Liberty Hall is also called Liberty House and is the location where Alexander Stephens lived. Stephens was Vice President of the Confederate States of America. This home was constructed after the Civil War from 1872-1873. Prior to this home was a different house, in which Stephens lived. The home can be found in Crawfordville, Georgia, and is included in the Alexander H. Stephens State Historic Park.
The first floor of Liberty Hall consists of Stephens’
bedroom which includes the wheelchair he used.
He was chronically sick the majority of his adult life and did not often
surpass 95 pounds; a table near the bed had bottles placed on them consisting
medication that was popular in the time period.
Located in the anterior of the home is a men’s sitting room, and the
women’s sitting room is located in the back of the first floor. While living here several prominent people
came to see Stephens such as, Robert Toombs, Howell Cobb, and Thomas Cobb. Toombs lived not far from the home in
Washington, Georgia and so had his own room at Liberty Hall on its upper floor.
Located in a different building at the rear of the house,
is a kitchen; this location was normal of homes in the time period to prevent
the oven from making the house hot in the summer season. This particular location for a kitchen diminished
the chances of a fire starting in the house as well. Author of Gone
with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell, knew of the existence of Liberty Hall. In fact Mitchell used the home as inspiration
for her famous novel. Mitchell has been
recorded to have said that idea for the plantation house “Tara,” on the novel’s
O’Hara plantation, came from Liberty Hall and the Fitzgerald home of Clayton
County, Georgia. While Liberty Hall was
the inspiration of the plantation house in the 1939 film version of the novel,
the real home and the fictional home slightly differ from each other. Mitchell was drawn to the irregular, free
design of the house.
There is a tiny Confederate Museum located beside the
house that is controlled by the State of Georgia.1 There is a statue of Alexander Stephens
placed before the house.2 The Alexander
H. Stephens Historic Park did not gain possession of the site until 1933. The park was created by the Civilian
Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC
created the park so that the community would have something to do, and it
salvaged the historic aspects of Liberty Hall.
Stephens originally bought the property two years following his
admittance into the U.S. Congress in 1843.
Despite not agreeing with Georgia’s decision to secede
from the Union, Stephens was selected as the Vice President of the Confederate
States in 1862. He and Confederate
President Jefferson Davis clashed frequently, however Stephens did his job as
Vice President the best he could up to the closing of the Civil War. Stephens was put in a jail in the North for
five months following the end of the war.
He eventually came back to Crawfordville where he would remain up to his
death. Stephens was eventually reelected
into the U.S. Congress and even became Governor of Georgia. After his death, Stephens was laid to rest at