Tennessee Governor, US Senator. Moving to Tennessee, at age eleven, at age of twenty-one, he joined the Methodist church as a minister, serving for ten years as a member of the Holston Methodist Conference, an Appalachian area of Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina. He was appointed by President Millard Fillmore to carry out congressional provisions in 1850 and as a talented journalist he established the Whig newspaper in Knoxville, Tennessee and became an agent for the U.S. Treasury. As the Civil War was winding down in early 1865, he with Tennessee's Unionists created their own Constitutional Convention and proceeded to free the state's slaves. In April 1865, he was elected as a Whig the 17th Governor of Tennessee, serving until he resigned in 1869. While in office, he worked on the state’s reconstruction, ruling with a dictatorial hand, disenfranchising a majority of citizens, who had supported the Confederacy. After his term, he was elected by the Tennessee State Legislature, to the U.S. Senate, serving (1865-75). After serving in the Senate, he returned to Knoxville and was a partner in establishing the Weekly Whig and Chronicle newspaper. He died at age 71, cause of death was given as paralysis of the bowels.
Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith