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John Murphy

Gov. John Murphy

  • November 25, 1825 - November 25, 1829
  • Jackson Democrat
  • January 1, 1785
  • September 21, 1841
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina College
  • Married twice--Sarah Hails, Sarah Carter; three children
  • Representative


JOHN MURPHY, Alabama’s fourth governor, was born in Robeson County, North Carolina, about 1785. His family moved to South Carolina where he attended South Carolina College. After his graduation in 1808, he was elected clerk of the South Carolina Senate (1810-1817) and was a trustee of the University of South Carolina (1808-1818). He moved to Alabama in 1818 where he became a planter, studied law, and was admitted to the bar. Murphy entered politics in Alabama as a delegate to the 1819 Constitutional Convention. He also served in the Alabama House in 1820 and the Alabama Senate in 1822. Alabama Governor Israel Pickens chose Murphy to succeed him as governor. He ran unopposed, was elected governor on August 1, 1825, and sworn into office on November 25, 1825. During his term, the capital moved from Cahaba to Tuscaloosa, and a mail route to New Orleans opened. Also, the U.S. Congress granted land to be sold with the proceeds to finance the canal at Muscle Shoals. Murphy was elected to a second term in 1827. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1833 to 1835, but he ran unsuccessfully as a congressional candidate in 1831 and in 1839. Murphy died on September 21, 1841, and is buried on his plantation near Gosport, Alabama.

NOTE: exact birth month and date are not known.


Alabama Department of Archives and History

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

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