Virginia Memory, Library of Virginia
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Union or Secession Biographies

Union or Secession

Union or Secession Biographies

JAMES  ALEXANDER (1804–1887) icon

JAMES ALEXANDER (1804–1887)

James Alexander (4 March 1804–20 October 1887), journalist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the eldest of three children, all sons, of James Alexander, a prominent cabinetmaker, and Elizabeth Williston Alexander. He attended public school until the … more »

JOHN BROWN BALDWIN (1820–1873) icon

JOHN BROWN BALDWIN (1820–1873)

John Brown Baldwin (11 January 1820–30 September 1873), attorney, member of the Convention of 1861, member of the Confederate House of Representatives, and Speaker of the House of Delegates, was born in Augusta County, the eldest of three sons and thir… more »

MARY BERKELEY MINOR BLACKFORD (1802–1896) icon

MARY BERKELEY MINOR BLACKFORD (1802–1896)

Mary Berkeley Minor Blackford (2 December 1802–15 September 1896), antislavery leader, was born in Fredericksburg, the only daughter and second or third of eight children of John Minor and his second wife, Lucy Landon Carter Minor. John Minor died when… more »

GEORGE  BLOW (1813–1894) icon

GEORGE BLOW (1813–1894)

George Blow (5 May 1813–2 May 1894), member of the Convention of 1861, was born in Sussex County, the son of George Blow and Elizabeth Waller Blow. He grew up in the household of his maternal grandmother in Norfolk, was educated at the College of Willi… more »

ARTHUR INGRAHAM BOREMAN (1823–1896) icon

ARTHUR INGRAHAM BOREMAN (1823–1896)

Arthur Ingraham Boreman (24 July 1823–19 April 1896), president of the Wheeling Convention of 1861, was born in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, the son of Kenner Seaton Boreman and Sara Ingraham Boreman. His father moved the family to northwestern Virginia, … more »

PETER BOCK BORST (1826–1882) icon

PETER BOCK BORST (1826–1882)

Peter Bock Borst (23 June 1826–25 April 1882), member of the Convention of 1861, was born in Schoharie County, New York, the son of Peter I. Borst, a one-term congressman, and Catherine Becker Borst. Little is known of Borst's youth or education. He ha… more »

JOHN MINOR BOTTS (1802–1869) icon

JOHN MINOR BOTTS (1802–1869)

John Minor Botts (16 September 1802–8 January 1869), member of the House of Representatives and member of the Convention of 1850–1851, was born at Dumfries, the son of Benjamin Gaines Botts and Jane Tyler Botts. After his parents died in the Rich… more »

ANDREW HUNTER HOLMES BOYD (1814–1865) icon

ANDREW HUNTER HOLMES BOYD (1814–1865)

Andrew Hunter Holmes Boyd (4 June 1814–16 December 1865), Presbyterian minister, was born in Berkeley County, the son of Elisha Boyd, a prominent attorney and member of the Convention of 1829–1830, and his second wife, Ann "Nancy" Holmes Boyd. He… more »

GEORGE WILLIAM BRENT (1821–1872) icon

GEORGE WILLIAM BRENT (1821–1872)

George William Brent (August 1821–2 January 1872), member of the Convention of 1861, was born in Alexandria, a part of the District of Columbia until 1846, the son of George Brent, collector of the port of Alexandria, and Elizabeth Parsons Brent. After… more »

LUCY GOODE BROOKS (1818–1900) icon

LUCY GOODE BROOKS (1818–1900)

Lucy Goode Brooks (13 September 1818–7 October 1900), civic leader, was born probably in or near Richmond, the daughter of Judith Goode, a slave, and an unidentified white man. Her nephew John Henry Smyth became the United States minister to Liberia. O… more »

THOMAS GREENE BROUGHTON (1786–1861) icon

THOMAS GREENE BROUGHTON (1786–1861)

Thomas Greene Broughton (27 September 1786–24 August 1861), journalist, was born in Princess Anne County, the son of Charles Broughton and Elizabeth Greene Broughton. He grew up there but as a young man moved to Norfolk, where on 6 May 1808 he married … more »

HENRY BOX BROWN (ca. 1815–after 1889) icon

HENRY BOX BROWN (ca. 1815–after 1889)

Henry Box Brown (1815 or 1816–after 26 February 1889), abolitionist lecturer and performer, was born Henry Brown at Hermitage, a plantation about ten miles from Yanceyville in Louisa County. Brown, his parents (names unknown), three brothers, and four … more »

JAMES COLES BRUCE (1806–1865) icon

JAMES COLES BRUCE (1806–1865)

James Coles Bruce (26 January 1806–28 March 1865), planter and member of the Convention of 1861, was born in Halifax County, the son of James Bruce, a wealthy merchant and planter, and Sarah Coles Bruce, who died four months after his birth. His father… more »

