Alexander Hamilton Stephens letter to James M. Calhoun
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Alexander Hamilton Stephens letter to James M. Calhoun

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA 30305. 404.814.4040.
Creator: Stephens, Alexander H., (Alexander Hamilton), 1812-1883
Title: Alexander Hamilton Stephens letter to James M. Calhoun
Dates: 1862 September 8
Quantity: 1.0 Item(s)
Identification: ahc.MSS580f

Biographical/Historical Note

Alexander Hamilton Stephens (1812-1883) was born near Crawfordville, Georgia in Taliaferro County, Georgia, to Matilda Marbury Somerville and Andrew Baskins Stephens. He graduated from Franklin College (later the University of Georgia) in 1832 and passed the bar in 1832. Stephens was elected in 1836 as a representative in the Georgia Legislature. He served as a United States congressman (1843-1859), working on sectional legislation. Stephens served as Vice-President of the Confederate States of America. Following the end of the Civil War, Stephens was imprisoned at Fort Warren in Boston, Massachusetts for five months. When he returned to Georgia, he was elected as senator, but the Senate refused to seat him. In 1873, Stephens was elected to the United States House of Representatives where he served until 1882, when he was elected governor of Georgia. Stephens wrote a 2 volume apology for the South, A Constitutional View of the Late War Between the States.

James M. Calhoun (1811-1875) was born near Abbeville, South Carolina, and moved to Decatur, Georgia, at the age of 18. Calhoun studied law and passed the bar in 1832. He married Emma Eliza Dabney (1813-1860) in 1832, and they had ten children. Calhoun became the sixteenth mayor of Atlanta, Georgia in 1862, governed the city during the Civil War, and surrendered it to General William T. Sherman on September 2, 1864. Calhoun served as mayor until 1866.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains a letter written by Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens to James M. Calhoun, mayor of Atlanta, Georgia. The letter discusses Calhoun's recent appointment to civil governor of Atlanta by General Braxton Bragg. Stephens writes that the prohibition of the sale of alcohol to soldiers is unconstitutional according to the Confederate Constitution and the Rules and Articles of the Confederacy. He also states that Calhoun’s new position as civil governor of Atlanta is unprecedented and contrary to the laws of the Confederate government.

Index Terms

Atlanta (Ga.)--History
Calhoun, James Montgomery, 1811-1875
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865

General Notes

America's Turning Point: Documenting the Civil War Experience in Georgia received support from a Digitizing Historical Records grant awarded to the Atlanta History Center, Georgia Historical Society, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and the Digital Library of Georgia by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Alexander Hamilton Stephens letter to James M. Calhoun, MSS 580f, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, 1989

Description Control

This collection was re-processed in 2012.


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Container List



1Letter, 1862 View online.