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Augustus Hill Garland

Gov. Augustus Hill Garland

  • November 12, 1874 - January 11, 1877
  • Democrat
  • June 11, 1832
  • January 26, 1899
  • Tennessee
  • St. Mary's College (Kentucky), St. Joseph's College (Kentucky)
  • Married Virginia Sanders; nine children
  • Senator; U.S. Attorney General


AUGUSTUS HILL GARLAND Arkansas’s 11th governor was born in Tipton County, Tennessee, on June 11, 1832. He attended St. Mary’s College, Lebanon, Kentucky, and graduated from St. Joseph’s College, Bardstown Kentucky, in 1849. Garland taught school, studied law, and was admitted to the Arkansas Bar in 1853. In 1860 he was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. Garland was a presidential elector, on the constitutional Union Party ticket, and a delegate to the 1861 Secession Convention and to the Provisional Congress. He served in the Confederate States’ House of Representatives from 1861 to 1864, and the Confederate Senate from 1864 to 1865. Under the act of Congress of January 24, 1865, all attorneys who had aided and abetted the Southern Confederacy were prohibited from practicing. Garland lost his law license, and on July 15, 1865, was pardoned by President Andrew Johnson and Garland reestablished his law practice in Little Rock. In 1867 Garland was elected to the U.S. Senate, but was not allowed to take his seat because Arkansas had not been readmitted to the Union. He served as deputy secretary of state, and actively supported the 1874 Constitutional Convention. Garland was elected Governor of Arkansas on October 13, 1874, and was sworn into office on November 12, 1874. During his term, he was faced with the state’s financial problems, which he substantially reduced by the time he left office. He implemented legislation that led to the creation of the Branch Normal College, where black teachers were trained. He also advocated financial support for schools for the blind and deaf. Garland did not run for reelection in 1876, and he left office on January 11, 1877. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1876 and served from March 1877 until March 9, 1885, when he resigned his seat to become U.S. attorney general, a position he held until 1889. Garland remained in Washington, D.C., resuming his law practice, and publishing several books. Augustus H. Garland died on January 26, 1899 while arguing a case before the Supreme Court. He is buried at the Mount Holly Cemetery, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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.

Donovan, Timothy P., and Willard B. Gatewood, Jr., The Governors of Arkansas, Essays in Political Biography, Fayetteville; The University of Arkansas Press, 1981

Herndon, Dallas T., Centennial History of Arkansas, Vol. 1, Chicago, Little Rock, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1922. 3 vols.

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