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Rufus Brown Bullock

Gov. Rufus Brown Bullock

  • July 4, 1868 - October 20, 1871
  • Republican
  • March 28, 1834
  • April 27, 1907
  • New York
  • Albion Academy
  • Married Marie Salisbury
  • Resigned
  • Army


RUFUS BROWN BULLOCK, Georgia’s 31st Governor, was born in Bethlehem, New York, on March 28, 1834. In 1850 he graduated from the Albion Academy and then entered into a career in telegraphy, in which he became an expert. During the Civil War, he worked for the Confederacy, setting up railroad and telegraph lines, and attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel. After his military duty, he served as president of the Macon and Augusta Railroad in 1867, and established the Augusta First National Bank. Bullock entered politics as a delegate to the 1867 and 1868 Georgia Constitutional Convention. In April 1868, he was elected Governor of Georgia, and on July 21, 1868, he was sworn into office. His tenure was marked by controversy and corruption charges. An enormous amount of state funds was spent by his administration and committees; and the Western and Atlantic Railroad, which had always turned a sizable profit, now suffered a huge debt due to mismanagement and patronage hiring. Bullock also was accused with peddling pardons, bribing the press, and ransacking the state penitentiary. He answered back by stating that Georgia had not abided by the Reconstruction laws established by Congress. With his power evaporating and charges mounting against him, Bullock resigned from office on October 23, 1871, and fled the state. In 1876 he was arrested and returned to Georgia, where he stood trial on embezzlement charges and was found not guilty due to a lack of evidence. After his trial, Bullock stayed in Atlanta where he served as president of the Atlantic Cotton Mills, president of the Chamber of Commerce, and director of the Union Pacific Railroad. Governor Rufus B. Bullock died on April 27, 1907, and he is buried at the Mt. Albion Cemetery in Albion, New York.


Georgia Archives (private papers)

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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