29 May 2013

William Felton had the Vigor of a Roman Athlete (but Little Else Physically)

His mind, however, was another matter. This is how he was described by Lucian Lamar Knight in Georgia's Landmarks, Memorials and Legends:

"Dr. William H. Felton...was a power upon the stump...Over six feet in height, awkward and angular, his tall figure bent by a stroke of paralysis, and his whole body tremulous by reason of disordered nerves, there was never a man who could surpass him in rocket flights of unpremeditated eloquence and especially in seething thunderbolts of denunciation. Though he leaned heavily upon his stick, he seemed to grow not only in strength but in statue and to acquire by degrees as he waxed more and more eloquent something of the vigor of a Roman athlete. His very infirmities seemed to impart an electrical energy to his withered frame and to suggest a dynamo hidden somewhere on his person...To quote Tom Watson: "No flag was ever dipped to the foe while he held it, nor did he ever once say to triumphant wrong -- 'I surrender'." Notwithstanding his great physical decrepitude, Dr. Felton maintained his vigor of intellect until his death at the age of eighty-seven."

In Memory Of
William Harrell Felton
1823 - 1909

His Wife
Rebecca Latimer Felton
1835-1930

Oak Hill Cemetery
Cartersville, Bartow County, Georgia
Photo © 2011-2013 S. Lincecum

Dr. Felton was a "Methodist preacher, a doctor of medicine, a school teacher, a farmer and a statesman." He represented the state of Georgia in Congress for six years, and afterwards in the General Assembly for several terms. Dr. William H. Felton was also the husband of Rebecca Latimer Felton, the first woman United States Senator.

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