Hugh White Sheffey

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Hugh W. Sheffey (April 12, 1815 – April 8, 1889) was a Virginia politician. He represented Augusta County in the Virginia House of Delegates, and served as that body's Speaker from 1863 until 1865. He was an adjunct professor at Washington & Lee University School of Law from 1875 to 1885.[citation needed]

Early life[edit]

Sheffey, son of Henry L. and Margaret Sheffey, was born in Wythe County, Virginia, April 12, 1815, and was named for his mother's brother, Gen. Hugh White, of Kentucky. His father died when he was 8 or 9 years old, and his mother being already dead he was adopted by his uncle, the Hon. Daniel Sheffey, of Staunton, Va. He entered Yale College at the end of the Freshman year. After graduation in 1835 he taught for a few years, and while thus engaged in South Side, Va., studied law with the Hon. Thomas S. Gholson.


In 1840 he began the practice of law in Staunton. In 1846 he was elected to the General Assembly of the State, and for the next eight years he remained in public life as representative, senator, and member of the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1850.

In 1861 he was again elected to the General Assembly, and from December of that year till the end of the war he occupied the position of Speaker of the House of Delegates. He was originally a Union man, and had declined to stand for election to the convention which had passed the ordinance of secession ; but when the step had been taken, he stood by his state.

After the close of the war he was appointed a Judge of the Superior Court, and continued on the bench until the winter of 1869, when he was removed by reason of his inability to take the "iron-clad" oath required by the general government. He then resumed practice at the bar and remained in Staunton until his death there.

He was very active in the councils of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Virginia, and was continuously from 1868 a delegate to the General Convention and prominent in their deliberations. The degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred upon him by this College in 1880, as it had been previously in 1877 by Washington and Lee University, On December 23, 1847, he married Louisa, daughter of John Cole, of Baltimore.


Hugh White Sheffey died in Augusta County on April 8, 1889 at the age of 74.

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the 1899 Yale Obituary Record.

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