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Joseph Gault, an Unknown Georgia Humorist.

In the early Indian lands from Georgia to Mississippi were opened to white settlement. The primitive backwoods conditions of these regions, in close juxtaposition to urban centers of nearly European sophistication, stimulated a literary renaissance of a sort, and the 1830s and 1840s became the heyday of Southern humor. The New York Spirit of the Times, the weekly newspaper which gave this type of writing wide circulation, gained a national readership, and the major humor anthologies, edited by William Trotter Porter and T. A. Burke, appeared during these years. With the exception of George Washington Harris's Sut Lovingood. Yarns, the period 1835-1855 saw the publication of nearly all the important and well-known books of the principal Southern humorists: Longstreet, Thorpe, Hooper, Thompson, Lewis, and others.

One Southern humorist who made his appearance during this period, however, has remained almost totally unknown, even though his book went through four editions in his lifetime and was reprinted twice more after his death. This was Joseph Gault of Marietta, Cobb County, Georgia, author of Reports of Decisions injustice's Courts, in the State of Georgia, from the Year of Our Lord 1820 to 1846.(1)

Admittedly, this does not sound like a very funny book. In fact, even in Gault's own time, the book was disguised by its title as a compendium of court cases. In 1851 Benjamin F. Perry, South Carolina attorney, biographer, historian, and newspaper editor, idly opened the second edition of Gault's Reports expecting to find the usual dry recitation of court cases and legal precedents, but was astonished and delighted to find instead humorous accounts of the peculiar foibles of justice of the peace courts in Georgia.(2) Inserted at the end of the fifth edition of the book, a sketch written by someone other than Gault reports how one "rural justice," a Judge Floyd of Gooseneck Court Ground in Georgia in the 1840s or 1850s, accepted as legal precedent an enterprising attorney's citation of "Gault's Justice of Peace Decisions" without knowing the true nature of the book. He ruled in favor of that attorney's client. Later, according to the sketch, when the Justice was "informed that Gault's Reports were simply a burlesque on Justices of the Peace," he was struck with a rage that "knew no bounds"(3)

Very little is known of the facts of Joseph Gault's life. According to the autobiographical preface he wrote for the fourth edition of his Reports, he was born May 14, 1794, in Union District, South Carolina.(4) His parents were of Irish, English, and German heritage, and his father and grandfather were both soldiers in the American Revolution.(5) Gault left home at age nineteen, possibly to serve in the War of 1812 (Temple, p. 166). In 1815 he took up school teaching on the "Packolet River" (Fourth, p. 55). In 1820 he was, he says, working as a pedlar in "Lawrence District" (likely an error for Laurens District), South Carolina (Fourth, p. 31). Later the same year he apparently emigrated to Georgia (Fourth, p. 2). For a time he lived in Habersham County (Fourth, p. 35), but one source notes that "he seems to have ranged over a large part of the state ..." (Temple, p. 166). However, the 1830 Georgia census locates Gault and his family in DeKalb County, probably in or near Atlanta.(6) Sometime in the mid-1820s, Gault married Rebecca Sisson (born August 6, 1801) of Tennessee (Temple, p. 619), and by 1830 they had two children, and several other people, perhaps members of Rebecca's family, were living in their household. No occupation is given for Gault at this time, but the census notes that he owned no slaves, a fact probably as much indicative of Gault's principles as of his economic circumstances, for in the 1873 edition of his book, he strongly expresses his anti-secession and anti-slavery sentiments (pp. 5-12, 42-43).

