John Pendleton

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John Pendleton
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the Culpeper district
In office
December 5, 1831 – December 1, 1833
Preceded byJonathan C. Gibson, Sr.
Succeeded byJohn S. Barbour
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the Rappahannnock district
In office
December 5, 1836 – December 1, 1839
Preceded byJoseph Nicklin
Succeeded byWilliam Walden
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 9th district
In office
March 4, 1845 – March 3, 1849
Preceded bySamuel Chilton
Succeeded byJeremiah Morton
Personal details
Born(1813-03-29)March 29, 1813
Culpeper, Virginia, US
DiedNovember 19, 1868(1868-11-19) (aged 66)
Culpeper, Virginia, US
Political partyWhig
Spouse(s)Lucy Ann Williams
Professionpolitician, lawyer, diplomat, farmer

John Strother Pendleton (March 1, 1802 – November 19, 1868), nicknamed "The Lone Star", was a nineteenth-century congressman, diplomat, lawyer and farmer from Virginia.[1]

Early and family life[edit]

Born near Culpeper, Virginia, Pendleton studied with private tutors and at Cloverdale Academy,[2] then read law. He married Lucy Ann Williams, the daughter of James and Elizabeth Bruce Williams, on December 2, 1824, at "Soldiers Rest" in Orange County, Virginia. During the 1820s, he resided at the Slaughter-Hill House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.[3][4] The two had no biological children, but adopted Lucy's brother Philip's son, George Morton Williams, when he was three years old.


After admission to the Virginia bar in 1824, Pendleton began his legal practice in Culpeper County, Virginia. Culpeper's voters elected Pendleton as their representative to the Virginia House of Delegates from 1831 to 1833, and not long after Rappahannock County, Virginia was created from part of Culpeper County, Rappahannock County voters selected him to represent them from 1836 to 1839.[5]

President John Tyler, a fellow Whig from Virginia, appointed Pendleton Chargé d'Affaires to Chile in 1841, and he served until 1844 when he was elected a Whig to the United States House of Representatives. He was re-elected once, and served from 1845 to 1849. In the House, Pendleton obtained the nickname "The Lone Star" because he was the only Whig from Virginia.

Pendleton returned to his diplomatic career, as President Millard Fillmore appointed him Chargé d'Affaires to the Argentine Confederation in 1851. He served until 1854 and in 1852 also served as Minister to Brazil with Robert C. Schenck to negotiate a treaty of commerce with Paraguay and Uruguay.

Pendleton returned to the United States and engaged in farming, but his estate was devastated by the American Civil War, particularly the Battle of Cedar Mountain, such that he appeared before General Banks for permission to leave the county.[6] However, by March 1863, he was able to extend hospitality to Confederate officers at his estate, "Redwood", after a St. Patrick's Day Party, although several would die in battles the following days including at Kelly's Ford.[7]

Death and legacy[edit]

Pendleton survived the war and died on November 19, 1868, near Culpeper, Virginia. He was interred in the family cemetery at "Redwood" in Culpeper.[8]


  1. ^
    • United States Congress. "John Pendleton (id: P000206)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  2. ^ Eugene M. Scheel, Culpeper: A Virginia County's History through 1920 (Culpeper, The Culpeper Historical Society 1982),p. 70
  3. ^ Ann L. Miller (April 1988). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Slaughter-Hill House" (PDF). Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission. and Accompanying photo
  4. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  5. ^ Cynthia Miller Leonard, Virginia's General Assembly 1619-1978 (Richmond, Virginia State Library 1978) pp. 359, 363, 381, 386, 390
  6. ^ Scheel, p. 190
  7. ^ Scheel, p. 194
  8. ^ John Pendleton at Find a Grave

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

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Samuel Chilton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 9th congressional district

March 4, 1845 – March 3, 1849
Succeeded by
Jeremiah Morton
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Richard Pollard
United States Ambassador to Chile
August 16, 1841 – June 6, 1844
Succeeded by
William Crump
Preceded by
William A. Harris
United States Chargé d'Affaires, Argentina
February 27, 1851 – March 31, 1854
Succeeded by
James A. Peden