hendrick, Ordinary

Transcribed by Don Bankston, October 19, 2005

Empire State – Spalding County January 30, 1856
Sixty days after date application will be made to the Court of Ordinary of Butts county in the State of Georgia, for leave to sell the land and Negroes belonging to the estate of George L. Thompson, late of said county, deceased.

William W. Thompson, Admr.
December 18, 1855

Transcribed by Don Bankston, October 19, 2005

Empire State – Spalding County
Week of January 30, 1856

Sixty days after date application will be made to the Court of Ordinary of Butts county in the State of Georgia, for leave to sell the land and Negroes belonging to the estate of George L. Thompson, late of said county, deceased.

William W. Thompson, Admr.
December 18, 1855

Transcribed by Don Bankston, October 19, 2005

Indian Springs


 Will be sold before the Court House door, in the town of Jackson, Butts County, Ga., on the first Tuesday in March next, within the legal hours of sale, the following property, to wit:

 Cain, a boy of yellow complexion, about 22 years of age; Hulda, a woman about 28 years of age; Nelly a woman about 40 years of age; Allen, a boy about 24 years of age; Ben, a boy about 17 years of age; Ned, a man about 55 years of age; Jim, a man about 50 years of age; Shadrick, a boy about 18 years of age; Jim a boy about 16 years of age; Jane, a girl about 19 years of age and her child about five months old; Matilda, a woman about 30 years of age and her child six months old; Caroline, a girl about 13 years age; Henry, a boy about 12 years of age, and Tom a boy about 9 years old.  Levied on as the property of Thomas J. Carson to satisfy one fi fa from Butts Superior Court in favor of James H. Roberts and other fi fas in my hands vs said Thomas J. Carson.  Property pointed by the Defendant.

 Also, will be sold at the same time and place: (300) three hundred acres of Land, No. not known, it being the place whereon William L. Phillips now resides in said county of Butts, adjoining lands of Hampton T. Dicken and others:  Levied on as the property of said William L. Phillips to satisfy one fi fa from the Superior Court of said county, in favor of Hugh R. Banks, and other fi fas in my hands vs. said William L. Phillips.

 Also at the same time and place will be sold: 700 acres of Land, well improved, number not known, but known as the place whereon Josiah Freeman now lives, adjoining the lands of Thomas J. Carson, John Morris, and others: levied on as the property of Josiah Freeman, to satisfy a fi fa issued from Butts Superior Court, in favor of Thomas Payne, and other fi fas in my hands vs. Josiah Freeman.  Property pointed by defendant.

 Richard G. Byars, D.Sh”ff

January 30, 1856

 Also will be sold at the same time and place (202 ½ ) two hundred two and half acres of Land, is being Lot of land No. 36 in the fourth District of originally Monroe now Butts County: Levied on as the property of Charles W. Stell, to satisfy one fi fa from Monroe Superior Court in favor of Thomas Payne, vs said Charles W. Stell.

 Also, at the same time and place: (202 ½) two hundred two and a half acres of land, number not known, adjoining lands of Robert G. Duke and others in said county: Levied on as the property of Peter H. Chambers to satisfy one fi fa from Butts Superior Court in favor of Joseph C. Little, vs said Peter H. Chambers, and other fi fas in my hands vs said Chambers.

 Also, at the same time and place: 3 lots on the Indian Spring Reserve, in butts county, on which is situated the Hotel, Ball Room and Stables, containing two acres each with the improvements thereon, 5 vacant lots on said Reserve, containing in all fourteen acres: one Negro boy by the name of Anthony, about 22 years of age: one Negro boy  by the name of John, about 20 years of age: Levied on to satisfy one fi fa from Butts Superior court in favor of Robert G. Duke vs Edward Varner, Andrew J. Varner, Clinton L. Varner and Cyntha H. Varner, and other fi fas in my hands vs E., A.J., C.L., and C. H. Varner.

 William Andrews, Sh”ff

January 30, 1856

 The Empire – Griffin – Spalding County, Georgia

Transcribed by Don Bankston

Empire State – Spalding County – Week of April 9, 1856

Judge Wm. Crittenden – Robbed

Judge Wm. Crittenden, of our county, on is return from Macon on Thursday last, per Macon & Western Railroad, was robbed of $800 in cash, which he thief extracted from his pantaloons pocket by cutting a hole, and by this means obtained the money, which was rolled up in a piece of paper.  He states that an irresistible propensity to sleep came over him, while on the cars, to which he yielded, and supposes he slept for an hour.  During this time he thinks the robbery was perpetrated.  It is presumable that he was placed under the influence of chloroform, which produced the drowsy sensation he experienced.  It is getting to be hazardous for a man to travel on the Railroads with any money in his pockets.

Transcribed by Don Bankston, May 2004

Empire State – Spalding County – April 16, 1856

Death of Young Hammond

Our readers will remember the horrible death of Amos W. Hammond, Jr., who was found on the morning of Christmas last, affixed to the cow catcher of the passenger engine of the Macon & Western Railroad.  We stated in our notice of the affair that suspicious were afloat that the young man had been foully dealt with.  Nothing however, details at that time could be present and the matter was remained to the present a mystery, to those who believed otherwise than that his death was the result of an accident.  At length, however, after the lapse of three months, the question of young Hammond’s death has been revived.  We learn that a woman by the name of Taylor appeared before the Grad Jury on Tuesday and charged two men, by the name of Taylor and Harrison, and a woman by the name of Davis, with the murder of Hammond.  We have not learned the nature of her testimony; it was subject, however, to induce the Grand Jury to find true bills against all the parties.  The woman, Davis as been arrested.   Taylor succeeded in escaping, after being shot at by the sheriff.  Harrison, we learn, is in jail at Chattanooga.

The entire matter will soon undergo the investigation of a regular trial, when we will inform our readers of the result. – Atlanta Intelligency

Transcribed by Don Bankston, May 2004

Empire State – Spalding County - May 13, 1856

Church Dedication

The Dedication of the New Methodist Church in Griffin will take place on the 3rd Sabbath (18th) of this month.  The dedication sermon will be preached by


Rev. S. Anthony, P. E., with other Ministerial Brethren, will take part in the services.  The meeting will begin the Saturday before, and continue for four days.  The public is invited to attend.

C. W. Key, Pastor   -   Griffin,

Transcribed by Don Bankston, May 2004

Empire State – Spalding County – Week of May 14, 1856

William A. Redd – Robbery

During the night of 28th ult., a burglar picked the lock of the residence of William A. Redd, on the suburbs of the city, entered the sleeping apartments of the family and stole one hundred and fifty dollars.  One bill was afterwards found near the store of Redd & Preer, which was identified by some writing on the back of it.  The thief probably discovered the marks and threw it away to avoid detection.

Transcribed by Don Bankston, May 2004

Empire State – Spalding County – Week of May 21, 1856

Official Proceedings –

 Laying the Corner Stone of the Lunatic Asylum

On Tuesday, the 6th inst., says the Federal union, the ceremonies of laying the Corner Stone of the Main Structure of the State Lunatic Asylum was performed.

At 11 o’clock, A.M., the Lodge convened at the Asylum Chapel, and was opened in due and ancient form.  The following order of procession was then announced an all requested to take their places.

Masonic Fraternity

Ministers of the Gospel

Government Officers

Commissioners on Improvements

Trustees of the Asylum

Judges of the Inferior court

Mayor and Alderman of eh City

Officers of the Asylum

Citizens  Generally

The procession being formed, moved to the spot where the ceremonies progressed as follows, viz:

Prayer by Rev. Dr. Talmadge

Ode, “Let notes of gladness tell”

Address by M, E, Wm. T. Gould.

The acting Grand Master, R. W. William S. Rockwell, then directed the Grand Treasurer, P. T., to deposit the usual memorials, when the following articles were deposited; A history (written on parchment) of the establishment and progress of the Institution, present organization and other facts of interest connected with it; the two latest Washington City papers; the two latest Milledgeville papers; the last printed report of the Trustees, Superintendent and Resident Physical, and Treasurer of the Asylum, and various specimens of coin.  The Grand Master P. T. having then descended from the platform occupied by the Grand Officers, was presented by the Chief Architect with the working tools.  He applied the plummet square and level to the stone and pronounced it to be well formed, true and trusty.  The Corn, Wine and Oil were then delivered and used according to ancient ceremony.  The grand Master then struck the stone thrice with his Mallet, the Public Grand Honors of Masonry were given, and the ceremonies closed with singing the Ode, “Hail Masonry,” and a benediction from the Chaplain.  The procession then returned to the Chapel, and the Craft were called from labor to refreshment.  Upon notice, the procession was reformed and repaired to the Collation.

Transcribed by Don Bankston, May 2004

Indian Spring Hotel

 The Undersigned has again the pleasure of informing his numerous friends as well as the public at large that he is yet at the Indian springs Hotel, and is fully prepared with the assistance of his sons and his own experience of six years at the hotel with the best cooks that can be procured, as well as assistance of all kinds, to ask of all those who visit the Spring a generous share of their patronage, intending to spare no pains of himself to make all such as please to give him a call comfortable.   The Indian Spring Hotel is now open, and ready to receive all those that will please to call.  There will be at Forsyth Depot coaches and hacks ready to convey all such as wish to go over.