In December 1832, the Indian territory across the Chattahoochee River northwest of Atlanta was opened for white settlement, and Cobb County was organized in early 1833 (Temple, p. 82). Some time in the early 1830s, Gault moved his family there and built a log house along the Atlanta Road (Temple, p. 166). Gault reports that he began the practice of law in 1836 (Fourth, p. 55). He is given credit for organizing the inferior (justice of the peace) court in Cobb County (Temple, pp. 82-83). By 1840, Georgia census records indicate that he had ten people living in his household, including five children of his own.(7) The 1850 census lists Gault's occupation as lawyer and indicates that he owned property valued at $1,000.(8) Looking back over his life in 1873, Gault wrote, "... I lived and supported myself and family on fifteen dollars per month and saved fifty dollars per year and had plenty" (Fourth, p. 50). His family in 1850 consisted of himself, his wife, and seven children: Elizabeth, age 23; Parthena, age 21; Margaret, age 19; William, age 19; Mary, age 16; Leonadus, age 10; and Nancy, age 7 (Census 1850). In 1873, Gault wrote, "A large dependant family of females hath compelled me to take all the fees I could honestly get, and to practice very extensively and successfully injustice's Courts ..." (Fourth, p. 3). Some time prior to 1848, according to Cobb County deed records, Gault acquired several acres of land on Roswell Road, one and one-eighth miles east of Marietta Court House. There he and his family made their home for the rest of his life. Starting in 1867, Gault gradually sold portions of his land to his married daughters, and in 1869 deeded the remaining two acres to his unmarried daughter, Elizabeth, a school teacher, who had continued to live at home? Gault gave up practicing law in 1860, at the age of sixty-six, about the time the Civil War became imminent (Fourth, p. 55). "Up to that time," he wrote in 1873, "I can say that I enjoyed life in its full bloom, more than I ever have since" (p. 55). Other than the publication of a fourth edition of his Reports in 1873, how he spent the remaining years of his life is unknown. Gault died at eighty-five on March 29, 1879. His wife, Rebecca, died soon after, in September of the same year. They were preceded in death by at least one of their children, William, who died in August 1864, at the age of thirty-one, perhaps in or as a result of the Civil War (Temple, p. 619). Except for the marriages of three of his daughters (Cobb County Deed Records, A, B, C), what became of his other children is unknown.

Gault's writing and other sources indicate that he was a very colorful character. He was famous in both South Carolina and Georgia as a swift runner and frequently competed in races, even in the 1840s when he was in his late forties and early fifties. One source notes that "the entertainments of Marietta ... were the games played upon the square by the men of the town on summer afternoons, when handball, pitching silver dollars, and Joseph Gault's races, were watched by groups of spectators" (Temple, p. 167). Gault was apparently notorious in the justices' courts and on the circuit for his caustic wit, his sharp--often opportunistic--practice, and his outspoken opinions. An anonymous writer in the Marietta Journal of 1888 wrote, "Joseph Gault was one of the peculiar and noted men of Cobb County. It would take a small volume to do justice to his memory" (qtd. in Temple, p. 167). Unfortunately, the local lore to which this writer refers has been lost over the years.

Gault's most notable accomplishment was the publication of his "trenchant pamphlets" (Temple, p. 167). As Sarah Temple wrote in 1935, Gault's Reports
 reveal not only the personality of the author, but a picture of the times
 in which he lived. ... He damned where damning was due; he praised where he
 deemed praise merited. That he escaped the penalties of the law of libel,
 or in earlier days a bullet from the gun of one of the individuals whom he
 did not hesitate to call by name, must be considered a tribute to his
 powers and the truth of the cases which he recited. In advertising the
 second edition of his Reports in 1851, he remarked, "I pledge my reputation
 as a lawyer that the work is highly interesting and amusing," an opinion
 which many shared, for the Reports, though not widely known now, found a
 ready sale in their day. (p. 167)

Gault stated his purpose for publishing the first edition of the Reports in his tongue-in-cheek dedication to James McGee, a Murray County justice of the peace whom Gault makes the butt of his ridicule in several sketches:
 This volume of reports will snatch our names from forgetfulness, and send
 them down to posterity associated with the Cokes, the Hales, the
 Mansfields, and the Marshalls. I hope, Sir, you will accept this as the
 strongest evidence of my respect for your great abilities and impartial
 justice; believing, at the same time, by so doing I shall secure a high
 pay. (Reports, p. 3)

