Hill, Benjamin H. (Benjamin Harvey), 1823-1882

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American statesman.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Atlanta, to Gen. James Longstreet, 1877 Jul. 30. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270465780

From the description of Autograph letter signed : "U. S. Senate" Washington, to President Hayes, 1877 Oct. 15. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270473781

A presence in Georgia state politics for more than three decades, Benjamin Hill was by turns a prosperous lawyer, opponent of secession, ardent supporter of the Confederacy, apologist for Reconstruction, and, at his death, Democratic U.S. senator from Georgia. Like his personal nemesis and fellow political survivor from the era, Joseph E. Brown, Hill manifested a remarkable political flexibility that was often taken for perfidy. Ben Hill County in south central Georgia was named for him upon its creation in 1906. Born in Jasper County on September 14, 1823, Benjamin Harvey Hill matriculated at the University of Georgia and graduated in 1843. He then promptly gained entrance to the bar and nurtured a thriving law practice in LaGrange. Although he could be a political chameleon, Hill generally worked toward sectional comity. He thus entered public life as a supporter of the Union and the Compromise of 1850. During a one-year term as a state representative from 1851 to 1852, Hill joined the short-lived Constitutional Union Party of Howell Cobb, Robert Toombs, and Alexander Stephens. Passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act brought him back into politics as an independent in 1855, and he narrowly lost a seat in the state assembly to a Democratic stalwart in a heavily Democratic district. Two years later, the American Party nominated him as their gubernatorial candidate. He lost that race to the theretofore obscure Joseph E. Brown and retired from the political arena for another two-year interval. John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, in 1859 and the election of 1860 drew Hill once more onto the political battlefield. The events at Harpers Ferry gave fire-eaters throughout the South an unprecedented opportunity for agitation, and Hill emerged in Georgia as one of the leading voices of moderation. Following Abraham Lincoln's election as president of the United States, Hill made an eloquent appeal to hold off on immediate secession to see what kind of leader Lincoln would prove to be. Such a policy, he argued, had the added benefit of allowing the South to prepare for a war, should one become inevitable. Nevertheless, when secession came, Hill reluctantly reconciled himself to it. Even in his new circumstances, he remained a committed nationalist. As a Confederate senator from 1861 to 1865, he aligned himself with the centralizing policies of Confederate president Jefferson Davis. His stance was made the more palatable because it antagonized Brown, who as a wartime governor clashed incessantly with Davis over the prerogatives of the states. After a brief postwar imprisonment, Hill's career entered its most controversial and ultimately most successful phase. Initially his actions followed the white Democratic Party line. He backed U.S. president Andrew Johnson's lenient plan to bring the South back into the Union and later fought against the perceived excesses of congressional Reconstruction. Then in 1870 he took on the Bourbon Democrats, who were poised to "redeem" the state, in an extraordinarily brave plea that Southern whites recognize the Reconstruction amendments as a fait accompli and move on to other matters. This unpopular stance earned Hill a stint in the political wilderness. Having spent most of his lifetime backing losing causes, however, Hill ended his career on top, winning a seat in the U.S. Congress for Georgia's Ninth District in December 1875. There he earned a national reputation as a champion of the white South by taking on such strident Radicals as James G. Blaine. Two years later he resigned from the House of Representatives to take a Senate seat, which he occupied until his death on August 16, 1882. New Georgia Encyclopedia http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org (Retrieved February 25, 2009)

From the description of Benjamin Harvey Hill letter, 1862. (University of Georgia). WorldCat record id: 310768747

Benjamin Harvey Hill was born July 1, 1849 and graduated from the University of Georgia in 1869. Hill was married twice and had 3 children. He was a lawyer by profession.

James Conquest Cross Black was born July 15, 1874 in Augusta, Georgia. Black entered the University of Georgia in 1891. He was a lawyer by profession.

