List of Governors of Tennessee

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Governor of Tennessee
Standard of the Governor of Tennessee.svg
=
Incumbent
Bill Haslam

since January 15, 2011
Style The Honorable
Residence Tennessee Governor's Mansion
Term length Four years, renewable once
Inaugural holder John Sevier
1796
Salary $178,356 (2013)[1]
Website www.tn.gov/governor/

This is a list of people who have served as Governor of Tennessee.

The governor's term in office is limited by the Tennessee state constitution. The first constitution, enacted in 1796, set a term of two years for the governor and provided that no person could serve as governor for more than six years in any eight-year period.[2] The term of office was lengthened to four years, without the possibility of consecutive terms, by constitutional amendments adopted in 1953.[3] Under the current provisions of the state constitution, as amended in 1978, the governor is elected to a four-year term and may serve no more than two terms consecutively.[3][4]

For a period of nearly five decades in the 20th century, the Tennessee Democratic Party held the Tennessee governorship continuously. However, since 1967 no two successive governors have belonged to the same party.

According to the Tennessee Blue Book, Tennessee has had 49 governors, including the incumbent, Bill Haslam.[5] This tally does not include William Blount (the territorial governor) or Robert L. Caruthers (who never took office), though the Blue Book includes them in its list of governors.[6] All governors are counted only once, regardless of number of terms served (e.g., John Sevier is considered the 1st governor, rather than the 1st and 3rd governor). The Blue Book does not include Edward H. East in its list of governors.

Southwest Territory[edit]

The Territory South of the River Ohio, commonly called the Southwest Territory, was formed in 1790 from lands ceded by North Carolina to the United States government. The territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Tennessee in 1796.

Parties

  Democratic-Republican

# Portrait Governor
(Birth–Death)
Term of Office Party State of Birth Occupation Notes
1 William-blount-wb-cooper.jpg   William Blount
(1749–1800)
September 20, 1790

March 30, 1796
Democratic-Republican NC Land speculator [7]

State of Tennessee[edit]

Parties

  Democratic-Republican   Democratic   Whig   Unionist/Military   Republican

#[8] Portrait Governor
(Birth–Death)
Term of Office Party State of Birth Occupation Notes
1 John Sevier.jpg   John Sevier
(1745–1815)
March 30, 1796

September 23, 1801
Democratic-Republican VA Soldier, pioneer
2 Portrait of Archibald Roane by C. J. Fox.jpg   Archibald Roane
(1760–1819)
September 23, 1801

September 23, 1803
Democratic-Republican PA Lawyer
1 John Sevier.jpg   John Sevier
(1745–1815)
September 23, 1803

September 20, 1809
Democratic-Republican VA Soldier, pioneer
3 Willie-blount-wb-cooper.jpg   Willie Blount
(1768–1835)
September 20, 1809

September 27, 1815
Democratic-Republican NC Lawyer, planter
4 McMinn-joseph-by-rembrandt-peale.jpg   Joseph McMinn
(1758–1824)
September 27, 1815

October 1, 1821
Democratic-Republican PA Merchant
5 Governor-william-carroll-portrait.gif   William Carroll
(1788–1844)
October 1, 1821

October 1, 1827
Democratic-Republican PA Merchant, soldier
6 Thomas Flintoff - Sam Houston - Google Art Project.jpg   Sam Houston
(1793–1863)
October 1, 1827

April 16, 1829
Democratic-Republican VA Lawyer
7 Hall-william-by-wb-cooper.jpg   William Hall
(1775–1856)
April 16, 1829

October 1, 1829
Democratic NC Planter, soldier
5 Governor-william-carroll-portrait.gif   William Carroll
(1788–1844)
October 1, 1829

October 12, 1835
Democratic PA Merchant, soldier
8 Cannon-newton-by-wb-cooper.jpg   Newton Cannon
(1781–1841)
October 12, 1835

October 14, 1839
Whig NC Planter
9 JamesKnoxPolk.png   James K. Polk
(1795–1849)
October 14, 1839

