James Z. George

Last updated
James George
James Zachariah George.jpg
United States Senator
from Mississippi
In office
March 4, 1881 August 14, 1897
Preceded by Blanche Bruce
Succeeded by Hernando Money
Personal details
Born(1826-10-20)October 20, 1826
Monroe County, Georgia
DiedAugust 14, 1897(1897-08-14) (aged 70)
Gulfport, Mississippi
Political party Democratic
Military service
AllegianceFlag of the Confederate States of America (1865).svg  Confederate States
Branch/service Confederate States Army
Years of service1861–1865
Rank Colonel
Unit20th Mississippi Infantry
5th Mississippi Cavalry
Battles/wars American Civil War

James Zachariah George (October 20, 1826 August 14, 1897) was an American lawyer, writer,U.S.politician, Confederate politician, and military officer. He was known as Mississippi's "Great Commoner."

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or simply America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. Most of the country is located in central North America between Canada and Mexico. With an estimated population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City.

Confederate States of America De facto federal republic in North America from 1861 to 1865

The Confederate States of America —commonly referred to as the Confederacy—was an unrecognized republic in North America that existed from 1861 to 1865. The Confederacy was originally formed by seven secessionist slave-holding states—South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas—in the Lower South region of the United States, whose economy was heavily dependent upon agriculture, particularly cotton, and a plantation system that relied upon the labor of African-American slaves. Convinced that the institution of slavery was threatened by the November 1860 election of Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln to the U.S. presidency on a platform which opposed the expansion of slavery into the western territories, the Confederacy declared its secession in rebellion to the United States, with the loyal states becoming known as the Union during the ensuing American Civil War. Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens described its ideology as being centrally based "upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition".

Mississippi State in the United States

Mississippi is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Mississippi is the 32nd largest and 34th-most populous of the 50 United States. Mississippi is bordered to the north by Tennessee, to the east by Alabama, to the south by the Gulf of Mexico, to the southwest by Louisiana, and to the northwest by Arkansas. Mississippi's western boundary is largely defined by the Mississippi River. Jackson is both the state's capital and largest city. Greater Jackson, with an estimated population of 580,166 in 2018, is the most populous metropolitan area in Mississippi and the 95th-most populous in the United States.



James Z. George was born in Monroe County, Georgia, but moved to Noxubee County, Mississippi at age eight when his widowed mother remarried, and two years later, to Carroll County, Mississippi, where he received his education in the common schools. [1] He served as a private in the Mexican–American War under Colonel Jefferson Davis, and participated in the Battle of Monterey. [1] On his return, George read law and was admitted to the bar. In 1854 he became a reporter of the Supreme Court of Mississippi and, over the next 20 years, George prepared a 10-volume digest of its cases.

Monroe County, Georgia U.S. county in Georgia

Monroe County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 26,424. The county seat is Forsyth. The county was created on May 15, 1821. The county was named for James Monroe.

Georgia (U.S. state) State in the United States

Georgia is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Georgia is the 24th largest in area and 8th-most populous of the 50 United States. Georgia is bordered to the north by Tennessee and North Carolina, to the northeast by South Carolina, to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by Florida, and to the west by Alabama. Atlanta, a "beta(+)" global city, is both the state's capital and largest city. The Atlanta metropolitan area, with an estimated population of 5,949,951 in 2018, is the 9th most populous metropolitan area in the United States and contains about 60% of the entire state population.

Noxubee County, Mississippi U.S. county in Mississippi

Noxubee County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 11,545. Its county seat is Macon. The name is derived from the Choctaw word nakshobi meaning to stink.

As a member of the Mississippi Secession Convention, George signed the Secession Ordinance. A Confederate colonel of the 5th Mississippi Cavalry during the Civil War, he was captured twice and spent two years in a prisoner of war camp, where he conducted a law course for his fellow captives. After the war, he returned to Mississippi and resumed the practice of law. In 1879 he was appointed to the Supreme Court of Mississippi and immediately was chosen chief justice by his colleagues.

The Mississippi Secession Ordinance was written by Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar (II), who resigned from the U.S. Congress in January 1861. The ordinance was signed by James Z. George and others.

Confederate States Army Southern army in American Civil War

The Confederate States Army was the military land force of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War (1861–1865), fighting against the United States forces. On February 28, 1861, the Provisional Confederate Congress established a provisional volunteer army and gave control over military operations and authority for mustering state forces and volunteers to the newly chosen Confederate president, Jefferson Davis. Davis was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, and colonel of a volunteer regiment during the Mexican–American War. He had also been a United States Senator from Mississippi and U.S. Secretary of War under President Franklin Pierce. On March 1, 1861, on behalf of the Confederate government, Davis assumed control of the military situation at Charleston, South Carolina, where South Carolina state militia besieged Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor, held by a small U.S. Army garrison. By March 1861, the Provisional Confederate Congress expanded the provisional forces and established a more permanent Confederate States Army.

Colonel (United States) Military rank of the United States

In the United States Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force, colonel is the most senior field grade military officer rank, immediately above the rank of lieutenant colonel and just below the rank of brigadier general. It is equivalent to the naval rank of captain in the other uniformed services. By law, a colonel must have at least 22 years of cumulative service and a minimum of three years as a lieutenant colonel before being promoted. The pay grade for colonel is O-6.