From the description of Benjamin Harvey Hill letter, 10 Nov. 1892. (University of Georgia). WorldCat record id: 271254118

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Parker, Joseph Whiting, 1805-1887. Joseph W. Parker Memoirs [manuscript]/ Joseph Whiting Parker, Sr., circa 1880. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Barrow, Middleton Pope, 1839-1903. Letters, 1877, 1887. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Alexander, Peter Wellington, 1825-1886. Peter Wellington Alexander papers, 1835-1910. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Confederate States of America. Records. Ohio History Connection, Ohio Historical Society
referencedIn Arp, Bill, 1826-1903. Harry Atkinson collection, 1880s. University of Georgia, University of Georgia, Main Library
creatorOf Hill, Benjamin H. (Benjamin Harvey), 1823-1882. Benjamin Harvey Hill letter, 1862. University of Georgia, University of Georgia, Main Library
referencedIn Hodgson, Daisy. Daisy Hodgson papers, 1870-1935. Tulane University, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library
creatorOf Hill, Benjamin Harvey, Jr. Benjamin Harvey Hill letter, 10 Nov. 1892. University of Georgia, University of Georgia, Main Library
creatorOf Hill, Benjamin Harvey, 1823-1882. Autograph letter signed : Atlanta, to Gen. James Longstreet, 1877 Jul. 30. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Smithsonian Archives. Ru 33: Office Of The Secretary, Outgoing Corres..
referencedIn Moses, Raphael Jacob, 1812-1893. Raphael Jacob Moses autobiography, 1892 [manuscript]. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Brown, Joseph E. (Joseph Emerson), 1821-1894. Joseph E. Brown papers, 1823-1895. Georgia Newspaper Project
referencedIn Featherston, Lucius Horace, 1814-1886. Lucius Horace Featherston papers, 1825-1979. Emory University Library, Special Collect Department
referencedIn Perry family. Perry family correspondence, 1852-1901, undated. Atlanta History Center, Kenan Research Center / Cherokee Garden Library
referencedIn McDonald, Charles James, 1793-1860. Charles James McDonald papers, 1830-1860 [manuscript]. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Scott, Irby H. Papers, 1845-1873 (bulk 1861-1865). Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Brown, Joseph Emerson, 1821-1894. letter signed : Atlanta, unaddressed, 1877 Apr. 7. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Huntington Library. William Jones Rhees Collection.
referencedIn Princeton University Library, Mudd Ms. Lib, Univ. Archives. John Maclean Papers.
referencedIn Confederate manuscripts, 1861-1905. University of Georgia, University of Georgia, Main Library
referencedIn Long, John C. (John Cralle), 1833-1894. [Letter] 1876 Dec. 14, Crozer Sem. to Jno. A. Broadus / J.C. Long. SBTS Library, James P. Boyce Centennial Library
referencedIn Georgia scrapbook, 1854-1879. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Brown, Joseph E. (Joseph Emerson), 1821-1894. Joseph E. Brown papers, 1843-1883. Georgia Newspaper Project
referencedIn Peter Wellington Alexander Papers, 1855-1863 Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
creatorOf Hill, Benjamin Harvey, 1823-1882. Autograph letter signed : "U. S. Senate" Washington, to President Hayes, 1877 Oct. 15. Pierpont Morgan Library.
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Alexander, Peter Wellington, 1825-1886. person
associatedWith Barrow, Middleton Pope, 1839-1903. person
correspondedWith Black, James Conquest Cross person
associatedWith Brown, Joseph E. (Joseph Emerson), 1821-1894. person
associatedWith Confederate States of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Featherston, Lucius Horace, 1814-1886. person
associatedWith Hayes, Rutherford Birchard, 1823-1893, person
correspondedWith Henry, Joseph, 1797-1878 person
associatedWith Hodgson, Daisy. person
associatedWith Long, John C. (John Cralle), 1833-1894. person
associatedWith Longstreet, James, 1821-1904, person
associatedWith McDonald, Charles James, 1793-1860. person
associatedWith Moses, Raphael Jacob, 1812-1893. person
associatedWith Parker, Joseph Whiting, 1805-1887. person
associatedWith Perry family. family
associatedWith Scott, Irby H. person
correspondedWith Scott, J. H. person
associatedWith Tompkins, N. person
correspondedWith University of Georgia corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Augusta (Ga.)
Georgia--LaGrange
Georgia
Subject
Smithsonian Board Of Regents
Lawyers--Correspondence
Smithsonian Publications
Executors and administrators--Correspondence
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1823-09-14

Death 1882-08-16

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