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Alexander H. Stephens

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Alexander H. Stephens
Portrait c. 1860s
Vice President of the Confederate States
In office
February 22, 1862 – May 11, 1865
Provisional: February 11, 1861 – February 22, 1862
PresidentJefferson Davis
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition abolished
50th Governor of Georgia
In office
November 4, 1882 – March 4, 1883
Preceded byAlfred H. Colquitt
Succeeded byJames S. Boynton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia
In office
October 2, 1843 – March 3, 1859
Preceded byMark Anthony Cooper
Succeeded byJohn James Jones
ConstituencyAt-large (1843–1845)
7th district (1845–1853)
8th district (1853–1859)
In office
December 1, 1873 – November 4, 1882
Preceded byJohn James Jones
Succeeded bySeaborn Reese
Constituency8th district
Member of the Confederate States Provisional Congress
from Georgia
In office
February 4, 1861 – February 17, 1862
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Member of the Georgia Senate
from the Taliaferro County district
In office
November 7, 1842 – December 27, 1842
Preceded bySingleton Harris
Succeeded byAbner Darden
Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
from the Taliaferro County district
In office
November 7, 1836 – December 9, 1841
Personal details
Born(1812-02-11)February 11, 1812
Crawfordville, Georgia, U.S.
DiedMarch 4, 1883(1883-03-04) (aged 71)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Resting placeA. H. Stephens State Park, Crawfordville
Political partyWhig (1836–50)
Union (1850–54)
Democratic (1854–61, 1865–83)
EducationUniversity of Georgia (BA)

Alexander Hamilton Stephens[a] (February 11, 1812 – March 4, 1883) was an American politician who served as the first and 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, he represented the state of Georgia in the United States House of Representatives before and after the Civil War.

Stephens attended Franklin College and established a legal practice in his hometown 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 pro-slavery Lecompton Constitution (which was overwhelmingly rejected by voters in a referendum in that state).

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; enumerated contrasts between the American and Confederate foundings, ideologies, and constitutions; and laid out the Confederacy's rationale for seceding.[2] In the course of the war, he became increasingly critical of President Jefferson Davis's policies, especially Confederate conscription and the suspension of habeas corpus.[3] In February 1865, he was one of the commissioners who met with Abraham Lincoln at the abortive Hampton Roads Conference to discuss peace terms.

After the war, Stephens was imprisoned until October 1865. The following year, the Georgia legislature elected Stephens to the U.S. Senate, but the Senate declined to seat him due to his role in the Civil War. He won election to the U.S. 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.

Early life

Stephens as a young man

Alexander Stephens was born on February 11, 1812.[1] His parents were Andrew Baskins Stephens and Margaret Grier.[4] The Stephenses lived on a farm in Taliaferro County, near Crawfordville. 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.[5] 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."[6]

His mother, a Georgia native and sister of Grier's Almanac founder Robert Grier,[7] 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."[8] 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."[9] In 1814, Andrew B. Stephens married Matilda Lindsay, daughter of Revolutionary War Colonel John Lindsay.[10]

In May 1826, when Alexander Stephens was age 14, his father Andrew and stepmother Matilda died of pneumonia only days apart.[11] 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."[12] 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 Franklin College (later the University of Georgia) in Athens, Georgia, 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.[13] Stephens graduated at the top of his class in 1832.

Early career


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.

Stephens served in the U.S. House of Representatives from October 2, 1843, to March 3, 1859, from the 28th Congress through the 35th Congress. In 1843, he was elected to the House 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 U.S. House Districts until the following year. Stephens was re-elected from the 7th District as a Whig in 1844, 1846 and 1848, as a Unionist in 1850, and again as a Whig (from the 8th District) in 1852. In 1854 and 1856, his re-elections came as a Democrat.[clarification needed] 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 became 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 U.S. Supreme Court. This would later nearly kill Stephens when he argued with Georgia Supreme Court Justice 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's 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. After Taylor supported the ratification of New Mexico's anti-slavery state constitution and threatened to send troops to defend it against Texas's territorial claims, Stephens published an open letter in the National Intelligencer calling for Taylor's impeachment, and he warned that if the United States were to fire the first shots against Texas it would lead to the Southern states to secede from the Union.[16] 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.

Photograph by Mathew Brady

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."[17]

By this time, Stephens had departed the ranks of the Whig party, whose Northern wing generally was not amenable to some Southern interests. Back in Georgia, Stephens, Toombs and Democratic U.S. 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. 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.

Alexander H. Stephens. Oil painting by John White Alexander. Published as cover of Harper's Weekly, 27:145 (March 10, 1883).

