Choose another Topic

Return to People Introduction

Return to Georgia Political Leaders

Colquitt, Alfred H.

Civil War general and politician Alfred H. Colquitt was born in Walton County on April 29, 1824. He graduated from Princeton University in 1844. Returning to Georgia, Colquitt read law before being admitted to the bar in 1846. He began the practice of law in Columbus, Georgia, but soon left to serve as a staff officer under Gen. Zachary Taylor in the Mexican War. Upon returning to Georgia, he married and moved to a plantation inherited by his wife in Baker County. He began his political career in 1849, as assistant secretary of the Georgia Senate. In 1852, Colquitt was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, but served only one term because of his wife’s illness. In 1858, he represented Baker County for one year in the Georgia House of Representatives. Colquitt was a vocal advocate of Georgia’s secession and served in the secession convention in January 1861. He entered Confederate service as a captain in the 6th Georgia Regiment, was promoted to colonel in May 1861, brigadier general in Sept. 1862, and eventually major general.

After the Civil War, Colquitt opposed Reconstruction policies, and became president of the Georgia Democratic Convention in 1870. In 1876, he was elected governor. Though his term saw Georgia’s finances return to normal after the turmoil of the war and Reconstruction, there was also considerable controversy as several officials were investigated and charges of bargaining and corruption were leveled at him and the other two powerful Georgia politicians of the time - John B. Gordon and Joseph E. Brown. In 1882 Colquitt was appointed to fill the term of U.S. Senator Benjamin Hill, who had died in office. Colquitt remained in this post until his own death in Washington D.C. on March 26,1894.