Hunter, Robert Mercer Taliaferro

Hunter, Robert Mercer Taliaferro tŏl´əvər [key], 1809–87, American statesman, b. Essex co., Va. He was a U.S. Representative for Virginia (1837–43, 1845–47), serving as speaker from 1839 to 1841. Hunter became a leading states' rights Democrat and supported John C. Calhoun for the presidency in 1844. He entered the U.S. Senate in 1847, where he became a prominent spokesman for the Southern cause. He resigned in 1861 to become the Confederate secretary of state (1861–62) and then a Confederate senator (1862–65). He participated in 1865 in the futile Hampton Roads Peace Conference . Imprisoned for several months after the war, Hunter helped organize (1867) a conservative party that won control of the Virginia state government from the radicals in 1869.

See C. H. Ambler, ed., Correspondence of Robert M. T. Hunter, 1826–1876 (1918) biography by H. H. Simms (1935).

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