Judge Joseph Henry Lumpkin

Judge Joseph Henry Lumpkin

Male 1799 - 1867  (67 years)

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  • Name Joseph Henry Lumpkin  [1
    Title Judge 
    Born 23 Dec 1799  Oglethorpe Co., GA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Death Stroke of paralysis Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation Lawyer Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation Chief Justice, Supreme Court of GA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Died 4 Jun 1867  Athens, GA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Buried Athens, GA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • From "Annals of Athens" by Augustus Longstreet Hull:

      Judge Lumpkin was a learned jurist and a finished scholar. He loved study, and was a great reader. His speeches, of which no record now remains, were full of pathos and the fire of eloquence, and his decisions while on the Supreme bench are models of clearness and elegant composition. A natural teacher, for many years he imparted instruction to the young men in his office and in the Lumpkin Law School, charming them alike by the elegance of his language and the thoroughness of his knowledge. He was a great temperance advocate, and his voice, always heard on the side of righteousness, was a power for good.

      Judge Lumpkin was the first Chief Justice of Georgia. Chief Justice Bluckley said of him: "His literary power was in vocal utterance. In the spoken words he was a literary genius, far surpassing any other Georgian living or dead, I have ever known. Indeed, from no other mortal lips have I heard such harmonies and sweet sounding sentences as came from his. Those who never saw and heard him cannot be made to realize what a great master he was."


      From "The Record of My Ancestry" by A. L. Hull:

      Joseph Henry Lumpkin was born in Lexington, VA. Entered the U. of Ga. but on suspension of the college went to Princeton where he graduated with second honor in 1819. After studying law he was elected to the Legislature at 25 years of age. After a successful practice of law, he was elected the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia upon its organization in 1845 and held the office until his death. Judge Lumpkin was a great lawyer but a greater judge. As an orator he had few equals, and his defense of Young Harris charged with murder acquitting him in the face of universal prejudice against him was one of the greatest triumphs of his life. He was a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church. Paralysis was the cause of his death. He organized the Phi Kappa Debating Society at the University of Georgia.


      From 1850 Census of Clarke County, Georgia:

      LUMPKIN, Joseph Henry 50 M W Judge, Sup.Ct. $10,600* Georgia

      *Value of real estate owned.
    • From Slave Narratives, Library of Congress

      Manuscript/Mixed Material

      Federal Writers' Project: Slave Narrative Project, Vol. 4, Georgia, Part 3, Kendricks-Styles
      Date: 1936-00-00

