Alexander Keith McClung

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Alexander McClung
Alexander McClung.png
McClung, before 1855
2nd United States Ambassador to Bolivia
In office
President Zachary Taylor
Millard Fillmore
Preceded by John Appleton
Succeeded by Horace H. Miller
Personal details
Born 1811 (1811)
Died March 23, 1855 (aged 43–44)
Citizenship United States
Nationality American
Relations John Marshall (uncle)
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1846–48
Rank US-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant colonel
Battles/wars Mexican-American War

Alexander Keith McClung (14 June 1811 – 23 March 1855) briefly served as US chargé d'affaires to Bolivia in President Zachary Taylor's administration.[1] An "inveterate Southern duelist"[2] nicknamed "The Black Knight of the South", he was also a poet. James H. Street used him as the model for the character Keith Alexander in his novel Tap Roots (1942).

McClung was born in Fauquier County, Virginia, and was the nephew of John Marshall. He served as lieutenant colonel of the 1st Mississippi Regiment during the Mexican–American War. He committed suicide in the Eagle Hotel in Jackson, Mississippi. McClung was interred at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Vicksburg, Mississippi.[3]


  1. ^ "Alexander Keith McClung (1812–1855)". U.S. Department of State: Office of the Historian. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Holland, Barbara (October 1997). "Bang! Bang! You're Dead". Smithsonian magazine. The Smithsonian. p. 4. Retrieved 3 June 2012. Hair triggers fell into disrepute, but speed and accuracy continued to improve, particularly for shooting at greater distances. (In 1834 Alexander McClung, inveterate Southern duelist, set a new record by fatally shooting his man in the mouth with a percussion pistol at over a hundred feet.) 
  3. ^ Cedar Hill Cemetery tombstone database (McClung, Col. Alexander K.) Retrieved 2015-08-21.


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