George W. Summers

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George W. Summers

George William Summers (March 4, 1804 – September 19, 1868) was an attorney, politician, and jurist from Virginia (now West Virginia).


Summers was born in Fairfax County, Virginia, where his father served in the House of Delegates for four terms. His family moved to Kanawha County (later Putnam County) in 1814. Summers, having graduated from Ohio University in 1825, was admitted to the bar in 1827 and opened a law practice in Charleston.

In 1830, Summers was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates and served from 1830 to 1832 and 1834 to 1836. Later in 1840, Summers was elected as a Whig to the U.S. House of Representatives serving in the Twenty-Seventh and Twenty-Eighth Congresses. He was defeated for reelection in 1844.

Summers was a delegate to the 1850 Virginia Constitutional Convention but failed to win the governor's race in 1851. Summers became a circuit court judge for the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit. Summers represented Kanawha County in the Virginia Secession Convention of 1861. He was an ardent opponent of Virginia's secession from the Union and in March 1861 hoped, with associates, to call a border state convention in Nashville or Frankfort to forestall the looming conflict.[1]

Summers died in Charleston on September 19, 1868.

In 1871, the West Virginia Legislature honored Summers by forming Summers County from portions of Fayette, Greenbrier County, Mercer County, and Monroe County.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Allan Nevins, The War for the Union, vol. 1, The Improvised War, 1861-1862 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1959), p. 52 n. 30.
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Andrew Beirne
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 19th congressional district

March 4, 1841 – March 3, 1843 (obsolete district)
Succeeded by
CD abolished
Preceded by
Henry A. Wise
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 14th congressional district

March 4, 1843 – March 3, 1845
Succeeded by
Joseph Johnson