ELLIS, Powhatan, (1790 - 1863)

Senate Years of Service: 1825-1826; 1827-1832
Party: Jacksonian; Jacksonian

Courtesy U.S. Senate Historical Office

ELLIS, Powhatan, a Senator from Mississippi; born at ‘Red Hill,’ Amherst County, Va., January 17, 1790; graduated from Washington Academy (now Washington and Lee University), Lexington, Va., in 1809; attended Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa., in 1809 and 1810; studied law at William and Mary College, Williamsburg, Va., in 1813 and 1814; admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Lynchburg, Va.; moved to Natchez, Miss., in 1816 and continued the practice of law; judge of the State supreme court 1823-1825; appointed to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of David Holmes and served from September 28, 1825, to January 28, 1826, when a successor was elected and qualified; unsuccessful candidate for election to fill the vacancy; elected to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1827, to July 16, 1832, having resigned to accept a judicial position; judge of the United States court for the district of Mississippi 1832-1836; appointed by President Andrew Jackson Charge d’Affaires of the United States to Mexico and served from January to December 1836, when he closed the legation; appointed by President Martin Van Buren as United States Minister Plenipotentiary to Mexico 1839-1842; moved to Richmond, Va., where he died on March 18, 1863; interment in Shockoe Cemetery.


American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; Cobb, Edwin L. “Powhatan Ellis of Mississippi: A Reappraisal." Journal of Mississippi History 30 (May 1968): 91-110.