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William H. Andrews

Member From: 1869 - 1871

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  • Birth Date: 1839 Birth Place:
  • Death Date: Unknown
  • Gender: Male Race: African American
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  • Additional Info Links: Bio from Encyclopedia Virginia
    Bio from Virginia's Martin Luther King Jr. Commission
  • Additional Info: ​William H. Andrews, born around 1839, may have been a schoolteacher in New Jersey before coming to Virginia. No evidence has come to light on his life prior to 22 October 1867, when he won a racially polarized election to represent Isle of Wight and Surry Counties in the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1867-1868. He also represented Surry in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1869 to 1871.​ Andrews has been found in no further records after 1871.
  • Bio: William H. Andrews was a member of the Convention of 1867–1868 and served in the House of Delegates (1870–1871). Little is known about him, although his appearances in the public record indicates a troubled man who struggled with alcoholism. Andrews won his seat in the convention called to rewrite Virginia’s state constitution in a racially polarized vote. Although he served quietly during the convention and generally voted with the Radical Republicans, for unexplained reasons he became the only African American delegate to vote against the new constitution. He narrowly won election to the House of Delegates from Surry County in 1869, but he acted erratically during his term. He was arrested multiple times, accused of whipping a page, and charged with bribery. He served out his term despite several attempts to expel him from the House. Andrews disappeared from public records after his term.

  • Other Notable Service and/or Elected Offices: 1867 - Virginia Constitutional Convention representing Isle of Wight & Surry Counties
Session District District Number Party Leadership Committees
1869-1871 Surry Republican Manufactures and Mechanic Arts
Propositions & Grievances

*The information within this interactive and searchable application has been researched extensively by the House Clerk’s Office. As with any historical records of this age and breadth, there may be discrepancies and/or inconsistencies within records obtained from a variety of credible sources. Any feedback is encouraged at history@house.virginia.gov.

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