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 the 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 titled "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.[18]

On the eve of the outbreak of the American Civil War, Stephens counseled delay in moving militarily against U.S.-held Fort Sumter and Fort Pickens so that the Confederacy could build up its forces and stock resources.[19]

Vice President of the Confederate States

President Davis' first cabinet (1861)

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,[20] 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 took decades of Senate-approved appointments to reverse it. He voted against secession in the convention[21] 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.[22] 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.

Stephens depicted on an 1862 Confederate States $20 banknote

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, D.C., 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, Stephens 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]

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]

Cornerstone Speech


... We have settled, and, I trust, settled forever, the great question which was the prime cause of our separation from the United States: I mean the question of African Slavery.

The old [American] Constitution set out with a wrong idea on this subject; it was based upon an erroneous principle; it was founded upon the idea that African Slavery is wrong, and it looked forward to the ultimate extinction of that institution. But time has proved the error, and we have corrected it in the new Constitution.

We have based ours upon principle of the inequality of races, and the principle is spreading -- it is becoming appreciated and better understood; and though there are many, even in the South, who are still in the shell upon this subject, yet the day is not far distant when it will be generally understood and appreciated...

Alexander H. Stephens, speech to The Savannah Theatre. Weeks before the Cornerstone Speech (March 1861)[29][30]

Stephens's Cornerstone Speech on March 21, 1861, to The Savannah Theatre is frequently cited in historical analysis of Confederate ideology. The speech defended slavery; enumerated contrasts between the American and Confederate foundings, ideologies and constitutions; and laid out the Confederacy's rationale for seceding. Historian Keith S. Hébert describes it as "the most significant speech" ever delivered by Stephens.[31] It declared that disagreements over the enslavement of Africans were the "immediate cause" of secession and that the Confederate constitution had resolved such issues.[2]

The new [Confederate] Constitution has put at rest forever all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institutions—African slavery as it exists among us—the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson, in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the "rock upon which the old Union would split." He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted.

Stephens contended that advances and progress in the sciences proved that the United States Declaration of Independence's view that "all men are created equal" was erroneous.[2] His speech criticized "most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old Constitution" for their views on slavery, stating that:[2][32]

The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old Constitution [Founding Fathers] were, that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with; but the general opinion of the men of that day was, that, somehow or other, in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the idea of a Government built upon it - "when the storm came and the wind blew, it fell."

Stephens proceeded to state that in contrast to the United States:[2][32]

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. This, our new Government, is the first, in the history of the world, based on this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.[32]

Criticizing the position of Northern evangelicals who were opposed to slavery,[33] Stephens quoted the Psalm 118:22 and Curse of Ham to biblically justify the institution, and stated that:[31]

With us, all of the white race, however high or low, rich or poor, are equal in the eye of the law. Not so with the negro. Subordination is his place. He, by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system. The architect, in the construction of buildings, lays the foundation with the proper material-the granite; then comes the brick or the marble. The substratum of our society is made of the material fitted by nature for it, and by experience we know that it is best, not only for the superior, but for the inferior race, that it should be so...


This stone which was "rejected by the first builders" [Founding Fathers] " — is become the chief of the corner" — the real "corner-stone" in our new edifice.

After the Confederacy's defeat, Stephens attempted to retroactively deny and retract the opinions he had stated in the speech. Denying his earlier statements that slavery was the Confederacy's cause for leaving the Union, he contended to the contrary that he thought that the war was rooted in constitutional differences;[2][34] this explanation by Stephens is widely rejected by historians.[2] Hébert states that "the speech haunted Stephens to the grave and beyond as he and other postbellum southern Democrats struggled to conceal the clear meaning of his words under the camouflage of a Lost Cause mythology."[2]

Later life

Alexander H. Stephens Monument in front of his house, Liberty Hall.

In 1866, Stephens 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. He published a U.S. history in 1868–1870, laying out the Lost Cause of the Confederacy in his view: that secession was legal, and that Northern States were the aggressors in this conflict. The thrust of his legal argument was rejected by the Supreme Court in the 1869 case Texas v. White, ruling secession to be unconstitutional.