 Edw. Varner

June 4th, 1856

 The Empire – Griffin/Spalding County Ga.

Transcribed by Don Bankston

Empire State – Spalding County – Week of November 5, 1856

Trial for Murder – Hammond

Most of our city readers are aware that the Superior court of Fulton occupied a large portion of last week in the trial of a woman named Fanny Davis, who stands charged with the murder of young Hammond, whose body was found on the track of the Macon & Western Railroad, on the morning of the 26th of December last.  It was some months after the untimely death of the young man before the circumstances, which led to the arrest of the woman, and joined to her as perpetrator of the four crimes, came to light.  We did not hear the evidence given to the Jury on the part of the State, last week, but learn from those that did, that it was strong, and but for circumstances developed during the trial tending to discredit the testimony of the main witness for the State would probably have convicted the prisoner of the crime charged.

The case was submitted to the Jury on Friday evening last, who, we understand, came into Court on Saturday morning and announced a “mistrial” – seven being for convicting the prisoner and five for acquittal.  The woman was taken back to jail to await another trial at the next term of our Superior Court.

Transcribed by Don Bankston, May 2004

Empire State – Spalding County Ga. December 16, 1856

At a meeting of the Citizens of Newnan on Monday evening, December 15, 1856, it was unanimous resolved that no Negro will be permitted to visit the Town of Newnan during the ensuing Christmas Holidays, under any pretext whatever unless on special business of the owner or overseer, and that to be specified in his pass and to return as soon as such business is transacted. Any Negro found in the streets after 7 o’clock at night, will be put in the Calaboose, there to remain until taken out by the owner; and any Negro found on the streets during the day, will be severely whipped and sent out of Town.  E. D. McKintly, Jos. Brown, B. H. Mitchell, Committee

Transcribed by Don Bankston,  October 19, 2005

Empire State – Spalding County, Week of December 24, 1856

Black, C. W. Tribute of Respect 1856

Tribute of Respect

Pine Grove Lodge

Henry County

At a called meeting, we the following committee, to who was referred the duty of preparing suitable resolutions expressive of the memory of our dear beloved Brother, who departed this life Nov. 26th, 1856, suddenly with an attack of apoplexy, we will respectfully submit the following.

We are reminded of the uncertainty of life and the uncertainty of death - - that we live in a land of shadows, a fruitful field of flaming promises alone. We had every reason to believe that our brother, c. W. black, lived the life of a good mason; and that he is gone and the struggles of reluctant nature over, his body sleeps in death, and the soul returned to God, to Paradise; but there is no appeal or relief from the great law which dooms us to dust. We flourish and fade as the leaves of the forest. In the death of our departed brother, we lost one of our brightest jewels; his wife a loving husband, and his doting mother an obedient son. And in token of our sincerity, be therefore…Resolved That, we deeply sympathize with the bereaved family of our deceased brother in their irreparable loss.  Resolved That, in respect for the memory of the deceased, we will wear the usual badge of mourning on our left arm, for thirty days.  Resolved, That the Secretary furnish the family of the deceased brother with a copy of these resolutions. Also to the Empire State, and the  American Union for publication.

A. G. Couch, T. G. Barnett, D. S. Smith, Committee

Transcribed by Don Bankston , June 12, 2006

The Empire - Griffin, Spalding Co., GA April 1, 1857
John T. Dillon – Will

Georgia, Butts County

John W. Barney, Executor of the Will of Henry Dillon, deceased
John T. Dillon, et al.
Bill for direction in Butts Superior Court, June adj’nd Term, 1856.

It appearing to the Court that Augustus Cargile, one of the defendants is the foregoing Bill, resides out of the limits of this State: It is ordered by the Court that said Augustus Cargile do plead, answer or demur to said Bill on or before the next Term of this Court, and that this Rule be published once a month previous to the next session of this Court, in one of the public gazettes of this State. By the Court

D. J. & F. Bailey, J. H. Stark, Com. Sols

A true extract from the minutes of the Court 2d Dec., 1856

W. R. Bankston, C.S. C.

Transcribed by Don Bankston , October, 2008

The Empire - Griffin, Spalding Co., GA April 1, 1857 - Butts Superior Court
December Term, 1856

The above Rule not having been published according to the exigency thereof now
at this time, it is ordered by the Court that the same be enlarged, and that
said Augustus Cargile do plead, answer or demur to said Bill on or before the
next Term of this Court, and that said Rule, with this Order, be published once
a month for four months previous to the next Term of this Court in the Empire
State, a public Gazette published in the city of Griffin. By the Court

James H. Stark, D. J. Bailey, Com. Sols.

A true extract from the minutes of the Court, Dec. 2, 1856
W. R. Bankston C.S.C.

Transcribed by Don Bankston , October, 2008


The Empire - Griffin, Spalding Co., GA April 1, 1857
Nathan F. Camp – William Andrews

Butts Mortgage Sheriff Sale

Will be sold on the first Tuesday in April next at the Court House door at
Jackson, Butts county between the usual hours of sale, one Store House and lot
in Jackson, a formerly occupied by Nathan F. Camp. Levied on to satisfy a
mortgage fi fa issued from Butts Superior Court at the instance of William
Andrews, Guardian &c., vs the said Nathan F. Camp. Said property pointed out
in said mortgage fi fa

James H. Johnston, D. Sh’ff Jasper County, Georgia

Transcribed by Don Bankston , October, 2008

The Empire, Griffin, Spalding Co., GA December 16, 1857
Butts Sheriff Sales for January

Will be sold before the Courthouse door in the town of Jackson, Butts county
Ga., on the first Tuesday in January next within the legal hours of sale, the
following property to wit:

Four horses, one buggy, two wagons, two coaches, and harness, one hundred and
fifty barrels of corn, more or less. One town lot, number unknown, known and
distinguished in the Indian Spring reserve, as the Mustian and Mott lot,
containing two acres, lying South of and adjacent to the Indian Spring Hotel,
whereon the dancing salon of the Messrs. Varner’s is situated. One other town
lot, whereon the building known as the Indian Spring Hotel is situated
containing two acres, more or less, and known and distinguished in the plan of
said reserve as lot No. 2. Also one other lot, containing two acres, more or
less, whereon the stables and the building known as the long house, immediately
across the street and fronting the said Indian Spring Hotel and known and
distinguished in the plan of said reserve as No. 3. Also a small tract or
parcel of land containing 22 acres more or less, No. not known, but adjoining
the Indian Spring reserve, on the east of said reserve, and touching and
adjoining the lands of H. S. Dickens and others, and known as the Mustian and
Mott fraction.

Also two other lots, No. not known, one containing four acres, the other two
acres in the Indian Spring reserve adjoining Wiley D. Doughtery and others.
All levied on as the property of Andrew J. Varner, Cinthia L. Varner, Edward
Varner, to satisfy two fi fas one from the Superior Court of the County of
butts. Mathew Whitfield vs Andrew J. Varner, Clinton L. Varner, Edward Varner
and William H. Byran security, the other from the Inferior Court of said
county. Matthew Whitfield, vs Andrew J. Varner, Clinton L. Varner, Edward
Varner, Wm. H. Byran security, and other fi fas in my hands.

R. G. Byars, Sh’ff

Transcribed by Don Bankston , October, 2008


Empire State – Spalding County – Week of June 6, 1859

Horrible Tragedy – Webb/Choice

We deeply regret to announce to our readers that on Friday last, in Atlanta, Mr. William A. Choice, deliberately shot a Mr. Calvin Webb in the street near to the Atlanta Hotel and Trout House, killing him almost instantly.  Intense excitement prevailed amount the citizens because of the occurrence and but for extraordinary exertions on the part of some of the most influential citizens of that place, another horrible tragedy would have been enacted in the execution of Lynch Law upon the unhappy young man whose ungovernable temper caused the bloody deed.  We rejoice that the friends of law and order succeeded in preventing the contemplated deed, referred to in the following paragraphs, from the Intelligencer of that city.

Our usually peaceful city was wrought up to a state of intense excitement, on yesterday by the murder of Calvin Webb, by Wm. A. Choice.  The facts are briefly as follows:  On Thursday evening, Choice was arrested by Webb, who was a Bailiff of the city, on a bail process for ten dollars.  Choice gave security, and there it was supposed the matter ended.  But it seems that Choice bore malice in his heart, and met Webb near the Trout House, on yesterday (Friday) and shot at him twice, the last shot taking effect, and Webb died in a few minutes.

The deceased was a respectable and peaceful citizen and has left a dependent family consisting of a wife, and several children.  Choice was a citizen of Rome having formerly resided in this city, and was on the eve of removing to New York.  The most intense excitement prevails in our city.  A meeting of the citizens was held yesterday evening at the City Hall, which was largely attended and addressed by Col. Calhoun, Judge Ezzard, Mr. George Daniel.  Mayor Glenn, and Judge Baker in favor of law and order.  But the cry was, “hang him! Hang him”’  The meeting adjourned to 10 o’clock this morning.  The crowd generally were in favor of summary punishment, but we hope a night’s sleep and mature reflection will incline them to milder counsels.

