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02 April 2014

Rev. Cummins and His Ties to Washington

The Rev. Francis Cummins, D.D.
Died February 22nd 1832
In the 83rd year of his age
And The 53rd of his Ministry.
Fully assured,
There remaineth a rest
To the people of GOD.

Sarah Cummins, widow
of Rev. Francis Cummins, D.D.
Died, In hope of the same rest,
June 10th 1833
In the 85th year of her age.

Upon his death, obituaries for Rev. Dr. Cummins ran in newspapers from Georgia, South Carolina, New York, and the District of Columbia. Here's how they read:

Charleston Courier (South Carolina)
7 March 1832, pg. 2
DEATHS. -- In Greene county, on the 22d ult. the Rev. Dr. Francis Cummins, aged 81 years. Mr. C. was one of the Revolutionary patriots, and his name is particularly connected with the earliest Declaration of Independence: being one of those who first asserted the Mecklenburg, North Carolina Independence, in May, 1775. He was a patriot -- a learned man -- a divine -- and at the time of his death, had the pastoral charge of a Church, of the Presbyterian denomination.
Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, DC)
16 March 1832, pg. 3
In Greensborough, Geo. on the 22d February, in the 83d year of his age, the Rev. FRANCIS CUMMINS, D.D. Dr. C. was one of the fathers of Presbyterianism in Georgia; a man of piety and extensive learning. President Jackson was his pupil, in early life. -- Geor. Cour.
[Dr. C. was the father of Mr. E. H. Cummins, of this City. -- Nat. Int.]

01 April 2014

Just As I Am (Tombstone Tuesday)

Because it's one of my favorite hymns --


Samuel Clarke Daniel

Born October 16th 1850;
Died March 21st 1876

Just As I Am Without One Plea
But That Thy Blood Was Shed For Me

Greensboro Cemetery
Greensboro, Greene County, Georgia

Photo © 2013-4 S. Lincecum.

31 March 2014

More On the Life and Death of Judge Frank Cone: Stabbed a Man Six Times & Approved His Own Epitaph

The Honorable Francis Hiram Cone, in addition to being a well-respected lawyer and judge, seems to have been quite the character. I found several articles depicting him as such -- with emphasis on his faults as well as good quality traits. Here are a few highlights from three of the items I found. All were viewed online at GenealogyBank.

Article one is from the 25 May 1859 edition of Georgia's Augusta Chronicle, page 2, entitled simply "OBITUARY".
Died at his residence in Greensboro, Ga., on Wednesday, the 18th May, 1859, the Hon. FRANCIS H. CONE, one of the most eminent lawyers of the South.

He was born in the township of East Haddam, in the State of Connecticut, on the 5th day of September, 1797, at the family mansion, where his ancestors had lived for more than one hundred and fifty years. He died the proprietor of his paternal acres, bequeathing them to one of his sons. His father was a soldier in the was of Independence, and participated in several of the sanguinary conflicts of that great struggle. He received his education at Yale College, and graduated with honor in the class of 1818...In 1824 he removed to Greensboro, and there commenced the practice of the law. Unknown and unassisted he came in competition with the talented Bar of that town, then composed of some of Georgia's most gifted sons, among whom stood conspicuous,...William C. Dawson...In January, 1829, he married Miss Jane Cook, orphan of George Cook, of Jefferson county, and ward of the late Judge Dawson, under whose hospitable roof the marriage took place. This happy union was severed by the untimely death of Mrs. Cone, who died in 1840, leaving two sons and a daughter, all of whom still survive.

...For three months, he was confined to his bed of death, yet no murmur or word of complaint escaped him...Calm and resigned to the will of Heaven, he awaited his last summons, and died confidently trusting in the wisdom and mercy of his Creator.
The second article is a favorite because it describes the physical characteristics of Judge Cone. It's from the 14 June 1867 edition of Georgia's Macon Weekly Telegraph, page 1, entitled "Sketches of Georgia Lawyers: Number Five: Francis H. Cone".
Among the able deceased lawyers of this State, this gentleman is entitled to be classed...

