Hugh Lawson White (October 30, 1773 – April 10, 1840) was a prominent American politician during the first third of the 19th century. After filling in several posts particularly in Tennessee's judiciary and state legislature since 1801, thereunder as a Tennessee Supreme Court justice, he was chosen to succeed former presidential candidate Andrew Jackson in the United States Senate in 1825 and became a member of the new Democratic Party, supporting Jackson's policies and his future presidential administration. However, he left the Democrats in 1836 and was a Whig candidate in that year's presidential election.
An ardent strict constructionist and lifelong states' rights advocate, White was one of President Jackson's most trusted allies in Congress in the late 1820s and early 1830s.:246 White fought against the national bank, tariffs, and the use of federal funds for internal improvements,:31, 76–77 and led efforts in the Senate to pass the Indian Removal Act of 1830.:153 In 1833, at the height of the Nullification Crisis, White, as the Senate's president pro tempore, coordinated negotiations over the Tariff of 1833.:239
Suspicious of the growing power of the presidency, White began to distance himself from Jackson in the mid-1830s, and realigned himself with Henry Clay and the burgeoning Whig Party.:251–2 He was eventually forced out of the Senate when Jackson's allies, led by James K. Polk, gained control of the Tennessee state legislature and demanded his resignation.:409–410
|President pro tempore of the United States Senate|
December 3, 1832 – December 15, 1833
|Preceded by||Littleton Tazewell|
|Succeeded by||George Poindexter|
|United States Senator|
October 28, 1825 – January 13, 1840
|Preceded by||Andrew Jackson|
|Succeeded by||Alexander O. Anderson|
Hugh Lawson White
October 30, 1773
Rowan County, North Carolina, British America (now Iredell County)
|Died||April 10, 1840 (aged 66)|
Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.
|Resting place||First Presbyterian Church Cemetery|
|Political party||Democratic-Republican (Before 1825)|
|Spouse(s)||Elizabeth Carrick (1798–1831|
Anne Peyton (1832–1840)
|Relatives||James White (Father)|
Samuel Carrick (Father-in-law)
Charles McClung (Brother-in-law)
John Overton (Brother-in-law)
John Williams (Brother-in-law)
White was born in what is now Iredell County, North Carolina (but then part of Rowan County), the eldest son of James White and Mary Lawson White. James, a Revolutionary War veteran, moved his family to the Tennessee frontier in the 1780s, and played an active role in the failed State of Franklin. In 1786, he constructed White's Fort, which would eventually develop into Knoxville, Tennessee. Young Hugh was a sentinel at the fort, and helped manage its small gristmill.:8
In 1791, White's Fort was chosen as the capital of the newly created Southwest Territory, and James White's friend, William Blount, was appointed governor of the territory. Hugh Lawson White worked as Blount's personal secretary, and was tutored by early Knoxville minister and educator, Samuel Carrick. In 1793, he fought in the territorial militia under John Sevier during the Cherokee–American wars. Historian J. G. M. Ramsey credited Hugh Lawson White's company with the killing of the Chickamauga Cherokee war chief, King Fisher, and White's granddaughter and biographer, Nancy Scott, stated that White fired the fatal shot.:11n
In 1801, White was appointed judge of the Superior Court of Tennessee, then the state's highest court. In 1807, he resigned after being elected to the state legislature. He left the state legislature in 1809, following his appointment to the state's Court of Errors and Appeals (which replaced the Superior Court as the highest court). He resigned this position in 1815, when he was elected to the state senate. He served in the state senate until 1817. As a state legislator, White helped reform the state's land laws,:19 and engineered the passage of an anti-dueling measure.
In 1812, White was named president of the Knoxville branch of the Bank of Tennessee. White was described as a very cautious banker,:14–9 and his bank was one of the few in the state to survive the Panic of 1819.
