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List of governors of Tennessee

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of people who have served as Governor of Tennessee.

The governor's term in office is limited by the Tennessee state constitution. The first constitution, enacted in 1796, set a term of two years for the governor and provided that no person could serve as governor for more than six years in any eight-year period.[1] The term of office was lengthened to four years, without the possibility of consecutive terms, by constitutional amendments adopted in 1953.[2] Under the current provisions of the state constitution, as amended in 1978, the governor is elected to a four-year term and may serve no more than two terms consecutively.[2][3] For a period of nearly five decades in the 20th century, the Tennessee Democratic Party held the Tennessee governorship continuously.

Tennessee has had 50 governors, including the incumbent, Bill Lee.[4] This tally does not include William Blount (the territorial governor) or Robert L. Caruthers (who never took office), though the Blue Book includes them in its list of governors.[5] All governors are counted only once, regardless of number of terms served (e.g., John Sevier is considered the 1st governor, rather than the 1st and 3rd governor). The Blue Book does not include Edward H. East in its list of governors.

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Transcription

I'm Mr. Beat The United States has 100 senators. Two for every state. and they each serve a term of six years. The Senate collectively makes up half of Congress, the folks who make laws that apply to the whole country. They represent the states, not the people. The year I was born, the average age of a U.S. Senator was 53. Today, while the average age of all Americans is my age, the average age of a Senator is 61. They're getting older, man. This dude here, is Bernie Sanders, a Senator representing Vermont, and polls say he is the most popular Senator in the country. Polls say that this dude Mitch McConnell, a Senator representing Kentucky, is the least popular Senator in the country. Does that mean Bernie is the best Senator in the country and Mitch is the worst? Absolutely not. I think? But anyway, this got me thinking What about all of American history? Who were the best Senators? Who were the worst Senators? Let’s be negative first, shall we? Based on my research, here are the 10 worst Senators in American history. And remember, of course, that this is just my measly opinion. Also, before we get into this list, I didn’t include the senators like Bernie or Mitch who are currently in office or recently got out of office because of our bias to automatically hate politicians currently in office or who recently got out of office. So, let's get right into it. How about a little corruption to start things off? #10 James Simmons Senator from Rhode Island from 1841 to 1847 and again from 1857 to 1862, Simmons got caught getting a contract for two Rhode Island rifle manufacturers in return for $20,000 in promissory notes. So basically, he was bribed to help these two companies make lots of money from the U.S. government, which needed lots of rifles as it turns out since it was fighting the Confederate forces in the Civil War. The reason why Simmons isn’t higher up on this list is because technically there wasn’t a law saying you couldn’t do this, although Congress promptly passed a law saying "you can't do that!" #9 William Blount Yeah that's how you pronounce his name. Senator from Tennessee from 1796 to 1797, Blount was a Founding Father, and the only Senator on this list to actually sign the U.S. Constitution. Originally from North Carolina, Blount was instrumental in opening up lands west of the Appalachians to settlement. He bought up millions of acres out there himself, but his risky land investments caused him to get a lot of debt. Due to this debt, he conspired with Britain to take over the Spanish-controlled Louisiana to try to raise the prices of his land. Well, he didn’t get away with it. When Congress found out in 1797, he became the first Senator kicked out of the Senate and also the first federal official to get impeached. Blount was arrested, but posted bail and went to Tennessee and never came back. He never showed up to trial, and the feds eventually gave up trying to arrest him again. #8 Joseph Burton Aw man, this dude’s from my home state. Senator from Kansas from 1901 to 1906, uh Burton had a little conflict of interest you could say. He was getting paid for defending a company successfully against the United States government while he was Senator. Eventually, he was found guilty of public corruption, which means he was misusing the power he had as Senator for private gain. Burton became the first member of the Senate to actually be convicted of a crime. Now, does that mean other Senators weren’t doing crap like this before this? Of course not, but he was the first one to get caught. #7 John Mitchell Weird coincidence, Mitchell was Senator the same time as Burton. He represented the state of Oregon from 1901 to 1905 and was all about Big Business and against most of the political reforms of the Populists. The biggest reason why he’s on this list is because of his involvement in the Oregon land fraud scandal. Yep, this was more public corruption. Mitchell abused his power, helping a client get patents to fraudulent land claims. After being found guilty, he was sentenced to six months in prison and a $1,000 fine, but he died soon after getting a tooth pulled. True story, bro. #6 Harrison Williams Senator from New Jersey from 1959 to 1982, Williams was