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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Cobb, Howell

by A. C. Menius III, 1979

3 Aug. 1772–26 May 1818

Howell Cobb, soldier and congressman, was born in Granville County, the son of John and Mildred Lewis Cobbs. He was given the name Howell for a maternal relative. The Cobbs family moved to Georgia in 1783 or 1784, and the family grew to prominence in that state. John and one of his sons, John A., served in the Georgia House of Representatives. The brothers both dropped the final s from their name.

Cobb joined the Second Sub Legion, U.S. Army, as an ensign on 23 Feb. 1793; he was promoted to lieutenant in due course. At the time of his resignation on 31 Jan. 1806, he was captain of artillery and engineers. In the meantime, he had established Cherry Hill Plantation near Louisville, Ga. Elected to Congress in 1806, he served from 1807 until 1812, when he resigned to serve as a captain in the War of 1812. At the end of the war he returned to his plantation, where he spent the remainder of his life and where he was buried. His nephew, Howell Cobb (1815–68), was born at Cherry Hill and became a member of Congress, secretary of the treasury, and Confederate major general.


Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, vol. 1 (1887).

Biog. Dir. Am. Cong. (1971).

Archibald A. Hicks, History of Granville County (1965).

Additional Resources:

"Cobb, Howell, (1772 - 1818)." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Washington, D.C.: The Congress. (accessed January 9, 2014).

Rootes, T. R. "The Rootes Family." The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 4, no. 2 (October 1896).  209. (accessed January 9, 2014).

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