ANTHONY  BURNS (1834–1862) icon

ANTHONY BURNS (1834–1862)

Anthony Burns (31 May 1834–27 July 1862), principal in a fugitive slave case, was born a slave in Stafford County. He was the thirteenth and last child of the family cook of John F. Suttle and of her third husband, who supervised other slaves working i… more »

MARTHA HAINES BUTT (1833–1871) icon

MARTHA HAINES BUTT (1833–1871)

Martha Haines Butt (22 November 1833–9 February 1871), writer, was born in Norfolk, the daughter of Francis Butt and Mary Ann Morriss Butt, a milliner. Between about 1847 and 1850 she attended Patapsco Female Institute in Ellicott's Mills, Howard Count… more »

CHARLES WILLIAM BUTTON (1822–1894) icon

CHARLES WILLIAM BUTTON (1822–1894)

Charles William Button (7 July 1822–29 December 1894), journalist, was born at Harpers Ferry, the son of Charles Button, a blacksmith, and Jane Read Button. He obtained only a limited formal education and was most likely expected to take up a mechanic'… more »

ARCHIBALD W. CAMPBELL (1833–1899) icon

ARCHIBALD W. CAMPBELL (1833–1899)

Archibald W. Campbell (4 April 1833–13 February 1899), journalist and Republican Party leader, was born in Jefferson County, Ohio, the son of Archibald W. Campbell and Phoebe Campbell. His father was a physician and a younger brother of Alexander Campb… more »

ALLEN TAYLOR CAPERTON (1810–1876) icon

ALLEN TAYLOR CAPERTON (1810–1876)

Allen Taylor Caperton (21 November 1810–26 July 1876), member of the Convention of 1850–1851, the Convention of 1861, and the Confederate States Senate, was born at Elmwood, the Monroe County residence of his parents, Hugh Caperton, who won elect… more »

JOHN SNYDER CARLILE (1817–1878) icon

JOHN SNYDER CARLILE (1817–1878)

John Snyder Carlile (16 December 1817–24 October 1878), member of the Convention of 1850–1851, of the House of Representatives, of the Convention of 1861, of the First and Second Wheeling Conventions of 1861, and of the United States Senate, was … more »

JOHN RANDOLPH CHAMBLISS (1809–1875) icon

JOHN RANDOLPH CHAMBLISS (1809–1875)

John Randolph Chambliss (5 March 1809–3 April 1875), member of the Convention of 1850–1851, of the Convention of 1861, and of the Confederate States House of Representatives, was born in Sussex County and was the son of James Jarred Chambliss and… more »

CHARLES B. COALE (ca. 1807–1879) icon

CHARLES B. COALE (ca. 1807–1879)

Charles B. Coale (d. 3 January 1879), journalist, was born in Maryland, possibly in or near Bel Air, in Harford County, where he attended school, delivered newspapers, and worked in the Bond of Union and Weekly Advertiser office, run by a printer wh… more »

JOHN ROGERS COOKE (1833–1891) icon

JOHN ROGERS COOKE (1833–1891)

John Rogers Cooke (9 June 1833–10 April 1891), Confederate army officer, was born at Jefferson Barracks, in Saint Louis County, Missouri, and was the son of Rachel Wilt Hertzog Cooke and Philip St. George Cooke, a native Virginian and career army offic… more »

PHILIP ST. GEORGE COOKE (1809–1895) icon

PHILIP ST. GEORGE COOKE (1809–1895)

Philip St. George Cooke (13 June 1809–20 March 1895), army officer, was born in Loudoun County and was the son of Stephen Cooke, a physician, and Catherine Esten Cooke. He attended a local school and for two years studied at a Martinsburg academy while… more »

WILLIAM POPE COOPER (1825–1880) icon

WILLIAM POPE COOPER (1825–1880)

William Pope Cooper (26 July 1825–17 September 1880), member of the third session of the Convention of 1861, was born in New York State and was the son of Enoch Cooper, a New Hampshire native, and Maranda Cooper. Details of his early life are not known… more »

ROBERT EDWIN COWAN (1830–1887) icon

ROBERT EDWIN COWAN (1830–1887)

Robert Edwin Cowan (9 November 1830–14 July 1887), member of the third session of the Convention of 1861, was the son of Arthur Cowan and Elizabeth Cowan (maiden name unknown) and was born probably in Staunton. In 1830 the family was living in Monongal… more »

JAMES ANDREW COWARDIN (1811–1882) icon

JAMES ANDREW COWARDIN (1811–1882)

James Andrew Cowardin (6 October 1811–21 November 1882), journalist, was born in Bath County and was the son of John Lewis Cowardin and Polly Rhodes Cowardin. At age thirteen he became a printer's apprentice at the Roanoke Sentinel, published … more »

CHARLES JAMES PINDALL CRESAP (1836–1886) icon

CHARLES JAMES PINDALL CRESAP (1836–1886)

