Rarely does the name of Felix Grundy McConnell get brought up.
Felix was elected by the folks in the 7th district back in November 1842, and arrived in 1843 to assume his highly valued position of a Alabama House member in DC.
Felix had come a long way. Born in 1809 in Nashville....in the true sense of the word, he was marginally educated. His profession? He made saddles.
At some point in the mid-1830s....he moved to Talladega, Alabama. There, he decided that he had the talent to be a lawyer. He briefly attended a legal school, and in two years, had himself approved through the state bar association to be a lawyer.
It's best not to bring up the fact that he was marginally educated, and that these 'school' paths really didn't amount to much. As long as you paid up the state bar folks, and they gave you the slip of paper....that was it.
Within two years of that day.....Felix had him situated into the Alabama State Legislature. A year later, he was a state senator (serving for four years).
In November of 1842, Felix ran for the House seat, and won. So in 1843....he shows up in Washington DC. At the age of 33, he had remarkably blazed a path to success, and even in today's world....he would have been on the cover of magazines and newspapers.
So here's the remarkable thing about the next 3.5 years in Washington with Felix. If you were looking for the baddest of the bad boys....Felix was it.
While little factual evidence exists....it's safe to say that Felix was drunk 365 days a year, around the clock....during this period. We aren't talking about mildly drunk.....we mean absolutely drunk.
His behavior in this period? It didn't take much for him to throw out insults at just about anyone....even while in the House chambers. During this period, it's an open fact that while in DC....as a House or Senate member, you can do just about anything, and the police can't hold you or charge you with a crime. So Felix went from bad to worse over this period.
At some point in the final year (1846)....Felix had gotten himself into what you'd call today Delirium Tremens (the DTs). This is basically when your alcoholism has reached a level that you realize it's a serious problem, and you want to stop drinking....but then you start to imagine things (disillusions).
In today's world, you'd go off to rehab. Felix had no such avenue.
On 10 September 1846......Felix reached a peak with the Delirium Tremens. With a knife, he apparently stabbed himself and bled to death.
Dead by age 37.
It's an amazing story....young guy who was apparently a decent saddle maker....making the move into Alabama. Walking around marginally educated, but didn't let that stop him from attending law school, and getting all certified as a lawyer. Quickly moving up the political ladder.....in five short years, making a path to Washington.
Felix must have been a fairly likable Irish guy, with a talent to talk and say blunt things. If he'd avoided the alcoholism route? Well.....you just have to wonder.
There's no statues for this guy, just a burial site in Washington DC.