It is due to our fellow citizens, Mr. Fitch, to say that he was most active and efficient in arresting the perpetrator of the foul deed.  Mr. Choice is now in custody and awaits the decision of the proper judicial tribunals of the county.

We learn also that Mr. Choice has been committed for trial and that he has been sent to Milledgeville for safe keeping.  A friend advises us that he met him in Macon in custody of the officers of the law, on his way to prison, and that he was dejected and penitent in the extreme.  “Sir.” Said he, “you never thought to see me in this condition, and I now I never thought I would come to it – Oh! It will kill my poor mother.”  Alas! For poor human nature!  We knew this young man well.   Well educated, of respectable family and connections, generous, talented, but reckless withal, he was in a mistaken serve of wounded honor, rashly, aye, madly perpetrated an act that not only brings sorrow home to his family and friends, but despair upon his unfortunate victim’s widow and her children!  Young men, take warning!  True chivalry seeks not life in the streets of our cities, nor does any written code of law or of mortals, justify a resort to the bowie knife or pistol for real much les do they for supposed injuries.  Bridle well your passions; be obedient to the law; else the ‘evil day’” will surely come, and that soon.

Transcribed by Don Bankston, May 2004

Citizens desire early organization of Georgia
Macon Weekly Telegraph June 11, 1865
Meeting in Griffin
Pursuant to previous call, a portion of the people of Spalding and adjoining counties, who desire an early organization of civil government in Georgia under the constitution and laws of the United States, assembled in Griffin on Saturday, June 19, 1865, when, on motion, George W. Grant, Esq., was called to the chair and A. G. Murray requested to act as secretary. The chairman, on
entering the stand, in a few appropriate remarks, explained the object of the meeting.    

On motion, the chairman appointed the following named gentlemen a committee to prepare and report matter for the action of the meeting to wit: A. D. Nunnally, A. G. Murray, John H. Akins, W. N. Coopedge, L. T. Doyal, R. J. Manley, Dr. J. T. Ellis, Hendley Varner, Thomas B. Johnson, Thos. J. Threlkeld, John D. Stewart, of the county of Spalding ; Charles L. Dupree, Wm. T. Griffin, of the county of Henry; Martin Cooper, Wm. D. Alexander, of the county of Pike; Henry B. Fletcher, of the county of Butts; and Wm. L. Robinson and  Quintus C. Grier, of the county of Fayette. 

 The committee retired, and on returning reported the following:
Whereas, By the late civil war, our state is left in an unsettled condition-civil government suspended-the people without a proper circulating medium-trade and commerce paralyzed-postal communications cut off, and the whole people in a state of anxious solitude as to their future status; and

     Whereas, We deem it just and proper for the people to meet in their primary capacity and express their views and wishes in relation to all matters of public interest; therefore,
     Resolved. That we acknowledge and submit to the authority and laws of the United States, and recognize the constitution thereof as the supreme law of the land.
     2. That feeling the absolute necessity of an organized civil government, we do most respectfully call upon the president of the United States to organize us into a State government, or indicate to us such action on our part as will restore us to our former status as one of the States of the Union, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereunto under the laws and constitution of the United States.
     3. That the constitution and laws of the State of Georgia having been changed, within the last four years, we believe that said constitution and laws should be so altered as to conform to the constitution and laws of the United States and that said alteration can be effected by a convention of the people called for that purpose.
     4. That since the overthrow of law and order in our community, we are greatly indebted to Major General Wilson for his gentlemanly bearing in the administration of military law, and to his subordinate officer, Capt. S. M. Pray, the commandant of the post in this city, for his politeness, courtesy, and efficiency in protecting us against the lawless men.
     5. That a copy of these resolutions be furnished Major Gen. Wilson and Capt. Pray, and that a committee be appointed to confer with General Wilson in reference to the propriety of forwarding these resolutions to his Excellency, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, for his consideration, and that Gen. Wilson be requested to forward them to him.
     6. That in the event that no appointment of provisional governor of Georgia has as yet been made on account of the well known conservative views of Hon. Joshua Hill, we respectfully recommend him to the favorable consideration of the president in making such and appointment.
     7.  That the editors of the public gazettes in Griffin, Macon, and Atlanta, and all other papers in the State, be requested to publish these proceedings.
     The report was handed to the secretary and having been read aloud by him, on motion, it was unanimously adopted.
     The chairman then appointed as a committee to confer with Gen. Wilson, Henry Moor, Rev. C. W. Thomas, Wm. M. Blanton, and Samuel Bailey and on motion the chairman was added to this committee.
      The meeting then adjourned.
             Geo. W. Grant, Chm'n
              A. G. Murray, Sec'y.

Additional Comments:
Locations mentioned:
Spalding County
Pike County
Henry County
Butts County
Fayette County

Persons mentioned:
John H. Akins
Wm. D. Alexander
Samuel Bailey
Wm. M. Blanton
W. N. Coopedge
Martin Cooper
L. T. Doyal
Charles L. Dupree
Dr. J. T. Ellis
Henry B. Fletcher
George W. Grant
Quintus C. Grier
Wm. T. Griffin
Hon. Joshua Hill
President Andrew Johnson
Thomas B. Johnson
R. J. Manley
Henry Moor
A. G. Murray
A. D. Nunnally
(Union) Capt. S. M. Pray
Wm. L. Robinson
John D. Stewart
Rev. C. W. Thomas
Thos. J. Threlkeld
(Union) Major Gen.[James H.] Wilson
Hendley Varner
File contributed for use in by Robert Klebs


Tuesday, March 23, 1869


To the Citizens of Spalding County:

Having returned last night from Atlanta, where I have been sojourning for the last two months, representing as I supposed the interests of my county; and finding there was a diversity of opinion in reference to the course I pursued.  I deemed it but just that I should give the motives that prompted me to pursue the course I did on this occasion.

It is remembered, I presume, by all who were at the courthouse the day I was nominated, that I accepted the nomination, not for office (especially.) but to beat in Spalding the Radical constitution, framed by the Radical convention in Atlanta.  This I honestly and earnestly strove to do - this I know, all who witnessed the election will testify to.  The constitution, however was carried in the state, and I was required before taking a seat in the Legislature to swear to support that Constitution and the Constitution of the United States.  Now it is clear and apparent to all honest, fair minded men that I could not run the same schedule, after having taken an oath to support said constitution; and then I had to carry principles and doctrines I had sought to defeat.  This, I thought all knew and fully appreciated; but, it would seem some are disposed to find fault.  I have many faults I would like to be free from, but in the condition of our country, I look on the 15th amendment as being decidedly more in favor of the South than the North; because the 14h amendment has fastened in my judgment, Negro suffrage as firmly on us as the 15th amendment will fasten it on the North.  Indeed, there is nothing in the 15th that will alter in the slightest status on the suffrage question in Georgia.  Again, I believed it right to support the 15th amendment, because Gov. Bullock and his friends were opposed to it thinking if it was rejected they could have entire control of the affairs of the state and replace the Negroes in the Legislature - this, I trust will not come yet.  I have strong reasons to fear it will.

Our senators and representatives urged the adoption of the 15th amendment as our last chance to sustain the government of Georgia, and many of our wisest and best men at home said adopt it by all means,  and nearly all the Democrats that voted against it wanted it adopted.  I did come to Griffin twice and spoke of it; I found but few who seemed opposed to it.  Editors and newpapers have been almost silent on the impropriety of its adoption, and I had to be governed by the facts as I saw them from my standpoint, which are these:

1st.  Negro suffrage was already fastened by the 14th amendment, and the State constitution, on us; therefore, we had nothing to loose by the adoption of the

amendment, and fastening it on the other States who had fastened on us with the 14th amendment.

2nd.  If we had have adopted it, we should doubtless have succeeded in maintaining our State government, and kept Bullock and his friends in their place.

3d.  If we had everything to win and nothing to lose the game was a good one, and I fear the Rads will make us rue the day it was rejected.

4th.  I supported it, because ultra Radicals sought to destroy it.

Now fellow citizens these are my reasons for supporting that which is not in accord with our former politics.  These things I accept as necessary evils, growing out of the fact of the surrender of General Lee at Appomatox.  As your representative, I have done the best I could for you and my county.  I take the advice of friends, but will not give my conscience to the keeping of any man, or set of men.  I have attained in all things that have come before me in Legislative matters in a way that I thought the greatest amount of good would occur to the greatest number of people.  If these reasons and policies suit you, all is well, if not, your remedy is in your own hands.  I am ready any day, and at all times to lay at your feet the trust, for it is not an office you confided in me, and if I cannot serve you untrammelled, I will not serve you at all.  The facts are before you, you do as you see fit, and be assured of one fact, I will never seek to dictate to any man I give my suffrage to, nor will I wear dog-block on my conscience when there is a chance to shed it.

