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Augustus Hill Garland

Augustus Hill Garland was an Arkansas lawyer and politician. He was a senator in both the United States and the Confederate States, served as 11th Governor of Arkansas and as Attorney General of the United States in the first administration of Grover Cleveland.


  • Garland was born in Covington, Tennessee, on June 11, 1832, to Rufus and Barbara Hill Garland. Along with his parents, his older brother, Rufus, and older sister, Elizabeth, the family moved to Lost Prairie in Arkansas in 1833 where his father owned a store. His father died when Garland was still a baby and his mother then wed Thomas Hubbard in 1836. Hubbard relocated the family to Washington, Arkansas, near the Hempstead County seat of Hope.

  • Education

    • Garland attended Spring Hill Male Academy from 1838 to 1843.

      He attended St. Mary's College in Lebanon, Kentucky, and graduated from St. Joseph's College in Bardstown, Kentucky, in 1849.


    • Garland taught at Brounstown School in Mine Creek, Sevier County, but returned to Washington to study law with Hempstead County clerk Simon Sanders.

      Garland became one of Arkansas's most prominent attorneys and was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States in 1860.

      The election of Republican Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency of the United States led to the secession of the Deep South states from the Union. Garland consistently opposed secession and advocated Arkansas's continued allegiance to the United States. He was elected to represent Pulaski County at the 1861 secession convention in Little Rock, where he voiced his opposition.

      At the end of the Civil War, Garland was pardoned by President Andrew Johnson on July 15, 1865. Despite this pardon, he was prohibited from practicing law due to a provision passed by the United States Congress on January 24, 1865, stripping the law licenses of all lawyers who worked with the Confederate government or military. Garland became the petitioner in the case of Ex parte Garland in which he made the argument that it was unconstitutional and a violation of ex post facto.

      Garland resigned from the Senate in 1885 after accepting the appointment of Attorney General of the United States by newly elected President Grover Cleveland, becoming the first Arkansan to receive a cabinet post.

    Major achievements

    • Garland County, Arkansas, Garland, Arkansas, and Garland, Texas, were named in his honor.


    • Experience in the Supreme Court of the United States, 1898
    • (with Robert Ralston) A Treatise on the Constitution and Jurisdiction of the United States Courts, 2 volumes, 1898


    Party affiliation: Democratic Party


    Augustus Hill Garland
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    Born June 11, 1832
    Died January 26, 1899
    (aged 66)
    • 1849
      St. Joseph's College, Bardstown, Kentucky
    • 1838 - 1843
      Spring Hill Male Academy
    • 1850
      Arkansas Bar
      Arkansas, United States
    • 1850 - 1856
      practiced law
      Arkansas, Washington
    • 1856 - 1861
      partner (with Ebenezer Cummins), law firm
      Arkansas, Little Rock
    • 1860
      practice, the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States
    • 1861
      delaware Confederate Provisional Congress
    • 1861 - 1864
      member, 1st, 2d Confederate congresses from Arkansas
    • 1864 - 1865
      member, Confederate Senate
    • 1865
      pardoned for Confederate activities by President Andrew Johnson
    • 1865
      readmitted to practice before United States Supreme Court
    • 1867
      elected to United States Senate from Arkansas, not seated
    • 1874 - 1877
      government of Arkansas
    • 1877 - 1885
      member, United States Senate from Arkansas
    • 1885 - 1889
      United States attorney general under President Grover Cleveland
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