THOMAS HARDEMAN, JR., as he was popularly know (his
real name being John Thomas), was born in Putnam county, Ga., Jan
12, 1825, at what is known as the Brooks place, a few miles from
Eatonton. His Hardeman ancestors were Welsh and settled in
Virginia. Three brothers spread from these. Thomas
Hardeman followed Daniel Boone into Kentucky, Hardeman county ,
Tenn. being named for him. Isaac Hardeman went west, and
was one of the defenders of the Alamo, Hardeman county, Tex., being
named from him; the Confederate general W. P. Hardeman, was a
son of this one. The other brother, John came to Georgia and
settled in Jackson county, in the part which afterward became
Oglethorpe. This John the grandfather of the subject of
our sketch, was one of the earliest clerks of the superior court of
Oglethorpe county. He was the father of one daughter and five
sons: Thomas; Jack, who moved to Mississippi; Robert V., a state
senator in 1845 from Jones county and twice judge of the superior
court of the Ocmulgee circuit; Benj. Franklin, state senator
from Oglethorpe in 1851, and twice solicitor general of the northern
circuit; and Isaac, who died in childhood.
Thomas Hardeman, Sr. was born in
April 1797, in Oglethorpe county. He was married Oct. 16,
1821, to Sarah Blewett Sparks, they being the parents of Thomas
Hardeman, Jr., and also of Robert Ulla Hardeman, the present state
treasurer, who has held his position since 1884, having opposition i
his own party only once. Faithful and pure, Robert. U. has
more warm personal friends than any man in the state. They
lived for many years in Putnam, Thomas. Hardeman, Sr., being several
times sheriff of that county, a position he resigned rather than
execute a negro that had been sentenced to be hanged,
and afterward became clerk of the superior court. In 1832 they
moved to Macon, soon settling in Vineville.
Thomas. Hardeman, Jr. graduated
at Emory college in 1845. Beside leading in his literary
society he stood high in the class of that year, which has long been
considered the banner class of the institution. He studied law at
Clinton under his uncle, Robert V. Hardeman, and was there
admitted to the bar April 29 1847, by R. W. McCune, who was then the
incumbent. This so discouraged him that he soon abandoned the
profession of law and turned his attention to the business of a
commission merchant which he followed almost uninterruptedly up to
his death. In 1846 he had an assistants position in the clerical
department of the house of representatives to which he was re
appointed in 1849 and 1851.
In 1853 he first entered
political life with the following announcement:
To the Citizens of Bibb County:
The time for selecting those who shall represent you in the state
legislature is rapidly approaching, and at the solicitation of m any
friends of both political parties, I offer myself as a candidate for
your support. Questions involving the future interest of our
city, and thereby of our county, will command the attention of our
next general assembly, and with a view of advancing that interest,
independent of party obligations and caucus requirements, I have
been induced to offer myself a candidate to represent you, pledging
myself, if elected, to represent your interests independent of such
He was a Whig, and though the
parties were evenly divided in Bibb County, in the election he let
all competitions by 75 votes over the leading democratic candidate,
leaving his brother Whig 125, Bibb being entitled to two
In those days each county was
entitled to one senator; so in 1866 he was a Whig candidate for
senator, defeating Leroy Napier, the democratic candidate, and being
again far in the lead among his own party candidates. In 1857
he was again elected to the house, still leading the ticket.
He at once took a prominent stand upon first entering the
legislature, devoting his energies to the advancement of the people
and to the up building and fostering of all public institutions,
especially the academy for the blind and the Georgia military
institute, so much so that in 1859, when he was he Whig (or
American, as it was then called) candidate for congress, he was
fought most bitterly for the interest thus displayed, but
nevertheless, he was elected to congress over Alexander M. Speer, a
democrat who afterward became judge of the supreme court of the
state. He was the only Georgia Whig, with the exception of Joshua
Hill, elected to that congress the other members of the delegation
being all democrats, Robert. Toombs and Alfred Iverson being in the
senate, Martin J. Crawford, Peter Love, Lucius J. Gartrell, John W.
