Alabama Secretaries of State

Charles Carter Langdon

photo of Alabama Secretary of State Charles Carter Langdon


Secretary of State: 1885-1890


Charles Carter Langdon, editor, mayor of Mobile, member of Alabama legislature and constitutional conventions, 1865 and 1875, Secretary of State, was born August 5, 1805, at Southington, Conn., and died at Mobile, June 8, 1889; son of Captain Giles and Sarah (Carter) Langdon, the former a soldier in the American Revolution, farmer and member of the Connecticut legislature; grandson of Giles and Ruth (Andrews) Langdon, of Southington; great-grandson of Joseph and Rachel (Cowles) Langdon, the latter a daughter of Samuel Cowles of Farmington, Conn.; great-great-grandson of Joseph and Susannah (Root) Langdon, the former a son of George Langdon who immigrated from England about 1646, settling first at Springfield, Mass., and dying at Northampton in 1678. Mr. Langdon was reared on his father's farm and educated at common school and the Episcopal academy at Cheshire Conn., defective eyesight preventing his further education.


He taught in Connecticut district school from his sixteenth to his twentieth year, but abandoned this work to accompany his elder brother, Levi, to Marion, Perry County, who had established a dry goods store at that place in 1825; candidate for Alabama legislature in 1832 and 1833, defeated both times; moved to Mobile, 1834, where he engaged in the cotton commission business with Martin A. Lee; again defeated for the State legislature in 1838 on the Whig platform; appointed editor Mobile Daily Advertiser 1838; mayor of Mobile 1849, annually re-elected with exception of one year, until 1855; defeated for Congress in 1851; represented Mobile in legislature 1855-6, and 1862; member constitutional conventions of 1865 and 1875; elected to legislature 1881-82-83; unsuccessful candidate for governor in 1872 and again in 1878; appointed Secretary of State 1885, appointment confirmed by election 1886. He was an earnest Whig and strong Union man but from the secession of Alabama he loyally supported his state and county. He was ever greatly interested in agriculture and was a trustee of the Agricultural and Mechanical College at Auburn.


Married: August 6, 1829, at Southington, Conn., to Eliza, daughter of Roswell Moore. Children: 1. Sarah L.; 2. Leontine L.; 3. Henry Clay; 4. a son, died in infancy; 5. Charles Carter, jr., died from illness resulting from exposure during the War of Secession having fought with the Confederacy four years. Last residence: Mobile.


Owen, Thomas McAdory, History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography. Spartanburg: The Reprint Company Publishers, 1978 (1921), III, 1008.