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William Blount, 1790-1795, Democrat (territorial governor).
Born in North Carolina in 1749, Blount served in the Continental Congress 1783-1784 and 1786-1787. In 1790, President Washington appointed him governor of the newly formed Territory South of the River Ohio, formerly part of North Carolina. While governor, Blount was also Indian affairs superintendent and negotiated, among others, the Treaty of the Holston with the Cherokees. His new government faced formidable problems, intensified by conflicts created by European/Indian contact. In 1795, Blount called a constitutional convention to organize the state, and Tennessee entered the Union the next year. Blount represented the new state in the U.S. Senate, and after expulsion from that body on a conspiracy charge, served in the state Senate. He died in 1800. [Tennessee Blue Book - Transcribed by AJ]
William BLOUNT, (father of William Grainger Blount and brother of Thomas Blount), a Delegate from North Carolina and a Senator from Tennessee; born near Windsor, Bertie County, N.C., March 26, 1749; pursued preparatory studies in New Bern, N.C.; paymaster of the Continental troops, North Carolina Line, in 1777; member, State house of commons 1780-1784; Member of the Continental Congress in 1782, 1783, 1786, and 1787; delegate to the convention that framed the Federal Constitution in 1787; member, State senate 1788-1790; appointed Governor of the Territory South of the Ohio river by President George Washington in 1790; Superintendent of Indian Affairs 1790-1796; chairman of the convention which framed the first State constitution of Tennessee 1796; upon the admission of Tennessee as a State into the Union was elected to the United States Senate and served from August 2, 1796, until he was found guilty "of a high misdemeanor, entirely inconsistent with his public trust and duty as a Senator" because he had been active in a plan to incite the Creek and Cherokee Indians to aid the British in conquering the Spanish territory of West Florida; expelled from the Senate July 8, 1797; impeachment proceedings were instituted but dismissed; during the trial was elected to the State senate of Tennessee and chosen its president; died in Knoxville, Tenn., March 21, 1800; interment in the First Presbyterian Church Cemetery. (Source: Biographical Directory of the United States 1774-present. - Transcribed by, Linda Rodriguez)
William Blount, territorial governor of Tennessee ("territory of the U. S. America south of the River Ohio") from the organization of the territory in 1790 to the admission of the state in 1796, was one of the notable men of early Tennessee. He was born in Bertie county, N. C., March 26, 1749. The name was originally Le Blount, and was brought to England the time of the Norman invasion. The first of the family in America were Thomas Blount and two brothers, who came over in 1664 and settled in Virginia. The parents of William Blount were Jacob and Barbara (Gray) Blount, the former a native of Bertie county, and the latter of Scotch extraction. Jacob Blount died in Pitts county, N. C., in 1789 and left a large estate. William was given a good education, and from 1780 to 1790 was almost constantly a member of the legislature of North Carolina. In 1783 and again in 1786 he was elected to the Continental Congress, and in 1787 was a member of the convention which met at Philadelphia to frame the constitution of the United States. It was during the sessions of the convention that Mr. Blount formed the acquaintance of General Washington, and when the Territory of Tennessee was created three years later, the latter appointed Mr. Blount to be governor of the new political division. His appointment was confirmed Aug. 7, 1790, and on October 10th he entered upon his duties. At the same time he was appointed superintendent of Indian affairs. The legislature elected him a United States senator. When the state was admitted on June 1, 1796, his election as senator was declared illegal because it was made before the state was admitted. He was accordingly again elected by the same legislature and took his seat on Dec. 5, 1796. About this time an incident occurred that cast a shadow upon the character of Governor Blount. In a message to Congress, President Adams declared that there was conspiracy on foot to take New Orleans and the Floridas from Spain and turn them over to Great Britain. This was to be done by a co-operation of British troops and the Creek and Cherokee Indians, and the president asserted that Senator Blount was a party to the plot, or had at least been in correspondence with the conspirators. A few days later he was expelled from the senate, only one member of the twenty-six voting in favor of his retention. After his return to Tennessee he was elected to the legislature, the people of the state refusing to believe him guilty on the evidence of a single letter. Later a sergeant-at-arms came to Knoxville to arrest him and take him to Philadelphia for trial and impeachment by Congress, which was then in session. Blount refused to go and the sergeant could find no one willing to assist him. The result of the trial was that the court decided it had no jurisdiction because Mr. Blount was no longer a member of the senate. The people of Tennessee always refused to believe he was guilty of any traitorous conduct or intent. Blount county was named after him, and at his request the county seat was named Maryville, in honor of his wife. These names still remain and bear witness to the esteem in which the territorial governor was held by his constituents. One of his sons, William Grainger Blount, represented Tennessee in Congress from 1815 to 1819, and a daughter was the wife of Gen. Edmund P. Gaines. Governor Blount died March 21, 1800, at Knoxville. (Notable Men of Tennessee, Vol. I, Publ. 1905. Transcribed by Richard Ramos)
John Sevier, 1796-1801; 1803-1809, Democrat.
Born in Virginia in 1745, Sevier as a young man was a successful merchant. Coming to a new settlement on the Holston River in 1773. he was one of the first white settlers of Tennessee. He was elected governor of the state of Franklin at the end of the Revolutionary War, and as such became the first governor in what would be Tennessee. When statehood was attained in 1796, Sevier was elected its first governor. He served six terms totaling twelve years. While governor he negotiated with the Indian tribes to secure additional lands for the new state and opened new roads into the area to encourage settlement. At the close of his sixth term he was elected to the state Senate, and then to Congress. Sevier died while on a congressional mission to Creek Indian country in 1815. [Tennessee Blue Book - Transcribed by AJ]
Archibald Roane, 1801-1803, Democrat.
Born in Pennsylvania in 1760, Roane attended college and was considered a very well-educated man for his day. He served in the Revolutionary War under George Washington, then settled in Tennessee and worked as a lawyer, helping to write the state's first constitution in 1796. After John Sevier had served the maximum of three consecutive terms, Roane ran for the office and was elected. During his term the state was divided into three congressional districts because population was increasing rapidly. Roane was defeated for re-election by former governor Sevier. In later years Roane taught and helped promote the development of colleges in Tennessee, and served as superior court judge. He died in 1819. [Tennessee Blue Book - Transcribed by AJ]
Archibald Roane, second governor of Tennessee, who succeeded John Sevier in 1801 and served for two years, was born in what is now Dauphin county, Pa., in 1760, his parents being Andrew and Margaret (Walker) Roane. Andrew Roane came with his brother, Rev. John Roane, from Ireland in 1736 and settled in that part of Pennsylvania known as Donegal and Derry, afterward called Lancaster, and still later Dauphin county. He died in 1768, leaving four children, of whom Archibald was the eldest, to the guardianship of his brother. A clause in John Roane's will some years later provided a legacy of twenty pounds for his nephew, Archibald Roane, towards completing his college education. The young man became a student at Lancaster, but left college to join the Continental army, with which he fought valiantly until the close of the war, being present at the surrender of Cornwallis. After the government of the United States was established he studied law and removed to Tennessee, where he was admitted to the bar and soon became one of the most noted of the pioneer attorneys. Shortly after his admission he was appointed district attorney-general and was a member of the convention that framed the constitution in 1796. In 1801 he was elected governor, served two years and was a candidate for re-election, but was defeated by Governor Sevier, whom he had succeeded two years before. While he was governor he cast the deciding vote that elected Andrew Jackson major-general of the Tennessee militia. After retiring from the governor's office he engaged in teaching for a time. Hugh Lawson White, who was afterward a candidate for president of the United States, having been one of his pupils. In 1811 he was appointed one of the superior court judges of law and equity, which is the last record of his appearance in any official capacity. He married Ann Campbell, daughter of David and Mary (Hamilton) Campbell, of Campbell's Station. To this marriage there were born six children. Governor Roane died at his home near Campbell's Station, in 1817. His wife died in 1831. He was an able lawyer, a conscientious statesman and an influential citizen. The county of Roane was named in his honor. [Notable Men of Tennessee, Vol. I, Publ. 1905. Transcribed by Richard Ramos]
Willie Blount, 1809-1815, Democrat.
Born in North Carolina in 1768. Willie Blount was the half-brother of territorial governor William Blount. He studied at Princeton and Columbia colleges and became a lawyer in North Carolina. In 1790, he moved to the Southwest Territory, serving as William Blount's private secretary. In 1796 he was elected judge in the new state, and in 1807 was elected to the legislature. He ran for governor and was elected in 1809. When war was declared on Britain in 1812, Blount supported General Andrew Jackson with funds and troops. Blount served three terms. In 1827, he ran for governor again, but was defeated by Sam Houston. He served as a member of the states Constitutional Convention of 1834 and died in 1835. [Tennessee Blue Book -Transcribed by AJ]
Joseph McMinn 1815-1821, Democrat.
