Charles Edward Broyles’ money woes followed him from the last days of the Civil War to the early days of Reconstruction.
At first, that lack of funds didn’t seem to curb his determination to follow his perceived lifelong mandate from his father to pursue “the glories of victories won upon the arena of public life.”
Given his endeavors up to this point hardly qualified as victories, perhaps Charles keenly felt the need of something to balance the tally. Not long after his return home to Dalton, Georgia, Charles was back in that public arena, according to a news report issued on September 26, 1866, in the Macon, Georgia, Telegraph. You may notice a couple familiar names in this excerpt.
…a large and respectable portion of the citizens of North Georgia, assembled at Dalton on Saturday the 15th instant, for the purpose of taking action upon the proceedings of the late Constitutional Union Convention, held in Philadelphia on the 12th of August.On motion of Col. J. A Glenn, Col. H. L. Sims was chosen President of the day…On motion of the Rev. J. M. Richardson, a committee of five, consisting of the Rev. J. M. Richardson, Col. C. E. Broyles, Col. R. W. Jones, Rev. H. C. Carter and H. McHan, were appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting.The committee retired and during a portion of their absence the meeting was addressed by Cols. J. A Glenn and C. E. Broyles, upon the political issues of the day, strongly denouncing all hostility to the President as dangerous to our Republican institutions, sectional in their character, and in the end calculated to widen, instead of healing, the wounds of the Union.
Given the indefatigable political drive of our subject, it is no surprise to learn that, penniless though he may have been after the war, he would not let that lack present any barrier to his continued participation in the political process. I’ll let Charles explain his involvement of the next few years in his own words below and in tomorrow’s post. Then we’ll go back and revisit this episode from the lens of newspaper reports around the state of Georgia from that same time period. You know there will always be at least two sides to every story.
In 1868 I borrowed money to go as a delegate to the reconstruction convention in Atlanta. I made the 2nd ratification speech in favor of R. B. Bullock for Governor and he came up to me at the time and promised me that if he was elected Governor “he would remember me.” That fall the Republican Convention to nominate a candidate for Congress was unanimously for me. I had the nomination but declined it because I was too poor to make the canvas. I was then appointed Solicitor General of the Circuit. I preferred it to the Judgeship. And with this office which I filled four years, I relieved my family of much of their want and suffering. My term ended in 1872. And I assumed my profession.
Charles was obviously much admired. For someone who actively sought public life, it's to his credit that he opted to stay put and work rather than risk further debt by accepting the nomination which might have required him to borrow more money.ReplyDelete
His plight definitely makes me wonder what might have happened, had he not been restricted by his financial difficulties. On the other hand, I imagine much of the South was experiencing the same types of financial woes, as well. Charles must have poured much of his substance into those years of military commitment. Then, too, I have no idea how he covered living expenses for his family in his absence during the war.Delete
Quite a resilient guy. It's great that you have his journal for this story to be passed along.ReplyDelete
It sure has been interesting, Patrick. Only, I wish I had the actual journal. I only have a transcribed copy of the original. Who knows where the original is now....Delete
"The Solicitor-General who is an elected county officer who represents the state of Georgia in trial and appeal of misdemeanor criminal cases in State Court." (as of today) Apparently some of these Solicitor-General offices are appointment by the Governor and some are elected.ReplyDelete
I wonder if there has been a change, over the years, in how they attained their office. Apparently, back in Charles' day, that office was attained via appointment which had to be confirmed by the Georgia senate.Delete