Morgan, John T. & Spencer, George E.

Alabama’s post-Reconstruction US Senators, one a Confederate, one a Unionist

Price: $60.00

Description:
JOHN T. MORGAN (1824-1907) Tennessee-born Confederate Army general and 6-term Alabama US Senator after the War. He was a strong supporter of states rights and racial segregation in the Reconstruction era. He was an expansionist, arguing for annexation of Hawaii and for US construction of an interoceanic canal in Central America. In 1833, he moved with his parents to Alabama. He studied law then established a practice in Talledega. Ten years later, Morgan moved and resumed the practice of law in Selma and Cahaba. An 1860 presidential elector on the Democratic ticket, supporting John C. Breckinridge, he was a Dallas County delegate to the State Convention of 1861 which passed the ordinance of secession. When Alabama seceded, at age 37 Morgan enlisted as a private in the Cahaba Rifles, and was assigned to the 5th Alabama Infantry. He saw action at the First Battle of Manassas and rose to Major and then Lieutenant Colonel under (future CSA general) Col. Robert E. Rodes. He resigned in 1862, returned to Alabama, and in August recruited a new regiment, the 51dt Alabama Partisan Rangers, becoming its Colonel. He led it at the Battle of Murfreesboro, operating with the cavalry of Nathan Bedford Forrest. He remained in the Western Theater, leading troops at Chickamauga. On Nov. 16, 1863, he was appointed a Brigadier General of cavalry and participated in the Knoxville Campaign. His men were routed and dispersed by Federal cavalry on Jan. 27, 1864. He was reassigned to a new command and fought in the Atlanta Campaign. His men harassed Sherman's troops during the March to the Sea. When the Confederacy collapsed and the war ended, Morgan was trying to organize Alabama black troops for home defense. After the War, he resumed law practice in Selma. He was again a Democratic presidential elector in 1876 and elected as a Democrat to the US Senate that year, serving March 4, 1877, until his death. Morgan advocated separating blacks and whites by encouraging the migration of black people out of the south. He staunchly worked for the repeal of the 15th Amendment to the Constitution. He was chairman of Committee on Rules (46th Congress), the Committee on Foreign Relations (53rd Congress), the Committee on Interoceanic Canals (56th & 57th Congresses), and the Committee on Public Health and National Quarantine (59th Congress). In 1894, Morgan chaired an investigation into the Hawaiian Revolution which concluded that the US had remained completely neutral in the matter. A strong supporter of the annexation of Hawaii, he visited Hawaii in 1897 in support of it and believed it was unnecessary to hold a plebiscite as a condition for annexation. He was appointed by President McKinley in July 1898 to the commission created by the Newlands Resolution to establish government in the Territory of Hawaii. A strong advocate for a Central American canal, Morgan was also a staunch supporter of the Cuban revolutionaries in the 1890s. In 1953, Morgan was elected into the Alabama Hall of Fame. John T. Morgan Academy in Selma is named for him as is Morgan Hall on the campus of the University of Alabama. GEORGE E. SPENCER (1836-1893) New York-born US Senator from Alabama. Educated in Montreal, he relocated to Iowa and engaged in the study of law. During the Civil War, he enlisted as a Captain in 1862. While serving on the staff of Brigadier General Grenville M. Dodge, he requested transfer to the 1st Alabama Cavalry (Union), a volunteer regiment made up of Southern Unionists, without a permanent commander. Promoted to Colonel, he led the regiment from Sept. 11, 1863 to his July 5, 1865 resignation. After the war, he returned to Alabama to practice law and for a time served as Register in Bankruptcy for the 4th District of Alabama. Elected as a Republican to the US Senate upon readmission of Alabama to the Union, Spencer served July 13, 1868-March 4, 1879. Afterwards, he was appointed a commissioner of the Union Pacific Railroad with help from Major General Dodge. 5 ¼ x 7 autograph album page signed by Alabama’s US Senators immediately after her readmission into the Union: John T. Morgan (adds “Ala.” Under signature) and George E. Spencer (adds “Alabama” under his signature). Undated but ca. 1877-79.

Condition: Very good
Type:Signed Album Page






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