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Alexander Hamilton Stephens

Gov. Alexander Hamilton Stephens

  • November 4, 1882 - March 4, 1883
  • Democratic-Whig
  • February 11, 1812
  • March 4, 1883
  • Georgia
  • University of Georgia
  • Died in office
  • Representative
  • Vice President of the Confederacy


Alexander Hamilton Stephens, Georgia’s thirty-fifth governor, was born near Crawfordville, Georgia, on February 11, 1812. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 1832, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1834, and established a legal career in Crawfordville. Stephens entered politics in 1836, as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives, a position he held until 1841. He served as a one-term member of the Georgia Senate in 1842, and served in the U.S. House of Representatives from October 2, 1843 to March 3, 1859. He also served as a member to the 1861 Georgia Secession Convention, was a delegate to the Provisional Congress, and was unanimously elected to the vice presidency of the Confederacy. He disagreed with President Jefferson Davis on numerous issues regarding the progression of war. On May 11, 1865 he was arrested by federal officials and was confined as a prisoner until his parole five months later. In 1866, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, but was refused his seat because the state had not been readmitted to representation. Stephens was reelected to the U.S. House of Representatives and served from 1873 until 1882, when he resigned. He won the 1882 Democratic gubernatorial nomination and was elected governor of Georgia. Stephens was sworn into office on November 4, 1882. After serving only four months, he passed away. Governor Alexander Hamilton, who authored several books on the reconstruction era, died on March 4, 1883. He was buried in the Oakland Cemetery and reinterred on his estate near Crawfordville.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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