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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesVirginia

William Branch GILES

(1762-1830)
Senate Years of Service:
1804-1815
Party:
Democratic Republican

GILES, William Branch, a Representative and a Senator from Virginia; born near Amelia Court House, Amelia County, Va., August 12, 1762; pursued classical studies and graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1781; studied law; admitted to the bar and practiced in Petersburg, Va., 1784-1789; elected to the First Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Theodorick Bland; reelected to the Second and to the three succeeding Congresses and served from December 7, 1790, to October 2, 1798, when he resigned; member, State house of delegates 1798-1800; elected as a Democratic Republican to the Seventh Congress (March 4, 1801-March 3, 1803); appointed to the United States Senate as a Democratic Republican to fill the vacancy in the term beginning March 4, 1803, caused by the resignation of Abraham B. Venable; while holding the office of Senator-designate was elected on December 4, 1804, to fill the vacancy in the term beginning March 4, 1799, caused by the resignation of Wilson C. Nicholas; was reelected in 1804 and 1811 and served from August 11, 1804, to March 3, 1815, when he resigned; member, State house of delegates 1816-1817, 1826-1827; unsuccessful candidate for election to the United States Senate in 1825; Governor of Virginia 1827-1830; was a member of the State constitutional convention in 1829 and 1830; again elected Governor in 1830, but declined; died on his estate, ’Wigwam,’ near Amelia Court House, Amelia County, Va., December 4, 1830; interment in a private cemetery on his estate.

Bibliography

American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; Anderson, Dice. William Branch Giles: A Study in the Politics of Virginia and the Nation from 1790 to 1831. Gloucester, Mass.: P. Smith, 1965; Giunta, Mary A. “The Public Life of William Branch Giles, Republican, 1790-1815.” Ph.D. dissertation, Catholic University, 1980.

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

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