William Henry ASHLEY
ASHLEY, William Henry, a Representative from Missouri; born in Powhatan County, Va., in 1778; attended the common schools; moved to St. Genevieve, Mo. (then Upper Louisiana), in 1803; engaged in the manufacture of saltpeter; became a merchant and later a surveyor; moved to St. Louis, Mo., in 1808; brigadier general of militia during the War of 1812; traded with the Indians and dealt in furs; unsuccessful candidate for governor in 1824; founded an organization which in 1830 became the Rocky Mountain Fur Co., and conducted trading and exploring expeditions to the headwaters of the Missouri River; elected as the first Lieutenant Governor of Missouri and served from 1820 to 1824; elected as a Jacksonian to the Twenty-second Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Spencer D. Pettis; reelected to the Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Congresses and served from October 31, 1831, to March 3, 1837; did not seek renomination in 1836 but was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Missouri in 1836; died near Boonville, Mo., March 26, 1838; interment in an Indian mound overlooking the Missouri River, near his home, on the Lamine River, in Cooper County, Mo.
BibliographyClokey, Richard M. William H. Ashley: Enterprise and Politics in the Trans-Mississippi. 1980. Reprint, West Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1990.
Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present