Manuscript Dahlonega Cover with large Advertising Corner of the North Georgia Agricultural College

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Manuscript Dahlonega Cover with large Advertising Corner of the North Georgia Agricultural College
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Addressed to the Honorable A. H. Stephens of Georgia at Washington City, D. C. Back has a note in pen stating this cover came from "David W. Lewis of Dahlonega, Georgia / January 17, 1874 / Acknowledges receipt of the Civil Rights speeches sent him [by Stephens]."

David W. Lewis was born in 1815 in Hancock County, Georgia. After graduating from the University of Georgia in 1837 he pursued careers as a lawyer, an agricultural reformer, and a planter. One of his first roles in public service began in 1839 as secretary to Georgia governor George N. Gilmer. He is also known for his service in the Congress of the Confederate States during the Civil War. In 1873 Lewis became the first president of North Georgia Agricultural College, an institution now formally known as the University of North Georgia. In addition to his service as president at the college, Lewis was also one of the two professors at the school in its early years, teaching Greek and English literature.

Most famous for serving as the vice president of the Confederacy during the Civil War (1861-65), Alexander Hamilton Stephens was a near-constant force in state and national politics for a half century. Born near Crawfordville, in Taliaferro County, on February 11, 1812, to Margaret Grier and Andrew Baskins Stephens, the young Stephens was orphaned at fourteen, which intensified his already melancholic disposition. He graduated from Franklin College (later the University of Georgia) in 1832 and gained admittance to the bar two years later. There followed a steady and uninterrupted rise to political prominence. Despite grave misgivings, Stephens ultimately signed Georgia's ordinance of secession. To his consternation, the recently retired congressman was then selected with nine others to represent his home state at the Provisional Confederate Congress in Montgomery, Alabama, in February. There his status as the South's most outspoken former Unionist won him the vice presidency. By so elevating Stephens, the Montgomery delegates hoped to solidify support for the new nation among cooperationists and other moderate elements. After the war Stephens was imprisoned for five months at Boston's Fort Warren. Upon his release, Georgia's citizens elected him in 1866 to the U.S. Senate under President Andrew Johnson's forgiving Reconstruction scheme. Northerners were naturally dismayed by the prospect of the vice president of the Confederacy sitting in the Senate chambers a year after the Civil War ended, and congressional Republicans refused to seat Stephens. He returned to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1873, and he served there until 1882. That same year he was elected governor of the state but died in office on March 4, 1883. [New Georgia Encyclopedia online] (Al Adams Gold Rush Memorabilia Collection) Date: 1874 Location: Dahlonega, Georgia HWAC# 57061