James Seddon

James Seddon

Infobox US Cabinet official
name=James Alexander Seddon

title=Confederate States Secretary of War
term_start=November 21, 1862
term_end=February 5, 1865
president=Jefferson Davis
predecessor=George W. Randolph
successor=John C. Breckinridge
birth_date=birth date|1815|7|13|mf=y
birth_place=Falmouth, Virginia, U.S.
death_date=death date and age|1880|8|19|1815|7|13|mf=y
death_place=Goochland County, Virginia, U.S.
spouse=Sarah Bruce Seddon
profession=Politician, Lawyer

James Alexander Seddon (July 13, 1815 – August 19, 1880) was an American lawyer and politician who served two terms in the U.S. Congress as a member of the Democratic Party. He was appointed Confederate States Secretary of War by Jefferson Davis during the American Civil War.

Seddon was born in Falmouth, Stafford County, Virginia. He was a descendant of William Alexander, the "Earl of Stirling". Due to frail health, he was educated primarily at home and became self-taught as a youth. At the age of twenty-one, Seddon entered the law school of the University of Virginia, graduating and settling in Richmond, where he established a successful law practice.

In 1845, he was nominated by the Democratic Party for Congress and was easily elected. Two years later, he was renominated, but declined due to platform differences with the party. In 1849, Seddon was reelected to Congress, serving from December 1849 until March 1851. Owing to poor health, he declined another nomination at the end of his term and retired to "Sabot Hill," his estate on the James River above Richmond.

Seddon attended the peace convention held in Washington, D.C., in 1861, which attempted to devise a means of preventing the impending civil war. Later in the same year, he attended the Provisional Confederate Congress. President Davis named him as the Secretary of War, a post he held until January 1, 1865, when he retired from public life to his country estate.

External links

* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=6005865 James Seddon] at Find A Grave
* [http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USACWsneddon.htm James Seddon biography at Spartacus]
* [http://www.csawardept.com/history/Cabinet/Seddon/index.html James Seddon biography at the Confederate States War Department]

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