Isaac Roberts Hawkins

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Isaac Roberts Hawkins
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 7th district
In office
December 4, 1865 – March 3, 1871
Preceded byCivil War
Succeeded byRobert P. Caldwell
Personal details
Born(1818-05-16)May 16, 1818
Maury County, Tennessee
DiedAugust 12, 1880(1880-08-12) (aged 62)
Huntingdon, Tennessee
Political partyUnionist
Spouse(s)Ellen Ott Hawkins
ChildrenEugene, Samuel
Military service
AllegianceUnited StatesUnion
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Union Army
Years of service1862–1865
RankUnion Army colonel rank insignia.png Colonel
Union Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Bvt. Brigadier General
Commands7th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment
Battles/warsMexican–American War
American Civil War

Isaac Roberts Hawkins (May 16, 1818 – August 12, 1880) was an American soldier, politician and a member of the United States House of Representatives for Tennessee's 7th congressional district.


Hawkins was born on May 16, 1818 near Columbia, Tennessee in Maury County, to Samuel and Nancy Roberts Hawkins. Nancy was the daughter of Gen. Isaac Roberts and his wife Mary "Polly" Johnston Roberts and was the maternal granddaughter of Ann Robertson Johnston Cockrill, an early pioneer who was sister to James Robertson, a founder of Ft Nashborough (later Nashville). Samuel Hawkins' mother was Cassandra Roberts (Isaac Roberts' sister), which made Samuel and Nancy first cousins as well as spouses-not an uncommon practice at that time. Isaac moved with his parents to Carroll County in 1828 and attended the common schools. They lived on land that was part of a 1790 North Carolina land grant received by Gen. Roberts. Isaac engaged in agricultural pursuits, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1843. He commenced practice in Huntingdon, Tennessee in Carroll County. He was married to Ellen Ott whose sister Justina married Isaac's first cousin Alvin, who later served as governor of Tennessee.


Having served as a lieutenant during the Mexican–American War, Hawkins then resumed the practice of law. A staunch Unionist, he was a delegate from Tennessee to a peace conference held in Washington, D.C., in 1861 in an effort to devise a means to prevent the impending war. He was elected to the convention for the consideration of Federal relations. He was judge of the circuit court in 1862. He entered the Union Army as lieutenant colonel of the 7th Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry in 1862. He was captured with his regiment at Union City, Tennessee in 1864 and imprisoned. He was exchanged in August 1864 and resumed active service, being in command of the Cavalry force in western Kentucky until the close of the Civil War. He was commissioned by Governor William Gannaway Brownlow as one of the chancellors of Tennessee in 1865 but declined to qualify.[1]

Hawkins was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1868. Upon the readmission of Tennessee to representation, he was elected as a Unionist to the Thirty-ninth Congress and re-elected as a Republican to the Fortieth and Forty-first Congresses. He served from December 4, 1865 to March 3, 1871.[2] During the Forty-first Congress, he was the chairman of the United States House Committee on Mileage.


Hawkins died in Huntingdon, Tennessee on August 12, 1880 (age 62 years, 88 days). He is interred at the Hawkins family burial ground near Huntingdon.[3]


  1. ^ "Isaac Roberts Hawkins". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Isaac Roberts Hawkins". Govtrack US Congress. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  3. ^ "Isaac Roberts Hawkins". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 4 April 2013.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Civil War
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 7th congressional district

Succeeded by
Robert P. Caldwell