BARBOUR, James, (1775 - 1842)

Senate Years of Service: 1815-1825
Party: Anti-Democrat/Whig

Library of Congress

BARBOUR, James, (brother of Philip Pendleton Barbour and cousin of John Strode Barbour), a Senator from Virginia; born at “Frascati,” near Gordonsville, Orange County, Va., June 10, 1775; attended the common schools; deputy sheriff of Orange County; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1794 at Orange Court House; served several terms in the Virginia house of delegates between 1796 and 1812, serving as speaker from 1809 to 1812; Governor of Virginia 1812-1814; elected as an Anti-Democrat and State Rights candidate to the United States Senate in 1814 for the term commencing March 4, 1815; subsequently elected to fill the vacancy in the term ending March 3, 1815, caused by the death of Richard Brent; reelected in 1821 and served from January 2, 1815, to March 7, 1825, when he resigned to accept a Cabinet portfolio; served as President pro tempore of the Senate during the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Congresses; chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations (Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Eighteenth Congresses), Committee on the District of Columbia (Seventeenth Congress); appointed Secretary of War by President John Quincy Adams and served from March 7, 1825, to May 26, 1828, when he resigned to accept a diplomatic position; United States Minister to England from May 26, 1828, to September 23, 1829; chairman of the Whig National Convention in 1839; founder of the Orange Humane Society, established for the advancement of education; died in Barboursville, Orange County, Va., June 7, 1842; interment in the family cemetery.


Dictionary of American Biography; Lowery, Charles D. James Barbour, a Jeffersonian Republican. University, AL: University of Alabama Press, 1984.