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By Thomas E. Schott

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Extra info for Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia: A Biography

Sample text

It corrupted his conception of truth and justice. It brought out the worst in him, stifling in its imperious insistence almost all the instincts of his better nature. In the end his struggle was fruitless, as it had to be. Slavery, a horrifying blotch on the American democratic experiment and an even worse one on the nation's pretensions to equality, was doomed, doomed by forces far stronger than its defenders with all their guile and skill could contain. And in the end, too, Stephens, a man who revered order and the rule of law above all, had to witness secession and war.

This mishap made him an invalid, unable to walk and barely able to fend for himself in the most mundane tasks. The state of medical science in the nineteenth century was primitive. Stephens did not rely on doctors regularly until his old age, when he submitted himself to a fantastic array of their ministrations. Stephens also aggravated the effects of his illnesses with alcohol and, late in his life, with morphine and other drugs. Stephens used alcohol medicinally for most of his life, not in great quantityhe took it by the tablespoonfulbut habitually.

HouseBiography.  Title. ) Several of the illustrations are reproduced courtesy of Robert G. , member of Congress, 19611977, representing the Tenth District of Georgia, and great great-nephew of Alexander H. Stephens. Frontispiece: Alexander H. Stephens as a congressman in 1858, at the height of his power. Courtesy Special Collections Division, University of Georgia Libraries. Louisiana Paperback Edition, 1996 05 04 03 02 01 00 99 98 97 96 5 4 3 2 1 The paper in this book meets the guidelines for permanence and durability of the Committee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity of the Council on Library Resources.

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