Seth Barton (Louisiana)

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Seth Barton (December 5, 1795-December 29, 1854) was an attorney and government official who was active in Alabama and Louisiana. He served the federal government as Solicitor of the United States Treasury and Chargé d'affaires in Chile.


Barton was born in Baltimore, Maryland on December 5, 1795.[1] He attended Washington and Lee University, studied law and attained admission to the bar.[2]

In 1821 he relocated to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where he continued to practice law and became involved in the newspaper business.[3][4]

Barton was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 1825.[5]

In 1828 Barton was an unsuccessful candidate for the United States House of Representatives.[6]

Barton moved to New Orleans, Louisiana in 1830, where he continued to practice law.[7][8]

From 1845 to 1847 Barton served as Solicitor of the Treasury.[9][10][11][12]

Barton served as U.S. Chargé d'affaires to Chile from 1847 to 1849.[13] While in this post he created controversy by marrying a local woman in a Protestant service. The leaders of Chile's Catholic Church were angered because as a Protestant and a man who had been divorced, they believed Barton to be violating church tenets by marrying a Catholic.[14][15][16]

Barton died in New Orleans on December 29, 1854[17]


  1. ^ The United States in Latin America: A Historical Dictionary, by David Shavit, 1992, page 18
  2. ^ Catalogue of the Officers and Alumni of Washington and Lee University, published by the University, 1888, page 68
  3. ^ Magazine article, Matrimonial Problems of Seth Barton: An Ante-Bellum American "Diplomat" in Chile, by James Morton Callahan, published in The Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Volume 4, Volume 4, 1945, page 285
  4. ^ Memorial Record of Alabama, published by Brant & Fuller, Chicago, 1893, page 170
  5. ^ Seth Barton entry, History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, by Thomas McAdory Owen and Marie Bankhead Owen, Volume 3, 1921, page 109
  6. ^ Robert Emmett Bledsoe Baylor entry, History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, by Thomas McAdory Owen and Marie Bankhead Owen, Volume 3, 1921, page 117
  7. ^ The Papers of Henry Clay, by Henry Clay, edited by James Franklin Hopkins and Robert Seager, 1973, page 672
  8. ^ Alabama, Her History, Resources, War Record, and Public Men: From 1540 to 1872, by Willis Brewer, 1872, pages 566 to 567
  9. ^ Correspondence of James K. Polk: July-December 1845, by James Knox Polk, 2004, page 93
  10. ^ The Bench and Bar of the South and Southwest, 1876, by Henry Stuart Foote, pages 203 to 204
  11. ^ Register of the Department of Justice, published by United States Department of Justice, 1885, page 4
  12. ^ The Papers of Jefferson Davis: June 1841-July 1846, by Jefferson Davis, 1975, page 524
  13. ^ The Mission of Colonel Seth Barton, United States Chargé D'Affaires to Chile, 1847-1849], by Thomas Ray Shurbutt, 1967
  14. ^ Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism, by Terryl L. Givens and Matthew J. Grow, 2011, page 308
  15. ^ Rendering Unto Caesar: The Catholic Church and the State in Latin America, by Anthony James Gill, 1998, page 124
  16. ^ Freedom and Religion in the Nineteenth Century, by Richard J. Helmstadter, 1997, page 310
  17. ^ American Biographical Notes, by Franklin Benjamin Hough, 1875, page 19
Legal offices
Preceded by
Charles B. Penrose
Solicitor of the United States Treasury
Succeeded by
Ransom H. Gillet