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Muscoe Russell Hunter Garnett (July 25, 1821 – February 14, 1864), was a nineteenth-century politician and lawyer from Virginia.

Muscoe Russell Hunter Garnett
MuscoeRHGarnett.jpg
Member of the Confederate States House of Representatives from Virginia's 1st congressional district
In office
February 18, 1862 – February 14, 1864
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byRobert Latane Montague
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 1st district
In office
December 1, 1856 – March 3, 1861
Preceded byThomas H. Bayly
Succeeded byJoseph E. Segar
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates from Essex and King and Queen Counties
In office
1854–1857
Preceded byRichard Muse
Succeeded byThomas W. Garrett
Personal details
Born(1821-07-25)July 25, 1821
Elmwood, Loretto, Virginia
DiedFebruary 14, 1864(1864-02-14) (aged 42)
Elmwood, Loretto, Virginia
Cause of deathTyphoid fever
Resting placeElmwood, Loretto, Virginia
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)
Mary Picton Stevens
(m. 1860; his death 1864)
RelationsJames M. Garnett (grandfather)
Robert Mercer Taliaferro Hunter (uncle)
Children2
Alma materUniversity of Virginia
OccupationAttorney

Early lifeEdit

Garnett was born on his family’s "Elmwood" estate located near Loretto, Virginia. He was the son of James Mercer Garnett and Maria (née Hunter) Garnett.

He was the grandson of James M. Garnett and nephew of Robert Mercer Taliaferro Hunter. He attended the University of Virginia, where he received his law degree in 1842. Garnett was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1842, and set up practice, as his father had done, in Loretto.[1]

CareerEdit

He was a delegate to the Virginia Constitutional Convention in 1850 and 1851 where he opposed expansion of the electorate, fearing internal improvements that would benefit western counties.[2] In 1850, he wrote a pamphlet The Union, Past and Future; how it works and how to save it. By a Citizen of Virginia, which discussed the relationship of slavery to the national government.[3]

Prior to his election to Congress, he was a Virginia delegate to both the 1852 and 1856 Democratic National Conventions, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates (from 1853–1856), and a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia (from 1855–1859).

In 1856, Garnett was elected as a Democrat from Virginia's 1st Congressional District to the 34th Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Thomas H. Bayly. He was subsequently reelected to both the 35th and 36th Congresses, serving from December 1, 1856, to March 3, 1861, only leaving at the outbreak of the Civil War.

With his sympathies lying with the South, he became a delegate to first the Virginia secession convention and then to the State constitutional convention in 1861. From 1862–1864, he was a Virginian member of the First Confederate Congress. During that same time, his uncle Robert Hunter was the CSA Secretary of State and then a CSA Senator.

Personal lifeEdit

He was married on July 26, 1860, to Mary Picton Stevens (1840-1903), a daughter of Edwin Augustus Stevens. They had two children before his early death:[4]

  • James Mercer Garnett, who was born July 7, 1861.[4]
  • Mary Barton Picton Garnett, who was born May 28, 1863.[4]

While attending the Confederate Congress in early 1864, Muscoe caught typhoid fever[1], and subsequently died at his family's "Elmwood" estate on February 14, 1864, where he was buried in the family cemetery. After his death, his widow married Edward Parke Custis Lewis, a diplomat, who was a descendant of George Washington.

"Elmwood" was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.[5]

ElectionsEdit

  • 1856; Garnett was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in a special election with 51.58% of the vote, defeating American Robert Saunders.
  • 1857; Garnett was re-elected with 57.08% of the vote, defeating American John Critcher.
  • 1859; Garnett was re-elected unopposed.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "GARNETT, Muscoe Russell Hunter - Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  2. ^ Dinan, John (2006). The Virginia state constitution : a reference guide. Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers. p. 8. ISBN 0-313-33208-8.
  3. ^ Majewski, John D. (2009). Modernizing a Slave Economy: The Economic Vision of the Confederate Nation. Univ of North Carolina Press. p. 206. ISBN 9780807832516. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Lee, Francis Bazley (1910). Genealogical and Memorial History of the State of New Jersey ... Lewis historical Publishing Company. p. 205. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  5. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.

External linksEdit