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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesTennessee

David McKendree KEY

(1824-1900)
Senate Years of Service:
1875-1877
Party:
Democrat

KEY, David McKendree, a Senator from Tennessee; born near Greeneville, Greene County, Tenn., January 27, 1824; attended the common schools; graduated from Hiawassee College in 1850; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1850 and commenced practice in Kingston; moved to Chattanooga in 1853; presidential elector on the Democratic ticket in 1856 and 1860; during the Civil War enlisted in the Confederate Army and was promoted to lieutenant colonel of the Forty-third Tennessee Infantry; member of the State constitutional convention in 1870; chancellor of the third chancery division 1870-1875; unsuccessful Democratic candidate for election to the Forty-third Congress; appointed as a Democrat to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Andrew Johnson and served from August 18, 1875, to January 19, 1877; unsuccessful candidate for election to fill the vacancy in 1876; Postmaster General in the Cabinet of President Rutherford Hayes 1877-1880; appointed by President Hayes United States judge for the eastern and middle districts of Tennessee 1880-1894; died in Chattanooga, Tenn., February 3, 1900; interment in Forest Hill Cemetery.

Bibliography

Dictionary of American Biography; Abshire, David. The South Rejects a Prophet: The Life of David Key. New York: F.A. Praeger, 1967.

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

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