Cobb family papers

Cobb family papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Library
Creator: Cobb family
Title: Cobb family papers
Dates: 1837-1913
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.
Coll. Number: ms1220

Biographical/Historical Note

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.

Index Terms

Athens (Ga.)
Athens (Ga.)--History.
Cobb, Carlisle, 1886-1970
Cobb, Carolyn Elizabeth, 1884-1957
Cobb, Howell, 1815-1868
Cobb, Howell, 1842-1909
Cobb, John Addison
Cobb, Sarah Spalding
Cobb, William McKinley, 1866-1941
Georgia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
Johnson, Herschel V., (Herschel Vespasian), 1812-1880
Lamar, J. B., (John Basil), 1812-1862
Lipscomb, Andrew A., (Andrew Adgate), 1816-1890
Macon (Ga.)
McKinley, William
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
Ward, John Elliot, 1814-1902

General Notes

Cataloged as part of the Georgia Archives and Manuscripts Automated Access Project: A Special Collections Gateway Program of the University Center in Georgia.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Cobb family papers, ms1220, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries.

Related Material

Related collections in this repository: Howell Cobb family papers, ms1376; Cobb family papers, ms2353; and Howell Cobb Jr. family papers, ms1368.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

11Atkinson, William Y. letter from William McKinley Cobb, 1898
2Barrow, Pope [empty envelope]
3Cobb, Carlisle [letter regarding American Automobile Association Accounts], 1927
4Cobb, Carolyn E., 1894, 1904-1905
5Cobb, Howell invitation to Military and Fancy Ball, circa 1837
6Cobb, Howell letter from James E. Wenrick, 1864 May 8
7Cobb, Howell parole, 1865 April 29
8Cobb, Howell prison release, 1865 May 30
9Cobb, Howell receipt from General Croxton, 1865 August 31
10Cobb, Howell from Andrew Johnson, 1865 November 6
11Cobb, Howell letter from Laura Cobb Rutherford, 1866 February 5
12Cobb, Howell letters from Harry Lynden Flash, 1865 November 18-1866 April 17
13Cobb, Howell letters from Giles M. Hillyer, 1866 June 12
14Cobb, Howell letter from John E. Ward, 1867 January 15
15Cobb, Howell letter from Herschel V. Johnson, 1867 December 12
16Cobb, Howell map of Southwest Georgia lands [including Danville/Drayton and Flint River with properties belonging to Benton Byrd, James R. Butts, Reuben Tucker, and Thomas Gervis]
17Cobb, Howell letter from Denham's Leather, 1867
18Cobb, Howell receipts, 1851-1853
19Cobb, Howell receipts, 1865-1868
20Cobb, Judge Howell, 1870-1892
21Cobb, Judge Howell, 1893-1898
22Cobb, Judge Howell, 1899-1903
23Cobb, Judge Howell, 1904 - Undated
24Cobb, Mrs. Howell (Mary McKinley)
25Cobb, John A.
26Cobb, Sarah Spalding
27Cobb, Thomas R. R. (1868-1898)
Son of Howell Cobb, Jr. and Mary McKinley Cobb.
28Cobb, William McKinley
29Lamar, John Basil
30Lipscomb, Andrew A.
31McKinley, William
32Morris, Sylvanus
33Oconee Hill Cemetery
34Robinson, M. J.
35Taylor, Richard D. B.
36Yancey, Goodloe
37Miscellaneous Clippings