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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesVirginia / West Virginia

FAULKNER, Charles James

(1806—1884)


FAULKNER, Charles James, (father of Charles James Faulkner [1847-1929]), a Representative from Virginia and from West Virginia; born in Martinsburg, Va. (now West Virginia), July 6, 1806; was graduated from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., in 1822; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1829 and practiced; member of the Virginia house of delegates 1829-1834, 1848, and 1849; commissioner of Virginia on the disputed boundaries between that State and Maryland; member of the State senate from 1838 to 1842, when he resigned; member of the State constitutional convention in 1850; elected from Virginia as a Whig to the Thirty-second Congress and as a Democrat to the Thirty-third, Thirty-fourth, and Thirty-fifth Congresses (March 4, 1851-March 3, 1859); chairman, Committee on Military Affairs (Thirty-fifth Congress); appointed United States Minister to France by President Buchanan in 1859; returned to the United States in August 1861 and was detained as a prisoner of state on charges of negotiating arms sales for the Confederacy while in Paris; released in December 1861 and negotiated his own exchange for Alfred Ely, a Congressman from New York who had been taken prisoner by the Confederates at Bull Run; during the Civil War entered the Confederate Army and was assistant adjutant general on the staff of Gen. Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson; engaged in railroad enterprises; member of the State constitutional convention of West Virginia in 1872; elected as a Democrat from West Virginia to the Forty-fourth Congress (March 4, 1875-March 3, 1877); resumed the practice of law; died on the family estate, “Boydville,” near Martinsburg, W.Va., November 1, 1884; interment in the family lot on the estate.


Bibliography

McVeigh, Donald R. “Charles James Faulkner: Reluctant Rebel.” Ph.D. diss., West Virginia University, 1955.

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

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