Kellian Whaley

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Kellian Van Rensalear Whaley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from West Virginia's 3rd district
In office
December 7, 1863 – March 4, 1867
Preceded by District created
Succeeded by Daniel Polsley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 12th district
In office
March 4, 1861 – March 4, 1863
Preceded by Henry A. Edmundson
Succeeded by District eliminated
Personal details
Born (1821-05-06)May 6, 1821
Utica, New York, US
Died May 20, 1876(1876-05-20) (aged 55)
Point Pleasant, West Virginia, US
Political party Unionist
Unconditional Unionist
Profession Politician, Lumberman

Kellian Van Rensalear Whaley (May 6, 1821 – May 20, 1876) was a nineteenth-century congressman from Virginia and West Virginia and major of the 9th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War.


Whaley was born in Utica, New York on May 6, 1821. He worked in Point Pleasant, Virginia[1] (now West Virginia) in the lumber business until the Civil War when he became a recruiter for the Union Army and was major of the 9th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He was captured by Confederate forces on November 10, 1861 when the town of Guyandotte, West Virginia was overrun by Confederate troops, but he escaped from his captors.

Whaley served on the Congressional committee that accompanied the body of President Abraham Lincoln on the funeral train as it was returned from Washington to Springfield.[1]

Whaley was elected a Unionist to the United States House of Representatives in 1860, representing a Virginia district, serving one term from 1861 to 1863. He lost his seat due to Virginia's secession from the Union, but was elected back as an Unconditional Unionist and as one of the first three representatives from West Virginia, serving again from 1863 to 1867; he was not a candidate for reelection in 1866.

He was chairman of the Committee on Invalid Pensions from 1863 to 1865 and of the Committee on Revolutionary Claims from 1865 to 1867. Whaley was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1864 and served as collector of customs at Brazos de Santiago, Texas in 1868. He died in Point Pleasant, West Virginia on May 20, 1876 and was interred in Lone Oak Cemetery in Point Pleasant.

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

  1. ^ a b Tyler, Lyon G. (1915). Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company. pp. v.3, p.133.  Retrieved on November 22, 2008.

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Henry A. Edmundson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 12th congressional district

March 4, 1861 – March 4, 1863
District Eliminated
New district Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from West Virginia's 3rd congressional district

December 7, 1863 – March 4, 1867
Succeeded by
Daniel Polsley