Thursday, September 16, 2010

Genealogy:William Ferguson Smith

My maternal great-great grandfather was born on this date, September 16, one hundred forty five years ago (1845).

As you can see from the photo of the dust jacket, he is the author of of The Rival Lovers: a story of The War Between the States.

It is an authentic and original tale of a solider, citizen and public servant written in 1877, originally published in serial form in the Butts County Argus.

Even more interesting are the second and third parts of the book which contain first a biographical sketch entitled William, The Man; and then Essays: Other Writings of William Ferguson Smith.

He is mentioned in the New Georgia Encyclopedia as a *mover and shaker* of 19th century Butts County because of his overall leadership, most notably as editor of the newspaper and president of the railroad.

In his remarks when he took charge of the Flovilla and Indian Springs Railroad (1888?), he challenged his listeners to act their parts as patriots and save the Republic.

Now I leave you with his actual words which continue to be appropriate in the perennial task of cultural renewal.

Can we - will we - perpetuate this Republic for the benefit of the children of both races?  Or will we allow race prejudice and sectional hatred to rob us of reason, smother our patriotism, and engage us in factional strife, while our great Republic goes down under the grasp of financial despotism?

I present these questions for the thoughtful, prayerful consideration of the great middle class of the American people to consider, with the hope, the prayerful desire, and the sincere belief, that the great responsive heart will answer in the affirmative.

Take heart over these issues.

Remember our great Constitution, as tomorrow is Constitution Day.

Preserving that permanent thing...

maintains liberty and justice for all.

Many thanks to my cousin, Harriet Ann Stovall Kelley (Editor) who discovered WFS papers and took the time to preserve them for posterity.  Read one of her poems here.

1 comment:

  1. Those are very wonderful words and you must feel honored to have come from such a legacy of hope.