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Robert White (politician): Wikis


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Robert White was the Democratic Attorney General of West Virginia from 1877-1881.

White was born February 7, 1833, in Romney, Virginia (now West Virginia) to John B. White and Frances A. Streit. He attended common schools in Virginia, worked six years in his father's county clerk's office, and studied law at Lexington, Virginia. He was admitted to the bar in 1844.

In 1859, White married Ellen E. Vass and bore six children of whom only one was alive at the time of White's death.

White joined the Virginia volunteer militia in 1860 and, upon the outset of the Civil War, was ordered to the service of Stonewall Jackson by the Virginia Governor. He was promoted to the rank of Colonel in the C.S.A. Army.

White became an associate in the practice John J. Jacob who later became Governor of West Virginia. White successfully lobbied the West Virginia Legislature for an act to establish the Institution for the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind of West Virginia and served as one of the institution's directors for several years.

White was elected Attorney General of West Virginia as a Democrat in 1876. As Attorney General, he ardently pressed for the levying of taxes against railroad companies, a practice which had not been established in West Virginia. He argued for the tax before the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia and the United States Supreme Court whom both affirmed White's tax. White also successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Kitzmiller v. Williams on behalf of former Confederate soldiers.

White was elected to the West Virginia Legislature (located at Wheeling) in 1884 and 1890. He was a noted ruling elder for the First Presbyterian Church of Wheeling.

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Legal offices
Preceded by
Henry Mason Mathews
Attorney General of West Virginia
Succeeded by
Cornelius C. Watts


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