H. Underwood, James Jackson and John J. Jones being in the hours.
The Americans believing strongly in the south were nicknamed "South
Americans". All of this delegation have passed away except
John Jones of Burke; Hill and Hardeman, the only Whigs, dying within
a few hours of each other on the night of March 7, 1891.
From Dec. 7, 1859 to Feb. 1,
1860, there was no organization of the national house of
representatives. The republicans coming into power all
elements of the opposition fiercely fought them for the speakership.
On the first ballot Bocock, the
democratic candidate, led with John Sherman, republican, a
close second, Mr. Hardeman alone voting for his colleague, Mr. Hill.
He then alone on the second ballot supported Mr. Boteler, of
Virginia, whose vote afterward reached as high as forty nine.
On the twenty eight ballot Mr. Boteler, Zeb Vance and Hardeman voted
for W. M. H. Smith of North Carolina AND from these three he
gradually grew until the forty first ballot the vote then being
Pennington, republican, 115; Smith, 113; necessary to a choice 117.
Pennington on the 44th ballot gained two votes and was elected.
Early in the session in a short
speech Mr. Hardeman said: " It has been charged here by a portion of
the members on my left, that the responsibility for not organizing
rests on the opposition members from the south. Now, I wish to
state distinctly that I am opposed to and shall oppose from now till
Christmas next year the election of a republican candidate for
speaker. At the same time I will not and cannot support a man
who indorses the opinions of Judge Douglas, which opinions are I
think, subversive of Southern interests and Southern rights, to wit
that the organic act confers on the people of a territory while in a
territorial condition the power to exclude slavery by unfriendly
This was a stormy session of
congress, the southern members of all banding together regardless of
On Jan 19, 1861, when Georgia
seceded from the Union he, although strongly opposed to secession,
with all of the Georgia delegation except Mr. Hill withdrew from
congress, not resigning, but contending that the secession of
Georgia vacated their seats, Mr. Hill holding a different view of
his obligation of the state's position, formerly resigned. Mr.
Toombs was afterward expelled from the senate. By this time
the preparation for war had begun in earnest. Mr. Hardeman,
being captain of the Floyd Rifles, a position he occupied since Jan.
5, 1856, at once tendered the services of his company to Gov. Brown.
In April that company, together with the Macon volunteers and City
Light guards of Columbus, were ordered to Norfolk and on April 22
arrived at Portsmouth navy yard, while it was still burning, having
been fired by Unites States officials on evacuating the place, they
being the first troops from any state, except Virginia, to appear in
the Old Dominion in behalf of the Confederacy. They together
with the Spalding Grays of Griffin, which arrived a day or two
later, were at once organized into the Second Georgia battalion by
the election of Capt.. Hardeman as major. On March 15, 1862,
he was promoted to the colonelcy of the Forty fifth Georgia
regiment; at Frazier's farm on June 30, 1863, while nobly
encouraging his brave men, was severely wounded
General Anderson's official report) from which wound he never
recovered, suffering seriously until the day of his death.
Being discharged on account of physical disability, he returned to
Macon and was elected a member of the house of representatives in
October, 1863, and upon its organization was made speaker, defeating
the Hon. B. H. Bingham by a vote of 86 to 58. He was appointed
major to take charge of a conscript camp in 1863, which commission
he returned, declining to accept the position. On July 19 1864
he was appointed lieutenant colonel and aide de camp to Gen. G. W.
Smith, who commanded state troops and was serving with him
when the war closed.
In 1865, upon the assembling of
the first legislature after the fall of the Confederacy, he was
again elected to the legislature and upon the
organization of the house was elected speaker, defeating Judge E. H.
Pottle by a vote of 117 to 17. Upon taking his seat he
delivered the following address:
"We are convened today under
circumstances of no ordinary character. Our difficulties are
many and threatening, yet, as the pillar of fire guided the children
of Israel through the perils of the wilderness so may the star of
patriotic duty so shed its light upon our pathway as to conduct our
people to the land of deliverance and of hope.
The political status of our state
depends in a great measure upon our actions here. May I
be permitted to hope, in view of the great interests at stake, we
may so shape our legislative action as to secure for our people a
restoration of civil saw and insure for our state a position and
representation in the council of the nation.
