Alexander H. Stephens

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Alexander H. Stephens
Alexander H Stephens by Vannerson, 1859.jpg
Photograph by Julian Vannerson, 1859
50th Governor of Georgia
In office
November 4, 1882 March 4, 1883
Preceded by Alfred Colquitt
Succeeded by James Boynton
Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives
from Georgia's 8th district
In office
December 1, 1873 November 4, 1882
Preceded by John Jones
Succeeded by Seaborn Reese
In office
March 4, 1853 March 3, 1859
Preceded by Robert Toombs
Succeeded byJohn Jones
Vice President of the Confederate States
In office
February 22, 1862 May 11, 1865
Provisional: February 11, 1861 – February 22, 1862
President Jefferson Davis
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Deputy from Georgia
to the Provisional Congress
of the Confederate States
In office
February 4, 1861 February 17, 1862
Preceded byNew constituency
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives
from Georgia's 7th district
In office
March 4, 1845 March 3, 1853
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded by David Reese
Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives
from Georgia's At-large district
In office
October 2, 1843 March 3, 1845
Preceded by Mark Cooper
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Member of the Georgia Senate
In office
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1812-02-11)February 11, 1812
Taliaferro County, Georgia, U.S.
DiedMarch 4, 1883(1883-03-04) (aged 71)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Political party Whig (1836–51)
Unionist (1851–60)
Constitutional Union (1860–61)
Democratic (1861–83)
Alma mater University of Georgia
Signature Alexander Stephens Signature.svg

Alexander Hamilton Stephens [lower-alpha 1] (born February 11, 1812 – March 4, 1883) was an American politician who served as the only Vice President of the Confederate States from 1861 to 1865, and later as the 50th Governor of Georgia from 1882 until his death in 1883. A member of the Democratic Party, Stephens represented the state of Georgia in the United States House of Representatives prior to becoming Governor.

Vice President of the Confederate States of America vice-head of state for the Confederate States of America

The Vice President of the Confederate States of America was the office held by Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia, who served under President Jefferson Davis of Mississippi from February 18, 1861, until the dissolution of the Confederacy on May 5, 1865. Having first been elected by the Provisional Confederate States Congress, both were considered provisional office-holders until they won the presidential election of November 6, 1861 without opposition and inaugurated on February 22, 1862.

Democratic Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with its rival, the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.

Georgia (U.S. state) State of the United States of America

Georgia is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Georgia is the 24th largest and 8th-most populous of the 50 United States. Georgia is bordered to the north by Tennessee and North Carolina, to the northeast by South Carolina, to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by Florida, and to the west by Alabama. The state's nicknames include the Peach State and the Empire State of the South. Atlanta, a "beta(+)" global city, is both the state's capital and largest city. The Atlanta metropolitan area, with an estimated population of 5,949,951 in 2018, is the 9th most populous metropolitan area in the United States and contains about 60% of the entire state population.


Stephens attended Franklin College and established a legal practice in his home town of Crawfordville, Georgia. After serving in both houses of the Georgia General Assembly, he won election to Congress, taking his seat in 1843. He became a leading Southern Whig and strongly opposed the Mexican–American War. After the war, Stephens was a prominent supporter of the Compromise of 1850 and helped draft the Georgia Platform, which opposed secession. A proponent of the expansion of slavery into the territories, Stephens also helped pass the Kansas–Nebraska Act. As the Whig Party collapsed in the 1850s, Stephens eventually joined the Democratic Party and worked with President James Buchanan to admit Kansas as a state under the Lecompton Constitution.

Franklin College of Arts and Sciences

The Franklin College of Arts and Sciences is the founding college of the University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens, Georgia, United States. The college was named in honor of Benjamin Franklin. Today, the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences comprises 30 departments in five divisions: fine arts, social sciences, biological sciences, physical and mathematical sciences, and the humanities.

Crawfordville, Georgia City in Georgia, United States

Crawfordville is a city in Taliaferro County, Georgia, United States. The population was 572 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Taliaferro County.

Georgia General Assembly

The Georgia General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Georgia. It is bicameral, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Stephens declined to seek re-election in 1858, but continued to publicly advocate against secession. After Georgia and other Southern states seceded and formed the Confederate States of America, Stephens was elected as the Confederate Vice President. Stephens's Cornerstone Speech of March 1861 defended slavery, though after the war he distanced himself from his earlier sentiments. In the course of the war, he became increasingly critical of President Jefferson Davis's policies, especially conscription and the suspension of habeas corpus. [2] In February 1865, he was one of the commissioners who met with Abraham Lincoln at the abortive Hampton Roads Conference to discuss peace terms.

