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Political Reconstruction
By Richard Irby
About North Georgia


I am afraid the Reconstruction of Georgia by the Yankee invaders required more time than the barely two years reported by some. In fact, Georgia was reconstructed three times before the Yankees tired of the game and left the job unfinished. The accompanying Chronology portrays the sequence of events.

I do not consider Reconstruction over until 1952 when the ICC removed the punitive discriminatory freight rates from Georgia commerce. Following the War of Yankee Aggression the railroads, with the connivance of the Benevolent Federal Government, divided the continent into five freight rate territories.

The Official Territory, which consisted of the Yankee states east of the Mississippi, enjoyed the lowest freight rates for manufactured goods and the Southern Territory, which consisted of the Old Confederacy, including Kentucky which was being punished for declaring neutrality, enjoyed the highest freight rates for manufactured goods.

The railroads contended that manufactured goods originating in the South were very expensive to transport but that raw materials destined for Yankee factories were not as difficult to transport. Yankee manufacturers could ship goods from New York to Athens, Georgia cheaper that a
manufacturer in Atlanta could ship the same goods to Athens.

The U.S. Supreme Court held that the rate structure was in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act but the government and the ICC ruled that price fixing was allowable as long as it was voluntary.

Georgia led by Ellis Arnall entered the fray alone. We did not have the support of a single southern state much less a non southern state. The other southern states were so used to being raped by the United States that they not only did not protest but kissed the hands of their northern masters as they were being lashed. The other southern states actively opposed equalization of freight rates, Congressman Bulwinkle of, that freedom loving state, North Carolina actually introduced legislation to exempt railroads from antitrust laws.

Georgia carried the day and the rates were equalized in 1952. Check the record to determine when industry began coming south. Georgia remains and always will remain Unreconstructed.

First Reconstruction

June 17, 1865 James Johnson appointed Provisional Governor by President Johnson

June 29, 1865 Governor Joe Brown resigns..

November, 1865 Legislature and other officials elected.

December 9, 1865 Legislature ratifies 13th amendment.

December 14, 1865 Charles J. Jenkins, governor.

April 30, 1866 Joint Committee sends 14th amendment to Congress.

June 8, 1866 Congress passes 14th amendment.

November, 1866 Georgia rejects 14th amendment.

Second Reconstruction

March 2, 1867 Georgia placed under the 3rd Military district by the
Reconstruction Act of March 2, 1867.

March 30, 1867 General John Pope arrives in Georgia to take command of the
3rd military district.

May, 1867 General Pope closes the University of Georgia.

August 5, 1867 President Johnson fires Secretary of War Edwin Stanton.

December 9, 1867 Constitutional Convention meets in Atlanta. 169 total
delegates. 37 Negro delegates.

January 1, 1868 General Meade succeeds General Pope.

January 13, 1868 Brig. Gen. Thomas H. Ruger, Military Governor.

JANUARY 30, 1868 General George Meade removes Governor Jenkins from office.
Jenkins takes $400,000 in State money, deposits it in a New York bank, hides the State Seal and flees to Nova Scotia.

March 11, 1868 Constitutional Convention adjourns.

March 13, 1868 President Johnson impeached. Acquitted by one vote on May 26.

April 20-24/21-23, 1868 Voting on new constitution.

May 11, 1868 First convicts leased in Georgia. General Thomas Ruger USA,
Provisional Governor of Georgia, leases 100 able-bodied and healthy Negro
convicts to William A. Fort.

July 3, 1868 Second group of 100 convicts leased to William A. Fort and
Joseph J. Printup.

July 4, 1868 New legislature meets.

July 4, 1868 Rufus B. Bullock, Provisional Governor.

July 13, 1868 General Thomas Kruger appointed military governor of
Georgia. Last governor to live in Milledgeville.

July 21, 1868 Georgia ratifies the 14th amendment at the point of United
States bayonets.

July 22, 1868 Rufus B. Bullock, governor.

July 25, 1868 Congress approves Georgia's readmission to the United States
but adjourns before Georgia's Senators could be seated.

September, 1868 Legislature expels 28 Negro members. Four are so light
skinned that it is not possible to determine if they meet the 1/8
requirement and they are left alone.

1868 Georgia's Representatives seated in congress.

March 10-18, 1869 legislature rejects 14th amendment

March, 1869 Georgia's Representatives barred from their seats in congress.
Georgia's Senators were never seated.

June 28, 1869 Rufus B. Bullock leases Grant, Alexander and Co. all
convicts in the Georgia penitentiary for two years.

November 24, 1869 Bullock and others meet to plot for the reoccupation
of Georgia by foreign forces.

Third Reconstruction

December, 1869 United States Army reoccupies Georgia. General Alfred H. Terry military governor.
January, 1870 Terry's Purge. Negroes returned to legislature and 29 whites

February, 1870 Fifteenth amendment ratified at point of Terry's bayonets.

July 15, 1870 Georgia readmitted to the United States.

October, 1870 Bullock secretly resigns and flees Georgia.

February, 1871 Georgia represented in both houses of congress.

October 30, 1871 Benjamin Conley, President of Senate and acting governor.

November 1, 1871 Democrat controlled legislature takes office.

December 14, 1871 Governor authorized to farm convicts out for not less
than one year or more than two years. The lease to Grant, Alexander and Co.
which had expired on June 28, 1871 is extended until April 1, 1871.

December, 1871 Special election called to replace Bullock.

January 12, 1872 James M. Smith, inaugurated as governor.
Governor Jenkins returns to Georgia with the Seal of State.

1872 United States forces evacuate Georgia. Georgia was the last State
readmitted to the United States.

From the beginning of the first Reconstruction on June 17, 1865, to January 12, 1872, was six years and two hundred and nine days of hostile foreign bayonet rule.

From the removal of Jenkins on January 30, 1868 to the inauguration of Smith on January 12. 1872 was four years lacking eighteen days of hostile foreign bayonet rule.

Georgia did not frame a home rule constitution until 1877 when the danger of hostile occupation by United States forces was past.

1952 Punitive discriminatory freight rates repealed

This explains, in part, the slow industrialization of the South.

Interesting trivia concerning Rufus Bullock.

Bullock was arrested, returned to Georgia, tried and acquitted.

Bullock reportedly stamped the dust of Georgia from his feet once safely over the state line and vowed never to return.

This created a problem in the 1970's. Some group or other determined to locate all governors graves.

Bullock was buried in New York and a national hubbub occurred when the group demanded Bullock's return to Georgia. The clamor grew so loud that Governor Rockefeller threatened to dig old Rufus up with his own hands and drag him back to Georgia.

A person willing to claim kinship with Rufus was located and a
court ordered Rufus transported to Georgia. The court did spent much time
examining the plaintiffs credentials.

Richard E. Irby

Reconstruction in North Georgia

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