Site Navigation

 

PAST PRESIDENTS AND SECRETARIES

THE ALABAMA SENATE

 

 


Year President Secretary
1818 (1st T) James Titus Curtis Hooks
1818 (2nd T) James Titus Curtis Hooks (resigned)
Peter Martin 
1819 Thomas Bibb (Limestone) Thomas A. Rogers
1820-21 Gabriel Moore (Madison) Marmaduke D. Williams
1821 John D. Terrell (Marion) Francis S. Lyon
1822-29 Nicholas Davis (Limestone) Francis S. Lyon
1829-30 Levin Powell (Tuscaloosa) Francis S. Lyon
1830-31 Samuel B. Moore (Jackson) Francis S. Lyon
1831-32 James Jackson (Lauderdale) Charles D. Connor
1832-33 Levin Powell (Tuscaloosa) Charles D. Connor
1833-34 John Erwin (Greene) Charles D. Connor
1834-35 Francis S. Lyon (Marengo/Sumter) David S. Morton
1835-36 Samuel B. Moore (Pickens) Charles D. Connor
1836-37 Hugh McVay (Lauderdale) Charles D. Connor
1837 Jesse Beene (Dallas) Charles D. Connor
1838-39 James M. Calhoun (Dallas) Jones M. Withers
1839-40 Green P. Rice (Morgan/Walker)* Pleasant Hill
  Hugh McVay  
1840-41 James L. F. Cottrell (Lowndes) Pleasant Hill
1841-42 Nathaniel Terry (Limestone) Benjamin A. Philpot
1842-43 Nathaniel Terry (Limestone) George B. Clitherall
1843-44 Nathaniel Terry (Limestone) William J. Couch
1844-45 Nathaniel Terry (Limestone) Pleasant Hill
1845-46 John A. Winston (Sumter) Pleasant Hill
1847-48 John A. Winston (Sumter) Jennings F. Marrast
1849-50 Dennis Dent (Tuscaloosa) Jennings F. Marrast
1851-52 Charles McLemore (Chambers) William L. Cain
1853-54 William B. Martin (Benton)** Joseph H. Phelan (Coosa)
1855-56 Benjamin C. Yancey (Cherokee) Joseph H. Phelan (Coosa)
1857-58 James M. Calhoun (Dallas) Joseph H. Phelan (Coosa)
1859-61 John D. Rather (Morgan/Limestone) Micah Taul (Talladega)
1861-62 Robert M. Patton (Lauderdale) Micah Taul (Talladega)
1862 James M. Calhoun (Dallas)*** Micah Taul (Talladega)
1863 (S) Robert Jemison, (Tuscaloosa)**** Micah Taul (Talladega)
  Thomas A. Walker (Calhoun)  
1863-64 Thomas A. Walker (Calhoun) Micah Taul (Talladega)
1865-67 Walter H. Crenshaw (Butler) Micah Taul (Talladega)#
    William H. Garrett (Coosa)
1868 (S) Andrew J. Applegate (Lt. Gov.) Matthew P. Blue (Montgomery)
1868 (S) J. DeForrest Richards***** Matthew P. Blue (Montgomery)
1868-70 Andrew J. Applegate (Lt. Gov.) Matthew P. Blue (Montgomery)
1870-72 Edward H. Moren (Lt. Gov.) Matthew P. Blue (Montgomery)
1872-73 (C/C) Alexander McKinstry (Lt. Gov.) Mike L. Woods (Montgomery)
  Edward H. Moren (Lt. Gov.) Matthew P. Blue (Montgomery)
1873 Alexander McKinstry (Lt. Gov.) Mike L. Woods (Montgomery)
1874-76 Robert F. Ligon (Lt. Gov.) Samuel B. Brewer (Montgomery)
1876-77 Rufus W. Cobb (Shelby) Jesse M. Carmichael (Dale)