a career politician who actually had quite a few accomplishments in his career. Many of the social programs and public urban transit Americans take for granted today is because of him. However, beginning in the 1980s, things went downhill fast for Williams. He was convicted of bribery and conspiracy after the Abscam scandal, (that is hard to say. say that three times) a FBI-led sting operation that also took out several other politicians. He resigned after the Senate was going to kick him out anyway, and was sentenced to 3 years in prison, the first time in more than 80 years that a U.S. Senator had spent time in prison by the way. #5 Bob Packwood Sorry Oregon, here’s another one from your state. He represented it from 1969 to 1995. I’ll try not to be too mean because he is still alive, however, he was mean, man. Packwood was another career politician who did accomplish a lot while in Congress. But that whole freaking time, he was consistently abusing his power by committing sexual misconduct. The Senate Ethics Committee, which recommended his expulsion in 1995, reported that he made at least 18 “separate and unwanted and unwelcome sexual advances between 1969 and 1990.” And he even wrote about it in his diary. Packwood resigned before the Senate could kick him out. And of course, after he resigned he promptly became a lobbyist. #4 Pat McCarran Senator from Nevada from 1933 to 1954, McCarran is known as one of the few Democrats who was against Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal initiatives. Of course he was racist and xenophobic, but he also had anti-Semitic beliefs. Oh, and he was a fan of fascists. He openly admired the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. He also was in bed with the oil industry. Most infamously, he was a big reason the Second Red Scare happened. He hated communism so much that he didn’t even care if he trampled right over civil liberties, sponsoring the paranoia-based Internal Security Act and establishing the Subversive Activities Control Board to start witch hunts targeting communists. He was so bad, that Nevada representatives recently even called for the removal his statue that’s sitting in the National Statuary Hall Collection. Yep, here’s one you have probably heard of... #3 Joseph McCarthy Senator from Wisconsin from 1947 to 1957, McCarthy became the face of the Second Red Scare of the late 1940s and early 1950s. After three years of not doing much in the Senate, McCarthy all of a sudden became a household name in February 1950 when he claimed he had a list of members of communist spies and members of the Communist Party employed within the State Department. Did he ever reveal that list to the public? No. Did he continue to throw out baseless allegations? Absolutely. He stirred up so much communist hatred and paranoia in the United States that today we name it after him. It’s called McCarthyism. Oh yeah, and don’t forget the Lavender Scare he also stirred up, which was another witch hunt that targeted homosexuals, causing them to lose their government jobs throughout the 1950s. And later he helped turn socialism into a dirty word, too. McCarthy is not known for policy or getting sweeping legislation passed. He’s known today for just causing mass hysteria. Even the Senate had had enough of him so much that they censured him in 1954. “Censured” just means they officially said “you did bad, stop it, we disapprove.” And here’s one you probably HAVEN’T heard of. #2 Theodore Bilbo Senator from Mississippi from 1935 to 1947 and poster boy for white supremacy and segregation in the South. While most Senators throughout American history have been at least somewhat racist, Bilbo was a special kind of racist. First of all, he was a member of the KKK, so there’s that. He didn’t just hate African Americans. He hated communists, Jews, unions, and of course immigrants. As governor of Mississippi, he did nothing as mobs lynched African Americans in the streets. Also as governor, he tried to get a bunch of teachers fired and caused his state to almost go bankrupt. Wait a second, why didn’t this dude make my Worst Governors video? Anyway, his ego was ridiculously big and he always liked to be the center of attention, wearing bright, flashy suits and...no joke...always referring to himself in the third person. And finally, after his re-election to the Senate in 1946, a group of African American World War II vets said they and several other blacks were not allowed to vote in the election. But before the Senate could act on the charges, Bilbo died in his mansion. And #1. It's a tie. and if you saw my Worst Governors video, this one may not be much of a surprise. These are all of the Senators who left the Union to join the Confederacy during the Civil War. All of them declared allegiance to the Confederacy in the name of preserving the institution of slavery. Maybe you CAN call them traitors. Regardless, they should have stuck with the Union. So that’s it. The ten worst senators in American history. I know I left a lot of bad senators off this list. And maybe you disagree with this list. Yeah, yeah, go ahead and tell me how wrong I am. Also, I want to get a list going of (dis)honorable mentions. Get it? (Dis)honorable? And I want to gather those and put them in the description of this video and maybe pin a comment. A special shout out to Ian for suggesting the topic of this video. Ian and his mother are long time Patreon supporters. Thank you so much guys. It means the world. Next week, I have another Patreon-requested video coming. Get excited! Thanks for watching. Now how do I get out of here? How did I even get here? Why is it so warm outside? Is this real?

