Friday, February 22, 2013

G. W. Logan, born February 22, 1815

George Washington Logan

George Washington Logan was born February 22, 1815 in Chimney Rock, Rutherford County, North Carolina.  He was the son of John and Martha Harton Logan. For a time his father kept a hotel in Rutherfordton. 

He was 46 years old when the Civil War began. 

Logan was the Clerk of Court of Rutherford County from the time he was in his early twenties. Sometime after 1858, Logan edited the Rutherfordton Enquirer. He also farmed and speculated in real estate; in 1860 he was listed as the owner of eleven slaves.

Logan was married twice: in 1841 to Dovey Amelia Wilson (1817–51). and in 1854 to Mary Elizabeth Cabiness, each of whom bore him six children.

A Whig in politics, Logan was a Unionist during the secession crisis. Opponents identified him, probably correctly, as a leader of the pro-Union Red String order, which was widespread in western North Carolina during the latter part of the war. He was elected to the Confederate Congress in 1863 as an avowed peace candidate and an opponent of the Davis administration. His voting record in 1864–65 bore out his antiwar and anti-Confederate stance.

After the war, he served in the North Carolina State Legislature from 1866 to 1868 as a member of the Republican Party.  As a native white member of the Reconstruction
Republican Party, Logan was known as a "scalawag," but was strongly opposed to the policies (and possible corruption) of Governor William Woods Holden.

In 1866, Logan started the Rutherford Star Newspaper as mouthpiece for unionist ideas. Logan also served as a state court judge from 1868 to 1874. 
Logan attained his highest postwar office when he was elected a superior court judge in 1868. On the bench he gained fame as an uncompromising foe of the Ku Klux Klan, which infested Rutherford, Cleveland,  and other counties of his circuit in 1871. He was often threatened by the Klan. Chapters of the Ku Klux Klan and Red Shirts ransacked the Rutherford Star office, lynched many of his political allies and unsuccessfully tried to capture Logan himself, but he was out of out of town. He was summoned to Capital Hill to give testimony to congress which helped pass the Ku Klux bill in 1871. Logan went on to help convict many members of the KKK.  In December of 1871, members of the North Carolina Bar wrote a letter to the North Carolina legislature requesting that Judge Logan be impeached.  David Schenck, a Klansman, defeated Logan for reelection in 1874.

Logan retired to private life. He died in 1889 and was buried at St. Francis Episcopal Cemetery, Rutherfordton, North Carolina.
Gravesite of G.W. Logan

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