HUGH MCVAY, Alabama’s ninth governor, was born in South Carolina in 1766. He received a limited education, moved to Madison County, Mississippi Territory, in 1807, and became a planter. McVay entered politics in 1811, serving in the Mississippi Territorial Legislature until 1818. In 1819 McVay moved to Lauderdale County and became a member of the 1819 Alabama Constitutional Convention. He was a member of the Alabama House of Representatives from 1820 to 1825 and a member of the Alabama Senate from 1825 to 1844, serving as speaker in 1836. On July 17, 1837, Alabama Governor Clement Comer Clay resigned from office to take a seat in the U.S. Senate. McVay, who was president of the senate at the time, became acting governor of Alabama. The Creek and Seminole Wars, and the financial situation of the state bank, plagued McVay’s short term in office. After fulfilling Clay’s term, McVay left office on November 30, 1837, and returned to the Alabama Senate, serving until 1844. He retired to his Lauderdale County plantation and died on May 9, 1851. He is buried at the Moore-McVay Cemetery in Mars Hill, Alabama.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.