Richard Hanson Weightman

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Col. Richard Hanson Weightman, from The History of the Military Occupation of the Territory of New Mexico (1909), by Ralph Emerson Twitchell.

Richard Hanson Weightman (December 28, 1816 – August 10, 1861) was an antebellum delegate to the United States Congress from the Territory of New Mexico. He was also a district commander of the secessionist Missouri State Guard during the American Civil War, and was killed in action at the Battle of Wilson's Creek in Missouri.


Born in Washington, D.C., Weightman attended private schools there and in Alexandria, Virginia. He graduated from the University of Virginia at Charlottesville in 1834. He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, 1835–1837 (but did not graduate). He subsequently studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1841 in the District of Columbia, but did not practice.

He moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and on May 28, 1846, was elected captain of Clark's Battalion, Missouri Volunteer Light Artillery, in the Mexican War. He served as Additional Paymaster, Volunteers, in the Army in 1848 and 1849. He moved to New Mexico Territory in 1851 and edited a newspaper in Sante Fe. He was appointed agent for Indians in New Mexico in July 1851.

Weightman was elected as a Democrat and the Territory's first Delegate to the Thirty-second Congress (March 4, 1851 – March 3, 1853). He was not a candidate for reelection in 1852, but resumed newspaper work. He moved to Kickapoo and Atchison, Kansas, in 1858, and went to Independence, Missouri, in 1861.

Weightman was elected colonel of the First Regiment Cavalry, Eighth Division, Missouri State Guard on June 11, 1861. He was promoted to command of the First Brigade, Eighth Division, June 20, 1861, and led it competently at the Battle of Carthage on July 5. He was killed while leading the brigade at Wilson's Creek in Missouri on August 10, 1861, and was interred on the battlefield near Springfield, Missouri.


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