Cabinet of the Confederate States of America

 

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Cabinet of the Confederacy

Formation of the Confederacy

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The image to the right is an illustration from an original June 1, 1861 edition of Harper's Weekly.  It presents a formal portrait of the Cabinet of the Confederate States of America.  Pictured from left to right are: Attorney-General Benjamin, Secretary of State Mallory, Secretary Memminger, Vice-President Stephens, Secretary Walker, President Jefferson Davis, Postmaster Reagan, and Secretary Toombs.

Confederate Cabinet

Cabinet of President Jefferson Davis and the Confederate States of America (Select Image for enlarged view)

The image is accompanied by the following article, which I transcribe in its entirety.

The Cabinet at Montgomery

Harper's Weekly, June 1, 1861

We publish on page 340, from photographs made at Washington and at Montgomery, and forwarded to us by our correspondent Mr. Davis, now traveling with W. H. Russell, Esq., LL.D., Barrister at Law, Correspondent of the London Times, a group of portraits of the Cabinet at Montgomery.

The President and Vice President, Messrs. Davis and Stephens, we have heretofore given; their portraits and biographies will be found at length in the No. 217 of the Weekly. The following sketches will introduce the members of the Southern Cabinet to our readers:

ROBERT TOOMBS, SECRETARY OF STATE.

Hon. Robert Toombs was born in Wilkes county, Georgia, July 2, 1810.  Commencing his collegiate life at the University of Georgia, he subsequently went North, and graduated at Union College, Schenectady, New York. In 1836 he served as a captain of volunteers in the Creek war.  In the next year he was elected to the Legislature, and since that time has been constantly in public life as representative and United States Senator.

 

 In the late movement of Georgia he has been active and potential in the cause of secession.  He has been called to a post of great importance - one which will serve to display all his merits as a statesman.

C. G. MEMMINGER, SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY

There are few men in the South who are more competent , in point of ability and business capacity, to administer the Department of the Treasury under the Government of the Confederate States than Mr. Memminger.  Possessed of a high order of intellect, a student, learned and full of resources as an accomplished advocate, he is eminently a man of facts and details.

LEROY POPE WALKER, SECRETARY OF WAR

Hon. Leroy Pope Walker is a lawyer of Huntsville, Alabama, a native of that county (Madison), and about forty-five years of age.  He is the eldest son of the late Major Walker, and one of a family of distinguished for talent and influence. Two of his brothers are Hon. Percy Walker, who recently represented the Mobile District in Congress, and Hon. Judge Richard W. Walker, of Florence, chairman of the Alabama delegation in the present Confederate Congress. Hon. L. P. Walker at one time practiced law in South Alabama, and was for several sessions Speaker of the House of Representatives of the State.  He has been a consistent Democrat of the State rights school.  For the last ten years he has been located in Huntsville, and has the reputation of being the leading lawyer, and, next to Clay, the leading Democrat of North Alabama. Careful in the preparation of his causes, and clear, concise, logical and eloquent in presenting them before court, he is said to be an eminently successful practitioner. For the last three years he has been conspicuous in his denunciation of squatter sovereignty.  In the Alabama Democratic convention, which took ground against it, and sent a delegation to Charleston to carry out her instructed opposition, Mr. Walker's influence was marked.  He was one of the delegation sent to Charleston, and exerted himself in resisting the compromise offered.

JUDAH P. BENJAMIN, ATTORNEY-GENERAL

The Hon. J. P. Benjamin, of Louisiana, Attorney-General, is distinguished as one of the profoundest jurists and most accomplished advocates in the the country. He is of the old line of Whig class of State Rights politicians, and his recent speeches in the United States Senate won for him universal admiration. No selection could have been made for Attorney-General of the Confederate States which would be so generally esteemed appropriate.

STEPHEN M. MALLORY, SECRETARY OF THE NAVY

Mr. Mallory, the Secretary of the Navy of the Confederate States, was for many years a Senator of the United States from Florida, and occupied the important post of the Chairman of the Committee of Naval Affairs.  he took a very active interest in the construction of the new sloops of war, and was largely instrumental in fortifying and improving the harbor of Pensacola- the best in the Gulf. Mr. Mallory's experience will be of service to the Confederates should they ever have a navy.

JOHN H. REAGAN, POSTMASTER-GENERAL

Mr. Reagan has never been prominent in national politics, though he served some years in Congress. His functions as Postmaster-General in the Seceded States have thus far been in sinecure, as the mails are still carried by the United States.

- - - END OF HARPER'S WEEKLY STORY ON CONFEDERATE CABINET - - -

It is interesting to me to read the biographies printed by Harper's Weekly, a Northern Newspaper.  The descriptions of the men making up the Confederate Cabinet were respectful and admiring of the capabilities of these men.  This article would suggest that the North was aware that the South would be a force to contend with.  There were no slouches on the Cabinet of the Confederate States.  Each man was respected and accomplished.

In addition to the Harper's Weekly Lithograph of the Confederate Cabinet presented above, we would Also like to include the following

 Photo Album of the Cabinet of the Confederacy

President Jefferson Davis

Vice-President Alexander Stephens

Attorney-General Judah P. Benjamin

Secretary of State Robert Toombs

 Secretary of the Treasury C. G. Memminger

Secretary of War Leroy Pope Walker

Secretary of the Navy Stephen Mallory

Postmaster General John H. Reagan

Secretary of War James Seddon (Replaced Walker)

 

 

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