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.
John Tyler Morgan was a child when his family moved to Calhoun County in 1833. By the age of 20, he had passed the bar exam without a college education and opened a legal practice in Talladega. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Alabama Department of Archives and History)
Alabama legislator John Tyler Morgan served in the Confederate Army, rising to the rank of brigadier general and participating in battles in Virginia, Tennessee and northern Georgia. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Alabama Department of Archives and History)
John Tyler Morgan, c. 1870-1880. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Wikipedia)
John Tyler Morgan (1824-1907) was a six-term U.S. senator who urged American global expansion and promoted white supremacy, helping to usher in the Jim Crow era in Alabama. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Alabama Department of Archives and History)
John Tyler Morgan’s legacy in the U.S. Senate is marked by his strident arguments supporting white supremacy and recognition by his peers as a brilliant and eloquent debater on the Senate floor. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of United States Congress, painting by Carl Gutherz)
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.