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Henry Tazewell

Henry Tazewell
4th President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
February 20, 1795 – December 8, 1795
Preceded by Ralph Izard
Succeeded by Samuel Livermore
United States Senator
from Virginia
In office
December 29, 1794 – January 24, 1799
Preceded by John Taylor
Succeeded by Wilson C. Nicholas
Personal details
Born (1753-11-27)November 27, 1753
Brunswick County, Virginia
Died January 24, 1799(1799-01-24) (aged 45)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Political party Anti-Administration
Spouse(s) Dorothea Elizabeth Waller Tazewell
Children Littleton Waller Tazewell
Sophia Ann Tazewell
Alma mater The College of William & Mary
Occupation Lawyer, Politician, Judge
Profession Law

Henry Tazewell (November 27, 1753 – January 24, 1799) was an American politician who was instrumental in the early government of the U.S. state of Virginia, and a United States Senator from Virginia.


  • Biography 1
  • Career 2
  • Death 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Born in Brunswick County, Virginia, Tazewell was the son of Littleton and Mary Gray Tazewell. He attended the rural schools, then graduated from the College of William and Mary at Williamsburg, Virginia in 1770. He married Dorothea Elizabeth Waller on January 13, 1774. The couple were the parents of Littleton Waller Tazewell,[1] who became senator and governor of Virginia; and a daughter, Sophia Ann.


Tazewell studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1773, and began his practice. During the Revolutionary War, he raised and was commissioned captain of a troop of cavalry.[2]

A member of the House of Burgesses in 1775, Tazewell was also delegate to the State constitutional convention of 1775 and 1776. From 1778 to 1785 he was member of General Assembly.

In 1785, Tazewell became judge of the Virginia General Court, and was elevated to Chief Justice of that court, serving in that capacity from 1789 to 1793.[3] He also served as a judge on the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals (later renamed the Virginia Supreme Court) in 1793.

In 1794, Tazewell was elected into the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John Taylor. Reelected in 1798, he served from December 29, 1794, until his death. He served as the President pro tempore of the United States Senate in 1795.


Tazewell died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 24, 1799 and is interred at Christ Church Burial Ground. Tazewell County, Virginia,[4] and Tazewell, Tennessee, are both named after him.


  1. ^ "Henry Tazewell". Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Henry Tazewell". Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Henry Tazewell". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "Henry Tazewell". Intellectual Reserve, Inc. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 

External links

United States Senate
Preceded by
John Taylor
U.S. Senator from Virginia
Served alongside: Stevens T. Mason
Succeeded by
Wilson C. Nicholas
Political offices
Preceded by
Ralph Izard
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
Succeeded by
Samuel Livermore
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