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in regard to the matter in question, Mr. Clark says: “Dr. Goulding must have been a moderately busy man, for in addition to his ministerial and literary labors, he devoted a portion of his time to mechanics. In the early forties his hand and brain evolved a sewing-machine, which is claimed to have been the first invention of its kind operated on Amer an soil. The practically universal use into which such machines have grown and the princely incomes secured by Howe and Wilson and Singer and others, from similar inventions, have led me to investigate the reasons why he failed to profit financially by his mechanical genius. Since I began this story the following variant accounts have been received:
“First, the inventor's trip to Washington, D. C., in the interest of his patent, was delayed by flooded streams, and a rival claiming the same mechanical principle, in this way, reached the patent office in advance of him.
“Second, on the aforesaid trip, the stage was overturned, and, in the confusion incident thereto, the model was stolen and never recovered.
“Third, the model dropped from the buggy into a deep stream as he crossed it and was never found.
“Fourth, he failed to locate the eye or opening of the needle used, near its point, and, for this reason, the machine was never a success.
"I have been told also that Howe, during a visit to Augusta, was allowed by his friend to inspect the working of the model; that he saw the defects, applied the remedy, appropriated the motive mechanism, and secured a patent, which bountifully filled his coffers.
“The needle theory named above was given to me by my old friend, Mr. John H. Jones, whose memory, although he has passed his four-score years, is as retentive as a tar-bucket. It is also confirmed by my friend, Mrs. C. A. Rowland; and since they were both personal friends of Mr. Goulding, from the lips of whom they received the story, it is evidently the correct version of his failure to utilize his invention. After leaving Bath in 1853, Dr. Goulding lived for a time at Darien, Ga., but spent his last years at Roswell, Ga., where he died in 1881.” To the foregoing statement, Mr. Clark afterwards added this paragraph: “Since writing the above I have learned through a lady friend that Mrs. Mary Helmer, of Macon, Ga., daughter of Dr. Goulding, has in her possession beautiful samples of the handiwork of this machine, showing conclusively that there was no defect in construction, and it must have been at last his kind consideration for the interest of the gentler sex that held his genius in abeyance."
Miss Rutherford, of Athens, an educator of wide note, whose writings upon historical topics show thorough research, gives us the following piece of information: "In 1842, while in Eatonton, Ga., Dr. Goulding conceived the idea of the sewing machine, and to this Georgian is due the first practical sewing machine ever known. During 1845, the year before Howe's patent was issued, or Thirmonnier had obtained his, Goulding's sewing machine was in use. He said in his journal: 'Having satisfied myself about this machine, I laid it aside that I might attend to other and weightier duties.' Thus it happened that no patent was applied for." Dr. James Stacy, the historian of the Midway settlement, from which parental source Doctor Goulding sprang, is another witness to the latter's invention. He says that while visiting at Bath in the summer of 1848 he saw the remains of an old machine in Doctor Goulding's home; and in the opinion of this commentator the great author is undoubtedly entitled to the honor which the world has accorded to Elias Howe.
THE WHIG PARTY BECOMES A POWER IN GEORGIA-SENATOR BERRIEN ITS
RECOGNIZED LEADER-ON JANUARY 19, 1843, A STATE CONVENTION IS HELD AT MILLEDGEVILLE-GEORGE W. CRAWFORD IS NOMINATED FOR GOVERNOR-OPPOSED BY MARK A. COOPER, THE DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE—BUT MR. CRAWFORD WINS—THE LEGISLATURE OF 1843 DIVIDES THE STATE INTO FORTY-SEVEN SENATORIAL DISTRICTS—REASONS FOR THIS RADICAL CHANGE—THE SENATE Too LARGE A BODYITS CONSERVATISM IMPAIRED—MEMBERSHIP IN THE HOUSE IS ALSO REDUCED—TO DETERMINE A COUNTY'S REPRESENTATION, ALL FREE WHITES ARE COUNTED AND THREE-FIFTHS OF THE SLAVES—WALTER T. COLQUITT SUCCEEDS ALFRED CUTHBERT AS UNITED STATES SENATOR -THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN OF 1844—THE ADMISSION OF TEXAS A BURNING ISSUE—MR. CLAY, NOMINATED BY THE WHIGS ON A PLATFORM ANTAGONISTIC TO TEXAS, LOSES A STRONG SUPPORT IN THE SOUTII—POLK IS ELECTED—GOVERNOR CRAWFORD IS GIVEN A SECOND TERM—THE SUPREME COURT OF GEORGIA IS CREATED IN 1845— JOSEPH HENRY LUMPKIN—EUGENIUS A. NISBET-HIRAM WARNERTHE GREAT TRIUMVIRATE-WHY SUCH A COURT WAS NOT CREATED EARLIER-IIISTORY
MOVEMENT LOOKING TOWARD ITS CREATION.
