Rufus Bullock was born in 1834 in New York. He moved to Augusta and did business with the Confederates after the Civil War began, though he opposed secession. He was a lieutenant colonel in the Confederate Quartermaster Corps.
After the war, Bullock entered politics as a Republican, which earned him many enemies among former Confederates and KKK members. On the strength of the black vote, he beat Confederate General John B. Gordon for governor in 1868. He used his northern business connections to attract investment, building railroads, schools, and industry. His support for black political rights – one man, one vote -- made him the most hated man in Georgia among whites. Democratic charges of corruption finally ended his governorship. He fled the state but returned, was acquitted of all charges, and became one of Atlanta’s most prominent post-war citizens.
Sonny Perdue’s only Republican predecessor was born on March 28, 1834, Today in Georgia History.
Rufus Bullock convinced Booker T. Washington to give a keynote speech at the Atlanta Exposition of 1895.