William V. Sullivan
|William Van Amberg Sullivan|
|United States Senator
May 31, 1898 – March 4, 1901
|Preceded by||Edward C. Walthall|
|Succeeded by||Anselm J. McLaurin|
December 18, 1857|
|Died||March 21, 1918
Born near Winona, Mississippi, he attended the common schools in Panola County and the University of Mississippi at Oxford, where he was a member of St. Anthony Hall. He graduated from Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tennessee) in 1875, was admitted to the bar that year, and commenced practice in Austin. He moved to Oxford in 1877, was a member of the board of city aldermen, and was elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-fifth Congress and served from March 4, 1897, to May 31, 1898, when he resigned, having been appointed Senator. He was appointed and subsequently elected to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Edward C. Walthall and served from May 31, 1898, to March 4, 1901; he was not a candidate for reelection.
On September 8, 1908, William Sullivan led a lynch mob which murdered a black man named Nelse Patton. Mr. Patton had been accused of killing a white woman. William Sullivan was quoted a day later as saying, “I led the mob which lynched Nelse Patton, and I’m proud of it. I directed every movement of the mob and I did everything I could to see that he was lynched."
Sullivan retired from active business and resided in Washington, D.C.; in 1918 he died in Oxford. Interment was in St. Peter’s Cemetery.
- "Ex-Senator Sullivan Will Stand Consequences for Directing Shooting.". New York Times. September 10, 1908. Retrieved 2010-03-23. "A special from Oxford, Miss., quotes former United States Senator W.V. Sullivan as follows with reference to the lynching last night"
- William V. Sullivan at Find a Grave
- William V. Sullivan at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
|United States Senate|
Edward C. Walthall
|United States Senator (Class 1) from Mississippi
Served alongside: Hernando D. Money
Anselm J. McLaurin