James Buchanan Richmond

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James Buchanan Richmond
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 9th district
In office
March 4, 1879 – March 3, 1881
Preceded byAuburn Pridemore
Succeeded byAbram Fulkerson
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the Lee County, Virginia district
In office
January 1, 1874 – December 3, 1875
Preceded byWilliam P. Queen
Succeeded byIra P. Robinette
Personal details
Born(1842-02-27)February 27, 1842
Turkey Cove Lee County, Virginia, U.S.
DiedApril 30, 1910(1910-04-30) (aged 68)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Lizzie Duncan,
Kate Morison
ResidenceGate City, Scott County, Virginia
ProfessionPolitician, Lawyer, Judge, Banker
Military service
Allegiance Virginia
 Confederate States
Service/branch Virginia Militia
 Confederate States Army
RankConfederate States of America Colonel.png Colonel (CSA)
Unit15th Virginia Infantry
64th Virginia Mounted Infantry
Commands64th Virginia Infantry
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

James Buchanan Richmond (February 27, 1842 – April 30, 1910) was a nineteenth-century politician, lawyer, judge and banker from Virginia.[1]

Early and family life[edit]

Born in Turkey Cove, Lee County, Virginia on February 27, 1842 to Jonathan Richmond (1805 - 1871) and his wife Mary Dickenson Richmond (1808 - 1879), James Richmond had many brothers and sisters. He attended Emory and Henry College, then read law.

He married Sarah Elizabeth (Lizzie) Duncan (1845-1869) in 1864 and had a son (Henry C. L.Richmond) and daughter (Mary Elizabeth Richmond Cox Deisher) before her death. The year following Lizzie's death, Richmond married Catherine (Kate) Morison (1844-1911) of Scott County. His son, Henry C. L. Richmond, like his father became a lawyer and later married the daughter of Richmond's fellow 64th Virginia officer, Harvey Gray. [2]


Richmond began his legal practice in the circuit and county court of Lee County and neighboring Scott and Wise Counties as well as in the court of appeals in Wytheville, Virginia.

Confederate service[edit]

As the American Civil War began, Richmond enlisted in the Confederate Army, as did his elder brothers William, Jonathan and Henry (although Jonathan died of typhus in August 1861). James Richmond initially served as an orderly sergeant and was promoted to captain of Company A of the 15th Virginia Infantry. When that was consolidated with the 64th Virginia Mounted Infantryin late 1863 (where his brother William was a Captain), James Richmond received a promotion to major and later another promotion to lieutenant colonel. He served under Col. Auburn Pridemore (whom he later defeated to represent the same Congressional district).

Political career[edit]

After Virginia surrendered and James Richmond and his brothers received pardons, he resumed his legal practice. Lee County voters elected him to represent them (part time) in the Virginia House of Delegates in 1873 and he served from 1874 until 1875. Richmond succeeded William P. Queen and was succeeded by Democrat Ira Robinette.

In 1878, advocating sound money, Richmond defeated Congressman Pridemore in the primary, and was elected as a Democrat to the United States House of Representatives. He served a single term, from 1879 to 1881, losing in the Democratic primary to fellow Confederate veteran Abram Fulkerson, who helped organize the Readjuster Party but retired after one term.

In 1886, the Virginia General Assembly elected Richmond judge for Scott County, Virginia. He served for six years, from 1886 to 1892. He then became chief counsel of the South Atlantic & Ohio Railroad Company for several years, and also engaged in banking. Richmond also represented Scott County at the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1902, which disenfranchised black and poor white voters, but attempted to modernize treatment of corporations.

Death and legacy[edit]

Richmond died at Johns Hopkins hospital in Baltimore, Maryland on April 30, 1910.[3] His widow would also be interred in Estill Cemetery in Gate City, Virginia the following year.[4] His son Henry C.L. Richmond, who also attended Emory and Henry College before becoming a lawyer, served as Commonwealth Attorney of Scott County 1891-1895, and again 1919-1920, resigning when elected mayor of Gate City in 1920. He was a Republican like Campbell Slemp and his son C. Bascom Slemp, who were both born less than a mile from James B. Richmond and represented the 9th Congressional district in the early 20th century. A Virginia highway marker near Seminary, Virginia recognized all three Congressmen born nearby.[5]


  1. ^
    • United States Congress. "James Buchanan Richmond (id: R000234)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  2. ^ Lewis Preston Summers, History of Southwest Virginia (1903)
  3. ^ http://genealogytrails.com/vir/scott/obituaries.html
  4. ^ James Buchanan Richmond at Find a Grave
  5. ^ A Guidebook to Virginia's Historical Markers (University of Virginia Press 1994), p. 198
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Auburn Pridemore
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 9th congressional district

March 4, 1879 – March 3, 1881
Succeeded by
Abram Fulkerson