COBB, Howell

COBB, Howell
Oil on canvas, Lucy Stanton, 1912, Collection of U.S. House of Representatives
1815–1868

Biography

COBB, Howell, (nephew of Howell Cobb [1772–1818]), a Representative from Georgia; born at "Cherry Hill," Jefferson County, Ga., September 7, 1815; moved with his father to Athens, Ga., in childhood; was graduated from Franklin College (then a part of the University of Georgia), at Athens in 1834; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Athens, Ga., in 1836; solicitor general of the western judicial circuit of Georgia 1837-1841; elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-eighth and to the three succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1843-March 3, 1851); chairman, Committee on Mileage (Twenty-eighth Congress); Speaker of the House of Representatives (Thirty-first Congress); Governor of Georgia 1851-1853; elected to the Thirty-fourth Congress (March 4, 1855-March 3, 1857); Secretary of the Treasury in the Cabinet of President Buchanan and served from March 6, 1857, to December 10, 1860, when he resigned; chairman of the convention of delegates from the seceded States which assembled in Montgomery, Ala., on February 24, 1861, to form a Confederate Government; appointed a brigadier general in the Confederate Army February 13, 1862, and promoted to major general September 9, 1863; surrendered at Macon, Ga., April 20, 1864; died in New York City October 9, 1868; interment in Oconee Cemetery, Athens, Clarke County, Ga.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Duke University Library
Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library

Durham, NC
Papers: 1843-1868, 55 items. The papers concern the Georgia tax system, Whig and Democratic politics in Georgia, Howell Cobb's work in Congress and as Secretary of the Treasury, disaffection with the Confederate government in Georgia, and military activities, including a letter from Robert Toombs in 1863 about raising a regiment for home defense. The papers also include a letter from Howell Cobb to Joseph E. Brown in April 1865 about sending troops to aid Alabama, as well as a letter to Howell Cobb from his wife, Mary Ann Lamar Cobb, describing a state dinner and a party at the White House for the Prince of Wales. There is also documentation of a memorial prepared by the Macon Bar upon the occasion of Howell Cobb's death.

Emory University
Special Collections Department, Robert W. Woodruff Library

Atlanta, GA
Papers: 1857-1860, 18 items. The papers include correspondence from Secretary of the Treasury Howell Cobb to Captain John Faunce of the Revenue Cutter Service. The letters concern the construction, outfitting, arming, manning, and provisioning of the cutter "Harriet Lane," which was temporarily under the control of the United States naval force to be sent to Paraguay.

Georgia Department of Archives and History

Atlanta, GA
Papers: In File II Names. The file is primarily incoming correspondence to the Governor of Georgia. A finding aid for the papers is available in the repository.

Georgia Historical Society

Savannah, GA
Papers: In the John MacPherson Berrien Papers, 1779-1942, 1,392 items. Correspondents include Howell Cobb. A finding aid for the papers is available in the repository.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: In the Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection, 1848-1857, 3 items. Subjects covered in the documents include Confederate Army officers, cabinet officers, Georgia Governors, and U.S. Representatives from Georgia.

University of Chicago Library
Manuscripts, Special Collections

Chicago, IL
Papers: 1857, 1 item. A letter from Howell Cobb to P. D. Vroom on December 1, 1857. Howell Cobb writes regarding the return of P. D. Vroom's household and personal effects from Berlin where he resided as Minister to Prussia.
Papers: 1859, 1 item. A letter from Jeremiah S. Black to Howell Cobb written on March 16, 1859. Jeremiah Black writes concerning the title to the island of St. Joseph in Mississippi.