At this period of the state's history, the old whig party was its most powerful political organization. On January 19, 1843, at Milledgeville, this party held its first state convention. United States Senator John MacPherson Berrien, the recognized leader of the whig party in Georgia, was elected chairman. This body elected ten delegates to attend a national convention of the whig party in Baltimore in 1844, with instructions to support Henry Clay for President. At the same time, George W. Crawford, then a member of Congress, was nominated for governor on a whig ticket.
To oppose Mr. Crawford, the democrats nominated Mark A. Cooper, but in the fall election Mr. Crawford won. The Legislature of 1843 produced one of the most radical changes in the history of the state government. Since 1789 each county in Georgia had constituted a separate senatorial district and was entitled to one state senator; but as the result of this system of representation the Senate had become a second House. To restore the conservatism of this higher body, it was necessary to reduce its membership. Consequently an amendment to the state constitution, having passed two legislatures * dividing the state into forty-seven
* December 27, 1842, and December 5, 1843, see House and Senate Journals for
senatorial districts, was finally ratified, and became a part of the fundamental law of Georgia.
Each of these newly created districts, with the exception of the first, was to be composed of two contiguous counties; but the County of Chatham, on account of its population and importance, was to constitute a separate district within itself. In 1853, this constitutional amendment was repealed; but from 1845 to 1853, it remained in operation during which time the state was divided into forty-seven senatorial districts.
Under an act approved December 27, 1843, membership in the House was likewise reduced. Each county was to have at least one representative and no county was to be allowed more than two; and there were thirty-seven counties, each of which, under the provisions of this act, were entitled to two representatives.* All of the other counties were allotted one member each.
In fixing a county's status, all free white persons were counted and three-fifths of the slaves. Members of the General Assembly were to be elected biennially on the first Monday in October. Future sessions of the Legislature were also to be held biennially on the first Monday in November for each alternate year beginning on the first Monday in November, 1845.
Alfred Cuthbert's term as United States senator having expired on March 3, 1843, Judge Walter T. Colquitt, of Columbus, was elected to succeed him in this high forum.
Financial conditions began to improve somewhat during Governor Crawford's administration and taxes were raised sufficient to pay some of the state's outstanding indebtedness.
Georgia's electoral support was given in 1844 to James K. Polk, of Tennessee, for President. Under normal conditions, Georgia was a Whig state, but she favored the annexation of Texas to the United States; and, on a platform favoring annexation, Mr. Polk had been nominated by the democrats. Texas, having achieved her independence of Mexico, she desired to become a state in the American Union, since most of her pioneer settlers were from the states. Accordingly she applied for admission in 1837, soon after her independence was achieved.
But action was delayed. There was great opposition, especially at the North, to the admission of Texas. All of the territory of this proposed state lay south of Missouri, and its admission therefore meant the addition of a vast empire to the domain of slavery in the United States. Finally, however, in the campaign of 1844, the annexation of Texas became a dominant issue, the democrats espousing while the whigs opposed the creation of a new state out of this imperial area to the Southwest. Had Mr. Clay, the candidate of the whigs, not been nominated on a platform antagonistic to the annexation of Mexico, he would undoubtedly have received Georgia's support and might possibly have won the election. As it was, Mr. Polk carried Georgia by a decisive majority and became the next President.
Georgia cast only ten electoral votes in 1844, due to the reduction of which we have already spoken. Her electors at this time were: from the state at large, Charles J. McDonald and Alfred Iverson; district electors, B. Graves, H. V. Johnson, R. M. Charlton, Charles Murphey, Wm. F. Sanford, George W. Towns, Wm. B. Wofford and Eli H. Baxter.
* Acts 1843, p. 17.
On March 1, 1845, three days before Mr. Polk's inauguration, Texas was admitted by a resolution of Congress. Troops were at once dispatched to the Rio Grande to protect the exposed frontier; and there followed a bloody sequel since known as the Mexican war.
Meanwhile, Governor Crawford, in the fall of 1845, was re-elected Georgia's chief executive, defeating the democratic candidate, Matthew H. McAllister, of Savannah. Mr. McAllister was one of the recognized leaders of the Georgia bar, but keenly feeling the disappointment of his defeat, he soon afterwards left Georgia for the Pacific coast, where he eventually became a judge of the Federal Court in the State of California.
