BENJAMIN G. HUMPHREYS, the twenty-sixth governor of Mississippi, was born in Claiborne County, Mississippi on August 26, 1808. His early education was attained in the common schools of his native state. He later attended West Point Military Academy; however, he was expelled with forty other cadets, for disciplinary reasons. Humphreys first entered politics as a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives, a position he held in 1839. He also served as a member of the Mississippi State Senate from 1840 to 1844. His political career was temporarily interrupted with the outbreak of the Civil War. He served as a captain in the Confederate Army and rose to the rank of brigadier general by the time he was discharged. At the Battle of Berryville, Humphreys was seriously wounded and saw little combat action for the rest of the war. After his military service, he returned to career in public service. Humphreys secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination and was elected governor by a popular vote on October 2, 1865. During his tenure, indigent soldiers and their families were provided for; the black code of 1865 was sanctioned; civil rights legislation was authorized by the federal government; and the military reconstruction act of March 1867 was passed. Humphreys won reelection to a second term on June 22, 1868; however, Mississippi neglected to follow President Johnson’s reconstruction plan, and consequently Governor Humphreys was forced to resign on June 15, 1868. After leaving office, Humphrey retired from political life, and returned to his plantation business. Governor Benjamin G. Humphreys passed away on December 20, 1882 and was buried in the Wintergreen Cemetery in Port Gibson, Mississippi.
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.