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Old News Stories
Tablet Honoring Payne Dedicated, 1922

From The Atlanta Constitution
Oct. 9, 1922

Tablet to Honor "Home, Sweet Home" Author Unveiled
by George L. Davis

Near the summit of a picturesque bluff overlooking the town of Spring Place, Ga,, in Murray county, in the center of an angle formed by the Intersection of two principal highways, reposes a rough-hewn slab of Georgia marble. Deep cut into its shilling side are these words:

    "JOHN HOWARD PAYNE
    "Illustrious author of 'Home, Sweet Home,'
    "Suspected of sedition, was brought here, examined and exonerated in 1836.
    "Erected by the Old Guards of Atlanta, 1922.
    "Joseph A. McCord, Commandant."

The memorial was dedicated with impressive ceremony by a representative member of the "Old Guard" during an interval between alternate showers of rain at 10 o'cloclk Saturday morning. Members of the organization left Atlanta early Friday morning in automobiles, arriving at Dalton in the afternoon, spending the night at "The Ranch," owned by Joseph A. McCord, commandant of the Old Guard, and participating in the dedication Saturday morning. Following the dedication the party left for the plantation of Dr. T. W. Colvern, a neighbor of Mr. McCord's. where they were entertained at a barbecue. The party then returned to "The Ranch," which is near Spring Place, for the night, leaving for Atlanta Sunday morning.

Greetings at Dalton.

On their arrival at Dalton the party was met by a committee of five Civitans headed by P. B. Fite, president of the Civitan club, at the First Prcubyterian church, who piloted them to the Methodist church, where a reception and luncheon, prepared by members of the D. A. R. and U. D. C., awaited them. There they were cordially greeted by Mrs. H. L. Smith, regent of the D. A. U., and Mrs. W. O. McGahee, president of the U. D. C. Luncheon was served in Crusader room. Addresses of welcome were made by Dr. J. K. Simms, pastor of First Methodist church, and Dr. J. G. McAfee, mayor. Reply was by Colonel Edmund W. Martin, a captain of the Guards, and former councilman of Atlanta.

A night of much enjoyment fol lowed at the ranch, where Mr. McCord waa presented a silver baking dish on tho event of his sixty-fifth birthday, by the members of, the Old Guard, Colonel George M. Napier, making the presentation with the remark, "our affection for you is not half-baked but completely baked."

Mr, MrCord made the initial address at the unveiling cnremony, after which he introduced Colonel Napier, who delivered the dedication address which consisted chiefly of an account of the historic events which led to the arrest of John Howard Payne In 1830, on the charge of inciting the Indians to insurrection, and of his stay in Spring Place while under military detention.

Was Never Jailed.

"John Howard Payne was not a spy," said Colonel Napier, "but a man whose heart bled for the Indians when he beheld them being ruthlessly driven from their homes by the white settlers, who afterwards destroyed their homes with fire, and because his poetic soul was moved with pity and be openly voiced his sentiment he was arrested and brought to Spring Place, but he was never jailed."

The tablet was unveiled by Miss Thelma Pritchctt, 14-year-old daughter of J. H. Pritchett who resides nt the old Vann house where Pnyne was held until released a few days later. The ceremony closed with the rendition of the poem "As Long us His Rivers Flow Into The Sea," by its author, Professor Ernest Neil. Approximately three hundred were present. At the barbecue a number of D. A. It, and TJ. D. C. of Dalton were pren--nt. After dinner speeches were made by Mr. McCord,

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