congress

March 6, 1857

Dred Scott Decision

Dred Scott v Sanford was one of the most controversial cases in history, with a Georgian sitting on the Supreme Court that decided it. Dred Scott was a Missouri slave who sued for freedom after his master took him to the free territories of Illinois and Wisconsin. The Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Roger […]

January 31, 1944

Thomas Hardwick

Terrorism is not a new phenomenon, as we see in the story of former Georgia Governor Thomas Hardwick. Born in Thomasville in 1872, Hardwick served in the state legislature in the 1890s as a staunch advocate of disenfranchising black voters. Yet later, he lost an election by opposing the Ku Klux Klan. Hardwick also served […]

February 21, 1940

John Lewis

He courageously put his life on the line many times during the civil rights movement and has become one of the most respected members of Congress. John Lewis was born to sharecroppers in Alabama, in 1940. He encountered the ugliness and brutality of racism while participating in sit-ins as a student at Fisk University in […]

February 18, 1868

Ina Dillard Russell

She was known as “Mother Russell,” the wife of the state’s chief justice and the mother of a U.S. Senator. Ina Dillard was born in Oglethorpe County in 1868. After attending the Lucy Cobb Institute in Athens, she married a young Athens lawyer named Richard Russell. He became one of the first judges to serve […]

January 29, 1878

Walter F. George

The son of sharecroppers in Webster County became one of the longest serving U.S. senators in Georgia history. Walter F. George graduated from Mercer Law School and won election to the U.S. Senate in 1922. He supported early New Deal programs but broke with President Franklin D. Roosevelt over his attempt to pack the Supreme […]

January 16, 1871

Jefferson Franklin Long

Georgia’s first African-American congressman was born a slave. Jefferson Franklin Long was born in Alabama in 1836. His master sold him to a man in Macon. Long taught himself to read and write while setting type for the Macon newspaper. Long attended Macon’s African Methodist Episcopal Church and was deeply influenced by Henry McNeal Turner, […]

January 14, 1940

Julian Bond

It took the Supreme Court to seat Julian Bond in the Georgia Legislature. Born in Nashville in 1940, graduated from a Quaker school in Pennsylvania, he came to Atlanta to attend Morehouse College. Bond led nonviolent protests that helped integrate Atlanta lunch counters, theaters and parks. In 1960, he was one of the founders of […]

January 12, 1798

James Jackson

James Jackson was a pugnacious politician with a fiery temper. Born in England in 1756, he came to Savannah as a teen and fought in the American Revolution. Jackson served in the first Congress under the new U.S. Constitution, and supported Thomas Jefferson’s fledgling Democratic-Republicans against Alexander Hamilton’s Federalists. Jackson was in the U.S. Senate […]

January 7, 1861

Robert Toombs

He stood for saving the Union and he later zealously argued for secession, Robert Toombs was one of the most influential Georgians of the 19th century. Born in Wilkes County in 1810, Toombs served in the Georgia Legislature before being elected to four terms in the U.S. House and then the U.S. Senate. He was […]

December 1, 1824

William Crawford

A man who killed a political opponent in a duel nearly became the first president from Georgia, long before Jimmy Carter. William Crawford began his political career in 1803 as a state legislator from Oglethorpe County. Even though he killed a political enemy in a duel in 1802, Crawford’s political star kept rising, with service […]