Richard Hanson Weightman

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Richard Hanson Weightman (December 28, 1816 – August 10, 1861) was an antebellum delegate to the United States Congress from the Territory of New Mexico.[2] He was also a district commander of the secessionist Missouri State Guard during the American Civil War, and was killed in action at the Battle of Wilson's Creek in Missouri.

Richard Hanson Weightman
Richard Hanson Weightman.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Mexico Territory's At-large district
In office
March 4, 1851 – March 3, 1853
Preceded bydistrict established
Succeeded byJosé Manuel Gallegos
Personal details
BornDecember 28, 1816
Washington, D.C.
DiedAugust 10, 1861(1861-08-10) (aged 44)
near Springfield, Missouri
Resting placeSpringfield National Cemetery
Springfield, Missouri[1]
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Susan Bradford Coxe
Alma materUniversity of Virginia
Occupationnewspaper editor
Military service
Years of service
  • 1846–1849 (U.S. Army)
  • 1861 (Missouri State Guard)


Born in Washington, D.C., Weightman attended private schools there and in Alexandria, Virginia. He graduated from the University of Virginia at Charlottesville in 1834. He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, 1835–1837 (but did not graduate). He subsequently studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1841 in the District of Columbia, but did not practice.[2]

He moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and on May 28, 1846, was elected captain of Clark's Battalion, Missouri Volunteer Light Artillery, in the Mexican War, where he participated in the Battle of Sacramento.[3] He served as Additional Paymaster, Volunteers, in the Army in 1848 and 1849. He moved to New Mexico Territory in 1851 and edited a newspaper in Sante Fe. He was appointed agent for Indians in New Mexico in July 1851.[2] While in Santa Fe in August 1854, he killed François Xavier Aubry (December 3, 1824 – August 18, 1854) who was a French Canadian merchant and explorer of the American Southwest. When Aubry drew his revolver, Weightman stabbed Aubry with a Bowie knife.[4]

Weightman was elected as a Democrat and the Territory's first Delegate to the Thirty-second Congress (March 4, 1851 – March 3, 1853). He was not a candidate for reelection in 1852, but resumed newspaper work. He moved to Kickapoo and Atchison, Kansas, in 1858, and went to Independence, Missouri, in 1861.[2]

Weightman was elected colonel of the First Regiment Cavalry, Eighth Division, Missouri State Guard on June 11, 1861. He was promoted to command of the First Brigade, Eighth Division, June 20, 1861, and led it competently at the Battle of Carthage on July 5.

Colonel Richard Hanson Weightman was killed while leading his brigade at the Battle of Wilson's Creek in Missouri on August 10, 1861, and was interred on the battlefield near Springfield, Missouri.[2]


  1. ^ "Col Richard Hanson Weightman". Find A Grave. Retrieved 27 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b c d e "Weightman, Richard Hanson". United States Congress. Retrieved 27 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Hannings, Bud (2014). The U.S. Mexican War: A Complete Chronology. McFarland. p. 132. ISBN 9780786476480.
  4. ^ Twitchell, Ralph Emerson (1909). The History of the Military Occupation of the Territory of New Mexico. Arno Press. p. 386.


U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Mexico

Succeeded by
José Manuel Gallegos

  This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website