World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

James McDowell


James McDowell

James McDowell
Daguerreotype portrait of Governor McDowell
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 11th district
In office
March 6, 1846 – March 3, 1851
Preceded by William Taylor
Succeeded by John Letcher
29th Governor of Virginia
In office
January 1, 1843 – January 1, 1846
Preceded by John Munford Gregory
Succeeded by William Smith
Personal details
Born October 13, 1795
Rockbridge County, Virginia
Died August 24, 1851 (aged 55)
Lexington, Virginia
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Susanna Smith Preston

James McDowell (October 13, 1795 – August 24, 1851) was 29th Governor of Virginia from 1843 to 1846 and was a U.S. Congressman from 1846 to 1851.


McDowell was born at "Cherry Grove," near Rockbridge County, Virginia, on October 13, 1795. He attended a classical school at Greenville, Virginia, a private school at Brownsburg, Washington College (now Washington and Lee University), Lexington, Virginia, and Yale College He graduated from Princeton College in 1817 and studied law. He was admitted to the bar but did not practice. He was a member of the State house of delegates 1831–1835 and again in 1838. He was chosen as Governor of Virginia in 1843. He was elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-ninth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of William Taylor. He was reelected to the Thirtieth and Thirty-first Congresses and served from March 6, 1846, to March 3, 1851. McDowell died on his estate "Col Alto" near Lexington, August 24, 1851. He was interred in Presbyterian Cemetery.

McDowell was the brother-in-law of Senator Thomas Hart Benton. McDowell County, West Virginia was formed in 1858 and named in honor of Governor McDowell.[1]


  1. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 194. 

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

External links

  • A Guide to the Executive Papers of Governor James McDowell, 1843-1845 at The Library of Virginia
  • James McDowell helped shape history of Rockbridge County from The News Leader
  • Congressional Biography
Political offices
Preceded by
John Munford Gregory
Acting Governor
Governor of Virginia
Succeeded by
William Smith
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
William Taylor
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 11th congressional district

March 6, 1846 – March 3, 1851
Succeeded by
John Letcher

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.