In the same mocking tone, Gault says of the legal quality and value of the Reports, "I consider them as being the last elegant hifalluten touch to the Judiciary system of our state" (p. 3). By the 1873 edition, Gault had somewhat altered his purpose, but not his sarcasm:
 Kind reader, I intend in this short work not to mistify or deceive you, but
 to publish facts as they are developed to me. I have a broad field to
 regale in, but a short space to include my views and opinions, and I intend
 to do so, without levity on my part, and I do not intend to dob with
 intemperate mortar.... (Fourth, p. 51)

It would be misleading to make immoderate claims for the literary merit of Gault's writings. Though firmly grounded in realism, no doubt because of Gault's profession as an attorney as well as the vivid nature of the incidents themselves, his writings do not exhibit much literary finesse. They are lacking in the kind of character development and stylistic polish that would rank them with the productions of the most skilled Southern humor writers of the time. This is not to say, however, that the sketches do not have their moments. Gault had a good eye for detail and was conscious of the unique nature of the characters and situations he was recording. His portraits of backwoods attorneys and justices of the peace are entertaining and have an authentic ring. His accounts of the rough-and-tumble chaos of the justices' courts are both funny and horrifying. In several tales he portrays the uneducated, backwoods preacher made familiar by Hooper and G. W. Harris. The almost verbatim renditions he gives of their preaching indicate how accurate were the mock sermons by William Penn Brannan. Perhaps the strongest point of Gault's writings is the sense they give of Gault the raconteur, the oral story teller, whose tales, even in written form, proceed in a rapid-fire fashion impatient of the niceties of polite literary expression.

Clearly, Gault was attempting, with some success, to capture not only the facts but also the flavor of his time. Like Longstreet, of whose writings he was aware (Fourth, p. 3), he at least had ambition enough to publish a collection of his tales locally, which is more than can be said for the vast majority of amateur humorists of the time whose writings were confined mostly to the columns of obscure newspapers. Gault's writings, though awkward and unpolished, deserve to be recognized as a part of the antebellum Southern humorous and realistic tradition.

The following four selections, which are characteristic of the best of Gault's sketches, are from the 1846 edition. The first three also appear in the fourth edition of 1873, but the fourth, "A Constable Selling 'Coon Skins," does not. The texts here are based on the 1846 edition, except for one variant reading, "bumb," which is adopted from the 1873 version of "The Badger Skins." Obvious printing errors have been silently emended.

A Justice Commanding the Peace

This was a case tried in Gwinnette county, in the year eighteen hundred and twenty, before a Justice of the Peace. On the trial before the Justice, it appeared, by evidence, that Defendant B's wife was sick a bed, and sent to the Plaintiff A's wife for one pound of butter and a half grown chicken. A's wife sent the butter and chicken to B's wife according to her request; and in a short time thereafter, A's wife sent a pair of shoes to B. and requested him to find leather and half sole her shoes, which B. accordingly done. And in a short time thereafter, A. and B. had a difficulty, and A. went to D. and C., Justices holding jurisdiction in said county, and prayed process against B. for the pound of butter and chicken at the price of 18 3/4 cents, which the Justices issued in accordance to the prayer of A.; and at the docket term of said case, the defendant B. answered the charge and plead a set-off and a larger debt, and prayed of the Court judgment for the balance due him. B's account against A. was 20 cents, for finding leather and half soleing A's wife's shoes, and prayed judgment for 1 1/4 cents.

At the trial term of said case, the plaintiff A. proved his account by his own oath in due form of law, and closed. The defendant B. then proved his account by his own oath, and he closed for defendant. The plaintiff A. then spoke to B. in Court, and swore that defendant B. was a damned rascal and a perjured villain. The defendant B. swore that A. was a damn'd liar and a cow thief.

Justice D., in support of his office and in the mildness of a Justice of the Peace, arose from his seat and exclaimed, I command the peace, God damn you both. The parties, not obeying the judicial command of the Court, the Justice arose a second time and exclaimed, God damn you if I cannot keep the peace one way I will another, and, drawing back his fist, struck the plaintiff on his left cheek bone and broke the skin. Down came the plaintiff on the floor--the Justice gave him several kicks on his head and side, and then said, damn you, I expect that the next time you are commanded to keep the peace, you will do so! He then turned to the defendant, and said, damn you, I will give you a little, too. He then took defendant by the throat and choaked him until his eyes began to dance like a billiard ball, and his tongue ran out of his mouth at least four inches--and down came defendant on the floor. The Justice gave defendant a few kicks and then cried out, now, God damn you, I reckon you will hereafter learn how to behave yourself before the Judiciary, and learn to tell the truth, you damn'd rascal. He then took his seat and said to S.--I have made up my judgment--I believe them both to be damn'd rascals, and there is only 1 1/4 cents difference in their accounts, and I will give a judgment against each of them for the cost, and add in a dollar in each judgment for my time and trouble for whipping the damn'd rascals--and accordingly done so. The money was made in a fi. fa. at the next term of said court, and no appeal.

The Badger Skins--By the Rev. Mr. Figgins

About the year 1841, there was an old gentleman who resided in the county of Habersham, and belonged to a christian church, called Hard-shell Baptists, and was a preacher of that order, and whose education was very limited. He said he could spell in the spelling book by heart as far as crucifix, and could spell in the book as far as cotemporary, and that he could read in the New Testament and not spell more than half of the words--he also said, that the Lord had chosen the weak things of this world to confound the mighty. The Rev. Mr. Figgins then took his text in the Old Testament, (the book, chapter, and verse not now recollected.) "And t-h t-h-e-y they c-a-u c-a-u-g-h-t caught b-a-d-g b-a-d-g-e-r-s beggars s-k-i-n-n-e-d skinned them and c-o-v c-o-v-e-r-e-d covered them-selves with b-a-d-g-e-r beggar skins." He then opened his battery and threw a great many bumb shells loaded with brimstone into the devils camp; he also shown how times had changed the manners and customs amongst Adam's race, he said a few years ago, a lady of common size could cut herself out a dress out of five or six yards of cloth and the dress was large enough, but in the present day it takes from 15 to 16 yards to make a lady what they call a decent sized dress, and to all appearances they have a bed on their back, and their hips padded with a pillow on each hip--that is the reason of all this extravagance, and O! might these ladies look back to the five yard dress not forty years ago, and O! may they look back a little farther to the time when the Lord suffered the people to skin beggars and made clothing of their hides. Oh! my friends and brethren, what a great contrast between a feather bed, two pillows and sixteen yards of cloth, when compared to that of a beggars skin--and of all people in this world, beggars should feel the most thankful to God, when beggars were once skinned alive and their skins made clothing for others; the Lord now suffers them to wear their hides until they die. Amen.

The Squire's Death and Fidler's Funeral

In this chapter, I will give the reader a small sketch of my travels in early life. From my infancy up to the present day, I have ever been fond of good music, and believed that fiddlers were the best and happiest men on earth, always had the prettiest women for wives and the smartest children, except 'Squires; and have often prayed that I had been a fiddler, or a Justice of the Peace, for they and their families are equal to that of a fiddler's.

