Edwards, Harry Stillwell (1855-1938) | Valdosta State University Archives
Name: Edwards, Harry Stillwell (1855-1938)
Variant Name: Harry Edwards
Historical Note: Author and journalist Harry Stillwell Edwards was born in Macon, Georgia. As a boy he sold newspapers on the streets of the city. His formal education was cut short by the Civil War, but he read extensively in the Library of Congress while working as a clerk in the U. S. Treasury. He returned home to Macon in 1874, studied law at Mercer University, and was admitted to the bar, but never actively practiced due to his passion for writing. His first short story, “Elder Brown's Backslide,” appeared in Harper's Monthly in 1886. It was a humorous story of a man going to the “big city” of Macon and falling off the wagon after over 20 years of sobriety. Numerous other stories followed. These stories were eventually collected, bound, and published in book form. His first novel, Sons and Fathers, was written in 1895. Another, Marbeau Cousins, was published soon afterwards. Both of these novels were mysteries and popular for their time. Meanwhile, Edwards had become owner and editor of the Macon Telegraph, where he wrote a regular column entitled “What Comes Down My Creek.” This column was very popular and he continued writing it for the rest of his life. Edwards' most popular work was a story entitled “Eneas Africanus,” which first appeared in the Macon Evening News, of which he was also part owner and co-editor. Eneas’ great journey throughout the south was later published as a book and has sold over three million copies. The minting of the 1925 Stone Mountain Half Dollar to pay for the cost of the memorial is mainly attributed to Edwards. Due to his hard work and determination the people of the United States can enjoy the monument today. He died in Macon, Georgia on October 22, 1938. His rustic home, Kingfisher Cabin, was later restored and placed on the grounds of the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Macon at Wesleyan College.
Note Author: John Womble