John Tyler Morgan

*

1824-1907
Statesman


Brigadier General, Confederate States Army. United States
Senator 1876-1907. During the Reconstruction period and thereafter
he strove to preserve the doctrine of states rights.


John Tyler Morgan, lawyer, Confederate general and United States Senator, possessed an element of elegance that somehow overshadowed his successes, even while making possible those successes in three fields of endeavor.

As a Confederate fighting officer, Morgan won high praise and a general's star from General Robert E. Lee, but he was equally effective for the Confederate cause in the manner in which he dazzled young recruits into uniform with his glowing appeal and noble appearance. As a lawyer and a senator, he is not remembered for winning the case or swaying the senate vote but for his magnificence in the debate. Often on the losing side, he was voted down by senate colleagues who then rushed to his side to adore "the Roman Senator."

Showing rare ability as a young lawyer in Selma, Morgan ranked second only to William Lowndes Yancey in debate and persuasion during the state convention of 1861 that passed the Ordinance of Secession. During the war Morgan outfitted and recruited, at little government cost, a regiment of 1300 men, the 51st Alabama Cavalry, and compiled an outstanding record in battle. Elected to the United States Senate in 1876, he remained in that office until his death in 1907. Handling many important assignments, notably a seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Morgan built a reputation as an authority on almost any subject brought before the Senate, earning this title. "The universally informed Senior Senator from Alabama."

Elected 1953


Sources:
Alabama Hall of Fame, 1968


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Created: 5/8/96