...His person was rather remarkable -- of medium height, full habited and heavy. His face was round and rubicund. No one would mistake him for a starveling -- nor yet for a bon vicant...He relished a glass of wine or other like creature comforts, but was by no means a devotee of Bacchus. His large fleshy face was lit up by eyes black and sparkling, the visible testimonials of geniality and genius. He wore, too, a fine head of hair, which he was accustomed to neglect. He had not the presence of majesty. He did not assume the port of Jove, nor emulate the beauty and grace of Apollo. His gait was shuffling and his manners rough -- something uncouth...

...He was a practised marksman, and shot folly on the wing. He had great contempt for snobishness and pretension in all its forms...
Before I move to the last article, followers of historical Southern politics might also remember (or like to know) that Judge Cone is sometimes most remembered for something not even whispered about in these articles -- stabbing future Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens six times in front of an Atlanta hotel in 1848. A very brief overview of the incident is at Wikipedia.

The final article mentions the epitaph and monument placed for Judge Cone. It is from the 17 June 1912 edition of Georgia's Augusta Chronicle, page 4, entitled "Judge Francis H. Cone: Reminiscences".
Judge Frank Cone of Greensboro, Georgia, was one of the most original as well as picturesque characters of his time...

He was a man of most unique personality and a man of infinite jest. There are more laughable anecdotes told of him than almost any other man in Middle Georgia. He was a great friend of United States Senator Josh Hill of Madison, although these two were totally unlike in manner, disposition and temperament.

...When Judge Cone was on his death bed, he sent for his friend Senator Hill and told him his time had come and he wanted him to write his epitaph and bring it to him and let him see it before he died. Senator Hill did so, and read it over to him...

Judge Cone's monument is one of the handsomest and most conspicuous in the cemetery at Greensboro, and on it inscribed the epitaph which Senator Josh Hill wrote and Judge Cone read and approved of before his death...
© 2013-4 S. Lincecum

30 March 2014

He Enchained the Attention and Claimed the Admiration: Hon. Francis H. Cone

I love when an epitaph extends around a monument.  In this instance, all four sides are dedicated to the Hon. Francis H. Cone:  his work, his domestic, and his social life.

To the Memory of the
Hon. Francis H. Cone;
Who was Born on the 5th of Sept, 1797,
Died on the 18th of May, 1859.

Erected by His Children.

Able. Acute. Deligent. Learned.
he attained confessedly to the first rank of
this Profession with no Superior, if any Equals.

at that time upon the toughest Judicial Bench
of the State.

He inaugurated numerous practical reforms,
approved and followed to this day; And
though no Reporter preserved his decisions,
Tradition in the Bar will long retain the
memory of this Administration.

He sought not political Honors
& sat but once in the Legislative
Halls of his adopted State;
Yet this brief term as a
was improved by the preparation &
adoption of such various & important
Reforms in the Law, that they alone
would entitle him to the grateful
Remembrance of the People
he served.

he was most happy & most loved.
An affectionate Husband,
An indulgent Father, a merciful Master,
A loyal Friend and a genial companion.
By his brilliant wit,
By his flowing conversation,
By his universal charity
& his kind disposition,
He enchained the attention, claimed the
admiration & won the affections of all
who knew him.

Hon. Francis H. Cone rests at Greensboro Cemetery in Greene County, Georgia. Supposedly, the epitaph (all or at least in part) was written by a senator friend of Judge Cone's. More on that tomorrow.

All photos © 2013-4 S. Lincecum.

11 March 2014

Joseph R. Manning, Born on the 4th of July (Tombstone Tuesday)

A son of J. L. and H. V. Manning, Joseph Reubin was born 4 July 1885 and died six months later. He rests beside his sister, Zada Lillian, at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Cochran, Bleckley County, Georgia.

Though she outlived her brother, Zada was only on this earth six years. These cradle graves are a reminder of the tremendous loss surely felt by the Manning family during the years of 1886 and 1889.