Born in Pennsylvania in 1758, McMinn was a Quaker and moved to the Tennessee country in 1787. He was elected to the territorial legislature in 1794 and in 1796 helped frame the first constitution of Tennessee. He served in the state senate 1807-1809. Becoming governor in 1815, he established amiable relations with Indians, negotiating for land and expanding white settlements. The most important event in his administration was the peaceful settlement of west Tennessee following the Chickasaw Purchase Treaty. Fourteen new counties were carved out of the land during his terms. After three terms, he served as agent for the Cherokees. He died in 1824. [Tennessee Blue Book - Transcribed by AJ]
Joseph McMinn, the fifth governor of Tennessee, was born in the State of Pennsylvania, of Quaker parentage, but the exact date and place of his birth, as well as many facts relating to his early life, are veiled in obscurity. It is known that he was a soldier in the Continental army during the Revolutionary war, and that he was possessed of a good education. Shortly after the Revolution he settled in Hawkins county, Tenn., where he engaged in farming, is wife often helping him in the labors of the field and forest. He was a member of the convention that framed the first constitution of Tennessee, 1796. In 1807 his neighbors sent him to the state senate. His common sense and unflinching honesty commended him to the senate for a presiding officer and he was elected such. His rulings, while in that position, were noted for their fairness, the rights of the minority were always respected, and he made acquaintances from all parts of the state that freely spoke of him for greater honor. In 1815 there were five candidates for governor presented to the people for their consideration. Jesse Wharton resigned from the United States senate to become a candidate; Robert C. Foster, an ex-speaker of the house in the state legislature, was another candidate; Thomas Johnson, who had served in the legislatures of both North Carolina and Tennessee, was the third; Robert Weakley, one of the pioneers of the state, an ex-member of Congress and a delegate to the convention to ratify the constitution of the United States, was the fourth. Against this array of prominent men Mr. McMinn entered the field at a later date, upon his own announcement, while all of his opponents sent out circulars implying that they had become candidates at the request of their fellow-citizens. When the votes were counted it was found that he led each of the others by a large majority and was elected. He was twice re-elected, defeating Robert C. Foster in 1817 and Enoch Parsons in 1819. His administration was notable for its uprightness and for his recommendations of certain measures in the interest of the masses of the people. The county of McMinm and the little city of McMinnville, in Warren county, tell the story of his popularity with the people of the state, who have given those names to the places to perpetuate the memory of one of Tennessee's notable men. He died at the Cherokee Agency, Nov. 18, 1824. [Notable Men of Tennessee, Vol. I, Publ. 1905. Transcribed by Richard Ramos]
William Carroll 1821-1827; 1829-1835, Democrat
Born in Pennsylvania in 1788, Carroll came to Tennessee at the age of eighteen. He had a natural knack for business and took a job with a merchant who encouraged him. He operated the state's first nail store, in Nashville. He gave up his business in 1812 to join Andrew Jackson's militia, proving his extraordinary skill as a soldier in the War of 1812. During his twelve years as governor, Tennessee progressed from a frontier society to one in which towns and cities were developing quickly, and schools, churches, and courthouses were being built. Carroll, called Tennessee's "'Reform Governor,' is remembered for internal improvements, reform of penal laws, the establishment of chancery courts, and the adoption of the new constitution in 1834. He died in 1844. [Tennessee Blue Book; Transcribed by AJ]
Sam Houston, 1827-1829, Democrat.
Houston was born in Virginia in 1793 and came to Tennessee at age fifteen. For a while he clerked in a store, then ran off to live with the Cherokees, beginning a lifetime association with them. Having run up debts, he taught school for a while to pay them off. Joining the 39th Infantry, he was severely wounded at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. He opened a law office in Lebanon and in 1823 was elected to Congress where he served two terms. With Jackson's backing he was elected governor in 1827. Shortly thereafter his wife Eliza left him and before his term was up he left again to live with the Cherokees. Williani Hall, speaker of the Senate, finished his term. Leaving his Cherokee wife to join in the fight for Texas independence, he led his troops to victory and became president of the Republic of Texas. He died in 1863.[Tennessee Blue Book - Transcribed by AJ]
William Hall, April - October 1829, Democrat.
Hall was born in 1775 in North Carolina, coming to Tennessee as a young man and early becoming involved in politics. A prosperous farmer, he was elected to the state House in 1797, after having served as brigadier general in the Creek War. After six years in the House he was elected to the Senate. It was from this office, where he served as speaker, that he became governor when Sam Houston left office. His term as governor was so short he had little time to accomplish much, but he did carry out many of Carroll's plans—penal code revision, establishment of the penitentiary, and strengthening of the educational program. Like Carroll and Houston before him. Hall was a Jackson supporter and was elected to Congress in 1831. He retired from public life in 1833 and died in 1856. [Tennessee Blue Book - Transcribed by AJ]
Newton Cannon, 1835-1839, Whig.
Born in North Carolina in 1781, Cannon worked as a saddler, merchant and surveyor before studying law and being elected to the legislature in 1811. He joined the volunteers and went to fight in the Creek War, serving as colonel. After the war he was elected to Congress, succeeding Felix Grundy. An anti-Jacksonite. Cannon was the first Whig governor of Tennessee, the party having been formed in opposition to Jackson s policies. Elected in 1835. Cannon is remembered for reforms in state government which accompanied the adoption of the new state constitution in 1834, the Seminole War in Florida in 1836, and the capture and imprisonment of the notorious land and river pirates headed by John A. Murrell. Cannon died in 1841. [Tennessee Blue Book - Transcribed by AJ]
NEWTON CANNON, governor of Tennessee from 1835 to 1839, was a native of North Carolina, having been born at Guilford in 1781. After a common school education in the public schools of his native county he came to Tennessee and settled in Williamson county. In 1811 he made his first appearance in public life as a member of the Tennessee legislature. Two years later he enlisted as a private in the Tennessee Mounted Rifles for service in the Creek war, and before the close of hostilities rose to be colonel of the Rifles. When the term of his service expired he returned home to be unjustly accused of desertion. In 1814 he was elected to Congress to fill a vacancy caused by the resignation of Mr. Grundy, and with the exception of one term was re-elected at every congressional election until 1823. During the two years that he was not a member of the house he was one of the commissioners appointed by the president of the United States to negotiate a treaty with the Chickasaw Indians, a mission which was successfully carried out. In 1835 Mr. Cannon was nominated for governor in opposition to Gov. William Carroll, who had already served three consecutive terms in the office. In this contest Mr. Cannon was successful and at the close of his term was re-elected. In 1839 he was nominated for a third term by the Whig party, the Democrats putting forward James K. Polk, afterward president of the United States. The campaign was a spirited one and early in the contest it became evident that Governor Cannon was no match for Mr. Polk on the stump. For a time he gave up the canvass but was compelled to return to the hustings. The result was that Mr. Polk was elected by a small majority and after that time Mr. Cannon took no part in public affairs further than to canvass the state in the interests of General Harrison for the presidency in 1840, and had the satisfaction of seeing Tennessee give a majority of 12,000 votes for him, which led to the defeat of Polk for re-election the succeeding year. Mr. Cannon died at Harpeth, Williamson county, Sept. 29, 1842. [Notable Men of Tennessee, Vol. 1, Judge John Allison, Editor, Southern Historical Association, Atlanta, GA, 1905 Transcribed by Rhonda Hill]
James Knox Polk, 1839-1841, Democrat.
Polk, born into a well-to-do family in North Carolina in 1795, came to Tennessee as a youth and studied at Murfreesboro College and at the University of North Carolina. He was graduated in 1818 with academic honors, the first college graduate to serve as governor of Tennessee. Polk studied law with Felix Grundy and set up a law office in Columbia. A skilled orator and a friend of Jackson, he was dubbed "Young Hickory". Having served in the state legislature. Polk was elected to Congress in 1825 and served seven terms. He beat Newton Cannon in his bid for re-election in 1839 and was elected governor. Polk believed strongly in education as a fundamental need for a truly free people, and advocated land sales to fund education. He lost two bids for re-election but in 1845 was elected president of the United States. He died of cholera in 1849. [Tennessee Blue Book - Transcribed by AJ]
Born in North Carolina, on Nov. 2, 1795, James Polk came to Tennessee along with his family when he was around 10 years of age. He graduated from the University of North Carolina, where he received high academic honors, and studied law under Felix Grundy of Nashville, one of the best lawyers in the area. Young Polk began practicing law in Columbia and quickly gained distinction as a man of Tremendous energy and ability. In 1823 his public career began by his being elected to the State Legislature. Two years later he was elected to Congress where he remained until 1839, during which time he served two terms as Speaker of the House of Representatives. In 1839, he ran for Governor of Tennessee and was elected. How ever he was defeated in bids for reelection in 1841 and 1843, due largely to the after effects of the nationwide depression in 1837, the up coming Whig Party in Tennessee and difficult State economic problems. In 1844, at the Baltimore Democratic Convention, Polk was nominated for President of the united States and was elected as the first "dark horse" candidate for that office. As President he directed the country's efforts in the Mexican War, during which California along with most of the Southwest, an area of nearly 500,000 square miles were added to the United States. Worn down with the heavy mental and physical strain of the office, he then returned to Nashville at the end of his term only to fall victim to cholera in June of 1849. In some respects, his record stands unequalled in American's history. In a span of 4 brief years, he had been twice defeated for re-election as Governor, having failed to carry his own state in the presidential election of 1844 and yet had emerged victorious as the 11th President of the United States. [Contributed by, Brenda Neely]
James Chamberlain Jones, 1841-1845, Whig.