Forty-seven years had elapsed since the adoption of Georgia's State Constitution of 1798, but the state still lacked a court of last resort for the correction of errors in its administration of justice. The Superior Court judges had met at stated times for the purpose of discussing controverted law points, especially those of a constitutional nature; but this method of review was ill-adapted to the state's growth in population and to its rapidly increasing number of judicatories. Litigation was constantly on the increase; issues calling for the most careful consideration were constantly multiplying; variations between judges existed, despite all efforts to prevent them, sometimes on questions of the most vital importance; and to insure respect for law it was essential that judicial decisions should not be at variance. Perhaps one reason why Georgia had moved slowly in creating a Supreme Court was due to the hostility which this name inspires in the popular mind, as the result of unpleasant dealings with the Supreme Court of the United States, beginning with the celebrated case of Chisholm versus Georgia.
But the need of a Supreme Court had become imperative. Governor Charles J. McDonald, in 1841, strongly recommended its creation, calling attention to the fact that the constitution had been amended for this purpose but that nothing had been done to put the amendment into effect. Said he: # "The attention of the General Assembly has been frequently called to the amended Constitution, authorizing the establishment of a Supreme Court for the correction of errors. I again recommend it to your consideration. When it is considered that the principal object of government is the attainment of justice, it is a matter of surprise that we should rest quietly under the imperfection of our system of jurisprudence, in which there is neither security nor certainty. The decisions of the circuit judge are final and irreversible except at his will. His power, in cases involving the life, property and liberty of the citizen, is absolute and appalling; and but that we have been so long accustomed to its exercise by a single individual, it would not be tolerated for a day. It has been said, by those opposed to this reform in our judiciary, that if one judge errs, three may err. This is true; but it is also true that three are not so likely to err as one, especially when those three are surrounded by circumstances better adapted to full, calm, and thorough investigation.
The great utility of such a tribunal strongly
* H-J, 1841, p. 18.
recommends its adoption. It will produce uniformity of judicial determinations; by the settlement of legal principles, it will diminish litigation; and from the published reports of its decisions, an opportunity will be afforded every man to understand the authoritative interpretation of the laws."
Further back still, John Forsyth in 1828 portrayed in the most emphatic language, some of the inherent defects of the system. Said he: “Under the present arrangement of eight Superior Court Judges, each confined to the circuit for which he was elected, supreme in his authority, not bound by the decisions of his predecesors or contemporaries and not always by his own, there can be neither uniformity nor certainty in the laws. The confusion producing contradictory decisions every day increases; property is held and recovered in one part of the state and lost in another under the same circumstances; rights are asserted and maintained in one circuit and denied in another, in analogous cases.” But finally, on December 10, 1845, an act was approved putting the constitutional amendment into effect and creating the Supreme Court of Georgia. Its membership was to consist of three judges one elected for six, one for four, and one for two years, all subsequent terms to be six years each. The Legislature of 1845 elected to preside over this tribunal: Joseph . Henry Lumpkin, of Athens; Eugenius A. Nisbet, of Macon; and Hiram Warner, of Greenville. Nor, in the sphere of things judicial, has Georgia ever been served by three abler or purer public servants. So distinctly marked was the individuality of each that not one of the three could be put above the rest, while at the same time there were separate and peculiar aspects in which each was superior to the others.
Judge Lumpkin was the orator of the bench. In the magical modulations of his voice, the magnetic charm of his person and the vivid powers of his imagination, Judge Lumpkin has ever been surpassed in Georgia. At the present time there is little scope for the exercise of such gifts upon the bench, but during the migratory days of the court when it moved from circuit to circuit and people crowded the court-room to hear the decisions orally rendered there was abundant opportunity for judicial eloquence. Judge Lumpkin was on the bench longer than any of his associates and was for this reason the chief factor in developing the Supreme Court of Georgia.
Next to Judge Lumpkin in tenure of service upon the bench was Judge Warner. He resigned in 1853, after having served continuously for eight years; but on the death of Judge Lumpkin in 1867 he returned to the bench as chief justice. Two years later he was reduced to associate ranks by Governor Bulloch under the reconstruction regime; but in 1872 he again became chief justice, retaining his commission until his voluntary retirement in 1880. He was characterized in his decisions less by rhetorical and imaginative graces than by original force and vigor of intellect. He was tenacious of his convictions and absolutely fearless in his rulings. His knowledge of the law was not confined to precedents, but was securely grounded upon fundamental principles. He was perhaps too reserved in manner to enthuse the masses; but he pos