DescriptionAlexander H. Stephens, Confederate Vice President, Autograph Letter Signed, December 7, 1843. Alexander Hamilton Stephens, Vice President of the Confederate States of America from 1861-1865, was born in Crawfordsville, Georgia in 1812. He graduated first in his class from Franklin College, later the University of Georgia and became an attorney. He was elected to Congress in 1842 and started his noted political career in the lower house where he served until 1858. With the Civil War brewing, Stephens sought to have Georgia remain within the Union. Voting against secession at the state convention, he nevertheless supported his state and the Confederacy serving in the first Confederate Congress where he was named Vice President of the Confederacy.
A strict states' rights advocate, he opposed President Jefferson Davis' infringement on individual rights and promoted a vigorous prisoner exchange program. In February 1865 he was the Confederate States' representative at the Hampton Roads Conference where he attempted to negotiate peace with President Lincoln on the steamer River Queen.
At the end of the war he was arrested at his home in Crawfordsville and imprisoned for five months. The voters of Georgia returned him to Congress until he resigned in 1882 to be elected governor. He served only a few weeks, dying in March 1883.
This ALS is dated December 7, 1843 and was written at Washington while Stephens served in Congress. It bears a red 'free frank' stamp and is postmarked at Washington as well. Measuring 8" x 10" it is three pages in length and is in fine condition. Addressed to John L. Bird at Crawfordsville, Georgia, the letter criticizes the content of many of the congressional speeches Stephens had heard while in Washington. Telling Bird that "he never speaks unless he has something to say", Stephens notes he himself had not spoken as yet. The letter comes with a hardbound gray slipcase which is engraved with gold lettering.
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