Helen Dortch Longstreet Broadside
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Helen Dortch Longstreet Broadside

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Longstreet, Helen Dortch, -1962.
Title: Helen Dortch Longstreet Broadside
Dates: 1911-1913
Extent: 0.05 cubic feet (1 oversize folder)
Identification: MS 2257

Biographical/Historical Note

Helen Dortch Longstreet was born in Carnesville, Georgia on 20 April 1863. She was the daughter of James Speed and Mary Pulliam Dortch. She received her education from Brenau College in Gainesville, Georgia and Notre Dame Convent in Baltimore, Maryland. While at Brenau College, Helen Dortch Longstreet met General James Longstreet, the father of her roommate. They married on 8 September 1897 in Atlanta, Georgia at the Governor's Mansion. At the time of their marriage, Helen Longstreet was thirty-four and General Longstreet was seventy-six. They were married only six years and had no children before General Longstreet died on 2 January 1904.

Helen Longstreet had many interests during her life and held positions in many organizations. She was reportedly the first woman to hold state office in Georgia as Assistant State Librarian. She served in this capacity under Captain John Milledge from 1894 until 1897. Upon the death of her husband, Mrs. Longstreet was appointed Postmistress of Gainesville, Georgia, a position she held until 1913. Helen Longstreet was also involved in political activism. She was a delegate to the Progressive Party convention in 1912 and backed Theodore Roosevelt for the nomination and election. Her political activism was expressed through her work as editor (and in some cases publisher) of political magazines and newspapers. She lectured throughout the nation on a variety of topics including the interest of economic justice for agriculture and labor.

From 1911 to 1913, Mrs. Longstreet led a losing fight to prevent the Georgia Power Company from building a power dam at Tallulah Falls. In December 1934, Helen Longstreet moved to the Virgin Islands and became active in local politics. She wrote numerous articles about the plight of the Virgin Islands and lobbied to improve the conditions on the Islands. While there, Mrs. Longstreet made attempts to uncover those whom she considered to be corrupt politicians. Most of Helen Longstreet's attention focused on clearing General Longstreet's name. She felt that he was unjustly blamed for the South's failure at the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War. She published Lee and Longstreet at High Tide in 1905, made numerous appearances and speeches on behalf of her husband, and wrote articles in his defense. Mrs. Longstreet was also responsible for the Longstreet Memorial Association and the Longstreet Memorial Exhibit at the New York World's Fair in 1939 and the Golden Gate Exposition in 1940. In 1956, Helen Longstreet suffered from deteriorating mental health. She was placed in the Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, Georgia in 1957, where she remained until her death on 3 May 1962. She is buried in West View Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains a broadside written by Helen Dortch Longstreet sometime between 1911 and 1913 regarding her campaign against the Georgia Power Company and their plan to build a power dam in Tallulah Falls, Georgia. In this broadside entitled, Unmatched Tallulah, the Ride and Glory of a Free People Appeals for Protection to the War-worn Heroes of the Sixties, Mrs. Longstreet describes the beauty of Tallulah Falls and fights for a creation of a state park instead of hydroelectric dams.

Index Terms

Broadsides (notices)
Longstreet, Helen Dortch, -1962.
Tallulah Falls (Ga.)

Administrative Information

Processing Information

This collection is processed at the Basic Level (or collection level). There is no detailed inventory for this collection as it is not fully processed. To request that this collection be added to our priority list of collections to be fully processed as staffing and funding allow, please contact the Library and Archives staff.


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.


Encoding funded by a 2008 Archives-Basic Projects grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.