CARUTHERS, Robert Looney



CARUTHERS, Robert Looney, a Representative from Tennessee; born in Smith County, Tenn., July 31, 1800; engaged in mercantile pursuits 1817-1819; attended Woodward's Academy, near Columbia, Tenn., and Greenville College in 1820 and 1821; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1823; clerk of the State house of representatives in 1824; clerk of the chancery court of Smith County and editor of the Tennessee Republican; moved to Lebanon, Wilson County, Tenn., in 1826; State's attorney 1827-1832; member of the State house of representatives in 1835; was the founder of Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tenn., in 1842 and of its law department in 1847; elected as a Whig to the Twenty-seventh Congress (March 4, 1841-March 3, 1843); appointed judge of the supreme court of Tennessee in 1852 to fill a vacancy and elected to the position in 1854, which he held until the beginning of the Civil War; member of the peace convention of 1861 held in Washington, D.C., in an effort to devise means to prevent the impending war; elected Governor in 1862, but because of the occupation of the State by Federal forces never assumed the duties of the office; at the close of the Civil War became professor of law in Cumberland University and served in that capacity until his death in Lebanon, Tenn., October 2, 1882; interment in Cedar Grove Cemetery.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

University of North Carolina
Southern Historical Collection

Chapel Hill, NC
Papers: 1823-1870, 2 linear feet. The collection pertains to only a part of R.L. Caruthers's political career and consists in bulk of letters received, 1840-1849, and lesser amounts, 1823-1839 and 1866-1870. There are no papers from 1854 to August 1865. The papers chiefly concern Caruthers's law practice, state and national politics, Cumberland University of Lebanon, Tennessee, before and after the Civil War and, after the war, plantation management. Correspondents include Andrew Jackson Donelson, Ephraim Hubbard Foster, Nathan Green, Alexander Peter Steward, and Felix K. Zollicoffer. An unpublished list of correspondents is available in the library.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Tennessee. Laws, statutes, etc. A compilation of the statutes of Tennessee, of a general and permanent nature, from the commencement of the government to the present time. Nashville, Tenn.: Printed at the Steam Press of J. Smith, 1836.

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