October 15, 1841
Democratic NC Lawyer/President
10 James C Jones.jpg   James C. Jones
(1809–1859)
October 15, 1841

October 14, 1845
Whig TN Lawyer
11 Hon. Aaron V. Brown, Tenn - NARA - 528326.jpg   Aaron V. Brown
(1795–1859)
October 14, 1845

October 17, 1847
Democratic VA Lawyer
12 Neill Smith Brown by Mathew Brady 1849.jpg   Neill S. Brown
(1810–1886)
October 17, 1847

October 16, 1849
Whig TN Lawyer
13 Trousdale-william-portrait1.jpg   William Trousdale
(1790–1872)
October 16, 1849

October 16, 1851
Democratic NC Lawyer
14 Campbell-william-by-wb-cooper.jpg   William B. Campbell
(1807–1867)
October 16, 1851

October 17, 1853
Whig TN Lawyer
15 President Andrew Johnson.jpg   Andrew Johnson
(1808–1875)
October 17, 1853

November 3, 1857
Democratic NC Tailor, President
16 Isham-harris-by-brady.jpg   Isham G. Harris
(1818–1897)
November 3, 1857

March 12, 1862
Democratic TN Lawyer, U.S. Senator [9]
15 President Andrew Johnson.jpg   Andrew Johnson
(1808–1875)
March 12, 1862

March 4, 1865
Unionist/Military NC Tailor, President
Edward-hazzard-east-by-ritchie.jpg   Edward H. East
(1830–1904)
March 4, 1865

April 5, 1865
Republican TN Lawyer [10]
17 William Gannaway Brownlow 2.jpg   William G. Brownlow
(1805–1877)
April 5, 1865

February 25, 1869
Republican VA Editor, preacher
18 Dewitt-clinton-senter-tn1.png   Dewitt Clinton Senter
(1830–1898)
February 25, 1869

October 10, 1871
Republican TN Lawyer
19 JCBrown-tn-gov-gen.jpg   John C. Brown
(1827–1889)
October 10, 1871

January 18, 1875
Democratic TN Lawyer
20 Porter-james-by-wb-cooper.jpg   James D. Porter
(1828–1912)
January 18, 1875

February 16, 1879
Democratic TN Lawyer, educator
21 Marks-albert-by-wb-cooper.jpg   Albert S. Marks
(1836–1891)
February 16, 1879

January 17, 1881
Democratic KY Lawyer, chancellor
22 Hawkins-alvin-by-wb-cooper.jpg   Alvin Hawkins
(1821–1905)
January 17, 1881

January 15, 1883
Republican KY Lawyer, judge
23 William Bate.jpg   William B. Bate
(1826–1905)
January 15, 1883

January 17, 1887
Democratic TN Lawyer, U.S. Senator
24 Taylor-robert-love-before-1912.jpg   Robert Love Taylor
(1850–1912)
January 17, 1887

January 19, 1891
Democratic TN Lawyer, U.S. Senator
25 Buchanan-john-price-by-wb-newman.jpg   John P. Buchanan
(1847–1930)
January 19, 1891

January 16, 1893
Democratic TN Farmer
26 Turney-peter-by-branson.jpg   Peter Turney
(1827–1903)
January 16, 1893

January 21, 1897
Democratic TN Lawyer, judge
24 Taylor-robert-love-before-1912.jpg   Robert Love Taylor
(1850–1912)
January 21, 1897

January 16, 1899
Democratic TN Lawyer, U.S. Senator
27 Benton McMillin 3575401083 6b3c77e538 o.jpg   Benton McMillin
(1845–1933)
January 16, 1899

January 19, 1903
Democratic KY Lawyer, diplomat
28 Frazier-james-by-lloyd-branson.jpg   James B. Frazier
(1856–1937)
January 19, 1903

March 21, 1905
Democratic TN Lawyer, U.S. Senator
29 Cox-john-isaac-governor-tn.jpg   John I. Cox
(1855–1946)
March 21, 1905

