James Jackson (politician)

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James Jackson
JamesJackson.jpg
United States Senator
from Georgia
In office
March 4, 1793 – March 3, 1795
March 4, 1801 – March 19, 1806
Preceded by William Few
James Gunn
Succeeded by George Walton
John Milledge
23rd Governor of Georgia
In office
September 23, 1798 – November 10, 1801
Preceded by Jared Irwin
Succeeded by David Emanuel
Personal details
Born September 21, 1757
Devon, England
Died March 19, 1806(1806-03-19) (aged 48)
Washington, D.C.
Political party Anti-Administration
Democratic-Republican
Military service
Service/branch Georgia Militia
Battles/wars American Revolutionary War

James Jackson (September 21, 1757 – March 19, 1806) was an early Georgia politician of the Democratic-Republican Party. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1789 until 1791. He was also a U.S. Senator from Georgia from 1793 to 1795, and from 1801 until his death. In 1797 he was elected 23rd Governor of Georgia, serving from 1798 to 1801.[1]

Early life[edit]

Jackson was born in Moretonhampstead, Devonshire, England. He immigrated at age 15 with his family to Savannah, Georgia in 1772. During the American Revolutionary War, he served in the Georgia Militia at the defense of Savannah,[2] the Battle of Cowpens, and the recapture of Augusta and Savannah.[3] As a young man, Jackson became well known as a duelist with a fiery temper.

Career[edit]

After the war, he built up his law practice in Savannah. Jackson was elected to the first Georgia state legislature. In 1788, Jackson was elected governor of Georgia, but declined the position, citing his inexperience.

In 1789, Jackson was elected to the First United States Congress. As a Jeffersonian Republican, he vigorously opposed Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton's financial plans for federal assumption of the states' debts from the Revolutionary War. He was also strongly opposed to efforts to curtail slavery. In the election of 1791, he was defeated for re-election to his seat by Anthony Wayne. Jackson was convinced that Wayne had not won his seat fairly, so he mounted a campaign against Wayne and his supporters, finally succeeding in removing Wayne from Congress.

Senator and Governor[edit]

Jackson was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1793. Meanwhile, the state of Georgia sold millions of acres of its western lands, called the Yazoo region, at extremely low prices to a group of investors. Jackson, believing that the sale was influenced by bribery of state legislatures, resigned his post in the Senate to run for a seat in the Georgia legislature in 1795.

He won the election and began to lead a campaign to repeal the Yazoo land sale. In 1798, he won the election for governor of Georgia and proceeded to implement the legislation repealing the Yazoo land sale. Jackson placed blame for the Yazoo land fraud on his political enemies, the Federalists. He built the Georgia Democratic-Republican party and led it to statewide dominance.

Jackson was re-elected to the Senate in 1801 and served until his death in 1806. He is buried in the Congressional Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark in Washington, DC.[4]

Legacy[edit]

Jackson was the patriarch of a political dynasty in Georgia. His son, Jabez Young Jackson, was elected Representative from Georgia in the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth United States Congress. James Jackson's grandson, also named James Jackson, was a U.S. Representative from Georgia, a judge advocate on the staff of General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, and a trustee of the University of Georgia.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Georgia Governor James Jackson". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 10, 2013. 
  2. ^ "JACKSON, James, (1757 - 1806)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 10, 2013. 
  3. ^ George R. Lamplugh (December 8, 2003). "James Jackson (1757-1806)". New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 10, 2013. 
  4. ^ George R. Lamplugh (December 8, 2003). "James Jackson (1757-1806)". New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 10, 2013. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
New seat
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 1st congressional district

March 4, 1789 — March 3, 1791
Succeeded by
Anthony Wayne
United States Senate
Preceded by
William Few
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Georgia
1793–1795
Served alongside: James Gunn
Succeeded by
George Walton
Preceded by
James Gunn
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Georgia
1801–1806
Served alongside: Abraham Baldwin
Succeeded by
John Milledge
Political offices
Preceded by
Jared Irwin
Governor of Georgia
1798 - 1801
Succeeded by
David Emanuel