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A little slim pale-faced consumptive man just concluded the very best speech of an hours length I ever heard So said Congressman Abraham Lincoln about Alexander Hamilton Stephens1 Stephens was born near Crawfordsville Georgia on February 11 1812 His mother died shortly after his birth and his father died when Stephens was only 14 Even in childhood he was amazingly bright and his brilliant mind was noticed by many mentors who paid for him to attend college Stephens graduated at the top of his class from Franklin College and then went on to become a lawyer Soon after he was admitted to the bar he entered politics and began to construct an exceedingly prominent place in American history Alexander Hamilton Stephens was only five feet seven inches and never weighed more than one-hundred pounds- even in adulthood As a young man he was given the nickname Little Aleck He was pale odd-bodied had lustrous eyes and was often described as cadaverous From the time of his birth he was sickly and puny and was continuously wrapping himself in many layers of clothes and coats to keep warm Late in his life he defined happiness as To be warm2 Little Aleck was voted into the state legislator in 1836 and continued to remain there until 1841 when he declined re-election But in 1942 he was chosen State senator Then in 1943 he entered the US House of Representatives and served there for sixteen years In 1859 he returned to private life by his own choice He had been a firm advocate of the compromise measures of 1850 and having participated in the settlement of the Kansas troubles accepted the result as an end of sectional strife as far as the South was concerned During the presidential campaign of 1860 Stephens was an advocate of the election of Stephen A Douglas The election of Mr Lincoln shocked him and he thought
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