                                                                                                James T. Ellis   


Transcribed by Linda Ellis


GA Archives

Griffin Newspapers (Griffin Semi-Weekly Star)

Dr. 193, Box 64


April 6, 1869



     EDITORS STAR - "Syphax," wanting, or, rather needing ideas and arguments, make makes a fling at Dr. Ellis' late communication in regard to "its exquisite grammar, and mudiness of ideas."   Of course, S means to set himself up as a standard of grammatical correctness and clearness of ideas, but how does he stand in orthography?  By m-u-d-i-n-e-s-s, he means muddiness - two d's instead of one.  By eminate, he meant emanate - an a instead of an i.  Speaking of the article in the Star, he uses these expressions:  "When compared with the editor's own article" and, "The Dr., however, has adopted it as his own."  In the former phrase, the word "own" is tautological, and worse than useless; and in the latter phrase, better taste would have been shown had "Syphax" left out the three words, "as his own."  It was enough to have written, "The Dr., however, has adopted it;" then the sentence and the sense would have been complete.  If the Dr. did adopt it, he did not adopt it for any one but himself, and this critical Syphax does the Dr. injustice by intimating (as he does by the expression, "as his own") that the Dr. might have been induced to adopt it for some one else.

     Syphax is equally unhappy in his classical quotations.  There is no such Latin phrase as "fidus achatese."  "Fidus Achates" is the expression that Syphax should have written.  Achates, being a proper name, should have commenced with a capital A, and the e at the end of the word, in the article of Syphax, is an error.  Where, Syphax, in any language do find the word "disputandem?"  Let me correct you again:  "De gustibus, disputandum" is the "classical phrase," after which you were reaching, and if you had inserted a u in the place of that e, you would have been "all right," as the Dr. has  it.  In the effort to make an exhibition of your familiarity with the classics, you have fallen a little short, and have only made an exhibition of your ignorance of them.   But this is a small matter, as nine-tenths of those who have read, or may ever read your communication, will not be aware of these errors, unless they are pointed out.  These may seem trifles to you, and I should not have noticed them, had you not selected our Representative as a proper subject for criticism, to enable you to display your superior learning and more finished education.  There are graver errors in your reasoning than in your orthography, or classical quotations, which errors I propose to point out to you in the Star of next Friday.  There are many other erros in your article, some in orthography, and some in punctuation, that causes a "mudiness" of ideas; but the foregoing are enough, to be noticed now; and this is done, in order that I may suggest to you that it might seem a trifle less fastidious and hypercritical, if you would look at the matter and not the manner of articles published in a village newpaper.  In the elegant words of Dooner - "So along" until Friday.


                                                                                    Very Respectfully,


Transcribed by Linda Ellis, 2/6/1996

GA Archives

Griffin, GA, Newspapers (Griffin SemiWeekly Star)

Dr. 193, Box 64


April 6, 1869



     We have no time nor inclination to notice long winded anonymous scribblings, of the character above alluded to; and have already paid more attention to this ambuscade than its weak logic and contemptible personalities deserve.  But for two reasons we should have mad no response whatever to "Syphax."  Dr. Ellis, we think unwisedly, has seen proper to publish a card in vindication of his course - which card was drawn out in part by Syphax, thus giving a degree of importance to the communication which it would not have had.  In the second "labor" of Syphax - which was evidently a painful one - the writer seems to take great pleasure in biting at the Editor of the Star over Dr. Ellis' shoulders.  We can assure him he is "gnawing" at the hardest kind of a "file," when he throws up "Yankee" to us.  We know his "sort."  The climax, and in fact, the warp and filling of such insect's argument with men of northern birth is, "you're a 'Yankee;' " "nothing good can come of a 'Yankee;' "  ergo, "nothing good can come from you."  We have no ammunition to waste on such hard-headed idiots as this. 

     But our main reason for noticing Syphax  at all is, the medium through which his article obtains publicity, and the animus manifested by our contemporary.

     We regret extremely that the proprietor of the Middle Georgian takes the same narrow views of business as some of his predecessors have, to wit: to build up his paper by trying to pull down the "Star."  We are aware that the old type in his office has been for years dripping with the gall of hate toward the Star; simply because our paper was a success, and the other a failure.  The late of the Herald should be a warning to the Georgian.  He can never build himself up by endeavoring to pull us down, nor by lending a helping hand to those would abuse us, or excite low and groveling prejudices against us.  The way to make the Georgian a success, is to make it a good paper.  Until he does that, the Star

will continue to be, as heretofore, the only paper in Griffin.  We have treated the Georgian with the utmost courtesy and kindness, and intended to continue to do so.  We want it to keep running, for if it breaks down, some paper will come here that might run us a close rivalry; from the Georgian we have nought to fear.  Our decided preference is for "peace,"  but if this paper desires war, it can have it.  We only ask of it a fair open fight, and not a sneaking ambuscade behind a nom de plume.  Let him pick up the cudgel as soon as he pleases, we are ready.  The foolish charge that we have exercised undue influence over Dr. Ellis, is unworthy of notice; nobody believes it.  As to assisting him in defending himself from such rude and unmanly attacks as those of Syphax, he needs no aid of ours, but is amply able to cope with such antagonists single handed.  The lack of elegant "grammar," over which Syphax grows so witty, will be more than counter-balanced by the amount of good sense in what he does, says and writes.  He may not be heavy on thread-bare Latin phrases, but he always succeeds in making himself understood in his honest mother tongue.


Transcribed by Linda Ellis                     GA Archives            Dr. 193, Box 64

2/12/1996                                            Griffin Newspapers (Griffin Semi-Weekly Star)


Tuesday, March 23, 1869




     The Middle Georgian of the 19th instant contains an anonymous letter addressed to our present Representative and intended to be a somewhat sever criticism upon Dr. Ellis' course in voting for the 15th Amendment.

     We have known Dr. Ellis a number of years, and have closely watched his course in the Legislature.  We know his position in the country and also know how he came to be in the Legislature.  .  . He never sought the office.  He is no politician nor office seeker.  He is one of our largest, most intelligent, and most successful farmers.  His character for integrity is above suspicion, and he went to the Legislature at a great personal sacrifice, and at the earnest solicitation of many of the best citizens of the county.  He is not dependent upon the votes of the people for anything, and in our opinion, he would not hold his present position one hour longer., if he believed the people of the county did not endorse his course.  We do not know the author of the article in the Georgian, as he prudently disguises his real name under an assumed one; but we take him to be of that class of hard headed, small politicians, who never learn any new thing in politics, but stick to the old exploded dogmas of the past with a tenacity that death alone can soften.  These people don't know that there has been any war.  They don't know that slavery is abolished,.  They don't know, nor in their honest Rip Van Wrinkle dreams do they imagine that this nation has entirely changed its principles of government, and has the power to enforce the new theory.

     They talk of State Rights, as if there was such a thing left us; and speak of State sovereignty as of a living practical principle.  They can be taught no new political tactics, and it is not with such an idea that we write this article; our object being only to do an act of justice toward our representative, and at the same time, present some views for the contemplation of candid and liberal minded men.

     Among the Democrats of this Legislature, a large number believed it best for the interests of the State to adopt the Amendment at once.  Not because it was right in itself; but, because the conquering and ruling power of the nation demanded it; and they believed that its adoption would alone cut the reconstruction business in Georgia, and leave the people at rest, and at liberty to pursue their customary avocations without further molestation -- leaving our State government in the hands mostly of its real friends.  Among the Democrats who thus believed, were the wisest, coolest, most sagacious members of the General Assembly; men of high character at home, who enjoyed the confidence of the people--such men in the House, as Shumate, Haper of terrell, Hudson, Price, Anderson, Dr. Ellis and others.  And  in the Senate, such as Welburn and Nisbit. -- These men argued that Georgia already had the same thing in her constitution which the 15th Amendment required, to wit, negro suffrage; and the Omnibus bill restoring Georgia to position in the Union, expressly declared that she should never take negro suffrage out of her constitution. -- The adoption of the 15th Amendment would not change our status one particle on the suffrage question, but would extend negro suffrage all over the North.  It was know that Grant desired it, and our Democratic members in Congress advised it. -- It was hoped, and confidently believed, that the adoption would terminate the reconstruction business in Georgia, and give us quietude.  Under these views, these Democrats, determined to vote for the Amendment.  We believe they did so with the purest of motives, and we are not now prepared to condemn their actions.  On the other side, strange bed-fellows were made on this occasion.  The most hot headed Democrats joined hands, with the ultra Radicals; Burns united with old Higbee, and Hinton joined fortunes with that old miscegenator, Adkins, and Ben Conley,  Bullock's right bower, gave the casting vote which defeated the Amendment.

      The very men who call most lustily for more reconstruction of our people voted against the Amendment.  And why?  Obviously for the purpose of upsetting our present State government, and re inaugurating the carnival of provisional government and carpet bag rule.  We hope for the best, but we are strongly of the opinion that in less than thirty days Congress will pass a law authorizing Gov. Bullock to reassemble the Legislature, put back the negroes and apply the 14th Amendment oath.  This will place the State entirely under radical rule.  And the Democrats that are in the Legislature then, might as well resign, for any good they can do.  I f the Amendment had passed, the same results might have occurred in the long run, but it still left us room for hope.  After all, we do not consider it a matter of such vital importance, which way the cat jumped on this occasion.  The 15th Amendment will be eventually adopted.  It is part and parcel of the original scheme to complete our subjugation, and the conqueror will enforce the edict.  It may be the last link in the chain of oppression, and it may not.  We first abolished slavery in obedience to orders from Washington.  Some men fought it, but fought in vain.  We next adopted the 14th Amendment under the same pressure, and measure infinitely more degrading than the 15th is.  The same bower forced us to the adoption of our present State constitution, negro suffrage, and all; and the same irresistible power will force upon us the 15th Amendment.  We therefore, cannot condemn the Democrats who preferred accepting it under Democratic auspices, rather than give the Georgia Radical party another chance to get control of the State, on the strength of this Amendment.

