GRUNDY, Felix (1777-1840)
Senate Years of Service: 1829-1838; 1839-1840

GRUNDY, FELIX, a Representative and a Senator from Tennessee; born in Berkeley County, Va., on September 11, 1777; moved with his parents to Brownsville, Pa., and in 1780 to Kentucky; instructed at home and at the Bardstown Academy, Bardstown, Ky.; studied law; admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Bardstown, Ky., in 1797; member of the Kentucky constitutional convention in 1799; member, State house of representatives 1800-1805; chosen judge of the supreme court of Kentucky in 1806, and, in 1807, made chief justice, which office he soon resigned; moved to Nashville, Tenn., in 1807 and resumed the practice of law; elected as a Democratic Republican to the Twelfth and Thirteenth Congresses and served from March 4, 1811, until his resignation in 1814; member, Tennessee House of Representatives 1819-1825; in 1820 helped effect an amicable adjustment of the State line between Tennessee and Kentucky; elected as a Jacksonian in 1829 to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy in the term ending March 4, 1833, caused by the resignation of John H. Eaton; reelected in 1833 as a Democrat and served from October 19, 1829, to July 4, 1838, when he resigned to accept a Cabinet position; chairman, Committee on Post Office and Post Roads (Twenty-first through Twenty-fourth Congresses), Committee on Judiciary (Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Congresses); appointed Attorney General of the United States by President Martin Van Buren in July 1838; resigned in December 1839, having been elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate on November 19, 1839, to fill the vacancy in the term commencing March 4, 1839, caused by the resignation of Ephraim Foster; the question of his eligibility to election as Senator while holding the office of Attorney General of the United States having been raised, he resigned from the Senate on December 14, 1839, and was reelected the same day, serving from December 14, 1839, until his death in Nashville, Tenn., December 19, 1840; chairman, Committee on Revolutionary Claims (Twenty-sixth Congress); interment in Mount Olivet Cemetery.

Alabama Department of Archives and History
Montgomery, AL
Papers: Correspondence in Alabama (Territory) Governor records, 1811-1819.

Boston Public Library
Boston, MA
Papers: 2 letters.

Filson Club Historical Society
Louisville, KY
Papers: Miscellaneous letters and references in various collections.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: 1822-1839. 9 items.

Tennessee Historical Society
Nashville, TN
Papers: Miscellaneous letters in various collections.

Tennessee State Library and Archives
Nashville, TN
Papers: Correspondence, diaries, accounts, wills, and estate papers in Whiteford R. Cole collection, 1818-1951; and mentioned in McLaughlin family papers, 1779-1883. Finding aid.

University of North Carolina
Southern Historical Collection
Chapel Hill, NC
Papers: 1807-1889 (bulk 1824-1846). 69 items. Political correspondence relating to national issues. Finding aid.

University of Virginia
Alderman Library
Charlottesville, VA
Papers: Correspondence in Lawrence O'Bryan Branch papers, 1840-1862, on 1 microfilm reel. Finding aid.

  • Baylor, Orval W. "The Career of Felix Grundy, 1777-1840.'' Filson Club History Quarterly 16 (April 1942): 88-110.
  • Ewing, Frances Howard. "The Senatorial Career of the Hon. Felix Grundy.'' Tennessee Historical Magazine, 2d ser. 2 (October 1931): 3-27; (January 1932): 111-35; (April 1932): 220-24; (July 1932): 270-91.
  • Heller, J. Roderick. Democracy's Lawyer: Felix Grundy of the Old Southwest. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2010.
  • Howell, R.B.C. "Felix Grundy.'' Tennessee Law Review 16 (April 1941): 828-42.
  • McKellar, Kenneth. "Felix Grundy" in Tennessee Senators as seen by one of their Successors. Kingsport, Tenn.: Southern Publishers, Inc., 1942, 184-199.
  • Parks, Joseph Howard. Felix Grundy, Champion of Democracy. University, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1940.
  • ___. "Felix Grundy and the Depression of 1819 in Tennessee.'' East Tennessee Historical Society's Publications 10 (1938): 19-43.