James Monroe Smith: Georgia Planter, Before Death and After

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University of Georgia Press, 1961 - History - 304 pages
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Few men in the history of Georgia have come down to the present in hearsay and folklore as profusely and as controversially as has James Monroe Smith, who became a millionaire farmer around the turn of the twentieth century. He was born near Washington, Georgia, in 1839 and died on his plantation a few miles from Athens in 1915.

Smith’s plantation “Smithonia” was measured in terms of square miles. He developed an empire of farming and allied interests, among which was a railroad to connect his plantation with other rail lines. He served terms in the state legislature in both the house and the senate, and in 1906 ran unsuccessfully for governor.

The colorful career of Smith, a bachelor, did not end with his death but was kept alive in numerous claims and counter-claims in the settling of his estate. E. Merton Coulter seeks to separate fact from fiction in his account of Smith’s varied activities and the final dissolution of his wealth.

 

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Contents

all the land thats next to mine
1
CORN AND COTTON WHEAT RYE AND OATS
13
BRICKS AND BUTTER HAMS OIL AND FERTILIZER
23
FREE LABOR AND TENANTS
34
SMITHONIA AND ITS RAILROADS
52
CONVICTS AT WORK
64
CONVICTS INVESTIGATED
79
IN THE LEGISLATURE
93
TRADER PROMOTER AND INVESTOR
155
THE MAN HIMSELF
167
DEAD AND BURIED
183
ADMINISTRATORS CLAIMANTS AND LAWYERS
192
COURTS COURTS COURTS
206
TROUBLE MONEY
218
Notes
236
Bibliography
271

RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR 1906
106
JIM HOKE AND CLARK TOM DICK AND JOHN
124
FARM PHILOSOPHER AND BENEFACTOR
144

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About the author (1961)

E. Merton Coulter was head of the History Department at the University of Georgia, editor of the Georgia Historical Quarterly, and a founding member and the first president of the Southern Historical Association. Albert B. Saye was a professor of political science at the University of Georgia and one of the most well-known scholars of Georgia history and politics.

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