"It were useless to disguise the
fact, gentlemen, that all the dreams of a southern Confederacy and a
separate nationality have passed away, and having qualified
ourselves for citizenship by swearing to support the constitution of
the United States, it becomes us in good faith to comply with this
obligation and so legislate as to convince even our enemies of the
sincerity of our intention and the purity of our motives. This
can be accomplished without servile submission or sycophantic
protestations that belie the action of our people during the
struggle through which they have so heroically passed, by a manly
regard for principle and faithful observance of the constitution
which we have sworn to support. Now that the carnage and
strife of war are over, it were vain to spend our time in idle
regrets for and crocodile tears over the events of the past. Action,
bold, enterprising action, is necessary for our success in the
present and our hope for the future to enliven the home made
desolate, to rebuild our ruined cities, to revive our drooping
commerce, to vocalize our streams with the music of machinery to
fill our furnaces with the fruit of honest industry and our
granaries with the rich harvest of our fertile fields.
"I know our prospects are as
drear as a winter scene. A dark cloud obscures our political
horizon and n bow spans its mantling gloom' but Southern energy and
Southern enterprise will not bend before the storm that gathers in
its bosom, but outliving its fury will be all powerful in rebuilding
the broken fortunes of our people and restoring our stat to the
proud position she occupied before the war desolated her happy
hearthstones or its results marred her hitherto untarnished
"to facilitate these results,
gentlemen, wise, prudent, economical legislation will be required of
this general assembly; protection to person and property will be
required of this general assembly; protection to person and property
should be given to that unfortunate class who have been left
homeless and unprotected in our midst; and protection should
be secured against that spirit of lawlessness and vice that mistake
notions of freedom have engendered in their bosom.
"Our agricultural pursuits, now
languishing for want of a proper system of labor, our mechanical
interest so essential to the complete development of our
greatness, especially need oru fostering care and support.
"Liberal arrangements should be
made for the education of our poor children, and above all we should
provide for the maimed soldier and the orphaned little ones of those
gallant men who evinced their devotion to their cause by shedding
That so holy was,
It would not stain the purest heart
That sparkles in the grove of bliss
and who by their gallant deeds and heroic bearing
have created in the hearts of their countrymen a monument as
lasting as the foundation of their own granite hills.
"In the discharge of our duties
let no jealous bickering or party strife mar the harmony of our
actions. Forgetting the animosities of the past, burying with
our noble dead those old issues that have been effaced by their
blood, let us with one accord renew our allegiance to the state and
to the Union, and by our legislation here and actions
elsewhere convince the world that Georgia, thought prostrate, will
rise again: though desolated, her fields will gladden once more with
waving harvest the hearts of her husbandmen; though stricken with
poverty, her hills will enrich with their hidden treasure and her
commerce whiten with her sails her ocean waters, and though her
schools are deserted and her colleges suspended, learning will
decorate her brow with the wreaths of science and religion rekindle
her fires upon the desecrated alters of her faith. Though
joined to the rock of an irritable destiny, she will sever the cords
that bind her, and with stately step and graceful men resume her
onward upward march to glory and greatness.
"Invoking upon our deliberations
the wisdom of divine agency, let us now proceed to the duties
confided to us by a generous constituency, humbly praying that our
labors will rebound to Georgia's interest and to the nation's
And here he thus early sounded
the signal for the fighting that he ever afterward kept up.
Public education, liberal provision for the Confederates and for the
orphans of those who had been killed, justice to the negro,
but supremacy for his own race.
The keynote to all of his future
efforts was: "Georgia, though prostate will rise again"
In 1853, he rendered signal
service to the academy of the blind securing an appropriation to
erect the building and was a great friend to the Georgia Military
institute at Marietta, and strove hard for the removal of the
capital from Milledgeville to Macon. The bill for the removal
was introduced by Wilde Cleveland of Crawford, but a substitute of
Mr. Hardeman's was adopted and omits final passage the vote was 51
to 51, when the speaker, John E. Ward, voted "aye". This bill
provided for a submission of the question to a popular vote at the
regular election of 1855, when it was defeated by a vote of 49,781
to 34, 545. He also opposed the bill for the sale of the state
road, as he did again in 1855 and 1857
In 1855 a strong effort was made
to require all free persons of color to leave the state in a given
time. Senator Hardeman was not noted for the fairness of
his complexion, nor was a certain other senator who was serving with
him. The house had passed this bill, and on its third and
final reading viva-voce vote had been taken in the senate, but
before it was announced, Mr. Hardeman moved to amend the same so
that the bill should read "to require all free persons of color to
leave the state, except the senators from the counties of
Kinchefonee and Bibb."
