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Lewis P. Featherstone

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lewis Porter Featherstone
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 1st district
In office
March 5, 1890 – March 3, 1891
Preceded byWilliam H. Cate
Succeeded byWilliam H. Cate
Member of the Arkansas House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
BornJuly 28, 1851 (1851-07-28)
Oxford, Mississippi
DiedMarch 14, 1922 (1922-03-15) (aged 70)
Longview, Texas
CitizenshipUnited States
Political partyDemocrat, Union Labor, Populist
Spouse(s)Alice White Featherstone
Alma materCumberland University



railroad owner
Military service
AllegianceUnited States United States of America
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Rankfirst lieutenant captain
UnitFirst United States Volunteer Infantry
Battles/warsSpanish–American War

Lewis Porter Featherstone (July 28, 1851 – March 14, 1922) was a planter and farm activist who served as a Labor Party U.S. Representative from Arkansas.


Born in Oxford, Mississippi, Featherstone was the eldest son of Lewis H. and Elizabeth (Porter) Featherstone. He attended the common schools and Cumberland School of Law at Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tennessee. He married Alice White in 1874, and the couple had five children.


Featherstone engaged in planting in Shelby County, Tennessee from 1872 to 1881. He moved to Forrest City in St. Francis County, Arkansas, and continued as a planter.[1]

As a Democratic member, Featherstone served in the Arkansas House of Representatives in 1887 and 1888. He was elected president of the Agricultural Wheel (a farmers' organization) in 1887 and reelected in 1888. In 1888, he ran as a Labor Party candidate against Democrat William H. Cate for the Fifty-first Congress; although Cate was initially declared re-elected, Featherstone challenged on the grounds of election fraud. Following the Featherstone v. Cate hearings held in the U.S. House of Representatives, Featherstone was seated in Congress in 1890 and served until March 3, 1891.[2] He was an unsuccessful candidate on the Union Labor ticket for reelection in 1890 to the Fifty-second Congress.

By 1892, constantly under attack for supporting efforts to preserve the right of blacks and poor whites to vote, Featherstone was one of the Union Labor members who joined the Populist Party, and served as platform committee chairman at the state party convention, which adopted a resolution (introduced by a black delegate from the St. Francis County delegation) calling on Arkansas "to elevate the down-trodden sons and daughters of industry in all matters ... irrespective of race or color." Featherstone was the head of the Arkansas delegation to the Populist national convention in Omaha. After the defeat in 1892 of the Arkansas Populists, Featherstone abandoned politics as populism faded, and Arkansas Democrats reasserted their political dominance by means of laws that disenfranchised many black and poor white voters.

Featherstone eventually moved to Galveston, Texas, where he engaged in railroad building and in development of the iron resources of Texas. During the Spanish–American War in 1898, he was commissioned as a first lieutenant, and became captain, in the First United States Volunteer Infantry, a unit mustered out in Galveston that saw no service outside the United States.[3]


He died in Longview, Texas, on March 14, 1922 (age 70 years, 229 days), and is interred at Mission Burial Park South, San Antonio, Texas.[4]


  1. ^ Welch, Melanie (2012). "Lewis Porter Featherstone (1851–1922)". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture.
  2. ^ "Lewis P. Featherstone". Govtrack US Congress. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Lewis P. Featherstone". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  4. ^ "Lewis P. Featherstone". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 27 June 2013.

External links

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
William H. Cate
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
William H. Cate
This page was last edited on 14 May 2019, at 14:29
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