Howell Cobb (American National Biography)

Brooks D. Simpson, "Cobb, Howell," American National Biography Online, February 2000,
At the first national party nominating convention at Charleston, South Carolina, in April [1860], Cobb did not emerge as a serious contender; when, in the wake of that deadlocked meeting, a second convention assembled at Baltimore in June, Stephen Douglas refused to withdraw his candidacy in favor of a Cobb nomination, and Cobb refused to seek a compromise alternative. Cobb's own chances dissolved when bolters from the main Baltimore meeting turned instead to Vice President John C. Breckinridge as their choice. Although Cobb supported Breckinridge, Republican Abraham Lincoln won the election.

Cobb's commitment to the preservation of the Union had eroded during the 1850s, in part because the course of politics rendered his original stance unfeasible if he was to pursue a political career. By 1860 his desire for advancement led him to advocate measures that contributed to the disruption of his once-beloved Democratic party. In the aftermath of Lincoln's victory, Cobb went back on his Unionist principles and supported secession. He resigned his cabinet post on 10 December 1860; on his return to Georgia, he spoke on behalf of immediate secession. Although he was not a delegate to the January 1861 secession convention, he attended its discussions; the next month he served as one of Georgia's representatives to the Montgomery Convention, which established the Confederate States of America.
    How to Cite This Page: "Howell Cobb (American National Biography)," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,