Charles J. Jenkins

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Charles Jones Jenkins
44th Governor of Georgia
In office
December 14, 1865 – January 13, 1868
Preceded byJames Johnson
Succeeded byThomas H. Ruger
Attorney General of Georgia
In office
Personal details
Born(1805-01-06)January 6, 1805
Beaufort, South Carolina
DiedJune 14, 1883(1883-06-14) (aged 78)
Augusta, Georgia
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materUnion College
ProfessionLawyer, politician

Charles Jones Jenkins (January 6, 1805 – June 14, 1883) was an American politician from Georgia. A Democrat, Jenkins served as Attorney General of Georgia from 1831–1834. He then went on to serve as Governor of Georgia from December 14, 1865 to January 13, 1868. He was removed from office and replaced by Thomas H. Ruger as military governor after Jenkins refused to allow state funds to be used for a racially integrated state constitutional convention. Jenkins remained a respected figure in Georgia, and despite not running for the office, he received two electoral votes in the 1872 United States presidential election, due to the premature death of candidate Horace Greeley.

Early life[edit]

Jenkins was born in South Carolina. His family moved to Jefferson County, Georgia, and he attended the University of Georgia in Athens at a young age; his exact dates of attendance are not known.[1] Jenkins left the university before graduating and finished his education in 1824 at Union College in Schenectady, New York. In 1831 Jenkins succeeded George W. Crawford as attorney general for the State of Georgia, himself succeeded in 1834 by Ebenezer Starnes.[2]

Political life[edit]

Jenkins first gained widespread attention as the author of the Georgia Platform, a proclamation by a special state convention that endorsed the Compromise of 1850.[3] In the 1852 Presidential election, he ran for Vice President under presidential candidate Daniel Webster for the "Union Party". During the American Civil War, he was appointed by Governor Joseph E. Brown as a justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia.

After a state constitutional convention in 1865 re-established Georgia's state government, he ran as the only candidate for governor. He served as the Governor of Georgia from 1865 to 1868, during Reconstruction. In 1868, he refused to allow state funds to be used for a racially integrated state constitutional convention that was supervised by the U.S. military occupation.[4] In response, General George Meade (of the Third Military District) installed Brig. General Thomas H. Ruger as military governor and Jenkins fled the state, taking with him the state seal to thwart state fund payments which had been ordered by the United States military authority.[5] He later returned.[6]

In the 1872 U.S. presidential election, he received two electoral college votes. In that election, Liberal Republican candidate Horace Greeley died after the election but before the electors convened and so two electors from Georgia cast their votes for Jenkins.[7]

In the state constitutional convention of 1877, delegates unanimously chose Jenkins as president of the convention when they assembled on July 11, 1877.[8]

Death and legacy[edit]

Jenkins died on June 14, 1883. He was interred in Summerville Cemetery in Augusta, Georgia.

Jenkins County, Georgia is named in his honor.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Reed, Thomas Walter. "History of the University of Georgia". Digital Library of Georgia. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  2. ^ Jones, Charles Colcock; Dutcher, Salem (1890). Memorial History of Augusta, Georgia : from Its Settlement in 1735 to 1890. Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co., Publishers. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  3. ^ McCrary, Royce (Winter 1970). "The Authorship of the Georgia Platform of 1850: A Letter by Charles J. Jenkins". Georgia Historical Quarterly. 54 (4): 585–590. JSTOR 40579248.
  4. ^ Remillard, Arthur (2011). Southern Civil Religions : Imagining the Good Society in the Post-Reconstruction Era. University of Georgia Press. p. 19. ISBN 9780820336855.
  5. ^ "The Great Seal of Georgia". GeorgiaInfo: an Online Georgia Almanac. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  6. ^ Knight, Lucian Lamar (1917). A Standard History of Georgia and Georgians. Vol. 2. Lewish publishing Company. p. 830. ISBN 9785876667304. OCLC 1855247.
  7. ^ "Presidential electors in 1872". Electoral College Vote Lists, Elections Division, Secretary of State, RG 02-02-025-08, Georgia Archives. Digital Library of Georgia. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  8. ^ Garrison, Ellen (Winter 2006). "Reactionaries or Reformers? Membership and Leadership of the Georgia Constitutional Convention of 1877". Georgia Historical Quarterly. 90 (4). Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  9. ^ Krakow, Kenneth K. (1975). Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origins (PDF). Macon, GA: Winship Press. p. 120. ISBN 0-915430-00-2.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by Constitutional Union nominee for Governor of Georgia
Succeeded by
Legal offices
Preceded by Attorney General of Georgia
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Governor of Georgia
Succeeded by