Contents

Southwest Territory

The Territory South of the River Ohio, commonly called the Southwest Territory, was formed in 1790 from lands ceded by North Carolina to the United States government. The territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Tennessee in 1796.

Parties

  Democratic-Republican

# Picture Governor
(Birth–Death)
Term of Office Party State of Birth Occupation Notes
1
William-blount-wb-cooper.jpg
  William Blount
(1749–1800)
September 20, 1790

March 30, 1796
Democratic-Republican NC Land speculator [6]

State of Tennessee

Parties

  Democratic-Republican   Democratic   Whig   Unionist/Military   Republican

#[7] Picture Governor
(Birth–Death)
Term of Office Party State of Birth Occupation Lt. Governor Notes
1
John Sevier.jpg
  John Sevier
(1745–1815)
March 30, 1796

September 23, 1801
Democratic-Republican VA Soldier, pioneer None
2
Portrait of Archibald Roane by C. J. Fox.jpg
  Archibald Roane
(1760–1819)
September 23, 1801

September 23, 1803
Democratic-Republican PA Lawyer
1
John Sevier.jpg
  John Sevier
(1745–1815)
September 23, 1803

September 20, 1809
Democratic-Republican VA Soldier, pioneer
3
Willie-blount-wb-cooper.jpg
  Willie Blount
(1768–1835)
September 20, 1809

September 27, 1815
Democratic-Republican NC Lawyer, planter
4
McMinn-joseph-by-rembrandt-peale.jpg
  Joseph McMinn
(1758–1824)
September 27, 1815

October 1, 1821
Democratic-Republican PA Merchant
5
Governor-william-carroll-portrait.gif
  William Carroll
(1788–1844)
October 1, 1821

October 1, 1827
Democratic-Republican PA Merchant, soldier
6
Thomas Flintoff - Sam Houston - Google Art Project.jpg
  Sam Houston
(1793–1863)
October 1, 1827

April 16, 1829
Democratic-Republican VA Lawyer
7
Hall-william-by-wb-cooper.jpg
  William Hall
(1775–1856)
April 16, 1829

October 1, 1829
Democratic NC Planter, soldier
5
Governor-william-carroll-portrait.gif
  William Carroll
(1788–1844)
October 1, 1829

October 12, 1835
Democratic PA Merchant, soldier
8
Cannon-newton-by-wb-cooper.jpg
  Newton Cannon
(1781–1841)
October 12, 1835

October 14, 1839
Whig NC Planter
9
JamesKnoxPolk.png
  James K. Polk
(1795–1849)
October 14, 1839

October 15, 1841
Democratic NC Lawyer/Speaker of the House
10
James Chamberlain Jones Governor of Tennessee.jpg
  James C. Jones
(1809–1859)
October 15, 1841

October 14, 1845
Whig TN Lawyer
11
Hon. Aaron V. Brown, Tenn - NARA - 528326.jpg
  Aaron V. Brown
(1795–1859)
October 14, 1845

