On this day in Alabama history: John Tyler Morgan was born

On this day in Alabama history: John Tyler Morgan was born
Portrait of John Tyler Morgan, c. 1901. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

June 20, 1824

John Tyler Morgan was born on this day in eastern Tennessee, near the present-day town of Athens. His family moved to what is now Calhoun County, Alabama, in 1833. At the age of 20, without attending college, Morgan passed the bar and established a law practice in Talladega. He moved to Selma in 1855, which he called home for the rest of his life. Morgan took a leading role in the Alabama secession convention in 1861, and fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War. Morgan was appointed U.S. senator in 1876 and served for 30 years. He used the Senate floor as a bully pulpit for his white supremacist views in extending Jim Crow laws. Morgan also led the charge for the United States to build a canal across Central America, earning him the title of the ideological father of the Panama Canal.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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