Charles J. Faulkner

For other people named Charles Faulkner, see Charles Faulkner (disambiguation).
Charles James Faulkner
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from West Virginia's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1877
Preceded by John Hagans
Succeeded by Benjamin F. Martin
United States Minister to France
In office
March 4, 1860 – May 12, 1861
Appointed by James Buchanan
Preceded by John Y. Mason
Succeeded by John Bigelow
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 8th district
In office
March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1859
Preceded by Alexander Holladay
Succeeded by Alexander Boteler
Chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs
In office
March 4, 1857 – March 3, 1859
Preceded by John B. Weller
Succeeded by Benjamin Stanton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 10th district
In office
March 4, 1851 – March 3, 1853
Preceded by Richard Parker
Succeeded by Zedekiah Kidwell
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates from Berkeley County
In office
Alongside William Boak
In office
Alongside William Good and Levi Henshaw
In office
Alongside Elisha Boyd
Member of the Virginia Senate from Berkeley, Morgan and Hampshire Counties
In office
Preceded by William Donaldson
Succeeded by Thomas Sloan
Personal details
Born (1806-07-06)July 6, 1806
Martinsburg, Virginia
Died November 1, 1884(1884-11-01) (aged 78)
Martinsburg, West Virginia
Political party Democratic
Other political
Spouse(s) Mary Wagner Boyde Faulkner
Profession Politician, Lawyer
Military service
Allegiance Confederate States of America
Service/branch Confederate Army
Rank Assistant adjutant general
Battles/wars American Civil War

Charles James Faulkner (July 6, 1806 – November 1, 1884) was a nineteenth-century politician and lawyer from Virginia and West Virginia. He was the father of Charles James Faulkner.


Born in Martinsburg, Virginia (now West Virginia), Faulkner graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. in 1822, studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1829. He was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1829 to 1834 and was a commissioner from Virginia to handle the disputed boundaries between Virginia and Maryland. He was a member of the Virginia State Senate from 1838 to 1842, served in the House of Delegates again in 1848 and 1849 and was a member of the Virginia Constitutional Convention in 1850. In 1848 he introduced in the Virginia House of Delegates a law after which the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was modeled.[1]

Faulkner was elected a Whig and Democrat to the United States House of Representatives in 1850, serving from 1851 to 1859. There, he served as chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs from 1857 to 1859. He was appointed by President James Buchanan Minister to France in 1860, serving until he was arrested in August 1861 on charges of negotiating sales of arms for the Confederacy while in Paris, France. He was imprisoned at Fort Warren in Boston. Faulkner was released in December after negotiating his own exchange for Alfred Ely, a New York congressman who was captured at the First Battle of Bull Run. Afterward, he enlisted in the Confederate Army and was assistant adjutant general on the staff of General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson.

Faulkner engaged in railroad enterprises after the war and was a member of the West Virginia Constitutional Convention again in 1872. He was elected back to the House of Representatives as a Democrat from West Virginia in 1874, serving again from 1875 to 1877. Afterward, he resumed practicing law until his death at the family estate called "Boydville" near Martinsburg, West Virginia on November 1, 1884. Faulkner was interred in the family cemetery on the estate.

See also


United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Richard Parker
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 10th congressional district

Succeeded by
Zedekiah Kidwell
Preceded by
Alexander Holladay
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 8th congressional district

Succeeded by
Alexander Boteler
Preceded by
John Hagans
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from West Virginia's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Benjamin F. Martin
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
John Y. Mason
U.S. Minister to France
Succeeded by
William L. Dayton

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website

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