Cornerstone Speech 1861 oration delivered by Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens

The Cornerstone Speech, also known as the Cornerstone Address, was an oration given by Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens at the Athenaeum in Savannah, Georgia, on March 21, 1861, delivered extemporaneously a few weeks before the beginning of the American Civil War in the Battle of Fort Sumter. Stephens' speech defended slavery, explained the fundamental differences between the constitutions of the Confederacy and that of the United States, enumerated contrasts between U.S. and Confederate ideologies, and laid out the Confederacy's causes for attempting to secede from the U.S.

Jefferson Davis President of the Confederate States of America

Jefferson Finis Davis was an American politician who served as the only President of the Confederate States of America from 1861 to 1865. As a member of the Democratic Party, he represented Mississippi in the United States Senate and the House of Representatives prior to switching allegiance to the Confederacy. He was appointed as the United States Secretary of War, serving from 1853 to 1857, under President Franklin Pierce.

Habeas corpus is a recourse in law through which a person can report an unlawful detention or imprisonment to a court and request that the court order the custodian of the person, usually a prison official, to bring the prisoner to court, to determine whether the detention is lawful.

After the war, Stephens was imprisoned until October 1865. The following year, the Georgia legislature elected Stephens to the United States Senate, but the Senate declined to seat him due to his role in the Civil War. He won election to the House of Representatives in 1873 and held that office until 1882, when he resigned from Congress to become Governor of Georgia. Stephens served as governor until his death in March 1883.

United States Senate Upper house of the United States Congress

The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol Building, in Washington, D.C.

American Civil War Civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865

The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North (Union) and the South (Confederacy). The most studied and written about episode in U.S. history, the Civil War began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people. War broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North, which also included some geographically western and southern states, proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.

Early and family life

An illustration of Stephens as a young man Alexander H Stephens.svg
An illustration of Stephens as a young man

Stephens was born on February 11, 1812. [1] His parents were Andrew Baskins Stephens and Margaret Grier. [3] The Stephenses lived on a farm in Taliaferro County, Georgia. At the time of Alexander Stephens's birth, the farm was part of Wilkes County. Taliaferro County was created in 1825 from land in Greene, Hancock, Oglethorpe, Warren, and Wilkes counties. [4] His father, a native of Pennsylvania, came to Georgia at 12 years of age, in 1795. According to the Biographical Sketch of Linton Stephens (Linton Stephens being Alexander Stephens's half-brother), Andrew B. Stephens was "endowed with uncommon intellectual faculties; he had sound practical judgment; he was a safe counselor, sagacious, self-reliant, candid and courageous." [5]

Taliaferro County, Georgia County in the United States

Taliaferro County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,717, making it the least populous county in Georgia and the second-least populous county east of the Mississippi River. The county seat is Crawfordville.

His mother, a Georgia native and sister of Grier's Almanac founder Robert Grier, [6] died in 1812 at the age of 26; Alexander Stephens was only three months old. In the introduction to Recollections of Alexander H. Stephens, there is this about his mother and her family: "Margaret came of folk who had a liking for books, and a turn for law, war, and meteorology." [7] The introduction continues: "In her son's character was a marked blending of parental traits. He [Alexander Stephens] was thrifty, generous, progressive; one of the best lawyers in the land; a reader and collector of books; a close observer of the weather, and father of the Weather Bureau of the United States." [8] In 1814, Andrew B. Stephens married Matilda Lindsay, daughter of Revolutionary War Colonel John Lindsay. [9]

American Revolutionary War War between Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies, which won independence as the United States of America

The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence, was an 18th-century war between Great Britain and its Thirteen Colonies which declared independence as the United States of America.

In May 1826, when Alexander Stephens was 14 years old, his father, Andrew, and stepmother, Matilda, died of pneumonia only days apart. [10] Their deaths caused him and several siblings to be scattered among relatives. He grew up poor and in difficult circumstances. Not long after the deaths of his father and his stepmother, Alexander Stephens was sent to live with his mother's other brother, General Aaron W. Grier, near Raytown (Taliaferro County), Georgia. General Grier had inherited his own father's library, said to be "the largest library in all that part of the country." [11] Alexander Stephens, who read voraciously even as a youth, mentions the library in his "Recollections."

