Stephens, Alexander Hamilton (1812–1883), the Vice President of the Confederate States of America. He clashed openly with President Jefferson Davis, bitterly opposing the conscription of troops, suspension of the writ of habeas corpus , and establishment of martial law in various localities as an infringement of civil liberties and states' rights.
Stephens was born near Crawfordville, Georgia. He graduated from Franklin College (now the University of Georgia) in 1832. For a short while he taught school, then practiced law. He became a member of the state legislature in 1836. From 1843 to 1859 he served in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he pursued a moderate course.
Stephens opposed secession but upheld the right of a state to secede. He was a delegate to the meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, to form a union of the seceded states. There, he was elected Vice President of the Confederacy on February 9, 1861. In February, 1865, he led a peace commission; it met with President Lincoln at Hampton Roads, Virginia, but failed to negotiate an end to the war.
After the war, Stephens was imprisoned for six months. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1866 but—along with others from former Confederate states—was not allowed to take his seat. He served again in the U.S. House of Representatives, 1873–82. Stephens was elected governor of Georgia in 1882 but died after serving only a few months in office.