From 1881 until his death, George represented Mississippi in the United States Senate, where he was recognized for his skills in debate, helped frame the future Sherman Anti-Trust Act, introduced the bill for agricultural college experiment stations, and encouraged the establishment of the Department of Agriculture. Alarmed by the proposed Lodge Bill, which would have provided for federal supervision of elections, he campaigned in Mississippi for a constitutional convention in order to legally disenfranchise African-Americans, without resorting to violence, fraud, and other extralegal measures that had been used prior. [2] He was a major figure during the Mississippi Constitutional Convention of 1890 itself and successfully defended the constitution before the Senate and the Supreme Court.

United States Senate Upper house of the United States Congress

The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which, along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol Building, in Washington, D.C.

United States Department of Agriculture department of United States government responsible policy on farming, agriculture, forestry, and food

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), also known as the Agriculture Department, is the U.S. federal executive department responsible for developing and executing federal laws related to farming, forestry, rural economic development, and food. It aims to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, promote agricultural trade and production, work to assure food safety, protect natural resources, foster rural communities and end hunger in the United States and internationally.

The Lodge Bill or Federal Elections Bill or Lodge Force Bill of 1890 was a bill drafted by Representative Henry Cabot Lodge (R) of Massachusetts, and sponsored in the Senate by George Frisbie Hoar; it was endorsed by President Benjamin Harrison. The bill would have authorized the federal government to ensure that elections were fair. In particular, it would have allowed federal circuit courts to appoint federal supervisors of congressional elections. Said supervisors would have many duties, including: attending elections, inspecting registration lists, verifying doubtful voter information, administering oaths to challenged voters, stopping illegal aliens from voting, and certifying the vote count.

George died in Mississippi City, Mississippi, where he had gone for health treatment. He is buried, along with his wife, Elizabeth Brooks (Young) George, [3] in Evergreen Cemetery in North Carrollton, Mississippi. [4] George's wife Elizabeth was the granddaughter of Col. William Martin Jr. of Tennessee, and the great-granddaughter of General Joseph Martin, an early Virginia explorer and Revolutionary War commander. [5]

Mississippi City, Mississippi Unincorporated community in Mississippi, United States

Mississippi City is an unincorporated community in Harrison County, Mississippi, United States. It is part of the Gulfport–Biloxi, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area. The community was annexed by Gulfport, Mississippi in 1965.

North Carrollton, Mississippi Town in Mississippi, United States

North Carrollton is a town in Carroll County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 473 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Greenwood, Mississippi micropolitan area.

Joseph Martin (general) American militia general and politician

Joseph Martin, Jr. (1740–1808) was a brigadier general in the Virginia militia during the American Revolutionary War, in which Martin's frontier diplomacy with the Cherokee people is credited with not only averting Indian attacks on the Scotch-Irish American and English American settlers who helped win the battles of Kings Mountain and Cowpens, but with also helping to keep the Indians' position neutral and from siding with the British troops during those crucial battles. Historians agree that the settlers' success at these two battles signaled the turning of the tide of the Revolutionary War—in favor of the Americans.

In 1931, the state of Mississippi donated a bronze statue of George to the United States Capitol's National Statuary Hall Collection.

<i>James Zachariah George</i> (Lukeman)

James Zachariah George is a bronze sculpture depicting the politician and military officer of the same name by Henry Augustus Lukeman, installed at the United States Capitol's Visitor Center, in Washington, D.C., as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection. The statue was gifted by the U.S. state of Mississippi in 1931.

United States Capitol seat of the United States Congress

The United States Capitol, often called the Capitol Building, is the home of the United States Congress and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. It is located on Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Though no longer at the geographic center of the Federal District, the Capitol forms the origin point for the District's street-numbering system and the District's four quadrants.

National Statuary Hall Collection Collection of statues in the US Capitol of notable individuals from each state

The National Statuary Hall Collection in the United States Capitol is composed of statues donated by individual states to honor persons notable in their history. Limited to two statues per state, the collection was originally set up in the old Hall of the House of Representatives, which was then renamed National Statuary Hall. The expanding collection has since been spread throughout the Capitol and its Visitor's Center.

The J. Z. George High School in North Carrollton, Mississippi is named in his honor, which is less than two miles from his burial place. In addition, George County, Mississippi, is also named in his honor.

See also

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  1. 1 2 Thomas H. Somorville, "A Sketch of the Supreme Court of Mississippi", in Horace W. Fuller, ed., The Green Bag , Vol. XI (1899), p. 513.
  2. Kousser, J. Morgan (1974). The Shaping of Southern Politics: Suffrage Restriction and the Establishment of the One-Party South, 1990-1890. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. p. 140.
  3. Family History Compiled by Lucy Henderson Horton, Press of the News, Franklin, Tennessee, 1922
  4. The Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians: George
  5. Family History Compiled by Lucy Henderson Horton, Press of the News, Franklin, Tenn., 1922

Further reading

U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Blanche K. Bruce
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Mississippi
Served alongside: Lucius Q. C. Lamar, Edward C. Walthall, Anselm J. McLaurin, Edward C. Walthall
Succeeded by
Hernando D. Money