Born in Davidson County, near Nashville, "Lean Jimmy" Jones became Tennessee s first native born governor. Educated as a lawyer, he became a farmer in Wilson County and was elected to the legislature in 1839. His 1841 gubernatorial campaign against James K. Polk is remembered as the origin of modern "stump" speaking. He was re-elected, defeating Polk a second time. During his administrations Nashville was selected as the permanent state capital and the cornerstone of the state capitol building was laid. At the end of his second term Jones became president of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. He died in 1859, after serving in Congress 1851-1857. [Tennessee Blue Book - Transcribed by AJ]
Obit: Death of Governor Jones
Ex-Gov. James C. Jones, of Tennessee, died in Memphis, on the 28th, after a lingering illness. Governor Jones was United States Senator from 1848 to 1857, and was Governor of the State from 1841 to 1845.---He defeated James K. Polk, afterwards President of the United States, in 1841 and 1843 in the race for Governor. He was a national man in feeling and sentiment, possessed of fine ability. [Glasgow Weekly Times (Glasgow, Mo.) Thursday, November 3, 1859 - Sub. by Kathy McDaniel]
Aaron Venable Brown, 1845-1847, Democrat.
Born in Virginia in 1795, Brown was graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1814 as valedictorian of his class. He read law and began his practice with James K. Polk. He served in the state Senate 1821-1827 and the state House 1831-1835. He served in Congress 1839-1845 and was elected governor in 1845. serving one term. When war broke out with Mexico, Brown's call for 2,600 volunteers resulted in 30,000 Tennesseans responding. Defeated for re-election in 1847, Brown was a member of the Southern Convention which met at Nashville in 1850 to formulate policies on the slavery question. He served as postmaster general until his death in 1859. [Tennessee Blue Book - Transcribed by AJ]
Neill Smith Brown, 1847-1849, Whig
Of Scot-Irish descent. Brown was born in Giles County in 1810. He studied on his own and taught school in Giles County to finance his college education. He was admitted to the bar in 1834. He enlisted in the 1st Tennessee in the Seminole War. His excellent rhetoric contributed to Whig campaigns in the 1840s. After serving in the state legislature for six years, he was elected governor in 1847. His administration was a time of political frenzy and also of change, seeing the advent of the telegraph and a law to provide for public schools. The law proved ineffective as implementation was left to local governments and nothing came of the effort. Brown lost his bid for re-election but did not retire from public life. He served as minister to Russia, as a member of the legislature, and as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1870. He died in 1886. [Tennessee Blue Book - Tr. by AJ]
William Trousdale, 1849-1851, Democrat.
Trousdale was born in North Carolina in 1790 and came to Tennessee at age six. He was of Scot-Irish descent and was known as "War Horse of Sumner County, fighting under Jackson in the Creek War. He served as brigadier-general in the U.S. Army in the War with Mexico as well. After serving in the state legislature, Trousdale was elected governor in 1849. The most important event during his administration was the Southern Convention in Nashville in 1850. The convention's purpose was to discuss the issues of the slavery controversy resulting from the Wilmot Proviso, which excluded slavery in newly acquired territory. The convention resulted in the Compromise of 1850. Trousdale became minister to Brazil in 1852 and died in 1872. [Tennessee Blue Book, tr. by AJ]
William Bowen Campbell, 1851-1853, Whig.
Born in Sumner County in 1807. Campbell studied law in Virginia, returning to Tennessee to establish a law practice at Carthage about 1829. He served as attorney general, then in 1835 was elected to the legislature. When the Seminole War erupted he resigned to serve. In 1837 he was elected to Congress and served three terms. As Colonel of the "Bloody First" Tennessee he led his troops against Monterey in the Mexican War. His famous command "Boys, follow me!" became the slogan of the waning Whig party when they successfully ran him in 1851. He declined to run a second time, but was elected to Congress in 1865. During the heated impeachment proceedings against President Andrew Johnson, Campbell defended the president and served as his advisor throughout the trial. He died in 1867. [Tennessee Blue Book - Tr by AJ]
WILLIAM BOWEN CAMPBELL, who was governor of Tennessee from 1851 to 1853, was born near the city of Nashville, Feb. 6, 1807, his parents being David and Catharine (Bowen) Campbell, early settlers in that portion of the state. His grandfather, whose name was also David Campbell, was a captain in the American army during the Revolutionary war. His mother was a granddaughter of Gen. William Russell, who fought with the Continental army through the Revolution and was present at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown. The early years of Governor Campbell's life were passed on his father's farm. In those days there were few schools, but his parents were both educated people and his early instruction was imparted by his mother, who taught him morals as well as books. A short time before he had reached his majority, he went to Abingdon, Va., where he had an uncle, who was afterward governor of Virginia, with whom he read law. After reading a while in his uncle's office he entered the Winchester Law school and graduated in 1829. Shortly after leaving the school he settled at Carthage, Tenn., and began the practice of his profession. In 1831 he was elected attorney-general of a circuit and removed to Sparta, but returned to Carthage in 1835. The same year he was elected to the legislature and the next year resigned to become captain of a company in Col. William Trousdale's regiment and fought through the war with the Creek and Seminole Indians. In 1837 he and Colonel Trousdale were opposing candidates for Congress. Although the race was somewhat spirited it was without bitterness. Governor Campbell was elected and was re-elected two years later, his old commander again being his opponent. In 1841 he was again elected, this time without opposition, but a short time before the close of the third term he resigned to resume the practice of law. The military instinct was strong in Governor Campbell and in 1843 he was appointed major-general of the Tennessee militia. This position he held at the commencement of the Mexican war, when he was elected colonel of the First Tennessee infantry. At Monterey he led his regiment in a charge which won the victory and gained for the regiment the appellation of the "Bloody First." In 1847 he was elected judge of the circuit court by the legislature, without opposition, and held the office until 1851, when he was nominated by the Whig party for the office of governor. Here his opponent was again General Trousdale, and again Governor Campbell was victorious. At the close of his term as governor he declined a nomination for a second term, turned his attention to banking and became the president of the Bank of Middle Tennessee, at Lebanon. When the presidential campaign of 1860 came on he re-entered the political arena as a supporter of John Bell. After the election of President Lincoln he took a firm stand in favor of the Union. Although this attitude was not one to commend him to the secession leaders after the State of Tennessee decided to go out, he was offered the command of the Confederate troops in Tennessee, because of his well-known military skill. He declined the position, however, and was later commissioned a brigadier-general in the Federal army, but never went into the field, resigning his commission soon after it was issued. In some respects his conduct was somewhat paradoxical. Before the war he opposed secession, during the war he remained a staunch Union man and steadfastly declined to recognize the Confederate government, but immediately after the war he became a true friend of the South, threw his influence toward the adoption of measures that would restore peace and prosperity to that stricken section, and during the reconstruction period remained firm in his advocacy of home rule for the Southern states. In 1864 he allied himself with the Democratic party, supported McClellan for president, and the next year was elected to Congress. His services as congressman were of short duration, as Tennessee was not admitted until late in the session. In the controversy between President Johnson and Congress, Governor Campbell was an earnest champion of the president's position. After this he retired to private life and died at his home in Lebanon, Aug. 19, 1867. In 1835 he was married to Miss Fanny, only daughter of Dr. John Owen, of Carthage. Mrs. Campbell died in 1865, the mother of seven children. Governor Campbell was one of Tennessee's really great men. At the bar, in legislative halls, on the battlefield or in the more quiet walks of life he was always alive to every duty, courageous enough to meet it, and never forgot the respect due to others or that he was a gentleman. He could be positive without being offensive, and emphatic without the rudeness of profanity. For many years prior to his death he was a devoted member of the Methodist church and carried the precepts of his religion into his life. [Notable Men of Tennessee, Vol. 1, Judge John Allison, Editor, Southern Historical Association, Atlanta, GA, 1905; Transcribed by R. Hill]
Andrew Johnson, 1853-1857 (civil): 1862-1865 (military). Democrat.
Born into poverty in North Carolina in 1808. Johnson had no formal education. He taught himself to read and learned the tailor's trade. He came to Tennessee in 1826 and set up a tailor's shop. He served as alderman, mayor, member of the state House, member of the state Senate, member of Congress, vice president under Abraham Lincoln, president upon Lincoln's death, and member of the U.S. Senate. As military governor he paved the way for Tennessee to rejoin the Union after the Civil War and pushed for the first tax for public education. As president of the United States he was impeached for his lenient Reconstruction policies and escaped conviction by one vote. He died in 1875. [Tennessee Blue Book - Tr. by AJ]
Andrew Johnson was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Dec. 29, 1808. His family was poor and unable to provide for him to attend school. Half - orphaned at the age of 4 by the death of his father, the boy 6 years later became a "bound apprentice" to a local tailor. In 1826 Andrew and his mother crossed the mountains and arrived at Greeneville, Tennessee. There he opened a tailor shop, applied himself to his work by day, and studied at night the "three R's" under the guidance of a devoted wife. His earnest attitude about work and learning impressed those around him. In 1828 he was elected alderman and two years later became mayor of Greensville. From there his rise to political fame began. He served several terms in the State Legislature, 10 years as Congressman, and 4 years as Governor, became a U. S. Senator and Vice President of the United States, and up on the death of Abe Lincoln became the President of the United States. Perhaps no man ever assumed the duties of the presidency under more difficult conditions. A 4 year war had ended, but peace had not arrived. Civil strife was rampant and "Reconstruction" was being implemented in the southern states. President Johnson who believed in a lenient reconstruction policy, was impeached by the radical leaders of Congress and escaped conviction by just 1 vote. In the face of bitter political opposition in Congress, Johnson's administration was marked by a display of courage, wisdom, & honesty. He retired from the office in 1869, and later was returned to the U. S. Senate, the only President ever to be thus rewarded. He died on July 31, 1875, and was buried in Greeneville where a 27-foot monument bears the inscription, "His faith in the People never wavered". [unknown source; Contributed by, Brenda Neely]
Isham Green Harris, 1857-1862, Democrat.
