Edward Douglass White, Sr., 10th Governor of Louisiana

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Edward Douglass White, Sr., 10th Governor of Louisiana's Geni Profile

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Edward Douglas White, Sr.

Birthdate: (52)
Birthplace: Maury, TN, USA
Death: April 18, 1847 (52)
New Orleans, LA, USA (Long Illness, Lung Failure)
Place of Burial: Thibodaux, Louisiana, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of James White
Husband of Catherine Sidney Lee White
Father of Eliza Lee White; Susan Philomene White and Edward Douglass White, U.S. Senator, 9th Chief Justice of the United States

Occupation: 10th Governor of LouisianaNew Orleans City Court Judge; sugar planter; U.S. Representative, Congressman for two years before retirement (championed construction of the U.S. Mint in New Orleans); returned to sugar plantation in 1843
Managed by: Joel Scott Cognevich
Last Updated:

About Edward Douglass White, Sr., 10th Governor of Louisiana

Edward Douglass White's governorship came in the middle of Whig dominance of the office. The sugar planters of the more populous Acadian parishes supported the pro-tariff Whigs and Alexander Porter led the state Whig Party. Democratic Party enemies of White accused him of being Porter's puppet.

White had been a Congressman, respected by both parties, before he ran for governor and he returned to Washington after his term.

The economic depression caused by the Panic of 1837 marred White's four years as Chief Executive. The Panic developed when the under-capitalized and over-expanded banks began foreclosing mortgages on plantations and businesses throughout Louisiana.

White signed the charter creating the Medical College of Louisiana in 1837 which was the forerunner of Tulane University. His son, Edward Douglas White, later served as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.


Edward Douglass White, Sr. (March 3, 1795 – April 18, 1847) was the tenth Governor of Louisiana and a member of the United States House of Representatives. He served five nonconsecutive terms in Congress as an adherent of Henry Clay of Kentucky and the Whig Party.

White was born in Maury County, Tennessee, the illegitimate son of James White. (Although his parents apparently never married, his father acknowledged him, and the circumstances of his birth did not impede his education or future success.) While a young boy, he moved to Louisiana with his father.

In 1815, he graduated from the former University of Nashville, afterward beginning a law practice in Donaldsonville, Louisiana, the seat of Ascension Parish south of Baton Rouge.

He was appointed by Governor Henry S. Johnson, also of Donaldsonville, as an Associate Judge of the New Orleans Municipal Court in 1825.

Elected to the 21st United States Congress, White served three terms from 1829 until his resignation in 1834. He then served a single term as governor (1835–1839) and was elected to Congress again and served two more terms from 1839 until 1843. He died in New Orleans and was buried at St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in Thibodaux, Louisiana.

White's son Edward Douglass White, Jr., would become a United States senator from Louisiana and an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, later appointed Chief Justice by U.S. President William Howard Taft. White's father, James White, was a delegate to the Continental Congress.

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Edward Douglass White, Sr., 10th Governor of Louisiana's Timeline

March 3, 1795
Maury, TN, USA
August 11, 1812
Age 17
Lafourche, LA, USA
April 27, 1838
Age 43
Lafourche, LA, USA
November 3, 1845
Age 50
Lafourche, LA, USA
April 18, 1847
Age 52
New Orleans, LA, USA
- 1815
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Thibodaux, Louisiana, USA