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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesMississippi

James Ronald CHALMERS

(1831-1898)

CHALMERS, James Ronald, (son of Joseph Williams Chalmers), a Representative from Mississippi; born near Lynchburg, Halifax County, Va., January 12, 1831; moved with his parents in 1835 to Jackson, Tenn., and in 1839 to Holly Springs, Miss.; attended St. Thomas Hall, Holly Springs, Miss., and was graduated from South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina) at Columbia in 1851; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1853 and commenced practice at Holly Springs; delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1852; district attorney for the seventh judicial district of Mississippi in 1858; member of the secession convention of Mississippi in 1861; entered the Confederate Army as a captain in March 1861; elected colonel of the Ninth Mississippi Regiment in April 1861; promoted to the rank of brigadier general in February 1862; transferred to the Cavalry service in 1863; in command of the first division of Forrest’s cavalry corps; surrendered in May 1865; member of the State senate in 1876 and 1877; elected as a Democrat to the Forty-fifth and Forty-sixth Congresses (March 4, 1877-March 3, 1881); presented credentials as a Member-elect to the Forty-seventh Congress and served from March 4, 1881, to April 29, 1882, when he was succeeded by John R. Lynch, who contested the election; elected as an Independent to the Forty-eighth Congress and, after a contest with Van H. Manning as to the legality of his election, took his seat June 25, 1884, and served until March 3, 1885; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1884 to the Forty-ninth Congress; resumed the practice of law in Memphis, Tenn., where he died April 9, 1898; interment in Elmwood Cemetery.

Bibliography

Halsell, Willie D. “James R. Chalmers and ‘Mahoneism’ in Mississippi.” Journal of Southern History 10 (February 1944): 37-58.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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