Born: 1815-09-07 Jefferson County, Georgia
Died: 1868-10-09 New York, New York
Cobb moved with his father to Athens, Georgia, in childhood. He graduated from Franklin College at Athens in 1834. Cobb married Mary Ann Lamar in 1835, with whom he had six children. He also acquired, through marriage, a large estate, including several cotton plantations and 200 slaves. He studied law and earned admittance to the bar and started a practice in Athens in 1836. Cobb served as solicitor general of the Western Judicial Circuit of Georgia from 1837 to 1841. He won election, as a Democrat, to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1843, and served the three succeeding Congresses, until 1851. He served as speaker of the House from 1849-50. Cobb served as governor of Georgia from 1851-53. He won election back to Congress in 1855, serving until 1857. He served as secretary of the Treasury during James Buchanan's presidency from 1857 until he resigned in 1860. Cobb served as chairman of the convention of delegates from the seceded states in 1861, and assisted in the formation of the Confederate Government. Cobb earned appointment in the Confederate Army as a brigadier general in 1862, and appointment to major general in 1863. He surrendered in Macon, Georgia on April 20, 1864.
Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1996 (Alexandria, VA: CQ Staff Directories, 1997), 834; Gravestone, Oconee Hill Cemetery, Athens, GA; Brooks D. Simpson, "Cobb, Howell," American National Biography (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 5:99-100.