James Barbour (1828–1895)

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James Barbour
Born James Barbour
(1828-02-26)February 26, 1828
Catalpa, Culpeper County, Virginia
Died October 29, 1895(1895-10-29) (aged 67)
Clover Hill, Jeffersonton, Culpeper County, Virginia
Resting place
Fairview Cemetery, Culpeper, Virginia
Residence Beauregard, Brandy Station, Culpeper County, Virginia
Nationality American
Ethnicity European American
Citizenship United States of America
Confederate States of America
Alma mater Georgetown College
University of Virginia
Occupation lawyer, statesman, planter, military serviceman, newspaper editor
Political party
Democratic Party
Religion Presbyterian
Spouse(s) Fanny Thomas Beckham
Children Ella B. Barbour Rixey
Mary B. Barbour Wallace
James Byrne Barbour
John Strode Barbour
Edwin Barbour
A. Floyd Barbour
Fanny C. Barbour Beckham
Parent(s) John S. Barbour
Ella A. Byrne
Relatives brother of John S. Barbour, Jr.
first cousin once removed of James Barbour and Philip Pendleton Barbour

James Barbour (February 26, 1828 – October 29, 1895)[1][2][3] was a prominent American lawyer, planter, delegate from Virginia to the 1860 Democratic National Convention, delegate to the 1861 Virginia secession convention, and a major in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War.[1][2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Barbour was born on February 26, 1828 at Catalpa in Culpeper County, Virginia.[1][2][3] He was the son of John S. Barbour, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia's 15th congressional district, and his wife Ella A. Byrne.[1][2][3]

Barbour attended Georgetown College from September through December 1840.[3] and attended the University of Virginia School of Law between 1841 and 1842.[2][3] Barbour studied law under John Tayloe Lomax in Fredericksburg, Virginia and was admitted to the bar in 1844.[3]

Political career[edit]

Barbour participated as a delegate representing Virginia at the 1860 Democratic National Convention in Baltimore, Maryland.[1][2] A year later, Barbour was a delegate to the 1861 Virginia secession convention.[1][2]

Marriage and children[edit]

Barbour married Fanny Thomas Beckham, daughter of Coleman Coals Beckham and his wife Mary C. Beckham, on September 1, 1857.[1][2][3] The couple had seven children:[2]

  • Ella B. Barbour Rixey (born February 27, 1858) m. John Franklin Rixey (1881)[2][3]
  • Mary B. Barbour Wallace (born 1860) m. Clarence B. Wallace (1890)[2][3]
  • James Byrne Barbour (1864–1926)[2][3]
  • John Strode Barbour (August 10, 1866 – May 6, 1952) m. Mary B. Grimsley (1894)[2][3]
  • Edwin Barbour (January 2, 1868 – March 5, 1902) m. Josie McDonald[2][3]
  • A. Floyd Barbour (born July 1868)[2][3]
  • Fanny C. Barbour Beckham (born January 1874) m. Benjamin Collins Beckham (1899)[2][3]

Barbour and his wife resided with their family at Beauregard near Brandy Station in Culpeper County, Virginia.[2]

American Civil War[edit]

After the onset of the American Civil War, Barbour was commissioned as a major on the staff of General Richard S. Ewell.[2] After a dispute with General Jubal Anderson Early, Barbour resigned on January 30, 1863.[2] Other sources cite ill health as Barbour's reason from resigning from service.[3]

During the war, the Battle of Brandy Station took place around the Beauregard estate.[2] The mansion at Beauregard is best known as the Graffiti House because it contains graffiti inscribed by soldiers from both the Union Army and the Confederate States Army.[2]

Later life[edit]

After the war, Barbour acquired a controlling interest in the Richmond Daily Enquirer and Examiner on July 15, 1867 and became its editor.[2][3] Barbour owned the newspaper until January 30, 1870.[3] In 1885, Barbour successfully ran for the Virginia House of Delegates and served until he retired from politics in 1888.[3]

Barbour died of pneumonia at Clover Hill near Jeffersonton in Culpeper County, Virginia on October 29, 1895.[1][2][3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h The Political Graveyard (March 24, 2009). "Barbour family of Virginia". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Find A Grave (Apr 26, 2004). "Maj James Barbour". Find A Grave. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Beckham Family Tree (Mar 22, 2005). "(Major) James BARBOUR". Beckham Family Tree. Retrieved 2009-04-05.