October 17, 1847
Democratic VA Lawyer
12
Neill Smith Brown by Mathew Brady 1849.jpg
  Neill S. Brown
(1810–1886)
October 17, 1847

October 16, 1849
Whig TN Lawyer
13
Trousdale-william-portrait1.jpg
  William Trousdale
(1790–1872)
October 16, 1849

October 16, 1851
Democratic NC Lawyer
14
Campbell-william-by-wb-cooper.jpg
  William B. Campbell
(1807–1867)
October 16, 1851

October 17, 1853
Whig TN Lawyer
15
President Andrew Johnson.jpg
  Andrew Johnson
(1808–1875)
October 17, 1853

November 3, 1857
Democratic NC Tailor/Lawyer
16
Isham-harris-by-brady.jpg
  Isham G. Harris
(1818–1897)
November 3, 1857

March 12, 1862
Democratic TN Lawyer, U.S. Senator [8]
15
President Andrew Johnson.jpg
  Andrew Johnson
(1808–1875)
March 12, 1862

March 4, 1865
Unionist/Military NC Lawyer/Governor
Edward-hazzard-east-by-ritchie.jpg
  Edward H. East
(1830–1904)
March 4, 1865

April 5, 1865
Republican TN Lawyer [9]
17
William Gannaway Brownlow 2.jpg
  William G. Brownlow
(1805–1877)
April 5, 1865

February 25, 1869
Republican VA Editor, preacher
18
Dewitt-clinton-senter-tn1.png
  Dewitt Clinton Senter
(1830–1898)
February 25, 1869

October 10, 1871
Republican TN Lawyer
19
JCBrown-tn-gov-gen.jpg
  John C. Brown
(1827–1889)
October 10, 1871

January 18, 1875
Democratic TN Lawyer
20
Porter-james-by-wb-cooper.jpg
  James D. Porter
(1828–1912)
January 18, 1875

February 16, 1879
Democratic TN Lawyer, educator
21
Marks-albert-by-wb-cooper.jpg
  Albert S. Marks
(1836–1891)
February 16, 1879

January 17, 1881
Democratic KY Lawyer, chancellor
22
Hawkins-alvin-by-wb-cooper.jpg
  Alvin Hawkins
(1821–1905)
January 17, 1881

January 15, 1883
Republican KY Lawyer, judge
23
William Bate.jpg
  William B. Bate
(1826–1905)
January 15, 1883

January 17, 1887
Democratic TN Lawyer, U.S. Senator
24
Taylor-robert-love-before-1912.jpg
  Robert Love Taylor
(1850–1912)
January 17, 1887

January 19, 1891
Democratic TN Lawyer, U.S. Senator
25
Buchanan-john-price-by-wb-newman.jpg
  John P. Buchanan
(1847–1930)
January 19, 1891

January 16, 1893
Democratic TN Farmer
26
Turney-peter-by-branson.jpg
  Peter Turney
(1827–1903)
January 16, 1893

January 21, 1897
Democratic TN Lawyer, judge
24
Taylor-robert-love-before-1912.jpg
  Robert Love Taylor
(1850–1912)
January 21, 1897

January 16, 1899
Democratic TN Lawyer, U.S. Senator
27
Benton McMillin 3575401083 6b3c77e538 o.jpg
  Benton McMillin
(1845–1933)
January 16, 1899

January 19, 1903
Democratic KY Lawyer, diplomat
28
Frazier-james-by-lloyd-branson.jpg
  James B. Frazier
(1856–1937)
January 19, 1903

March 21, 1905
Democratic TN Lawyer, U.S. Senator
29
Cox-john-isaac-governor-tn.jpg
  John I. Cox
(1855–1946)
March 21, 1905

January 17, 1907
Democratic TN Lawyer
30
Patterson-malcolm-governor-tn2.jpg
  Malcolm R. Patterson
(1861–1935)
January 17, 1907

January 26, 1911
Democratic AL Lawyer, judge
31
Hooper-ben-by-bain.jpg
  Ben W. Hooper
(1870–1957)
January 26, 1911

