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R. HOUSAN JACKSON, planter and preacher, Franklin, Heard County, Georgia, son of Isaac and Elizabeth (Perkins) Jackson, was born at White Plains, Greene County, Georgia, in 1834.

His paternal great-grandfather, Isaac Jackson, was a native of Ireland, came to Georgia soon after Gen. Oglethorpe planted the colony, served with distinction as a major in the patriot army during the Revolutionary War under the immediate command of Washington. For meritorious service congress voted him a grant of 1,200 acres of land in Hancock County, Georgia, on which he was buried when he died in 1790. Two children survived him, Henry, and Pollie (Jackson) Mapp. Henry—who was the grandfather of the subject of this sketch—was born in 1760, was a large and successful planter, and distinguished himself as a soldier in the last war with Great Britain. About 1780 he married Miss Sallie Mapp and to them thirteen children were born. Mr. Jackson’s father, Isaac, was one of these, and was born in 1785. He was raised on the plantation, educated at schools at White Plains, and when he arrived at majority began life as a planter. About 1817 he married his wife—daughter of Jesse and Polly (Ingram) Perkins, old North Carolina families, of English and Welsh descent. They soon afterward moved to White Plains, where his wife died in 1840 and he five years later.

Mr. Jackson was educated at Dawson institute, White Plains, where the brilliant versatility of his intellectual endowments gained for him honorable distinction. After finishing his education he began life as a planter, and planting has been the principal pursuit of his life.

He read law about this time, but did not seek admittance to the bar as other important duties called him to other fields. In 1856 he moved to Heard county, which has since been his home, and where he has become and is generally recognized as a leading and one of the most progressive and influential planters in the county. Two years later he was elected a justice of the inferior court and filled the office for ten consecutiye years. In 1861 he was elected, without opposition, to represent Heard County in the general assembly, and was continued, by re-election, until 1865. In 1886 he was elected to represent his senatorial district in the same body, and in 1890 was called upon to again represent Heard County. During his several terms in the senate and house he was conspicuous for his great and earnest working capacity, and his able and influential support of various wise and economic bills which he was largely instrumental in having enacted into laws. His activity and tirelessness in behalf of the interests of his immediate constituents made him a marked character of each legislative body.

In 1887 he organized the farmers’ alliance in Georgia, and was made its first president. In this great and important work he demonstrated his extraordinary capacity as a leader and organizer. In six months, as the result of his activity and energy, the order had a membership of 80,000 in the state and began to wield a potent influence.

In 1889 he was associated with the Atlanta “Journal” as a special correspondent.

In 1852 Mr. Jackson united himself with the Baptist church at White Plains, under the preaching of that eminent divine, Rev. Prof. S. G. Hillyer. Ten years later—at the age of twenty-six—he was ordained a minister of the Baptist Church, since which time he has been an active and ardent laborer in the vineyard of the Master. Few preachers have done more arduous and continuous work, notwithstanding the hard and valuable work he has done in other fields. At one time he supplied four pulpits while superintending the cultivation of four farms; and for fifteen years has been moderator of the Western Baptist Association.

Mr. Jackson was married in 1857 to Miss Marie, daughter of Hugh and Elizabeth (Brown) Hall, a union which has been blessed with eight children: Phemonia, Elizabeth, Isaac, P. H. Mell, Anna Z., Henrietta, Sabe, and Ruby. He is an enthusiastic and highly esteemed member of the Masonic fraternity. In his ministerial and other public work he has been extraordinarily active and influential for good; in private he is courteous and affable, representing the open-handed hospitality of the old-time southern gentleman; added to which are the charms of the literary attainments of great natural intellectuality.

Source: Memoirs of Georgia, Containing historical accounts of the states civil, military, industrial and professional interests and personal sketches of many of it’s people, Volume I, The Southern Historical Association, Atlanta, Georgia, 1895

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