Not appreciating the joke the
other senator at once made his way to the senator from Bibb,
demanding explanations, much to the amusement of all the senate.
Taking advantage of the opportunity, Mr. Hardeman at once moved to
indefinitely postpone the bill, which motion was carried.
He secured from a special
committee on the Georgia military institute a bill to appropriate
$15,000 for two years which passed by a vote of 48-46, he
being at that time one of the committee. In 1857 he succeeded
in having passed a bill to erect a monument in Macon to Capt. Isaac
Holmes, who commanded the Macon Guards in the Mexican war and
who died while in that country. He strenuously tried to obtain
an appropriation of $3,000 to the military, which he failed to
do. He again championed a bill to remove the capital to Macon
or Atlanta an d to submit it to the voters. In each of these
three legislatures he had a prominent place on the committees on
banks, finance, internal improvements, etc., and at each session was
on the committee that had charge of the inaugurals of Govs. Johnson
In 1863 and 1864 he still
performed military duties at all times, except when the
legislature was in session. The legislature meeting in Macon
Feb. 15, 1865 Mr. Hardeman urged upon the people, the citizens of
Macon, to do all in their power to secure the location of the
capital there, but leading men of the city did not approve it.
In the sessions of 1865 and 1866 he championed state aid to the
Macon and Brunswick railroad, and the woman's bills, of one of which
he was the author. These were making wife shipping or mal
treatment a misdemeanor, the wife to be a competent witness; and the
other to allow a woman to own and inherit or buy property in
her own right, whether feme covert of feme sole.
He was the last speaker of the
Georgia house of representatives under the Confederate government,
and the first under the United States in the new regime.
He earnestly favored the
rehabiliment of Georgia as a state in the Union, and at the same
time lifted his voice in two thirds of the counties for his race to
stand together. He voted to accord to the nero his legal
rights, but eloquently battled for the supremacy of the white race.
Having been in congress prior to the
war, and being in the Confederate army brought upon him
disabilities. President Johnson granted him the
following pardon under the great seal of the United States:
"Andrew Johnson, President of the United States of America.
"To All to Whom These Presents Shall Come Greeting:
"Whereas, Thomas Hardeman, of Macon, Ga., by taking part in
the late rebellion against the government of the United States, has
made himself liable to heavy pains and penalties;
"Now therefore, be ti known that I, Andrew Johnson,
president of the United States of America, in consideration of the
premises, and divers other good and sufficient reasons to me
thereupon moving, do herby grant to the said Thomas Hardeman a full
pardon and amnesty for all offenses by him committed, arising from a
participation, direct or implied, in said rebellion, conditioned as
follows, towit: This pardon is given to take effect from
the date on which the said Thomas Hardeman shall take
the oath prescribed in the proclamation of the president, dated May
29, 1865, and to be void and of no effect if the said Thomas
Hardeman shall hereafter, and anytime, acquire any property whatever
in slaves or make use of slave labor, and thagt he first pay all
costs which may have accrued in any proceedings hitherto instituted
against his person or property up to the date of the acceptance of
And upon the further consideration that the
said Thomas Hardeman shall notify the secretary of state in writing
that he has received and accepted the foregoing pardon.
In testimony whereof I have hereto signed my
name and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
By the President
WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State
Done at the city of Washington this, the 28th day of August, A.
D. 1865 and of the independence of the United States Oath.
The United States congress fettered all of those of the South who
had held any position of prominence by imposing pains and penalties
from which congressional action alone could free them. Despite
the fact that no political honors or preferment could be in store
for him, Col. Hardeman kept up the fight for democracy traveling
over more counties and making more speeches in 1872 and 1874 and
prior thereto than any man in Georgia.
