Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Last Confederate Senator

Missouri Confederate State Senator George Graham Vest, who was appointed to fill a vacancy, resigned his seat in the Confederate Senate on January 12th 1865.

George Graham Vest was born December 6th 1830 in Frankfort, Kentucky.  He graduated in 1848 from Centre College, and then with a law degree from Transylvania University.  He was admitted to the bar in 1853.  On his way to California, Vest defended a black man who was accused of murder in Pettis County, Missouri.  He settled after winning the case in Georgetown, Missouri.  In 1860 Vest was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives, where he chaired the Committee on Federal Relations.

When the Civil War first started Vest was a Unionist, but changed his mind and by October 1861 he had written the Secession Ordinance that passed the Missouri legislature.  For a short time Vest was the Judge Advocate for the Army of Missouri under the command of Confederate General Sterling Price.  Vest was appointed to fill a vacant seat from Missouri in the Confederate State Senate on February 1862.  He resigned his seat January 12th 1865.

When the war was over Vest returned to his law practice in Sedalia, Missouri.  It was here in 1869 that he took the case of Burden and his hunting dog Old Drum.   He moved to Kansas City in 1877 and was elected to the United States Senate in 1879.  Vest served on the Committee of Public Buildings and Grounds, Public Health and the Committee on Epidemic Diseases.  He retired from public service March 4th 1903.  He died at his summer home in Sweet Springs, Missouri August 9th 1904 and is buried in the Bellefontaine Cemetery in St Louis, Missouri.  Vest was the last living Confederate States Senator.

Another web site that might interest you about this subject is  George Graham Vest A Tribute To A Dog

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