Information on Senator Benjamin Watkins Leigh
Judy C. Ware
Benjamin Watkins Leigh was born in 1781 in Chesterfield County, Virginia.
He attended school at William and Mary College, practiced law in Petersburg, Virginia in
1802, and later served in the War of 1812. During
the time he was writing to Josiah Ware in 1836 and 1839, Leigh was serving as a reporter
of the Virginia Court of Appeals (1829-41) and United States Senator. He had been elected to fill the vacancy caused by
the resignation of William Rives, and was reelected in 1835 and served until his
resignation on July 4, 1836. He served under
President John Tyler. One of the letters from
Leigh to Josiah Ware directly dealt with a case that had appeared before the Court of
Appeals and shows a judgment found in favor of Josiah.
B.W. Leigh had the distinction of being a founding member of the
Virginia Historical Society (1831) and served as first chairman of its standing committee. After his service in the Senate, Benjamin Leigh
resumed his law practice in Richmond Virginia and died there in 1849.
of American Biography
; Hall, Cline Edwin. The Political Life of Benjamin Watkins Leigh.
Masters thesis, University of Richmond, 1959; Macfarland, William H. An Address
on the Life, Character, and Public Services of the Late Hon. Benjamin Watkins Leigh . Richmond:
Macfarlane and Fergusson, 1851.
Cline Edwin. The Political Life of Benjamin Watkins Leigh. Masters
thesis, University of Richmond, 1959.
Macfarland, William H. An Address on the Life, Character, and Public Services of the
Late Honorable Benjamin Watkins Leigh . Richmond: Macfarlane & Fergusson, 1851.
Steiner, Bruce E. The Prelude to Conservatism, 1781-1822: An Account of the Early
Life, First Ventures into Politics, and Legal Career of Benjamin Watkins Leigh.
Masters thesis, University of Virginia, 1959.