Harris was born near Tullahoma in 1818. He clerked in a store and later opened his own business. He studied law and in 1847 was elected to the state Senate. After serving that term and two in the state House he was elected governor in 1857, and re-elected in 1859 and 1861. Under his administration Tennessee seceded from the Union, the last state to do so. When President Abraham Lincoln asked for soldiers to force the Confederate states back into the Union, Harris refused. When Lincoln appointed Andrew Johnson military governor in 1862, Harris, still nominally governor, served on the staffs of Confederate Generals Albert Sidney Johnston and Joseph E. Johnston. After the war he fled to Mexico, then England, returning to serve in Congress for twenty years. He died in 1897. [Tennessee Blue Book, Tr. by AJ]
Isham Greene Harris, Governor of Tennessee, 1857-1862, was the son of a Methodist preacher and was born in Franklin county, Tennessee, February 10, 1818. He was educated at Winchester Academy. On leaving school he engaged in the mercantile business and soon made a nice little fortune. A little later he began the study of law [p.140] under his brother, William R. Harris. His success in law was as marked as had been his venture in business. In 1847 he entered politics and was elected to the state senate. From 1849-1853 he represented his district in Congress. In 1853 he moved to Memphis and in 1856 was candidate for elector for State-at-large on the ticket with Buchanan and Breckinridge. In this canvass Harris made a great reputation as a speaker and the year following was elected Governor, defeating Robert Hatton, the Whig candidate. He was re-elected in 1859 and 1861, and was thus Tennessee's war Governor. Under his administration Tennessee seceded from the Union, and raised over 100,000 men for the Confederacy. At the close of the war Harris returned to Memphis and practiced law until 1877, when he was elected to the United States Senate. He served in this capacity for twenty years. He was a man of strong personality. He died at Washington, July 8, 1897, in the seventy-ninth year of his age, and was buried at Memphis. [Tennessee, The Volunteer State, 1769-1923, Vol.2]
William Gannaway Brownlow, 1865-1869, Whig.
Brownlow was born in Virginia in 1805, and orphaned at age eleven. He learned carpentry, studying on his own at night, and later became a preacher, journalist, author, and statesman. "Parson" Brownlow, licensed to preach in 1826. came to Tennessee in 1828 and in 1838 started publishing The Whig at Elizabethton. This pro-Union paper was continued at Jonesborough and at Knoxville. Tennessee's Reconstruction governor, Brownlow was elected in 1865. An intense Unionist, but an advocate of slavery, he returned the state to the Union on July 2. 1866. Tennessee was the first state to return. Brownlow was responsible for legislation providing for separate schools for blacks at state expense. He was re-elected in 1867, but resigned to take his seat in the U.S. Senate. He died in 1877. [Tennessee Blue Book - tr. by AJ]
Dewitt Clinton Senter, 1869-1871, Whig/Republican
Son of a Methodist minister, Senter was born in 1834 in McMinn County. He read law on his own and was elected to the legislature in 1857. As speaker of the Senate he became governor when Brownlow left office to go to Congress. He won the election later that year by an overwhelming majority. He took office at a time when many citizens could not participate in the governmental process because of their involvement with the Confederate cause. His administration faced the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and its terrorism of the entire south. The most important event of Senter's administration was the Constitutional Convention of 1870, resulting in the constitution now in use. Black suffrage was achieved, but along with it a poll tax that would keep many blacks from voting for years. Senter retired when his term was up and died in 1898.[Tennessee Blue Book - Tr. by AJ]
John Calvin Brown, 1871-1875, Whig/Democrat.
Younger brother of Neill Brown, John Calvin was born in Giles County in 1827. He was well educated and established a law practice in 1848. Opposed to secession, he went along with Tennessee when she seceded. He enlisted as a private in the infantry and ended up in charge of a brigade, taking part in battles at Perryville, Missionary Ridge, and Franklin. Elected to the legislature in 1869, he served as president of the Constitutional Convention of 1870. He was elected governor in 1871 and again in 1873. The two major issues he had to deal with were the state debt and the weak educational system. He halved the debt while in office and sponsored legislation providing for state, county, and city school superintendents, levying taxes to pay for the school system. He died in 1889. [Tennessee Blue Book, tr. by AJ]
James Davis Porter, 1875-1879, Democrat
Son of a physician. Porter was born in Paris in 1828. He graduated from the University of Nashville at age eighteen. A lawyer, he was elected to the legislature in 1859. When war broke out he joined the southern cause and helped organize the Provisional Army of Tennessee. He served as circuit judge and from that office was elected governor. The state debt was the major issue during his administration. He fought for education, and during his term the first black medical school was founded, Meharry Medical College. Temperance legislation known as the "Four Mile Law" was enacted. Porter served two terms, later serving as minister to Chile. He died in 1912. [Tennessee Blue Book; tr. by AJ]
Albert Smith Marks, 1879-1881, Democrat.
Marks was born in Kentucky in 1836. He came to Tennessee in 1856 and was admitted to the bar in 1859. Although a Union man, he went with Tennessee when the state seceded and joined the Confederate army. He achieved the rank of colonel with the 17th Tennessee Infantry and lost a leg in the fighting at Murfreesboro. He served as chancellor of the Fourth Chancery Division and from that office was elected governor for the 1879 term. His attempts to deal with the state debt were unsuccessful, and he did not seek re-election. He resumed his law practice at Winchester and died in 1891. [Tennessee Blue Book, tr. by AJ]
Albert Smith Marks, who was governor of Tennessee from 1879 to 1881, was born at Owensboro, Ky., Oct. 16, 1836, and died at Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 4, 1891. One of his ancestors, John Marks, was an early settler in Virginia and the family lived in the immediate vicinity of Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. On the maternal side, his grandmother was a member of the Daniel family, which has played so important a part in the history of the "Old Dominion," and of which United States Senator John W. Daniel is a fine example. When Governor Marks was about fourteen years of age his father died, which compelled him to give up school and assist his mother in the support of the family. But there was that inherent force of character in him that would not be defeated by anything like ordinary difficulties. Spending all the time he could spare from his labors in study he acquired an education that was tried several times during his career but was always found equal to the emergency. When nearing his majority he turned his attention to the law, although it had been the dearest wish of his parents that he should become a minister. He entered the office of Col. A. S. Colyar, who was a relative, at Winchester, Tenn., and in 1858 was admitted to the bar. He began his professional life as a member of the firm of Colyar, Marks & Frizzell, which lasted until 1861, when Mr. Frizzell withdrew and the firm became Colyar & Marks. This arrangement did not continue very long, however, for the breaking out of the Civil war dissolved the firm. Governor Marks was a supporter of Breckenridge and Lane in 1860 and was strenuously opposed to secession. When the convention to deliberate on the question was called he was the Union candidate for delegate in his district, but was defeated by Peter Turney, afterward governor of the state. When the people of Tennessee voted to take the state out of the Union he stood by that decision, enlisted in the Confederate service, and was elected captain and rapidly promoted until he became colonel of the Seventeenth Tennessee infantry. At the battle of Murfreesboro, Dec. 31, 1862, Colonel Marks fell while leading a charge against a battery, but as he fell he urged his men on to victory. The result of this wound was the amputation of his leg and a long siege in the hospital. When he recovered he was attached to the staff of General Forrest as judge advocate and served in this capacity until the close of the war. The old partnership of Colyar & Marks was resumed, but it was broken about two years later by the removal of Colonel Colyar to Nashville. Governor Marks then became associated with James B. Fitzpatrick and T. D. Gregory and practiced thus until 1870, when he was elected chancellor of the fourth division and was re-elected without opposition in August, 1878. His service during his second term was of short duration, for in November, 1878, he was elected governor of Tennessee. At the time of his inauguration the political situation was anything buy assuring. The question of the state debt had disrupted party lines and the new governor faced two contending factions, one in favor of maintaining the state's credit at any cost and the other in favor of repudiation. The former of these factions was in a hopeless minority and the latter very large and somewhat unreasonable in its demands. In this trying situation Governor Marks did the wisest thing it was possible for him to do. He declined to accept the views of either of the contending factions, adopted a conservative attitude on the question, and in the next Democratic State Convention wrote the platform which pledged the party to carry out the will of the people. This threw the responsibility on the people themselves and they began to see the wisdom of the governor's course. At this convention Governor Marks declined a renomination. He was succeeded by Governor Hawkins. In 1888 Governor Marks was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention from the state at large and continued active in the practice of law and in political work until the time of his death. He was married in 1863 to Miss Novella Davis, daughter of Maj. John R. Davis, of Wilson county. The marriage took place in Marshall county, at the home of Miss Davis's uncle, J. M. Knight, for the reason that her home was inside the Federal lines. The wife and two sons survived the death of Governor Marks, but one of the sons died within a year after his father. [Notable Men of Tennessee, Vol. I, Publ. 1905. Transcribed by Richard Ramos]
Alvin Hawkins, 1881-1883, Whig/Republican.
