Library of Congress
BARBOUR, James (1775-1842)

BARBOUR, JAMES, (brother of Philip Pendleton Barbour and cousin of John Strode Barbour), a Senator from Virginia; born at "Frascati," near Gordonsville, Orange County, Va., June 10, 1775; attended the common schools; deputy sheriff of Orange County; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1794 at Orange Court House; served several terms in the Virginia house of delegates between 1796 and 1812, serving as speaker from 1809 to 1812; Governor of Virginia 1812-1814; elected as an Anti-Democrat and State Rights candidate to the United States Senate in 1814 for the term commencing March 4, 1815; subsequently elected to fill the vacancy in the term ending March 3, 1815, caused by the death of Richard Brent; reelected in 1821 and served from January 2, 1815, to March 7, 1825, when he resigned to accept a Cabinet portfolio; served as President pro tempore of the Senate during the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Congresses; chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations (Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Eighteenth Congresses), Committee on the District of Columbia (Seventeenth Congress); appointed Secretary of War by President John Quincy Adams and served from March 7, 1825, to May 26, 1828, when he resigned to accept a diplomatic position; United States Minister to England from May 26, 1828, to September 23, 1829; chairman of the Whig National Convention in 1839; founder of the Orange Humane Society, established for the advancement of education; died in Barboursville, Orange County, Va., June 7, 1842; interment in the family cemetery.

Alabama Department of Archives and History
Montgomery, AL
Papers: In the Tait family papers, 1786-1899. Finding aid.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: 1820, 1825. 2 letters.

Massachusetts Historical Society
Boston, MA
Papers: 9 items (1816-1841) in various collections.

New York Public Library
New York, NY
Papers: 1792-1848. 289 items. Letters to Barbour, chiefly on political and public affairs; together with some letters from Barbour to members of his family. Finding aid. Use of the collection requires advance notice. Also miscellaneous items in the Emmet collection.

Pierpont Morgan Library
New York, NY
Papers: 1817-1830. 3 items.

U.S. Army Military History Institute
Carlisle Barracks, PA
Papers: Correspondence in Charles Josephus Nourse papers, 1811-1831.

University of Virginia
Alderman Library
Charlottesville, VA
Papers: 1771-1940. 4 feet; ca. 3,000 items. Family and political papers. Also correspondence in the Watson family papers (1750-1926).

Virginia Historical Society
Richmond, VA
Papers: Miscellaneous items in various collections.

Virginia State Library and Archives
Richmond, VA
Papers: 1812-1813. 1 item. Letterbook as governor.
Additional Papers: Correspondence in the George Rust, Jr. papers, 1788-1858; correspondence in the Tucker-Ewell papers, 1770-1893 (bulk 1770-1818); and James Lawson Kemper papers, 1800-1894. Also portrait.

  • Lowery, Charles D. "James Barbour, Politician and Planter of Antebellum Virginia." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Virginia, 1966.
  • ___. James Barbour, a Jeffersonian Republican. University, AL: University of Alabama Press, 1984.