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Martin Jenkins Crawford

congressman , farmer , judge , lawyer

Martin Jenkins Crawford, American congressman, jurist. member Georgia Legislature, 1845-1847; member United States House of Representatives from Georgia, 34th-36th congresses, 1855-1861.


Crawford, Martin Jenkins was born on March 17, 1820 in Jasper County, Georgia, United States. Son of Hardy and Betsey (Jenkins).


Private school.


Educated at Brownwood Institute and Mercer University, he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1839 in Hamilton, Harris County, Georgia. Crawford was a farmer and a Baptist like his father. He married Amanda J. Reese on December 29, 1842.

They had five children. He served in the state House of Representatives from 1845 to 1847. In 1849, he moved to Columbus, Muscogee County, where he was a member of the law firm of Ingram and Porter.

In 1850, he was a delegate to the Southern rights convention in Nashville, and in 1854, he was named judge of the Superior Court of the Chattahoochee Circuit. He served as a Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1855 to 1861, where he opposed the Know-Nothing party and was a moderate secessionist who strongly advocated states’ rights. He withdrew from Washington and the Congress when Georgia seceded.

In the provisional Confederate Congress, he was a member of the Commercial Affairs and Accounts Committees and supported Howell Cobb for the presidency of the Confederacy. President Davis appointed him a special peace commissioner to the United States in 1861. Crawford also organized the 3rd Regiment of Georgia Cavalry and served in 1862-1863 as a colonel on the staff of Howell Cobb.

He served mainly in Georgia. The war ruined him financially. Crawford resumed his law practice in Columbus.

He served as judge of the Superior Court of the Chattahoochee Circuit again from 1875 to 1880 and as an associate justice of the Georgia Supreme Court from 1880 until his death on July 23,1883, in Columbus. Candler and Evans (eds.), Cyclopedia of Georgia, II. Northen (ed.), Men of Mark in Georgia, III.


"Peculiar institution" of slavery was not only expedient but also ordained by God and upheld in Holy Scripture.


Stands for preserving slavery, states' rights, and political liberty for whites. Every individual state is sovereign, even to the point of secession.


Member Georgia Legislature, 1845-1847. Member United States House of Representatives from Georgia, 34th-36th congresses, 1855-1861.


Married Amanda Reese, 1842.

Hardy Crawford

Betsey (Jenkins). Crawford

Amanda Reese