Richard Elliott Parker (December 27, 1783 – September 10, 1840) was a lawyer, soldier, judge and politician in Virginia. Parker served in the Virginia House of Delegates and the United States Senate, before later serving on the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.[1]

Richard Elliott Parker
Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court
In office
February 9, 1837 – September 10, 1840
United States Senator
from Virginia
In office
December 12, 1836 – March 13, 1837
Preceded byBenjamin W. Leigh
Succeeded byWilliam H. Roane
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates representing Westmoreland County
In office
December 7, 1807 – December 4, 1808
Serving with Stephen Bailey
Preceded byBaldwin M. Lee
Succeeded byPeter P. Cox
Personal details
Born(1783-12-27)December 27, 1783
Westmoreland County, Virginia
DiedSeptember 10, 1840(1840-09-10) (aged 56)
Bluemont, Virginia
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseElizabeth Foushee Parker
Military service
AllegianceUnited States of America
RankLieutenant colonel
Unit35th Virginia Regiment
Battles/warsWar of 1812

Early and family life edit

Parker was born at ‘Rock Spring,’ Westmoreland County, Virginia, son of Captain William Harwar Parker and Mary (Sturman) Parker, and grandson of Judge Richard Parker and Elizabeth (Beale) Parker. He studied law under his grandfather Parker at ‘Lawfield,’ his grandfather's residence in Westmoreland County.

Career edit

After being admitted to the bar, he practiced in Westmoreland, his native county, which he twice represented in the Virginia House of Delegates, although when he was re-elected the vote contested, and the narrow loser would succeed to the seat in the next election.[2]

During the War of 1812, Parker served as Lieutenant colonel in the Thirty-fifth Virginia Regiment Militia. As such, he was in charge of the defense of the Northern Neck of Virginia from British incursions. On September 16, 1814, Parker was wounded during the British attack that resulted in the burning of Washington.[3]

After the war, Parker returned to private legal practice. The legislature elected him a judge of the general court on July 26, 1817. On December 12, 1836, Virginia legislators elected Judge Parker as the United States Senator from Virginia. A Jacksonian, he filled the vacancy caused by the resignation of Benjamin W. Leigh. Parker would resigned from the Senate on March 13, 1837, to accept a seat on the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals (again elected by his former state legislative colleagues). He refused the cabinet office of United States Attorney General offered him by President Van Buren.[3]

Death and legacy edit

Parker died on his estate, ‘Soldier’s Retreat,’ near Snickersville (now Bluemont, Clarke County), Virginia, September 10, 1840. He was buried alongside his wife, Elizabeth Foushee Parker at Grace Episcopal Church in Berryville, Virginia in the county of Clarke.

References edit

  1. ^ "PARKER, Richard Elliott, (1783 - 1840)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  2. ^ Cynthia Miller Leonard, The General Assembly of Virginia: 1619-1978 (Richmond: Virginia State Library 1978) pp. 249, 254
  3. ^ a b Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography; Volume 2 (Lyon Gardiner Tyler ed.). Lewis Historical Publishing Company. 1915. p. 65. ISBN 9781154336733. Retrieved 21 June 2014. Richard Elliott Parker.
  • Clarke County Historical Association, Berryville, Va.
  • Grace Episcopal Church Burial Records
  • Find a Grave for Judge Richard E. Parker, Grace Episcopal Church, Berryville, Va.

External links edit

U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. senator (Class 2) from Virginia
December 15, 1836 – February 13, 1837
Served alongside: William C. Rives
Succeeded by