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Entrepreneur for Equality
Governor Rufus Bullock, Commerce,
and Race in Post-Civil War Georgia

by Russell Duncan

Hardcover, 278 pages, 6-1/2" x 9-1/4"
Copyright 1994
University of Georgia Press

From the dustjacket flaps:
This is the first full biography of Rufus Brown Bullock (1834-1907), the only elected Republican governor in Georgia history and a central figure both in the reconstruction of the state and the ascendancy of Atlanta as the premier city of the New South. Moreover, this work, which adds much revelatory material on political, social, and economic conditions in post-Civil War Georgia, constitutes the first in-depth study of the state during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age on twenty-five years.

Russell Duncan follows Bullock's life from his abolitionist upbringing in Albion, New York, to his move to Augusta, Georgia, on the eve of the Civil War and his subsequent role in the Southern war effort. Elected governor of Georgia in 1868, Bullock was ousted by Democratic opponents before the end of his term. Duncan chronicles Bullock's trial on charges of corruption and malfeasance, his full acquittal, and his subsequent ventures in railroading, banking, manufacturing, textiles, and insurance. In one of many demonstrations of Bullock's business prowess and personal complexity, Duncan shows how he was able to serve two terms as president of Atlanta's chamber of commerce even as he publicly rebuked New South sovereign Henry Grady for racism.

The core of the book is a reevaluation of Bullock's personal character, gubernatorial administration, and business affairs. Offering new explanations of the most controversial points in Bullock's career, Duncan examines his Radical Republican views on racial and economic opportunity, his attempts to stimulate Georgia's devastated economy by expanding its rail system, and his many clashes with militant Democratic party reactionaries. At heart, says Duncan, Bullock was a consummate businessman. If, as governor, he formed unseemly alliances and overstepped his powers, there is much to show that personal gain was not a compelling motive. Further, Bullock's early views on racism - on its utter impracticality - stemmed from his unwavering belief in entrepreneurship and free labor. If his advocacy of racial equality - which paralleled the "separate but equal" stance of his friend Booker T. Washington - had pragmatic underpinnings, Duncan argues, it did acquire a strong moral components. Bullock genuinely sought to extend justice, opportunity, and prosperity to black citizens. He consistently upheld their rights at great personal risk and continually badgered an unresponsive Republican regime in Washington, D.C., to enforce the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments.

Without minimizing the greed and malevolence that pervaded Georgia in Bullock's time, Duncan, to a great degree, exculpates the man himself. Bringing us much closer to Bullock as he was known by New South proponents, Duncan shows him to be an honest broker for change in a time when the rhetoric of the Lost Cause placed a higher emphasis on social order.

About the author
Russell Duncan is an assistant professor of history at John Carroll University in Cleveland. He is the editor of Blue-Eyed Child of Fortune: The Civil War Letters of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, and the author of Freedom's Shore: Tunis Campbell and the Georgia Freedmen

Table of Contents
1. Yankee Schoolboy to Confederate Lieutenant Colonel
2. Augusta Entrepreneur
3. Bullock Is Our Man
4. A Vital Question
5. An Expressive Sense of Justice
6. Development and Scandal
7. Failure and Vindication
8. Outsider as Insider

Book condition:
This is a new "remainder" book. A remainder is a book that may have been unsold by the publisher, or it may have been an "unsold" return from a bookstore. It may have minor shelf wear on the cover, or other mild imperfection. We do not ship books with major damage. No remainder mark.

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