      Let us hear now from Anna Parkes. A quick word before we hear her voice: Keep in mind that Anna?s record is a historical artifact of the post-Civil War, Jim Crow South, the late 1930s to be exact. She is not from our own time, and she does not speak to us in language with which we are accustomed, nor perhaps entirely comfortable.
      Some readers may look at Anna?s words and think that, because she doesn?t speak disparagingly of her former masters, she is defending or glorifying the institution of slavery. She is not speaking to the institution of slavery as a whole, but to her own experiences. And as you?ll see later in her testimony, she is very much aware that her experiences as a slave were atypically uneventful. If you?d like, you can go to the Library of Congress website to see the original transcript.
      Her testimony is lengthy, and we?ll take it in parts. Here is the first part:
      Ex-Slave Interview
      150 Strong Street
      Athens, Georgia
      Written by: Sarah H. Hall
      Federal Writer?s Project
      Athens, Georgia
      Edited by: John N. Booth
      District Supervisor
      Federal Writer?s Project
      Residencies 6 & 7
      Augusta, Georgia
      Anna Parkes? bright eyes sparkled as she watched the crowd that thronged the hallway outside the office where she awaited admittance. A trip to the downtown section is a rare event in the life of an 86 year old negress, and, accompanied by her daughter, she was taking the most of this opportunity to see the world that lay so far from the door of the little cottage where she lives on Strong Street.
      When asked if she liked to talk of her childhood days before the end of the Civil War, she eagerly replied: ??Deed, I does.? She was evidently delighted to have found someone who actually wanted to listen to her, and proudly continued: ?Dem days sho? wuz sompin? to talk ?bout. I don?t never git tired of talkin? ?bout ?em. Paw, he wuz Olmstead Lumpkin. Us lived at de Lumpkin home place on Prince Avenue. I wuz born de same week as Miss Callie Cobb, and whilst I don?t know z?ackly what day I wuz born, I kin be purty sho? ?bout how many years ole I is by axin? how ole Miss Callie is. Fust I ?members much ?bout is totin? de key basket ?round ?hind Ole Miss when she give out de vitals. I never done a Gawd?s speck of work but dat. I jes? follerred ?long atter Ole Miss wid ?er key basket.
      ?Did dey pay us any money? Lawdy, Lady! What for? Us didn?t need no money. Ole Marster and Ole Miss all time give us plenty good sompin? teat, and clo?es, and dey let us sleep in a good cabin, but us did have money now and den. A heap of times us had nickles and dimes. Dey had lots of comp?ny at Ole Marster?s, and us allus act might spry waitin? on ?em, so dey would ?member us when dey lef?. Effen it wuz money dey gimme, I jes? couldn?t wait to run to de sto? and spend it for candy.?
      ?What else did you buy with the money??, she was asked.
      ?Nuffin? else,? was the quick reply. ?All a piece of money meant to me in dem days, wuz candy, and den mo? candy. I never did git much candy as I wanted when I wuz chillun.?
      ?You see I didn?t have to save up for nuffin?. Ole Marster and Ole Miss, dey took keer of us. Dey sho? wuz good white folkses, but den dey had to be good white folkses, kaza Ole Marster, he wuz Jedge Lumpkin, and de Jedge quz bound to take evvybody do right, and he gwine do right his own self ?fore he try to make udder folkses behave deyselves. Ain?t nobody, nowhar, as good to dey Negroes as my white folkses wuz.?
      Who taught you to say ?Negroes? so distinctly?? she was asked.
      ?Ole Marster,? she promptly answered, ?He ?spained dat us wuz not to be ?shamed of our race. He said us warn?t no ?niggers?; he said us wuz ?Negroes?, and he ?spected his Negroes to be de best Negroes in de whole land.
      ?Old Marster had a big fine gyarden. His Negroes wukked it good, and us wuz sho? proud of it. Us lived close in town, and all de Negroes on de place wuz yard and house servants. Us didn?t have no gyardens ?round our cabins, kaze all of us at de big house kitchen. Ole Miss had flowers evvywhar ?round de big house, and she wuz all time givin? us some to plant ?round de cabins.
      ?All de cookin? wuz done at de big house kitchen, and hit wuz a sho? ?nough big kitchen. Us had two boss cooks, and lots of helpers, and us sho? had plenty of good sompin? teat. Dat?s de Gawd?s trufe, and I means it. Heap of folkses been tryin? to git me to say us didn?t have ?nough teat and dat us never had nuffin? fittin? teat. But ole as I is, I cyan? start tellin? no lies now. I gotter die fo? long, and I sho? wants to be clean in de mouf and no stains or lies on my lips when I dies. Our sompin? teat wuz a heap better?n what us got now. Us had plenty of evvything right dar in de yard. Chickens, ducks, geese, guineas, tukkeys, and de smoke?ouse full of good meat. Den de mens, day wuz all time goin? huntin?, and fetchin? in wild tukkeys, an poddiges, and heaps and lots of ?possums and rabbits. Us had many fishes as us wanted. De big fine shads, and perch, and trouts; dem wuz de fishes de Jedge liked mos?. Catfishes won?t counted fittin? to set on de Jedges table, but us Negroes wuz ?loved to eat all of ?em us wanted. Catfishes mus? be mighty skace now kaze I don?t know when ever I is seed a good ole river catfish a-flappin? his tail. Day flaps dey tails atter you done kilt ?em, and cleaned ?em, and drap ?em in de hot grease to fry. Sometimes dey nigh knock de lid offen de fryin? pan.
      ?Ole Marster buyed Bill Finch down de country somewhar?, and dey called him ?William? at de big house. He wuz a tailor, and he made clo?es for de young marsters. William wuz right smart, and one of his joos wuz to lock up all de vitals atter us done et much as us wanted. All of us had plenny, but dey won?t nuffin? wasted ?round Ole Marster?s place.
      ?Ole Miss wuz young and pretty dem days, and Ole Marster won?t no old man den, but us had to call ?em ?Ole Miss,? and ?Ole Marster,? kaze dey chilluns wuz called ?Young Marster? and ?Young Mistess? f?um de very day dey wuz born.?
      When asked to describe the work assigned to little Negroes, she quickly answered: ?Chilluns didn?t do nuffin?. Grownup Negroes done all de wuk. All chilluns done was to frolic and play. I wuz jes? ?lowed ter tote de key basket kaze I wuz all time hangin? ?round de big house, and wanted so bad to stay close to my ma in de kitchen and to be nigh Ole Miss.
      ?What sort of clo?es did I wear in dem days? Why Lady, I had good clo?es. Atter my little mistresses wore dey clo?es a little, Ole Miss give ?em to me. Ma allus made me wear clearn, fresh clo?es, and go dressed up good all de time so I?d be fittin? to carry de key basket for Ole Miss. Some of de udder slave chilluns had homemade shoes, but I allus had good sto?-bought shoes what my young mistess done outgrowed, or what some of de comp?ny gimme. Comp?ny what had chilluns ?bout my size, gimme heaps of clo?es and shoes, and some times dey didn?t look like dey?d been wore none hardly.
      ?Ole Marster sho? had lots of Negroes ?round his place. Deir wuz Aunt Charlotte, and Aunt Julie, and de two cooks, and Adeline, and Mary, and Edie, and Jimmy. De mens wuz Charlie, and Floyd, and William, and Daniel. I disremembers de res? of ?em.
      ?Ole Marster never whipped none of his Negroes, not dat I ever heard of. He tole ?em what he wanted done ,and give ?em plenny of time to do it. Dey wuz allus skeert effen dey didn?t be smart and do right, dey might git sold to some marster would beat ?em, and be mean to ?em. Us knowed dey won?t many marsters as good to dey slaves as Ole Marster wuz to us. Us would of most kilt ourself wukkin?, fo? us would have give him reason to wanna git rid of us. No Ma?am, Ole Marster ain?t never sold no slave, no whilst I can ?member. Us wuz allus skeert dat effen a Negro git lazy and triflin? he might git sold.
      ?No Negro never runned away f?um our place. Us didn?t have nuffin? to run f?um, and nowhar to run to. Us heard of patterrollers but us won?t ?fraid none kaze us knowed won?t no patterroller gwine tech none of Jedge Lumpkin?s Negroes.

