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.
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