In 1873, Stephens was elected to the United States House of Representatives as a Democrat from the 8th District to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Ambrose R. Wright. He was re-elected to the 8th District as an Independent Democrat in 1874, 1876 and 1878, and as a Democrat again in 1880.[35] 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.[36] His tenure as governor proved brief; Stephens died on March 4, 1883, four months after taking office.[37]

Stephens was sickly throughout his life, most painfully from "crippling rheumatoid arthritis and a pinched nerve in his back."[11] Although his adult height was 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m), he often weighed less than 100 pounds (45 kg).[38] Almost all of his former slaves continued to work for him, often for little or no money;[39][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.[40] 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.[41]

In 1928, Judge Alex Stephens, a nephew, introduced Cyrus Stephens, the last surviving person who had been enslaved by Alexander Stephens, to Georgia governor L. G. Hardman.[42]

Personal life


A lifelong bachelor, Stephens never married and never acknowledged direct descendants.[43][44] An African American family claims to be the descendants of Stephens and a slave he owned, named Eliza;[44] though their claims were not verified by genetic testing.[45]






Alexander H. Stephens, in public and private : with letters and speeches, before, during, and since the war (1866)


Statue of Stephens sculpted in Georgia marble by Gutzon Borglum, given in 1927 to the National Statuary Hall, U.S. Capitol

See also





  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. ^ a b Memoirs of Georgia (Atlanta: Southern Historical Association, 1895), Vol. I, p. 238.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Reid, Randy L. (2022). "Cornerstone of the Confederacy: Alexander Stephens and the Speech That Defined the Lost Cause by Keith S. Hébert (review)". Journal of Southern History. 88 (2): 392–393. doi:10.1353/soh.2022.0080. ISSN 2325-6893. S2CID 248825382.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ James D. Waddell, Biographical Sketch of Linton Stephens (Atlanta: Dodson & Scott, 1877), p. 3.
  5. ^ "Taliaferro County | New Georgia Encyclopedia". Georgiaencyclopedia.org. August 30, 2006. Archived from the original on February 1, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  6. ^ Biographical Sketch of Linton Stephens, p. 3.
  7. ^ "Grier's Almanac | New Georgia Encyclopedia". Georgiaencyclopedia.org. August 13, 2013. Archived from the original on October 8, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  8. ^ Recollections of Alexander H. Stephens: His Diary Kept When a Prisoner... (New York: Doubleday, 1910), p. 3.
  9. ^ Recollections of Alexander H. Stephens, pp. 3–4.
  10. ^ Biographical Sketch of Linton Stephens, pp. 3–4.
  11. ^ a b Georgia's Historic High Country Travel Association (January 25, 2009). "Alexander Stephens". Georgia's Blue and Gray Trail. Archived from the original on May 9, 2006. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  12. ^ Recollections of Alexander H. Stephens, p.3.
  13. ^ "Phi Kappa Hall (University of Georgia)". Digital Library of Georgia. Retrieved June 1, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "Memorandum, Alexander H. Stephens elected to House of Representatives, Milledgeville, Georgia, 1843". Digital Library of Georgia. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  15. ^ "Alexander Stephens". Ourgeorgiahistory.com. August 18, 1905. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  16. ^ Cohen, Jared (2019). Accidental presidents : eight men who changed America (1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed.). New York. ISBN 978-1-5011-0982-9. OCLC 1039375326.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  17. ^ William Y. Thompson, Robert Toombs of Georgia, Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press, 1966, p. 13
  18. ^ Stephens, Alexander (1860). The Assertions of a Secessionist. New York: Loyal Publication Society. p. 6. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  19. ^ Allan Nevins, The Improvised War, 1861–1862 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1959), p. 73.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ "Ordinance of Secession of the State of Georgia". Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscript Library. University of Georgia Libraries. Archived from the original on December 15, 2017. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  22. ^ "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.
  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 978-1451695151.
  27. ^ Lincoln, Abraham. "Abraham Lincoln Letter to Alexander Stephens". American Civil War, Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscript Library. University of Georgia Libraries. Archived from the original on June 14, 2016. 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. hdl:2027/mdp.39015014730165. ISBN 978-0807122686.
  29. ^ Staff (March 25, 1861). "The Starvation Humbug Again". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 23, 2023.
  30. ^ Connolly, Michael J. (August 13, 2019). "The Forgotten Corners of Alexander Stephens' Cornerstone Speech". The Imaginative Conservative. Retrieved April 23, 2023.
  31. ^ a b Reid, Randy L. (2022). "Cornerstone of the Confederacy: Alexander Stephens and the Speech That Defined the Lost Cause by Keith S. Hébert (review)". Journal of Southern History. 88 (2): 392–393. doi:10.1353/soh.2022.0080. ISSN 2325-6893. S2CID 248825382. On March 21, 1861, recently elected Confederate vice president Alexander H. Stephens delivered an extemporaneous speech to a capacity audience in Savannah, Georgia. A recent convert to the necessity of secession, Stephens now predicted a glorious future for the new southern Confederacy. The South, he avowed, had cast aside the Founders' intellectual fallacy of human equality and erected a new government on a foundation of white supremacy.
  32. ^ a b c McPherson, James M. "Southern Comfort: The Myth of the Lost Cause". ISSN 0028-7504. Retrieved March 5, 2023. The Confederate vice-president, Alexander H. Stephens, had said in a speech at Savannah on March 21, 1861, that slavery was "the immediate cause of the late rupture and the present revolution" of Southern independence. The United States, said Stephens, had been founded in 1776 on the false idea that all men are created equal. The Confederacy, by contrast...
  33. ^ Byrd, James (2021). "The Stone Which the Builders Rejected". A Holy Baptism of Fire and Blood: The Bible and the American Civil War. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780190902797.
  34. ^ "Behind the Jeffersonian Veneer". Reason.com. June 2005. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
  35. ^ Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress, 1789–1989. Macmillan Publishing Company. pp. 126–135. ISBN 978-0029201701.
  36. ^ "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.
  37. ^ "[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.
  38. ^ James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom (New York: Ballantine Books, 1989), p. 74, gives his weight as 90 pounds.
  39. ^ Brady, Matthew. "[Photograph of Alexander H. Stephens, Washington D.C., 1879 May 7]". Vanishing Georgia. Digital Library of Georgia. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  40. ^ American Experience: Reconstruction https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/reconstruction/sharecrop/sf_economy.html#c access-date=December 2, 2015
  41. ^ 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.
  42. ^ "Aged Crawfordsville Negro Visits Hardman". The Atlanta Constitution. February 14, 1928. p. 2. Retrieved August 10, 2023.
  43. ^ Durden, Robert F. Review of Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia: A Biography. Civil War History, vol. 34 no. 4, 1988, p. 348–349. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/cwh.1988.0035.
  44. ^ a b Galloway, Jim. "The Black family that claims Alexander Stephens, vice president of the Confederacy, as an ancestor". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. ISSN 1539-7459. Retrieved August 13, 2023.
  45. ^ Galloway, Jim (June 23, 2023). "Confederacy leader's Black, white heirs unbury past at Georgia estate". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved May 20, 2024. That DNA testing has found no positive link between the two branches is less important than the indisputable fact that these two branches, descendants of enslavers and the enslaved, sprang from the same patch of clay....
  46. ^ Krakow, Kenneth K. (1975). Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origins (PDF). Macon, GA: Winship Press. p. 3. ISBN 0915430002.
  47. ^ Alexander H. Stephens Papers, 1823–1954, Rubenstein Library, Duke University
  48. ^ 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]
  49. ^ Catton, Bruce, The Coming Fury, p 46. Pocket Books, New York. 1961

