Powhatan Ellis

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Powhatan Ellis
Powhatan Ellis.jpg
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Mississippi
In office
July 14, 1832 – January 5, 1836
Appointed byAndrew Jackson
Preceded byPeter Randolph
Succeeded byGeorge Adams
United States Senator
from Mississippi
In office
March 4, 1827 – July 16, 1832
Preceded byThomas Buck Reed
Succeeded byJohn Black
In office
September 28, 1825 – January 28, 1826
Appointed byWalter Leake
Preceded byDavid Holmes
Succeeded byThomas Buck Reed
Personal details
Born
Powhatan Ellis

(1790-01-17)January 17, 1790
Amherst County, Virginia
DiedMarch 18, 1863(1863-03-18) (aged 73)
Richmond, Virginia
Resting placeShockoe Hill Cemetery
Richmond, Virginia
Political partyJacksonian
EducationWashington and Lee University
Dickinson College (A.B.)
College of William & Mary

Powhatan Ellis (January 17, 1790 – March 18, 1863) was a justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court, United States senator from Mississippi, and a United States district judge of the United States District Court for the District of Mississippi.

Education and career[edit]

Born on January 17, 1790, at Red Hill Farm in Amherst County, Virginia,[1] Ellis graduated from Washington Academy (now Washington and Lee University) in 1809, received an Artium Baccalaureus degree in 1810 from Dickinson College and graduated from the College of William & Mary in 1814,[2] where he studied law.[1] He was admitted to the bar and entered private practice in Lynchburg, Virginia from 1813 to 1814 and from 1815 to 1816.[2] He was a lieutenant in the Prevost Guards of Virginia in 1814.[2] He resumed private practice in Natchez, Mississippi Territory in 1816.[2] He continued private practice in Winchester, Mississippi Territory (State of Mississippi from December 10, 1817) from 1816 to 1817.[2] He was a justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court from 1817 to 1818 and from 1818 to 1825.[2]

Congressional service[edit]

Ellis was appointed as a Jacksonian Democrat to the United States Senate from Mississippi to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of United States Senator David Holmes and served from September 28, 1825, to January 28, 1826, when a successor was elected and qualified.[1] He was an unsuccessful candidate for election to fill the vacancy.[1] He was elected as a Jacksonian Democrat to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1827, to July 16, 1832, resigning to accept a judicial position.[1]

Federal judicial service[edit]

Ellis was nominated by President Andrew Jackson on July 13, 1832, to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Mississippi vacated by Judge Peter Randolph.[2] He was confirmed by the United States Senate on July 14, 1832, and received his commission the same day.[2] His service terminated on January 5, 1836, when he resigned.[2]

Later career and death[edit]

Ellis was appointed charge d'affaires to Mexico for the United States Department of State by President Jackson, serving from January 1836 to December 1836 when he closed the legation.[1] He was appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Mexico for the United States Department of State by President Martin Van Buren,[2] serving from February 1839 to April 1842.[3] He resumed private practice in Natchez starting in 1842 and continued private practice in Richmond, Virginia until 1863.[2] He died on March 18, 1863, in Richmond.[2] He was interred in Shockoe Hill Cemetery in Richmond.[1]

Heritage and family[edit]

One account in The Green Bag stated that Ellis was a descendant of Pocahontas.[4] In 1833, he married Eliza Rebecca Winn who died in the spring of 1835. Together, they had two children.[5]

Legacy[edit]

The city of Ellisville, Mississippi is named in Ellis's memory.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g United States Congress. "Powhatan Ellis (id: E000136)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Powhatan Ellis at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.
  3. ^ "Powhatan Ellis". Office of the Historian. Retrieved August 26, 2022.
  4. ^ Somerville, Thomas H. (November 1899). Fuller, Horace W. (ed.). "A Sketch of the Supreme Court of Mississippi". The Green Bag. XI (11): 504. ...and said to be a descendant of Pocahontas
  5. ^ "Hon. Powahatan Ellis of Mississippi". Southern Literary Messenger. 37 (4): 250. April 1863.
  6. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. United States Government Publishing Office. pp. 117.
U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. senator (Class 1) from Mississippi
1825–1826
Served alongside: Thomas Hill Williams
Succeeded by
Preceded by U.S. senator (Class 1) from Mississippi
1827–1832
Served alongside: Thomas Hill Williams, Thomas Buck Reed, Robert H. Adams, George Poindexter
Succeeded by
Legal offices
Preceded by Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Mississippi
1832–1836
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Newly established court
Justice of the Supreme Court of Mississippi
1818–1825
Succeeded by