LEIGH, Benjamin Watkins, (1781 - 1849)

Senate Years of Service: 1834-1836
Party: Anti-Jacksonian; Whig

LEIGH, Benjamin Watkins, a Senator from Virginia; born in Chesterfield County, Va., on June 18, 1781; studied under private tutors; graduated from William and Mary College, Williamsburg, Va., in 1802; studied law; admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Petersburg, Va.; served in the War of 1812; member, State house of delegates 1811-1813; moved to Richmond, Va., in 1813; prepared the revised code of 1810; delegate to the State constitutional convention of 1829 and 1830; member, State house of delegates 1830-1831; official reporter of the State court of appeals 1829-1841; elected as an Anti-Jacksonian (later Whig) to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy in the term ending March 3, 1835, caused by the resignation of William C. Rives; reelected in 1835 and served from February 26, 1834, to July 4, 1836, when he resigned; resumed the practice of law; died in Richmond, Va., February 2, 1849; interment in Shockoe Cemetery.


Bibliography

Dictionary of American Biography; Hall, Cline Edwin. “The Political Life of Benjamin Watkins Leigh.” Master’s thesis, University of Richmond, 1959; Macfarland, William H. An Address on the Life, Character, and Public Services of the Late Hon. Benjamin Watkins Leigh. Richmond: Macfarlane and Fergusson, 1851.