GERARD C. BRANDON, the fourth and sixth governor to serve Mississippi, was born on Selma Plantation, Natchez, Mississippi on September 15, 1788. His education was attained at Princeton University, and at William and Mary, where he earned a law degree. In 1815, he established a legal practice in Washington, Mississippi. Brandon first entered politics as a member of the 1817 Mississippi Constitutional Convention. He also served as speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives in 1822, and was the lieutenant governor of Mississippi from 1822 to 1825. On November 17, 1825, Governor Walter Leake died in office, and Brandon, who was the lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. He served in this capacity until January 7, 1826, when newly elected David Holmes took office. After Governor David Holmes resigned from office on July 25, 1826, Brandon again assumed the governorship. During Brandon’s tenure, primary and secondary schools were established; a charter was secured for the state’s first railroad; the judicial system was improved; and whites began to settle in land previously occupied by the Choctaw Indians. Brandon left the governor’s office on January 9, 1832, and retired from political life. Governor Gerard C. Brandon passed away on March 28, 1850, and was buried in Columbia Springs, near Fort Adams, Mississippi.

SOURCES:

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Mississippi Historical Society

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