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William N. Stevens

Member From: 1869 - 1871

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  • Bio: William Nash Stevens, member of the House of Delegates (1869–1871) and of the Senate of Virginia (1871–1879), was born free in 1847 in Petersburg. Educated at home by his mother, after the American Civil War (1861–1865) he worked as a clerk for the army and later moved to Sussex County to teach school. He won election in July 1869 to a two-year term in the House of Delegates representing Sussex County. Jones proposed an unsuccessful amendment that school trustees be appointed regardless of their race. In November 1871 he won election to a four-year term in the Senate of Virginia, representing the counties of Dinwiddie, Greensville, and Sussex. Reelected in 1875, he did not immediately seek a third Senate term but ran in November 1881 and was again elected. He introduced a successful bill to construct buildings for the Central Lunatic Asylum, the first public mental hospital for African American patients, at its new location near Petersburg. In 1882 Stevens sought unsuccessfully the nomination for the United States House of Representatives. He later took a job in the pension office in Washington, D.C., and resigned from the Senate of Virginia. About 1886 Stevens returned to Petersburg and qualified to practice law. He died on April 18, 1891, and is buried in Petersburg’s People’s Memorial Cemetery.
  • Other Notable Service and/or Elected Offices: Senate of Virginia (1872-1879, 1882-1883)
Session District District Number Party Leadership Committees
1869-1871 Sussex Agriculture and Mining
Militia and Police

*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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