    Person ID I0374  Hull
    Last Modified 27 Jun 2017 

    Father John Lumpkin,   b. 1763, King & Queen Co., St. Stephens Parish, VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1834, Oglethorpe Co., GA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years) 
    Mother Lucy Elizabeth Hopson,   b. 17 May 1764, Halifax Co., VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1820, GA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 55 years) 
    Married 1780  Goochland Co., VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F607  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Callender Cunningham Grieve,   b. 23 Jan 1803, Edinburgh, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Nov 1871, Athens, GA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years) 
    Married 27 Feb 1821  Lexington, GA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Three sources give different information on the date and place of marriage.
    • From J. Stratton Hicky:

      Because James Hall McHenry, Sr. and Marion Greer (sic) Grieve McHenry both died when their two surviving boys were very young, Callender and Joseph Henry Lumpkin apparently took the boys in and raised them. I've been told that both John Grieve McHenry and his brother, James Hall McHenry, Jr., graduated from Princeton (we have paperwork showing this) due to Mr. Lumpkin paying for their college education. So, they were almost like sons to Callender and Joseph Lumpkin.
     1. Marion McHenry Lumpkin,   b. 22 Feb 1822,   d. 10 Jul 1897, Athens, Clarke Co., GA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)
     2. Lucy Lumpkin,   b. 8 May 1823, GA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 May 1856, Athens, GA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 32 years)
    +3. Joseph Troup Lumpkin,   b. 1824,   d. 1866  (Age 42 years)
    +4. Callie Lumpkin,   b. Abt 1827
     5. William Wilberforce Lumpkin,   b. 29 Jul 1829,   d. 17 Jan 1897  (Age 67 years)
     6. Edward P. Lumpkin,   b. Abt 1834
     7. James M. Lumpkin,   b. Abt 1836
     8. Miller G. Lumpkin,   b. Abt 1837
     9. Charles M. Lumpkin,   b. Abt 1838
     10. Robert C. Lumpkin,   b. Abt 1840
     11. Francis Grieve Lumpkin,   b. 14 Oct 1842, Lexington, GA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Oct 1876, Athens, GA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 33 years)
    Joseph Henry Lumpkin House
    Joseph Henry Lumpkin House
    Built 1842
    248 Prince Avenue
    Tucker Dorsey, son of Jasper and Callender Weltner Dorsey
    Lumpkin-Cobb-Gerdine Monument: 3 Lumpkins
    Lumpkin-Cobb-Gerdine Monument: 3 Lumpkins
    Born Dec. 13, 1827. Died Aug. 30, 1829
    Born May 21, 1831. Died [Aug. 28,]1822
    Born Aug. 11, 1832. Died Aug. 28, 1832.
    Children of Joseph H. Lumpkin
    Plot: Lumpkin-Cobb, East Hill
    Lumpkin-Cobb-Gerdine Monument
    Lumpkin-Cobb-Gerdine Monument
    On each side of the monument, members of the Lumpkin, Cobb, and Gerdine families buried there are listed. Since there are no separate gravestones, it is believed that there is an underground vault that holds the remains. It would have been opened for each burial and then reclosed. No evidence of the vault is apparent.
    Plot: Lumpkin-Cobb, East Hill
    Last Modified 6 Apr 2015 
    Family ID F120  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Precursor of UGA School of Law
    Precursor of UGA School of Law
    Law Offices of Joseph Henry Lumpkin, Thomas R. R. Cobb, and William Hope Hull
    Joseph Henry Lumpkin
    Joseph Henry Lumpkin
    Joseph Henry Lumpkin
    Joseph Henry Lumpkin
    Joseph Henry Lumpkin
    Joseph Henry Lumpkin
    Chief Justice, Georgia Supreme Court

  • Sources 
    1. [S02634] The Record of My Ancestry, A. L. Hull, (Unpublished).

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