Joseph Reubin
Son of J. L. & H. V. Manning
Born July 4, 1885
Died Jan 15, 1886

Zada Lillian
Dau. of J. L. & H. V. Manning
Born Nov 23, 1882
Died Sep 4, 1889

Cedar Hill Cemetery
Cochran, Bleckley County, Georgia

Photo © 2013-2014 S. Lincecum

17 February 2014

Lemuel Penn and the Civil Rights Act

Photo by David Seibert via
"On the night of July 11, 1964 three African-American World War II veterans returning home following training at Ft. Benning, Georgia were noticed in Athens by local members of the Ku Klux Klan. The officers were followed to the nearby Broad River Bridge where their pursuers fired into the vehicle, killing Lt. Col. Lemuel Penn. When a local jury failed to convict the suspects of murder, the federal government successfully prosecuted the men for violations under the new Civil Rights Act of 1964, passed just nine days before Penn’s murder. The case was instrumental in the creation of a Justice Department task force whose work culminated in the Civil Rights Act of 1968."

As you likely (and correctly) surmise, the Klan was unprovoked and the jury that failed to convict was all white.

Lemuel Penn rests at Arlington Cemetery.

Educator Buried in Arlington

WASHINGTON (UPI) -- Lemuel Augustus Penn, Negro educator who was slain by a sniper's shotgun blast as he drove through Georgia, was buried Tuesday with full military honors at Arlington Cemetery, the nation's resting ground for its heroes...

Photo by John Evans via
Penn, 48, who was in charge of the District of Columbia's five vocational high schools, was shot early Saturday morning near Athens, Ga., while returning to Washington after two weeks of reserve training at Ft. Benning, Ga...

According to the two Reserve officers accompanying Penn, the unexplained and apparently unprovoked shooting was done by a man who drove alongside their car in a rural section of the state, fired twice, then fled. Authorities assume the slaying was racially motivated.

Penn, survived by his wife Georgia and three children,...

During the services in the hot, crowded church, the Rev. Stanford J. Harris said Penn was a 'casualty of our battle against bigotry' and his death a reflection of the 'cancerous prejudice eating away at American democracy.'..." [Dallas Morning News (Texas), 15 July 1964, pg. 8 via GenealogyBank.]

02 February 2014

Monument to a Georgia Railway Pioneer, William Washington Gordon

[Originally posted at the Your Peachy Past blog. Cross-posted here for my fellow cemetery wanderers!]

Standing in Savannah's Wright Square (also known as Court House Square) is an impressive monument to a Georgia railway pioneer, William Washington Gordon. Here's what Lucian Lamar Knight has to say about the man and the monument:

"One of the most beautiful monuments in the city of Savannah is the handsome structure of marble, in Court House square, commemorating the useful life of the great pioneer of railway development in Georgia: William Washington Gordon. He died at the early age of forty-six. But he gave the most lasting impetus to the material upbuilding of his native State and accomplished a work of constructive value which was destined to live after him. As the first president of Georgia's earliest railway enterprise, his genius was initiative. He was not only a pathfinder but a builder of splendid highways. Much of the subsequent history of railroads in Georgia has been only the ultimate outgrowth of his pioneer activities; and if Georgia owes much to railroads then her debt of obligation to the man who inaugurated the era of railway enterprise in this State is beyond computation...

The Gordon monument in Savannah is unique. Resting upon a solid pedestal of granite, it consists of four handsome columns of Scotch marble. These enclose at the base an urn of artistic workmanship and support at the top a globe of great weight..."1

© 2010-14 S. Lincecum

William Washington Gordon, according to the monument inscription, was born 17 January 1796. He died 20 March 1842, and was buried in Savannah's Laurel Grove Cemetery.

1. Georgia's Landmarks, Memorials and Legends [images on-line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.
Original data: Knight, Lucian Lamar. Georgia's Landmarks, Memorials and Legends. Atlanta, Ga.: Printed for the author by the Byrd Print. Co., state printers, 1913-1914.
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