Preparing for the New Governor
historically been times of celebration and introduction for a newly
elected administration. Georgia's early governors were no exception.
Some governors had elaborate parties or "levees" while
other governors were very concerned about costs and gave
conservative parties. Two of Georgia's more visible and documented
governors, Governor Howell Cobb, 1851-1853 and Governor Joseph
Brown, 1857-1865 each entered office in very different ways. Cobb
reflected his time period and personal social background of the
"good" life while Brown demonstrated his conservative
religious beliefs emphasized by a time of great upheaval in American
and Georgia history.
documents will allow students to compare and contrast the personal
beliefs and practices of both Governor Cobb and Governor Brown. The
documents are interesting comments on the time periods as well as
the lifestyles of the individuals.
Activity 1: Bills of Sale
Upon completion of this activity students should be able to:
- Analyze an historic document.
- Compare and contrast food costs
from the early nineteenth century and modern times.
- Demonstrate creative writing
skills using historically based information.
Objectives: Grade 4: Skills: A1, A2, A3, A4, A6, A8, B13 Grade 8:
Topics/Concepts: D20, Skills: A1, A2, A11, B14, B15, C24, C25, C33,
this lesson you will need the following images:
of Sale, December, 20, 1851, page 1
of Sale, December, 20, 1851, page 2
of Sale, December, 20, 1851, page 3
of Sale, December, 20, 1851, page 4
of Sale, December, 20, 1851, page 5
From Lamar, February 2, 1852
- Make copies of the receipt from
December 20, 1851 for each student.
- Remind the students that
handwriting from this time period is difficult to decipher.
However, as a class, allow the students to compile a list of
some of the items that are listed. Tobacco, sugar, "Segars"
(cigars), apples, pickles, white vinegar, spices, potatoes,
fruits, wine and other various forms of alcohol are examples of
some of the items listed.
- Make copies of the letter from Mr.
Lamar to Governor Cobb. These items were also used for the
inauguration. Include the food items listed in the letter in
list compiled by the class.
- Ask the students to list the kinds
of food that they might choose to serve at a party in the
present. Allow the students to compare their lists to find the
similarities and differences between the Cobb party and a modern
- Using grocery store advertisements
from a current newspaper, ask the students to find as many
modern prices for the items listed as possible. Ask the students
to compare the costs for the items for 1851 and today. What do
these amounts tell about the changes in the costs of living?
- As an extending assignment, ask
the students to write a diary entry or letter describing the
"levee" given by Governor Cobb as if they were there.
Remind the students to be as descriptive as possible.
Savannah February 2nd
Hon. Howell Cobb.
Dear Sir: I have neglected to send
your amt of your accts as requested as I sent the different Bills to
you as they were rendered, except for those articles I sent for the
Ball. & I now send those accts by:
P. Wiltheron (for ice & packing)
Haywood & Finch (for oysters & kegs) 42.52
De Martinís (for oranges, grapes,
jellys, ets.) 66.00
The memorandum made by me of the Bills I sent you are as follows
Hasbronck and Co. (for Glass etc) 88.00
Collins & Buckley 30.62
McClesky & Norton 100.00 J. W. Worrell & Co. 251.00
J. Rosseau (segars) 39.00 $508.62
The whole amt. of your indebtedness,
if the above corresponds with the Bills sent you, is $630.19, which
you can remit & I will liquidate immediately upon receipt. We
will be ready for you & Cousin Mary Ann anytime after this week,
(?) will be at home this week-
C.A. L. Lamar
Activity 2: A "Levee" for the
Upon completion of this activity, students should be able to:
- Compare and contrast the inaugurations of
Governor Cobb and Governor Brown.
- Create a drawing of the Mansion from
- Discuss a relationship between slave and
- Demonstrate creative writing skills using
historically based information.
Grade 4: Skills: A1, A2, A3, A4, A9, B10, B11, C17, C23
Grade 8: Topics/Concepts: D20, Skills: A1, A2, A4, A6, A8, A10, A11,
A12, B12, B15, C20, C22, C24, C25, C27, C33, D34, D35, D38, D39
***Scan in letters from Mrs. Brown, Nov. 8,
1857 and Nov. 29, 1858
- Make a copy of the letters from Mrs. Brown,
wife of Governor Joseph Brown, to her mother dated November 8,
1857 and November 29, 1858 for each student.
- Divide the class into groups of four.
Provide each group with a large sheet of white paper. Using Mrs.
Brown's description of the Mansion, ask the students to attempt
to draw the rooms and the grounds of the Mansion as she
describes them in her letter dated November 8, 1857. When the
students have completed this activity, allow them to present
their drawings to the class in order to compare their drawings
- Read the November 8, 1857 letter. Ask the
students to identify the job they believe that Emma held at the
Mansion. (Emma was Mrs. Brown's slave.) What clues are in the
letter that provides evidence? (Governor Brown's hiring of extra
help is a major clue.) What does this letter tell you about the
relationship that existed between Mrs. Brown and Emma?
- Ask the students to list some of Mrs. Brown's
concerns in her letter of November 8, 1857 and November 29,
1858. Compare and contrast the concerns.
- Define "levee."
- Read Mrs. Brown's letter dated November 29,
1858. Compare her list of refreshments for the "levee"
and the shopping list from Governor Cobb. What similarities and
differences are there? (Governor Brown did not serve any alcohol
at his functions at the Mansion.)
- Who paid for the levees at the Mansion?
- Imagine that you have attended a
"levee" given by both Governor Cobb and Governor
Brown. Write a newspaper article describing the differences and
the similarities in these two events. How do the levees reflect
the personalities of the hosts? Which of these events were the
most exciting and well attended? Be sure to describe the levees
in detail including clothing, decorations, the people that you
met while there and the refreshments that were served.
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