Francis White (Virginia)

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For other people named Francis White, see Francis White (disambiguation).
Honorable
Francis White
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1813 – March 3, 1815
Preceded by John Baker
Succeeded by Magnus Tate
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates from Hampshire County
In office
1794
Preceded by Elias Poston
Succeeded by Elias Poston
In office
1809–1813
Serving with Alexander King
Preceded by William Donaldson
John Higgins
Succeeded by George Sharfe
Frederick Sheetz
In office
1818–1823
Serving with William Armstrong, Jr.
Ephraim Dunn
Edward McCarty
Preceded by Edward McCarty
William Naylor
Succeeded by Christopher Heiskell
Alexander King
Member of the Virginia Senate from Berkeley, Hampshire, Hardy, and Morgan Counties
In office
1823–1824
Succeeded by Elisha Boyd
Sheriff of Hampshire County
In office
December 9, 1823 – October 6, 1826
Preceded by E. M. McCarty
Succeeded by Isaac Kuykendall
Personal details
Born 1761
Hayfield, Frederick County, Virginia
Died October 6, 1826 (aged 64–65)
Cacapon River, Hampshire County, Virginia
Resting place White Family Graveyard, Hayfield, Virginia
Nationality American
Political party Federalist Party
Spouse(s) Margaret White
Relations John White (father)
Ann Patton White (mother)
Robert White (grandfather)
Alexander White (uncle)
Robert White (brother)
John Baker White (nephew)
Robert White (great-nephew)
Christian Streit White (great-nephew)
Children Thomas B. White
John A. White
Francis White, Jr.
Occupation lawyer, politician
Religion Presbyterian

Francis White (1761 – October 6, 1826) was a distinguished early American lawyer and politician in what was then the U.S. state of Virginia (now West Virginia).

White served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, representing Hampshire County, and later served as a member of the Virginia State Senate, representing Berkeley, Hampshire, Hardy, and Morgan counties. He represented Virginia's 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives during the 13th United States Congress. White also served as the sheriff of Hampshire County.

White was the grandson of Virginia pioneer settler and physician Dr. Robert White (1688–1752); thus, he was a member of the prominent White political family of Virginia and West Virginia. He was the nephew of United States House Representative Alexander White (1738–1804), and the brother of Virginia judge Robert White (1759–1831).

Early life[edit]

Francis White was born in 1761 at Hayfield, near Winchester in Frederick County, Colony of Virginia.[1][2][3] White was the son of John White and his wife, Ann Patton White.[2] Through his grandfather, Dr. Robert White (1688–1752), Francis White was of Scottish descent.[4][5] His uncle was Alexander White (1738–1804), an inaugural member of the United States House of Representatives.[4][5]

White attended the common schools in Winchester.[1][3] Following his education, White engaged in agricultural pursuits along the Cacapon and North rivers in Hampshire County, Virginia (now West Virginia).[1][3] By 1813, White was operating a gristmill and a sawmill on his Hampshire County property.[6][7]

Political career[edit]

Virginia House of Delegates[edit]

White was elected to represent the multi-member electoral district of Hampshire County in the Virginia House of Delegates for three terms: 1794, 1809 to 1813, and 1818 to 1823.[1][3][8][9] In his 1794 term, White served alongside Isaac Parsons;[10] from 1809 to 1813, he served alongside Alexander King,[11][12][13][14] from 1818 to 1823, White served alongside William Armstrong, Jr., Ephraim Dunn, and Edward McCarty.[8][15][16][17]

During the 1809 election for Hampshire County's two seats in the Virginia House of Delegates, White ran against fellow Federalist Alexander King, and Democratic-Republicans William Donaldson and Jonathan Pugh.[18] King received the most votes at 312, and White came in second with 288 votes, thus qualifying him for a seat.[18] White ran for reelection in 1811 against Alexander King, William Armstrong, and Jonathan Pugh.[19] White and King received the two highest vote totals, with White receiving 313 votes.[19] White was reelected to his seat in 1812, with 336 votes.[20]

