|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Virginia's 11th district
March 6, 1846 – March 3, 1851
|Preceded by||William Taylor|
|Succeeded by||John Letcher|
|29th Governor of Virginia|
January 1, 1843 – January 1, 1846
|Preceded by||John Munford Gregory (acting)|
|Succeeded by||William Smith|
|Member of the Virginia House of Delegates|
|Born||October 13, 1795|
Rockbridge County, Virginia U.S.
|Died||August 24, 1851 (aged 55)|
Lexington, Virginia U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Susanna Smith Preston|
McDowell was born at "Cherry Grove," near Rockbridge County, Virginia, on October 13, 1795. He attended a classical school at Greenville, Virginia, a private school at Brownsburg, Washington College (now Washington and Lee University), Lexington, Virginia, and Yale College He graduated from Princeton College in 1817 and studied law. He was admitted to the bar but did not practice. He was a member of the State house of delegates 1831–1835 and again in 1838. He was chosen as Governor of Virginia in 1843. He was elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-ninth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of William Taylor. He was reelected to the Thirtieth and Thirty-first Congresses and served from March 6, 1846, to March 3, 1851. McDowell died on his estate "Col Alto" near Lexington, August 24, 1851. He was interred in Presbyterian Cemetery.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 194.
This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.
- A Guide to the Executive Papers of Governor James McDowell, 1843-1845 at The Library of Virginia
- James McDowell helped shape history of Rockbridge County from The News Leader
- Congressional Biography