University of Georgia Libraries
Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Athens, GA
Papers: 1861-1868, 0.5 linear foot. The collection consists of papers of Howell Cobb from 1861-1868. The papers include correspondence and telegrams to Howell Cobb pertaining to the Civil War and administration of the Confederate government. The telegrams mainly contain brief notes on troop movements, battles or skirmishes, and casualties in Georgia particularly during the Atlanta Campaign. The correspondence discusses cotton production and trade for the Confederacy, conscriptions, black market trading by Georgia citizens, Reconstruction government, and the 1868 presidential election.
Papers: In the Howell Cobb Family Papers, ca. 1793-1932, approximately 54 linear feet. The collection consists of correspondence of Howell Cobb and the Cobb family. Correspondents include Mary Ann Lamar Cobb, John B. Lamar, as well as other family members. The letters discuss politics in both Georgia and the United States, the Confederate States of America including its formation and administration, and information on Howell Cobb's business interests, especially plantation news. The papers also include several letters between Howell Cobb and Harry L. Flash pertaining to Howell Cobb arranging the sale of the Macon Telegraph. A finding aid for the papers is available in the repository.

Wisconsin Historical Society
Archives Division

Madison, WI
Papers: 1856, 0.1 cubic foot. A letter from Howell Cobb to John Elliott Ward written in 1856. Howell Cobb writes concerning the political situation and cabinet possibilities.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Brooks, Robert Preston. Howell Cobb and the crisis of 1850. [Athens, Ga.: N.p., 1918].

Cobb, Howell. Communication from Hon. Howell Cobb. [Enclosing the report of Major John C. Whitner, relative to the preparation of copies of the Journals of the Provisional congress and of the Proceedings of the Convention]. [Richmond: Confederate States of America, 1865].

------. Great speech of General Howell Cobb, delivered in Atlanta, Ga., July 23, 1868. Augusta, Ga.: The "Chronicle and sentinel," [1868?]

------. Necessity for party organization. [Washington: Printed at the Congressional globe office, 1848].

------. Remarks of Mr. Cobb, of Georgia, delivered in the House of representatives, December 21, 1855. [Washington: Printed at the Congressional globe office, 1855].

------. Speech of Hon. Howell Cobb, of Georgia, delivered in Concord, N.H., at a mass meeting of the Democratic Party of Merrimac County. [Concord?: N.p., 1855?]

------. Speech of Mr. Cobb, of Georgia, on the Oregon question. Delivered in the House of representatives, January 8, 1846. Washington: Printed at the Union office, 1846.

Farley, M. Foster, ed. "Three Letters of William Henry Trescot to Howell Cobb, 1861." South Carolina Historical Magazine 68 (January 1967): 22-30.

Gannon, Nell W. "Howell Cobb: A Political Biography." Ph.D. diss., University of California, Berkeley, 1933.

Greene, Helen Ione. Politics in Georgia, 1853-54; the ordeal of Howell Cobb. [N.p., 1946].

Hubbell, John T. "Three Georgia Unionists and the Compromise of 1850." Georgia Historical Quarterly 51 (September 1967): 307-23.

Johnson, Zachary T. Political Policies of Howell Cobb. Nashville, Tenn.: George Peabody College for Teachers, 1929.

Montgomery, Horace. Howell Cobb's Confederate Career. Tuscaloosa, Ala.: Confederate Publishing, 1959.

------. "Howell Cobb, Daniel Webster, and Jenny Lind." Georgia Historical Quarterly 45 (March 1961): 37-41.

------. "Two Howell Cobbs: A Case of Mistaken Identity." Journal of Southern History 28 (August 1962): 348-55.

Simpson, John E. Howell Cobb: The Politics of Ambition. Chicago: Adams Press, 1973.

------. "Howell Cobb's Bid For the Presidency in 1860." Georgia Historical Quarterly 55 (Spring 1971): 102-13.

------. "Prelude to Compromise: Howell Cobb and the House Speakership Battle of 1849." Georgia Historical Quarterly 58 (Winter 1974): 389-99.

Toombs, Robert. The Correspondence of Robert Toombs, Alexander H. Stephens, and Howell Cobb. Edited by Ulrich Bonnel Phillips. 1913. Reprint, New York: Da Capo Press, 1970.

Weller, John B. Speeches of Messrs. Weller, Orr, Lane, and Cobb, delivered in Phoenix and Depot hall, Concord, N. H., at a mass meeting of the Democratic party of Merrimac County. [Concord?: N.p., 1856?]

Reid, Randy L. "Howell Cobb of Georgia: A Biography." Ph. D. Diss., Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College, 1995.

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