Alexander H. Stephens Facts

Alexander H. Stephens Facts
Alexander H. Stephens was a southern politician and lawyer. He is most remembered for being Vice-President of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. His term as vice-president was largely uneventful and resulted in his arrest for treason after the war. He briefly served as governor of Georgia until he died soon after taking office.
Interesting Alexander H. Stephens Facts:
Stephens was born in Taliaferro County in Georgia on February 11, 1812. At the age of 14, he was orphaned.
He graduated from what would become the University of Georgia in 1832. Two years later, Stephens was admitted to the Georgia State Bar.
He was elected to the Senate as a member of the Whig Party in 1836. He served as a senator for seven years.
Stephens served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1843 to 1859. He rose to become a party leader over the course of the 1850s.
Stephens nearly died when Judge Francis H. Cone stabbed him in 1848. Stephens called Cone a traitor to the South for tabling the Clayton Compromise, a bill that offered a compromise on slavery in the expanding United States.
While he opposed secession following the election of President Abraham Lincoln, he did sign the Georgia secession ordinance in January 1861.
Stephens was elected vice-president of the Confederate States of America in February 1861. Initially, he was a close confidant and advisor to President Jefferson Davis, but that changed over time due to his lack of military experience.
On March 21, 1861, Stephens gave the famous "Cornerstone Speech." He claimed that black people were born to be slaves and that the institution of slavery was the cornerstone of the Confederacy.
As the war dragged on, Stephens withdrew from politics and spent less time in Richmond, Virginia, the Confederate capital. He did support negotiations to end the war and was sent to Hampton Roads to discuss it, but the Union refused any conditions that allowed the Confederacy to continue.
After the South surrendered, Stephens was arrested for treason against the United States and sent to prison in Fort Warren, Boston Harbor. He served a five-month term.
Stephens was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1866, but he was refused a seat due to his former association with the Confederacy.
Most of Stephens' slaves continued to work for him following their emancipation. Some of them worked for no pay, but remained with Stephens until his death.
After returning to political office during Reconstruction, he was elected governor of Georgia in 1882.
Stephens was injured when a gate fell on him while he and a slave were trying to repair it. He never completely recovered and died four months into his term as governor on March 4, 1883.
Both Stephens County, Georgia and Stephens County, Texas are named for him.


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