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[396] and distinction in after life. In September of the same year he began the study of law at Talbotton, in the office of George W. Towns, afterward a member of Congress and governor of the State, and was admitted to the bar in May, 1835, at Columbus, where he then made his home. Being a young man of fine intellectual endowments, honorable ambition, and the most indefatigable industry, he quickly began to rise in the profession. In 1837 he was appointed by Governor McDonald, solicitor-general of the Chattahoochee circuit to fill a vacancy, and in 1838 was elected by the general assembly for a full term of four years. Upon his marriage in the fall of the next year with Mary Howard, only daughter of Col. Seaborn Jones, a very eminent lawyer of Columbus, he resigned his position and formed a partnership with Colonel Jones in the practice of law. In 1850, he and Martin J. Crawford and James N. Ramsey were delegates to the Southern convention at Nashville, Tenn. In the fall of 1853, when less than forty years of age, he was elected one of the justices of the Supreme court of Georgia, a position he held for the full term of six years. His decisions are noted for clearness, ability and loyalty to the best settled legal principles. ‘He was a man of absolutely crystal truth. He had a candor and directness proverbial. He spoke with a low, guttural tone and a syllabic precision, that heightened the idea of his manly force of character. He was able to take unpopular positions without loss of respect, so strong was the confidence in his sincerity.’ In December, 1860, he was elected by the people of his county a member of the convention of Georgia, which adopted the ordinance of secession, and he was an earnest and able advocate of that measure. He was sent as commissioner to the Virginia convention in January, 1861. In a speech of great zeal, ability and eloquence, he urged upon that body the adoption of a similar ordinance. In August, 1861, he entered the Confederate service as colonel of the Seventeenth Georgia

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