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Alexander M. Clayton

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Alexander Mosby Clayton
Deputy from Mississippi
to the Provisional Congress
of the Confederate States
In office
February 4, 1861 – May 11, 1861
Preceded byNew constituency
Succeeded byAlexander Bradford
Personal details
Born(1801-01-15)January 15, 1801
Campbell County, Virginia, U.S.
DiedSeptember 30, 1889(1889-09-30) (aged 88)
Benton County, Mississippi, U.S.
Resting placeHill Crest Cemetery,
Holly Springs, Mississippi, U.S.

Alexander Mosby Clayton (January 15, 1801 – September 30, 1889)[1] was an American politician who served as a justice of the Supreme Court of Mississippi from 1842 to 1852,[2][3] and as a deputy from Mississippi to the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States from February to May 1861.



Born in Campbell County, Virginia, to William Willis Clayton and Clarissa Mosby Clayton. He attended the local schools. After this he read law with a Lynchburg attorney in 1822 to gain admission to the bar in 1823.[2] He migrated first to Arkansas Territory, where he was appointed in 1832 to serve as a Judge of the Superior Court, the highest court in the territory, and then to Mississippi, where he served as a state court judge from 1842 to 1852. From 1844 to 1852, he served as the first president of the University of Mississippi Board of Trustees.[4][2] In May 1853, President Franklin Pierce appointed Clayton to serve as Consul to Havana, Cuba.[1][5] An editorial in the Natchez Daily Courier condemned the appointment, asserting that Clayton had authored a secessionist address on behalf of a committee appointed by the legislature to respond to the Compromise of 1850, with the editorial describing Clayton as "a leader of the secession forces".[1][6] Clayton nevertheless received the appointment; he resigned the following year, and was succeeded by Roger Barton in August 1854.[7]

Clayton represented Mississippi in the Provisional C.S. Congress from February to May, 1861. He resigned and was appointed as a Confederate District Court Judge for the balance of the year. After the war he again served as a state court judge from 1866 to 1869.[2]



Clayton died on his farm near Lamar, Mississippi, at the age of 88.[1] In his obituary, Clayton was described as "a leader at the bar of two States and at the time of his death [who] had practiced law longer than any other man in the country".[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Judge Alexander M. Clayton, Lamar, Miss.", The New Orleans Times-Democrat (October 2, 1889), p. 4.
  2. ^ a b c d Southwick, Leslie H. "Alexander Clayton (1801–1889) Judge". Mississippi Encyclopedia / Center for Study of Southern Culture. Mississippi Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on July 9, 2021. Retrieved April 12, 2022.
  3. ^ Leslie Southwick, Mississippi Supreme Court Elections: A Historical Perspective 1916-1996, 18 Miss. C. L. Rev. 115 (1997-1998).
  4. ^ "Mississippi Hall of Fame Members". Clarion-Ledger. October 7, 2001. p. 62. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  5. ^ "Appointments", The Yazoo Democrat (June 1, 1853), p. 3.
  6. ^ "Another Resister Appointed", Natchez Daily Courier (May 26, 1853), p. 3.
  7. ^ "Appointments by the President", The Weekly Mississippian (August 16, 1854), p. 2.
Political offices
Preceded by Justice of the Supreme Court of Mississippi
Succeeded by
Preceded by
New constituency
Deputy from Mississippi to the
Provisional Congress of the Confederate States

Succeeded by