HENRY S. FOOTE, the nineteenth governor of Mississippi, was born in Fauquier County, Virginia on September 20, 1800. His education was attained at Washington and Lee University, where he graduated in 1819. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1823. He first established his legal career in Tuscumbia, Alabama, then moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi, where practiced law and edited a weekly newspaper. Foote first entered politics as a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives, a position he won election to in 1839. He also served as a member of the U.S. Senate from 1847 to 1852. Foote next secured the Union-Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 3, 1851. During his tenure, a railroad company was charted that linked Memphis to Grenada. Also, political tensions mounted over the secession issue, which caused Governor Foote to resign five days before his term expired on January 10, 1854. He temporarily moved to California, and eventual settled in Nashville, Tennessee, where he served as a representative in the Confederate Congress. He also served as the superintendent of the U.S. Mint in New Orleans, a post he held from 1878 to 1880. Governor Henry S. Foote, who was the author of several books, passed away on May 19, 1880. He was buried in the Mount Olivet Cemetery in Nashville, Tennessee.

SOURCES:

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 17891978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Mississippi Historical Society

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress