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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesVirginia

William Ballard PRESTON

(1805-1862)

PRESTON, William Ballard, (nephew of Francis Preston), a Representative from Virginia; born in Smithfield, Va., November 25, 1805; graduated from Hampden-Sydney College, Hampden-Sydney, Va., 1824; studied law and graduated from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville; admitted to the bar and commenced practice in 1826; member of the Virginia state house of delegates, 1830-1832, 1844-1845; member of the Virginia state senate, 1840-1844; elected as a Whig to the Thirtieth Congress (March 4, 1847-March 3, 1849); appointed Secretary of the Navy in the Cabinet of President Zachary Taylor and served from March 8, 1849, to July 22, 1850; delegate to the Virginia state constitutional convention, 1861; served in the Confederate States Congress; died in Smithfield, Va., on November 16, 1862; interment in Preston Cemetery on the former Smithfield Plantation, Blacksburg, Va.

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

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