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HOUSTON, George Smith

HOUSTON, George Smith
Library of Congress


HOUSTON, George Smith, a Representative and a Senator from Alabama; born near Franklin, Williamson County, Tenn., January 17, 1811; moved with his parents to Lauderdale County, Ala., and attended an academy there; studied law in Florence, Ala., and Harrodsburg, Ky.; admitted to the bar in 1831; commenced practice in Florence, Ala.; member, State house of representatives 1832; settled in Athens, Ala., in 1835; State's attorney for the Florence judicial district in 1836; elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-seventh and to the three succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1841-March 3, 1849); declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1848; elected to the Thirty-second and to the four succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1851, until January 21, 1861, when he withdrew; chairman, Committee on Ways and Means (Thirty-second and Thirty-third Congresses), Committee on Judiciary (Thirty-fifth Congress); presented credentials as a Senator-elect to the United States Senate on February 9, 1866, for the term ending March 3, 1867, but was not permitted to take his seat; Governor of Alabama 1874-1878; elected to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1879, until his death in Athens, Ala., December 31, 1879; interment in Athens City Cemetery.

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

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External Research Collections

Alabama Department of Archives and History

Montgomery, AL
Papers: 1811-1879. Ca. 1 foot. Personal and congressional papers, including a biographical sketch and a speech to the House of Representatives.
Additional Papers: In Alabama cased photographs collection, [184?]-[188?]; Alabama Governor administrative files, 1845-1847, 1847-1849, 1874-1878, and 1879-1882; Alabama pamphlets collection, persons vertical file, [ca.1835]-[ca.1981]; State Board of Assessment minute books, 1870-1882; governor's military correspondence, 1860-1861; Charles Carter Langdon papers, 1871-1880; and Robert McKee papers, 1861-1899.

Boston Public Library

Boston, MA
Papers: 1 letter.

Duke University
Special Collections Library

Durham, NC
Papers: 1831-1899. 475 items. Political and personal correspondence, account books and photographs. Correspondence pertains to Alabama politics (1845-1850), Texas lands, and other matters. Finding aid.

Pierpont Morgan Library

New York, NY
Papers: 1877. 1 item.

University of Alabama
W.S. Hoole Special Collections

Tuscaloosa, AL
Papers: 1842-1849. 5 items. Correspondence while a member of the House of Representatives.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Draughon, Ralph B., Jr. "George Smith Houston and Southern Unity, 1846-1849." Alabama Review 19 (July 1966): 186-207.

U.S. Congress. Memorial Addresses on the Life and Character of George S. Houston (a Senator from Alabama). 46th Cong., 2d sess., 1879-1880. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1880.

Watson, Elbert L. "George Smith Houston." In Alabama United States Senators, pp. 67-69. Huntsville, AL: Strode Publishers, 1982.

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Committee Assignments

  • House Committee - Ways and Means - Chair
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