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John A. Quitman

John A. QuitmanAKA John Anthony Quitman

Born: 1-Sep-1799
Birthplace: Rhinebeck, NY
Died: 17-Jul-1858
Location of death: Natchez, MS
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Natchez City Cemetery, Natchez, MS

Gender: Male
Religion: Lutheran
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Politician, Military
Party Affiliation: Democratic [1]

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Twice Governor of Mississippi

Military service: US Army (Gen., Mexican War)

The American politician and soldier, John Anthony Quitman was born in Rhinebeck, New York on 1 September 1799, and died in Natchez, Mississippi on 17 July 1858. He was designed by his father for the Lutheran ministry, and, on the completion of his studies at Hartwick seminary in 1816, was appointed tutor in its classical department. In 1818 he accepted a professorship in Mount Airy college, Germantown, Pennsylvania. His inclination always had been for the legal profession rather than the ministry, and during his stay here he decided in favor of the former. He went to Ohio in 1819 at the invitation of Platt Brush, a member of Congress, in whose family he became a tutor, and with whom he studied law. In 1821 he settled in Natchez, Mississippi where he soon became well known. He served as a trustee of the academy and of the state university, was president of an anti-gambling society, an anti-duelling society, and of numerous other associations that were established to ameliorate the condition of his fellow-men. In 1825 he was elected to the legislature of Mississippi, in 1828-34 he was chancellor of the state, and he afterward became president of the state senate. In 1832 he convention to frame a new constitution for the state. While a member of the state senate in 1835, he was chosen its president, and charged with the functions of Governor, that office having become vacant. In 1836 he raised a body of men to aid the Texans against the incursions of the Mexicans, and after the capture of Santa Anna returned to his home in Natchez, where he became major-general of the state militia. In 1846 he was appointed brigadier-general in the United States Army, and ordered to report to General Zachary Taylor at Camargo. He distinguished himself at the battle of Monterey by his successful assault on Fort Tenerice and by his daring advance into the heart of the city. He led the assault at the siege of Vera Cruz, and subsequently led an expedition against Alvarado, in conjunction with the naval forces under Commander Matthew Perry. He was with the advance under General Worth in taking possession of the city of Puebla, for which he was brevetted major-general, and presented by Congress with a sword. He stormed the formidable works at Chapultepec, carried the Belen gate by assault, and was appointed by General Winfield Scott governor of the city of Mexico. He administered the affairs of the city with moderation and success, and not only elicited the commendation of his own country, but secured the respect of the conquered people. On his return he was almost by acclamation elected governor of Mississippi. In 1848 and in 1856 he was named in the National Democratic conventions for the Vice Presidency, but he was not nominated. General Quitman favored the annexation of Cuba to the United States, and, while he held the office of Governor of his state, a prosecution was instituted against him by the United States government for alleged complicity in Lopez's filibustering expedition. He resigned the Governorship, but the jury was unable to agree, and he was released. He was nominated again for Governor, but withdrew from the canvass. In 1854 he was elected to Congress, and in 1856 he was re-elected without opposition. During his entire term in Congress he was at the head of the military committee. Throughout life he was an avowed advocate of the doctrine of states' rights and the leader of the extreme southern party. As early as 1851 he claimed for the states the right of secession and the inability of the Federal government to demand or force the return of a seceding state, and suggested the propriety of organizing a southern confederacy.


[1] Whig for first gubernatorial term, Democrat for second.

Father: Frederick Henry Quitman
Mother: Anna Elizabeth Hueck
Wife: Eliza Turner (m. 24-Dec-1824, two sons, three daughters)
Son: John (d. 1833 cholera)
Son: Edward (d. 1833 cholera)
Daughter: Annie Rosalie
Daughter: J. Antonia
Daughter: Louisa

    US Congressman, Mississippi 5th (1855-58, his death
    Governor of Mississippi (1850-51)
    Mississippi State Official Judge, High Court of Errors and Appeals (1838)
    Governor of Mississippi (acting, 1835-36)
    Mississippi State Senate (1835-36)
    Mississippi State Official Chancellor (1828-35, resigned)
    Mississippi State House of Representatives (1826-27)
    Freemasonry

Is the subject of books:
Life and Correspondence of John A. Quitman, Major-General, United States A., and Governor of the State of Mississippi, 1860, BY: J. F. H. Claiborne


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