HENRY CARTER STUART was born in Wytheville, Virginia. He received an A.B. degree from Emory and Henry College and studied law for one year at the University of Virginia, after which he managed his father’s business enterprises and engaged in farming and raising livestock. He was a delegate to the Virginia Constitutional Convention in 1901-02 and served on the newly-established State Corporation Commission from 1902 to 1908. Stuart was the first Virginia governor since the Civil War to run unopposed in both the primary and general elections. During his administration, legislation was enacted adopting statewide prohibition. He was instrumental in the passage of tax reform, and worked to improve the state’s criminal justice system. When World War I broke out, Stuart helped to organize Virginia’s war machinery. But the development of that machinery resulted in population expansion that placed strains on local infrastructure, causing civil unrest, and it led as well to racial tension as labor demands gave blacks more leverage. Stuart responded with the use of the state militia to quell unrest and prevent lynchings and mob violence. After completing his four-year term as governor, Stuart won appointment by President Woodrow Wilson to the War Industries Board, on which he served as chairman of the Agriculture Advisory Committee.
Brown, Sharon Kaye. Henry Carter Stuart: Virginia farmer-politician, 1855-1933. Honors paper, Longwood College, Farmville, VA, 1970.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 33. New York: James T. White & Company.
Washington Post, July 25, 1933, p. 1 (obituary).
Younger, Edward and Moore, James Tice, eds. The Governors of Virginia, 1860-1978. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1982.