World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

William Hugh Smith

Article Id: WHEBN0000841290
Reproduction Date:

Title: William Hugh Smith  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Andrew J. Applegate, Governors of Alabama, Wedowee, Alabama, List of Governors of Alabama, William H. Smith
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

William Hugh Smith

Located along N. Main Street (U.S. Route 431) in Wedowee, Alabama, this historic marker marks the site of the former home of William Hugh Smith.

William Hugh Smith (April 28, 1826 in Fayette County, Georgia – January 1, 1899 in Birmingham, Alabama) was a planter and politician, the 21st Governor of the U.S. state of Alabama. He was the first Republican elected as governor in the state, serving from 1868 to 1870 during the period of Reconstruction. A former slave owner, he had opposed secession from the union on the grounds it would imperil slave property. He appeared driven by practical consideration rather than principled opposition to slavery.

Political career

From 1855 to 1859 Smith served in the Alabama House of Representatives as a "states' rights" Democrat, but he evolved into a strong Unionist. In 1862, he fled behind Union lines; he spent the rest of the war recruiting soldiers for the 1st Alabama Union Cavalry Regiment. He went with this regiment on General William Tecumseh Sherman's famous "March to the Sea".

After the war, Smith chaired the first statewide Republican convention in 1867. He was installed as Governor by the U.S. Congress in July 1868. Although he had been elected in February 1868, he would not voluntarily take office due to the failure of the voters to ratify the 1868 constitution. A conservative once in office, he supported restoration of voting rights for ex-confederate public officials and military officers. He took only light action against the Ku Klux Klan, arguing that local law enforcement could effectively handle the situation. He promoted economic and railroad development, for the South was behind in investing in infrastructure.

He was defeated for re-election

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.