Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia: A Biography - download pdf or read online

By Thomas E. Schott

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Extra resources for Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia: A Biography

Sample text

Stephens' melancholy is complexterrifying in intensity, fascinating in expression, and bewildering in texture. Perhaps it is fruitless to search for the source of this despondency. But one cannot but be struck by the centrality of death in his despairas perhaps it must be in any despair. Stephens' desperation had many layers, but at its heart lay death, his father's death on a springtime morning in 1826. "With that last breath my last hope expired," he wrote. "18 A week later the Stephens children were orphans.

Without his enthusiasm for this work and his unflagging faith in its author from that time till now, this book would never have been written. Trudie Calvert, my editor for the Louisiana State University Press, edited the manuscript with thoroughness and skill. Her diligence improved the manuscript in numberless places. My friend Vic Galier, who battled cancer with undaunted courage, good humor, and faith while I worked on this book, was a constant source of inspiration to me. Vic died in December, 1986, and it is my honor to remember him in the dedication of this work.

He could not tolerate the idea of being mistaken and would rather fight than admit his limitations. These, too, he had in abundance. He always viewed the rest of humanity from a lofty perch, a position to which he firmly believed his moral and mental attributes had assigned him. It became easy, therefore, to question everyone's motives but his own, to minimize his shortcomings and exaggerate others', and to strike an irritating pose before his fellow men as a paragon of righteousness. Rooted in his exalted estimation of his own rectitude, Stephens' pride grew to monumental proportions.

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