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Wilson Lumpkin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wilson Lumpkin
Wilson Lumpkin, Governor of Georgia, by Chas. Fenderich.jpg
Wilson Lumpkin
United States Senator
from Georgia
In office
November 22, 1837 – March 3, 1841
Preceded byJohn P. King
Succeeded byJohn M. Berrien
35th Governor of Georgia
In office
November 9, 1831 – November 4, 1835
Preceded byGeorge R. Gilmer
Succeeded byWilliam Schley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's at-large district
In office
March 4, 1829 – 1831
Preceded bydistrict created
Succeeded byAugustin Smith Clayton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 4th district
In office
March 4, 1827 – March 3, 1829
Preceded bydistrict created
Succeeded byHugh A. Haralson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's at-large district
In office
March 4, 1815 – March 3, 1817
Preceded byGeorge Troup
Succeeded byThomas W. Cobb
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1783-01-14)January 14, 1783
near Dan River, Virginia
DiedDecember 28, 1870(1870-12-28) (aged 87)
Athens, Georgia
Political partyDemocratic

Wilson Lumpkin (January 14, 1783 – December 28, 1870) was an American planter, attorney, and politician. He served two terms as the governor of Georgia, from 1831 to 1835, in the period of Indian Removal of the Creek and Cherokee peoples to Indian Territory to make way for development of their lands by European Americans. He also served in the state house, and as a United States representative and US Senator. He ran from Clarke County, Georgia, in the northeast part of the state.

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Early life

Born near Dan River, Virginia, Lumpkin moved in 1784 to Oglethorpe County, Georgia, with his parents, who settled near Point Peter and subsequently at Lexington, Georgia. He attended the common schools, and taught school and farmed. He "read the law" with an established practice, and was admitted to the bar; he commenced practice in Athens, Georgia, in Clarke County in the northeast part of the state. He was of entirely English ancestry; his first immigrant ancestor was Thomas Lumpkin, who moved from England to Virginia during the colonial period.[1]

Political life

Lumpkin entered political life by joining the Democratic-Republican Party. He was elected as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives, serving four terms from 1804 to 1812. After that, he ran for Congress in 1814, following the War of 1812, and was elected as a Representative to the Fourteenth United States Congress, serving one term from March 4, 1815, to March 3, 1817. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection. He received an appointment by the Georgia governor as the State Indian Commissioner,[2] where he ran boundary lines between the state of Georgia and Creek Indian lands as part of the Treaty of the Creek Agency (1818).[3]

Nearly a decade later, Lumpkin returned to Congress, being elected to the Twentieth, Twenty-first, and Twenty-second Congresses and serving from March 4, 1827, until his resignation in 1831 before the convening of the Twenty-second Congress. He ran for the governorship; he was also an appointed commissioner on the Georgia–Florida boundary line commission.

Lumpkin was elected Governor of Georgia in November 1831, for what was then the standard two-year term. In that election he received 27,305 votes and the incumbent governor George R. Gilmer, also a planter, received 25,863 votes.[4] Lumpkin was reelected as governor in 1833, due in part to the nullification crisis, and served until 1835.[5] In 1835, Lumpkin was appointed as commissioner under the Cherokee treaty, which virtually all of the remainder of their lands to the United States in exchange for payments and land in Indian Territory. The Cherokee lands were granted to US citizens by lottery, and several new counties were organized.

As governor, Lumpkin directed the release of two missionaries, Samuel A. Worcester and Elizur Butler, who had been imprisoned for dwelling in the Cherokee territory and refusing to take an oath of allegiance to Georgia.[6] The case was taken before the Supreme Court in Worcester v. Georgia and decided in their favor in 1832.

Lumpkin was elected to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John P. King and served the remainder of his term from November 22, 1837, to March 3, 1841. While in the Senate, he was chairman of the Committee on Manufactures (Twenty-sixth Congress).[7] He was appointed by the governor as a member of the State Board of Public Works. He died a few years after the end of the Civil War, in Athens in 1870; interment was in Oconee Hill Cemetery.


Governor Wilson Lumpkin House, c. 1842, photographer facing east
Governor Wilson Lumpkin House, c. 1842, photographer facing east

Lumpkin's grandson, Middleton P. Barrow, also served in the U.S. Senate. Lumpkin's brother Joseph Henry Lumpkin was the first chief justice of the Georgia supreme court.[8] Their nephew John Henry Lumpkin was a U.S. Representative from Georgia.[9] The settlers of Terminus (current-day Atlanta) voted to rename their town "Lumpkin" after Wilson Lumpkin. He instead asked for his young daughter Martha Atalanta Lumpkin (later Compton), to be the honoree of the city's first true name, "Marthasville."

Lumpkin County, Georgia, is named for him.[10] The Lumpkin House on the campus of the University of Georgia was built by Lumpkin and is named in his memory.[11]


  1. ^ Northen, William Jonathan (1910). "Men of Mark in Georgia: A Complete and Elaborate History of the State from Its Settlement to the Present Time, Chiefly Told in Biographies and Autobiographies of the Most Eminent Men of Each Period of Georgia's Progress and Development".
  2. ^ Kimberly, David R. (2012). "Cherokees and Congregationalists vs. Georgia and Andrew Jackson: The Attempt to Prevent the Trail of Tears". International Congregational Journal. 11 (1): 98. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  3. ^ Lumpkin, Wilson. "Letter, 1818 Sept. 25, Madison, [Georgia to] Gen[era]l D[avid] B. Mitchell / Wilson Lumpkin". Southeastern Native American Documents, 1730-1842. Digital Library of Georgia. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  4. ^ "Governor's Election". Georgia Journal. Milledgeville, Georgia. 28 November 1831. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  5. ^ Vipperman, Carl J. (Fall 1982). "The 'Particular Mission' of Wilson Lumpkin". The Georgia Historical Quarterly. 66 (3): 308. JSTOR 40580931.
  6. ^ Lumpkin, Wilson. "[Proclamation] 1833 Jan. 14, Georgia to Charles C. Mills / Wilson Lumpkin, Governor of [Georgia]". Southeastern Native American Documents, 1730-1842. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  7. ^ Wilson Lumpkin, United States 1850 Slave Schedule, Clarke County, Georgia
  8. ^ Paul DeForest Hicks (2002). Joseph Henry Lumpkin: Georgia's First Chief Justice. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.
  9. ^ Dan Morris and Inez Morris (1974). Who was who in American Politics: A Biographical Dictionary of Over 4,000 Men and Women... Hawthorn Books.
  10. ^ State of Georgia (2012). "Lumpkin County". State of Georgia. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
  11. ^ "Governor Wilson Lumpkin House (Athens, Ga.)". Hubert B. Owens Collection, Box 28, Owens Library, School of Environment and Design, The University of Georgia. Digital Library of Georgia. Retrieved 13 June 2016.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's at-large congressional district

March 4, 1815 – March 4, 1817
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Representatives elected at large
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 4th congressional district

March 4, 1827 – March 4, 1829
Succeeded by
Representatives elected at large
Preceded by
Representatives elected by district
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's at-large congressional district

March 4, 1829 – 1831
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Governor of Georgia
Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by  U.S. senator (Class 2) from Georgia
November 22, 1837 – March 4, 1841
Served alongside: Alfred Cuthbert
Succeeded by
Honorary titles
Preceded by Oldest living U.S. senator
June 19, 1867 – December 28, 1870
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 12 March 2023, at 16:27
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