James Whitfield (Mississippi)

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James Whitfield
James whitfield Gov.jpg
18th Governor of Mississippi
In office
November 24, 1851 – January 10, 1852
Preceded by John I. Guion
Succeeded by Henry S. Foote
Member of the Mississippi House of Representatives
Member of the Mississippi Senate
Personal details
Born (1791-12-15)December 15, 1791
Elbert County, Georgia, U.S.
Died June 25, 1875(1875-06-25) (aged 83)
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Louisa Dyer
Residence Snowdoun Mansion

James Whitfield (December 15, 1791 – June 25, 1875) was an American politician. He served as the Governor of Mississippi from November 24, 1851 to January 10, 1852.[1] He also served in both houses of the Mississippi Legislature.


He served until United States Senator Henry S. Foote, who had been elected governor, could complete his service in the Senate and resign from that body. Whitfield was a Democrat. He donated 185 acres (0.75 km2) of land in the northern part of the state to facilitate the creation of what is simultaneously the state's largest psychiatric facility and hospital, now known as Mississippi State Hospital. His Columbus, Mississippi plantation was sold in 1852 to Thomas Carleton Billups and is known today as The Billups Whitfield Place.

In the same year he built a house in Columbus which is known as Snowdoun and is featured annually on the local tour of homes. It was here that Jefferson Davis stayed while campaigning across the state for the U.S. Senate. He gave a speech from the balcony of this house. The home was later visited by author Julian Street as he was traveling across the Southern U.S. compiling notes for his book American Adventures in 1915.



  • McLemore, Richard Aubrey. A History of Mississippi, Vol. I. 1973: University of Mississippi Press. p. 307. 
  • Mississippi Official and Statistical Register. 1912. p. 64. 
  • Rowland, Dunbar. Mississippi Comprising Sketches in Cyclopedic Form I. p. 960. 

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Political offices
Preceded by
John I. Guion
Governor of Mississippi
Succeeded by
Henry S. Foote