Following his election along with Ephraim Dunn in 1821, White returned to the Virginia House of Delegates, representing Hampshire County.[21] In the 1822 election, White ran for election against Ephraim Dunn and George Park, with Dunn and White winning Hampshire County's two seats in the Virginia House of Delegates.[22] White received the most votes, with 276.[22]

In 1795, while serving in the Virginia House of Delegates, White was either elected or appointed to serve as a justice of the peace in Hampshire County, along with Alexander King, William Vause, John Jack, Virgil McCrackin, and John Snyder.[23]

United States House of Representatives[edit]

White was elected unopposed as a Federalist representing Virginia's 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives during the 13th United States Congress (March 4, 1813 – March 3, 1815).[24][25] White's election in 1813 occurred during an ascendancy of the Federalist Party throughout Virginia.[26]

White served on the United States House Committee on the District of Columbia.[27] According to GovTrack, from May 1813 to March 1815, White missed 56 of 352 roll call votes (15.9%).[28] White resided at the Law's Ten Buildings boarding house of Mrs. Lane on New Jersey Avenue in Washington, D.C. during the May 24 – August 2, 1813 session and the December 6, 1813 – April 18, 1814 session.[29][30]

White ran for reelection in 1815, but he lost to fellow Federalist Magnus Tate with 420 votes (36.65 percent of the vote), while Tate had 726.[9][31]

Virginia State Senate[edit]

Following his term in the United States House of Representative, White continued to operate his farms on the Cacapon and North rivers.[1] In 1823, White was elected as a member of the Virginia State Senate, defeating opponent candidate Ignatius O'Ferrall.[1][3][9][32][33] White held the seat until 1824.[1][3][9][32] White's seat in the Virginia State Senate represented District 6, which consisted of Berkeley, Hampshire, Hardy, and Morgan counties.[32][33][34]

While serving in the Virginia State Senate, White was appointed sheriff of Hampshire County on December 9, 1823, by Virginia Governor James Pleasants.[1][3][24][35] On Thursday, January 1, 1824, White informed the Virginia State Senate of his appointment to the position of Hampshire County sheriff, and he asked for an opinion as to whether he could retain his senate seat while serving as sheriff.[36] White's inquiry was referred to the senate's Committee of Privileges and Elections for "consideration and a report of their opinion thereupon to the House."[36] The following day, on Friday, January 2, 1824, the Committee of Privileges and Elections delivered their opinion: White should vacate his senate seat upon his acceptance of the position of Hampshire County sheriff, and the sheriffs of the senate district's four counties were directed to hold a special election to "supply the vacancy occasioned."[34] On Tuesday, February 3, 1824, the Virginia State Senate certified the election of Elisha Boyd to fill White's senate seat.[32][37]

Later life and death[edit]

White continued to serve as Hampshire County's sheriff until his death.[24][38] White died on October 6, 1826, at his residence on the Cacapon River in Hampshire County.[2][3][24][38] He was interred at the White Family Graveyard at Hayfield in Frederick County, Virginia.[38]

Personal life and family[edit]

White married his first cousin, Margaret White, in Frederick County on December 5, 1787.[2][38][39] Margaret White was the daughter of White's uncle, Robert White II.[2][39] White and his wife had at large family, with at least six children:[2][40]

  • Robert Norvell White, married Matilda McBride, daughter of John McBride[2]
  • Thomas B. White[40]
  • John A. White[40]
  • Francis White, Jr. (1799 – September 8, 1868)[40]
  • Unnamed daughter, married to a Mr. Keyes[40]
  • Mary M. White McDonald (1811 – February 7, 1839), married Evan McDonald, son of Benjamin and Margaret Hiett McDonald[40]

Land ownership[edit]

