Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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CURRY, Jabez Lamar Monroe, educator, born in Lincoln County, Georgia, 5 June 1825 He removed with his father to Talladega County, Ala., in 1838, was graduated at the University of Georgia in 1843, and at Harvard law-school in 1845. After entering on the practice of his profession in Talladega County, he served in the Mexican war as a private of Texas rangers in 1846, but resigned on account of his health. He was chosen to the Alabama legislature in 1847, 1853, and 1855, and in 1856 was an elector on the democratic ticket. He was then elected to congress without opposition, as a state-rights democrat, and served from 7 December 1857, till 21 January 1861, when he resigned, having previously joined with the other Alabama representatives at Washington in advising the immediate secession of the state. He was a deputy from Alabama to the provisional Confed-crate congress, a representative in the first Confederate congress, and in 1864-'5 served in the Confederate army, under General Joseph E. Johnston, as lieutenant colonel of cavalry. At the close of the war he was ordained as a Baptist clergyman, was president of Howard College, Ala., in 1866-'8, and professor of English, philosophy, and constitutional law in Richmond College, Virginia, in 1868-'81. He was president of the foreign mission board of the southern Baptist convention in 1874-'85, and of the trustees of Richmond College in 1882-'5. In 1881-'5 Dr. Curry was general agent of the Peabody educational fund, and he has "labored in behalf of public-school education, higher, normal, and industrial, for all the people of both races." Dr. Curry is one of the most effective platform speakers in the country, and has declined numerous invitations to become a pastor, preferring to preach occasionally. An address made by him before the Evangelical alliance, urging the complete separation of Church and state, was reprinted and distributed in England by the disestablishment party. In the spring of 1885 Dr. Curry was appointed U. S. minister to Spain, and in that capacity he has settled several important questions that have been pending for years. Mercer University, Georgia, gave him the degree of LL. D. in 1867, and Rochester University that of D. D. in 1871. He is a contributor to the religious press, and has published speeches and pamphlets.
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