Well, in the year of 1820, I embarked in that unthankful business called Pedling, and in the month of May, of the same year, I was travelling through Lawrence District, South Carolina, when my opinion was explicitly proved to me, that fidler's wives loved their husbands above all other women, particularly if they are 'Squires; and I hope the history of this case will convince the reader that I am correct. In the month and year above stated, I was in the flat marshy part of that district, where the sun, in the spring of the year, rises clear, and by the time it is one hour high, the fog rises so thick that darkness becomes again intense. I stopped at the house of a Dutchman all night, and the next morning about the rising of the sun, I started on my journey, but had not got more than a mile or two from the house, when the fog became so thick that I could not see the road two paces ahead of me. I travelled on the best way I could, until my ears were startled by the lamentations of a woman and the shreaks and crys of children. I stopped for a few moments to ascertain in what direction they were, and finding they were ahead of me, I again drove on, until I came into an old field, principally grown up with pine-saplings. The fog by this time, having cleared off a little, so that I could see a few hundred feet ahead of me, I discovered a pine-pole cabin on the side of the road. I drove up, hitched my horse, and walked to the door of the cabin, and found that it contained the distressed persons. I opened the door, and discovered a small pale-looking woman sitting on the sand some four feet from the fire-place, and three or four white-headed children hanging around her neck, all crying and hallooing as loud as they could. Good God! (said I,) Madam! what is the matter? She started up at the sound of my voice, flinging the children here and there, and cried out: "Matter, matter/there is a heap of matter here, for the 'Squire has just died, and there he lies," pointing her finger to the bed. I turned my head towards the bed, and sure enough, there he lay. I then approached the bedside, and felt for his pulse on the rist and temples, but none could I find. The cold sweat of death was on his face, and his mouth and eyes widely extended; I closed his eyes with my fingers, and bound a piece of cambric under his chin and over his head, which closed his mouth--then turning to the lady, I asked her how long he had been sick. She replied: "Sick/sick, did you say, sir--why he never had a minit's sickness since I first kno'd him; no sir, he died suddenly, and I shall miss him mightily, for perhaps, sir, he was one of the best fiddlers that ever touch'd a string,"--here she stopped and cryed as loud as she could, and after she had ceased crying, related to me the following particulars relative to his death: "This morning, just after day had broke, he (the `Squire) spoke to me (her) and said, `My dear, I want you to git up and git early breakfast, as I have to go about ten miles to-day to play the fiddle for a frolick,' and told me to be in a hurry, and he would play for me my favorite tune; when I was a gal it was called the Ladies' Breast Knot, but he called it Sugar in the Goard." She then arose to her feet, her tears ceased flowing, and commenced patting on the sand with her right foot, while the fingers of her left hand were moving like those of a tidier, and her right arm swinging like a fiddler's elbow; after getting in this position, she sung as follows:
 Oh! sugar in the goard and I couldn't get it out, I roll'd the goard about
 till the sugar pour'd out;

"And then," said she, "he played me my other tune; he called that `The old man and old woman up in the loft;' and then said to me, `my dear, set the table, and I'll play my favorite tune,' and so I commenced setting his breakfast, and there is his pancakes on the table--and he commenced playing his favorite tune, then he dropped his fiddle, and with the motions of a fiddler, commenced singing:
 Give the fiddler a dram, give the fiddler a dram, Give the fiddler a dram,
 I say! Give the fiddler a dram, give the fiddler a dram, And give it to
 him quick, I say!

When death struck him at the same time, and there is his fiddle and here is his bow. Oh, ruined! ruined for ever," and she let loose, and such hallooing I never since heard from a woman. I could not stand it longer, so I said to her, "God be with you, madam," and left, her cries still ringing in my ears.