Frail but precocious, the young Stephens acquired his continued education through the generosity of several benefactors. One of them was the Presbyterian minister Alexander Hamilton Webster, who presided over a school in Washington, Georgia. Out of respect for his mentor, Stephens adopted Webster's middle name, Hamilton, as his own. Stephens attended the Franklin College (later the University of Georgia) in Athens, where he was roommates with Crawford W. Long and a member of the Phi Kappa Literary Society. He raised funds for Phi Kappa Hall, located on the university campus. [12] Stephens graduated at the top of his class in 1832.

Stephens was sickly throughout his life, most painfully from "crippling rheumatoid arthritis and a pinched nerve in his back". [10] Though his adult height was 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m), he often weighed less than 100 pounds (45 kg). [13]

After several unhappy years teaching in school, Stephens began legal studies, was admitted to the Georgia bar in 1834, and began a successful career as a lawyer in Crawfordville. During his 32 years of practice, he gained a reputation as a capable defender of the wrongfully accused. None of his clients charged with capital crimes were executed.

As his wealth increased, Stephens began acquiring land and slaves. By the time of the Civil War, Stephens owned 34 slaves and several thousand acres. He entered politics in 1836, and was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives, serving there until 1841. In 1842, he was elected to the Georgia Senate.

Congressional career

Stephens served in the U.S. House from October 2, 1843, to March 3, 1859, from the 28th Congress through the 35th Congress. In 1843, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Whig, in a special election to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mark A. Cooper. [14] This seat was at-large, as Georgia did not have House Districts until the next year. Stephens was re-elected from the 7th District as a Whig in 1844, 1846, and 1848, as a Unionist in 1851, and again as a Whig (from the 8th District) in 1853. In 1855 and 1857, his re-elections came as a Democrat.

As a national lawmaker during the crucial decades before the Civil War, Stephens was involved in all of the major sectional battles. He began as a moderate defender of slavery but later accepted the prevailing Southern rationale utilized to defend the institution.

Stephens quickly rose to prominence as one of the leading Southern Whigs in the House. He supported the annexation of Texas in 1845. Along with his fellow Whigs, he vehemently opposed the Mexican–American War, and later become an equally vigorous opponent of the Wilmot Proviso, which would have barred the extension of slavery into territories that were acquired after the war. He also controversially tabled the Clayton Compromise, which would have excluded slavery from the Oregon Territory and left the issue of slavery in New Mexico and California to the Supreme Court. This would later nearly kill Stephens when he argued with Judge Francis H. Cone, who stabbed him repeatedly in a fit of anger. [15] Stephens was physically outmatched by his larger assailant, but he remained defiant during the attack, refusing to recant his positions even at the cost of his life. Only the intervention of others saved him. Stephens' wounds were serious, and he returned home to Crawfordville to recover. He and Cone reconciled before Cone's death in 1859.

Stephens and fellow Georgia Representative Robert Toombs campaigned for the election of Zachary Taylor as President in 1848. Both were chagrined and angered when Taylor proved less than pliable on aspects of the Compromise of 1850. Stephens and Toombs both supported said compromise between slave and free states, though they opposed the exclusion of slavery from the territories on the theory that such lands belonged to all of the people. The pair returned from the District of Columbia to Georgia to secure support for the measures at home. Both men were instrumental in the drafting and approval of the Georgia Platform, which rallied Unionists throughout the Deep South.

Stephens and Toombs were not only political allies but also lifelong friends. Stephens was described as "a highly sensitive young man of serious and joyless habits of consuming ambition, of poverty-fed pride, and of morbid preoccupation within self," a contrast to the "robust, wealthy, and convivial Toombs. But this strange camaraderie endured with singular accord throughout their lives." [16]

By this time, Stephens had departed the ranks of the Whig party, its Northern wing generally not amenable to some Southern interests. Back in Georgia, Stephens, Toombs, and Democratic Representative Howell Cobb formed the Constitutional Union Party. The party overwhelmingly carried the state in the ensuing election and, for the first time, Stephens returned to Congress no longer a Whig. Stephens spent the next few years as a Constitutional Unionist, essentially an independent. He vigorously opposed the dismantling of the Constitutional Union Party when it began crumbling in 1851. Political realities soon forced the Union Democrats in the party to affiliate once more with the national party, and by mid-1852, the combination of both Democrats and Whigs, which had formed a "party" behind the Compromise, had ended.

