Toombs, Robert Augustus
- Michael Chesson
Toombs, Robert Augustus (02 July 1810–15 December 1885), U.S. senator, Confederate cabinet member, and Confederate general, was born near Washington in Wilkes County, Georgia, the son of Robert Toombs, a successful planter who had served in the American Revolution, and Catharine Huling. In 1824 “Bob” Toombs entered Franklin College in Athens (now the University of Georgia) but in January 1828 was dismissed by the faculty for unspecified reasons after various incidents. He enrolled at Union College, Schenectady, New York, graduating that summer, and spent a year at the University of Virginia Law School, where he tied for bottom place in his class of fourteen. Despite his lack of academic distinction, his social connections enabled Toombs to establish himself quickly. In 1829 the Georgia legislature passed a bill allowing him to practice law while still a minor. In 1830 he married Julia Ann DuBose, the daughter of a wealthy planter and sister of his half-brother Lawrence’s wife. They had three children, two of whom survived infancy. The couple were lavish hosts in the nation’s capital and at home, and Toombs enjoyed all the luxuries of one of the elite of the Old South....