Charles James Pindall Cresap (17 August 1836–21 October 1886), member of the third session of the Convention of 1861, was born in Preston County and was the son of Gustavus Cresap, an attorney, and Ruhama Pindall Cresap. Admitted to the bar in 1857, he… more »

WILLIAM HENRY BAGWELL CUSTIS (1814–1889) icon

WILLIAM HENRY BAGWELL CUSTIS (1814–1889)

William Henry Bagwell Custis (28 December 1814–7 October 1889), member of the Convention of 1861 and member-elect of the House of Representatives, was born in Accomack County and was the only surviving son of Henry Bagwell Custis, a slaveholding plante… more »

HECTOR  DAVIS (1816–1863) icon

HECTOR DAVIS (1816–1863)

Hector Davis (4 December 1816–7 January 1863), slave trader, was the son of John S. Davis and Jane W. Matthews Davis, the second of his three wives. They resided in Goochland County, the probable place of his birth. The record of Davis's birth that a n… more »

MARSHALL MORTIMER DENT (1828–1901) icon

MARSHALL MORTIMER DENT (1828–1901)

Marshall Mortimer Dent (2 May 1828–3 May 1901), member of the Convention of 1861, was born in Preston County and was the son of Marmaduke Dent, a physician, and Sarah Price Dent. Not long after his birth, the family moved to Laurel Point, near Morganto… more »

JAMES BALDWIN DORMAN (1823–1893) icon

JAMES BALDWIN DORMAN (1823–1893)

James Baldwin Dorman (25 July 1823–4 August 1893), member of the Convention of 1861, was born in Lexington and was the son of Charles P. Dorman, a ten-term member of the House of Delegates, and Amanda Elizabeth McCue Dorman. After his mother died in Se… more »

JUBAL ANDERSON EARLY (1816–1894) icon

JUBAL ANDERSON EARLY (1816–1894)

Jubal Anderson Early (3 November 1816–2 March 1894), member of the Convention of 1861, Confederate army officer, and defender of the Lost Cause, was born in Franklin County and was the son of Joab Early, a prosperous land- and slave-owner, and Ruth Hai… more »

JOHN  ECHOLS (1823–1896) icon

JOHN ECHOLS (1823–1896)

John Echols (20 March 1823–24 May 1896), member of the Convention of 1861 and Confederate army officer, was born in Lynchburg and was the son of Joseph Echols and Elizabeth Frances Lambeth Echols. After graduating from Washington College (later Washing… more »

JOHN E. FERGUSON (1810–1859) icon

JOHN E. FERGUSON (1810–1859)

John E. Ferguson (February 1810–8 June 1859), businessman, was born free and of mixed-race ancestry, probably in Richmond. His parents' names are not recorded. Ferguson learned the barbering trade, probably by beginning as a porter boy, whose duties u… more »

MIERS W. FISHER (1806–1873) icon

MIERS W. FISHER (1806–1873)

Miers W. Fisher (6 or 7 June 1806–18 June 1873), member of the Convention of 1861, was the son of George Fisher and Susan (or Susanna) Joynes Fisher. Most likely he was born in Northampton County, where his paternal ancestors had lived since the sevent… more »

JOHN  JANNEY (1798–1872) icon

JOHN JANNEY (1798–1872)

John Janney (8 November 1798–5 January 1872), member of the Convention of 1850–1851 and president of the Convention of 1861, was born in Alexandria and was the son of Elisha Janney, a descendent of a prominent Pennsylvania Quaker family, and his … more »

JOHN  LETCHER (1813–1884) icon

JOHN LETCHER (1813–1884)

John Letcher (29 March 1813–26 January 1884), member of the Convention of 1850–1851, member of the House of Representatives, and governor of Virginia, was born in Lexington and was the son of William Houston Letcher, proprietor of a general store… more »

GEORGE WILLIAM SUMMERS (1804–1868) icon

GEORGE WILLIAM SUMMERS (1804–1868)

George William Summers (4 March 1804–19 September 1868), member of the House of Representatives, of the Convention of 1850–1851, and of the Convention of 1861, was born in Fairfax County and was the son of Ann Smith Radcliff Summers and George Su… more »

JOHN  TYLER (1790–1862) icon

JOHN TYLER (1790–1862)

John Tyler (29 March 1790–18 January 1862), president of the United States, governor of Virginia, member of the House of Representatives, member of the United States Senate, and member of the Conventions of 1829–1830 and of 1861, was born at Gree… more »

HENRY ALEXANDER WISE (1806–1876) icon

HENRY ALEXANDER WISE (1806–1876)

Henry Alexander Wise (3 December 1806–12 September 1876), member of the House of Representatives, member of the Conventions of 1850–1851 and 1861, governor of Virginia, and Confederate army officer, was born in Drummondtown (later Accomac), in Ac… more »