The sectional issue surged to the forefront again in 1854, when Senator Stephen A. Douglas, from Illinois, moved to organize the Nebraska Territory, all of which lay north of the Missouri Compromise line, in the Kansas–Nebraska Act. This legislation aroused fury in the North because it applied the popular sovereignty principle to the Territory, in violation of the Missouri Compromise. Had it not been for Stephens, the bill probably never would have passed in the House. He employed an obscure House rule to bring the bill to a vote. He later called this "the greatest glory of my life."

From this point on, Stephens voted with the Democrats. Until after 1855, Stephens could not be properly called a Democrat, and even then, he never officially declared it. In this move, Stephens broke irrevocably with many of his former Whig colleagues. When the Whig Party disintegrated after the election of 1852, some Whigs flocked to the short-lived Know-Nothing Party, but Stephens fiercely opposed the Know-Nothings both for their secrecy and their anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic position.

Photograph of Stephens by Mathew Brady Hon. Alexander H. Stephens, Ga - NARA - 528511.tif
Photograph of Stephens by Mathew Brady

Despite his late arrival in the Democratic Party, Stephens quickly rose through the ranks. He even served as President James Buchanan's floor manager in the House during the fruitless battle for the slave state Lecompton Constitution for Kansas Territory in 1857. He was instrumental in framing the failed English Bill after it became clear that Lecompton would not pass, in order to negotiate its approval.

Stephens did not seek re-election to Congress in 1858. As sectional peace eroded during the next two years, Stephens became increasingly critical of Southern extremists. Although virtually the entire South had spurned Douglas as a traitor to Southern rights because he had opposed the Lecompton Constitution and broken with Buchanan, Stephens remained on good terms with Douglas and even served as one of his presidential electors in the election of 1860.

On November 14, 1860, Stephens delivered a speech entitled "The Assertions of a Secessionist". He said:

When I look around and see our prosperity in every thing, agriculture, commerce, art, science, and every department of education, physical and mental, as well as moral advancement, and our colleges, I think, in the face of such an exhibition, if we can, without the loss of power, or any essential right or interest, remain in the Union, it is our duty to ourselves and to posterity to—let us not too readily yield to this temptation—do so. Our first parents, the great progenitors of the human race, were not without a like temptation when in the garden of Eden. They were led to believe that their condition would be bettered—that their eyes would be opened—and that they would become as gods. They in an evil hour yielded—instead of becoming gods, they only saw their own nakedness. I look upon this country, with our institutions, as the Eden of the world, the paradise of the universe. [17]

On the eve of the outbreak of the American Civil War, he counseled delay in moving militarily against U.S.-held Fort Sumter and Pickens so that the Confederacy could build up its forces and stock resources. [18]

Vice President of the Confederate States

The original Confederate Cabinet from left to right included Judah P. Benjamin, Stephen Mallory, Christopher Memminger, Stephens, LeRoy Pope Walker, Jefferson Davis, John H. Reagan and Robert Toombs ConfederateCabinet.jpg
The original Confederate Cabinet from left to right included Judah P. Benjamin, Stephen Mallory, Christopher Memminger, Stephens, LeRoy Pope Walker, Jefferson Davis, John H. Reagan and Robert Toombs

In 1861, Stephens was elected as a delegate to the Georgia Secession Convention to decide Georgia's response to the election of Abraham Lincoln. During the convention, as well as during the 1860 presidential campaign, Stephens, who came to be known as the sage of Liberty Hall, [19] called for the South to remain loyal to the Union, likening it to a leaking but fixable boat. During the convention he reminded his fellow delegates that Republicans were a minority in Congress (especially in the Senate) and, even with a Republican President, they would be forced to compromise just as the two sections had for decades. Because the Supreme Court had voted 7–2 in the Dred Scott case, it would take decades of Senate-approved appointments to reverse it. He voted against secession in the convention [20] but asserted the right to secede if the federal government continued allowing northern states to nullify the Fugitive Slave Law with "personal liberty laws." He was elected to the Confederate Congress and was chosen by the Congress as Vice President of the provisional government. [21] He took the provisional oath of office on February 11, 1861, then the 'full term' oath of office on February 22, 1862 (after being elected in November 1861) and served until his arrest on May 11, 1865. Stephens officially served in office eight days longer than President Jefferson Davis; he took his oath seven days before Davis's inauguration and was captured the day after Davis.

