Hunter, Robert M. T.

Born: 1809-04-21 Essex County, Virginia

Died: 1887-07-18 Essex County, Virginia

Hunter was tutored at home and graduated from the University of Virginia in 1828. He studied law and earned admittance to the Virginia bar in 1830. He started a practice in Lloyds, Virginia. Hunter won election to the Virginia General Assembly, serving from 1834 to 1837. During this time, Hunter married Mary Evelina Dandridge in 1836; they had nine children, but only four reached adulthood. He won election in 1837, as a States-Rights Whig, to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving until 1843. He served as Speaker of the House of Representatives during the Twenty-Sixth Congress (1839-1841). He won election back to the House of Representatives in 1845, serving until 1847. Hunter won election to the U.S. Senate in 1847, serving until he withdrew from the Senate on March 28, 1861, and was expelled on July 11, 1861, for support of the rebellion. Hunter served as a delegate from Virginia to the Confederate Provincial Congress. He served as Confederate Secretary of State, from 1861 to 1862. He served in the Confederate Senate, representing Virginia, from 1862 to 1865, and was President pro tempore on multiple occasions. Hunter was as one of the peace commissioners that met with President Abraham Lincoln in Hampton Roads in February of 1865. He was briefly imprisoned at the end of the Civil War.

Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1996 (Alexandria, VA: CQ Staff Directories, 1997), 1261; Gravestone, Garnett Family Burial Ground at Elmwood, Loretto, VA; Martha Hunter, A Memoir of Robert M.T. Hunter (Washington: Neale, 1903) 46-51.