     We have surrendered to Grant on the battlefield and at the ballot box, because compelled to do it.  We see no good likely to accrue by a powerless opposition to his policy.  Whenever the time arrives that his party splits up, we shall be ready to help the side that promises the South the most advantages.  Till then, our voice is for quiet acquiescence in the inevitable. -- Above all, let all true friends of the South bind themselves together with hooks of steel, and if they differ in opinion about matters of policy, discuss those differences in a spirit of friendship, and not, by appeals to passion and prejudice, stir up strife and contention among ourselves.


Transcribed by Linda Ellis


GA Archives, M/F Dr. 193, Box 64

Griffin, GA Newspapers (Griffin Semi-Weekly Star)

 The Christian Index.   July 11, 1872

Southern Female College.

The beauty, cultivation and elite of LaGrange and vicinity, filled the Baptist church early on Sabbath morning, June 23d, to hear the annual sermon of the above Institution by Rev. W. A. Montgomery, D. D. "She hath done what she could," was the text; from which the preacher evolved the subject, "The duty of Christianity to the present age." The Sermon was pointed, practical and
finished, reflecting great credit to the head and heart of the author. Several years before the war a distinguished Professor in Mercer University consoled a student in view of his unavoidable absence from church, on the occasion of the Commencement Sermon, by saying, "The poor have the Gospel preached to them, the rich have it read; I guess we will be numbered among the rich to-day." It would be quite an advance if all our Commencement Orators were speakers instead of
Monday morning the examination which had begun the week before was completed.  I heard classes examined in only three studies: Evidences of Christianity, Astronomy and Latin. The young ladies showed faithful and thorough teaching.  You could see from the very delay in answering the questions pronounced, that the examination was fair; no assigned lesson, as is often the case. In
speaking of this to a visiting brother at my side, he replied: "No school could afford an effort to deceive the people by fixing up for an Examination." I could only think, how fortunate for the superficial in all professions that some things are so easily concealed from outsiders. I have seen many examinations where the close observer could not fail to notice the evidence of complicity. President Cox, of the Southern Female College, is no quack or humbug; his examination proves that. We had quite a pleasing little episode at the close of the examination on "Evidences of Christianity." Dr. Montgomery replied, "The same thing will prove Judaism." We then had a pleasant little debate on the subject, in which the class took a part, proving that they had been taught to think for themselves.  Monday night the Junior Concert took place. Miss Sallie Cox, the accomplished daughter of the estimable President presided. The Concert was a marked
success, and reflected great credit on Miss Sallie for the taste displayed in getting it up.
Tuesday morning the beautiful College Chapel was filled to overflowing, to hear the compositions of the Junior class. The walls of the Chapel were adorned with paintings and other ornamental works of the art department. Some of the paintings exhibited decided talent. One, especially, attracted my attention; it was "The Lost Cause." The coloring was fine, the execution perfect, and it
stood out in Nature's own simplicity. I should say that the painter, Miss Sallie Bolling, of Greenville, Ala., has talent which will insure success, if cultivated. The Juniors acquitted themselves honorably in their Exhibition.  The reading was so distinct, and the young ladies emphasized so well, that out of a class of twenty-three, I heard all but two or three. The compositions were good. While all did well, two young ladies deserve special mention; they were Miss E. Ferrell, whose subject was, "School Girl's Composition," and Miss A. Baker, subject, "When you are in Rome do not do as Rome does."  Prof. H. Schirmacher gave his grand Concert Tuesday night. I will not attempt a description of the sublime melody produced by the numerous pianos, violins and other instruments. I will only say, I never heard the Concert equaled. As an accomplished musician, and a successful teacher, Prof. Schirmacher has, I think, no superior, if an equal, in Georgia.
Wednesday was Commencement day. -- Eleven young ladies read their essays, and received diplomas. The essays, as far as I could judge, were well written, and showed the thorough mental training of the classroom. Some of them were replete with deep thought, expressed in elegant language. Miss Pauline Ferrell, of Texas, read an essay on, "A Voice from Rome." She thrilled the
congregation by her description of the wonderful events of the last few years, and by her impassioned appeals on Missionary labors in the Eternal City. Miss Sallie Bolling, of Greenville, Alabama, read a fine essay on, "Anticipation;"  and Miss Mary Callaway, of LaGrange Georgia, on "Self Reliance." I mention these three, especially, because they impressed me more than the rest. I don't think I ever heard young ladies read more distinctly, and more accurately.  Mrs. Maria J. Westmoreland, of your city, read a splendid essay.  Subject, "What shall our Women do?" It was filled with good sense, sound reasoning, and practical advice. Dr. T. E. Skinner delivered the address to the Seniors. It was a masterly presentation of the Bible.  The President's Levee followed last night. A gay and festive throng filled the Chapel, and roamed through the beautiful grounds, each enjoying the occasion in his own way. I neglected to mention, in the proper place, that Howard Van Epps, Esq., Atlanta, delivered the address to the Juniors.  Thus has passed another festival of the Southern Female College. Those present will not soon forget it. In conclusion, permit me to say to parents in Georgia, and Alabama, who have daughters to send off to school, you can do no better than to send them to Pres. Cox, LaGrange, Ga. I am now en route for home, detained for the next train; and am writing from the Byington House, Griffin, which gave us a fine dinner to-day.

T. H. Stout.
Griffin, June 27th, 1872

Transcribed from an original newspaper in my possession - Nov 2004 - Linda Blum-Barton

Jackson News – Week of May 10, 1882
A.B. Doyle has been sentenced to hang on the 29th of June for the murder of
Hancock, at Griffin, Georgia

Transcribed by Don Bankston January 19, 2005

Jackson News – Week of May 10, 1882
We copy from the Griffin News, the statement of Doyal, the murderer of Hancock, whose trial was had in the Superior Court of Spalding county, last week:

On the Saturday night proceeding the difficulty, I and Tom Davis and others were drinking and going around to billiard rooms &c., and Davis and I finally went to his house and went to bed. About 8 o’clock Sunday morning we got up and went down together to get a drink. We got one and that was all, and walked up Hill street, and while Davis went down an alley, I walked to the stair case leading up over Hesselkus & Pattrick’s and leaning up in the entrance waiting for him. He did not come quick enough, and I started behind McKee’s harness shop after him. Mark Hancock, Chas Ison and some one else were standing in front of Lower’s shop talking. Just as I went to turn the corner, Hancock walked up in an abrupt way and said “You get off these streets, or I will put you in the guard house,” and he jerked me along. I never resisted, but he called Charlie Ison, and we past on down the alley between Morris and Clark’s store. I asked why they had picked me up. Hancock raised his club and said, “You d- - n scoundrel, you have been tantalizing me for some time.” I said, “Yes you will not hit me.” This was 9 o’clock in the morning, he locked me in the guardhouse – and never give me water. A gentleman, Ben Lutrall, stepped into the engine house next door, and I asked for some water and he passed it to me. I asked him to see Charlie Doe and Mr. White, to have them get me out, which was done.  I went up street and never said anything to Hancock. I was mad, though I never told anybody that I would kill Hancock. I went on up town and joined a crowd, but stayed and got a drink or two, but never said anything to anybody about the
matter. Next morning a gentleman told me to watch out for Hancock. I asked him the reason, and he said he was a bad man; but I never said anything about it to anybody. I was about town during the week and met Hancock several times.  I spoke to him politely and he gave me a severe rebuke, which confirmed my idea that he would kill me. I never said anything to anybody about it. Friday night I left on business down in Pike county. I came back the next day and Hancock was off duty. I knocked bout on Hill street in the afternoon and never saw him until 4 o’clock. A gentleman scat me with a note for a pistol; I could not get it and told him that I would borrow one. I went down to Dock Jason’s and across to the Globe (___?____). I know the weapon was there because I left it there. I walked out and stepped down on the platform in front, walking towards Goddard’s going diagonally across, with my head down. The first I saw of Hancock he accosted me with, :You have been talking about me, G – d d- - m you, long enough”; I stepped back slowly and told him to stoop. He put his hand up here (indicating his rear hip pocket). I knew Hancock was a violent man, having heard of it in several instances. (Witness here gave a number of instances). I have also seen him use his club. Hancock and me were never in outs particularly. I policed for him and others. When I kept backing he kept coming and told me he was off duty now and it would have to be settled up. I
says, “Mark, I will hurt you.” He finally said ”D - - n you, you have drawn it on me, and you will have to use it.” His hand was up toward his hip pocket, which was the first thing that caused me to draw the repeater. As I fired Hancock turned to the right, and he threw his hands here (to his stomach). As I did it, I cocked repeater and kept moving back. As I saw he was not coming to me I pulled the repeater blow and shot it off.
The crowd followed me and I surrendered, after running down the alley.
Nobody was present when I was put in the guardhouse except Ison and Hancock. Hancock evidently intended violence. I kept stepping back. I knew he kept a pistol in his pocket.
The State introduced the following evidence in rebuttal of the prisoner’s
Col Johnson, direct – Remember the occasion; saw Doyal on Saturday evening pretty late on the street; about ten steps from the well. Doyal passed me; he was going from Clark’s corner to Charlie Johnson’s; as he passed me says he, “I’ll get him;” did not appear to be made; I walked in about five steps, heard a pistol and turned; It was not more than two or three minutes between; when I heard pistol I whirled around and saw a man turned from Doyal; Doyal was holding a pistol in his hand, fired second shot at retreating man.
This closed the whole testimony in the case.
The court adjourned until 8 o’clock this morning.
Transcribed by Don Bankston January 19, 2005