On March 21, 1861, Stephens gave his famous Cornerstone Speech in Savannah, Georgia. In it he declared that slavery was the natural condition of blacks and the foundation of the Confederacy. He declared that relative to the U.S. Constitution, "Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition." [22]

In 1862, Stephens first publicly expressed his opposition to the Davis administration. [23] Throughout the war he denounced many of the president's policies, including conscription, suspension of the writ of habeas corpus , impressment, various financial and taxation policies, and Davis's military strategy. [24]

In mid-1863, Davis dispatched Stephens on a fruitless mission to Washington to discuss prisoner exchanges, but the Union victory of Gettysburg made the Lincoln Administration refuse to receive him. As the war continued and the fortunes of the Confederacy sank lower, Stephens became more outspoken in his opposition to the administration. On March 16, 1864, Stephens delivered a speech [25] to the Georgia Legislature that was widely reported in both the North and the South. In it, he excoriated the Davis Administration for its support of conscription and suspension of habeas corpus, and supported a block of resolutions aimed at securing peace. From then until the end of the war, as he continued to press for actions aimed at bringing about peace, his relations with Davis, never warm to begin with, turned completely sour.

On February 3, 1865, he was one of three Confederate commissioners who met with Lincoln on the steamer River Queen at the Hampton Roads Conference, a fruitless effort to discuss measures to bring an end to the fight. Stephens and Lincoln had been close friends and Whig political allies in the 1840s. [26] Although peace terms were not reached, Lincoln did agree to look into the whereabouts of Stephens's nephew, Confederate Lieutenant John A. Stephens. When Lincoln returned to Washington, he ordered the release of Lieutenant Stephens. [27]

Later life and death

Stephens in his later years AlexStephens2.jpg
Stephens in his later years
John White Alexander's portrait of Stephens in 1883, the year he died John White Alexander - Alexander Stephens portrait.jpg
John White Alexander's portrait of Stephens in 1883, the year he died

Stephens was arrested for treason against the United States at his home in Crawfordville, on May 11, 1865. He was imprisoned in Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, for five months until October 1865. [28] In 1866, he was elected to the United States Senate by the first legislature convened under the new Georgia State Constitution, but was not allowed to take his seat because of restrictions on former Confederates.

Stephens published a U.S. history in 1868–1870, laying out the Lost Cause of the Confederacy: that secession was legal, and the attacks from the North aggression.

In 1873, Stephens was elected US Representative as a Democrat from the 8th District to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Ambrose R. Wright. Stephens was subsequently re-elected to the 8th District as an Independent Democrat in 1874, 1876, and 1878, and as a Democrat again in 1880. [29] He described himself, on the title page of the 1876 edition of his Compendium, as "Professor Elect of History and Political Science at the University of Georgia". He served in the 43rd through 47th Congresses, from December 1, 1873, until his resignation on November 4, 1882. On that date, he was elected and took office as Governor of Georgia. [30] His tenure as governor proved brief; Stephens died on March 4, 1883, four months after taking office. [31]

Almost all of his former slaves continued to work for him, often for little or no money; [32] [ better source needed ] whether this decision was voluntary or the result of few other options existing for former slaves in the Deep South is difficult to determine. [33] These servants were with him upon his death. Although old and infirm, Stephens continued to work on his house and plantation. According to a former slave, a gate fell on Stephens while he and another black servant were repairing it, "and he was crippled and lamed up from that time on till he died." The veracity of this rumor is difficult to determine as the cited ex-slave was not present when this happened. [34]





Alexander H. Stephens Monument in front of his house, Liberty Hall, in the A. H. Stephens Historic Park, near Crawfordville, Georgia Stephens Monument.JPG
Alexander H. Stephens Monument in front of his house, Liberty Hall, in the A. H. Stephens Historic Park, near Crawfordville, Georgia
Stephens depicted on an 1862 Confederate States of America $20 banknote CSA-T21-$20-1862.jpg
Stephens depicted on an 1862 Confederate States of America $20 banknote

He is pictured on the CSA $20.00 banknote (3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th issues).

Stephens County, Georgia, and Stephens County, Texas, bear his name, as does A. H. Stephens State Park, near Crawfordville, [35] containing his home, Liberty Hall.

