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State for the decisive canvass between the national Whigs and Democrats in the Union, and to determine the mooted and vexed question as to the ascendency and power of the one or the other, under the lead of Winfield Scott and of Franklin Pierce, the prominence, ability, and influence of Brown caused him to be placed upon the Democratic electoral ticket for the 5th congressional district of the State, which after a successful canvass was carried for himself and the Pierce electors by an overwhelming and increased majority.

I have elsewhere alluded to his candidacy and election over Hon. David Irwin, the incumbent judge of the Blue Ridge circuit in 1855, and his brilliant and able administration for the two years ensuing, which position he held at the time the State Democratic convention nominated him for governor.

The wisdom of the State has fluctuated much upon the proper mode of appointing judges of the superior court. From time out of mind they had been elected by the General Assembly on joint ballot; but by Act of 1852, reenacted in 1854, the State constitution was so changed as to give their election to the people. This contest between Brown and Irwin was a trial in that, as there was in other circuits of the new system, which in the course of a few years proved to be unsatisfactory on account of the repugnance of the people to bringing their candidate to electioneer personally for votes, and the supposed demoralizing tendency upon the judges when after a successful canvass they have to preside over friends and foes and to pass judgment upon the legal rights of those who supported, as well as those who voted against them. In many parts of the State it had the appearance of tending to evil.

The next change was to clothe the governor with the power to nominate, and the senate to confirm or rejectas in the case of appointing judges of the supreme court —which system was in force until 1877, when the constitutional convention of that year so altered the constitution as to return to the original system of electing by the Legislature, except that instead of a vote by ballot as formerly, the method is to vote viva voce.

The method last abandoned was intended to remove the appointment from all the corrupting influences of popular elections; but it was found to be a source of dissatisfaction because of the vast power it placed in the hands of the governor, and the impossibility of the appointment of any man, however well suited or however much desired by the people, who could not in some way procure a nomination by him.

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This embraces the period from his inauguration in November, 1857, up to the commencement of, and during the whole of the late war, to the final collapse of the confederacy, and to the suspension of civil authority in the State, and his arrest and confinement under the military authority of the United States in the year 1865, having been four times elected by the people of the State, and by large and increased popular majorities. In 1859 the opposition nominated the Hon. Warren Akin of Bartow county, who canvassed the State with great zeal and ability. But it was in the face of increased and solidified confidence of the people in and largely widened and intensified popularity of the incumbent; and Mr. Akin, as would any other man of either party in the State, suffered defeat.

In 1861, after the war was fully opened on a large scale, they nominated the Hon. Eugenius A. Nesbit, a man of great ability, and purity, and of large personal popularity, who, like Brown, had thoroughly and heartily joined in the movement, and cast his lot with the fortunes of the new confederacy. But he, like Akin, suffered defeat by a very large majority.

In 1863, when the fatal crisis of the bloody struggle was being passed, and when the murmurings of discontent were beginning to be heard, and it was supposed that the somewhat silent voice, and unorganized sentiment of opposition to the war in its inception, and especially to its continuance, and the strong desire for an adjustment, and peace, would find expression at the bal

, lot-box, the Hon. Joshua Hill was brought out as a candidate. He was an acknowledged Union man. An old Whig with strong party prejudices, and great personal integrity, decision, moral courage and firmness, who at the time of secession represented his district in Congress, and refusing to acknowledge the validity of the ordinance of secession, did not retire with the Georgia delegation from Congress, but formally resigned his seat, thus acknowledging the authority of the Federal government over a representative of Georgia in Congress. It being impracticable to defeat Brown by the popular vote, and with a view to securing the election to the General Assembly, a third candidate was brought out. There was a sentiment of opposition to Brown among men, as much opposed to Hill as he was, growing out of his opposition to the policy of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, which will claim particular attention in another part of this volume. This opposition put forward as a third candidate a man of fair ability, and great excellence and purity of private character, and a true patriot; the Hon. T. M. Furlow of Sumter county, a strong Secessionist. But both these able and popular men, like Benjamin H. Hill, Warren Akin, and Judge Nesbit, were doomed to overwhelming defeat, by a majority required by the State constitution over both competitors. It is a marked feature in this election, that the Georgia troops in the army, by act of the Legislature, held elections in their camps and voted, in the face of, and defiance to, the complaints of the confederate administration and authorities against the course Brown had pursued, in maintaining, even in war, the constitu


tion of the Confederacy, and the rights of the soldiers, as well as people. The soldiers of this State voted for Brown by large majorities.

The history of Georgia in this period is, to a large extent, a continuation of the history of her Governor, which naturally divides itself into the civil and military administrations.

Civil ADMINISTRATION OF Gov. BROWN. Entering upon the duties of his office when really a young man for the position, and when he was regarded and classed among the young men of the State, as the successor of a line of able and distinguished men, such as Lumpkin, Schley, Gilmer, McDonald, Crawford, Towns, Cobb, and Herschel V. Johnson, the anxiety and solicitude with his own party and his special friends as to his experience and knowledge and ability to sustain the reputation of the State and administer the government were only equalled by the expectation of short-coinings and failure on the part of his defeated political foes. It was difficult for the intelligent public to conceive that a man from the remote interior without the benefits of long association with central political juntos and rings, and without experience in civil administrations and a comparative personal stranger to a large portion of the people, could enter upon such an office without meeting many difficulties to obstruct his success. It was not in their process of reasoning upon the probabilities of his success that a man in the interior, endowed as he was by the very largest measure of brain power and unparalleled energy, perseverance, and moral courage, could become learned from the same authors studied in the central towns; that he had the same universe spread out before him in which to

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