Kellian Whaley

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Kellian Van Rensalear Whaley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from West Virginia's 3rd district
In office
December 7, 1863 – March 3, 1867
Preceded byDistrict created
Succeeded byDaniel Polsley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 12th district
In office
March 4, 1861 – March 3, 1863
Preceded byHenry A. Edmundson
Succeeded byDistrict eliminated
Personal details
Born(1821-05-06)May 6, 1821
Utica, New York, US
DiedMay 20, 1876(1876-05-20) (aged 55)
Point Pleasant, West Virginia, US
Political partyUnionist
Unconditional Unionist
ProfessionPolitician, Lumberman

Kellian Van Rensalear Whaley (May 6, 1821 – May 20, 1876) was a nineteenth-century congressman from Virginia and West Virginia and major of the 9th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War.

Early life and election to U.S. Congress[edit]

Whaley was born in Utica, New York on May 6, 1821. He worked in Point Pleasant, Virginia[1] (now West Virginia) in the lumber business until the Civil War. Whaley was elected a Unionist to the United States House of Representatives in 1860, representing a Virginia district, serving one term from 1861 to 1863. He lost his seat due to Virginia's secession from the Union.

Civil War[edit]

During the Civil War, Whaley became a recruiter for the Union Army and was major of the 9th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He was captured by Confederate forces under the command of General Albert Gallatin Jenkins on November 10, 1861 when the town of Guyandotte, West Virginia was overrun by Confederate troops. During the march from Guyandotte up the Guyandotte River Major Whaley escaped his captors at Chapmanville, West Virginia and made his way to safety by traveling up Big Harts Creek in Lincoln and Logan counties to Queens Ridge in Wayne County, West Virginia.

U.S. Congressman[edit]

Whaley was elected back as an Unconditional Unionist and as one of the first three representatives from West Virginia, serving from 1863 to 1867. From 1863 to 1865, he was chairman of the Committee on Invalid Pensions. Whaley was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1864. He was chairman of the Committee on Revolutionary Claims from 1865 to 1867. He served on the Congressional committee that accompanied the body of President Abraham Lincoln on the funeral train as it was returned from Washington to Springfield.[1] He was not a candidate for reelection in 1866. In 1868, he served as collector of customs at Brazos de Santiago, Texas.

Whaley died in Point Pleasant, West Virginia on May 20, 1876 and was interred in Lone Oak Cemetery in Point Pleasant.

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website

  • United States Congress. "Kellian Whaley (id: W000318)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved on 2008-02-15
  • Kellian Whaley at The Political Graveyard
  1. ^ a b Tyler, Lyon G. (1915). Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company. pp. v.3, p.133. Retrieved on November 22, 2008.

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Henry A. Edmundson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 12th congressional district

March 4, 1861 – March 3, 1863
District Eliminated
New district Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from West Virginia's 3rd congressional district

December 7, 1863 – March 3, 1867
Succeeded by
Daniel Polsley