Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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GHOLSON, Samuel Jameson, jurist, born in Madison County, Kentucky, 19 May, 1808; died in Aberdeen, Mississippi, 16 October, 1883. He went with his family in 1817 to Alabama, was educated in the common schools in that state, studied law at Russellville, Alabama, and was admitted to the bar. He removed to Athens, Mississippi, in 1830, and in 1833-'6 was a member of the Mississippi legislature. He was chosen to congress as a Democrat in January, 1837, to fill a vacancy, and a few months afterward was elected for a full term ; but his seat was contested by his opponent, and on 31 January 1838, was declared vacant by the house. While in congress, he had several sharp passages with Henry A. Wise, of Virginia, and a duel between the two was at one time prevented only by the influence of John C. Calhoun and other friends of the disputants. Mr. Gholson was appointed United States judge for the district of Mississippi by President Van Buren in 1838, and held this office till 1861, when he resigned and took an active part in the secession convention. He then enlisted in the Confederate army as a private, was chosen captain, and after the fall of Fort Donelson, where he was wounded, raised another company and was at Iuka and Corinth, where he was wounded again, He was made major general of state troops in the spring of 1863, and on 1 June, 1864, was promoted to brigadier-general in the Confederate army, commanding a cavalry brigade in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. He received two more serious wounds near Jackson in 1864, and on 27 December of that year lost his right arm in the action at Egypt, Mississippi After the war he was again a member of the legislature in 1866 and 1878, being speaker of the house in the latter year.--His cousin, William Yates, jurist, born in Virginia in 1807; died in Cincinnati, Ohio, 21 September, 1870, was the son of Thomas Oholson, member of congress from Virginia in 1808-'16. He was graduated at Princeton in 1825, studied law with Creed Taylor, removed to Mississippi, where he practiced for several years, and then to Cincinnati, Ohio. He was judge of the Cincinnati superior court in 1854-'9, and of the Ohio Supreme Court in 1860-'5. He had few equals at the Ohio bar, and was an effective political speaker. He published an "Ohio Digest."--Another cousin, Thomas Saunders, son of Major William Gholson, born in Gholsonville, Brunswick County, Virginia, 9 December, 1809; died in Savannah, Georgia, 13, December 1868, was graduated at the University of Virginia in 1827. He became a judge of the state circuit court in 1859, was president of several railroads, and founded and aided to support a public library in Petersburg, Virginia He was a member of the Confederate congress.--His elder brother, JAMES HERBERT, born in Virginia in 1798 ; died in Brunswick, Virginia, 2 July, 1848, was a member of congress in 1833-'5.
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