July 15, 1847
Reuben Chapman, Alabama’s 13th governor, was born in Virginia on this day. At the age of 25, he traveled to Huntsville, where his older brother lived, and Alabama became home for the rest of his life. Chapman entered politics in 1832 when he was elected to the state Senate. He later won election to the U.S. House, serving 15 years. Amid a severe economic downturn that produced sharp political differences, Chapman emerged as a compromise candidate and was elected governor in 1847. With continuing political turmoil in the state over the role of Alabama’s central bank, Chapman failed to win renomination at the Democratic convention of 1849. Except for a successful run for the Legislature in 1855, his political career was over. Chapman died in 1882 and is buried in Huntsville.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.