Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FITZPATRICK, Benjamin, senator, born in Green County, Georgia, 30 June 1802; died in Autauga County, Ala., 25 November 1869. He removed to Alabama in 1818, when it was a territory, read law in the office of Judge Benson, of Montgomery, and, after he was admitted to the bar in 1821, became a partner of Henry Goldthwaite, who afterward rose to eminence in his profession. Mr. Fitzpatrick was the next year elected solicitor of the Montgomery circuit, and reelected in 1823. Meanwhile he married a daughter of General John Ehnore, formerly of South Carolina. In 1829 he found the labors of his profession too severe for his declining health, and retired to his plantation in Autauga County, near Montgomery, where he engaged successfully in agriculture. In 1840, as a candidate for presidential elector on the Democratic ticket, he engaged in an active canvass in behalf of Mr. Van Buren, and took part in an animated discussion with Henry W. Hilliard, candidate for elector in the same district on the Whig ticket, who atdentlv advocated the claims of General Harrison.
In 1841 Fitzpatrick was elected governor of Alabama by a majority of nearly 7,000 over Colonel MeLung, of Huntsville, and in 1843 was reelected without opposition. On the death of Hon. Dixon H. Lewis, in 1848, Governor Chapman appointed Mr. Fitzpatrick to fill the unexpired term in the senate of the United States. In 1853 he was appointed by Governor Collier to succeed William R. King in the senate, and was elected by the legislature to fill the unexpired term. In 1855 he was elected to the senate for a full term of six years. He was elected president of the senate pro tempore, and served in four successive sessions. At the Democratic national convention, held in Baltimore in 1860, Mr. Fitzpatrick was nominated for vice president on the ticket with Mr. Douglas, who was a candidate for the presidency" but he promptly declined, and Herschel V. Johnson, of Georgia, was nominated in his place. When Alabama adopted her ordinance of secession in 1861, Mr. Fitzpatrick withdrew from the senate and returned home. At the close of the civil war he took part once more in public affairs, was elected by the people of Autauga County to the convention called to frame a new constitution, and was chosen president of the convention. When it had finished its work he retired to his plantation, where he passed his last years in broken health, but still attending to the duties that pressed upon him as cheerfully as possible in view of the decline of his fortunes resulting from the war. Mr. Fitzpatrick was distinguished for integrity, unswerving loyalty to truth, and manly bearing in public affairs.
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