He was put upon the state democratic executive
committee in 1872 and served for years as chairman.
On April 3, 1874 by a special act, congress
removed his political disabilities, he being one of the very last in
the state to have this ban set aside; in three months thereafter he
was nominated by the democrats of Bibb county to the legislature,
again leading the ticket, as he afterward did in the election.
On the assembling of the legislature on
Jan 13, 1875, Col. Hardeman was elected speaker over Hon. A. O.
Bacon, the speaker of the last house, by two votes, Capt. Bacon
being then elected speaker pro tem. Thomas J. Simmons,
of Bibb was elected president of the senate.
This house was rich in its membership.
A. R. Lawton O. Warner, H. G. Turner, A. O. Bacon, J. L. Warren, W.
D. Anderson, H. H. Carlton, Allen D. Chandler, W. T. Wooford,
L. F. Livingston, Patrick Walsh, A. M. Speer, W. M. Hammond, T. M.
Furlow, J. C. C. Black, and a host of others who, since that
time have made not only sate but national reputations.
In this legislature he took an active part in
securing aid to the Marietta and North Georgia R. R., he prior
thereto having stumped that section of the state to arouse the
people to the importance of having this road.
In 1876 he was a candidate for the democratic
nomination for governor, being the chief opponent of Gen.
Colquitt; there existing between them the warmest personal
friendship, the friends of one, were, as a rule, the friends of the
other.. The rule for the democratic nomination was the two
thirds rule. As soon as Colquitt delegates had been selected
in enough of the counties to indicate a majority vote, Col.
Hardeman, never having believed in the two thirds rule, but in
majority vote, Col. Hardeman, never having believed in
the two thirds rule, but in the old Whig doctrine of a majority,
retired in Gen. Colquitt's favor and in the campaign devoted
all of his energies to the election for the full democratic ticket.
In 1880, he was against a candidate for the
nomination. Gov. Colquitt not receiving the two thirds but
approaching it so near and harmony being the watchword of Co.
Hardeman, he ceased opposition to Colquitt and advised all of
his friends to do the same, which advice only a few followed.
In 1882 the state by the nee appointment being
allowed another representative in congress there, having been no
redistricting, without being a candidate he was nominated by an over
whelming vote by the democratic state convention for representative
from the state at large, Hon. George T. Barnes, John I. Hall and H.
H. Carlton being among those receiving high votes. In the
election he received 81,443 votes against 24,930 from C. D.
Forsythe, the republican nominee, this being 14,220 votes against
24, 930 for C. D. Forsythe, , the republican nominee, this being 14,
220 more than the combined votes of Hons. John C. Nichols, H. G.
Turner, C. F. Crisp, Hugh Buchanan, N. J. Hammond, J. H. Blount, J.
C. Clemments, Seaborn Reese and Allen D. Candler the district
democratic candidates, he running ahead of the ticked i every
district, thus showing his popularity, not only within ghe party,
but among its opponents; and this despite the fact that in 1870 and
72 and 74 of all the democratic campaigners in Georgia, he waged the
most persistent warfare against independents and Republicans and had
stumped those districts where in was their stronghold more
thoroughly than anyone else.
In this congress he was chairman of the
committee on expenditures in the department of state. He was
in congress when the republicans elected their first president and
there again when the democrats elected their first after their long
absence from power. At the expiration of his term he was by
President Cleveland appointed postmaster at Macon for four years.
In 1890 the democrats of Houston county
petitioned that he become a candidate for governor. Hon.
W. J. Northerner been in the field for some time, and the
farmers alliance seemed to be flocking to him. Col.
Hardeman consented to enter the race, but after making two speeches
his health completely failed him owing to heart disease,
and his physicians primarily ordered him to give up the
In doing so he appeared his last in public
life, although he was a member from the state at large on the
democratic state executive committee at the time of his death.
Having succeeded his father in the firm of
Hardeman and Sparks, which at one time had the largest cotton
warehouse business in middle and upper Georgia he was thrown most
intimately with the farmers [southwest Georgia then being altogether
tributary to Macon] so in 1876 it was no surprise that he was
elected president of the Georgia State Agricultural society, and was
re elected annually to 1883, when he declined further election.