A Constable Selling `Coon Skins

This was a sale that took place shortly after the settling of Hall county. The Court house, which was a rail penn about seven feet high, covered with pine bark, and a slip-gap for the door, was situate in the woods, near Nancy's Cane Brake. Shortly after I arrived there, the constable came, and brought with him about fifty `coon skins. I asked him what he intended to do with so many `coon skins, and he told me that he was going to sell them by virtue of a fi. fa., but he feared they would not satisfy the debt. I asked him what was the amount of debt and cost; he said about three dollars. While we were conversing, an old lady walked up, with a basket in her hand, containing some dozen ginger cakes--and an old man, with a jug full of whiskey tied to the end of a stick and slung over his shoulder, and a pint goard and tin cup in one hand. The Justice bought one goard full and the constable another, and they both drank as though they had a peculiar liking for it. After they had done drinking, the Justice ordered the constable to open Court, which he accordingly done. Court being now open, the Justice told the constable to sell the `coon skins. The constable obeyed the order, and opened the sale instantly, by crying out: Oh, yes! oh, yes! oh, yes! all persons wishing to buy `coon skins are requested to come forward and give a bid for them--and holding up a skin, he asked: How much for this one, and take fifty of them? One cent, said the Justice. Two cents, bid the constable. The Justice, finding the constable bidding against him, called to him and made the arrangement, that he would bid off the skins at three cents and divide them, and after Court adjourned, they would play the game of three-up to see which should have all. It was agreed upon, and the skins were knocked off to the Justice at three cents each. Now, said the Justice, adjourn Court, which was done. After adjourning Court, the constable walked up to the Justice and said: Let us divide them `coon skins,--at the same time, pulling from his pocket an old deck of cards that had been in use, from all appearance, in a still-house for several years. They sat down and played the first game for a pint of whiskey, but some dispute arising about the game, they agreed to buy the whiskey between them, each paying half, and play for the `coon skins. They bought a pint and set it between them on the board; the constable put up one `coon skin as a stake, and said to the Justice: Damn you, if you have a mind to act the white man, stake up,--so the Justice covered his with another skin. They cut for deal, and the Justice won it, dealt the cards, and hearts came trumps; the constable begged, on the duce of trumps, the ace of clubs and a spade, and the Justice gave him one, of the jack of trumps, the five of clubs and the six of diamonds; the constable led his heart, the Justice took it with his jack, and led his club, the constable took it with his ace, and swore he was out. Out, h--1, said the Justice; how come you out? Low, beg and the game! exclaimed the constable. It being late in the evening, I left them, still quarreling; but understood afterwards that they played all night by lightwood torches, and the constable won all the Justice's `coon skins before breakfast next morning, the Sabbath.

Joseph Gault's Bibliography

First Edition


Collation: [1] titlepage and outside paper cover, [2] blank, [3] dedication to James McGee, [4] blank, [5]-6, preface, [7]-48 Reports. 18.5 x 11.5 cm. Excluding the dedication and preface, the volume contains thirty-seven sketches, thirty-one of which deal principally with the proceedings of the justice of the peace courts, and four of which deal with religion.

Contents: A Justice Commanding the Peace. Illegality before a Justice of the Peace. A Rule Nisi. A Judgment for Cheers, and Defendant paying off the same. Murder. Attachment on Murder Creek, Jasper county, before two Justices of the Peace. The Simpson Case at Springville. A Justice Mistaken. A Deputy Clerk Copying a Writ. A Possessory Warrant. A Justice Paying off a Fi. Fa. Cancelling a Horse Swap. Exceptions to a Declaration in the Inferior Court. A Justice Reversing his Decision in Cobb. Assault, with Intent to Murder. Larceny from the Hen Roost. The Wilkinson Frolick. The Badger Skins--By the Rev. Mr. Figgins. Transfer of Accounts. Living Man vs. Dead Man--Attachment in Dade County. The Three Measures of Meal. A Swindling Warrant in Cobb County. The Gold Breast Pin Case. Case of Slander. A Dialogue. A Garnishment. Justices Dividing Cost in Open Court. A Writ of Rouster. Bail Process before a Justice's Court in Cobb County. A Justice Killing Notes in Cobb. The Squire's Death and Fidler's [sic] Funeral. A Constable Selling `Coon Skins. A Forcible Detainer in a Justice's Court of the 898th District, G. M., Cobb County. Exception to a Process in Cobb Inferior Court. A Set-Off allowed after final Judgment. A Justice serving two Bails. The Jay Bird.

Second Edition

No copy has been found. A copy cited as Reports of Decisions injustices Courts of the State of Georgia, for the Years 1820 to 1851 (Marietta, Ga., 1851), was reviewed in the Greenville (S. C.) Southern Patriot, of November 11, 1851.

Third Edition

Year of publication unknown. No copy has been found.