January 17, 1907
Democratic TN Lawyer
30 Patterson-malcolm-governor-tn2.jpg   Malcolm R. Patterson
(1861–1935)
January 17, 1907

January 26, 1911
Democratic AL Lawyer, judge
31 Hooper-ben-by-bain.jpg   Ben W. Hooper
(1870–1957)
January 26, 1911

January 17, 1915
Republican TN Lawyer
32 Rye-thomas-clarke-by-bain.jpg   Thomas C. Rye
(1863–1953)
January 17, 1915

January 15, 1919
Democratic TN Lawyer, judge
33 Albert H. Roberts.jpg   Albert H. Roberts
(1868–1946)
January 15, 1919

January 15, 1921
Democratic TN Lawyer, judge
34 Alfred-alexander-taylor-tn2.jpg   Alfred A. Taylor
(1848–1931)
January 15, 1921

January 16, 1923
Republican TN Lawyer
35 AustinPeay.jpg   Austin Peay
(1876–1927)
January 16, 1923

October 3, 1927
Democratic KY Lawyer [11]
36 No image.svg   Henry Hollis Horton
(1866–1934)
October 3, 1927

January 17, 1933
Democratic AL Lawyer, farmer
37 No image.svg   Hill McAlister
(1875–1959)
January 17, 1933

January 15, 1937
Democratic TN Lawyer
38 Browning-gordon-harris-ewing.jpg   Gordon Browning
(1889–1976)
January 15, 1937

January 16, 1939
Democratic TN Lawyer, judge
39 Prentice Cooper.jpg   Prentice Cooper
(1895–1969)
January 16, 1939

January 16, 1945
Democratic TN Lawyer
40 Mccord-jim-nance.jpg   Jim Nance McCord
(1879–1968)
January 16, 1945

January 16, 1949
Democratic TN Editor
38 Browning-gordon-harris-ewing.jpg   Gordon Browning
(1889–1976)
January 16, 1949

January 15, 1953
Democratic TN Lawyer, Judge
41 Frank Clement 1958.jpg   Frank G. Clement
(1920–1969)
January 15, 1953

January 19, 1959
Democratic TN Lawyer
42 Pentecost-johnson-ellington-gore-ornl.jpg   Buford Ellington
(1907–1972)
January 19, 1959

January 15, 1963
Democratic MS Farmer
41 Frank Clement 1958.jpg   Frank G. Clement
(1920–1969)
January 15, 1963

January 16, 1967
Democratic TN Lawyer
42 Pentecost-johnson-ellington-gore-ornl.jpg   Buford Ellington
(1907–1972)
January 16, 1967

January 16, 1971
Democratic MS Farmer
43 Winfield Dunn.jpg   Winfield Dunn
(1927–)
January 16, 1971

January 18, 1975
Republican MS Dentist
44 Ray Blanton.jpg   Ray Blanton
(1930–1996)
January 18, 1975

January 17, 1979
Democratic TN Farmer, businessman
45 LamarAlexander.jpg   Lamar Alexander
(1940–)
January 17, 1979

January 17, 1987
Republican TN Lawyer, US Senator
46 Ned R. McWherter speaking at a ceremony, Dec 17, 1988.JPEG   Ned McWherter
(1930–2011)
January 17, 1987

January 21, 1995
Democratic TN Businessman
47 Don Sundquist 103rd Congress.jpg   Don Sundquist
(1936–)
January 21, 1995

January 18, 2003
Republican IL Businessman
48 Governor Bredesen.jpg   Phil Bredesen
(1943–)
January 18, 2003

January 15, 2011
Democratic NJ Businessman
49 Governor Bill Haslam crop.jpg   Bill Haslam
(1958–)
January 15, 2011

Incumbent
Republican TN Businessman

Other high offices held by governors[edit]

This is a table of congressional seats, other federal offices, and other governorships held by governors. All representatives and senators mentioned represented Tennessee except where noted. * denotes those offices which the governor resigned to take.

