John Vines Wright

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John Vines Wright
Sketch of Wright in 1900
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 7th district
In office
March 4, 1855 – March 3, 1861
Preceded byRobert M. Bugg
Succeeded byCivil War
Personal details
Born(1828-06-28)June 28, 1828
Purdy, Tennessee, U.S.
DiedJune 12, 1908(1908-06-12) (aged 79)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Resting placeRock Creek Cemetery
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseGeorgia Hays
RelativesMarcus J. Wright (brother)
Alma materUniversity of Tennessee at Knoxville
  • Politician
  • military officer
  • lawyer
  • judge
Military career
Allegiance Confederate States of America
Service/branch Confederate States Army
Rank Colonel
Unit13th Tennessee Infantry Regiment

John Vines Wright (June 28, 1828 – June 12, 1908) was an American secessionist, politician, military officer and judge. He served a member of the United States House of Representatives for the 7th congressional district of Tennessee and in the First and Second Congress of the Confederate States. He served in the Confederate States Army as a colonel. He later became a judge of the circuit court of Tennessee and a chancellor and judge of the Tennessee Supreme Court.


John Vines Wright was born in Purdy, Tennessee, in McNairy County the son of Benjamin C. and Martha Ann Hicks Wright. He completed preparatory studies and attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where he pursued courses in medicine and law. After graduating from the law department, he was admitted to the bar in 1852, and he commenced practice in Purdy.[1][2] His brother was Marcus J. Wright.[2][citation needed]

Wright owned slaves.[3]

Political career[edit]

Elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-fourth, the Thirty-fifth, and the Thirty-sixth Congresses, Wright served from March 4, 1855 to March 3, 1861.[1][4]

During the Civil War, Wright served in the Confederate Army as colonel of the 13th Tennessee Infantry Regiment in 1861. He was present at the Battle of Belmont where his horse was shot from under him.[2] He was elected to both the First and the Second Confederate Congresses.[1]

Wright served as a judge of the circuit court of Tennessee, and then as a chancellor and judge of the Tennessee Supreme Court. He practiced law in Nashville in 1885 and 1886. He was an unsuccessful candidate as an Anti-Repudiation Democrat for governor of Tennessee in 1880. He was chairman of the Northwest Indian Commission in 1886 and a member of the commission to treat with the Great Sioux Nation in Dakota. He was appointed to the law division of the General Land Office in 1887 and served until his death.[1][2]

Personal life[edit]

Wright married Georgia Hays and they had three children, Eugene, Georgia Hays, and Annie.[5] His daughter Georgia Hays married Frank Lyon.[6]

Wright died in Washington, D.C., on June 12, 1908. He is interred in Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, D.C.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Wright, John Vines". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 5, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e "In Congress 54 Years Ago". The Baltimore Sun. June 13, 1908. p. 2. Retrieved October 4, 2022 – via access
  3. ^ Weil, Julie Zauzmer; Blanco, Adrian; Dominguez, Leo. "More than 1,800 congressmen once enslaved Black people. This is who they were, and how they shaped the nation". Washington Post. Retrieved February 20, 2023.
  4. ^ "John Vines Wright". Govtrack US Congress. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  5. ^ "John Vines Wright". Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  6. ^ Philip Alexander Bruce, ed. (1924). History of Virginia. Vol. 6. Arlington Historical Society. pp. 123–125.

External links[edit]

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

Succeeded by
Civil War