John J. Pettus

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John Jones Pettus (October 9, 1813 – January 28, 1867) was a United States politician. He was born in Wilson County, Tennessee. A member of the Democratic party, he was governor of the state of Mississippi from January 5, 1854 to January 10, 1854, and later was elected to a full term, from 21 November 1859 - 16 November 1863. On April 4, 1837, he married his cousin, Permelia Virginia Winston, a daughter of William Winston and Mary Cooper, in Tuscumbia, Alabama. He was known as "the Mississippi Fire-eater" because he once said that he would rather eat fire than sit down with Yankees. He was also known for saying:

"I am Mississippian to the Core. My ancestors are buried upon her hillsides. I am, and have been and ever expect to be within her borders. Whatever may happen, I am with her Heart and Soul."

After the war, amnesty was refused to him and he became a fugitive; the manhunt for him continued until his death in Pulaski County, Arkansas on January 28, 1867. His original interment was in a private or family graveyard (on the property of a cousin, John Jones), although he was later re-interred at Flat Bayou Burial Ground, Wabbaseka, Arkansas. His wife Permelia died in 1857 and is buried in the Winston Family Cemetery in Gainesville, Sumter County, Alabama.

John Jones Pettus was also a brother of Edmund Winston Pettus (1821–1907) a United States senator from Alabama and for whom the Pettus Memorial Bridge was named in Selma, Alabama.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Henry S. Foote
Governor of Mississippi
1854
Succeeded by
John J. McRae
Preceded by
William McWillie
Governor of Mississippi
1859-1863
Succeeded by
Charles Clark