Rare Joseph E. Brown and John B. Gordon Autographed Check - Inventory Number: AUT 054
Citizens Bank of Georgia check Dated December 5, 1874
Nicely framed, frame measures 14 inches by 28 inches.
Joseph Emerson Brown (April 15, 1821 – November 30, 1894), often referred to as Joe Brown, was an attorney and politician, serving as the 42nd Governor of Georgia from 1857 to 1865, the only governor to serve four terms. He also served as a United States Senator from that state from 1880 to 1891.
A former Whig, and a firm believer in slavery and Southern states' rights, Brown was a leading secessionist in 1861, and led his state into the Confederacy. Yet he also defied the Confederate government's wartime policies: he resisted the military draft, believing that local troops should be used only for the defense of Georgia; and denounced Confederate President Jefferson Davis as an incipient tyrant, challenging Confederate impressment of animals and goods to supply the troops, and slaves to work in military encampments and on the lines. Several other governors followed his lead.
After the American Civil War, Brown joined the Republican Party for a time, and was appointed as chief justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia from 1865 to 1870. Later he rejoined the Democrats, became president of the Western and Atlantic Railroad and began to amass great wealth; he was estimated to be a millionaire by 1880. He benefited from using convicts leased from state, county and local governments in his coal mining operations in Dade County. His Dade Coal Company bought other coal and iron companies, and by 1889 was known as the Georgia Mining, Manufacturing and Investment Company. Finally, he was twice elected by the state legislature as a U.S. Senator, serving from 1880 to 1891. During this time he was part of the Bourbon Triumvirate, alongside fellow prominent Georgia politicians John Brown Gordon and Alfred H. Colquitt.
Brown saved the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary financially in the 1870s. An endowed chair in his honor, the Joseph Emerson Brown Chair of Christian Theology, was established at the institution. Brown and his wife, Elizabeth Grisham Brown, were honored in 1928 by a statue installed on the state capitol grounds. In 2020, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary vacated the Joseph Emerson Brown chair of theology because the seminary believed, according to President Albert Mohler, that the name was "wrongly commemorated" by the Seminary due to Brown's position on slavery.
John Brown Gordon (February 6, 1832 – January 9, 1904) was an attorney, a slaveholding plantation owner, general in the Confederate States Army, and politician in the postwar years. By the end of the Civil War, he had become "one of Robert E. Lee's most trusted generals.":
After the war, Gordon strongly opposed Reconstruction during the late 1860s. A member of the Democratic Party, he was elected by the Georgia state legislature to serve as a US Senator, from 1873 to 1880, and again from 1891 to 1897. He also was elected as the 53rd Governor of Georgia, serving from 1886 to 1890.
Lieutenant-General JOHN BROWN GORDON was born in Upson County, Georgia, February 6, 1832. He became a lawyer, but entered the Confederate service as lieutenant-colonel of an Alabama regiment, and rose to the rank of lieutenant-general before the close of the war.
He was brigade and division commander in the Army of Northern Virginia, and was prominent in the Second Army Corps during Early's campaign in the Shenandoah valley. He was at the head of the Second Corps after January 31, 1865, and was in command of the left wing at the time of Lee's surrender.
After the war, he became prominent in Georgia politics and was United States senator from that State, 1873-1880, and in 1891-1897. From 1887 to 1890, he was governor of Georgia. He was commander-in-chief of the United Confederate Veterans after 1900. He died at Miami. Florida, January 9, 1904.
Lieutenant colonel, Sixth Alabama Infantry, December 26, 1861.
Colonel, Sixth Alabama Infantry, April 28, 1862.
Brigadier general, P. A. C. S., November 1, 1862.
Brigadier general, P. A. C. S., May 7, 1863
Major general, P. A. C. S., May 14, 1864.
Lieutenant general, P. A. C. S., , 1865
Brigade composed of the Thirteenth, Twenty-sixth, Thirty-first, Thirty-eighth, Sixtieth and Sixty-first Georgia Regiments Infantry (originally Lawton's Brigade), and the Sixth and Twelfth Battalions of Georgia Infantry, Early's Division, Army of Northern Virginia.
Division composed of the brigades of Evans, Terry and York, Army of Northern Virginia.
October 31, 1864, commanding a division in the Army of Valley District.
Commanding Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, January 31, 1865.
Commanding left wing, Army of Northern Virginia, to the surrender of General Lee, April, 1865.
Inventory Number: AUT 054