Back to former Louisiana governors
Henry Clay Warmoth

Gov. Henry Clay Warmoth

  • July 13, 1868 - December 9, 1872
  • Republican
  • May 9, 1842
  • September 30, 1931
  • Illinois
  • Married Sally Durand; three children
  • Army


HENRY C. WARMOTH was born in Mc Leansboro, Illinois on May 9, 1842. His early education was attained in the public school system of his native state. He studied law, was admitted to the Missouri bar in 1861, and then established his legal career, serving as the district attorney of the Eighteenth Judicial District. During the Civil War, he served as lieutenant colonel of the 32nd Missouri Infantry, was wounded in the Battle of Vicksburg, and was dishonorably discharged for spreading exaggerations of Union defeats. After President Lincoln reinstated his military status, Warmoth was commissioned judge of the Department of the Gulf Provost Court in June 1864. He entered politics in 1865, winning election to Congress, but was denied a seat. After the 1868 Constitutional Convention revised the minimum age provision for state office holders, Warmoth, who was twenty-six at the time, was elected governor on April 17, 1868. After the state was readmitted to the Union, Warmoth was sworn into office on July 13, 1868. During his tenure, the state deficit rose to an all time high, taxes were increased, and disorder erupted over the black suffrage issue and over speculation in the state aided railroads. Legislation was sanctioned that permitted blacks in railroad coaches, as well as in schools and in restaurants. However, a more liberal bill was vetoed. Also, political turmoil developed when Warmoth aggressively endorsed the Democratic ticket in the 1872. Impeachment charges were brought against him during the 1872 election. However, after his term ended, all charges were expunged. Warmoth continued to stay active in public service. He served as a member of the Louisiana legislature from 1876 to 1877, was a member of the 1879 State Constitutional Convention, and served as the New Orleans Collector of Customs from 1890 to 1893. Governor Henry C. Warmoth died on September 30, 1931, and was buried at the Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans.


Dawson III, Joseph G. The Louisiana Governors: From Iberville to Edwards. Baton Rouge: Lousiana State University Press, 1990.

Encyclopedia Louisiana

Hamilton County Biographies

Louisiana Secretary of State: The Governors of Louisiana

The Political Graveyard

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Recent Louisiana Governors