Henry Stuart Foote was born February 28th 1804 in Fauquier County, Virginia. He entered Washington College in 1819, but didn’t graduate. After which Foote study law and was admitted to the bar in 1823. He set up a practice in Tuscumbia, Alabama, where he also started a newspaper, library and the LaGrange College. Foote moved to Mississippi where he was elected to the United State Senate. He served in the Senate from 1847 to 1852, when he left to become the Governor of Mississippi. Foote defeated Jefferson Davis in 1851 running on the Unionist platform. Following his term as Governor Foote moved to California in 1854. He returned to Mississippi and then in 1859 to Nashville, Tennessee.
Foote was elected to the Confederate House of Representatives when the war started. He was critical of Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ war policies in a speech December 8th 1863. In January 1865, Foote tried to cross Union lines to travel to Washington, DC, but Confederate authorities arrested him before he could. He finally made it to Washington, DC, where he tried to have a meeting with President Abraham Lincoln. Arrested by the Union Foote was given the choice of leaving the county or being sent back to the Confederacy. Foote moved to Canada.
After the Civil War ended Foote moved back to Washington, DC where he opened another law practice. He wrote several books, and was appointed as Superintendent of the New Orleans Mint by President Rutherford B Hayes. Foote died in Nashville, Tennessee May 20th 1880 and is buried in the Mount Olivet Cemetery in Nashville. His grave is not marked.