Sunday, January 24, 2010
Here Rests Senator Morgan
Here lies John Tyler Morgan, U.S. senator, Confederate general, Cahawba lawyer. While he avoided accolades in life, even requesting no eulogies at his funeral, his name lives on in Selma. We have the John Tyler Morgan Bridge across the Alabama River on the bypass, John Tyler Morgan Academy, and the John Tyler Morgan house that now houses office for Cahawba archaeology.
Morgan moved to Dallas County to become an attorney in Cahawba, then enlisted as a private in the Cahaba Rifles but later received promotion to brigadier general on recommendation of Robert E. Lee. After the war, he lost his license to practice law anywhere but Alabama but later he became a U.S. senator and fought for federal funds for public education and a canal that would connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. He lived to see that approved but was dismayed that it was to be built across Panama rather than Nicaraugua, which he claimed would have eliminated the need for complicated locks.
When he died in 1907, there was great fanfare with national politicians in Selma and quite a procession to the cemetery.