Thanks, Abe

Thanks, Abe

Photo by: Peter Frey

The Stephens siblings owe their existence to President Abraham Lincoln—and the proof is on display at UGA. (Left to right) Winston Stephens (AB ’63); Rob Stephens, a 1971 graduate of the Medical College of Georgia; Lawton Stephens (JD ’81) and Mary Hopper (AB ’74, MPA ’83) are descendants of Alexander Stephens, vice president of the Confederacy. In 1865 Stephens and Lincoln met in an attempt to negotiate the end of the Civil War. The session ended without progress, but Lincoln asked Stephens—a former Congressional colleague—if there was anything else he could do for him. And there was: Stephens’ nephew, John, had been captured by the Union, and Lincoln agreed to release him if the Confederacy would release a Union soldier of equivalent rank. After his release, John Stephens was taken to the White House, where Lincoln presented him with a letter to deliver to his uncle. The letter was handed down through the Stephens family and now is displayed at UGA’s Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscript Library (