Foote, Henry Stuart

Foote, Henry Stuart, 1804–80, U.S. senator (1847–52) and governor of Mississippi (1852–54), b. Fauquier co., Va. An able criminal lawyer, he practiced in several different states. In the U.S. Senate, Foote's aversion to states' rights doctrines emphasized his antagonism to his Mississippi colleague, Jefferson Davis, with whom he traded blows (Foote also fought several duels in his day). He defeated Davis for the governorship in 1851, the last Union Whig victory in antebellum Mississippi. Rejected for the Senate, he resigned the governorship just before the end of his term and moved to California, where he was narrowly defeated (1856) for the Senate. Foote moved eastward again in 1858, and he settled in Tennessee. In the Confederate congress his consistent opposition both to Davis and to the continuation of the Civil War caused him to participate in peace schemes. His War of the Rebellion (1866) tells his story. After the war Foote supported the national Republican administrations, and in 1878 he was appointed superintendent of the U.S. mint at New Orleans. His Casket of Reminiscences (1874) and The Bench and Bar of the South and Southwest (1876) contain contemporary and personal history of the time.

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