ELLIS, Powhatan (1790-1863)

ELLIS, POWHATAN, a Senator from Mississippi; born at 'Red Hill,' Amherst County, Va., January 17, 1790; graduated from Washington Academy (now Washington and Lee University), Lexington, Va., in 1809; attended Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa., in 1809 and 1810; studied law at William and Mary College, Williamsburg, Va., in 1813 and 1814; admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Lynchburg, Va.; moved to Natchez, Miss., in 1816 and continued the practice of law; judge of the State supreme court 1823-1825; appointed to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of David Holmes and served from September 28, 1825, to January 28, 1826, when a successor was elected and qualified; unsuccessful candidate for election to fill the vacancy; elected to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1827, to July 16, 1832, having resigned to accept a judicial position; judge of the United States court for the district of Mississippi 1832-1836; appointed by President Andrew Jackson Charge d'Affaires of the United States to Mexico and served from January to December 1836, when he closed the legation; appointed by President Martin Van Buren as United States Minister Plenipotentiary to Mexico 1839-1842; moved to Richmond, Va., where he died on March 18, 1863; interment in Shockoe Cemetery.

American Antiquarian Society
Worcester, MA
Papers: In Thomas Harding Ellis journal, (1836), 2 volumes. Describes voyage from New York to Mexico.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: 1822-1832. 10 items.

Mississippi Department of Archives and History
Jackson, MS
Papers: 1814-1832. 6 items. Correspondence, report as provost guard, bill pertaining to area in Mississippi acquired by Choctaw Indians, and portrait.

University of Texas
Center for American History
Austin, TX
Papers: 1811-1836. 1 foot. Finding aid.

Virginia Historical Society
Richmond, VA
Papers: Ca. 100 items in various collections including correspondence, notes, and accounts in Ellis family papers, 1701-1889.

Virginia State Library and Archives
Richmond, VA
Papers: In George Wythe Munford papers, 1828-1891.

  • Cobb, Edwin L. "Powhatan Ellis of Mississippi: A Reappraisal.''Journal of Mississippi History 30 (May 1968): 91-110.
  • Cockrell, Thomas D. "United States Senators and Representatives from Mississippi, 1828-1836: An Introduction.'' Journal of Mississippi History 49 (February 1987): 35-48.