Further reading

  • von Abele, Rudolph R. (1971). Alexander H. Stephens: A Biography. Westport, Connecticut: Negro Universities Press. ISBN 0837152011.
  • Brumgardt, John R. "The Confederate Career of Alexander H. Stephens: The Case Reopened." Civil War History 27.1 (1981): 64–81. excerpt
  • Brumgardt, John R. "Alexander H. Stephens and the State Convention Movement in Georgia: A Reappraisal." Georgia Historical Quarterly 59.1 (1975): 38–49. online
  • Cleveland, Henry (1866). Alexander H. Stephens in Public and Private: With Letters and Speeches. National Publishing Company.
  • Coulter, E. Merton. "Alexander H. Stephens Challenges Benjamin H. Hill to a Duel." Georgia Historical Quarterly 56.2 (1972): 175–192. online
  • Davis, William C. (2002). The Union that Shaped the Confederacy: Robert Toombs & Alexander H. Stephens. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas. ISBN 978-0700610884.
  • Golden, James L. "Alexander H. Stephens speaks for the union." Quarterly Journal of Speech 47.4 (1961): 355–362. https://doi.org/10.1080/00335636109382498
  • Hall, Mark. "Alexander H. Stephens and Joseph E. Brown and the Georgia Resolutions for Peace." Georgia Historical Quarterly 64.1 (1980): 50–63. online
  • Rabun, James Z. "Alexander H. Stephens and Jefferson Davis." American Historical Review 58.2 (1953): 290–321. online
  • Schott, Thomas E. (1988). Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia: A Biography. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. ISBN 0807113735.
  • Stephens, Robert Grier. "The Background and Boyhood of Alexander H. Stephens." Georgia Review 9.4 (1955): 386–397. online
  • Wakelyn, Jon L. Biographical Dictionary of the Confederacy (1977). online
  • Wilson, Edmund. Patriotic Gore: Studies in the Literature of the American Civil War (1962) ch 11, on his book. online

Primary sources

  • Phillips, Ulrich Bonnell, ed. The correspondence of Robert Toombs, Alexander H. Stephens, and Howell Cobb (1970 reprint of 1913 original) online