A Civil War Biography

Henry Stuart Foote

Foote was born 28 February 1804 in Fauquier County, Virginia. He graduated from Washington College, known today as Washington and Lee University, in 1819, studied law then was admitted to the bar in 1823. He began practicing in Tuscumbia, Alabama in 1825. In 1826 Foote moved to Mississippi and practiced in Jackson, Natchez, Vicksburg, and Raymond.

He was elected as a Democrat to the US Senate and served from 4 March 1847 until 8 January 1852, when he resigned to become governor of Mississippi, having defeated Jefferson Davis in the 1851 election on a Unionist ticket. Foote resigned five days before the end of his term in 1854 and moved to California.

He returned to Vicksburg in 1858 and was a member of the Southern convention that was held in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1859. He moved to Nashville, Tennessee and following Tennessee leaving the Union was elected to the First and Second Confederate Congresses. He was expelled from the Confederate Congress in 1865 for going North in an unauthorized peace mission.

Following the war Foote moved to Washington DC where he practiced law. He was appointed superintendent of the New Orleans mint in 1878 by President Rutherford B. Hayes. Foote remained in that post until 1880 then returned to Nashville where he died 20 May 1880.

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