Francis Harrison Pierpont

Gov. Francis Harrison Pierpont

West Virginia

April 1, 1865 - April 4, 1868

January 25, 1814

March 24, 1899


Allegheny College

Birth State

Married Julia Augusta Robertson; two children


FRANCIS HARRISON PIERPONT was born in Morgantown, Virginia (now West Virginia). A graduate of Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, he taught school in Virginia and Mississippi, after which he studied law and entered a law practice in Fairmont, Virginia, becoming the local attorney fro the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1848. Staunchly anti-slavery, Pierpont was unanimously chosen governor of the “Restored Government of Virginia.” After the state of West Virginia was created, he moved the seat of Virginia’s government to Alexandria and was unanimously reelected governor of the Restored Government of Virginia in December, 1863 by voters in counties under the control of the Union Army. At the close of the Civil War, he was recognized as governor and assumed office in Richmond on May 24, 1865 for a term of two years. During his administration, the legislature failed to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution in spite of his urging. After leaving office, he resumed his law practice and was later elected to the West Virginia Legislature and appointed Collector of Internal Revenue under President James Garfield.


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. 35. New York: James T. White & Company.

Commonwealth of Virginia (enter search keyword = Governors)