In 1825, the Tennessee state legislature chose White to replace Andrew Jackson in the United States Senate (Jackson had resigned following his failed run for the presidency in 1824). White spearheaded the Southern states' opposition to sending delegates to the 1826 Congress of Panama, which was a general gathering of various nations in the Western Hemisphere, many of which had declared their independence from Spain and abolished slavery.:40–6 White argued that if the U.S. attended the congress, it would violate the commitment to neutrality put forth by President Washington decades earlier, and stated that the nation should not get involved in foreign treaties merely for the sake of "gratifying national vanity.":39
Following Jackson's election to the presidency in 1828, White became one of the Jackson Administration's key congressional allies.:246 White was chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, which drew up the Indian Removal Act of 1830, a major initiative of Jackson.:153–4 The act called for the relocation of the remaining Native American tribes in the southeastern United States to territories west of the Mississippi River, and would culminate in the so-called Trail of Tears.
In an 1836 speech, White described himself as a "strict constructionist,":209 arguing that the federal government could not pass any laws outside its powers specifically stated in the Constitution. Like many Jacksonians, he was a staunch states' rights advocate.:76–7 He opposed the national bank,:19 and rejected federal funding for internal improvements (which he believed only the states had the power to fund).:76–7 He also supported Jackson's call for the elimination of the Electoral College,:348 and opposed federal intervention into the issue of slavery.:199
Like most Southern senators, White opposed the Tariff of 1828, which placed a high tax on goods imported from overseas to protect growing northern industries. White argued that while the federal government had the power to impose tariffs, it should only do so when it benefited the nation as a whole, and not merely one section (i.e., the North) at the expense of another (i.e., the agrarian South, which relied on trade with England).:76–7 During the resulting Nullification Crisis in late 1832 and early 1833, as the Senate's president pro tempore (the leader of the Senate in the absence of the Vice President), White coordinated negotiations in the interim between the resignation of Vice President John C. Calhoun (December 28, 1832) and the swearing in of Vice President Martin Van Buren (March 4, 1833).:239
Toward the end of Jackson's first term, a rift developed between White and Jackson. In 1831, as Jackson reshuffled his cabinet in the aftermath of the Petticoat affair, White was offered the office of Secretary of War, but turned it down.:251 During the Nullification Crisis in February 1833, White angered Jackson by appointing Delaware senator and Clay ally John M. Clayton to the select committee to consider the Clay compromise.:239 In later speeches, White stated that the Jackson Administration had drifted away from the party's core states' rights principles, and argued that the executive was gaining too much power.:352
The Tennessee state legislature endorsed White for the presidency in 1835, at the end of Jackson's second term. This angered Jackson, as he had chosen Martin Van Buren as his successor. White stated that no sitting president should choose a successor, arguing that doing so was akin to having a monarchy.:352 In 1836, White left Jackson's party entirely, and decided to run for president as a candidate for the Whig Party led by Henry Clay, which had formed largely from opposition to Jackson but also continued the nationalist agenda of the National Republican Party, although this very contradicting position in regard to White's ideals was not yet determined at that time, as the party was still regionally factionalised.
In the 1836 presidential election, the Whig Party, unable to agree on a candidate, ran four candidates against Van Buren: White, William Henry Harrison, Daniel Webster, and Willie Person Mangum. Jackson actively campaigned against White in Tennessee, and accused him of being a federalist who was opposed to states' rights.:356 In spite of this, White won Tennessee, as well as Georgia, giving him 26 electoral votes, the third highest total behind Van Buren's 170 and Harrison's 73.
By 1837, the relationship between White and Jackson had turned hostile. Jackson was outraged when he learned that White had accused his administration of committing outright fraud, and stated in a letter to Adam Huntsman that White had a "lax code of morals.":306 Jackson allies such as James K. Polk, Felix Grundy, and John Catron, also turned against White, and blamed him for the dispute with Jackson.:262 White stood by his accusations, and blasted Jackson for making "useless expenditures" of public money,:347 and increasing the power of the presidency.:348
By the late 1830s, Jackson's allies had gained control of the Tennessee state legislature. After White refused their demand that he vote for the Subtreasury Bill, he was forced to resign on January 13, 1840. Following a large banquet in Washington, White returned to his native Knoxville. His entry into the city was marked by the firing of cannons and the ringing of church bells, as he paraded through the streets on horseback.:410
Shortly after his return, White fell ill, and he died on April 10, 1840. A large funeral procession led his casket and riderless horse through the streets of Knoxville.:421–2 He is interred with his family in the First Presbyterian Church Cemetery.