Jackson News – Week of May 17, 1882
Alfred Doyle, the Griffin murderer has been brought to Atlanta and lodged in
Fulton county jail for safe keeping.
Transcribed by Don Bankston January 19, 2005

Jackson News – Week of July 26, 1882
A difficulty occurred between two young men of Griffin, on last Friday night by the names of Hammond and Lytle, in which Hammond was mortally wounded with a pistol from the effects of which he died. The difficulty grew out of an old feud. Lytle was confined in jail, but we learn has since been released, it having been (____?______) that his skull was broken. Hammond was employed in Keeley’s branch store.
Transcribed by Don Bankston January 19, 2005

Griffin Dailey News - September 19 1884

J.R. Ellis put up the machinery in a new gin house yesterday, Part of it flew apart as it was set in motion and scared a couple of Griffin politicians into making quick time toward home.

(This is James Rousseau Ellis)

 Extracted from Round-A- Bout section

Ga. Archives Drawer 193 box 7

By Bob Ellis

Macon Weekly Telegraph February 22, 1889

 The Griffin Assassins Caught.

Negroes Charged with Assaulting Brauss Run Down by a Boy.

 Griffin, Jan. 22. - [Special] - Two men, Charlie Wilson and Charlie Eppinger, both negroes were lodged in jail yesterday, charged with the attempted assassination and robbery of Mr. B. Brauss, an account of which was published last week in the Telegraph. The mayor offered a reward of $100 for the arrest of the guilty parties. Since then young Walter Powell, a lad of 19, has been at work on the case, and yesterday ha had warrants issued for the arrest of the parties named. He says he has sufficient evidence to convict them. Young Powell has proven himself an excellent boy detective. Griffin feels proud of him.

Transcribed by Lynn Cunningham  July 2009

Middle Ga. Argus – Week of December 7, 1893

S. L. Ballard – Killed

Lee Penn who killed S. L. Ballard at Griffin was in the neighborhood of
Monticello, his old home, till two weeks ago, when he was carried away in the
arrival of an officer from Griffin, looking after a horse and wagon, that had
been stolen from Opelika and traced that far. A couple of days ago a telegram
was received from Valdosta stating that Penn was there, and Thursday Deputy
Sheriff John Patrick went down after him and was expected to return with him
last night but failed to arrive. They may come up this morning.

Transcribed by Don Bankston, June 2004

Middle Ga. Argus – Week of August 23, 1894


Jackson, Ga. – August 23, 1894

Jackson has never had a full fledged cyclone, but she had a brother in law to
one last Friday evening about three o’clock.

It comes up from the west, and the wind howled along through Jackson at the
rate of 50 miles an hour for quite awhile. The hardest rain ever seen in these
parts immediately followed the wind storm, and so dense were the blinding
sheets of water that it was impossible to distinguish large trees across the

Considerable damage was done in and around Jackson by the wind and water. The
tin roof was blown off of the bank Hall and dumped out in the middle of the
streets. The water then ran through the ceiling and did considerable damage to
the stock of goods owned by Mr. R. Cohen, who occupies the storeroom
immediately under the Hall. Large trees were blown down at several places, and
the house of Wash Ball, colored, was blown off the pillars. Col McKibben’s
barn was blown away back, and the shade trees of Judge Pound and Mr. A. G.
Hitchums were leveled to the ground.

The storm did greater damage near Ringgold, in Spalding county, however, than
it did here. It is reported that a church was blown down over there, and ‘tis
said the wind cut a path about 100 yards wide through the woods leveling the
trees to the ground in regular cyclone order. The people in this neighborhood
were considerable frightened, and they had a perfect right to be, for it was
the hardest wind and rain storm that Jackson has ever had the misfortune to

It seems that the people won’t build a new court house in Jackson, so the wind
has taken the matter in charge. It blew off one of the chimneys on last Friday
evening and dislocated several of the shingles just to let the people know it
can help to destroy the present edifice if it can’t build a new one.

We have heard that Mr. R. N. Etheridge was somewhat excited during the storm
last Friday. Boxes, barrels, etc., were flying up the street when suddenly Mr.
Etheridge saw the chicken coop fly by. This was too much for him and he
exclaimed: “Take the coop too, Lord, if you want it, but for the sake of
a little girl and an unfulfilled engagement leave this sinner and call later.

Transcribed by Don Bankston, June 2004

Jackson Argus July 23, 1897


Negro Rapist Strung Up At Griffin Yesterday Morning

Oscar Williams, the Negro who committed rape on the person of a little girl in
Henry county, fell into the hands of a very humane lot of citizens at Griffin
yesterday morning while enroute to safety and was lynched. He was not buried,
which shows that the lynchers were kind to a fault. He was shot about 800
times and this shows that the lynchers were generous to a fault. It was a
lavish waste of bullets. Our southern people are so kind and wasteful that
most of them stay poor.

The following is a brief account of the hanging:

Griffin, July 22 – Oscar Williams, the Negro brute who assaulted the little
Pearl Campbell, the six year old daughter of A. C. Campbell, in Henry county
Saturday afternoon, July 10, was taken from the Central railroad passenger
train, en route from Macon to Atlanta, and lynched by an infuriated mob in the
outskirts of this city at 7 o’clock this morning.

The body was swung to a red oak limb and was literally torn to pieces with
pistol, shotgun and rifle wounds.

By 10 o’clock this morning the little clump of trees where the body hung
suspended was surrounded by a big crows that had come from the country many
miles around. Among the thousands who viewed the body was the father of the
victim of the brute.

Coroner Jesse Williams empanelled a jury at 10:30 this morning, and after a few
minutes, a verdict of death at the hand of parties unknown was reached. Not a
single witness was examined.

I have looked all over town cant find a soul who knows anything about the case,
said the coroner, and so the verdict was formulated.

At 11 o’clock this morning the body was cut down and there was at once a rapid
division of the rope among the spectators. It was cut into small pieces and
distributed as far as it would go. Some of the men were content with pieces of
the dead negro’s shirt, trousers or suspenders, and desires were expressed even
for pieces of his body for a memento.

Men, women and children, black and white, were gathered absent the scene of the
lynching all the morning.

The body, after it was cut down, was carried to the city hall where it was
viewed by thousands who came too late to see it swing. The negro’s relatives
at Zebulon have been wired to know if they want the remains. If not the burial
will take place at the county poor farm.

It is an open secret that the lynching was done by some of the best citizens of
Griffin. There have been rumors current that the men who took the law into
their own hands were farmers, but the facts do not support this. Eye
witnesses to the whole affair say confidentially that in the mob there were not
a half dozen men who live outside the city.

Transcribed by Don Bankston, July 25, 2006

Jackson Argus – Butts County August 7, 1898

A Negro Rapist From Meriwether, Flees to Griffin and Dies of a Throat Trouble

Griffin was the scene of another lynching on Monday of this week. The victim was a Meriwether county negro by the name of John Meadows who attempted a rape upon the person of little Nova Camp. The crime was committed near Senoia and the negro fled to Griffin and was captured there by city patrolmen.  When the officers with their prisoner reached Hill Street, just opposite the Baptist church, the mob which had swelled to at least 500 determined and heavily armed men, leveled their weapons on them and demanded the prisoner.  Resistance was useless, but Officer Conner begged the crowd to allow him to proceed to the jail and let the law take its course. Before he ceased speaking both he and Officer Flynt were pulled out of the buggy, their places were taken by two of the most fearless of the mob and amid triumphant shouts the party hastily left the city.  They proceeded out to the western suburbs and hanged him on the same limb on which Oscar Williams was hanged July 22, 1897, for assaulting a little six year old girl in Clayton county.

After placing the rope around Meadow’s neck he confessed to the crime and his body was pulled up several feet from the ground and completely riddled with bullets.  After making sure their work was well done the crowd quietly left the scene and returned to their homes.

This makes the third lynching to occur in Griffin within the last two years and each time the crime was committed in some other county than Spalding.  In a red hot charge to the grand jury Judge Beck said:  “Within about two years three negroes have been lynched in this county, a county that could justly boast of it progress along all the avenues of civilization. In neither case has the crime of which the negroes were lynched been committed in this county. Two had come from Henry and the third from Meriwether.

