Confederate Congressman & Senator
Governor of Arkansas
United States Senator
Attorney General of the United States
(1832-99) Born in Covington, Tennessee, he attended Spring Hill Academy, St. Mary's College, and graduated from St. Joseph's College in Bardstown, Ky., in 1849. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1853. Garland became one of the most prominent attorneys in Arkansas and was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States in 1860. A presidential elector in Arkansas for the Constitutional Union Party in 1860, he cast his vote for the ticket of John Bell and Edward Everett. A member of the secession convention at Little Rock in 1861, he reluctantly supported secession after President Lincoln called for 75,000 troops in response to the bombardment of Fort Sumter. Garland served in the Provisional Confederate Congress, and was later elected to the Confederate House of Representatives in the 1st Confederate Congress in 1861. He was re-elected in 1863, and in 1864 he was appointed to the Confederate Senate. He made efforts to establish a Confederate Supreme Court and supported the administration of President Jefferson Davis. Garland was pardoned by President Andrew Johnson on July 15, 1865, but was prohibited from practicing law due to a provision passed by the U.S. Congress on January 24, 1865, stripping the law license of all lawyers who worked with the Confederate government or military. Garland petitioned the Supreme Court that this law was unconstitutional, and won a 5-4 decision on January 14, 1867. He won election to the U.S. Senate in 1867, but was unable to take his seat as Arkansas had not yet been re-admitted to the Union. Instead he went back to his law practice keeping his eye on politics in the meantime. He was elected Governor of Arkansas in 1874, and served until 1877. He then served as U.S. Senator from Arkansas, 1877-85. He was appointed Attorney General, of the United States, by President Grover Cleveland, and served from 1885-89. He resumed practicing law in Washington, D.C., in 1889, and published a number of books, including The Constitution As It Is; Experience in the Supreme Court of the United States, with Some Reflections and Suggestions as to that Tribunal; Third Term Presidential; Experience in the Supreme Court of the United States; and Treatise of the Constitution and Jurisdiction of the United States Courts. On January 26, 1899, while arguing a case before the Supreme Court, Garland suffered a stroke and died a few hours later in the Capitol.
Signature With Date: 3 x 2 1/4, in ink, Truly &, A.H. Garland, May 6/87. Thin cut in the bottom of the paper has been repaired on the reverse with archival document tape. This does not affect the signature.