Bailey, James Edmund (1822 1885)

HOUSE, 30th General Assembly, 1853-55; representing counties of Montgomery, Davidson, and Robertson; Whig. Born in Montgomery County Aug. 15, 1822; son of Charles and Mary (Bryan) Bailey. Attended Clarksville Academy, Montgomery County; University of Nashville, Davidson County; studied law; admitted to bar 1843. Married Nov. 7, 1849, to Elizabeth Margaret Lusk, daughter of Robert Lusk of Nashville; eight children James E., Jr., Maude, William, and five whose names are not found. Began and continued practice of law at Clarksville except for periods in military service and public office. Director in Clarksville branch Bank of Tennessee, 1849-50; leader in efforts to attract to state capital and labor from North following Civil War. One of incorporators of Greenwood Cemetery, Clarksville. Elected, Feb. 9, 1861, as pro-Union delegate from Montgomery County to proposed convention to consider withdrawal from Union but did not serve since proposal for convention was defeated by popular vote on same day; named delegate to Washington Peace Convention, Feb. 1861, called to prevent war; after firing on Fort Sumter was named by Gov. Isham G. Harris as one of three members of state's Military and Financial Board to raise and equip state's provisional army; appointed on two occasions as special judge to sit on state's Supreme Court; named, 1874, to Court of Arbitration by Gov. John C. Brown; elected as a Democrat to U.S. Senate to fill vacancy caused by death of Andrew Johnson, serving from Jan. 19, 1877, to Mar. 3, 1881; unsuccessful candidate for reelection; resumed command of regt.; resigned commission on surgeon's certificate of poor health, May 13, 1863; appointed by Confederate Secretary of War, July 20, 1864, to staff of Gen. William J. Hardee with rank of col. to serve on Permanent Military Court. Member Presbyterian Church. Died at Clarksville Dec. 29, 1885; buried in Greenwood Cemetery. Uncle of Charles Henry Bailey, sometime member Tenn. General Assembly.

Sources: Biographical Directory of American Congress; Clarksville Jeffersonian, Apr. 23, 1850; Clarksville Evening Chronicle, Jan. 4, 1886; Clarksville Star, Apr. 24, 1931; Titus, Picturesque Clarksville, p. 39-46; White, Messages of Governors of Tennessee, V, p. 272; VI, p. 390; Hamer, Tennessee, A History, II, p. 547; Folmsbee, Corlew, and Mitchell, History of Tennessee, II, p. 144, 148; McCord, "J. E. Bailey" Gentleman of Clarksville," Tennessee Historical Quarterly, XXIII, p. 246-68; microcopy Tenn. Confederate Service Records, roll 317; Beach, Along the Warioto, p. 232. 

Biographies submitted by Jill Hastings-Johnson, Montgomery County Archivist