Whig Party in Columbus

Students often learn about the American Whig Party in school.  Teachers explain how the Whig Party flourished from the 1830s to the mid-1850s and supported the suppremecy of Congress over the presidency. The term “Whig” was chosen because it was often associated with one who opposes tyranny. 

What many may not consider is that the Whig Party was a presence here in Columbus as well!

In 1839, the list of Whig candidates nominated for Lowndes County office included:

For Representatives:
Thomas C. Billups
Richard Evans
P. B. Starke

For Sherriff:
Pryor M. Grant

For Judge of Probate Court:
George Vaughan

For Clerk of Circuit Court:
Lavender S. Wilkins

For Clerk of Probate Court:
William P. Puller

It was also in 1839 that the Whig Party held its first national convention where William Henry Harrison was nominated as their presidential candidate. Harrison went on to win the presidency followed by three other members from the Whig Party: John Tyler, 1841-1845; Zachary Taylor, 1849-1850; and Millard Fillmore, 1850-1853.

The Whig Party supported the rapid economic and industrial growth of the country in contridiction to the Democratic Party’s drive for a more egalitarian agricultural society.

The Whigs were also big supporters of a system of public education as well as “normal” education, or the training of professional teachers.  They appealed to voters from the professional and business classes such as doctors, lawyers, merchants, ministers, factory owners, and large-scale planters.

For genealogists, one is able to gain insight into individuals and ancestors; their belief’s, ambitions, values, and so on; by understanding more about the national political organizations to which they belonged.

Published in: on August 1, 2011 at 2:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

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