Hugh Manson Dorsey

Gov. Hugh Manson Dorsey


June 30, 1917 - June 25, 1921

July 10, 1871

June 11, 1948


University of Georgia; University of Virginia Law School

Birth State


Married Mary Adair Wilkinson; two children


HUGH MANSON DORSEY, Georgia’s 50th governor, was born in Fayetteville, Georgia, on July 10, 1871. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 1893, then studied law at the University of Virginia, was admitted to the bar in 1894, and established a successful legal career in Atlanta. Dorsey served in the Atlanta Grays, Company K, of the Georgia Volunteers as a lieutenant, rising to the rank of captain, and serving on the staff of Governor William Atkinson as lieutenant colonel in 1895. After being appointed to the Atlanta Judicial Circuit as solicitor general in 1910, Dorsey was then elected on his own merit, serving until 1916, when he resigned to run for governor. On November 7, 1916, he was elected governor, and on June 30, 1917, he was sworn into office. Dorsey was reelected to a second term in 1918. During his tenure, he supported mandatory education for both blacks and whites, he condemned lynching and peonage (i.e., compulsory labor to pay debts), he endorsed conventions to discuss race affairs, and he established eight new counties. After leaving office on June 25, 1921, Dorsey ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate. He served on the bench of the Atlanta City Court from 1926 to 1935, and was a justice of the Superior Court of the Atlanta Judicial Circuit from 1935 until his death. Governor Hugh M. Dorsey, who authored The Negro in Georgia, passed away on June 11, 1948.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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