His addresses to that body and on other agricultural occasions,
together with his efforts in the legislature and in congress in
behalf of farmers, kept him in close touch with the agriculturists.
In 1876 he was grand commander of the grand
commander Knights Templar of the state of Georgia.
In 1874-75 and 1875-76 he was grand chancellor
of the grand lodge Knights of Pythias of Georgia.
In 1870 Gov. Bulloch appointed him a delegate
to represent the state at the southern commercial convention at
In 1872, upon the formal reorganization of the
Floyd Rifles, he was again elected captain, resigning in less than
two years. In 1875 he was appointed by President Grand
Georgia's commissioner for the Centennial celebration at
In 1883 President
Arthur made him the state commissioner to the World's Industrial and
Cotton centennial exposition at New Orleans.
It is not necessary to speak of the condition
of affairs in Georgia in 1865-67, and what is known as the
reconstruction perisd. The dark clouds hung low, but he
faltered not in endeavoring to lend his people.
In July 1866 a call signed by A. W.
Randall, J. R. Doolittle, Thomas A. Hendricks and others was issued
for a national union convention of two from each district four from
the state at large, to assemble in Philadelphia on Aug. 16 [to be
elected by the state electors] to sustain the administration in
maintaining the union of the states under the constitution our
forefathers established and to take action for the rights, dignity
and equality of the states; that there is no right to dissolve the
union; that slavery is abolished; that each state shall have the
right to establish the qualification of its own electors, and no
international power can or ought to dictate; to maintain inviolate
the rights of the state and that all resistance to the general
government being at an end war measures should be abolished.
At this time there was no party organization
or head, in Georgia; so Col. Hardeman at once issued a call for the
citizens of Bibb county to meet and act. In that meeting, on
July 12 presided over by Eugenius A. Nisbet [the author of the
ordinance of secession] Col. Hardeman introduced the following
That we approve of the call for an national
union convention at Philadelphia Aug. 16. Resolved. that
counties of this and other districts be, and they are hereby
requested to meet at the earliest practical time and appoint
delegates to a convention of their respective districts, to be held
for the purpose of electing delegates to the national union
convention, in conformity with a call for that convention.
Resolved, that in the event there should be no convention held,
on account of the shortness of the time and absence of
postal communication then we request the governor of the state to
appoint delegates for the state at large, and also for such
congressional districts as fail to appoint.
Resolved, That the people of the counties of
this district be requested to meet and endorse this action calling
for a convention of the fourth district on July 25, at Macon.
J. J. Gresham, Thomas Hardeman and W. S.
Hold were appointed the county delegates.
This congressional district was the first to
hold a meeting. They elected Thomas Hardeman and P. W.
Alexander as delegates to the national convention and voted for A.
H. Stephens, H. V. Johnson, D. A. Walker and A. H.
Chappell as delegates from the state at large.
All the districts soon held meetings and
ratified the delegates from the state at large, electing the
following as the district delegation; First Judge W. G. Flemming and
Gen. John B. Gordon; second, Gen. Eli Warren and Col. J.
L. Wimberly; third, Judge Hiram Warner and Judge E. H. Worrill;
fourth Thomas Hardeman and P. W. Alexander; fifth, Linton Stephens
and Gen. A. R. Wright; sixth J. H. Christy and Robert
McMillan; seventh R. F. Lyon and James Milner. Much good
resulted from that convention.
In 1867 a constitutional convention
controlled and governed by the republicans had adopted a new
constitution for the state which was to be submitted to the people.
Notes on the situation by Benjamin H. Hill had aroused the
people, Great discussion was being carried on to keep the white
voters from voting in the election to be held under the new
constitution. New congressional bills had been passed
affecting the status of Georgia, so a voluntary convention assembled
in Macon on Dec. 5 1867, composed of 253 delegates, representing
seventy counties, Mr. Hill was chosen president, and his address on
taking the chair was not only characterized by great ability, but
was calculated to arouse the people to opposition. A committee of
two from each congressional district was appointed to express
the views of the convention. On this committee may be found
George A. Mercer, C. H. C. Willingham, C. B. Richardson, Gen.
