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Henry Massey Rector

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Subject: Elias Nelson Conway, Harris Flanagin, James Sevier Conway, Henry Wharton Conway, James Rector
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Henry Massey Rector

Henry Massie Rector
6th Governor of Arkansas
In office
November 16, 1860 – November 4, 1862
Preceded by Elias Conway
Succeeded by Harris Flanagin
Personal details
Born (1816-05-01)May 1, 1816
Louisville, Kentucky
Died August 12, 1899(1899-08-12) (aged 83)
Little Rock, Arkansas
Political party Democratic

Henry Massie Rector (May 1, 1816 – August 12, 1899) served as Governor of Arkansas from 1860 to 1862. A member of the Democratic Party, ideologically Rector was pro-slavery.


  • Biography 1
  • Career 2
  • Family life 3
  • Death and legacy 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Rector was born in Louisville, Kentucky. Both his parents were of English descent.[1] Rector was educated by his mother and attended two years of school in Louisville. He moved to Arkansas in 1835. Rector served as U.S. Marshal after moving to Arkansas.


Rector was elected to the Arkansas Senate and served in that body from 1848 to 1850. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1854. From 1853 to 1857, he served as U.S. Surveyor-General of Arkansas for several years.[2] From 1855 to 1859, he served in the Arkansas House of Representatives. and spent one term as a justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court.[3]

Rector was elected Governor of Arkansas in 1860. During his term Arkansas seceded from the Union and was admitted to the Confederate States of America. The constitution of Arkansas was rewritten reducing the term of office for Governor to two years.

At the Arkansas secession convention in March 1861, Rector addressed the convention in an oratory urging the extension of slavery:

Rector left office in 1862 and served as a private in the state militia for the rest of the war. Rector participated in the 1874 constitutional convention.

Family life

Rector was the first cousin of Representative Henry Wharton Conway, Governor James Sevier Conway and Governor Elias Nelson Conway. Rector was also a third cousin of General James Lawson Kemper. He was a first cousin of fellow Confederate general Alexander E. Steen.

His grandson, James Rector, was the first Arkansan to participate in the Olympic Games. His son, Colonel Elias W. Rector, ran for Governor of Arkansas twice and served in the Arkansas House of Representatives for several terms, served as Speaker of the House, and married the daughter of Senator James Lusk Alcorn of Mississippi.

Death and legacy

Henry Massey Rector died in Little Rock, Arkansas and is buried in Mount Holly Cemetery in Little Rock.[5]

Rector Street in Little Rock is named after him. The north-bound frontage road along Interstate 30 bears his name. The northeast Arkansas town of Rector is named for Rector.

See also


  1. ^ Biographical and pictorial history of Arkansas, Volume 1 By John Hallum page 405
  2. ^ "Henry Massie Rector (1816–1899)". The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Retrieved August 10, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Arkansas Governor Henry Massey Rector". National Governors Association. Retrieved August 10, 2012. 
  4. ^ Arkansas Secession Convention. 1861. p. 4. 
  5. ^ "Henry Massie Rector". Find A Grave. Retrieved August 10, 2012. 

External links

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