JAMES BERIAH FRAZIER was born in Pikeville, Tennessee. He attended Franklin College near Nashville and graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1878. He studied law while teaching school and was admitted to the Bar in 1880, after which he practiced law in Chattanooga. He served as a presidential elector-at-large in 1900, and two years later was nominated for governor by acclamation at the state Democratic Convention. His gubernatorial administration was marked by frugality and economic restraint, and the state debt was appreciably reduced during his tenure. At the same time, he did support increased funding for public schools, especially in rural areas. He also sought more rigid inspection and improvement of mining conditions in the state and was an advocate of temperance legislation. Frazier was reelected in 1904 but did not serve a full term, instead filling the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the death of William Bate. He remained in the Senate until 1911, when he lost a bid for reelection. He then resumed his law practice in Chattanooga, where he died.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 28. New York: James T. White & Company.
Official Governor’s Papers for James B. Frazier, Tennesee State Library and Archives.
Philips, Margaret I. The Governors of Tennessee. Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing Company, 2001.
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.
White, Robert H. Messages of the Governors of Tennessee, 1899-1907. Nashville: The Tennessee Historical Commission, Vol. 8, 1952.