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Stephen Upson  1785 - 1824
Contributed by Troy Colquitt <[email protected]
December 5, 2005
Posted with permission

Author: The Oglethorpe Echo

The Oglethorpe Echo, Lexington, Ga. 
Friday, August 19, 1898

                                             Pioneer Citizens
                            Great and Good Men Whose Influences
                                              Are yet Felt
                                Founders Of County And State
                            The Dangers They Braved, the hardships 
                                   They Bore, and the Successes 
                                      Our Forefathers Achieved 

                                  Sketch No. V--Stephen Upson

The subject of this sketch was born at Waterbury, Connecticut, in 1785. 
From his earliest days every advantage that wealth could afford was given him, and he utilized these advantages just as though he had been poor.  He commenced from childhood to prepare himself for an active and useful life and chose new fields rather than those about his birthplace, which was a settlement far advanced in   civilization--social and intellectual.

Mr. Upson graduated at Yale in 1804 with a high reputation for scholarship, and immediately began the study of law in the office of an eminent jurist of his State at   Litchfield.  Long confinement and continuous application to studies had broken down his health this early in life and it was necessary for him to remove to a Southern climate. He, therefore, came to Hanover, Virginia, where he had letters to the famous colonial lawyer,  Mr. Pope. He remained here only a few years.  His health still threatened to break down his hopes and purposes in life.  While studying in the office of Col. Pope it is said that he spent his leisure time teaching the children who came about his place. 

Mr. Upson came to Oglethorpe county, bringing with him letters from Col Pope.  Hon.   W. H. Crawford was then practicing law in Lexington and Mr. Crawford seeing that young Upson was a man of no ordinary ability, took him in his office as a student.  Mr.  White, speaking of Mr. Upson’s life says:  “His modesty, industry and 
intelligence prepossessed Mr. Crawford in his favor and he accordingly received him in his office and
Afforded him many facilities, of which Mr. Upson always retained a grateful recollection.”
When Mr. Upson was admitted to the bar, it was crowded with such men as Dooly, Cobb and Crawford, but Mr. Upson took his place among the foremost very soon. He outshined all of them intellectually and his ability and eloquence at the bar, his clear understanding of law soon won him the admiration and confidence of the 
citizens of Oglethorpe county.

When Mr. Crawford had been called to public life and Mr. Cobb went to Greenesboro  And was from there elected to Congress Mr. Upson was left without a rival in his judicial Circuit. He was everybody’s lawyer.  For a few years it is said he was compelled to become peacemaker among the litigants.  With his knowledge of law and correct sense of justice he determined causes in his office whenever he could and  wiped away all signs of
malice which so often prompted litigation.

Mr. Upson was consulted freely by Crawford concerning his political purposes and the great questions which at that time agitated the people of Georgia and at one time he bore the honor as “the wisest man in Georgia.”
Mr. Upson was prominently spoken of for the highest office in the gift of the people among whom he lived. He was too modest to enter the political arena from the standpoint of ambition.  He allowed himself to be urged and sought after by those who recognized in him qualification of a statesman and patriot.
In 1812 he married a miss Hannah Cummins, a daughter of the celebrated Dr. Cummins.  Several children came to bless this union. The late Francis Upson was a son, who rose to serve his county as judge of the inferior courts, and in many other respects proved himself a useful and able gentleman.  Mr. Stephen Upson, Jr., is 
residing in the county of Clarke at present, and is one of the prominent citizens of Northeast Georgia.
Mrs. William Henry Sims, of Washington, D. C., is the grand-daughter of Mr. Upson--a lady much beloved for her many graces and uniform piety, and loved by all who have the  honor to know her.
Mr. Upson represented his county in the Legislature four years and, while a member of  the House in 1824, death removed him from his labors.  At the time of his decease he was justly esteemed “Georgia’s best lawyer” and the next session of the body of which he was a member would have made him United States Senator.  Mr. Upson contributed much to the development of the character and manhood of Oglethorpe county

Copyright, submitter Troy Colquitt  All rights reserved.


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