Strangers to Us All
Lawyers and Poetry

Augustus Aurelius Coleman

(1826- )

Augustus Aurelius Coleman "was born in Camden, South Carolina, in 1826, but came to Alabama when a small boy. . . . He was graduated at Yale College, was admitted to the bar in 1848, and nine years later received the appointment of Circuit Court Judge, and a few months later was elected to the position for a term of six years. . . . He was one of the most active and influential of the founders of the Southern University . . . . Judge Coleman was long an esteemed citizen of Greenboro, Ala. But from this place he removed to Birmingham, Al[abama]." [The Magazine of Poetry: A Quarterly Review 439-440 (Buffalo, New York: Charles Wells Moulton, 1891)(vol. 3)][online text] [One source has Coleman's date of birth as May 21, 1825.]

Coleman moved to Alabama with his father in 1833. "His mother died the year before, and his father, who was a lawyer, died in 1836, in Cahaba, where he had settled. [Coleman] was graduated at Yale College . . . . Having read law under Messrs. C.G. Edwards and Wm. Hunter, he came to the bar in 1847. Opening an office in Cahaba, he remained there two years, then removed to Livingston. . . . [H]e accepted the appointment of circuit court judge in January 1858. In May following he was elected to the position for a term of six years . . . . He represented Sumter in the constitutional convention in 1861 . . . . In the dark hours of March 1862, when the fall of Fort Donelson and the disaster on Roanoke Island cast a gloom over the confederacy, he tendered his resignation to the governor (which was not accepted) and called for troops from the stump and through the press. Within four weeks a . . . body of men rendezvoused at Mobile, organized as the 40th Alabama, and elected him colonel. He shared the fortunes of this regiment for a year, then resigned because of ill-health, and resumed his judicial duties. In 1864 he was re-elected to the bench . . . . He discharged his duties till the overthrow of the confederacy, when he . . . practiced his profession in Greenesboro." [W. Brewer, Alabama, Her History, Resources, War Record, and Public Men. From 1540 to 1872 276-277 (Montgomery, Alabama: Barrett & Brown, 1972)] [online text]