Jeremiah Morton

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Jeremiah Morton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 9th district
In office
March 4, 1849 – March 3, 1851
Preceded by John Pendleton
Succeeded by James F. Strother
Personal details
Born (1813-03-29)March 29, 1813
Fredericksburg, Virginia, US
Died November 28, 1878(1878-11-28) (aged 79)
"Lessland", Orange County, Virginia, US
Political party Whig
Alma mater Washington College
College of William and Mary
Profession politician, lawyer, farmer

Jeremiah Morton (September 3, 1799 – November 28, 1878) was a nineteenth-century politician and lawyer from Virginia.[1] He was the younger brother of Florida senator Jackson Morton.

Early and family life[edit]

Born in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Morton attended a private school as a child and later went on to Washington College in 1814 and 1815 and graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1819. He read law.

Career[edit]

After admission to the Virginia bar, Morton began his legal practice in Raccoon Ford, Virginia, and traveled to nearby county seats. Morton later left his peripatetic legal career due to illness and instead operated many prosperous plantations.

He was elected a Whig to the United States House of Representatives in 1848, serving from 1849 to 1851. After being unsuccessful for reelection in 1850, he returned to agricultural pursuits. An owner of several prosperous plantations, he gained an income of the "then-princely" $30,000 a year.[2]

American Civil War[edit]

Morton was a prominent secessionist member of the Virginia Secession Convention in 1861 representing Orange and Greene Counties, although most Whigs at the Convention were Unionists. He later complained "The scourge of war has swept all from me, and . . . I stand a blasted stump in the wilderness."[3]

Morton also became a trustee of the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia.

Death and legacy[edit]

Morton died at "Lessland" in Orange County, Virginia on November 28, 1878 and was interred at his old home, "Morton Hall" in Orange County.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^
  2. ^ Freehling, William W. and Craig M. Simpson, Showdown in Virginia: the 1861 Convention and the fate of the Union. 2010 ISBN 978-0-8139-2948-4, p. 3
  3. ^ Ann L. Miller, Antebellum Orange (Orange, VA, 1988), 141 cited in Freehling & SImpson p. 3
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Pendleton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 9th congressional district

March 4, 1849 – March 3, 1851
Succeeded by
James F. Strother