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Governor Hiram George Runnels

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Office Dates:  Nov 30, 1833 - Nov 20, 1835

Born:  Dec 15, 1796

Passed:  Dec 17, 1857

Birth State:  Georgia

Party:  Democratic

Family:  Married Obedience A. Smith; two children

HIRAM G. RUNNELS, the ninth governor of Mississippi, was born in Hancock County, Georgia on December 15, 1796. His education was limited and attained in Georgia and later in Mississippi. Runnels entered politics in 1822, serving as the state auditor of Mississippi, a position he held eight years. He also served as a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives in 1830. After an unsuccessful bid for the governorship in 1831, Runnels was elected in May 1833. However, he did not take office until November 20, 1833. During his tenure, funding was secured for a new statehouse in Jackson; the state militia was restructured; a bill was sanctioned that eliminated the importation of slaves for auction; and sixteen new counties were formed from the land once occupied by the Chickasaw Indians. After running unsuccessfully for reelection, Runnels left office on November 20, 1835. He continued to stay politically active, winning reelection to the Mississippi House of Representatives in 1841. After a dispute that involved a duel, Runnels left Mississippi and moved to Texas, where he served as a member of the 1845 Texas Constitutional Convention. Governor Hiram G. Runnels passed away on December 17, 1857, and was buried in the Glenwood Cemetery in Houston, Texas.


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

The Texas State Historical Association

The Political Graveyard