PRESTON, William Ballard (1805-1862)

PRESTON, WILLIAM BALLARD, (nephew of Francis Preston), a Representative from Virginia; born in Smithfield, Va., November 25, 1805; graduated from Hampden-Sydney College, Hampden-Sydney, Va., 1824; studied law and graduated from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville; admitted to the bar and commenced practice in 1826; member of the Virginia state house of delegates, 1830-1832, 1844-1845; member of the Virginia state senate, 1840-1844; elected as a Whig to the Thirtieth Congress (March 4, 1847-March 3, 1849); appointed Secretary of the Navy in the Cabinet of President Zachary Taylor and served from March 8, 1849, to July 22, 1850; delegate to the Virginia state constitutional convention, 1861; served in the Confederate States Congress; died in Smithfield, Va., on November 16, 1862; interment in Preston Cemetery on the former Smithfield Plantation, Blacksburg, Va.

Boston Public Library
Boston, MA
Papers: 6 letters.

Filson Club Historical Society
Louisville, KY
Papers: In Preston family, Davie collection, 1658-1896. ca. 650 items.
In part copies of originals in other repositories and privately owned. Unpublished chronological and alphabetical indexes to correspondence and other finding aids in repository.


Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: In Campbell-Preston-Floyd family papers, 1741-1925. 18 containers.
Also on microfilm (7 reels).

Papers: In Preston family of Virginia papers, 1727-1929. 15 reels of microfilm.
Index and calendar. Originals in Virginia Historical Society and privately owned.


Queens Borough Public Library
Jamaica, NY
Papers: 1 official letter (1849) in the Long Island collection.
Finding aid in repository.


Virginia Historical Society
Richmond, VA
Papers: In Preston family papers, 1744-1938. 481 items.
Collection has been analyzed by repository.


Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Special Collections Department University Libraries
Blacksburg, VA
Papers: ca. 30 items in the William Ballard Preston (1729-1783) papers.
Includes a 7 page manuscript of a speech delivered on July 4, ca. 1852. Other material photostatic copies from other repositories.

  • Preston, William Ballard. California and New Mexico. Speech of Mr. William B. Preston, of Virginia, in the House of Representatives, February 7, 1849, on the formation of a new state out of the territories of California and New Mexico. Washington: Printed by J. & G. S. Gideon, 1849.