BRIGHT, John Morgan

City: Fayetteville

BRIGHT, John Morgan, Statesman, lawyer; born Fayetteville, Tenn., Jan. 1817; English and Welsh descent; son of James and Nancy (Morgan) BRIGHT; paternal grandparents James M. and Margaret (Smythe) BRIGHT; his paternal grandmother was a sister of Gen. Wm. HALL; maternal grandparents John and Mary (Hall) MORGAN; he was educated at Bingham School, N. C., and Nashville University; he received the degrees of A. B., A. M., and L.L. D.; he has been married three times, first wife Judith C. CLARK; second wife Zurilda B. BUCKNER; third wife Belle BUCKNER; graduated in law Transylvania University, Lexington, Ky., in 1841, and was the valedictorian of his class; Gen. John C. BRECKENRIDGE of Ky. was one of his classmates; entered the practice of his profession at Fayetteville, Tenn., in 1841; made the canvass of the State for Polk for President in 1844; in this campaign he debated with Maj. G. A. HENRY “The Eagle Orator,” of Tenn., and Whig elector for Tenn.; member of the State Legislature 1847-8; while in the Legislature he introduced and passed the bill providing for the construction of Tenn., Asylum for the Insane; in 1848 he canvassed for Cass and Butler in the Presidential contest; he was active in every Presidential campaign from 1844 to 1860; was the author of many orations and lectures, which have from time to time been published; during the Civil War he was Inspector General of Tenn., with the rank of Brig.-Gen., under Gov. Isham G. Harris; in 1870 he was elected to Congress by about 10,000 majority from the 5th Cong. District of Tenn.; his first speech in the U. S. House of Representatives was against the Ku-Klux Bill; he served in Congress for ten years; member of the Tenn., Bar Association, and is the oldest living lawyer in the State; has been engaged in the practice of law Fayetteville, Tenn., since his retirement from Congress; Democrat; member of Presbyterian church.

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