Advocate for education; college professor;  legislator; attorney. Born– June 5, 1825, near Double Branches (Lincoln County), Georgia. Parents– William and Susan (Winn) Curry. Married Ann Bowie, March 4, 1847. Children–four.  Married Mary Wortham Thomas, June 25, 1867. Education–graduated from the University of Georgia, 1843; from Dane Law School at Harvard, 1845.  Admitted to the bar in Talladega, 1846; sat in the Alabama legislature in 1847, 1855, and 1857; U.S. Congressman, 1852-1861 (withdrew with other Southerners, 1861); Confederate Congressman, 1861-1863. Served as a lieutenant colonel in the Confederate cavalry, 1864-65. Ordained as a Baptist minister, 1865; served as president of Howard College, 1865-68; professor of philosophy and law at Richmond College, Virginia, 1868-81.  General agent for the Peabody Fund (a private foundation established for the promotion of education in the South), after 1881.  Used the position to advocate for public education in the South, including the establishment of state normal schools for teacher preparation, the acceptance of responsibility for rural schools by state legislatures, and the provision of public schools for both black and white children.  Considered the father of public schools in the states of the old Confederacy.  Helped to organize the Southern Education Board and served as its director until his death.  Twice appointed U.S. Ambassador to Spain, 1885-88 and 1902.  One of two Alabama citizens honored by having a statue placed in the U. S. Capitol. Died February 12, 1903.


Who Was Who in Alabama; Biographical Directory of the Library of Congress.


A Baptist Church Radically Different from Pedobaptist Churches. Phildelphia; American Baptist Publications Society, 1900.

A Brief Sketch of George Peabody, and a History of the Peabody Education Fund Through Thirty Years. Cambridge, Mass.; Harvard University Press, 1898.

The Cherokee Indians in Georgia. University, Ala.; Confederate Publishing Co., 1980.

Civil History of the Government of the Confederate States, with Some Personal Reminiscences. Richmond, Va.; B. F. Johnson Publishing Co., 1900.

Constitutional Government in Spain; a Sketch. New York; Harper & Brothers, 1889.

Difficulties, Complications, and Limitations Connected with the Education of the Negro. Baltimore; Trustees of the John F. Slater Fund, 1895.

Diplomatic Services of George William Erving. Cambridge, Mass.; J. Wilson, 1890.

Education of the Negro Since 1860. Baltimore; Trustees of the John F. Slater Fund, 1894.

Establishment and Disestablishment in America.  N.P., 1899.

Georgia in the 1840′s.  Confederate Publishing Col, 1980.

Hon. Francis Strother Lyon as Commissioner and Trustee of Alabama; a Sketch. New York; Putnam, 1889.

National Peril Remedy. Richmond, Va.; Dispatch Steam Printing House, 1884.

National Problem of Southern Education. Richmond, Va.; Dispatch Steam Printing House, 1882

North American Colonization, with Particular Reference to Virginia and the Carolinas. Washington, D.C.; s.n., 1896.

Papers and Addresses. S.l.; s.n., 1847.

Perils and Duty of the South. Washington, D.C.; L. Tower Printer, 1860.

The Present Condition of Religious Liberty Throughout the World. S.l.; s.n., 1893.

Principles, Acts, and Utterances of John C. Calhoun, Promotive of the True Union of the States. Chicago; University of Chicago Press, 1898.

The Southern States of the American Union Considered in Their Relations to the Constitution of the United States and to the Resulting Union. New York; Putnam, 1894.

Struggles and Triumphs of Virginia Baptists. Philadelphia; American Baptist Publications Society, 1873.

William Ewart Gladstone. Richnond, Va.; B. F. Johnson, 1891.

Published Speeches and Addresses;

Address before the Virginia State Agricultural Society. Richmond, Va.; Fergusson, 1875.

Address Delivered December 13th, 1888. Atlanta; W. J. Campbell, 1889.

Address Delivered February 6th, 1885. Montgomery, Ala.; s.n., 1885.

Address of Hon. J. L. M. Curry delivered before the Association of Confederate Veterans, Richmond, Va., July 1, 1896. Richmond, Va.; Brown Printing Co., 1896.

Admission of Kansas. Speech of Mr. J. L. M. Curry, of Alabama, in the House of Representatives, February 23, 1858, on the Admission of Kansas as a State …. Washington, D.C.; Congressional Globe Office, 1858.

Causes of the Power and Prosperity of the United State. An address delivered at the annual commencement of the University of Michigan, Thursday, June 27, 1889. Ann Arbor, Mich.; Board of Regents, University of Michigan, 1889.

The Constitutional Rights of the States. Speech of J. L. M. Curry of Alabama, in the House of Representatives, March 14, 1860. Washington, D.C.; McGill Printing Co., 1860.

Lessons of the Yorktown Centennial. Address of the Hon. J. L. M. Curry, LL.D. Richmond, Va.; Dispatch Steam Printing House, 1881.

Proceedings of the Winthrop Training School, Memorial Day, May 12, 1889, with the memorial address of Hon. J. L. M. Curry. Columbia, S.C.; Bryan Printing Co., 1898.

Speech of Hon. J. L. M. Curry, general agent of the Peabody Education Fund, delivered before the North Carolina legislature, January 21, 1891. Raleigh, N.C.; J. Daniels Printer, 1891.

Speech of J. L. M. Curry of Alabama, on the bill granting pensions to the soldiers of the war of 1812. Washington, D.C.; L. Towers, 1858.

Speech of J. L. M. Curry of Alabama, on the selection of speaker, and the progress of anti-slaveryism, delivered in the House of Representatives, December 10, 1859. Washington, D.C.; L. Towers, 1859.

Speech of Jabez L. M. Curry of Alabama, on the Expenditure and the Tariff, delivered in the House of Representatives, February 24th, 1859. S.l.; T. McGill, 1859.


The papers of J. L. M. Curry are distributed over several libraries;  larger collections are held by the Library of Congress and the Alabama Department of Archives and History;  smaller collections are found at several libraries, including Duke University and the University of North Carolina.