Zadok Daniel Harrison Letter Collection
Creator: Harrison, Zadok Daniel
Title: Zadok Daniel Harrison Letter Collection
Abstract: The collection consists of a letter by Zadok Daniel Harrison regarding his law firm.
Quantity: 0.5 linear feet
Processed By: Essielya Scarbrough
This collection will reveal personal accounts of Zadok Daniel Harrison’s journey to success, including detailed information about his life and career. Harrison worked hard to be accepted to Oglethorpe University, then located at Midway, Georgia. He was not able to finish his school term before he joined the Southern Civil War effort. During the Civil War, he studied law and served as a private in the Capital Guard. His hard work paid off, and he was admitted to the bar and later to the Supreme Court of the State of Georgia. Zadok went on to establish his own law firm known as Harrison and Peeples.
Zadok Daniel Harrison was born 26 November 1842 in Randolph County, Georgia. He was the third child of George and Frances Harrison. When he was eight years old, his family moved to Milledgeville. His father was elected Secretary of State for Georgia. Harrison was only twelve years old when his father passed away in 1854. By this time, though, he had his sights set on Oglethorpe University at Old Midway.
Harrison wanted to enter the sophomore class at Oglethorpe, but it was necessary for him to be tutored in Greek. He completed the tutoring, and around 1859 he entered Oglethorpe University as a sophomore. During his time at Oglethorpe he was elected to represent the Phi Delta Literary Society in a debate and placed in an oratorical contest. There is an ancient Goldsmith volume located at the Oglethorpe University Philip Weltner Library Archives with the inscription, “Awarded to Z. D. Harrison, second prize in the declamation contest of July 30, 1860, Oglethorpe College.”
Harrison left his university studies without graduation to enlist in the Civil War. In 1861, he went to work in the office of Governor Jenkins and began to study law. Harrison ultimately joined the Capital Guard as a private alongside his brother James. Aside from his accomplishments at war, he was admitted to the Georgia Bar and established his own law firm. His firm Harrison and Peeples practiced in the Federal Courts. He had great success as a lawyer and became a clerk of the Supreme Court.
With his wife Laura, Harrison had seven children between 1874 and 1892. He was a very active member at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Atlanta. In 1918 Harrison became an honorary life member of the Georgia Bar Association, and in 1922 was elected President of the Association where he would serve for 32 years. In 1923, Harrison joined the Board of Trustees for Sewanee, the University of the South, located in Tennessee. While serving on the Sewanee Board of Trustees, he was also a member of the Standing Committee of the Diocese. After serving 66 years, Harrison retired from his position as Clerk of the Supreme Court of Georgia in December of 1934. On 24 September 1935, Harrison passed away and was buried beside his wife at West View Cemetery in Atlanta.
Harrison had a long, happy, and extremely successful life. He touched many lives. In 1936 the Supreme Court of Georgia dedicated a memorial to Harrison. It reads:
“When a man leaves this life, after nearly ninety-three years spent in it, one wonders what changes he has witnessed during so long a time. Z. D. Harrison had almost attained his majority when the Civil War began. Since then his country passed through three major wars, three Presidents of the United States have been assassinated, four dreadful monetary panics have come and gone, reconstruction and a woeful revolution have shaken this land. The telegraph, the railroad, the typewriter, the linotype, the radio, the telephone, the automobile, the airplane, the motion picture, the tractor, electric lighting, electric cooking, electric heating, new and devilish instruments of destruction on the ground, in the air, and under the sea, the use of anesthetics, the combat with germ and accident, implements for cultivating the soil, methods for taking our mineral wealth all have first become known, or have first attained successful development, since his birth and while he was still with us; and this is but a partial list. In fact we marvel how existence was endurable without those things not known or not used before the time of his life’s beginnings.”
Harrison, Zadok Daniel, 1842-1935
Please cite Zadok Daniel Harrison Letter Collection, MF 67, Archives, Philip Weltner Library, Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, Georgia. Permission to publish from this collection must be approved in writing by the Director of the Library, Oglethorpe University.