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Influential people in the development of today's North Georgia
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From the editors of
About North Georgia

For about two weeks in June, 1997 the editors of Welcome to North Georgia talked, e-mailed and faxed each other with ideas on who the most important people were in the development of our north Georgia. The final pick was not easy. We had come up with more than 50 possibilities. The one requirement was that they were no longer living. Here is our list.

Major Ridge
Major Ridge
A Cherokee chief and founder of the "Cherokee Triumvirate", he led his people on the path to acculturation after the Revolt of the Young Chiefs, influencing the tribal Council to reject Tecumseh's call for war. Later Ridge, his son John, Elias Boudinot and Stand Watie led less than 500 Cherokee known as the Ridgites and signed a treaty in 1835 calling for the removal of 17,000 Cherokee in north Georgia. Although it was known that they did not speak for the Cherokee tribe, Andrew Jackson forced the treaty through the Senate. Ridge and others were murdered for their betrayal.

Arthur Woody
This Union County native fought for the creation of the Georgia National Forest (Chattahoochee National Forest). He advocated the introduction of non-native species favored by sportsmen and restocked the north Georgia mountains with deer.

State of Georgia attributes first discovery of gold to Logan
Courtesy The Logan Letter
Frank Logan
The man who "discovered" gold in Duke's Creek just south of the Chattahoochee River in White County, precipitating the Georgia Gold Rush in the Cherokee Nation. Later, he ran the Logan Turnpike, a toll road through Testnatee Gap which allowed growth in many North Georgia markets after the Civil War. Among the many travelers he called friend were John C. Calhoun, vice-president of the United States and naturalist and writer John Muir.

Martha_Berry">Martha Berry

Born in Floyd County, Ms. Berry was tireless in her efforts to educate the children and young adults of our home. Her efforts eventually led to the establishment of Berry College in Rome, Ga.

Joseph_E._Brown">Joseph E. Brown

Growing up in Union County, he was elected Governor of the state in 1857. His secessionist leanings helped sway the state to vote in favor of leaving the Union. In 1861 he personally removed the Union flag flying in Pickens County. William Tecumseh Sherman destroyed the town of Canton in Cherokee County because Brown practiced law there. In disfavor after the war, Brown returned to power in the late 1870's, becoming a member of what is commonly referred to as the Bourbon Triumvirate. As president of the Western and Atlantic Railroad he was a major figure in the dramatic post-war growth of North Georgia.

Wilson Lumpkin

As governor of Georgia, he oversaw the Land Lottery of 1832, which eventually led to the removal of the Cherokee in the Cherokee Trail of Tears. Later, as president of the Western and Atlantic, he oversaw North Georgia's growth after the immense Panic of 1837. Marthasville, now known as Atlanta, was named for his daughter twice (Martha Atalanta Lumpkin)

Dwight David Eisenhower

President Eisenhower

Nancy Hart ("Warwoman")

This woman was one of the earliest settlers of the area. One story about her details a meeting with a group of British soldiers (probably 6) whom she dispatched. First written about in the 1840's, was generally labeled as myth until 1908, when 6 skeletons, probably British, were found while rerouting a rail line near a piece of property that Hart once owned. Scarred from smallpox and cross-eyed, she was in the vanguard of white settlers who entered the area before the Revolutionary War.

Rebecca Lattimer Felton

Ms. Felton's stint as the first female senator is widely recognized, but her achievements far exceed this one event. A fervent womanist in a decidedly anti-woman society she pioneered the concept of women's rights in Georgia. As publisher of the Cartersville Free Press and a reporter for the Atlanta Constitution, traditionally men's jobs, she turned the conservative society on it's ear.

Robert Tyre(R.T.) Jones

Jones moved to Cherokee County in 1879, just before the railroad came through. Over the next 50 years his general store grew to be the largest in North Georgia. He took an activist approach to solving many of the region's problems, including ending the crop-lien system.

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Major Ridge
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