Walter T. Colquitt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Walter T. Colquitt
Walter Terry Colquitt.jpg
United States Senator
from Georgia
In office
March 4, 1843 – February 4, 1848
Preceded by Alfred Cuthbert
Succeeded by Herschel V. Johnson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's at-large district
In office
March 4, 1839 – July 21, 1840
Preceded by Jabez Y. Jackson
Succeeded by Hines Holt
In office
January 3, 1842 – March 3, 1843
Preceded by Eugenius A. Nisbet
Succeeded by John H. Lumpkin
Member of the Georgia Senate
In office
Personal details
Born Walter Terry Colquitt
(1799-12-27)December 27, 1799
Halifax County, Virginia
Died May 7, 1855(1855-05-07) (aged 55)
Macon, Georgia
Political party Democratic

Walter Terry Colquitt (December 27, 1799 – May 7, 1855) was a lawyer, circuit-riding Methodist preacher, United States Representative and Senator from Georgia.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Monroe in Halifax County, Virginia, he moved with his parents to Mount Zion in Carroll County, Georgia. He attended the common schools and Princeton College and studied law, gaining admission to the bar in 1820 and commencing practice in Sparta, Georgia. Late in 1820, he was chosen brigadier general of the state militia, despite being only 21 years old. Colquitt moved to the village of Cowpens in Walton County and was elected judge of the Chattahoochee circuit in 1826, being re-elected three years later. He was licensed as a Methodist preacher in 1827, becoming extremely popular in Central and South Georgia, mostly for his strong support of states' rights. It was said of Colquitt that he could make a stump speech, try a court case and plead another at the bar, christen a child, preach a sermon, and marry a couple all before dinner.[1] He was a member of the Georgia Senate in 1834 and 1837.

Colquitt was elected as a Whig to the Twenty-sixth Congress and served from March 4, 1839, to July 21, 1840, when he resigned. He changed parties,[2] and was elected as a Van Buren Democrat to the Twenty-seventh Congress to fill in part vacancies caused by the resignations of Julius C. Alford, William Crosby Dawson, and Eugenius A. Nisbet. Following the death of his first wife, Colquitt married Mrs. Alphea B. (Todd) Fauntleroy in 1841, then when tragedy struck again, he married Harriet W. Ross the following year. He was then elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate and served from March 4, 1843, until his resignation in February 1848. While in the Twenty-ninth Congress, Colquitt was chairman of the Committee on the District of Columbia and the Committee on Patents and Patent Office. He supported the Polk administration in the controversy relative to the Oregon Territory, and was a prominent opponent of the Wilmot Proviso throughout the Mexican-American War.

Colquitt retired from national politics in 1848 and resumed his law practice and preaching. He was a member of the Nashville Convention in 1850, arguing for secession if slavery was restricted in any of the new territories then being added to the country. Colquitt died on a trip from Columbus to Macon, Georgia, in 1855. He was buried in Linwood Cemetery in Columbus, Georgia.

Colquitt County, Georgia is named in memory of Walter T. Colquitt as well as the town of Colquitt, Georgia. His son, Alfred Holt Colquitt, was also a U.S. Representative and Senator from Georgia, as well as a general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. His other son, Peyton H. Colquitt, served as a Confederate officer, too, and was killed in the Battle of Chickamauga.


  1. ^ Carwardine, Richard (2000). "Methodists, Politics, and the Coming of the American Civil War". Church History. 69 (3): 584. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  2. ^ Gruberg, Martin (2011). A Biographical Encyclopedia of American Politicians Who Switched Parties : A History of the Crises That Changed Loyalties. Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press. ISBN 9780773411593. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jabez Y. Jackson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's at-large congressional district

March 4, 1839 – July 21, 1840
Succeeded by
Hines Holt
Preceded by
Eugenius A. Nisbet
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's at-large congressional district

January 3, 1842 – March 3, 1843
Succeeded by
John H. Lumpkin
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Alfred Cuthbert
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Georgia
March 4, 1843 – February, 1848
Served alongside: John M. Berrien
Succeeded by
Herschel V. Johnson