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James Alexander Seddon


In office
November 21, 1862 – February 5, 1865
President Jefferson Davis
Preceded by George W. Randolph
Succeeded by John C. Breckinridge

Born July 13, 1815(1815-07-13)
Falmouth, Virginia, U.S.
Died August 19, 1880 (aged 65)
Goochland County, Virginia, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Sarah Bruce Seddon
Profession Politician, Lawyer

James Alexander Seddon (July 13, 1815 – August 19, 1880) was an American lawyer and politician who served two terms in the U.S. Congress as a member of the Democratic Party. He was appointed Confederate States Secretary of War by Jefferson Davis during the American Civil War.

Biography

Seddon was born in Falmouth, Stafford County, Virginia. He was a descendant of William Alexander, Earl of Stirling. Due to frail health, he was educated primarily at home and became self-taught as a youth. At the age of twenty-one, Seddon entered the law school of the University of Virginia, graduating and settling in Richmond, where he established a successful law practice.

In 1845, he was nominated by the Democratic Party for Congress and was easily elected. Two years later, he was renominated, but declined due to platform differences with the party. In 1849, Seddon was reelected to Congress, serving from December 1849 until March 1851. Owing to poor health, he declined another nomination at the end of his term and retired to "Sabot Hill," his estate on the James River above Richmond.

Seddon attended the peace convention held in Washington, D.C., in 1861, which attempted to devise a means of preventing the impending civil war. Later in the same year, he attended the Provisional Confederate Congress. President Davis named him as the Secretary of War, a post he held until January 1, 1865, when he retired from public life to his country estate.

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Winston Jones
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 6th congressional district

March 4, 1845 – March 3, 1847
Succeeded by
John Botts
Preceded by
John Botts
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 6th congressional district

March 4, 1849 – March 3, 1851
Succeeded by
John Caskie
Confederate States House of Representatives
Preceded by
(none)
Representative to the Provisional Confederate Congress from Virginia
1861
Succeeded by
(none)
Political offices
Preceded by
George W. Randolph
Confederate States Secretary of War
November 21, 1862 – February 5, 1865
Succeeded by
John C. Breckinridge
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