White believed strongly in the principles of strict constructionism and a limited federal government, and voted against fellow Jacksonians if he felt their initiatives ran counter to these principles. His independent nature and his stern rectitude earned him the appellation "The Cato of the United States." His congressional colleague, Henry Wise, later wrote that White's "patriotism and firmness" as the Senate's president pro tempore was key to resolving the Nullification Crisis.:239
White believed that being on the public payroll obligated him to attend every Senate meeting, no matter the issue.:239–240 Felix Grundy recalled that White once departed Knoxville in the middle of a driving snowstorm to ensure he made it to Washington in time for the Senate's fall session.:241 Senator John Milton Niles later wrote that White was often "the only listener to a dull speech.":240 White prided himself on being the most punctual member of the Senate, and was usually the first senator to arrive at the Capitol on days when the Senate was in session.:241 Senator Ephraim H. Foster once told a story about waking up well before sunrise one morning, determined to beat White to the Capitol at least once in his career, and arriving only to find White in the committee room analyzing some papers.:241
White's father, James White (1747–1820), was the founder of Knoxville, Tennessee. His brothers-in-law included surveyor Charles McClung (1761–1835), who platted Knoxville in 1791, Judge John Overton (1766–1833), the co-founder of Memphis, Tennessee, and Senator John Williams (1778–1837). White and his first wife, Elizabeth Carrick, had 12 children, two of whom died in infancy.:413 Between 1825 and 1831, eight of their surviving ten children died of tuberculosis.:414–419 Their lone surviving son, Samuel (1825–1860), served as mayor of Knoxville in 1857.
White's farm lay just west of Second Creek in Knoxville. In the late 19th century, this became a land development area known as "White's Addition." The area is now part of the University of Tennessee campus and the Fort Sanders neighborhood. White County, Arkansas was also named in his honor.
| U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Tennessee
Served alongside: John Eaton, Felix Grundy, Ephraim H. Foster, Felix Grundy
Alexander O. Anderson
| Chair of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee
| Chair of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee
| President pro tempore of the United States Senate
|Party political offices|
|New political party|| Whig nominee for President of the United States
William Henry Harrison
| Nullifier nominee for President of the United States
|Notes and references|
|1. The Whig Party ran regional candidates in 1836. White ran in the Southern states, William Henry Harrison ran in the Northern states, and Daniel Webster ran in Massachusetts.|
The 1830 United States elections occurred in the middle of Democratic President Andrew Jackson's first term, during the Second Party System. Members of the 22nd United States Congress were chosen in this election. The election saw Jackson's Democrats retain control of both chambers of Congress over the National Republicans and other members of the anti-Jackson faction, while the Nullifier Party won seats in Congress for the first time.
In the House, both major parties lost seats to the Anti-Masonic Party, but Democrats retained a commanding majority.In the Senate, both parties lost one seat to the Nullifiers, leaving the Democrats with half of the seats in the Senate. No party had a clear majority because Vice President John C. Calhoun aligned with the Nullifiers, and eventually resigned before the end of the 22nd Congress. However, Democrats retained control of the chamber, electing three different President pro tempores: Samuel Smith, Littleton W. Tazewell, and Hugh Lawson White.1836 United States elections
The 1836 United States elections elected the members of the 25th United States Congress. The election saw the emergence of the Whig Party, which succeeded the National Republican Party in the Second Party System as the primary opposition to the Democratic Party. The Whigs chose their name in symbolic defiance to the leader of the Democratic Party, "King" Andrew Jackson, and supported a national bank and the American System. Despite the emergence of the Whigs as a durable political party, Democrats retained the Presidency and a majority in both houses of Congress.
