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 Francis Harrison Pierpont

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Francis Harrison Pierpont Famous memorial

Birth
Morgantown, Monongalia County, West Virginia, USA
Death
24 Mar 1899 (aged 85)
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial
Fairmont, Marion County, West Virginia, USA
Memorial ID
64368331 View Source

Governor of Virginia. He was the governor of Virginia from 1865 to 1868 during the first years of Reconstruction after the American Civil War, and although never the governor of West Virginia, he was called the "Father of West Virginia." Besides being the governor of Virginia, he was a lawyer, early coal industrialist, and a state senator representing Marion County in West Virginia from 1869 to 1870. He was an antislavery member of the Whig Party and delegate to the First and Second Wheeling Conventions in 1861, during which Unionist politicians in western Virginia resisted the state's vote to secede by establishing the Restored government of Virginia. The second convention unanimously elected him governor. He began his legal career in trans-Allegheny Virginia representing such influential clients as the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Along with partner James Otis Watson, he became one of Virginia's earliest coal operators. His political career began in 1840 when he made speeches across western Virginia in support of Whig presidential nominees William Henry Harrison of Ohio and fellow Virginian John Tyler. During the presidential election of 1860, he campaigned for Constitutional Union nominees John Bell of Tennessee and Edward Everett of Massachusetts. During the secession crisis of 1860 and 1861, Pierpont delivered pro-Union, antislavery addresses to large crowds across northwestern Virginia. The city of Wheeling initially served as the headquarters of the Restored government of Virginia, but after the formation of West Virginia on June 20, 1863, and his reelection as governor that December, the reorganized state government relocated to Alexandria. He dedicated his energies to raising troops and funds for the Union war effort, coordinating with Abraham Lincoln's administration, combating Confederate sympathizers, and working to return Virginia to the Union. He promoted the creation of "free schools," the extension of constitutional rights to freedmen, and in 1864 the convening of a state constitutional convention aimed at abolishing slavery. After the conclusion of the Civil War, the Alexandria government moved to Richmond, where he began the process of reconstructing Virginia. His civilian administration oversaw local and state elections, promoted the rights of freedmen, and worked to rebuild the state's economy. Due to his conciliatory policies toward ex-Confederates, he was criticized by Radical Republicans. In March 1867, the United States Congress, as part of its new Reconstruction policy, placed Virginia under the military command of General John M. Schofield. Despite his protesting, he was removed from office on April 4, 1868. After his ouster, he quietly returned to Fairmont, where his support for the statehood movement earned him election by Marion County voters to the West Virginia state senate in 1869. Due to the increasing Democratic control of the state government, he was not reelected in 1870 and subsequently retired from politics. He spent the final years of his life as a founder and member of the West Virginia Historical Society.

Governor of Virginia. He was the governor of Virginia from 1865 to 1868 during the first years of Reconstruction after the American Civil War, and although never the governor of West Virginia, he was called the "Father of West Virginia." Besides being the governor of Virginia, he was a lawyer, early coal industrialist, and a state senator representing Marion County in West Virginia from 1869 to 1870. He was an antislavery member of the Whig Party and delegate to the First and Second Wheeling Conventions in 1861, during which Unionist politicians in western Virginia resisted the state's vote to secede by establishing the Restored government of Virginia. The second convention unanimously elected him governor. He began his legal career in trans-Allegheny Virginia representing such influential clients as the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Along with partner James Otis Watson, he became one of Virginia's earliest coal operators. His political career began in 1840 when he made speeches across western Virginia in support of Whig presidential nominees William Henry Harrison of Ohio and fellow Virginian John Tyler. During the presidential election of 1860, he campaigned for Constitutional Union nominees John Bell of Tennessee and Edward Everett of Massachusetts. During the secession crisis of 1860 and 1861, Pierpont delivered pro-Union, antislavery addresses to large crowds across northwestern Virginia. The city of Wheeling initially served as the headquarters of the Restored government of Virginia, but after the formation of West Virginia on June 20, 1863, and his reelection as governor that December, the reorganized state government relocated to Alexandria. He dedicated his energies to raising troops and funds for the Union war effort, coordinating with Abraham Lincoln's administration, combating Confederate sympathizers, and working to return Virginia to the Union. He promoted the creation of "free schools," the extension of constitutional rights to freedmen, and in 1864 the convening of a state constitutional convention aimed at abolishing slavery. After the conclusion of the Civil War, the Alexandria government moved to Richmond, where he began the process of reconstructing Virginia. His civilian administration oversaw local and state elections, promoted the rights of freedmen, and worked to rebuild the state's economy. Due to his conciliatory policies toward ex-Confederates, he was criticized by Radical Republicans. In March 1867, the United States Congress, as part of its new Reconstruction policy, placed Virginia under the military command of General John M. Schofield. Despite his protesting, he was removed from office on April 4, 1868. After his ouster, he quietly returned to Fairmont, where his support for the statehood movement earned him election by Marion County voters to the West Virginia state senate in 1869. Due to the increasing Democratic control of the state government, he was not reelected in 1870 and subsequently retired from politics. He spent the final years of his life as a founder and member of the West Virginia Historical Society.

Bio by: Glendora


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Garver Graver
  • Added: 18 Jan 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 64368331
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/64368331/francis-harrison-pierpont: accessed ), memorial page for Francis Harrison Pierpont (25 Jan 1814–24 Mar 1899), Find a Grave Memorial ID 64368331, citing Woodlawn Cemetery, Fairmont, Marion County, West Virginia, USA; Maintained by Find a Grave.