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Philemon Thomas Herbert (November 1, 1825 – July 23, 1864) was an American politician. He served as the Democratic U.S. Representative from California. He represented the California Second District in the 34th Congress (1855–1857).

Philemon T. Herbert
BornNovember 1, 1825
DiedJuly 23, 1864 (aged 38)
OccupationLawyer, politician

Early lifeEdit

Herbert was born on November 1, 1825 in Pine Apple, Alabama.


Herbert joined the Democratic Party. He served two terms in the California State Assembly, representing Mariposa County, California. From 1855 to 1857, he represented California's Second District in the 34th Congress of the United States House of Representatives.[1]

In 1856, when he was refused breakfast service at Willard's Hotel in Washington because it was too late in the morning, he got into a quarrel with the Irish headwaiter, and shot and killed him.[2] He was acquitted of manslaughter by a sympathetic jury, but abandoned his Congressional career.[3]

In 1859, Herbert moved to El Paso, Texas, where he practiced law.

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, he joined the Confederate Army. He rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel, and commanded the Arizona Cavalry and the Seventh Texas Cavalry Regiment. He was wounded at the Battle of Mansfield on April 8, 1864.


Herbert died of his wounds on July 23, 1864. He was buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Kingston, Louisiana.


  1. ^ "HERBERT, Philemon Thomas - Biographical Information". Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  2. ^ Rosenzweig, David (December 9, 1995). "Tucker Is Fourth California Congressman to Be Convicted Since 1936". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  3. ^ Kestenbaum, Lawrence. "The Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians: Herbert". Retrieved 2017-02-02.

Other sourcesEdit

  • The New York Times, July 14, 1856.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Samuel A. Merritt, Thomas E. Ridley
California State Assemblyman, 10th District
(with Samuel Bell)
Succeeded by
George N. Cornwall, Humphrey Griffith, Bernard C. Whitman
Preceded by
Eight members
California State Assemblyman, 6th District
(Mariposa County seat)

(with John C. Henry)
Succeeded by
E. M. Burke, T. C. Flournoy
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
James A. McDougall
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's at-large congressional district

Succeeded by
Charles L. Scott