Alexander H. Stephens (Dictionary of World Biography: The 19th Century)
Article abstract: Stephens, called “Little Aleck” by his colleagues because he only weighed one hundred pounds, was a member of the United States Congress from 1843 to 1859 and vice president of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. Following the war, he again served in Congress and as governor of Georgia.
Alexander Hamilton Stephens was born in the Georgia Piedmont about fifteen miles southwest of Washington, Georgia. He was the third child of Andrew B. and Mary Stephens. Soon after his birth, Alexander’s mother died. Alexander inherited his mother’s poor health and was plagued by illnesses throughout his life.
In 1813 his father married Matilda Lindsey, the daughter of a Revolutionary War veteran. Alexander did not get along well with his stepmother, but he was very close to his father, who was a skilled craftsman and teacher. From 1820 through 1824, Alexander attended his father’s school. In 1826, Andrew Stephens died at the age of forty-four, and Alexander was sent to Warren County, Georgia, to live with his uncle, Aaron Grier. At first he attended a Roman Catholic school, but in 1827 he entered an academy in Washington, Georgia, to study Latin and Geography. While there he lived at the home of Alexander Hamilton Webster, a Presbyterian minister. Alexander’s admiration of Webster led to his adoption of Hamilton as his own middle name. In 1828 he entered Franklin...
(The entire section is 1970 words.)
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