Alexander McNutt (governor)

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Alexander G. McNutt
Alexander G. McNutt.jpg
12th Governor of Mississippi
In office
January 8, 1838 – January 10, 1842
Preceded by Charles Lynch
Succeeded by Tilghman Tucker
Member of the Mississippi Senate
In office
Personal details
Born (1802-01-03)January 3, 1802
Rockbridge County, Virginia
Died October 22, 1848(1848-10-22) (aged 46)
DeSoto County, Mississippi
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Washington and Lee University

Alexander Gallatin McNutt (January 3, 1802 – October 22, 1848) was a Mississippi attorney and politician who served as Governor from 1838 to 1842.

Early life[edit]

Alexander G. McNutt was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia on January 3, 1802. He graduated from Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) in 1821, studied law, and moved to Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1820s. He subsequently relocated to Vicksburg, where he practiced in partnership with Joel Cameron. When Cameron was murdered by his slaves in 1833, McNutt subsequently married Cameron's widow, Elizabeth Lewis Cameron. (Before the slaves were executed, a free black man who was also implicated blamed McNutt for the murder, stating that McNutt had instigated it in order to profit by Cameron's death.)[1][2][3]

Political career[edit]

A Democrat, in 1829 he served as a Selectman in Vicksburg. In 1835 McNutt was elected to the Mississippi State Senate. In 1837 he was elected President of the Senate.[4][5]

McNutt ran successfully for Governor in 1837 and served two terms, 1838 to 1842. During his term Mississippi founded its state library and procured land for construction of a state university, and construction was completed on the state penitentiary.[6]

During his governorship, McNutt opposed central banking, including Mississippi's Planters and Union Banks, in which the state had large ownership stakes, arguing that the stockholders and managers were corrupt. The banks sold bonds in an effort to raise revenue, which the state repudiated under McNutt's influence, leaving the state with a large debt.[7]

After leaving office he resumed practicing law. In 1847 he ran unsuccessfully for the United States Senate, losing to Henry S. Foote.[8]

In 1848, McNutt campaigned for the presidential ticket headed by Lewis Cass and was a candidate for presidential elector. While in Desoto County, he became ill and died on October 22, 1848. He was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Jackson, Section 6, Lot 57.[9][10]


McNutt's home is a Vicksburg landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[11]


  1. ^ Robert Lowry, William H. McCardle, A History of Mississippi, 1891, page 279
  2. ^ Mark Twain, Mark Twain's Notebooks & Journals, Volume I: (1855-1873), page 138
  3. ^ Studies in American Humor, Studies in American Humor, Volume 3, 1984, page 113
  4. ^ James Knox Polk, author, Wayne Cutler, Herbert Weave, editors, Correspondence of James K. Polk, Volume 7, 1989, page 14
  5. ^ Mississippi State Legislature, Laws of the State of Mississippi, 1838, page 33
  6. ^ Nancy Capace, Encyclopedia of Mississippi, 2001, pages 112-113
  7. ^ Mississippi Department of Archives and History, The Official and Statistical Register of the State of Mississippi, Biographies of the Governors: Alexander G. McNutt, 1912, pages 59-60
  8. ^ Jefferson Davis, The Papers of Jefferson Davis: June 1841-July 1846, 1975, pages 215-216
  9. ^ James T. White & Company, The National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Volume XIII, 1906, pages 487-488
  10. ^ Greenwood Cemetery, Jackson, Mississippi, Greenwood Cemetery: Notable Burials, retrieved April 20, 2014
  11. ^ The McNutt House, bout the McNutt House, retrieved April 20, 2014

External links[edit]


Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Lynch
Governor of Mississippi
Succeeded by
Tilghman Tucker