In the Presidential election, the Whigs ran multiple candidates designed to deny the Democratic candidate a majority of the electoral vote, and carried a scattering of states in the South, West, and Northeast. However, Democratic Vice President Martin Van Buren still took a majority of the popular and electoral vote, defeating Whig candidates William Henry Harrison of Ohio, Hugh Lawson White of Tennessee, Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, and Willie Person Mangum of North Carolina. Virginia's electors refused to vote for Richard Mentor Johnson, Van Buren's running mate, leaving Johnson short of a majority of electoral votes for vice president. The Senate elected Johnson in a contingent election, the only time the Senate has ever chosen the vice president. Van Buren was the last sitting vice president to win election as president until George H.W. Bush's election in 1988.
In the House, Whigs won moderate gains, but Democrats retained a solid majority in the chamber.In the Senate, Democrats picked up a large number of seats, boosting their majority.1836 United States presidential election
The United States presidential election of 1836 was the 13th quadrennial presidential election, held from November 3 to December 7, 1836. In the third consecutive election victory for the Democratic Party, incumbent Vice President Martin Van Buren defeated four candidates fielded by the nascent Whig Party.
Under the popular leadership of Andrew Jackson, the Democrats had established a stable party. The 1835 Democratic National Convention chose a ticket of Van Buren, Jackson's handpicked successor, and Congressman Richard Mentor Johnson. By contrast, the Whigs had only recently emerged and were primarily united by opposition to Jackson. Not yet sufficiently organized to agree on a single candidate, Whigs hoped to compel a contingent election in the House of Representatives by denying the Democrats an electoral majority, similarly to the election of 1824. Thus, the Whigs ran two main tickets. Most Northern and border state Whigs supported the ticket led by former Senator William Henry Harrison of Ohio, while most Southern Whigs supported the ticket led by Senator Hugh Lawson White of Tennessee. Two other Whigs, Daniel Webster and Willie Person Mangum, carried Massachusetts and South Carolina respectively on single-state tickets.
The Whig strategy failed, as Van Buren won both an electoral majority and a popular majority, though in South Carolina no popular vote was held and the state legislature chose Whig electors. The Whig strategy nearly succeeded in forcing the contingent election, as in 1835, a severe state-level Democratic Party split in Pennsylvania had propelled the Whig-aligned Anti-Masonic Party to statewide power. Party alignments by state in the House of Representatives suggest that a contingent election would have had an uncertain outcome, with Van Buren favored but no candidate enjoying a clear path to victory. However, Van Buren overcame the split, narrowly carrying Pennsylvania and winning the Presidency.
Van Buren was the third incumbent vice president to win election as president, which would happen next only in 1988. Harrison finished second in both the popular and electoral vote. His strong performance helped him win the Whig nomination in the 1840 presidential election.
As Virginia's electors voted for Van Buren but refused to vote for his running mate Johnson, Johnson lacked an electoral majority. The Twelfth Amendment contingent election procedure mandated that the United States Senate choose the vice president. The Senate chose Johnson over Francis Granger on the first ballot.
The election of 1836 was crucial in developing the Second Party System and a stable two-party system more generally. By the end of the election, nearly every independent faction had been absorbed by either the Democrats or the Whigs.1836 United States presidential election in Tennessee
The 1836 United States presidential election in Tennessee took place between November 3 and December 7, 1836, as part of the 1836 United States presidential election. Voters chose fifteen representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.
