Francis Mallory

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Francis Mallory
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 1st district
In office
December 28, 1840 – March 3, 1843
Preceded by Joel Holleman
Succeeded by Archibald Atkinson
In office
March 4, 1837 – March 3, 1839
Preceded by George Loyall
Succeeded by Joel Holleman
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates from Norfolk City
In office
Preceded by Harrison Robertson
Succeeded by D. T. Bisbie
Personal details
Born (1807-12-12)December 12, 1807
Elizabeth City County, Virginia
Died March 26, 1860(1860-03-26) (aged 52)
Norfolk, Virginia
Political party Whig
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania
Profession physician, businessman
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1822–1828

Francis Mallory (December 12, 1807 – March 26, 1860) was an American naval officer, physician, politician, and railroad executive.


Francis Mallory was born in Elizabeth City County, Virginia, attended Hampton Academy and was appointed midshipman in the United States Navy where he served in 1822–1828. Dr. Mallory graduated from the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1831 and practiced in Norfolk, Virginia.

Dr. Mallory served as a Representative in the U.S. Congress, as a Delegate in the Virginia General Assembly, and as a Navy Agent in Norfolk appointed by President Millard Fillmore.

For many years, he helped lobby before the State Legislature for a railroad line to Norfolk, an effort which was opposed by shipping interests from Richmond and Petersburg. In 1851, Dr. Mallory and the Norfolk interests finally succeeded in obtaining a charter and financing from the Virginia Board of Public Works to form the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad (N&P).

In 1853, the new railroad hired a 26-year-old civil engineer and graduate of Virginia Military Institute from Southampton County by the name of William Mahone. Small-statured "Little Billy" Mahone was frugal with expenses while he built the N&P to high construction standards. Mahone is credited with the design and implementation of an innovative corduroy roadbed through the Great Dismal Swamp between South Norfolk and Suffolk. The design employed a log foundation laid at right angles beneath the surface of the swamp. Still in use 150 years later, Mahone's design withstands immense tonnages of export coal traffic en route to coal piers at Norfolk's Lambert's Point. He was also responsible for engineering and building the famous 52 mile-long tangent track between Suffolk and Petersburg which is a major artery of modern Norfolk Southern rail traffic.

Dr. Mallory survived the Yellow Fever Epidemic which swept through Norfolk in 1855 and killed 2,000 of its 6,000 citizens. However, construction of his new railroad was delayed for more than a year due to the many deaths and resulting financial hardships. After the railroad was completed in 1858, he stepped down and Mahone became its new president.

Dr. Mallory died in Norfolk on March 26, 1860, and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery there. His son was killed at the Battle of Chancellorsville, and is buried there.[1]

Francis Mallory Elementary School of the Hampton City Public Schools and Mallory Street in the historic Phoebus section of Hampton near Fort Monroe are named in his honor.

Electoral history[edit]

1837; Mallory was elected with 50.26% of the vote, defeating fellow Democrat Joel Hollerman.


U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
George Loyall
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Joel Holleman
Preceded by
Joel Holleman
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Archibald Atkinson