Fourth Edition

JOSEPH GAULT'S | FOURTH EDITION OF HIS | REPORTS | ENLARGED AND IMPROVED, | [hand] | ENTITLED A COAT OF | [hand] | MANY COLORS. | PRICE FIFTY-CENTS. | [rule] | MARIETTA, GA. | [rule] | 1873. [ Centered on the front cover is a picture of a man in a tap-hat and frock coat holding in front of him a large sign]: "Joseph Gault | AND HIS | REPORTS."

Collation: [i] titlepage and outside paper cover, [ii] blank, [1] dedication, [2]-4 preface, [5]-56 Reports. 20 x 13 cm. Excluding the dedication and preface, the volume contains thirty-three sketches, of which four are about the Civil War, five concern other political-historical subjects, seven are principally about religion, and four deal with the proceedings of the justices' courts; the remaining sketches are on miscellaneous topics. Only nine sketches in this edition also appeared in the 1846 edition.

Contents: Nullification. Secession. THE FIRST CONFEDERATE CONGRESS AT MONTGOMERY, STATE OF ALABAMA. The Capitulation of Nashville and Jackson. General Orders. A Judgment for Chairs and Defendant Paying off the Same. The Drunkard's Resurrection in his Morning Shroud. A Justice Commanding the Peace. A Case of Seduction. Faith, Hope and Charity. The Inquisition. The Three Measures of Meal. A Preacher Collecting Money. Case of Slander. The Squire's Death and Fiddler's Funeral. Assault, with Intent to Murder. The Wilkinson Frolick. The Badger Skins--By the Rev. Mr. Figgins. Women Franchised. The Gospel. Statesmen. To the African Race. Two Bites at a Cherry. Millerism. Idleness and Pride. Craftsmen. Correspondence of Letters. A Dialogue. Strong Light and Close Examination. The Watch Tower. Calvinism.Jealousy Accounted For. Gault's Farewell Address.

Fifth Edition


Collation: [i] titlepage and paper cover, [ii] blank, [1] dedication, [2]-4 preface, [5]-56 Reports. 23.5 x 14.5 cm. Excluding the dedication and preface, the volume contains thirty-four sketches. Pagination differs but content is the same as the 1873 edition, except for one sketch added at the end of the volume, "Gault's Reports Higher than Common Law or Massachusetts Law," which was not written by Gault.

Sixth Edition


Collation: [1] titlepage, [2] blank, [3] dedication, [4] blank, [5]-8 preface, [9]-76 Reports, [77] Index. [78] blank. 21.5 x 14.5 cm. Bound in boards covered with blue cloth. Spine gold-stamped against black background: GEORGIA | REPORTS | [rule] | JUSTICE'S | COURTS | AND | MISC. | CASES | [double rule] | JOSEPH | GAULT | 820-1846 | [rule] Pagination is different but contents are the same as the 1902 edition.

(1) Joseph Gault, Reports of Decisions in Justice's Courts, in the State of Georgia, from the Year of Our Lord 1820 to 1846 (Marietta, Georgia: n.p., 1846).

(2) Greenville (South Carolina) Southern Patriot, November 11, 1851.

(3) Joseph Gault, Fifth Edition of His Reports Entitled A Coat of Many Colors (Americus, Georgia: American Law Book Company, 1902), p. 56.

(4) Joseph Gault, Fourth Edition of His Reports Enlarged and Improved, Entitled a Coat of Many Colors (Marietta, Georgia: n.p., 1873), p. 2.

(5) Sarah Blackwell Gober Temple, The First Hundred Years: A Short History of Cobb County, in Georgia (Atlanta: Walter W. Brown Publishing Company, 1935), p. 166.

(6) Georgia Census Record for 1830.

(7) Georgia Census Records for 1840.

(8) Georgia Census Records for 1850.

(9) Cobb County (Georgia) Deed Records, Books A, B, C, PP.

STEPHEN MEATS Pittsburg State University
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Publication:The Mississippi Quarterly
Geographic Code:1U5GA
Date:Sep 22, 1998
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