SIGNED CDV OF ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS, CONFEDERATE STATES VICE PRESIDENT

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Bust view of Stephens pictured with suit and tie. Photo is clear with good contrast. A period ink greeting and signature are on the back. Photographer's backmark, Brady, New York.

Alexander Hamilton Stephens (February 11, 1812 – March 4, 1883) was an American politician who served as the vice president of the Confederate States from 1861 to 1865, and later as the 50th governor of Georgia from 1882 until his death in 1883.

Stephens attended Franklin College and established a legal practice in his home town of Crawfordville, Georgia. After serving in both houses of the Georgia General Assembly, he won election to Congress in 1843. He became a leading Southern Whig and strongly opposed the Mexican-American War. Stephens was a prominent supporter of the Compromise of 1850 and helped draft the Georgia Platform, which opposed secession. A proponent of the expansion of slavery into the territories, Stephens also helped pass the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

Stephens continued to publicly advocate against secession but after Georgia and other Southern states seceded and formed the Confederate States of America, he was elected as the Confederate Vice President. Stephens's Cornerstone Speech of March 1861 defended slavery. In the course of the war, he became increasingly critical of President Davis's policies, especially Confederate conscription and the suspension of habeas corpus. In February 1865, he was one of the commissioners who met with Abraham Lincoln at the abortive Hampton Roads Conference to discuss peace terms.

After the war, Stephens was imprisoned until October 1865. The following year, the Georgia legislature elected Stephens to the United States Senate, but the Senate declined to seat him due to his role in the Civil War. He won election to the House of Representatives in 1873 and held that office until 1882, when he resigned from Congress to become governor of Georgia. Stephens served as governor until his death in March 1883.

From the late William A. Turner collection.  [jet] [ph:L]

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