Hawkins was born in Kentucky in 1821 and came to Tennessee at age four. He was admitted to the bar and opened a law practice in 1843. He was a Unionist and was elected to Congress in 1862, but was denied his seat because of the chaotic political situation. During the war he served as U. S. Attorney for West Tennessee, and later as Supreme Court judge. Like Marks. Porter, and Brown before him, Hawkins struggled with the state debt but was unsuccessful in resolving the prob- lem. His party recommended him for a second term, but partly because of the new Greenback party, organized to deal with the money situation, both Hawkins and the Greenback candidate were beaten by the Democratic candidate, William Bate. Hawkins died in 1905. [Tennessee Blue Book - Transcribed by AJ]
ALVIN HAWKINS, governor of Tennessee from 1881 to 1883, was born in Bath county, Ky., Dec. 2, 1821. When he was about five years of age his parents moved to Maury county, Tenn., and two years later to Carroll county. Alvin attended the common schools, where he received a good rudimentary education, which he supplemented by a course of self-study and reading. In his early days he did farm work, learned the blacksmith trade, taught school for a time, read law with B. C. Totten, of Huntingdon, and in 1843 was admitted to the bar. He established himself in Camden, Benton county, where he began the practice of his profession and soon attained a high position at the bar. In 1853 he was elected to the legislature; was an elector on the Bell and Everett ticket in 1860; was elected to Congress in 1862 as a Unionist, under a proclamation of Andrew Johnson, military governor of the state, but his election was declared irregular and he was not permitted to take his seat. In 1864 he was appointed United States district attorney for the district of Western Tennessee, but resigned the following year to accept the appointment of judge of the supreme court. This office he resigned in the spring of 1868 and retired to private life for a few weeks, when he was appointed consul-general to Havana, Cuba. After serving as consul for a few months he resigned and returned to the United States. In May, 1869, he was elected justice of the supreme court, but the adoption of the new constitution the succeeding year displaced him. After this he turned his attention to railroads and was for some time president of the Nashville & Northwestern Railroad Company. In May, 1880, he was sent as a lay delegate to the general conference of the Methodist Episcopal church, at Cincinnati, and while attending the conference he was nominated by the Republicans of Tennessee, in their state convention, for the office of governor. At that time the Democratic party was divided on the question of the state debt and had two candidates in the field. The result was that Mr. Hawkins was elected by a handsome majority. Two years later he was a candidate for re-election, but in the meantime the Democracy had become united, and he was defeated by William B. Bate, afterward and now United States senator. Governor Hawkins retired to private life and his administration passed into history as one of the cleanest and most progressive in the record of the state. [Notable Men of Tennessee, Vol. 1, Judge John Allison, Editor, Southern Historical Association, Atlanta, GA, 1905; Tr by Rhonda Hill]
William Brimage Bate, 1883-1887, Democrat.
Bate was born in 1826 near Castalian Springs. He joined the volunteers when the Mexican War began and was said to have been one of the first Tennesseans to reach the front. After the war he established a newspaper, the Tenth Legion, and in 1849 was elected to the legislature. When the Civil War erupted he joined the Confederate army and ended up a brigadier-general, narrowly escaping the loss of a leg from a wound he received at Shiloh. The Democratic legislature, anxious to settle the debt question, supported its governor and the matter was resolved, resulting in Bate's re-election in 1885. He served in the United States Senate until his death in 1905. [Tennessee Blue Book, tr. by AJ]
William Brimage Bate, Governor of Tennessee, 1883-1887, was born near Castalian Springs, in Tennessee, October 7, 1826. His educational advantages were limited. In early manhood he was a clerk on a steamboat plying between Nashville and New Orleans. When the Mexican war came, he enlisted in a Louisiana Regiment, and is said to have been the first Tennessean to reach the front. He reenlisted in the Third Tennessee Infantry, and was made a First Lieutenant of Company I. At the close of the war he went to Gallatin and established a paper called The Tenth Legion. In 1849 he was elected to the Legislature. In 1852 he entered the Lebanon Law School, and two years later was elected Attorney-General for his district. In 1860 he served as elector on the Breckinridge and Lane ticket. When the Civil war broke out, Bate enlisted as a private in a company raised at Gallatin; of this company he was elected Captain and later Colonel of the regiment. He came out of the war as a Major-General, having won as much distinction for bravery as any man on either side. He was three times wounded and had six horses killed under him in battle. In 1863, while on the battlefield, he was tendered the nomination of Governor but declined in a letter which has become historic. In 1882 he defeated Governor Hawkins for Governor and Judge Frank Reid two years later. During his administration a settlement of the State debt was reached. On March 4, 1887, Governor Bate became United States Senator, which position he filled with great credit to his State, until his death in 1905. [Source: Tennessee, The Volunteer State, 1769-1923, Vol. 2]
Robert Love Taylor, 1887-1891: 1897-1899, Democrat.
Taylor was born in Happy Valley in Carter County in 1850. He began his law practice and was elected to Congress in the same year. 1878. The Democrats nominated him for governor in 1886, the same year his brother Alfred was nominated for the same office by the Republicans. Known as Tennessee's War of the Roses (the theme taken from England's Yorks and Lancasters), the campaign was a great show of oratory, with supporters sporting boutonnieres. white for the Democrats and red for the Republicans. During Taylor's terms the prohibition law was repealed and election laws were reformed. Another law strengthened the poll tax law created by the 1870 constitution. Taylor died in 1912, while serving in the U.S. Senate. [Tennessee Blue Book; tr. by AJ]
John Price Buchanan, 1891-1893, Farm-Labor.
Of pioneer stock, Buchanan was born in 1847 in Williamson County. He was a farmer and a moving spirit in the Farmers Alliance, the support of which won him the governor's seat in 1890. Farmers hoped his election would ensure relief for their problems, but his administration was consumed with the insurrection of eastern Tennessee coal miners reacting to being put out of work by the convict lease system. The violence was brought under control by the state guard and led to the abandonment of the system. Buchanan established secondary schools and the Confederate pension program. He had served two terms in the legislature and one as governor when he returned to farming. He died in 1930. [Tennessee Blue Book - tr. by AJ]
JOHN P. BUCHANAN, ex-governor of Tennessee, and one of the most progressive farmers of Rutherford county, is a native of the state, and was born in the year 1847. His education was acquired in the common schools. At an early age he developed an inclination to take an active part in political affairs, and soon became one of the local leaders of the Democratic party. In every campaign, from 1875 for a number of years, he was a delegate to the state conventions of his party, and was otherwise active in promoting the advancement of Democratic principles. In 1887 he was elected to the lower branch of the state legislature, and two years later was re-elected. About that time the Farmers' Alliance movement became prominent in Tennessee, and Governor Buchanan was an influential factor in extending the work of the organization. In 1888 he was elected the first president of the Tennessee State Alliance. The following year he was re-elected, and when the Agricultural Wheel, the Farmers' and Laborers' Union and the Alliance all joined into one body in 1889, he was elected president of the consolidated organization, and continued to hold the office for several years. His connection with these organizations made him a power in the political affairs of the state, and in 1890, at the solicitation of many of the members of the Alliance, he consented to be a candidate for governor. There were four candidates presented to the state Democratic convention: Mr. Buchanan, Josiah Patterson, Jere Baxter and John M. Taylor. The contest was one of the most spirited ever witnessed in any Tennessee convention. The convention was in session for four days, and twenty-five ballots were taken before a nomination was reached. Through it all the supporters of Mr. Buchanan stood like a wall of adamant, finally forcing some of his weaker competitors to yield. His administration was without any of the sensational features that some of his opponents predicted, and he retired to his farm, near Murfreesboro, at the expiration of his term, with the confidence and respect of all the good citizens of Tennessee. [Notable Men of Tennessee - transcribed by, Kim Mohler]
Peter Turney, 1893-1897, Democrat.
Turney, son of a prominent lawyer and politician, was born in Jasper in 1827. He studied law and established a practice with his father in Winchester. A staunch secessionist, he raised the first regiment of infantry from Tennessee, "Turneys First, and was commissioned its colonel during the Civil War. After the war he was elected to the Supreme Court, becoming chief justice in 1886. He inherited the convict lease system and prison riot problems that Buchanan had faced in his term. He was re-elected in the first contested gubernatorial election in Tennessee. During his term the prison system was reformed and improvements were made in public education. Turney died in 1903. [Tennessee Blue Book - tr. by AJ]
Benton McMillin, 1899-1903, Democrat.