Tennessee voted for Whig candidate Hugh White, a Senator for Tennessee, over Democratic candidate Martin Van Buren. White won Tennessee by a margin of 15.84%.1839 Whig National Convention
For the first time in their history, the Whigs held a national convention to determine their presidential candidate. It opened in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on December 4, 1839, almost a full year before the general election. After Daniel Webster dropped out of the race, the three leading candidates were General William Henry Harrison, a war hero, former senator and ambassador, and the most successful of Van Buren's opponents in the 1836 election, who had been campaigning for the Whig nomination ever since; General Winfield Scott, a hero of the War of 1812 who had been active in skirmishes with the British in 1837 and 1838; and Senator Henry Clay, the Whigs' congressional leader and former Speaker of the House and United States Secretary of State.1848 Whig National Convention
The 1848 Whig National Convention was a quadrennial presidential nominating convention of the Whig Party. The convention was held in Philadelphia. War hero Zachary Taylor, a major general from Louisiana with no political background, was nominated as the party's candidate for president. Former New York Representative Millard Fillmore was nominated for vice president. They won the 1848 presidential election, defeating the Democratic candidates Lewis Cass and William O. Butler.22nd United States Congress
The Twenty-second United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1831, to March 4, 1833, during the third and fourth years of Andrew Jackson's presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Fourth Census of the United States in 1820. Both chambers had a Jacksonian majority.23rd United States Congress
The Twenty-third United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1833, to March 4, 1835, during the fifth and sixth years of Andrew Jackson's presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Fifth Census of the United States in 1830. The Senate had an Anti-Jacksonian or National Republican majority, and the House had a Jacksonian or Democratic majority.Hugh Hill
Hugh Hill may refer to:
Sir Hugh Hill, 1st Baronet (1728–1795) of the Hill baronets, member for Londonderry City in Parliament of Ireland
Hugh Hill (privateer) (1740–1829), American mariner and Revolutionary War privateer.
Hugh Lawson White Hill (1810–1892), American politician
Hugh Hill (baseball) (1879–1958), American baseball player
Hugh Morgan Hill (1921–2009), American folklorist & street performer, a.k.a. Brother BlueHugh L. White
Hugh Lawson White (August 19, 1881 – September 20, 1965) was an American politician from Mississippi and a member of the Democratic Party. He served two non-consecutive terms as Governor of Mississippi (1936–1940, 1952–1956).Hugh Lawson White Hill
Hugh Lawson White Hill (March 1, 1810 – January 18, 1892) was an American politician and a member of the United States House of Representatives for Tennessee's 4th congressional district.Hugh Lawson White Mansion
The Hugh Lawson White Mansion (commonly referred to as the Hugh White Mansion) is the historical home of former Governor of Mississippi Hugh L. White. The mansion is located in Columbia, Mississippi, and is listed as a contributing property to Keys Hill Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The mansion is notable as an example of Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture, as well as for its park-like grounds and specialized gardens. Tours of the mansion and grounds are available by appointment.John Bell (Tennessee politician)
John Bell (February 18, 1796 – September 10, 1869) was an American politician, attorney, and planter. One of Tennessee's most prominent antebellum politicians, he served in the House of Representatives from 1827 to 1841, and in the Senate from 1847 to 1859. He was Speaker of the House for the 23rd Congress (1834–1835), and briefly served as Secretary of War during the administration of William Henry Harrison (1841). In 1860, he ran for president as the candidate for the Constitutional Union Party, a third party which took a neutral stance on the issue of slavery.Initially an ally of Andrew Jackson, Bell turned against Jackson in the mid-1830s and aligned himself with the Whig Party, a shift which earned him the nickname, "The Great Apostate." He consistently battled Jackson's allies, namely James K. Polk, over issues such as the national bank and the election spoils system. Following the death of Hugh Lawson White in 1840, Bell became the acknowledged leader of Tennessee's Whigs.Although a slaveowner, Bell was one of the few southern politicians to oppose the expansion of slavery in the 1850s, and campaigned vigorously against secession in the years leading up to the American Civil War. During his 1860 presidential campaign, he argued that secession was unnecessary since the Constitution protected slavery, an argument which resonated with voters in border states, helping him capture the electoral votes of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia. After the Battle of Fort Sumter in April 1861, Bell abandoned the Union cause and supported the Confederacy.Justice White
Justice White can refer to:
United States Supreme CourtByron Raymond White (1917 - 2002), Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
Edward Douglass White (1845 - 1921), Chief Justice of the United States Supreme CourtUnited States state supreme courtsAlexander White (Utah), an Associate Justice of the Utah Supreme Court
