Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry
Although he played an active role in the events of 1861-65, Jabez L. M. Curry's greatest service to the South was performed in the postwar period. Born in Georgia, Curry moved to Alabama and began the practice of law. After several terms in the state legislature, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1856 where he remained until the secession of his state. An early secessionist, he was named to the Provisional Confederate Congress and served on the committees on: Commercial Affairs; Flag and Seal; and Postal Affairs. Running unopposed, he took his seat in the First Regular Congress. He chaired the Committee on Commerce and sat on the Committee on Elections.
A consistent supporter of the war effort, he urged President Davis to take the field personally. As a lame duck, having been defeated for reelection in the 1863 elections, Curry was a driving force behind the call for additional sacrifices made by the First Congress as it adjourned.
Having also lost a bid for a senatorship, Curry was appointed lieutenant colonel, 5th Alabama Cavalry, and commanded the regiment in central Alabama during the final stages of the war. His only previous military experience had been a brief stint in the Mexican War. Becoming a Baptist preacher, he became involved in education, establishing a public school system throughout most of the former Confederacy. His work was occasionally interrupted by diplomatic appointments, but he was active in education until his death. (Alderman, Edwin and Gordon, Armistead,J.L.M Curry: A Biography)
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