1878-79 William G. Little, Jr. (Sumter) William L. Clay (Madison)
1880-81 John D. Rather (Colbert) William L. Clay (Madison)
1882-83 George P. Harrison, Jr. (Lee) William L. Clay (Madison)
1884-85 Thomas Seay (Hale) William L. Clay (Madison)
1886-87 William J. Samford (Lee) William L. Clay (Madison)
1888-91 Andrew C. Hargrove (Tuscaloosa) William L. Clay (Madison)
1892-93 Jordan C. Compton (Dallas) William L. Clay (Madison)
1894-95 Francis L. Pettus (Dallas) William L. Clay (Madison)
1896-97 Anthony Dickinson Sayre (Montgomery) John F. Proctor (Jackson)
  Francis L. Pettus (Dallas)******  
1898-99 Russell M. Cunningham (Jefferson) John F. Proctor (Jackson)
1900-01 William Dorsey Jelks (Barbour) Elmore Garrett (Calhoun)
1903-07 Russell M. Cunningham (Lt. Gov.) Elmore Garrett (Calhoun)
1907-11 Henry Gray (Lt. Gov.) James A. Kyle (Jackson)
1911-15 Walter D. Seed (Lt. Gov.) James A. Kyle (Jackson)
1915-19 Thomas E. Kilby (Lt. Gov.) James A. Kyle (Jackson)
1919-23 Nathan L. Miller (Lt. Gov.) Walter F. Miller (Colbert)
1923-27 Charles S. McDowell, Jr. (Lt. Gov.) Jesse E. Speight (Covington)
1927-31 William C. Davis (Lt. Gov.) Jesse E. Speight (Covington)
1931-35 Hugh D. Merrill (Lt. Gov.) Jesse E. Speight (Montgomery)
1935-39 Thomas E. Knight, Jr. (Lt. Gov.)+ Jesse E. Speight (Montgomery)
1939-43 Albert A. Carmichael (Lt. Gov.) Jesse E. Speight (Montgomery)
1943-47 L. Handy Ellis (Lt. Gov.) Jesse E. Speight (Montgomery)
1947-51 J. Clarence Inzer (Lt. Gov.) Jesse E. Speight (Montgomery)
1951-55 James B. Allen (Lt. Gov.) Jesse E. Speight (Montgomery)
1955-59 W. Guy Hardwick (Lt. Gov.) Jesse E. Speight (Montgomery)
1959-63 Albert Boutwell (Lt. Gov.) Jesse E. Speight (Montgomery)
1963-67 James B. Allen (Lt. Gov.) Jesse E. Speight (Montgomery)##
    McDowell Lee (Barbour)
1967-68 Albert Brewer (Lt. Gov.)******* McDowell Lee (Montgomery)
1968-71 Joe Goodwyn (Pro-Tem) McDowell Lee (Montgomery)
1971-79 Jere Beasley (Lt. Gov.) McDowell Lee (Montgomery)
1979-83 George D. H. McMillan (Lt. Gov.) McDowell Lee (Montgomery)
1983-87 William J. Baxley (Lt. Gov.) McDowell Lee (Montgomery)
1987-93 James E. Folsom, Jr. (Lt. Gov.)++ McDowell Lee (Montgomery)
1993-95 Ryan deGraffenried, Jr. (Pro-Tem) McDowell Lee (Montgomery)
1995-99 Don Siegelman (Lt. Gov.) McDowell Lee (Montgomery)
1999 - 2003 Steve Windom (Lt. Gov.) McDowell Lee (Montgomery)
2003 - 2007 Lucy Baxley (Lt. Gov.) McDowell Lee (Montgomery)
2007 - 2011 James E. Folsom, Jr. (Lt. Gov.) McDowell Lee (Montgomery)
2011 - Present Kay Ivey (Lt. Gov.) McDowell Lee (Montgomery) ###
    David Patrick Harris (Montgomery)
Keys:

