GORDON, John Brown (1832-1904)
Senate Years of Service: 1873-1880; 1891-1897

GORDON, JOHN BROWN, a Senator from Georgia; born in Upson County, Ga., February 6, 1832; attended private schools and the University of Georgia at Athens; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1853 and commenced practice in Atlanta, Ga.; engaged in coal mining; upon the outbreak of the Civil War entered the Confederate Army as captain of Infantry and rose to lieutenant general; resumed the practice of law in Atlanta, Ga.; unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Governor in 1868; elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate in 1873; reelected in 1879 and served from March 4, 1873, until May 26, 1880, when he resigned to promote the building of the Georgia Pacific Railroad; chairman, Committee on Commerce (Forty-sixth Congress); Governor of Georgia 1886-1890; again elected to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1891, to March 3, 1897; declined to be a candidate for reelection; chairman, Committee on Coastal Defenses (Fifty-third Congress); engaged in lecturing and literary work; died in Miami, Fla., January 9, 1904; interment in Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Ga.

Alabama Department of Archives and History
Montgomery, AL
Papers: In Confederate officers photograph album, no date.

Emory University
Robert W. Woodruff Library
Atlanta, GA
Papers: 1876-1904. 13 items. Correspondence, biography, engraving, and photographs. Topics include office-seeking, veterans' affairs, and postwar problems.
Additional Papers: 17 items (9 from Senate years) in various collections including James Pinckney Hambleton papers, 1857-1893; Isaac Hammond collection, 1839-1875; Orr family papers, 1825-1970; George Gilman Smith papers, 1835-1956; and John H. Ash papers, 1860-1865.

Georgia Department of Archives and History
Atlanta, GA
Papers: Gubernatorial papers.

Georgia Historical Society
Savannah, GA
Papers: 9 items. Letters, bill and receipt book, autograph.

Knox College
Seymour Library
Galesburg, IL
Papers: 1 letter (January 26, 1892) in Post family papers, 1857-1895; and 5 letters (January 2, 1871; December 14, 1895; February 24, 1896; August 6, 1898; March 11, 1902) in Sang-Lee Civil War collection, 1834-1906.

Knox County Public Library
McClung Historical Collection
Knoxville, TN
Papers: Correspondence in Charles McClung McGhee papers, 1857-1907. Finding aid.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: Correspondence in Jedediah Hotchkiss papers, 1835-1908. Available on 61 microfilm reels. Finding aid.

Louisiana State University
Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections
Baton Rouge, LA
Papers: Discussed in anonymous diary, 1899-1900.

Pierpont Morgan Library
New York, NY
Papers: No date. 2 items.

University of Georgia
Hargrett Library for Rare Books and Manuscripts
Athens, GA
Papers: In Gordon family papers, 1840-1976. Ca. 765 items. Family letters. Finding aid.

University of Virginia
Alderman Library
Charlottesville, VA
Papers: Correspondence in W. Gordon McCabe papers, 1757-1920.

Virginia Historical Society
Richmond, VA
Papers: Numerous items in various collections. Finding aid.

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives
New Haven, CT
Papers: In Carrington family papers, 1749-1929.

  • Anderson, William. "The Resignation of John B. Gordon from the United States Senate in 1880.'' Georgia Historical Quarterly 52 (December 1968): 438-42.
  • Culpepper, Grady Sylvester. "The Political Career of John Brown Gordon, 1868 to 1897.'' Ph.D. dissertation, Emory University, 1981.
  • Dorgan, Howard. "A Case Study in Reconciliation: General John B. Gordon and `The Last Days of the Confederacy'.'' Quarterly Journal of Speech 60 (February 1974): 83-91.
  • Dunbar, Alice. "The Political Life of John Brown Gordon, 1865-1880.'' Master's thesis, Emory University, 1939.
  • Eckert, Ralph Lowell. "The Breath of Scandal: John B. Gordon, Henry W. Grady, and the Resignation-Appointment Controversy of May 1880.'' Georgia Historical Quarterly 69 (Fall 1985): 315-37.
  • ___. John Brown Gordon: Soldier, Southerner, American. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989.
  • Gordon, John B. Reminiscences of the Civil War. 1903. Reprint. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1993.
  • Holmes, William F. "The Southern Farmers' Alliance and the Georgia Senatorial Election of 1890.'' Journal of Southern History 50 (May 1984): 197-224.
  • Mellichamp, Josephine. "John B. Gordon.'' In Senators from Georgia, pp. 157-61. Huntsville, AL: Strode Publishers, 1976.
  • Tankersley, Allen P. John B. Gordon: A Study in Gallantry. Atlanta: Whitehall Press, 1955.
  • Wynne, Lewis N. "The Bourbon Triumvirate: A Reconsideration.'' Atlanta Historical Journal 24 (Summer 1980): 39-56.
  • ___. "New South Rivalry in the 1880s: Gordon versus Bacon.'' Atlanta Historical Journal 27 (Winter 1983-1984): 41-55.