In the street near this site in June 1807, occurred the horse-whipping of Superior Court Judge Charles Tait by his political enemy John Clark, later Governor of Georgia. Clark was fined $2,000 for the assault. The incident illustrates Georgia politics in the 1800-1830 period when family and personal loyalties formed the unifying theme. Pistol duels and other violence were frequent and often fatal.
John Clark (Gov., 1819-1823) led the frontier settlers who stood for greater political democracy, while William H. Crawford and George M. Troup (Gov., 1823-1827) led the opposing conservative and aristocratic faction consolidated earlier by James Jackson (Gov., 1789-1801). For years the Troup and Clark parties contended in state politics, differing not so much in principles but in personalities. Under Clark's leadership the governor became elective by popular vote in 1824. Thus Georgia led other states in removing the chief executive from legislative appointment and control.