Born in Kentucky in 1845, McMillan was educated in Kentucky schools. He read law and opened a practice in 1871. He served in the state legislature 1875-1877. He was elected to Congress in 1879 and served until 1898, when he was elected governor. During his two terms the long boundary line dispute between Virginia and Tennessee was settled. Working with the legislature, McMillin was responsible for the adoption of uniform textbooks in the schools and for a tax to support high schools. After completing his second term, he entered the insurance business. He served as minister to Peru 1913-1919 and minister to Guatemala 1919-1922, and died in 1933. [Tennessee Blue Book. tr. by AJ]
James Beriah Frazier, 1903-1905, Democrat.
The son of a judge, Frazier was born in Bledsoe County in 1857. He was graduated from the University of Tennessee at age twenty-one, admitted to the bar in 1881, and opened a practice at Chattanooga. Elected governor in 1902, he served during a time of prosperity, made great strides in the educational system, and worked with the legislature to pass laws to regulate mining in order to make it a safer enterprise. He resigned in 1905 to take the seat of Senator William Bate, who had died in office. John Isaac Cox. speaker of the Senate, finished his term. Frazier served in the U.S. Senate until 1911 and died in 1937. [Tennessee Blue Book; tr. by AJ]
James B. Frazier, twice governor of Tennessee and for six years a United States senator from this state, is a native son of Tennessee, born at Pikeville, Bledsoe county, on the 18th of October, 1858. His parents were Thomas Neil and Margaret M. Frazier. He is descended from Scotch and French Huguenot ancestry, and is a great-grandson of Samuel Frazier and a grandson of Abner Frazier, both of whom fought in the battle of King's Mountain. Samuel Frazier was a delegate to the first constitutional convention of Tennessee in 1796. Thomas Neil Frazier, father of Senator Frazier, was graduated from Greeneville College and admitted to the bar at Washington, Tennessee, after which he became clerk and master of the chancery court of Bledsoe county. He resigned to engage in the practice of law at Pikeville and in 1861 was elected circuit judge, but before he could take his seat the state seceded and he never received his commission. Originally he was a stanch Union man, but after the state had adopted the policy of secession he did what he could to further the cause of the Confederacy. Following his removal to Rutherford county in 1863 he was appointed to the office of criminal judge for Davidson and Rutherford counties and remained upon the bench until impeached by a radical legislature in 1867, for releasing on habeas corpus several members of that body who absented themselves for the purpose of breaking a quorum. In 1870 his political rights were restored by a constitutional convention and he was reelected criminal judge of his old district, a circumstance indicating how the people of the community had stood behind him in the course he had pursued. He voluntarily retired from the bench in 1878 and died in 1887. After attending the common schools of Rutherford and Davidson counties James B. Frazier continued his education in Franklin College, near Nashville, and in the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where he was graduated in 1878, with the Bachelor of Arts degree. For a time he engaged in teaching and devoted his leisure hours during that period to the study of law, thus preparing himself for admission to the bar in 1880. Through the succeeding nine years he practiced as a member of the well known firm of DeWitt, Shepherd & Frazier of Chattanooga and in the year 1891 became a partner in the firm of Cooke, Frazier & Swaney. This connection was continued until 1896, when he became senior member of the firm of Frazier & Coleman. Several times he received appointment as special judge and while serving upon the bench delivered many opinions in important cases that have been regarded as strong, logical presentations of the law. [p.29] On the 10th of January, 1883, at Athens, Tennessee, he was married to Louise Douglas Keith, the daughter of Colonel Alexander Hume and Sarah Anne (Foree) Keith. Colonel Keith, a native of Tennessee, was a prominent attorney and wealthy planter, a veteran of the Seminole and Mexican wars, and a man of great influence and prestige. Mrs. Frazier is also descended from William Randolph of Virginia on the paternal side. Her grandfather, Judge Charles Fleming Keith, was a cousin of Chief Justice John Marshall. Sarah Anne Foree, her mother, was of French Huguenot stock and was descended from the Marquis De La Foree of France. Mrs. Frazier has been prominent in club and social circles of this state and has been particularly active in the Daughters of the American Revolution, having been regent of Chickamauga Chapter, and is also a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
To Senator and Mrs. Frazier four children have been born: Annie Keith, James B., Jr., Thomas A. and Louise. Annie Keith is the wife of Robert Nugent Somerville and resides in Cleveland, Mississippi. James B., Jr., now practicing law in partnership with his father at Chattanooga, held the rank of major of artillery during the World war, having volunteered within a month after war was declared. He received a lieutenant's commission at the beginning of the war and was stationed at Fort Oglethorpe, but later was assigned as instructor in the Field Artillery Training Camp, at Camp Taylor, and while at this post was advanced to the rank of major. Thomas Alexander Frazier, now a practicing attorney at Clarksdale, Mississippi, was a lieutenant of United States Cavalry in the First army and experienced nineteen months' service overseas, having participated in the fighting at Soissons, St. Mihiel, the Argonne and Montfaucon. Louise is the wife of John Porter Fort of Chattanooga. Senator Frazier is a Mason and a Knight of Pythias. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, South.
Senator Frazier has long been a rceognized leader in democratic circles of the state and in 1900 was made elector-at-large on the democratic presidential ticket. In 1902 he was nominated by acclamation and elected governor of Tennessee by the largest plurality - thirty-nine thousand, nine hundred and fifty-two–given to any candidate since the Civil war. That his administration received public endorsement is indicated by the fact that he was again nominated by acclamation and without opposition elected a second time in 1904, by a majority of about thirty thousand. Governor Frazier's administration was a strictly business administration. He insisted upon the most rigid economy in the conduct of every department of the state government. He refused to sanction the creation of new and unnecessary offices and refused to approve any increase of salaries of public officers and when the legislature passed a bill increasing his own salary as governor, he promptly vetoed it. By his policy of economy he was enabled to reduce the state debt in large measure. During the two terms for which he was elected the state debt was reduced two million, four hundred and sixty-three thousand dollars. Governor Frazier was a strong advocate of public education and advocated the extension and improvement of the public schools of the state, particularly the rural schools. Up to the time he became governor, the state, as such, had never made any appropriation for the support of the public schools, except the small sum annually paid on what was known as the school fund. He insisted, in a strong message to the legislature, that public education was a proper function and duty of the state and he secured the passage of a bill making a liberal appropriation for the support of the public schools of the state. From this act has grown the splendid system of public schools in the state which the people enjoy at this time. A short time before the beginning of Governor Frazier's first term there had been a number of disastrous explosions in the coal mines of the state, involving great loss of life. Governor Frazier studied this problem with great care, examined the statutes of other coal-producing states and helped to draft and secured the passage of a law regulating the operation of and providing for the inspection of coal mines. This law resulted in reducing mine disasters to a minimum and is still in effect, with some slight amendments increasing the number of inspectors. Governor Frazier stood for law and order and equal enforcement of all laws. He was a strong temperance man and approved what is known as the Adams law, extending prohibition to cities of five thousand population. He also vetoed a bill authorizing the establishment and creation of a dispensary in one of the cities of the state. He insisted that a dispensary system by a municipality would force all people therein into the saloon business and was inconsistent with true temperance. [p.32] Governor Frazier's first term was so satisfactory to the people that he was renominated without opposition and again elected by a large majority. In March, 1905, Governor James B. Frazier was nominated by acclamation for the position of United States senator, to succeed the Hon. William B. Bate, who died during the session of the legislature, and he was elected on the 21st of March by the general assembly, then in session. His course in the national legislative halls, where he served from March, 1905, until March, 1911, was in accord with the record he had previously made as a public official in his own state and was characterized by a masterful grasp of every problem presented for solution. Senator Frazier, being a democrat, stood for the fundamental principles of that party in his speeches and votes while a member of the senate. He consistently opposed every encroachment of the Federal government on the reserved powers of the state. During his term a question arose between the national government and the state of California as to the admission of the Japanese residents of that state into the public schools, and Theodore Roosevelt, then president, espoused the cause of the Japanese and threatened to use the army and navy to coerce the state of California. Senator Frazier introduced in the senate a resolution setting out and defining the relative powers of the Federal government and the states and insisting that the public schools of the state were domestic institutions, over which the states were supreme and that the Federal government had no right or power to dictate as to who should enter the schools by treaty or otherwise. He studied the questions involved with great care and thoroughness and made an elaborate and well considered speech in the senate in support of the principles set out in his resolution. That speech attracted great attention over the country and particularly in the west and south, where the race question was more or less acute. It was never answered, and the Federal administration abandoned its aggressive policy toward California. Senator Frazier opposed in speech and by his votes the high protective tariff known as the Payne-Aldrich bill. He was a strong advocate of an income tax and voted for an amendment to the constitution on that subject. He was an enthusiastic advocate of Federal aid to the states in the construction of a system of public highways throughout the nation. He prepared with great care and introduced a bill upon that subject. It failed to pass at that time, but it was the basis upon which the Bankhead good roads bill, which later became the law, was founded. Senator Frazier was not narrow in his partisanship, as was evidenced when he wrote the majority report of the committee of the senate, who investigated the conduct of President Roosevelt in discharging a battalion of negro soldiers for shooting up the city of Brownsville, Texas. In his report and in an elaborate and eloquent speech he sustained the action of the president. His report was accepted by the senate. Senator Frazier stood for honesty in elections and being a member of the senate committee to investigate the election of Senator Lorimer of Illinois, charged with having been elected by bribery and corruption, he refused to concur with the other members of the committee who reported favorably to Senator Lorimer and alone made a minority report, embodying such a strong and forceful statement of the facts and the law, that it was finally sustained by the senate and Senator Lorimer was unseated. Senator Frazier was a member of the Foreign Relations committee and many other important committees of the senate and took an active part in all important legislation and in the debates of the upper house of congress. Being regarded as one of the state's most eloquent and accomplished orators, he has since his retirement from public office been in great demand as a speaker on important occasions and has made many addresses on various subjects throughout Tennessee and elsewhere. He has canvassed the state on behalf of his party in practically every campaign for many years. Senator Frazier's private life has been pure and spotless, and his public career that of an honest, sincere and able statesman. [Tennessee, The Volunteer State, 1769-1923, Vol. 2 - tr by AJ]
