JAMES BARBOUR was born in Barboursville, Virginia. He was admitted to the Bar in 1794 and served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1809 to 1812 before being elected by the state legislature to fill the gubernatorial vacancy caused by the death of George William Smith. During his administration, the United States was at war with Great Britain, and he called out the Virginia Militia and pledged his personal fortune to cover expenses. He also recommended that the state legislature approve a connection from the Upper James River to the Ohio River, road improvements, and the establishment of a university. He left the governorship after being elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served until 1825. He also served as Secretary of War from 1825 to 1828 and as U.S. Minister to Great Britain from 1828 to 1829. Although Barbour gained a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates in 1830, the election was contested and a decision was made in favor of his opponent. After his retirement from politics, he served as President of the Virginia Agricultural Society and founded the Orange County Humane Society.
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