January 17, 1915
Republican TN Lawyer
32
Rye-thomas-clarke-by-bain.jpg
  Thomas C. Rye
(1863–1953)
January 17, 1915

January 15, 1919
Democratic TN Lawyer, judge
33
Albert H. Roberts.jpg
  Albert H. Roberts
(1868–1946)
January 15, 1919

January 15, 1921
Democratic TN Lawyer, judge
34
Alfred-alexander-taylor-tn2.jpg
  Alfred A. Taylor
(1848–1931)
January 15, 1921

January 16, 1923
Republican TN Lawyer
35
AustinPeay.jpg
  Austin Peay
(1876–1927)
January 16, 1923

October 3, 1927
Democratic KY Lawyer [10]
36
Henry Hollis Horton.jpg
  Henry Hollis Horton
(1866–1934)
October 3, 1927

January 17, 1933
Democratic AL Lawyer, farmer
37
Hill McAlister.jpg
  Hill McAlister
(1875–1959)
January 17, 1933

January 15, 1937
Democratic TN Lawyer
38
Browning-gordon-harris-ewing.jpg
  Gordon Browning
(1889–1976)
January 15, 1937

January 16, 1939
Democratic TN Lawyer, judge
39
Prentice Cooper.jpg
  Prentice Cooper
(1895–1969)
January 16, 1939

January 16, 1945
Democratic TN Lawyer
40
Mccord-jim-nance.jpg
  Jim Nance McCord
(1879–1968)
January 16, 1945

January 16, 1949
Democratic TN Editor
38
Browning-gordon-harris-ewing.jpg
  Gordon Browning
(1889–1976)
January 16, 1949

January 15, 1953
Democratic TN Lawyer, Judge
  Walter M. Haynes
41
Frank Goad Clement Tennessee Governor.jpg
  Frank G. Clement
(1920–1969)
January 15, 1953

January 19, 1959
Democratic TN Lawyer   Jared Maddux
42
Earl Buford Ellington, Tennessee Governor.jpg
  Buford Ellington
(1907–1972)
January 19, 1959

January 15, 1963
Democratic MS Farmer   William D. Baird
41
Frank Goad Clement Tennessee Governor.jpg
  Frank G. Clement
(1920–1969)
January 15, 1963

January 16, 1967
Democratic TN Lawyer   James L. Bomar, Jr.
  Jared Maddux
42
Earl Buford Ellington, Tennessee Governor.jpg
  Buford Ellington
(1907–1972)
January 16, 1967

January 16, 1971
Democratic MS Farmer   Frank Gorrell
43
Winfield Dunn 2007.jpg
  Winfield Dunn
(b. 1927)
January 16, 1971

January 18, 1975
Republican MS Dentist   John S. Wilder
44
Ray Blanton.jpg
  Ray Blanton
(1930–1996)
January 18, 1975

January 17, 1979
Democratic TN Farmer, businessman
45
Lamar Alexander black and white photo.jpg
  Lamar Alexander
(b. 1940)
January 20, 1979

January 17, 1987
Republican TN Lawyer, U.S. Senator
46
Ned R. McWherter speaking at a ceremony, Dec 17, 1988.JPEG
  Ned McWherter
(1930–2011)
January 17, 1987

January 21, 1995
Democratic TN Businessman
47
Don Sundquist 103rd Congress.jpg
  Don Sundquist
(b. 1936)
January 21, 1995

January 18, 2003
Republican IL Businessman
48
Governor Bredesen (cropped).jpg
  Phil Bredesen
(b. 1943)
January 18, 2003

January 15, 2011
Democratic NJ Businessman
  Ron Ramsey
49
Governor Bill Haslam crop.jpg
  Bill Haslam
(b. 1958)
January 15, 2011

January 19, 2019
Republican TN Businessman
  Randy McNally
50
TN Governor Bill Lee 2019 May.jpg
  Bill Lee
(b. 1959)
January 19, 2019

present
Republican TN Businessman

Other high offices held by governors

This is a table of congressional seats, other federal offices, and other governorships held by governors. All representatives and senators mentioned represented Tennessee except where noted. * denotes those offices which the governor resigned to take.