HON. JAMES B. FRAZIER, governor of the State of Tennessee, is a descendant of one of the oldest and most notable families of the state. The first of the name in America came from Scotland and settled in Virginia during the colonial days. From there some of the younger generation went to North Carolina, where Samuel Frazier, the great-grandfather of the governor, was born in the early half of the eighteenth century. His mother was a Miss Rebecca Julien, whose parents were French Huguenots. Samuel Frazier and his son Abner, grandfather of Governor Frazier, both fought at the battle of King's Mountain. It is related of Abner that he ran away from home to join the soldiers. Just before the battle of King's Mountain he came upon the command in which his father belonged, was given a gun and a supply of ammunition, and bravely did his part in repelling or capturing the "redcoats." After the battle he returned home, where his courage was praised by his mother, who gave him an unmerciful whipping, nevertheless, for having disobeyed her in running away. Shortly after the Revolution, Samuel Frazier removed with his family to Tennessee, settling in what is now Greene county. He was a delegate to the first constitutional convention held in Tennessee, in the year 1796. Abner Frazier, the grandfather, was a farmer in Greene county all his life after coming to the state. His son, Thomas Neil Frazier, was born on the farm there, May 23, 1810. After such a primary education as the schools of that day afforded he graduated from Greenville college, went to Washington. Tenn., where he read law with an elder brother, and was admitted to the bar. Soon afterward he was appointed clerk and master of the chancery court of Bledsoe county, by Chancellor Williams of Knoxville, and held the position for several years, finally resigning to resume practice at Pikeville in that county. In 1861 he was elected circuit judge, but before he took his office the state seceded and he never received his commission. Judge Frazier was a stanch Union man and was chosen a delegate to the constitutional convention which was called for 1861, but which never met. Notwithstanding his pronounced views on the subject of secession, he, like many others, stood by the state and did what he could to further the cause of the Confederacy after the policy of secession was adopted. He delivered an address to the first company of soldiers that went into the Confederate service from Bledsoe county, in which he admonished them to be brave and true to their cause. In 1863 he removed to Rutherford county, where he was soon after appointed criminal judge for the district composed of Davidson and Rutherford counties, by Gov. Andrew Johnson. He continued to hold this position until he was impeached by a Radical legislature in 1867, for releasing on habeas corpus several members of that body who absented themselves for the purpose of breaking a quorum. In 1870 a constitutional convention took up the question of his impeachment and restored him to all his political rights. The same convention ordered an election for August, 1870, and at that election he was chosen criminal judge of his old district by a large majority, thus giving him a complete vindication from the impeachment charges. At that time he was living on his farm near Nashville and practicing in that city. When he retired from the bench in 1878 he also retired from active practice and spent the remaining years of his life in peace and quietude on his farm. He died in 1887, leaving a widow and three children, who still survive. Samuel J. and Sallie M. live with their mother on the farm and James B. is the subject of this sketch. Such are the antecedents of Governor Frazier, and one would naturally expect to find in him a man of strong traits of character and high attainments. Governor Frazier fills this expectation. He was born at Pikeville, Bledsoe county, Oct. 18, 1856. He was educated in the common schools of Rutherford and Davidson counties, at Franklin college, a preparatory school for boys, located near Nashville, and graduated from the University of Tennessee, at Knoxville, in 1878, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. For a time he engaged in teaching, reading law in his spare time, and in 1S80 was admitted to the bar in Nashville. He went to Chattanooga soon after being admitted and there became a member of the firm of DeWitt, Shepherd & Frazier, which soon became known as one of the leading law firms of southeastern Tennessee. This partnership lasted for five years, when he became connected with the firm of Cooke, Frazier & Swaney. This arrangement continued until 1896, when he became the senior member of the firm of Frazier & Coleman, which partnership still exists. During his legal career Governor Frazier has several times received appointments as special judge, and while serving in this capacity his decisions have been regarded as being based on both law and logic. While always interested in the common welfare, Governor Frazier has not been particularly active in politics. In 1900 he was an elector at large from the state of Tennessee on the presidential ticket, and in 1902 was elected governor of the state by the largest plurality since the war. His administration has fully justified all the optimistic predictions of his supporters during the campaign, being clean, able and progressive. Adjutant-General Hannah recently said of Governor Frazier: "He is a man of the highest type, thoroughly honest, faces every duty as it presents itself, confident in his courage and ability to discharge it, of exemplary habits, a man of keen perception and sound judgment, more of a statesman than a politician, and above all a man who is always true to his word." Governor Frazier is a prominent member of the Knights of Pythias, the Free and Accepted Masons, and the Methodist Episcopal Church South. In lodge, church and the community at large he enjoys a well-deserved popularity because of his generous and genial disposition, and in the state he is recognized as an able, fearless and conscientious official, one who is broad enough to lay aside his personal feelings and do those things in his official capacity that will result in "the greatest good to the greatest number." [Notable Men of Tennessee -- tr. by AJ]
John Isaac Cox, 1905-1907, Democrat.
The son of a Confederate soldier. Cox was born in Sullivan County in 1857. Working his way through Blountville Academy, he studied law and opened a practice in 1885. He served as county judge and as district attorney before being elected to the state House for the 1893-1895 term. In 1900. he was elected to the state Senate. As speaker. Cox became governor when Frazier resigned in 1905. His term saw prison riots and a renewed fight against yellow fever. The official state flag, designed by LeRoy Reeves, was adopted in 1905. Cox served in the state Senate 1907-1911 and in the state House 1913-1915. From 1914-1922 he was postmaster at Bristol. He died in 1946. [Tennessee Blue Book; tr. by AJ]
Malcolm Rice Patterson, 1907-1911, Democrat.
Born in 1861 in Alabama, Patterson was the son of a Confederate cavalry commander. He read law, opened a practice, served as attorney general and as a representative in Congress before becoming governor in 1907. When a dispute over fishing rights at Reelfoot Lake erupted into violence, Patterson called out the state guard to expel the "Night Riders" from west Tennessee. Patterson's veto of prohibition was overridden in 1909. During a time of intense political excitement, he withdrew from the campaign for a third term. He returned to his law practice, eventually becoming a spokesman for prohibition. He died in 1935, after serving as circuit court judge for eleven years. [Tennessee Blue Book, tr by AJ]
Ben Walter Hooper, 1911-1915, Republican.
Born in Newport in 1870. Hooper was orphaned early. He read law and opened a practice in 1894, served in the legislature and as captain, Company D, U.S. Volunteers in the Spanish-American War before being elected governor in 1910. Prohibition had split the Democratic party, and Hooper's election was helped by those "Independent Democrats" who also endorsed him. His was a turbulent administration, with political feeling so high that armed guards were required in the legislature. Even so. Hooper's term saw child labor laws and compulsory school laws passed, as well as a change in the death penalty law to provide for electrocution. Hooper continued in public service until near the time of his death in 1957. [Tennessee Blue Book, tr by AJ]
Hooper penned an autobiography, "The Unwanted Boy," which was published posthumously in 1963.
Ben Hooper is buried in Cocke Co TN at the Union Cemetery.
Thomas Clarke Rye, 1915-1919, Democrat.
Born in a Camden log cabin in 1863, Rye read law and at age twenty-one set up a practice. A prohibitionist, as attorney general he acquired a reputation as a man who upheld the law. As governor during the First World War. he saw 80,000 Tennesseans enter the forces to fight Germany. He promoted the "Ouster Law," which unseated powerful Memphis mayor Edward H. Crump for failing to enforce prohibition laws, although the mayor's influence was felt for years. Rye's administration saw major revisions in state government, with the creation of a highway department and boards of charitable institutions and education. Rye returned to his law practice after serving as governor, and died in 1953. [Tennessee Blue Book; tr by AJ]
Albert Houston Roberts, 1919-1921, Democrat.
Born in Overton County in 1868. Roberts was graduated from Hiwassee College in 1889. He taught school and served as county superintendent before opening a law practice. It was from the office of chancellor of the Fourth Division that he was elected governor. During his term prohibition became law by ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment, Tennessee tax reform and workmen's compensation laws were passed, and the War Memorial Building was erected in Nashville as a monument to Tennesseans who served in World War I. Roberts called a special session of the legislature to vote on the women's suffrage amendment; Tennessee's ratification made it the law of the land. Roberts died in 1946. [Tennessee Blue Book; tr by AJ]
Alfred Alexander Taylor, 1921-1923, Republican.
