Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BARBOUR, James, statesman, born in Orange County, Virginia, 10 June 1775; died there, 8 June 1842. He was a son of Colonel Thomas Barbour. While serving as a deputy sheriff he acquired a knowledge of the law, and was admitted to practice at the age of nineteen. He sat in the Virginia house of delegates from 1796 until 1812, when he was elected governor. He was the author of the anti-dueling act, and bore a prominent part in all important legislation, occupying for the latter part of the period the speaker's chair. After a term in the governorship he was elected in 1815 to the United States senate, where he was repeatedly appointed chairman of the committee on foreign relations. In 1825 President John Q. Adams made him his secretary of war. In 1828 he went to England as American minister; but upon the accession of President Jackson, in the following year, he was recalled. He vigorously opposed the Democratic Party, and in 1839 presided over the Whig convention at Harrisburg, which nominated General Harrison for president.*His brother, Philip Pendleton, jurist, born in Orange County, Virginia, 25 May 1783; died in Washington. District of Columbia, 24 February 1841. He attended the schools of his native county until sixteen years of age, when he read law at home. In October. 1800, being sent by his father to Kentucky on business connected with some land-claims, and meeting with delays and difficulties, he was cast off and left to take care of himself. He was admitted to the bar, and, after practicing successfully for some months, he borrowed money and entered William and Mary College as a law student. In 1802 he practiced in Orange County, Virginia, and soon made a wide reputation. From 1812 till 1814 he was a member of the legislature, where he was the leader of the war party. He was elected in 1814 to congress, where in 1821 he was speaker of the house. In February 1825, he resigned and became a judge of the Virginia general court. At the foundation of the University of Virginia in 1824 he was offered the professorship of law, but declined it. He was sent again to congress in 1827, and in 1829 was president of the Virginia constitutional convention. In 1830, while making a speech in congress, he was attacked by a hemorrhage that nearly ended his life, and he resigned on 31 May of that year. He was appointed by Jackson judge of the United States circuit court for the eastern district of Virginia, and on 15 March 18;36, was made associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, where he remained until his death. In 1831 he was president of the Philadelphia free-trade convention. Judge Barbour was noted for his solidity of character and his powers of analysis and argument. In congress he opposed all appropriations for public improvements and all import duties, and strongly took the southern side of the Missouri question. In the democratic convention at Baltimore in 1832 he received forty-six votes for vice-president.
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