GILES, William Branch, (1762 - 1830)

Senate Years of Service: 1804-1815
Party: Democratic Republican

GILES, William Branch, a Representative and a Senator from Virginia; born near Amelia Court House, Amelia County, Va., August 12, 1762; pursued classical studies and graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1781; studied law; admitted to the bar and practiced in Petersburg, Va., 1784-1789; elected to the First Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Theodorick Bland; reelected to the Second and to the three succeeding Congresses and served from December 7, 1790, to October 2, 1798, when he resigned; member, State house of delegates 1798-1800; elected as a Democratic Republican to the Seventh Congress (March 4, 1801-March 3, 1803); appointed on August 11, 1804, to the United States Senate as a Democratic Republican to fill the vacancy in the term beginning March 4, 1803, caused by the resignation of Abraham B. Venable, and took his seat on November 5, 1804; resigned on December 3, 1804, and subsequently elected on December 4, 1804, to fill the vacancy in the term beginning March 4, 1799, caused by the resignation of Wilson C. Nicholas, serving successively in the two classes; was reelected in 1804 and 1811 and served from August 11, 1804, to March 3, 1815, when he resigned; member, State house of delegates 1816-1817, 1826-1827; unsuccessful candidate for election to the United States Senate in 1825; Governor of Virginia 1827-1830; was a member of the State constitutional convention in 1829 and 1830; again elected Governor in 1830, but declined; died on his estate, ’Wigwam,’ near Amelia Court House, Amelia County, Va., December 4, 1830; interment in a private cemetery on his estate.


Bibliography

American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; Anderson, Dice. William Branch Giles: A Study in the Politics of Virginia and the Nation from 1790 to 1831. Gloucester, Mass.: P. Smith, 1965; Giunta, Mary A. “The Public Life of William Branch Giles, Republican, 1790-1815.” Ph.D. dissertation, Catholic University, 1980.