P.B.S. Pinchback Biography

P.B.S. Pinchback

Pinckney Benton Stewart
American Reconstruction-era politician
Born: May 10, 1837
Birthplace: Macon, Georgia

Pinchback was born to a freed slave and her former master, who lived together as a couple. As a young man he worked on steamships traveling the Mississippi, Red, and Missouri rivers, first as a cabin boy and then as a steward. When the civil war broke out, he served as an officer in the Union army. During Reconstruction, he entered Louisiana politics, becoming a state senator in 1868. He replaced Louisiana's lieutenant governor in 1871, after the lieutenant governor died in office. He then went on to serve as acting governor of the state between Dec. 9, 1872 and Jan. 13, 1873, during impeachment proceedings against the elected governor, Henry Clay Warmoth.

Pinchback won election to the House of Representatives in 1872 and to the U.S. Senate in 1873. But white southerners challenged the results and he was never permitted to assume either office. He then focused on publishing his weekly newspaper, The Louisianian, which he oversaw from 1870 to 1881.

Died: December 21, 1921