(T) Territorial Legislative Council. The upper chamber, during the two sessions of the Territorial Assembly, was known as the Legislative Council, as specified in the Congressional enabling act, creating the Alabama Territory. Since 1819, the upper house has been known as the Alabama Senate.

(S) Special, or Called, Session. This denotes that a change, in either the President or Secretary, was made during a Special Session. In the 19th Century, such sessions were officially known as Called Sessions.

(C/C) Capitol v. Courthouse Legislatures. In 1872, while Alabama was still under federal military occupation, the state elections resulted in substantial majorities for the Democrats. A Democratic-controlled Legislature, thus assembled in the Capitol. Republicans charged that fraud and corruption had caused the Democratic victories, and they convened their own Legislature at the Federal Courthouse. After a month, President Grant intervened, and the Republican Lt. Governor Alexander McKinstry, was recognized over the Democrat Edward H. Moren. However, many Democrats retained their seats after investigations resulted in the convening of one Legislature. Mike L. Woods, who had been Secretary of the Senate in the Capitol (Democratic) group, defeated Matthew P. Blue, the Secretary of the Courthouse (Republican) Senate.

Notes:

* Green P. Rice was elected a county judge during this session (December 2, 1839 - February 5, 1840). A resolution was introduced, questioning the constitutionality of his holding two offices simultaneously. On February 4, 1840, Senator Rice was "disqualified" from the Senate. Senator Hugh McVay was unanimously elected President for the last two days of the session.

** Benton County (now Calhoun) was created by Act of the General Assembly, December 18, 1832, in honor of Thomas Hart Benton, United States Senator of Missouri. In the 1850's, when his views became unpopular in Alabama, the Assembly, on January 29, 1858, changed the name of the county to Calhoun, in honor of the late Senator John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina.

*** On the first day of the 1862 Regular Session (November 10 - December 9), Senator Robert M. Patton resigned as President of the Senate, but remained a member of the Senate. Senator James M. Calhoun was elected President.

**** Senator Robert Jemison was elected President of the Senate at the beginning of this Special Session (August 17 - August 29), but resigned from the Senate on August 24th, owing to his election to the Confederate Senate to replace the recently deceased William Lowndes Yancey. Senator Thomas A. Walker was elected President upon his resignation.

# On November 26th, of the 1866-67 Regular Session (November 12, 1866 - February 19, 1867), Micah Taul was elected Secretary of State, and resigned as Secretary of the Senate on February 9, 1867, in order to assume that office. William Garrett was unanimously elected to serve as Secretary of the Senate for the duration of that session.

***** Lt. Governor Andrew J. Applegate missed the entirety of this Special Session (September 16 - October 10, 1868). Senator J. DeForrest Richards was elected President Pro Tempore and presided for the entire session.

****** Senator Anthony D. Sayre was elected President of the Senate of this Regular Session (November 10, 1896 - February 18, 1897). He resigned as President of the Senate, but not as a Senator, on February 15th, feeling a conflict of interest arose upon his being appointed a Judge, subject to Confirmation by the Senate. Senator Francis Pettus was elected President Pro Tempore and presided over the Senate for the remaining days of the session.

+ Lt. Governor Thomas E. Knight, Jr., died in 1938, an election year. No sessions were held between his death, and the convening of the 1939 Regular Session.

## Jesse Earl Speight died July 12, 1963, during the 1963 Regular Session. On July 16th, McDowell Lee was unanimously elected Secretary of the Senate.

******* Lt. Governor Albert Brewer became Governor, upon the death of Governor Lurleen Wallace, May 7, 1968. Senator Joe Goodwin, President Pro Tempore, presided over the Senate thereafter, and opened the 1971 Organizational Session.

++ Lt. Governor James E. Folsom, Jr., became Governor, upon the disqualification of Governor Guy Hunt, April 22, 1993. Senator Ryan deGraffenried, President Pro Tempore, presided over the Senate for the remainder of the quadrennium.

### On December 10, 2010, during an Extraordinary Session, McDowell Lee tendered notice of his retirement as Secretary of the Senate, effective February 1, 2011. David Patrick Harris, Assistant Secretary of the Senate, was unanimously elected as Secretary of the Senate to succeed Mr. Lee, and assumed the office of Secretary on the effective date.

-----------------

Please note that the years presented here denote only those years in which a change was made in either the President or Secretary. These are not indicative of all the sessions of the Alabama Legislature. The reader may also note that the Constitutions of 1868 and 1901 provide for the office of Lieutenant Governor, as ex-officio President of the Senate. Under the Constitutions of 1819, 1861, 1865, and 1875, the Senate elected one of its own members as President.

------------------

For further information regarding Past Presidents and Secretaries of the Alabama Senate, contact:

Mike Murphy
Senate Research Director