05 February 2011

My GGGG Grandfather was a Democrat

     Of note to anyone doing Georgia Research: A new collection to the Digital Library of Georgia is the Athens Historic Newspapers Collection (spanning 1827-1922). Athens, Clark, Georgia is only about 40 miles from Elberton, Elbert, GA, the home of my Craft ancestors.  I didn't think I'd find much in these newspapers, but I decided to give it a shot anyway.

     I had a little trouble getting started, technically speaking. The Digital Library displays results using DjVu, which is made for Windows. I had to download the DjVu plug-in and Firefox to use the site. Even then, I was unable to download or print my results and had to take screenshots. But I did turn up some results!

     My GGGG Grandfather, Willis Craft, was a member of the Georgia State House of Representatives from 1857-1858. I didn't really know anything about his time in office, and was curious to find out more. My findings in the Athens Newspapers have helped me discover a few additional facts. First, Willis Craft was a Democrat. It's the same Democratic Party that exists today, though there are some changes to it. Also, he was running against the American Party, which would be defunct in a few years. Second, I learned that he was on the Judiciary Committee (I'm not yet sure what that entailed).

     I'm curious to find more information on how elections were run during this time period and how Willis was elected to the State House. Anyone know of any resources for this?

     Here are two of the articles I found:

news_craft_willis_1857a news_craft_willis_1857b

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