Stevenson, J. W. (John White), 1812-1886

Alternative names
Birth 1812-05-04
Death 1886-08-10

Biographical notes:

Kentucky legislator, U.S. congressman and senator, and governor, 1867-1871.

From the description of J.W. White : miscellaneous papers, 1861-1876. (Filson Historical Society, The). WorldCat record id: 49336656

Lawyer of the firm Phelps and Stevenson, and governor of Kentucky, 1867-1871.

From the description of Letter, 1841. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 38247200

Stevenson was a democrat who served in the Kentucky House of Representatives, the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senator and as governor of Kentucky from 1867-1871.

From the description of Broadside, 1859 March 2. (Filson Historical Society, The). WorldCat record id: 49336653

John White Stevenson was born in Richmond, Virginia. He attended the University of Virginia and later read law. He moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi, then moved soon after to Covington, Kentucky. Stevenson entered politics in Kentucky and began his career in the state legislature, later serving as a delegate to the 1849 state constitutional convention. From 1857 to 1861 Stevenson was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Following the Civil War, Stevenson won election as lieutenant governor in 1867. Five days after beginning his term, Stevenson became governor on the death of John Larue Helm. He won special election in 1868 for the remainder of the term. Stevenson supported the early restoration of rights to ex-Confederates and continued to argue the states rights philosophy he had long held. Stevenson resigned the governorship in 1871 to take a seat in the U.S. Senate. He held the seat until 1877. Stevenson resumed his legal practice in Covington and taught in the Cincinnati Law School. He was elected president of the American Bar Association in 1884.

From the description of J.W. Stevenson letter, 1858 Nov. 1. (Kentucky Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 42909092

Governor of Kentucky, United States Senator.

Stevenson was born in Richmond, Virginia. His father, Andrew Stevenson, served in Congress for many years. He read law in Virginia and, on the advice of James Madison, moved west to open his practice. After living in Vicksburg, Mississippi a few years, Stevenson moved to Covington, Kentucky in 1841. Four years later he was elected to the Kentucky state legislature as a representative from Kenton County. He was a member of the 1849 state constitutional convention and further familiarized himself with the state's laws by coauthoring with James Harlan, CODE OF PRACTICE IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL CASES.

After serving as a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions of 1848, 1852, 1861, he served in the House of Representatives (1857-1861). A strong Confederate sympathizer, Stevenson returned to politics after the Civil War, with his election to the lieutenant governorship of Kentucky in 1867. Upon the death of governor John LaRue Helm, Stevenson was elevated to the governorship. He failed to serve the full term, however, for he defeated Senator Thomas McCreery and won a seat in the United States Senate in 1871. At the end of his term in 1877 he returned to his law practice in Covington and to teaching criminal law and contracts in the Cincinnati law school. He served as chairman of the Democratic National Convention in 1880, and in 1884 was elected president of the American Bar Association.

From the description of John White Stevenson papers, 1869-1885, 1877-1885 (bulk dates). (University of Kentucky Libraries). WorldCat record id: 14560801

Biographical Note

Andrew Stevenson

  • 1785, Mar. 23: Born, Culpeper County, Va.
  • 1793: Attended Fredericksburg Academy, Fredericksburg, Va.
  • 1798 - 1800 : Attended College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va.
  • 1805: Admitted to the Virginia bar 1809 Married Page White (died 1812)
  • 1809 - 1821 : Representative, Virginia House of Delegates
  • 1812 - 1844 : Elected quadrennially to “Richmond Junto”
  • 1812 - 1815 : Served in Virginia militia during War of 1812
  • 1816: Married Sarah Coles (died 1848)
  • 1821 - 1834 : Served in U.S. House of Representatives
  • 1827 - 1834 : Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives
  • 1835: Chairman, National Democratic Convention
  • 1836 - 1841 : U.S. minister to Great Britain
  • 1841 - 1857 : Active in Virginia politics and in the affairs of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.
  • 1849: Married Mary Schaff
  • 1857, Jan. 18: Died at “Blenheim,” Albemarle County Va.

J. W. Stevenson

  • 1812, Mar. 4: Born, Richmond, Va.
  • 1828 - 1829 : Attended Hampden-Sydney College, Hampden-Sydney,. Va.
  • 1829 - 1832 : Attended University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.
  • 1833, circa: Admitted to the bar, Vicksburg, Miss.
  • 1841: Began law practice, Covington, Ky.
  • 1842: Married Sibella Winston
  • 1845 - 1850 : Representative from Kenton County, Kentucky state legislature
  • 1857 - 1861 : Served in U.S. House of Representatives
  • 1867, Aug.: Elected lieutenant governor of Kentucky
  • 1867, Sept. - 1871 : Governor of Kentucky
  • 1871 - 1877 : U.S. senator from Kentucky
  • 1877: Resumed law practice and accepted a position to teach criminal law and contracts at Cincinnati Law School, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 1880: Chairman, National Democratic Convention
  • 1884: Elected president, American Bar Association
  • 1886, Aug. 10: Died, Covington, Ky.

From the guide to the Andrew Stevenson and J. W. Stevenson Papers, 1756-1882, (bulk 1833-1876), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)


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