Born in Happy Valley in Carter County in 1848, Taylor went on to study law and was admitted to the bar in 1870. He served in the legislature 1875-1879, and three terms in Congress 1889-1895. In 1886, in Tennessee's War of the Roses, he was beaten by his brother Robert in the race for governor. When he was inaugurated governor in 1921, he was the oldest person to hold the high office. Women's suffrage, although the law of the land, was still controversial when he took the chair. Taylor was successful in tax reform and other areas, and was instrumental in persuading Congress to convert a wartime nitrate plant at Muscle Shoals into a power plant for the Tennessee Valley. He lost his bid for re-election to Austin Peay and died in 1931. [Tennessee Blue Book; Tr. by AJ]
Austin Peay, 1923-1927, Democrat.
Peay was born in 1876 in Kentucky. He studied law and came to Tennessee as a young man, starting his law practice in 1896. He served in the state House 1901-1905. Urging honest government and justice for all citizens, he was elected governor in 1922. He carried out a major governmental reorganization in 1923. His administration strengthened education and created through legislation the Department of Highways and Public Works, by whose authority miles of paved roads came into existence. During Peay's term the law prohibiting the teaching of evolution in public schools was passed, resulting in the Scopes evolution trial in Dayton in 1925. He was elected to a third term but died in 1927, the first governor to die in office. [Tennessee Blue Book, tr by AJ]
Henry Hollis Horton, 1927-1933, Democrat.
The son of a Baptist minister, Horton was born in Alabama in 1866. After graduation from Winchester College in 1888, he taught school for six years, and was admitted to the bar in 1894. He served in the state House and later in the Senate, where he was elected speaker. It was from this office that he became governor when Austin Peay died. Successfully elected in his own right in 1929, his involvement with the Lea-Caldwell banks in the depression years cost him his credibility and he came close to being found guilty of fraud. He abolished the state land tax, created an aeronautics division in state government, and developed a secondary road system. Horton did not seek re-election and died in 1934. [Tennessee Blue Book, Tr. by AJ]
Hill McAlister, 1933-1937, Democrat.
From the family of a long line of governors (William Blount, Willie Blount, and Aaron Brown), McAlister was born in Nashville in 1875. He was a Vanderbilt law school graduate and served as city attorney in Nashville. After serving in the state Senate he served eight years as state treasurer. Losing the race for governor twice, he finally won the nomination in 1932, becoming Tennessee's depression governor. He cut government expenses to the bone and was re-elected in 1934. He was a strong supporter of TVA, a friend to labor concerns, and a supporter of unemployment compensation. He did not seek re-election in 1936, having come into conflict with Memphis mayor Edward H. Crump's giant political machine. McAlister died in 1959.[Tennessee Blue Book, tr. by AJ]
Gordon Weaver Browning, 1937-1939; 1949-1953, Democrat.
Browning was born in Carroll County in 1895. He worked his way through school and opened a law practice in 1915, then enlisted in the National Guard when World War I broke out. He served six straight terms in Congress and with the backing of the Crump organization was elected governor in 1936. Later the two men parted ways and Crump helped defeat Browning in 1938. With support from Estes Kefauver, Browning was again elected governor in 1948, and Crump's era of influence ended. Browning supported TVA; opposed Roosevelt's recovery policies; pushed education, roads, tax reform and further governmental reorganizations; favored a balanced budget; and repealed the poll tax as a prerequisite for voting. Browning died in 1976. [Tennessee Blue Book, tr by AJ]
William Prentice Cooper, 1939-1945, Democrat.
Born in Bedford County in 1895, Cooper went to Vanderbilt, Princeton, and Harvard. He served in World War I, then opened a law practice in 1921. He served in the state House for one term in 1923, and was then elected district attorney. In 1936, he went to the state Senate and in 1938 was elected governor. Much of his time in office was consumed with the transition from peacetime to wartime status, but he still accomplished a major state debt reduction, increased funding for education, and founded a statewide tuberculosis hospital system. Later serving as ambassador to Peru and as a member of the 1953 Constitutional Convention, he died in 1969. [Tennessee Blue Book, tr. by AJ]
Jim Nance McCord, 1945-1949, Democrat.
McCord was born in Tennessee in 1879. A self-taught man and editor of the Marshall County Gazette, he served thirteen terms as mayor of Lewisburg and one term in Congress, 1943-1945, before he was elected governor. Taking on Memphis Mayor Edward H. Crump s powerful political machine, McCord successfully pushed the first state sales tax, using the funds to improve the educational system and provide for retirement for teachers. Despite its benefits, the unpopularity of the tax and McCord's "open shop" labor policies lost him his bid for re-election to a third term. McCord served as a member of the 1953 Constitutional Convention and as conservation commissioner under Frank Clement. He died in 1968. [Tennessee Blue Book, tr by AJ]
Frank Goad Clement 1953-1959; 1963-1967, Democrat.
Clement was born in 1920 in Tennessee. He began his law practice in 1941, received a second lieutenants commission in World War II, and served the army again as an instructor at Fort Gordon, Georgia in 1950-1951. A powerful orator, he was elected governor in 1952. and re-elected for the state s first four-year term in 1954. During his administration the first changes in the Constitution since 1870 were made, the State Library and Archives building opened, and legislation provided for free textbooks in all public schools. His administration faced the tumultuous changes that accompanied the national civil rights movement. Clement was instrumental in health care for the poor, in youth and alcoholism programs, and in highway development. He died in 1969. [Tennessee Blue Book, tr by AJ]
Earl Buford Ellington, 1959-1963; 1967-1971, Democrat.
Born in Mississippi in 1907, Ellington became a farmer and merchant, also serving as agriculture commissioner for six years under Frank Clement, and as a member of the legislature before he was elected governor in 1958. He and Clement led the Democratic party and alternated the executive chair for eighteen years. Initially a segregationist, Ellington later reversed his position. Peaceful, successful nonviolent sit-ins in Nashville were among the earliest and best organized in the nation. His terms saw constitutional changes, reorganization and reduction of state government, liberalization of liquor laws, and repeal of the anti-evolution law. He died in 1972. [Tennessee Blue Book, tr by AJ]
Bryant Winfield Culberson Dunn, 1971-1975, Republican.
Born in Mississippi in 1927. Dunn at age seventeen volunteered for service in World War II. Later he earned degrees in finance and in dental surgery from the University of Mississippi and from the University of Tennessee at Memphis. Over the years he was active in many local, state, and national campaigns. A practicing dentist, he was the first Republican governor in fifty years, and served at a time of increased urbanization, industrial growth, and strides in civil rights. Dunn instituted a kindergarten program for Tennessee children, further reorganized state government, and developed highway construction plans and health programs. [Tennessee Blue Book, tr by AJ]
Leonard Ray Blanton, 1975-1979, Democrat.
Born in Hardin County in 1930, Blanton grew up on a farm, worked his way through the University of Tennessee, and went into the construction business. Elected to the legislature in 1964, he also served in Congress 1969-1973. In 1974, he was elected governor. Blanton's administration emphasized equality for women and blacks, economic development and international trade, tax relief for older and fixed-income citizens, and penal reform. Blanton created the Department of Tourism, making Tennessee the first state to have a Cabinet- level department for tourism. His administration recruited Tennessee-based industry from Germany and Japan. He died in 1996. [Tennessee Blue Book, tr by AJ]
Andrew Lamar Alexander, 1979-1987, Republican.
The son of two teachers, Lamar Alexander was born in Blount County in 1940. He went to Vanderbilt University and New York University Law School. He spent many years in Washington serving as assistant to Senator Howard Baker, and managed campaigns for several office holders. In 1978, he was nominated to run for governor, and during his campaign walked 1,022 miles across Tennessee to talk and listen to citizens. His administration had education as its top priority, and Alexander's Better Schools Program and the career ladder pay plan for teachers drew national attention. After his two terms he served as president of the University of Tennessee. U.S. Secretary of Education, and currently  as the senior U.S. Senator from Tennessee. [Tennessee Blue Book, tr by AJ]
Ned Ray McWherter, 1987-1995, Democrat.
Born in Palmersville in 1930, McWherter has been a farmer and a businessman, and is a retired captain in the National Guard after 21 years service. He was elected to the state House in 1968. serving a record seven terms as speaker. In the House he sponsored the campaign financial disclosure law and open meetings legislation. He was elected governor in 1986. His 21st Century Schools reform program provided for equalization of funding and high performance standards. His TennCare plan replaced the Medicaid program and provided health care to the poor, complementing national health care reforms. McWherter s administrations recruited new industry from other nations and provided for economic development in depressed areas. [Tennessee Blue Book, tr by AJ]
Donald Kenneth Sundquist, 1995-2003, Republican.
Born in Illinois in 1936. Sundquist graduated from Augustana College and served two years in the U.S. Navy. After working for a scholastic products company, he struck out on his own and became president and partner of a printing and advertising firm. He was first elected to U.S. Congress in 1982 and served six terms until he was elected governor of Tennessee in 1995. During his administration. Sundquist initiated Families First, a statewide welfare reform program offering job training and assistance with transportation and day care needs. Through Sundquist's environmental interest, the state added twenty-five new state natural areas to the state park system and improved Tennessee's air, water, and land record to the cleanest they had been in twenty-five years. [Tennessee Blue Book, tr by AJ]
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