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Professor J. L. M. Curry, D. D., LL. D.
The Baptist Encyclopedia, 1881
      Professor J. L. M. Curry, D.D., LL.D., was born m Lincoln Co., Ga., and at the age of thirteen removed to Alabama. Upon his fathers estate he Professor J. L. M. grew up to manhood, when he became the owner of a cotton plantation: which he managed with success. In 1843 he graduated at the University of Georgia, and in 1845 completed his legal course at the Harvard Law School, having as classmates President Hayes, of Ohio, Anson Burlingame, and others distinguished in the councils of the nation. In 1846 he served in the Mexican war with Hays's Texan Rangers. Returning from Mexico, he represented Talladega County for several years in the Alabama Legislature. He also represented his district in the 35th and 36th Congress, in which were such men, as Lamar, Stephens, Cox, Conkling, Adams, and Sherman. Mr. Curry's first speech in Congress, delivered Feb, 23, 1858, in favor of the admission of Kansas under the Lecompton constitution,established his reputation as an orator. During his terms of service in Congress he made several forcible speeches on current national questions, and always held the earnest attention of the House. On the secession of Alabama, he was appointed in 1861, by the convention of that State, a deputy to the Southern Convention, which met in Montgomery in February of that year. In August, 1861, Mr. Curry was elected a delegate to the first regular Congress of the Confederate States from the fourth Congressional district of Alabama. He was chairman of the Committee on Commerce, and at one time Speaker pro tem-pore. The address to the people of the Confederate States, signed by every member of Congress, was the production of his pen. Upon the adjournment of Congress, he joined the army of Gen. J. E. Johnston, then in Georgia, and served in various capacities until the close of the war. In 1865 he was elected president of Howard College, Ala., and in 1868, Professor of English in Richmond College, Va., which position he still holds. In addition to the school of English, Prof. Curry holds that of Philosophy, teaching Logic, and Mental and Moral Science. For several years he also gave lectures in the Law School on Constitutional and International Law. He is an earnest advocate of public schools and of higher education, and has made more addresses in behalf of education than, perhaps, any other man in Virginia. In the recent effort to endow Richmond College, he graveled over a great part of the entire State, and aroused an enthusiasm in behalf of that institution the like of which has never been enlisted in behalf of any other college in the country. Nor should his masterly address before the Evangelical Alliance be forgotten, in which he urged the complete separation of church and state, and which was reprinted and distributed in England by the disestablishment party. Prof. Curry, although a clergyman, has never felt it to be his duty to become a permanent pastor of any church. He preaches, however, whenever and wherever occasion calls for his services, and the large congregations which assemble when he officiates attest his high excellence and deserved reputation as a pulpit orator. Dr. Curry is closely identified with all denominational enterprises. He served as clerk and afterwards as moderator of the Coosa Association, of Alabama; was president of the Alabama State Convention; president of the National Baptist Sunday-School Convention, of Cincinnati, and is now president of the General Association of Virginia, and a trustee of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a frequent contributor to our religious papers, and is at present writing an interesting series of articles on Government, in course of publication in the Religious Herald. In 1867 Mercer University, Ga., conferred on him the honorary degree of LL.D., and in 1871 Rochester University the degree of D. D. Dr. Curry's present wife was Miss May W. Thomas, daughterof James Thomas, Jr., of Richmond. She is the very successful teacher of the infant class of the First Baptist church of that city. It numbers from 180 to 225 pupils, and is said to be by the Sunday-School Times the best conducted infant class its editor has ever seen.

[William Cathcart, The Baptist Encyclopedia, 1881, reprint, 1988, pp. 301-302.]

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