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ernor, far in advance of the situation and public spirit of that period, has grown upon the succeeding period, and has already attained a wonderful success, and promises still greater in the near future. While not holding any political office, he has, since the adoption of the school system provided for by the constitution of 1868, held the position of president of the educational board of Fulton county, and has also been a most devoted member of the board of trustees of the State university of Georgia for upward of twenty years. He has educated his sons there in later years, but from his earliest connection with this great center of Southern learning, he has been an ardent and devoted friend in public and private, devoting his mind with all its power, to the consideration of the vast and comprehensive aims of the institution. And it is no disparagement to the array of able and devoted men who are associated with him, that he has always exercised a very large and controlling influence in the councils and deliberations of the board.
In no circle he ever enters as a participant is he looked down upon by a senior in ability, power, practical judgment, and influence. Most men, even of great ability, eminence, and wealth, who are associated or come in business contact with him, have long since learned to look up and defer to this prodigy of a man, who, within a few years after leaving the old-field log-cabin school and the handle of the plow, sprang to the first rank, not only as a statesman and jurist, but as a philanthropist in projecting enterprises for the public good, and as a man of farseeing wisdom and prudence in all matters of business, either for the public or as related to his own private affairs.
And if superior excellence is to be found in one sphere
of his activity of mind and body over another, it is perhaps in the last named department. He grew up a farmer boy, and has carried forward his early training to great improvement, and with great profit to the present. In addition to the public enterprises that engross so much of his time and mind, he has kept up farming as a constant business; and although he has not figured in the current agricultural literature of his time, he has been eminently practical and successful in his investments and operations. In this, a: in every other matter under his control, he has been endowed with almost prophetic wisdom in the selection of agents and superintendents; and has with them what but few men can truthfully claim in business matters, that, added to inflexible justice and promptness in dealing, he is invariably firm in the requirement of faithfulness from them.
He has three large farms in Northern Georgia, in the counties of Cherokee and Gordon, on which, by his regular direction, through employes, there is annually carried on a well diversified and profitable system of agriculture.
But the plan adopted by Governor Brown soon after the war, of drawing in investments from other sources, and placing them in the charred and desolate ruins of the wonderfully progressive city of Atlanta, has been perhaps in proportion to or ginal costs the most powerful and effective agency in the rapid accumulation of his fort
To all who would study the business example of Joseph E. Brown with profit, it is not considered out of place to add that but few men have been endowed as he is, with brain capacity, energy, the power of endurance and perseverance, quickness of apprehension and rapidity of decision; and perfection of schemes and plans for his purposes ; but few, who like him, can either mould and bring about circumstances, or adapt themselves to the unavoidable. And there are but few who are so entirely exempt from habits of intemperance and excess as to hope for his perfect steadiness and regularity of life. These qualities in the ex-Governor when realized to exist, as all do realize them who have an opportunity, indicate at once to the reflecting the sources of his great success.
But there is one mental and business habit, and of action and repose, that all, now and hereafter, may study and practice with benefit.
He works with the regularity of a perfectly adjusted machine; is temperate in the application of supporting diet, as is a skilled machinist in the application of steam; and sleeps by the force of controlling will power as promptly and soundly as the wheels and levers of the machine stop and rest when the steam is shut off. This is the great and valuable key to explain how a man of naturally frail and feeble, though tough and durable physical constitution has been able to live, enjoy health, and perform the herculean labor he has for the whole period of his manhood.
He is different from almost all business men in another mental habit; that is, one thing at a time. When Brown is on railroading, or coal, or iron mining, farming, or any other subject, for the time being all his powers are so engrossed in and devoted to that as to shut out all the others; and when he suspends, the subject is laid aside at a given point, and precisely at that point, when the time or occasion arises to make it necessary, he resumes it as easily and promptly as the tailor resumes work upon an unfinished garment, or the carpenter the incomplete edifice.
But not by far the least important method and agency of the financial success, in all his large and small enterprises, may be summed up in one word, promptness. It is a fundamental and tenaciously adhered to principleadopted from boyhood and followed without exception, up to the present—to meet every financial engagement or liability with absolute promptness, no matter what the inconvenience or cost might be. Hence, his credit has never been the subject of criticism or doubt in any financial circle. This, with the sagacity and forecast which were in great measure the gift of the Creator, and which have been cultivated and enlarged by practice that enabled him to determine when it was safe and advisable to make those engagements, has contributed wonderfully to the success that has crowned the laborious life of Joseph Emerson Brown. For the sake of the moral, religious, financial, educational and material welfare of his country and ours, it will be well if the period under Divine Providence is still distant in the future, when the sorrowful mind of his memorialist shall be called on to set forth the deeds of benevolence and charity, of the honest business man, jurist, statesman, philanthropist, and Christian.
SUPPLEMENT PREPARED FOR THE PUBLISHERS, Bringing
THE NARRATIVE OF EVENTS TO SEPTEMBER, 1883. Colonel Fielder's volume ends with the last, the 15th chapter. The current of events in Georgia is brought from the year 1872, when he closes his narrative, up to the date of the publication of the book in September, 1883.
The administration of Gov. James M. Smith continued until the 12th day of January, 1877. Among the more important public matters during his terms that have not been alluded to were the establishment of the departments of agriculture and geology, and the endowment of the State University at Athens with the Land Scrip Fund, and the resulting organization of branch colleges at Milledgeville, Cuthbert, and Thomasville. The department of agriculture was begun on the 26th of August, 1874, by the appointment of Dr. Thomas P. Janes as commissioner. He was reappointed in 1878, resigned in September, 1879, and was succeeded on the 24th of September, 1879, by the Hon. John T. Henderson, who is still commissioner. It is difficult to measure the value of this department. It has introduced rust-proof oats and wheat, rendering these valuable crops a certainty. It has not only protected the farmers from loss by frauds in commercial fertilizers, but it has by the proceeds of inspection supported the department and paid large sums into the State treas. ury, running as high as $64,060.23 in a single year. It