Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BARBOUR, John S., politician, born in Culpepper County, Virginia, 8 August 1790; died there, 12 January 1855. He was the son of Mordecai Barbour, a revolutionary officer. He was at William and Mary College in 1808 and 1809, and afterward studied law with his relative, Governor James Barbour. In the war of 1812 he enlisted as a private, but was soon made aide to General Madison. He afterward became a member of the state legislature, and, as chairman of the committee on courts and justice, received the unusual honor of a vote of thanks. He was elected to congress in 1823, and was reelected four times, serving until 3 March 1833. Here, as in the legislature, he was known as an able debater. Although a strong states-rights man, he spoke in congress in defense of McDuffie's proposition that the president should be voted for by districts. In 1829 and 1830 he was a member of the Virginia constitutional convention, where he made an eloquent de-fence of freehold suffrage. In 1833 and 1834 he was again in the legislature. His last appearance was in the democratic convention that nominated Mr. Pierce for the presidency.
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