|Title:||Cobb family papers|
|Quantity:||0.5 Linear feet (1 box)|
|Abstract:||The collection consists of business and personal papers of the Cobb family of Athens, Georgia from 1837-1913. Includes correspondence to Howell Cobb from Harry Lynden Flash, Herschel Vespasian Johnson, and John E. Ward; Cobb's parole; prison release; and a receipt from General Croxton to Mary Ann Cobb for use of the Cobb's Macon (Ga.) home by Federal troops. Contains correspondence to Howell Cobb, Jr., John A. Cobb, Sarah Spalding Cobb, Thomas R.R. Cobb, William McKinley Cobb, Carlisle Cobb, and Carolyn Cobb. Also includes papers of John Basil Lamar, Andrew A. Lipscomb, and William McKinley.|
Howell Cobb was born on September 17, 1815, the son of Sarah Rootes and John Addison Cobb. About 1819, the Cobb family moved to Athens, Georgia, where Howell attended the University of Georgia and graduated in 1834. He married within a year to Mary Ann Lamar. With some experience, he became a lawyer in 1836. He and Mary Ann would have twelve children, only six of whom would survive to adulthood.
Cobb excelled in both law and politics, though the latter was his real passion. He served in the United States House of Representatives from 1843 to 1851 and then again in 1855 to 1857. He was the Speaker of the House from 1849 to 1851. He was the governor of Georgia from 1851 to 1853. He served under President Buchanan as the Secretary of Treasury from 1857 to 1860. When Georgia seceded in 1861, he also left, and served as the president of the Provisional Confederate Congress from 1861 to 1862.
Notably, Cobb strove to secure the passage of the Compromise of 1850 and often led committees and coalitions to keep the nation together. Due to this, however, he garnered hostility with other Southerners and had to restore his reputation within the Democratic Party.
Yet by 1860, due to secession, he abandoned the Union and joined the Confederacy. He was briefly considered for the Confederate presidency, but his former politics blocked him from the position. When he concluded his provisional term, Cobb turned to the military branch of the Confederacy. He started as a colonel of the Sixteenth Georgia Infantry, but by the end of the war, he would become a major general.
Like almost all other military leaders, Cobb was eventually forced to surrender in 1865 and waited for the next few years for a pardon. When he finally received one, he spoke out against the politics of the Radical Republicans. He died on vacation in 1868 in New York.
Arranged in alphabetical order.
Cataloged as part of the Georgia Archives and Manuscripts Automated Access Project: A Special Collections Gateway Program of the University Center in Georgia.
Cobb family papers, ms1220, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries.
Related collections in this repository: Howell Cobb family papers, ms1376; Cobb family papers, ms2353; and Howell Cobb Jr. family papers, ms1368.