A collection of Stephens's personal papers has been digitized and is available at the Rubenstein Library, Duke University. [36]

A sculpture of Stephens appears in the National Statuary Hall Collection, representing one of two figures from Georgia history, the other being Crawford W. Long. There have been calls to replace Stephens' sculpture in the collection with that of another Georgian, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. [37]

According to Bruce Catton, he was "given one of the most haunting nicknames ever worn by an American politician: 'The Little Pale Star from Georgia.'" [38]

See also

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John Brown Baldwin was a Virginia lawyer and Democratic politician, who served one term in Virginia House of Delegates before the Virginia Secession Convention of 1861, during which he was a Unionist. During the American Civil War, Baldwin believed his primary loyalty was to his state, and served as one of Virginia's representatives to the First and Second Confederate Congresses. He became one of the leading critics of President Jefferson Davis, who was seen by many as usurping the Confederacy's states' rights principles. During Congressional Reconstruction, Balwin became Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates.

Benjamin Harvey Hill American politician

Benjamin Harvey Hill was a politician whose career spanned state and national politics, and the Civil War. He served in the Georgia legislature in both houses. Although he had opposed secession, he stayed with the South and served as a Confederate senator representing Georgia.

Henry Cornelius Burnett American politician

Henry Cornelius Burnett was an American politician who served as a Confederate States Senator from Kentucky from 1862 to 1865. From 1855 to 1861, Burnett served four terms in the United States House of Representatives. A lawyer by profession, Burnett had held only one public office—circuit court clerk—before being elected to Congress. He represented Kentucky's 1st congressional district immediately prior to the Civil War. This district contained the entire Jackson Purchase region of the state, which was more sympathetic to the Confederate cause than any other area of Kentucky. Burnett promised the voters of his district that he would have President Abraham Lincoln arraigned for treason. Unionist newspaper editor George D. Prentice described Burnett as "a big, burly, loud-mouthed fellow who is forever raising points of order and objections, to embarrass the Republicans in the House".

Thomas S. Bocock American politician

Thomas Salem Bocock was a nineteenth-century politician and lawyer from Virginia. After serving as an antebellum United States Congressman, he was the Speaker of the Confederate States House of Representatives during most of the American Civil War.

The Georgia Platform was a statement executed by a Georgia Convention in Milledgeville, Georgia on December 10, 1850, in response to the Compromise of 1850. Supported by Unionists, the document affirmed the acceptance of the Compromise as a final resolution of the sectional slavery issues while declaring that no further assaults on Southern rights by the North would be acceptable. The Platform had political significance throughout the South. In the short term it was an effective antidote to secession, but in the long run it contributed to sectional solidarity and the demise of the Second Party System in the South. Much of the document was written by Charles J. Jenkins, a Whig lawyer and state legislator from Augusta.

At the end of the American Civil War, the devastation and disruption in the state of Georgia were dramatic. Wartime damage, the inability to maintain a labor force without slavery, and miserable weather had a disastrous effect on agricultural production. The state's chief cash crop, cotton, fell from a high of more than 700,000 bales in 1860 to less than 50,000 in 1865, while harvests of corn and wheat were also meager. The state government subsidized construction of numerous new railroad lines. White farmers turned to cotton as a cash crop, often using commercial fertilizers to make up for the poor soils they owned. The coastal rice plantations never recovered from the war.

Stephen A. Douglas American politician

Stephen Arnold Douglas was an American politician and lawyer from Illinois. He was the Democratic Party nominee for president in the 1860 election, but he was defeated by Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln. Douglas had previously bested Lincoln in the 1858 Illinois election for the United States Senate, which is known for the Lincoln–Douglas debates. During the 1850s, Douglas was one of the foremost advocates of popular sovereignty, which held that each territory should be allowed to determine whether to permit slavery within its borders. Douglas was nicknamed the "Little Giant" because he was short in physical stature, but a forceful and dominant figure in politics.

Virginia Secession Convention of 1861

The Virginia Secession Convention of 1861 was called in Richmond to determine secession from the United States, to govern the state during a state of emergency, and to write a new Constitution for Virginia, which was subsequently voted down in referendum under the Confederate regime.



