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Governor John Marshall Slaton

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Office Dates:  Nov 16, 1911 - Jan 25, 1912 , Jun 28, 1913 - Jan 25, 1915


Born:  Dec 25, 1866

Passed:  Jan 11, 1955

Birth State:  Georgia

Party:  Democrat

Family:  Married Sarah Frances Grant Jackson

School(s):  University of Georgia

JOHN MARSHALL SLATON, Georgia's 46th and 48th governor, was born in Meriwether County, Georgia, on December 25, 1866. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 1886, then studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1887, and established a successful legal career in Atlanta. Slaton entered politics as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives, a position he held from 1896 to 1908 and was twice elected as speaker. He also served as a member and president of the Georgia Senate from 1909 to 1913. On November 16, 1911, Governor Hoke Smith resigned from office, and Slaton, who was president of the senate at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. He served in this capacity for two months. Slaton then won the 1912 Democratic gubernatorial nomination and was sworn into office on June 28, 1913. During his tenure, the Georgia training school for girls was founded, the state board of medical examiners was restructured, state health laws were amended, a tax equalization bill was enacted, as well as a voter registration act, an inheritance tax law, and legislation called the "blue sky" bill. Slaton's administration became tainted when he commuted the death sentence of Leo Frank to life imprisonment (Frank, a Jew, had been convicted in a sensational trial on questionable evidence and Governor Slaton's courageous act ended his political career and threatened his life. Angry crowds violently protested his edict, and the state militia had to be called in to suppress the mobs and protect the governor.) Slaton ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 1914 and 1930. Governor John M. Slaton died on January 11, 1955, and he is buried at the Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta.


Georgia Archives (private papers)

Meriwether County

State of Georgia - Governors' Portraits