Back to former Georgia governors
Howell Cobb

Gov. Howell Cobb

  • November 5, 1851 - October 9, 1853
  • Union Democratic
  • September 7, 1815
  • October 9, 1868
  • Georgia
  • University of Georgia
  • Married Mary Ann Lamar; seven children
  • Representative, Cabinet secretary
  • Army
  • Speaker of the House, 1949-1951


HOWELL COBB was born in Cherry Hill, Georgia, on September 7, 1815. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 1834, studied law, and was admitted to the bar two years later. Cobb entered public service in 1837 as the solicitor of Georgia’s Western Judicial Circuit. He also served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1843 to 1851, serving as Speaker of the House from 1849 to 1851. Cobb was sworn into the governor’s office on November 5, 1851, becoming Georgia’s 25th Governor. During his tenure, he advocated for economic provisions for Georgia’s educational and philanthropic organizations, supported Supreme Court assemblies in the state capital, and endorsed the election of a state attorney general and for the resumption to yearly legislative sessions. He also was a proponent of leasing the state-owned Western and Atlantic Railroad, in an effort to generate extra state revenue, and he endorsed the annual funding of $1,000 for the state library. After leaving office, Cobb was elected in 1854, to serve again in the U.S. House of Representatives; he served as the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury from 1857 to 1860, and was a delegate and president of the Provisional Congress in 1861. Cobb also served as a major general in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. After his military service, he returned to his law career in Athens, Georgia. Governor Howell Cobb died in New York on October 9, 1868, and he is buried in the Oconee Hill Cemetery in Athens.


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.

The Political Graveyard

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

Governors Portraits

Recent Georgia Governors