George, James Zachariah

George, James Zachariah,

1826–97, American jurist and legislator, b. Monroe co., Ga. He moved to Mississippi in 1834 and, after serving in the Mexican War, became a prominent lawyer. He was long a reporter and later (1879–81) chief justice of the state supreme court. A signer of Mississippi's secession ordinance and a Confederate brigadier general in the Civil War, he was a leader in the struggle for white supremacy in Mississippi during the Reconstruction period. George wrote the "grandfather clause," which effectively ended black suffrage, in the Mississippi constitution of 1890. He later defended his views on the floor of the U.S. Senate, where he served from 1881 until his death. Known in Mississippi as the Great Commoner, he played an important role in drafting the Sherman Antitrust Act (1890). His unfinished Political History of Slavery in the United States (1915) contains a biographical sketch by W. H. Leavell.
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George, James Zachariah

(1826–97) soldier, jurist, U.S. senator; born in Monroe County, Ga. He moved to Mississippi and passed the bar in 1847. He served in both the Mexican War and in the Confederate army during the Civil War. He was a reporter for the Mississippi Supreme Court and then chief justice for the court (1879–81). He served in the U.S. Senate (Dem., Miss.; 1881–97) where he was the only Democrat to share in the framing of the Sherman Anti-Trust Law (1890). He strove always to protect his state and the South from federal interference. Mississippi placed his statue in the U.S. Capitol.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.