Governor Gubernatorial term U.S. Congress Other offices held
House Senate
William Blount 1790–1796 (territorial) S Continental Congressman from North Carolina
John Sevier 1796–1801
1803–1809
H U.S. Representative from North Carolina; Governor of the State of Franklin
Sam Houston 1827–1829 H President of the Republic of Texas; U.S. Senator from Texas; Governor of Texas
William Hall 1829 H
Newton Cannon 1835–1839 H
James K. Polk 1839–1841 H 11th President of the United States
James C. Jones 1841–1845 S
Aaron V. Brown 1845–1847 H United States Postmaster General
Neill S. Brown 1847–1849 United States Minister to Russia
William Trousdale 1849–1851 United States Minister to Brazil
William B. Campbell 1851–1853 H
Andrew Johnson 1853–1857
1862–1865
H S 17th President of the United States; 16th Vice President of the United States
Isham G. Harris 1857–1862 H S
William G. Brownlow 1865–1869 S
James D. Porter 1875–1879 United States Minister to Chile
William B. Bate 1883–1887 S
Robert Love Taylor 1897–1899 H S
Benton McMillin 1899–1903 H United States Minister to Peru; United States Minister to Guatemala
James B. Frazier 1903–1905 S*
Malcolm R. Patterson 1907–1911 H
Alfred A. Taylor 1921–1923 H
Gordon Browning 1937–1939
1949–1953
H
Prentice Cooper 1939–1945 United States Ambassador to Peru
Jim Nance McCord 1945–1949 H
Ray Blanton 1975–1979 H
Lamar Alexander 1979–1987 S United States Secretary of Education
Don Sundquist 1995–2003 H

Living former Governors of Tennessee

As of January 2019, there are five former governors who are currently living at this time, the oldest being Winfield Dunn (served 1971–1975, born 1927). The most recent death of a former Tennessee governor was that of Ned McWherter (served 1987–1995, born 1930), on April 4, 2011, who is also the most recently serving governor to have died.

Governor Gubernatorial term Date of birth (and age)
Winfield Dunn 1971–1975 (1927-07-01) July 1, 1927 (age 92)
Lamar Alexander 1979–1987 (1940-07-03) July 3, 1940 (age 79)
Don Sundquist 1995–2003 (1936-03-15) March 15, 1936 (age 83)
Phil Bredesen 2003–2011 (1943-11-21) November 21, 1943 (age 75)
Bill Haslam 2011–2019 (1958-08-23) August 23, 1958 (age 60)

References

Specific
  1. ^ Jonathan M. Atkins. "William Carroll" in Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture (online edition). Accessed January 27, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Government", Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture
  3. ^ William Lyons, John M. Scheb, Billy Stair (2001). Government and politics in Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press. p. 48–49. ISBN 978-1-57233-141-9.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  4. ^ Office of the Governor
  5. ^ "Past Governors," Tennessee Blue Book (2011–2012), pp. 547, 553.
  6. ^ Appointed governor by President George Washington
  7. ^ Numbering of the Governors was deduced from the fact that the document at www.tn.gov/sos/bluebook/11-12/2_ExecutiveBranch.pdf identifies Bill Haslam as Tennessee's 49th Governor. Governors who served multiple non-consecutive terms have their numbers repeated in italics in subsequent terms.
  8. ^ Harris continued issuing edicts as governor throughout the Civil War. Confederate Tennesseans elected Robert L. Caruthers as Harris's successor in 1863, but Caruthers never took office.
  9. ^ East was Tennessee Secretary of State from 1862–1865, appointed by Andrew Johnson, the military governor of the state under Union occupation during the Civil War. After Johnson was inaugurated as Vice President of the United States on March 4, 1865, East became the Acting Governor of Tennessee until William G. Brownlow, the "elected" governor of Tennessee, was inaugurated on April 5, 1865. The official Tennessee Blue Book does not include East in its list of former governors.
  10. ^ Peay is the only Governor of Tennessee to die in office and was succeeded by Lieutenant Governor Henry Horton.
General

External links

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