Your attention is now called to the fact that to avenge the crimes committed in other counties a mob was collected on the streets of this town and on the road of this county, and have cruelly, deliberately, defiantly committed willful and outrageous murder. There can be no question as to the nature of the offense committed by yesterday’s mob, it was awful, unholy, uncalled for murder.  Your foreman tells me that you can finish your work today, but I say that you must stay her until you go to the bottom of this business. Stay until the end of the week, if necessary; stay next week, if you cant finish during this, and I will adjourn court in another county so as to hold this court in session.  See to it that some man is punished for this shameful deed. See that Spalding county is not made the dumping ground for the criminals that other counties want lynched. See that other counties no longer look upon this as the shamble to which they lead brutes for the butcher.  And I charge you now to lay aside all other works, stop all other business and ferret out the murderers. Indict every man who took part, directly or indirectly, in the work of the mob. Swear in twenty bailiffs, if you need them; send out hundreds of subpoenas. If necessary, close every store, every bank and every office and bring their inmates before you to testify against the lynchers. The mob walked these streets and were seen; bring here the men who saw them and let them give the names.  Send to Pike and Meriwether counties and bring witnesses. If any other man on the grand jury cant enter heartily into this work, let him retire from the jury and let his name come out of the grand jury box.

Transcribed by Don Bankston, November 17, 2006

Jackson Argus May 12, 1899
In the Presence of Thousands of People the Negro Murderer and Rapist is Slowly
Roast to Death.

Klige Strickland is Also Caught and Killed

From Monday’s Constitution

Newnan, Ga., April 28 - Sam Holt, the Negro murderer of Alfred Cranford and
the assailant of Cranford’s wife, was burned at the stake one mile and a
quarter from this place this afternoon at 2:30 o’clock.

Fully 2,000 people surrounded the small sapling to which he was fastened and
watched the flames eat away his flesh, saw his body mutilated by knives and
witnessed the contortions of his body in his extreme agony.

Two counties, Campbell and Coweta, directly interested in the crimes of the
Negro, and the entire state have waited with impatience for the moment when the
Negro should pay the penalty for his fiendish deeds.

Such suffering has seldom been witnessed, and through it all the Negro uttered
hardly a cry. During the contortions of his body, several blood vessels busted.

The spot selected was an ideal one for such an affair and the stake was in full
view of those who stood about and with unfeigning satisfaction saw the Negro
meet his death and saw him tortured before the flames killed him.

For sickening sights, harrowing details and bloodcurdling incidents, the
burning of Holt is unsurpassed by any occurrence of a like kind ever heard of
in the history of this state.

A few smoldering ashes scattered about the place, a blackened stake are all
that is left to tell the story. Not even the bones of the Negro were left in
peace, but were eagerly snatched by a crowd of people drawn here from all
directions, who almost fought over the burning body of the man, carving it with
their knives and seeking souvenirs of the occurrence.

Self confessed and almost defiant, without a plea for mercy and no expectation
of it, Holt went to the stake with as much courage as any one could possibly
have possessed on such an occasion, and the only murmur that issued from his
lips was when angry knives plunged into his flesh and his life’s blood sizzled
in the fire before his eyes.

Then he cried, “Oh my God! – it could hardly be called a mob, so orderly was
its action – has made no mistake. The man was identified by a dozen people.
He admitted his guilt and told of the murder. He confessed that he had
murdered Cranford and said the deed was done with the expectation of obtaining
a reward of $20 from Lige Strickland.

He confessed while being brought here, confessed when confronted by Mrs.
McElroy, the heartbroken mother of Mrs. Cranford, and confessed when he was
taken from the fire and asked to tell the truth about the crime. He told the
details, always implicating Lige Strickland.

Although Hold was turned over to the sheriff and placed in the jail here, his
fate was sealed from the moment his captors put in an appearance with him.

The remonstrance of ex-Governor W. Y. Atkinson and Judge A. D. Freeman, two of
the most prominent citizens of this county, were of no avail. The crowd was
quiet until these two gentleman addressed it and begged them in the name of law
and order, to depart to their homes and let the majesty of the law take its

These two men, who are always listened to with respect, even when their hearers
disagree with them, were hooted down.

The awful crime of the murderer and assailant was fresh in the minds of these
people. The agony of the living victim of his criminality and the walls of a
broken hearten mother were fresh in their ears. There was nothing that could
have stopped them, there was few who desired to stop them.

J. B. and J. L. Jones, the captors of Sam Holt, won the admiration of the
entire county when the news that the Negro had been captured by them reached
this place, and the fact that the reward money they will receive is to given to
the widow of Alfred Cranford has won for them still further praise and

One of the strangest features of the entire affair is the part played in the
execution by a northern man. This man, whose name would not be divulged by
those who knew him, announced that he was from the north, while he calmly
saturated Holt’s clothing with kerosene oil. The crimes of the Negro had
wrought him to a high pitch and while he doubted if his act would be approved
by his friends in the north, he seemed to take great delight in seeing the
Negro meet his well earned death, and along with the thousands of others stood
and watched the proceedings.

The intention and desire of those who had the Negro in charge was to burn him
at the home of Mrs. Cranford, and the people of Palmetto, when they learned of
the capture, made elaborate preparation for the execution, but they were
disappointed, and those who came here from that place this afternoon to view
the scene of the burning seemed to almost resent what had been done, although
feeling elated that the wrath of the people had been vented on the Negro.

Mrs. Cranford was not permitted to see the Negro, although she is here, and it
was suggested that he be brought before her. She is ill, and it has been
feared her brain is deranged. It was thought the shock would be too great for
her, and the crowd was satisfied with the positive identification by Mrs.
McElroy and a number of others.

No identification was necessary, but the crowd was cool and went about its work
carefully and almost with a system.

Masks played no part in this lynching. There was no secrecy; no effort to
prevent any one seeing who lighted the fire, who cut off the ears or who took
the lead. The whole male community seemed to be a unit, and while the majority
of those present knew each other, it is doubtful if a man can be found who will
say he saw any one he knew.

Many told that they were present, and told the late comers of the execution.
These were always the center of a large group, and made no effort to hid the
fact that they were present.



“About 11 o’clock this morning I was advised that Hold had been captured and
was in Griffin, and would be carried at once from there to Newnan. I
immediately called up Newnan by telephone and asked for the sheriff. The
operator said he would send for him, and did so; but after a delay of fifteen
or twenty minutes he informed me that the sheriff had gone out in the country,
and he could not tell when he would be back. In order to exhaust every means I
then sent a telegram to the sheriff, directing him not to receive the prisoner,
who had not yet reached Newnan, and did not reach there till 2 o’clock,
anywhere except at the jail in Newnan. I did this because I feared that
because of the large rewards offered the parties having him in charge might
deliver him to the sheriff out of town, or before they reached town, thus
giving the mob an opportunity to lynch him, and still claim the wards. If
delivered at the jail I presumed the sheriff would at once lock him up and then
receipt for him.

I heard no more from either Newnan, Griffin or Palmetto until 3 o’clock, when
the sheriff of Coweta county called me up by telephone and said he had received
my telegram; that Hold had been delivered to him at the jail in Newnan, and
receipted for him, but that after he had receipted for him and before he had
locked him up, the mob, consisting of 500 or 1,000 men, took him in a hack and
went off in the direction of Palmetto. In reply to my inquiry the sheriff said
he did not know a single man in the crowd. I directed him to summon a posse
and follow the crowd and, if possible, prevent violence. He replied that he
had done all he could do, and that Governor Atkinson and Judge Freeman and
others had aided him and made speeches to the mob, trying to persuade them to
let the law take its course, but that the infuriated crowd hooted at them and
howled them down. Thirty minutes later I heard from The Constitution office
that Holt had been burned. I again called up the sheriff, who informed that it
was true; that he had done all in his power to prevent it, without avail. The
whole thing is deplorable and Holt’s crime, the horrid details of which have
not been published and are too horrible for publication is the most diabolical
in the annals of crime. The Negroes of that community lost the best
opportunity they will ever have to elevate themselves in the estimation of
their white neighbors. The diabolical nature of the double crime was well
known to every one of them; the perpetrator was well known, and they owed it to
their race to exhaust every means to bringing Holt to justice. This courage
would have done more to elevate them to the estimation of good people and to
protect their race against the mob than all the rewards at proclamations of all
the governors for the next fifty years. But they lost the opportunity, and it
is a deplorable fact that while scores of intelligent Negroes, leaders of the
race, have talked to me about the Palmetto lynching, not one of them has ever,
in the remotest way, allowed to either the burning of Palmetto which provoked
the lynching, nor to the diabolical crime of Holt. I do not believe these men
sympathized withhold or the Palmetto incendiaries, but they are blinded by
race, prejudice, and can see but one side of the question. This is
unfortunate. They must learn to look at both sides. I want to protect them in
every legal right and against more violence, and I stand ready to employ every
resource of the state in doing so; but they must realize that in order to merit
and receive the protection of the community, they must show a willingness to at
least aid in protecting the community against the lawless element of their own
ace. The good and law-abiding Negroes must separate themselves from the
lawless and criminal element. They must denounce crime and aid in bringing
criminals to justice, whether they be black or white. In this way they can do
more to protect themselves than all the courts and juries in the state can do
for them. To secure protection against lawless whites, they must show a
disposition to protect the white people against lawless blacks.

Allen D. Candler, Governor – Atlanta, Ga., - April 23, 1899



Newnan, Ga. May 5 - At the regular monthly meeting of the minister of the
African Methodist Episcopal church on Thursday night, May 4, 1899, the
following resolutions were passed.

