William Van Amberg Sullivan

William Van Amberg Sullivan

Birth
Winona, Montgomery County, Mississippi, USA
Death 21 Mar 1918 (aged 60)
Oxford, Lafayette County, Mississippi, USA
Burial Oxford, Lafayette County, Mississippi, USA
Memorial ID 8004406 · View Source
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U.S. Congressman and Senator. He attended the common schools in Panola County, Mississippi, the University of Mississippi at Oxford, and graduated in 1875 from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. He was admitted to the Mississippi bar in 1875 and commenced practice in Austin, Tunica County. Later he moved to Oxford, Lafayette County in 1877. Entering politics, he became a member of the board of city aldermen. He was elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-fifth Congress serving from March 4, 1897 to May 31, 1898 when he resigned. He was then appointed to the U. S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Edward C. Walthall. He served from May 31, 1898 to March 3, 1901; he was not a candidate for reelection. On September 8, 1908, William Sullivan led a lynch mob which murdered without due process a black man named Nelse Patton. Mr. Patton, a trusty at the Oxford City Jail, had been accused of killing with a razor a white woman, the wife of the jail keeper. According to the New York Times newspaper, Former U. S. Senator William Sullivan was quoted a day later as saying, “I led the mob which lynched Nelse Patton, and I’m proud of it. I directed every movement of the mob and I did everything I could to see that he was lynched." The coroner's jury determined that Patton "came to his death from gunshot or pistol wounds inflicted by parties to us unknown." The former Senator resided in Washington D.C. after his retirement.

Bio by: Linda Davis



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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Tim Crutchfield
  • Added: 20 Oct 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8004406
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Van Amberg Sullivan (12 Dec 1857–21 Mar 1918), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8004406, citing Oxford Memorial Cemetery, Oxford, Lafayette County, Mississippi, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .