Alabama Governors: A Political History of the State

Overview

The story of Alabama's governors has been often bizarre, occasionally inspiring, but never dull. Several of the state's early governors fought duels; one killed his wife's lover. A Reconstruction era-governor barricaded himself in his administrative office and refused to give it up when voters failed to reelect him. A 20th-century governor, an alumnus of Yale, married his first cousin and served as an officer in the Ku Klux Klan.
 

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Overview

The story of Alabama's governors has been often bizarre, occasionally inspiring, but never dull. Several of the state's early governors fought duels; one killed his wife's lover. A Reconstruction era-governor barricaded himself in his administrative office and refused to give it up when voters failed to reelect him. A 20th-century governor, an alumnus of Yale, married his first cousin and served as an officer in the Ku Klux Klan.
 

This collection of biographical essays, written by 34 noted historians and political scientists, chronicles the foibles and idiosyncrasies, in and out of office, of those who have served as the state's highest elected official. It also describes their courage; their meaningful policy initiatives; their accomplishments and failures; the complex factors that led to their actions or inaction; and the enormous consequences of their choices on the state's behalf. 
 

Taken together, the essays provide a unified history of the state, with its recurring themes of race, federal-state relations, economic development, taxation, and education. Alabama Governors is certain to become an invaluable resource for teachers, students, librarians, journalists, and anyone interested in the colorful history and politics of the state.

 

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A first-rate contribution not merely to the political history of the state but of the region and the nation as well."
Willard B. Gatewood, coeditor of Governors of Arkansas
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817310820
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Samuel L. Webb is Associate Professor of History at The University of Alabama at Birmingham and author of Two-Party Politics in the One-Party South. Margaret E. Armbrester is Assistant Professor of History at The University of Alabama at Birmingham and author of John C. Persons: Citizen-Soldier.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Political Maps of Alabama
Introduction 1
I Territorial and Early Statehood, 1798-1847
Territorial Governors
Winthrop Sargent 7
William C. C. Claiborne 8
Robert Williams 9
David Holmes 10
William Wyatt Bibb 11
State Governors
William Wyatt Bibb 13
Thomas Bibb 16
Israel Pickens 17
John Murphy 21
Gabriel Moore 24
Samuel B. Moore 28
John Gayle 31
Clement Comer Clay 34
Hugh McVay 38
Arthur P. Bagby 41
Benjamin Fitzpatrick 45
Joshua L. Martin 48
II Crises, Civil War, and Reconstruction, 1847-1874
Reuben Chapman 53
Henry W. Collier 57
John A. Winston 61
Andrew B. Moore 65
John Gill Shorter 70
Thomas H. Watts 73
Lewis E. Parsons 77
Robert M. Patton 80
Wager Swayne 83
William Hugh Smith 87
Robert B. Lindsay 90
David P. Lewis 94
III The Bourbon Era, 1874-1900
George S. Houston 101
Rufus W. Cobb 106
Edward A. O'Neal 109
Thomas Seay 113
Thomas G. Jones 116
William C. Oates 122
Joseph F. Johnston 127
IV The Progressive Era through World War II, 1900-1947
William J. Samford 137
William D. Jelks 140
Russell M. Cunningham 147
Braxton Bragg Comer 150
Emmet O'Neal 157
Charles Henderson 162
Thomas E. Kilby 166
William W. Brandon 170
Bibb Graves 173
Benjamin M. Miller 180
Frank M. Dixon 185
Chauncey M. Sparks 190
V Post-World War II to 1987
Jemes E. Folsom 197
Gordon Persons 206
John Patterson 210
George C. Wallace 216
Lurleen B. Wallace 230
Albert P. Brewer 235
Jere Beasley, Sr. 239
VI The Post-Wallace Era
Forrest ("Fob") James, Jr. 243
Guy Hunt 249
James E. Folsom, Jr. 254
Don Siegelman 257
App Governors of Alabama 261
Select Bibliography 263
Contributors 267
Index 271
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