CHARLES JONES JENKINS was born in Beaufort, South Carolina, on January 6, 1805. He attended the University of Georgia for two years, and graduated from New York’s Union College in 1824. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1826, and established a legal career in Augusta. Jenkins entered politics in 1830 as a member to the Georgia House of Representatives, a position he served in again from 1836 to 1841, 1843, 1845, 1847, and 1849 to 1850. He also served as speaker of the house in 1840, 1843, 1845 and 1847, was a delegate to the 1839 and 1850 State Conventions, and was nominated for the vice presidency on the 1852 National Constitutional Union party ticket. Jenkins ran unsuccessfully for the governor’s office in 1853, was a member of the Georgia Senate in 1856, and served on the bench of the Georgia Supreme Court from 1860 to 1865. In November 1865, he was elected to Georgia’s governorship, serving as the state’s 29th governor. During his tenure, he faced the difficult task of restoring the state to its previous condition before the Civil War. He was successful in rebuilding the state railroad and in replenishing state funds. On January 13, 1868, General George Meade, commander of the military district, ousted Jenkins from office. After traveling abroad for a couple of years, Jenkins returned and continued his career in public service. He served as a trustee to the University of Georgia from 1871 to 1883, and was a delegate and president of the 1877 State Constitutional Convention. Governor Charles J. Jenkins died on June 14, 1883, and he is buried at the Summerville Cemetery near Augusta.
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.