Herschel V. Johnson of Georgia, State Rights Unionist

Herschel V. Johnson of Georgia, State Rights Unionist

Herschel V. Johnson of Georgia, State Rights Unionist

Herschel V. Johnson of Georgia, State Rights Unionist

Excerpt

The biography of Herschel V. Johnson furnishes an interesting account of the important period during which he lived. He was in public life from 1840 to 1880 and participated in many important events of that period. The Mexican War, the critical period of the Compromise of 1850, the stirring controversies resulting from the Kansasr-Nebraska Act, the Dred Scott decision, the Civil War and Reconstruction all stand out conspicuously in this era, which was so significant in the history of the nation.

He attracted attention soon after entering politics not only in his state but also in national affairs. He was an ardent Democrat and throughout a stormy period of our national existence was stanch in his adherence to the principles and policies of his party. His honesty and integrity were unquestioned even by those who did not agree with him. His strength of character and exalted opinion of the responsibilities of public office were such as to enable him to wield a most potent influence.

He early acquired the habit of preserving the manuscripts of his speeches while in the University of Georgia and this custom was continued when he entered politics. He also made copies of all of his letters, both of a personal and public nature which were preserved in letter books. In addition to the copies of many of his letters he requested the return of the originals. There are, therefore, among his manuscripts many of the original letters of decided historical importance. In addition to these valuable manuscripts, there are newspaper clippings of certain speeches, letters and other important matters concerning his career.

In view of his fearless and honest position regarding secession and his loyalty to the Union and at the same time his insistence upon the rights of the South in the Union, it is fortunate that it was possible for him to furnish to later historians the documentary proof of his position. He followed a consistent policy in regard to his insistence upon the recognition by the North of the rights of the . . .

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