  1. Stephens' original middle name was the sole initial 'H'. It was filled to stand for 'Hamilton' out of respect for Alexander Hamilton Webster, a childhood mentor. [1]


  1. 1 2 Memoirs of Georgia (Atlanta: Southern Historical Association, 1895), Vol. I, p. 238.
  2. Simpson, Brooks D. (July 22, 2015). "The Future of Stone Mountain". Crossroads. WordPress. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved March 5, 2016. Stephens, was not a big fan of his superior.
  3. Biographical Sketch of Linton Stephens (Atlanta: Dodson & Scott, 1877), p. 3.
  4. "Taliaferro County | New Georgia Encyclopedia". August 30, 2006. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  5. Biographical Sketch of Linton Stephens, p. 3.
  6. "Grier's Almanac | New Georgia Encyclopedia". August 13, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  7. Recollections of Alexander H. Stephens: His Diary Kept When a Prisoner... (New York: Doubleday, 1910), p. 3.
  8. Recollections of Alexander H. Stephens, pp. 3–4.
  9. Biographical Sketch of Linton Stephens, pp. 3–4.
  10. 1 2 Georgia's Historic High Country Travel Association (January 25, 2009). "Alexander Stephens". Georgia's Blue and Gray Trail. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  11. Recollections of Alexander H. Stephens, p.3.
  12. "Phi Kappa Hall (University of Georgia)". Digital Library of Georgia. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  13. James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom (New York: Ballantine Books, 1989), p. 74, gives his weight as 90 pounds.
  14. "Memorandum, Alexander H. Stephens elected to House of Representatives, Milledgeville, Georgia, 1843". Digital Library of Georgia. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  15. "Alexander Stephens". August 18, 1905. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  16. William Y. Thompson, Robert Toombs of Georgia, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1966, p. 13
  17. Stephens, Alexander (1860). The Assertions of a Secessionist. New York: Loyal Publication Society. p. 6. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  18. Allan Nevins, The Improvised War, 1861–1862 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1959), p. 73.
  19. Candler, Allen Daniel (1909). The Confederate records of the State of Georgia, Volume 1. Atlanta, GA: C. P. Byrd publishing. ISBN   978-1147068887. p. 16. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  20. "Ordinance of Secession of the State of Georgia". Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscript Library. University of Georgia Libraries. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  21. "Election ballot from Confederate Presidential election, 1861". America's Turning Point: Documenting the Civil War Experience in Georgia, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries. Digital Library of Georgia. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  22. "Behind the Jeffersonian Veneer". Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  23. Schott, Thomas E. (1988). Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia. pp. 357 ff.
  24. Eicher, David J. (January 2008). "How the Confederacy Fought Itself". Civil War Times. 46 (10). Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  25. Stephens, Alexander Hamilton. "The Great Speech of Hon. A.H. Stephens, Delivered Before the Georgia Legislature, on Wednesday Night, March 16th, 1864". Documenting the American South. University of North Carolina. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  26. Chris DeRose (2013). Congressman Lincoln. Simon and Schuster. p. 116. ISBN   9781451695151.
  27. Lincoln, Abraham. "Abraham Lincoln Letter to Alexander Stephens". American Civil War, Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscript Library. University of Georgia Libraries. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  28. Stephens, Alexander H. (1971). Recollections of Alexander H. Stephens; his diary kept when a prisoner at Fort Warren, Boston Harbour, 1865. New York: Da Capo. ISBN   9780807122686 . Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  29. Martis, Kenneth C. (January 1, 1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress, 1789–1989. Macmillan Publishing Company. pp. 126–135. ISBN   978-0029201701.
  30. "Governor Alexander Stephens inauguration parade, 1889". Lane Brothers Commercial Photographers Photographic Collection, 1920–1976. Photographic Collection, Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library. Digital Library of Georgia. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  31. "[Photograph of Governor Alex H. Stephens's funeral, Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, 1885 Mar. 8]". Georgia Archives. Digital Library of Georgia. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  32. Brady, Matthew. "[Photograph of Alexander H. Stephens, Washington D.C., 1879 May 7]". Vanishing Georgia. Digital Library of Georgia. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  33. American Experience: Reconstruction accessdate=December 2, 2015
  34. Hornsby, Sadie B. (August 4, 1938). Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936–1938. Interview with Georgia Baker. Library of Congress. p. 51. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
  35. Krakow, Kenneth K. (1975). Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origins (PDF). Macon, GA: Winship Press. p. 3. ISBN   0-915430-00-2.
  36. Alexander H. Stephens Papers, 1823–1954, Rubenstein Library, Duke University
  37. Yarbrough, Dick (July 25, 2015). "Dick Yarbrough: It's time to make peace over symbols". The Gainesville Times. Retrieved August 3, 2015.[ permanent dead link ][ dead link ]
  38. Catton, Bruce, The Coming Fury, p 46. Pocket Books, New York. 1961


Further reading