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James Lawson Kemper

Member From: 1853 - 1863

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  • Birth Date: June 11, 1823 Birth Place:Madison County, Virginia
  • Death Date: April 7, 1895
  • Gender: Male Race: Caucasian, German
  • Spouse: Cremora Conway Cave
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  • Bio: Born in Madison County, Va., June 11, 1823 Died at “Walnut Hills”, Orange County, Va., April 7, 1895. Buried at “Walnut Hills”, Orange County, Va. James L. Kemper of Madison County was the son of William and Maria E. (Stadler) Kemper. He entered Washington College (now Washington and Lee University), graduating there with the degree of Master of Arts, and studied law in the office of Hon. George W, Summers in Charleston, now in West Virginia. In 1847, he was commissioned a captain and was with General Zachary Taylor in Mexico. He was Colonel of the Virginia Volunteers, May 2, 1861; Brigadier General, C. S. A., 1863, wounded in Pickett”s charge at Gettysburg, July 3, 1863; and Major General, C. S. A., March 1, 1864. He was a member of the House of Delegates, 1853-63; and Governor of Virginia, 1874-78. He married, July 4, 1853, Cremora Conway Cave, daughter of Belfield and Cremora (Jones) Cave. Belfield Cave was clerk of Madison County for 37 years (1821-58), succeeding his father, Benjamin Cave, who was clerk of the same county for 13 years (1808-21).

    While he was Speaker of the House, the Clerk was WILLIAM FITZHUGH GORDON, JR.
  • Other Notable Service and/or Elected Offices: Governor of Virginia: 1874-1877
    Speaker of the House - 1861 - 1862
    1863 Session - Hugh W. Sheefey succeeded James L. Kemper as Speaker.
Session District District Number Party Leadership Committees
1853-1854 Madison Courts of Justice
Propositions and Grievances
1855-1856 Madison Militia Laws (Chair)
Courts of Justice
1857-1858 Madison Militia Laws (Chair)
Courts of Justice
1859-1861 Madison Militia Laws (Chair)
Courts of Justice
1861-1863 Madison Speaker of the House

*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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