ALCORN, James Lusk, (1816 - 1894)

Senate Years of Service: 1871-1877
Party: Republican

Library of Congress

ALCORN, James Lusk, a Senator from Mississippi; born near Golconda, Ill., November 4, 1816; attended the public schools of Livingston County, Ky., and was graduated from Cumberland College, Ky.; deputy sheriff of Livingston County 1839-1844; member of the Kentucky house of representatives in 1843; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1844 and commenced practice in Delta, Panola County, Miss.; member of the Mississippi house of representatives 1846, 1856, and 1857; served in the State senate 1848-1854; unsuccessful candidate for election to the Thirty-fifth Congress in 1856; declined the nomination for Governor of Mississippi in 1857; founder of the Mississippi levee system and was made president of the levee board of the Mississippi-Yazoo Delta in 1858; served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War as a brigadier general; presented credentials as a United States Senator-elect in 1865 but was not permitted to take his seat; elected Governor of Mississippi in 1869 and served from March 1870, until his resignation on November 30, 1871, having previously been elected Senator; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate on January 18, 1870, for the term beginning March 4, 1871, but did not assume these duties until December 1, 1871, preferring to continue as Governor; served as Senator from December 1, 1871, to March 3, 1877; unsuccessful candidate for Governor in 1873; resumed the practice of law in Friar Point; died at his plantation home, “Eagles Nest,” in Coahoma County, Miss., December 19, 1894; interment in the family cemetery on his estate.


American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; Pereyra, Lillian A. James Lusk Alcorn: Persistent Whig. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1966.