James W. English ambrotype
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James W. English ambrotype

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Unknown.
Title: James W. English ambrotype
Dates: circa 1860s
Extent: 0.05 cubic feet (1 folder)
Identification: MS 1693

Biographical/Historical Note

James Warren English, the son of Andrew and Mary Warren English, was born in Orleans Parish, Louisiana, on 28 October 1837. In the early 1850s, English moved to Griffin, Georgia. When the Civil War began, English joined the Confederacy. He served with the Spalding Grays throughout the war.

After the war, English married Emily Alexander of Griffin, and settled in Atlanta. James and Emily English had six children: James W., Jr.; Harry L.; Edward A.; Edgar; Emily (Robinson); and Jennie (Kiser). English became well known in Atlanta as a business man and civic leader. He founded the Chattahoochee Brick Company and the American Trust and Banking Company (later the First National Bank of Atlanta).

English was elected to the Atlanta City Council in 1877 and 1878. During his terms, he was responsible for lowering the interest rate on the city’s debt and establishing a more efficient payment plan. In 1880, English was elected Mayor of Atlanta. He served one term of two years from 1881-1882. Under his leadership a modern water pumping system was installed; the city laid its first permanently paved roads; the fire department became a paid corps rather than volunteer units; and fire and police signal systems were established. English was also responsible for abolishing the gambling houses that had become rampant in the city.

James W. English was a driving force behind the Cotton States and International Exposition that was held in Atlanta in 1881. He also helped organize the campaign for relocating the state capital from Milledgeville to Atlanta. English served on various civic and philanthropic committees, including chairman of the board of Police Commissioners. He was one of the first trustees of Grady Hospital, an original promoter of the Georgia School of Technology, and was involved with the First Presbyterian Church. James W. English died on 15 February 1925.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of an ambrotype of James W. English. Although the exact date is unknown, the ambrotype of English dates from the Civil War (1861-1865). This image appears on page 47 of the William Turner book, Even More Confederate Faces. The ambrotype came to the Georgia Historical Society with a diagonal break in the glass.

Index Terms

Confederate States of America--History.
Confederate States of America. Army. Georgia Infantry Battalion, 2nd.
English, James W., 1837-1925.
Georgia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Material was purchased from Gary Hendershott.

Preferred Citation

[item identification], James W. English ambrotype, MS 1693, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Purchased, 2003.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List



1Ambrotype, James W. English, circa 1860s View online.
Online Inventory Contains Digitized Items