Alexander Hamilton Stephens And George Bush

1996 words - 8 pages

Alexander Hamilton Stephens and George Bush


“A little, slim, pale-faced, consumptive man just concluded
the very best speech of an hour’s length I ever heard.” So
said Congressman Abraham Lincoln about Alexander Hamilton
Stephens.1 Stephens was born near Crawfordsville, Georgia
on February 11, 1812. His mother died shortly after his
birth and his father died when Stephens was only 14. Even
in childhood he was amazingly bright and his brilliant mind
was noticed by many mentors who paid for him to attend
college. Stephens graduated at the top of his class from
Franklin College and then went on to become a lawyer. Soon
after he was admitted to the bar, he entered politics and
began to construct an exceedingly prominent place in
American history.

Alexander Hamilton Stephens was only five feet seven
inches and never weighed more than one-hundred pounds- even
in adulthood. As a young man he was given the nickname
“Little Aleck”. He was pale, odd-bodied, had lustrous eyes,
and was often described as cadaverous. From the time of his
birth he was sickly and puny and was continuously wrapping
himself in many layers of clothes and coats to keep warm.
Late in his life he defined happiness as “To be warm.”2

Little Aleck was voted into the state legislator in
1836 and continued to remain there until 1841 when he
declined re-election. But, in 1942 he was chosen State
senator. Then, in 1943 he entered the U.S. House of
Representatives and served there for sixteen years. In 1859
he returned to private life by his own choice. He had been
a firm advocate of the compromise measures of 1850, and
having participated in the settlement of the Kansas
troubles, accepted the result as an end of sectional strife
as far as the South was concerned.

During the presidential campaign of 1860, Stephens was
an advocate of the election of Stephen A. Douglas. The
election of Mr. Lincoln shocked him and he thought it was a
disturbance of the settlement and a menace to the Union.
But with his impassioned devotion to the republic of States
under the Constitution, he attempted to avoid secession, by
proposing to fight the Republican administration inside the
Union.

He was elected a member of the Georgia convention in
1861, and after a strenuous effort to delay State secession,
and when the act was passed he gave his support to his state
and the Confederacy. His objections were to the
appropriateness of immediate secession and not to the right
of his State to secede.

When the Confederate Congress met in February 1861 he
was chief contender for the presidency. But, Jefferson
Davis won and Alexander Hamilton Stephens was quickly made
vice president- an office which also made him the President
of the Confederate Senate. His talents and commanding
influence throughout the South caused his services to be put
to immediate use, not only in assisting in the organization
of the Confederate government,...

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