Tazewell Littleton Waller

Littleton Waller Tazewell (1774-1860), 2nd cousin 7x removed

Littleton Waller Tazewell (1774-1860) was a U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator and the 26th Governor of Virginia.

Littleton Waller Tazewell (1774-1860) was a U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator and the 26th Governor of Virginia.

Littleton Waller Tazewell (17 Dec 1774 – 6 May 1860) entered Congress in 1800 and was appointed to the United States Senate in 1824, serving as President pro tempore in the Twenty-Sixth Congress before resigning in 1832.  He was also Governor of Virginia from 1834-36.  Tazewell, son of Henry Tazewell, was born in Williamsburg, Virginia, where his grandfather Benjamin Waller was a lawyer, who taught him Latin.  Tazewell was privately tutored by John Wickham[1].  He later graduated from the College of William and Mary at Williamsburg in 1791, where he studied law.  He was admitted to the bar in 1796 and commenced practice in James City County, Virginia.  He was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1798-1800.  He was subsequently elected to the Sixth United States Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John Marshall[2], and he served from 26 Nov 1800 to 4 Mar 1801.  Tazewell moved to Norfolk, Virginia in 1802.  He held public office again in 1804 in the Virginia General Assembly until 1806.  Then again served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1816-17.  He was one of the commissioners of claims under the treaty with Spain ceding Florida in 1821.  In 1824, Tazewell was elected to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of John Taylor[3].  He was re-elected in 1829, he served from 7 Dec 1824 to 16 Jul 1832, when he resigned.  While in the Senate, he was President pro tempore of the Senate during the Twenty-second United States Congress and chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.  He was Governor of Virginia from 1834 until 1836, whereupon he then retired from public life.

Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Littleton Waller Tazewell, 1825 (Library of Congress)

Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Littleton Waller Tazewell, 1825 (Library of Congress)

Politically, Tazewell was a Jacksonian Republican.  He died in Norfolk, Virginia, on 6 May 1860, and he was interred on his estate on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  His remains were re-interred, in 1866, in Elmwood Cemetery, Norfolk.  Tazewell, Virginia, Tazewell County, Virginia and Tazewell County, Illinois are named in his honor, and in his father’s honor, as are the cities of Tazewell and New Tazewell, Tennessee.  A plaque in his honor is found at the corner of Tazewell and Granby streets in Norfolk, near the Tazewell Hotel and Suites, where his two-story house was located.

Tazewell was the maternal grandfather of Littleton Waller Tazewell Bradford (1848–1918), a prominent Virginia politician, and a founder of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity.

Littleton Waller Tazewell (1774 – 1860), 2nd cousin 7x removed – Dorothy Elizabeth Waller (1754 – 1777) – Benjamin Waller (1716 – 1786) – John Waller (1673 – 1754) – John Waller (1708 – 1776) – Thomas Carr Waller (1732 – 1787) -Dabney Waller (1772 – 1849) – Elizabeth Dabney Waller (1808 – 1881) – Jacintha Ann Pollard (1833 – ) – Elizabeth Minor Hancock (1850 – 1928) -Seddie Gunnell (1875 – 1946) – Elizabeth Gunnell Hamlin (1901 – 1982) – Tor Martin Hylbom (1939 – 2009) – Tor Martin (Majerus) Hylbom

[1] John Wickham (1763-1839) was an American Loyalist and attorney. He was one of the very few Loyalists to achieve any sort of national prominence in the United States after the American Revolution, and he is best remembered for his role in the treason trial of former Vice President Aaron Burr in 1807.

[2] John Marshall (1755-1835) was the fourth Chief Justice of the United States (1801–1835) whose court opinions helped lay the basis for American constitutional law and made the Supreme Court of the United States a coequal branch of government along with the legislative and executive branches. Previously, Marshall had been a leader of the Federalist Party in Virginia and served in the United States House of Representatives from 1799-1800. He was Secretary of State under President John Adams from 1800-1801.

[3] John Taylor (1753-1824), often called John Taylor of Caroline, was a politician and writer. He served in the Virginia House of Delegates (1779–81, 1783–85, 1796–1800) and in the United States Senate (1792–94, 1803, 1822–24). He wrote several books on politics and agriculture. He was a Jeffersonian Democrat and his works provided inspiration to the later states’ rights and libertarian movements.



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