Robert Toombs letters

Robert Toombs letters

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Creator: Toombs, Robert Augustus, 1810-1885
Title: Robert Toombs letters
Dates: 1855-1872
Quantity: 0.1 Linear feet (2 items in portfolio)
Coll. Number: ms2412

Biographical/Historical Note

Robert Toombs, one of the most ardent secessionists in the U.S. Senate, helped to lead Georgia out of the Union on the eve of the Civil War. This was surprising; although Toombs was a slaveholding planter, he had dedicated the majority of his political career to preserving the Union. Spanning almost four decades, his career in Georgia politics began in the state legislature, and he later ventured into national affairs as a U.S. congressman and senator. During the early months of the Civil War he became secretary of state for the Confederacy. He concluded his political leadership as one of the major architects of the state Constitution of 1877. Toombs's statesmanship, personality, and unyielding convictions made him one of Georgia's most influential politicians of the nineteenth century. Toombs County, in southeast Georgia, is named in his honor. Robert Toombs (1810-1885) - New Georgia Encyclopedia (Retrieved March 24, 2009).

For more information, see the article "Robert Toombs (1810-1885)" in the New Georgia Encyclopedia and his congressional biography.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of two letters written by Robert Toombs. The first autographed signed letter, dated 20 Nov. 1855, is while Toombs is a U.S. senator and directed to a judge about elections and his activities.

Index Terms

Bullock, Rufus B., (Rufus Brown), 1834-1907
Judges--Election--United States.
Legislators--United States--Correspondence.
Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)--Georgia.
Smith, James M., (James Milton), 1823-1890
Toombs, Robert Augustus, 1810-1885 -- Correspondence

General Notes

"...Your two letters ... is the only intelligence I have had ... since I left and this is the day fixed on by Mr. Pope's resolution to bring on the election. I hope it took place and that you are now regularly installed as judge." He states that he was unable to stay through the election due to business engagements and an illness, "but Mr. Stephens [his close friend, Alexander Stephens, a U.S. congressman at the time] assured me he would return by Thursday ... I thought I saw a very decided indisposition to bring on the election at an early day when I left but I thought it a favourable indication that your prospects were good ... if the election has not taken place I shall come immediately. I do not think you right in any event to take the course you indicate on account of the action of the causes ..." A wealthy landowner and slaveholder in Georgia, he reports, " I have to emply two new overseers and put them in possession of my plans ...: Penned on first and third pages of lettersheet.

The second letter is dated 15 Feb 1872, Washington, Georgia, to an unknown person. Toombs has just returned from Atlanta, where he met with the new governor (Smith) on the financial condition of the state and state bonding. The new administration is pledged to repaying "every dollar of the honest indebtness of the state". He discusses the recent regime of scallywag governor Bullock: "The executive, legislative and judicial departments of the [recent?] government ... by force and fraud were nothing but a band of public plunderers, embracing in their being all the officials of the state appointed by them ... including [all] the lawyers they could buy. This gang Bullock spent his tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars in the ? ..." Toombs offered his own services to the state without compensation, and has helped form a committee to study the situation. Expects to turn to New York for financial assistance.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Robert Toombs letters. MS 2412. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.

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