Phillip Cook, T. M. Furlow, P. W. Alexander, D. E.
Butler, Judge Bottle, L. J. Glenn and J. D. Stewart,
while the committee from this district were Thomas Hardeman
and Dan Hughes, the Hon. J. J. Gresham, of Bibb county being
chairman of the committee. This committee shaped the action of
that convention which was expressed in the address of a special
committee composed of Herschel V. Johnson, A. H. Chappel, B.
H. Hill, Warren Aiken and T. L. Guerry. In their preamble and
resolution may be found such expressions as these; The season
for honest discussion of principles, and for lawful opposition to
existing abuses and their growth is ever present and pressing.
The southern people are true to constitutional
liberty, and ready to acquiesce in any policy looking to the honor
and good of the whole country and securing the rights of all
classes of people.
We regard the effort of the present ruling power to change the
fundamental institutions of the United States government as false in
principle impolitic in action , injurious in result injurious
to the south and detrimental to the general government.
Silence under wrong may be construed as endorsement. Be it
Resolved First that we recognize the duty to
sustain law and order and to support truthfully all
constitutional measures of the United States government, and
maintain the rights of all classed under enlightened and liberal
Resolved, Second that the people of Georgia
accept in good faith the legitimate results of the late war and
renew their expression of allegiance to the union of the states and
reiterate their determination to maintain inviolate the constitution
framed by our fathers.
The third resolution was to protest
dispassionately yet firmly against what was known as the
reconstruction acts of congress and against the vindictive partisan
administration of those acts as oppressive and ruinous to the states
of teh south as well a hurtful to the true welfare of every portion
of the country.
The forth resolution protested against the
policy of the dominant party in congress to inflict upon the states
of the south bad government as wrong, not only against all races of
the south, but as to the people of all parts of the
Union and as crime against civilization, which was the duty of all
right minded men to discountenance and condemn.
On June 26, 1872 the state democratic
convention assembled in Atlanta. A. H. Stephens was opposed to
Horace Greely, who was at that time an independent
republican candidate, for president and ought any action being taken
that would commit the democratic party to his support but the
following delegates to Baltimore we elected from the state at large;
Gen. Henry L. Benning, Col. Julian Hartridge, Gen. A. R.
Wright, Col. Thomas Hardeman, Col. C. T. Goode and Col.
I. W. Avery who attended the Baltimore convention and
participated in the nomination of Greely.
On July 24, 1872, the state democratic
convention was called, over which Thomas Hardeman
presided, which ratified the nomination of Greeley and Brown.
On Feb. 23, 1848 he was married in Eatonton
to Jane S. Lumsden, by whom he had three children one dying in
infancy and their only daughter Jessie dying in June 18887.
In a few days after the death of the daughter
[an affliction from which he never recovered] he wrote the
Asleep in Jesus; cease to weep;
Our children with the Savior sleep.
Side by side, they safely rest,
Sweetly sleeping on his breast.
Asleep in Jesus; years long gone
The Savior took our first born home'
Ere earthly sorrow racked his breast,
Our angel boy was with the blest.
Asleep in Jesus; chastening love
Has called another child above
Our daughter dear, our pride, our joy,
Has gone to meet our b aby boy.
Asleep in Jesus; life's troubles o'er.
Eternal rest, joys evermore;
The conflict fought, the battle won.
The conqueror's shout, the victor's crown.
Asleep in Jesus; dearest Lord,
Support us with they precious word
For thou has said "In deep distress
Your every sorrow I will bless"
Asleep in Jesus; oh, how sweet,
The precious promise, " You may meet
The much loved lost ones in that home
where death and parting never come."
Asleep in Jesus; make us feel
Submissive to thy sovereign will:
In every thought and act and word
Say "Blessed be thy name, O Lord."
On Jan 14, 1891, he was partially paralyzed
and died in the only home he ever owned, in Vineville on March
7, his wife following him to the grave in October, only one member of
the family surviving J. L. Hardeman who is now judge of the superior
court of Macon circuit.
His wife, the daughter of John G. and Malinda
[Sanford} Lumsden was truly a helpmate in all things. His
equal in intellect and culture, she was most ambitious for him.
