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03.35.01 The Works of Alexander Stephens, a listing by James R. Schoolfield, posted in 2014

Alexander H. Stephens is politically incorrect to our generation because he was a defender of African slavery.  This fact may explain why he is rarely mentioned in American History.  One should read his arguments before writing him off as an evil man.  It is easy to misjudge a great man by misunderstanding the day and times in which he lived.  He was opposed to secession believing that the best way to preserve the liberties of Georgians at the time was to stay in the Union.  This may explain why many Southern patriots neglect him.  Before you condemn him, please read his arguments:

  • He was a brilliant scholar and orator.  His speeches and letters may be read with great profit.  See Letters and Speeches of Stephens by Cleveland. 
  • His monumental two-volume work entitled A Constitutional View Of The Late War Between The States has never been refuted and should be read by all serious students of the Constitution and defenders of the South.
  • His neglected but very valuable A Comprehensive and Popular History of the United States, published in 1882 is easy to read and full of facts that are not recorded in modern history books..

Throughout his career he was a strong influence for the preservation of the Constitution.  To Stephens, the cause of secession, and thus the War Between the States, was the South’s attempt to save the Constitution.

  • For further study read The Life of Alexander H. Stephens, by Richard Johnson and William Browne (1878 and approved by Stephens himself). 
  • Alexander Stephens of Georgia by Thomas E. Schott is supposed to be the definitive biography of the great Georgian.
  • Read also Recollections Of Alexander H. Stephens, (1998, with new introduction by Ben Forkner). This diary has a lengthy entry on the “cornerstone speech” which puts it in perspective and corrects the errors of his critics.
  • Visit the home of A. H. Stephens (Liberty Hall) located in Crawfordville, Georgia on I-20 midway between Atlanta and Augusta.  There is a Confederate museum on the property and Ruffian Flag Company across the street.

This listing is provided by member James R. Schoolfield