Governor Gubernatorial term U.S. Congress Other offices held
House Senate
William Blount 1790–1796 (territorial) S Continental Congressman from North Carolina
John Sevier 1796–1801
1803–1809
H U.S. Representative from North Carolina; Governor of the State of Franklin
Sam Houston 1827–1829 H President of the Republic of Texas; U.S. Senator from Texas; Governor of Texas
William Hall 1829 H
Newton Cannon 1835–1839 H
James K. Polk 1839–1841 H 11th President of the United States
James C. Jones 1841–1845 S
Aaron V. Brown 1845–1847 H United States Postmaster General
Neill S. Brown 1847–1849 United States Minister to Russia
William Trousdale 1849–1851 United States Minister to Brazil
William B. Campbell 1851–1853 H
Andrew Johnson 1853–1857
1862–1865
H S 17th President of the United States; 16th Vice President of the United States
Isham G. Harris 1857–1862 H S
William G. Brownlow 1865–1869 S
James D. Porter 1875–1879 United States Minister to Chile
William B. Bate 1883–1887 S
Robert Love Taylor 1897–1899 H S
Benton McMillin 1899–1903 H United States Minister to Peru; United States Minister to Guatemala
James B. Frazier 1903–1905 S*
Malcolm R. Patterson 1907–1911 H
Alfred A. Taylor 1921–1923 H
Gordon Browning 1937–1939
1949–1953
H
Prentice Cooper 1939–1945 United States Ambassador to Peru
Jim Nance McCord 1945–1949 H
Ray Blanton 1975–1979 H
Lamar Alexander 1979–1987 S United States Secretary of Education
Don Sundquist 1995–2003 H

Living former Governors of Tennessee[edit]

As of May 2015, there are four former governors who are currently living at this time, the oldest being Winfield Dunn (served 1971–1975, born 1927). The most recent death of a former Tennessee governor was that of Ned McWherter (served 1987–1995, born 1930), on April 4, 2011, who is also the most recently serving governor to have died.

Governor Gubernatorial term Date of birth (and age)
Winfield Dunn 1971–1975 (1927-07-01) July 1, 1927 (age 89)
Lamar Alexander 1979–1987 (1940-07-03) July 3, 1940 (age 76)
Don Sundquist 1995–2003 (1936-03-15) March 15, 1936 (age 80)
Phil Bredesen 2003–2011 (1943-11-21) November 21, 1943 (age 73)

References[edit]

Specific
  1. ^ "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  2. ^ Jonathan M. Atkins. "William Carroll" in Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture (online edition). Accessed January 27, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Government", Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture 
  4. ^ William Lyons, John M. Scheb, Billy Stair (2001). Government and politics in Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press. p. 48–49. ISBN 978-1-57233-141-9. 
  5. ^ "Office of the Governor," Tennessee Blue Book (2011–2012), p. 169.
  6. ^ "Past Governors," Tennessee Blue Book (2011–2012), pp. 547, 553.
  7. ^ Appointed governor by President George Washington
  8. ^ Numbering of the Governors was deduced from the fact that the document at www.tn.gov/sos/bluebook/11-12/2_ExecutiveBranch.pdf identifies Bill Haslam as Tennessee's 49th Governor. Governors who served multiple non-consecutive terms have their numbers repeated in italics in subsequent terms.
  9. ^ Harris continued issuing edicts as governor throughout the Civil War. Confederate Tennesseans elected Robert L. Caruthers as Harris's successor in 1863, but Caruthers never took office.
  10. ^ East was Tennessee Secretary of State from 1862–1865, appointed by Andrew Johnson, the military governor of the state under Union occupation during the Civil War. After Johnson was inaugurated as Vice President of the United States on March 4, 1865, East became the Acting Governor of Tennessee until William G. Brownlow, the "elected" governor of Tennessee, was inaugurated on April 5, 1865. The official Tennessee Blue Book does not include East in its list of former governors.
  11. ^ Peay is the only Governor of Tennessee to die in office and was succeeded by Lieutenant Governor Henry Horton.
General

External links[edit]