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SAMFORD, William James

1844–1901

Biography

SAMFORD, William James, a Representative from Alabama; born in Greenville, Meriwether County, Ga., September 16, 1844; moved in early childhood with his parents to Chambers County, Ala.; attended a private school in Auburn, Ala., and the University of Georgia at Athens in 1860; enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1862 as a private in the Forty-sixth Alabama Regiment; promoted to first lieutenant and was in command of a company at the close of the war; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1867 and commenced practice in Opelika, Lee County, Ala., in 1867; delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1875; elected as a Democrat to the Forty-sixth Congress (March 4, 1879-March 3, 1881); was not a candidate for renomination in 1880; again resumed the practice of his profession; member of the State house of representatives in 1882; served in the State senate 1884-1886 and in 1892 and was its president in 1886; Governor of Alabama in 1900 and 1901; president of the board of trustees of the University of Alabama; died in Tuscaloosa, Ala., June 11, 1901; interment in Rosemere Cemetery, Opelika, Ala.

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: 1878-1900. 13 letters.
Papers: In the Alabama Governor (1900-1901: Samford) Administrative files, 1900-1901, 2 cubic feet. This series contains records of Governor William James Samford discussing appointments and recommendations for various offices, various subjects such as the Alabama Department of Archives and History, Alabama National Guard, the new constitution, convicts, Montevallo land sales, school, agencies, and universities, and types of records such as applications, correspondence, petitions, reports, rewards, and speeches.
Papers: In the Alabama Governor (1900-1901: Samford) Proclamations, commendations and appreciations, 1901, 1 folder. The proclamations, commendations, and appreciations were made by Governor William James Samford.
Papers: In the James Foster Parole request collection, 1901, 1 folder. James Foster was a prisoner at the Alabama State Prison at Wetumpka, Ala. In 1901 James Foster wrote to Governor W.J. Samford and (after the governor's death) Governor W.D. Jelks requesting a pardon. To prove his worthiness to be considered he sent examples of his work as a photographer.

University of North Carolina
Southern Historical Collection

Chapel Hill, NC
Microfilm: 1884-1899, amount unknown. The diary of William James Samford concerns planting, family, law, and politics.
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