White amassed extensive landholdings in Hampshire County. In 1797, White purchased 233 acres (0.94 km2) along the North River in Hampshire County from Henry and Rachael Pierce of Cecil County, Maryland.[41] White purchased an additional 20 acres (0.081 km2) along the North River in 1800.[42] At the time of his election to the United States House of Representatives, White was a resident of Romney.[43]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Munske & Kerns 2004, p. 45.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Kerns 1995, p. 110.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h United States Congress. "WHITE, Francis, (Birth date unknown - 1826)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. United States Congress. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Maxwell & Swisher 1897, p. 739.
  5. ^ a b Maxwell & Swisher 1897, p. 740.
  6. ^ Munske & Kerns 2004, p. 50.
  7. ^ Horton 2009, p. 160.
  8. ^ a b Munske & Kerns 2004, p. 47.
  9. ^ a b c d "Biographical Information: Francis White", The Virginia Elections and State Elected Officials Database Project, 1776–2007 (Department of Politics, University of Virginia; University of Virginia Center for Politics; University of Virginia Library), retrieved February 19, 2014 
  10. ^ Virginia State Library 1917, p. 41.
  11. ^ Virginia State Library 1917, p. 79.
  12. ^ Virginia State Library 1917, p. 81.
  13. ^ Virginia State Library 1917, p. 84.
  14. ^ Virginia State Library 1917, p. 98.
  15. ^ Virginia State Library 1917, p. 101.
  16. ^ Virginia State Library 1917, p. 106.
  17. ^ Virginia State Library 1917, p. 109.
  18. ^ a b Tufts University; American Antiquarian Society. "Virginia 1809 House of Delegates, Hampshire County". A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787–1825. Tufts University and American Antiquarian Society. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  19. ^ a b Tufts University; American Antiquarian Society. "Virginia 1811 House of Delegates, Hampshire County". A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787–1825. Tufts University and American Antiquarian Society. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  20. ^ Tufts University; American Antiquarian Society. "Virginia 1812 House of Delegates, Hampshire County". A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787–1825. Tufts University and American Antiquarian Society. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  21. ^ Tufts University; American Antiquarian Society. "Virginia 1821 House of Delegates, Hampshire County". A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787–1825. Tufts University and American Antiquarian Society. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  22. ^ a b Tufts University; American Antiquarian Society. "Virginia 1822 House of Delegates, Hampshire County". A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787–1825. Tufts University and American Antiquarian Society. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  23. ^ Maxwell & Swisher 1897, p. 276.
  24. ^ a b c d Munske & Kerns 2004, p. 39.
  25. ^ Tufts University; American Antiquarian Society. "Virginia 1813 U.S. House of Representatives, District 2". A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787–1825. Tufts University and American Antiquarian Society. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  26. ^ Ambler 1910, p. 93.
  27. ^ United States Congress 1973, p. 414.
  28. ^ GovTrack. "Rep. Francis White, Former Representative from Virginia's 2nd District". GovTrack. Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  29. ^ United States Congress 1973, p. 59.
  30. ^ United States Congress 1973, p. 63.
  31. ^ Tufts University; American Antiquarian Society. "Virginia 1815 U.S. House of Representatives, District 2". A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787–1825. Tufts University and American Antiquarian Society. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  32. ^ a b c d Virginia State Library 1917, p. 113.
  33. ^ a b Tufts University; American Antiquarian Society. "Virginia 1823 State Senate, Class 2, District 6". A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787–1825. Tufts University and American Antiquarian Society. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  34. ^ a b Virginia General Assembly 1823, p. 34.
  35. ^ Maxwell & Swisher 1897, p. 279.
  36. ^ a b Virginia General Assembly 1823, p. 31.
  37. ^ Virginia General Assembly 1823, p. 76.
  38. ^ a b c d Munske & Kerns 2004, p. 46.
  39. ^ a b Kerns 1995, p. 113.
  40. ^ a b c d e f Kerns 1995, p. 111.
  41. ^ Sage 1939, p. 46.
  42. ^ Maxwell & Swisher 1897, p. 407.
  43. ^ United States Congress 2005, p. 79.

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