Alexander McNutt (governor)

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Alexander G. McNutt.jpg

Alexander Gallatin McNutt (January 3, 1802, Rockbridge County, Virginia – October 22, 1848, DeSoto County, Mississippi) was a Mississippi politician that served two consecutive 2-year terms (1838–1842) as that state's governor, having previously served as a state senator (1835–1837).

McNutt studied at Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) and moved to Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1820s. Soon after, McNutt moved to Vicksburg, where he opened up a law office. His partner was a planter named Joel Cameron. Cameron was murdered by his slaves in 1833 and McNutt subsequently married Cameron's widow, Elizabeth Lewis Cameron.

In 1835, McNutt was elected to Mississippi state Senate. In 1837 he was elected president of the Senate and as president signed the bill that established the Union Bank of Mississippi. As governor, McNutt signed bonds that were sold by the Union Bank of Mississippi to raise capital. However, the Union Bank failed, causing the collapse of a number of Mississippi banks and leaving the state with a five million dollar debt.

In 1841, the state decided not to repay the bonds due to the high interest rates, which led to a nearly century and a half dispute with investors and their heirs that continues to the present day.

McNutt left political life for a few after his second term ended in 1842. In 1847, he came back to wage an (ultimately unsuccessful) campaign for U.S. Senator against his lifelong nemesis, Henry S. Foote.

In 1848, McNutt campaigned to become an elector for the presidential election. While in Desoto County, he became ill and died on October 22, 1848. He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Jackson.


Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Lynch
Governor of Mississippi
Succeeded by
Tilghman Tucker