Henry Carter Stuart

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Henry Carter Stuart
H.C. Stuart.jpg
47th Governor of Virginia
In office
February 1, 1914 – February 1, 1918
Lieutenant James Taylor Ellyson
Preceded by William Hodges Mann
Succeeded by Westmoreland Davis
Personal details
Born January 18, 1855
Wytheville, Virginia, USA
Died July 24, 1933 (aged 78)
Russell County, Virginia, USA
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Margaret Bruce Carter
Profession Politician, farmer and businessman

Henry Carter Stuart (January 18, 1855 – July 24, 1933) was an American businessperson and politician from Virginia. Between 1914 and 1918, he served as the 47th Governor of Virginia, a period which encompassed World War I.[1]

Early and Family Life[edit]

The eldest of seven sons born to William Alexander Stuart (1826 - 1892) and his wife Mary Taylor Carter Stuart (1831 - 1862), Henry Carter Stuart was born in Wytheville, Virginia. He also had an elder sister, Eliza, who died in 1862. The family owned thousands of acres of ranch land in southwest Virginia, built over generations, including through marriage alliances. Henry Carter Stuart ultimately lived at East Rosedale, a mansion which a maternal ancestor had purchased from Patrick Henry in 1774, and which had been a fort guarding the Clinch River valley during the American Revolutionary War.[2] His paternal grandfather, Archibald Stuart, a lawyer and U.S. Congressman, had several sons, one of whom (Henry's uncle) became Confederate Civil War Cavalry Commander Jeb Stuart.[3] [4]

A graduate of Emory and Henry College (1874), Henry married his cousin, Margaret Bruce Carter in 1896, but they had no children. His nephew of the same name, Henry Carter Stuart (1893-1963), son of Dale Carter Stuart, was active in the Massive Resistance movement.


Stuart was born to wealth, and became wealthier. He and his brother Dale Carter Stuart took over their father's cattle company, Stuart Land & Cattle, upon their father's death in 1893 and built it into the largest cattle company east of the Mississippi River.

Stuart also started his political activity in 1893, organizing a statewide election for popular election of senators because is favorite candidate, a grandson of Robert E. Lee had not been selected for U.S. Senate from Virginia, but instead an obscure railroad attorney, Thomas Staples Martin. Ironically, over the years, Stuart became aligned with the Democratic political machine run by Martin.

He was a delegate from Russell County the Virginia Constitutional convention of 1901-1902, which reformed the constitution in many ways but also instituted poll taxes and other requirements which restricted voting by African Americans and poor whites, but facilitated the growth of the political machine. Stuart also served in the State Corporation Commission from 1902 to 1908.[5]


1913; Stuart was elected Governor of Virginia with 91.87% of the vote, defeating Socialist C. Campbell and Socialist Labor B.D. Downey.


Political offices
Preceded by
William Hodges Mann
Governor of Virginia
Succeeded by
Westmoreland Davis