We condone no crime, neither do we wish to shield criminals from any crime for
which they deserve punishment.

We have no toleration for criminals who commit crime and are heaping disgrace
upon our race.

We denounce, in the very strongest terms, those creatures of our race who are
so depraved in their nature and become so reckless as to invade the sanctity of
the home and destroy the priceless virtue of woman.

We believe the gospel of the Son of God and the teachings of the sacred
scriptures by His servants will do more to check lawlessness and crime than all
other agencies; therefore, be it….

Resolved, That we increase our efforts, organize our forces and put in motion
all the machinery of our faculties of mind and heart to bring under subjection
every wicked and evil influence, that the white winged dove of peace may hover
over us.

Be it further resolved, that we give more attention to the training of the
young in the school, in the in the home, as well as in the church, and that we
teach more on the line of industrial and moral training of our people.

Be it further resolved, That we call upon our ministry and teachers to lay
aside our petty jealousies of church and race and let us link our efforts with
those of the white race to hold up the majesty of the law, to increase industry
and commerce of the country, that peace and prosperity may abound in its

Rev. H. H. Holloway, President - Rev. John Harmon, Secretary.

Jackson Argus – Butts County
Week of May 12, 1899

Transcribed by Don Bankston  September 10, 2007

Jackson Argus September 1, 1899
Mrs. Monroe Farley of Spalding County was alone in her room Wednesday night
about 7:30 o’clock sewing on her machine, when a Negro slipped up behind her,
grabbed her, by the shoulders and blew out the lamp. The Negro attempted to
smother Mrs. Farley, but in this he was unsuccessful and she screamed for
help. Mr. Hammond, her brother in law, was in the house, and securing his
pistol ran into Mrs. Farley’s room to see what the trouble was. He reached
the door just in time to hear the door close as the negro made his escape and
no one in the house saw him sufficiently to recognize him.

Jackson Argus – Butts County
Week of September 1, 1899
Transcribed by Don Bankston  October 11, 2007

The Weekly Constitution, Atlanta, Ga. March 30, 1903
Woman Killed Before Family March 30, 1903

Orchard Hill, Ga., March 28--Mary Dewberry was run over by the fast train here
this evening about 6:30 and was mashed to death. At first it was thought the
killing was accidental, but now there is a supposition that it may have been
premeditated on her part. She was working in a field and started over the
track toward her home in front of the train. While in the middle of the track
she appeared to hesitate a second and was quickly under the wheels. Members of
her family say the woman had been despondent for some time and that she has
frequently attempted to commit suicide. An inquest will be held tomorrow

Transcribed by Linda Blum-Barton, March 2006

The Macon Telegraph September 11, 1903

Views The Grave Where He Was Supposed To Have Been Buried Seven Years Ago

Identified By Old Residents Though He Had Been Absent Thirty Years

A Life Crowded With Adventure

Griffin, Ga., Sept. 10. - Griffin was treated to a sensation today. Jack Reid, at one time handsome, debonair and the possessor of a large fortune, came back to view the grave he was buried in about seven years ago. The history of this wanderer would fill a folio, for it passes knowledge to even keep up with his escapades and adventures for the past thirty years. He was born near Griffin in 1839, his parents being John and Sarah Reid of Pike county. As a young man he inherited a splendid fortune, which he immediately blew in the swagger fashion of the times. Drink, hard luck and everything drove Jack from his associations and he fell from the prestige of his family by marrying a lady who was probably the truest friend that he has ever had. When he arrived here he walked into the bar of Reid & Gordon and called for Mr. Reid. When confronted by that gentleman for the first time, Mr. Jim Reid said: "I don't know who you are, but I'm talking to a Reid."  "You are," was the reply, "and I am Jack Reid, that for the past thirty years has been living in South America and Mexico and who was reported dead in a Texas jail."

When Mr. Reid recovered his breath he sent out for all of the oldest inhabitants to identify the missing dead - alive man, and without hardly an exception he proved himself to be the man.  When all had come in and a crowd was around the veteran, Henry Reid, a negro blacksmith, was sent for to identify the stranger. One glance was sufficient and the negro said, with outstretched hand, "Howdy do, Marse Jack."  "Why, Henry, you --- --- scoundrel, I haven't seen you since I sold you in Mobile for $300 to raise money and you ran away and came back the next day."  "You! you! dat sho' is Marse Jack." and the ex-slave and master indulged in reminiscences for a number of minutes for the benefit of the crowd.

Jack Reid is supposed to have been buried in the Citizen's cemetery here about 1896 [?], having been taken from a Texas jail. He explained that by saying that his partner died and he allowed him to be buried as Jack Reid. In the meantime he has been in hard luck, and yet he shows the traces of a gentleman.

[Transcribed 8/30/2007 Lynn Cunningham]

Additional Comments:

At Oak Hill Cemetery, Spalding County, Georgia (buried with his parents)

John Brewer Reid, Jr., b. 29 July 1844, d. 19 Jan 1879

Jack Reid's mother was Sarah Freeman Blanton Reid. Her will leaves a clue as

to the "splendid fortune" left to her son:

Abstracts of Will Book A (1852-1880)

Spalding County, Georgia

Sarah F. Reid

Written 12 Oct 1860

Probated 5 Oct 1861

Pg 69

Husband: Not named.

Children: Mary E. Reid, John B. Reid

Neice: Elizabeth M. Winship, daughter of Elizabeth Sallie Reid Winship Mary E. Reid to receive a separate bequest of money from $10,000.00 railroad stock as a portion of her share in her father's estate. Balance of estate divided equally between Mary E. Reid and John B. Reid. Niece received a negro girl, Julia (about 5 years old), during her life time and at the death of Elizabeth said negro will go to Sallie Reid Winship.

Extr: William M. Blanton

Wit: Thomas G. Hunt, Richard W. Williams, Sarah F (?)

Transcribed by Lynn B. Cunningham

August 30, 2007

The Atlanta Constitution September 5, 1915
Georgia Federation of Women's Clubs September 5, 1915

State Editor: Mrs. Harvie Jordan, Monticello, Ga.
Directors for Life:
Mrs. J. Lindsay Johnson, Rome
Mrs. James Jackson, Atlanta
Mrs. A. O. Granger, Cartersville
Mrs. M. A. Lipscomb, Athens
Mrs. Hugh Willet, Atlanta
Mrs. J. K. Ottley, Atlanta
Mrs. H. H. Tift, Tifton
Mrs. Nellie Peters Black, Atlanta
Mrs. Eugene B. Heard, Middleton
Mrs. E. G. M'Cabe, Atlanta

President - Mrs. Z. I. Fitzpatrick, Thomasville
Vice President - Mrs. J. E. Hays, Montezuma
Second Vice President - Mrs. W. L. Davis, Albany
Recording Secretary - Mrs. Howard McCall, Atlanta
Corresponding Secretary - Mrs. H. H. Merry, Pelham
Treasurer - Mrs. Trox Bankston, West Point.
???tor - Mrs. W. L. Hines, Calhoun.
???al Federation Secretary - Mrs. Robert Daniel, Griffin
Parlimentarian - Miss Rosa Woodberry, Atlanta.

President of Districts.
First District - Miss Eugenia Johnson, Savannah, Ga.
Second District - Mrs. W. C. Holt, Albany
Third District - Mrs. Jere Moore, Montezuma
Fourth District - Mrs. Neal Kitchens, Bullochville
Fifth District - Mrs. W. H. S. Hamilton, Decatur
Sixth District - Mrs. Bruce Jones, Macon
Seventh District - Mrs. S. S. Evans, Cedartown
Eighth District - Mrs. S. B. Yow, Lavonia
Ninth District - Mrs. J. H. Downey, Gainesville
Tenth District - Mrs. A. H. Brenner, Augusta
Eleventh District - Mrs. Jeff Davis, Quitman
Twelfth District - Mrs. F. N. Watkins, Dublin
Transcribed by Linda Blum-Barton - Feb 2006

The Atlanta Constitution September 5, 1915

Salvation Army Laying Its Plans For Winter Work September 5, 1915

Brigadier A. W. Crawford, of the southeastern division Salvation Army, and his
corps of workers are making extensive plans for the fall and winter campaign of
that organization in Atlanta and vicinity. Formal opening of this campaign
will take place on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, September 11, 12 and 13, when
special meetings will be held in the nature of rallies and business meetings.

Brigadier Crawford, who has been at work in the northern part of the division,
will return to Atlanta in time to take charge of the meetings, and will be
assisted by Captain and Mrs. J. W. Gordon, in charge of the Atlanta work; by
Captain Nicholls, by Envoy Ballenger, of Griffin. All of the division and
local Atlanta officers will also participate.

On Saturday night, September 11, the public meetings will begin with a
Salvation Army "musical blizzard," which will take place in the hall at 97
Marietta Street. A brilliant and unique instrumental and vocal program will be
rendered. On Sunday, September 12, there will be indoor and outdoor services
morning and night.

A soldiers' conference will be held on Monday evening, when the plan of
campaign for the approaching season in Atlanta will be mapped out by the
officers, new recruits and converts.
Transcribed by Linda Blum-Barton - Feb 2006

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