On the night of March 4, 1861, she with two
female relations made a Confederate flag from a telegraphic
description received from Montgomery as soon as the stars and bars
were adopted and represented it to the Floyd rifles before sunrise
on the morning of the fifth, when a salute was fired to it by the
company. It being the first military salute received by the flag of
the young republic of Georgia. She was president of the Soldiers'
Relief society during the war and of the Ladies' Memorial
association for a time afterward.
As an orator Col. Hardeman had no superior in
the state; the agricultural population flocked to him; the
merchant and mechanic were charmed, while on literary occasions
his audience was held spell bound, and on the stump he was
almost matchless, but his great forte was as an extempore and
social orator. He delivered literary addresses at numbers of
colleges, male and female, in Virginia, North and South Carolina,
Georgia and Alabama, and the oration on laying the cornerstone of
the academy for the blind. In fact there is no class of
addresses of which he did not deliver a great number in Georgia.
Among the best of his orations were those
delivered at the centennial of the battle of King's Mountain in
North Carolina; presenting the Ross-Gettysburg medal to the Floyd
Rifles; the commencement oration at Emory college in 1866 [in which
he advocated industrial education in colleges, and for which he was
condemned by some of the trustees, this being a new
departure]; his eulogy on the dead of Macon lodge; his eulogy on the
death of President Garfield as a Knight Templar, and his
various memorial addresses.
His was a cheerful, happy disposition;
sunlight hovered around him where ever he went and his hearty
recognition of every person whom he ever met endeared him to the
people. Firm in his opinion of right, he was never combative
to an opponent. Generous to a fault, his endorsement of the
farmers papers in 1873 bankrupted him. He was a Bible scholar
and much study, he was apt in his illustration and quotations every
time and never failed to touch hearts of is hearers. Georgia
was his idol, not only his home, but his heaven.
The traits of his character were perhaps
better set forth by the Rev. Dr. E. W. Warren at his
funeral than we could well do here;
We have assembled here to day to bury a
friend; your friend and my friend, the friend of the
good man and friend of the bad man, a friend of the rich and a
friend of the poor, the friend of those who were prosperous
and of the needy the large hearted, philanthropic friend of all men
who from his young manhood and through its bright days down to the
present lived among you in the city of Macon as a prominent man, and
in his business, political social life, always enjoyed the deepest
affection and the most implicit confidence of the people of this
city as well as the state of Georgia.
Whether he floated on the unruffled tide of
prosperity or whirlpool of adversity and financial depression no
suspicion of his integrity ever rested upon the mind of a single
man. Never unduly depressed by misfortune or elated y success,
his wonderfully balanced mind was one that could speak peace
to the angry passion of man at all times, with a voice not clothed
intones of authority, but with the power to sooth, control and raw
men toward him in the strongest bonds of affection. This
friend of ours had ambition without jealousy and grand ambition but
never so strong as to induce him to rob a man of his rights. If
success was to be gained by a loss of his integrity or by any method
that demanded a compromise of his sense of honor or his God given
manhood, he cast it from him as an unholy trifle not worthy of his
possession. His character can be judged from the fact that for
the greater part of his life he occupied high positions where
the closest critics could examine into his life add almost
into the inmost recesses of his heart, and with all this, who ever
heard or saw a character more spotless or a life more full of all
that makes life bright and fair? Whose had ever tried to
smirch that stainless reputation, and who among the men of Macon
does not love the memory of this man.
With the workingman he was always friendly,
kind and cheering and for him he always had a warm and kindly
greeting. In society he was ever welcome. Every door was open
to the man whose spirit was so cheerful, whose manner so courteous
and whose power to please and attack so remarkable. He
was indeed a star that shone ever bright, beautiful and
constant upon earth. In his home he was the same man as
abroad, to the guest he extended the hand of welcome and among
his friends gathered around him in that home his heard shed forth a
Nurtured by the most pious parents, rocked as
it were, in the cradle of religion he never made public
profession of the religion of Christ, but when stricken with disease
a short time ago he expressed a wish to recognize the church and he
lived to accomplish his desire.