C. Thomas White, an Associate Justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court
Hugh Lawson White, an Associate Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court
John D. White (judge), an Associate Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court
John Turner White, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri
John White (Alabama judge), an Associate Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court
Paul W. White, an Associate Justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court
Penny J. White, an Associate Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court
Ronnie L. White, an Associate Justice and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri
S. Harrison White, an Associate Justice and Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court
Thomas P. White, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California
Weldon B. White, an Associate Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court
William White (jurist), an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of OhioAustralian courtsRichard Weeks White, Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales
Richard Conway White, Judge of the Federal Court of AustraliaKnoxville Register
The Knoxville Register was an American newspaper published primarily in Knoxville, Tennessee, during the 19th century. Founded in 1816, the paper was East Tennessee's dominant newspaper until 1863, when its pro-secession editor, Jacob Austin Sperry (1823–1896), was forced to flee advancing Union forces at the height of the Civil War. Sperry continued to sporadically publish the Register in Atlanta, and later Bristol, until he was finally captured by Union forces in December 1864.Frederick S. Heiskell (1786–1882), who had worked briefly for Knoxville's first newspaper, the Knoxville Gazette, cofounded the Register along with his brother-in-law, Hugh Brown. The Register initially supported the policies of Andrew Jackson, but became a primarily Whig sheet in 1836, when it snubbed Jackson's handpicked presidential successor, Martin Van Buren, in favor of local favorite Hugh Lawson White. In 1849, polemical editor William G. Brownlow moved his paper, the Whig, to Knoxville, and a rivalry developed between the two papers that lasted until the Civil War.Political party strength in Tennessee
The following table indicates the party of elected officials in the U.S. state of Tennessee:
GovernorThe table also indicates the historical party composition in the:
State House of Representatives
State delegation to the U.S. Senate
State delegation to the U.S. House of RepresentativesFor years in which a presidential election was held, the table indicates which party's nominees received the state's electoral votes.
The parties are as follows: Carter County Republican (CCR), Constitutional Union (CU), Democratic (D), Democratic/Military (DM), Democratic-Republican (DR), Farmers' Alliance (FA), Know Nothing (K-N), Opposition (O), Republican (R), Unionist (U), Whig (W), and a tie or coalition within a group of elected officials.United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs is a committee of the United States Senate charged with oversight in matters related to the Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native peoples. A Committee on Indian Affairs existed from 1820 to 1947, after which it was folded into the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. A new Native Affairs Committee was created in 1977, initially as a select committee, as a result of the detachment of indigenous affairs from the new Committee on Energy and National Resources, which had succeeded the old Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. The committee was initially intended to be temporary, but was made permanent in 1984. The committee tends to include senators from Western and Plains states, who have more Native American constituents.White County, Arkansas
White County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 77,076. The county seat is Searcy. White County is Arkansas's 31st county, formed on October 23, 1835, from portions of Independence, Jackson, and Pulaski counties and named for Hugh Lawson White, a Whig candidate for President of the United States. It is an alcohol prohibition or dry county, though a few private establishments (such as the Searcy Country Club, and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts in Searcy and Beebe) can serve alcohol.
White County comprises the Searcy, AR Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Little Rock-North Little Rock, AR Combined Statistical Area.
The 45th and current White County Judge is Michael Lincoln of Searcy, who assumed office in January 2007.William Wilcox Cooke
William Wilcox Cooke (died July 20, 1816) was a Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court from 1815 to 1816.
Cooke was "an eminent practitioner", in the state of Tennessee, "who had shortly before taken up the work of reporting the decisions of the Supreme Court, where it had been left off by [Justice John Overton], on Jan. 1, 1815", compiling volume 3 (1 Cooke) of Tennessee Reports. Cooke was appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court by Governor Willie Blount on May 27, 1815, to succeed Justice Hugh Lawson White. Cooke then resigned to be reappointed to the court by the state legislature on October 21, 1815. He served for a year and two months, until "his judicial career was cut short by his untimely death".
Chairs of the United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
|Other party leaders|