Solomon W. Downs

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Solomon Weathersbee Downs
United States Senator
from Louisiana
In office
March 4, 1847 – March 3, 1853
Preceded byPierre Soulé
Succeeded byJudah P. Benjamin
Personal details
Montgomery County, Tennessee
DiedAugust 14, 1854 (aged 52–53)
Lincoln County, Kentucky
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Ann Marie McCaleb
Alma materTransylvania University
ProfessionPolitician, Lawyer, Farmer

Solomon Weathersbee Downs (1801 – August 14, 1854) was a United States Senator from Louisiana. Born in Montgomery County, Tennessee, he pursued classical studies and graduated from the Transylvania University (in Lexington, Kentucky) in 1823. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1826 and commenced practice in Bayou Sara, Louisiana. He moved to Ouachita, Louisiana and then to New Orleans in 1845, where he engaged in the practice of law and was a successful planter.

A full-length portrait

Downs was United States Attorney for the district of Louisiana from 1845 to 1847 and a member of the State constitutional convention. He was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate and served from March 4, 1847, to March 3, 1853; while in the Senate he was chairman of the Committee on Engrossed Bills (Thirtieth Congress) and a member of the Committee on Private Land Claims (Thirtieth through Thirty-second Congresses). He was appointed by President Franklin Pierce as collector of the port of New Orleans in 1853. He died in Lincoln County, Kentucky and was buried on his family plantation (later reinterred in Riverview Cemetery, Monroe, Ouachita.)


  • United States Congress. "Solomon W. Downs (id: D000476)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

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U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Pierre Soulé
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Louisiana
March 4, 1847 – March 3, 1853
Served alongside: Henry Johnson and Pierre Soulé
Succeeded by
Judah P. Benjamin