James D. Richardson

James D. Richardson
House Minority Leader
In office
Preceded by Joseph Weldon Bailey
Succeeded by John Sharp Williams
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee's 5th district
In office
March 4, 1885  March 3, 1905
Preceded by Richard Warner
Succeeded by William C. Houston
Member of the Tennessee Senate
In office
Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born (1843-03-10)March 10, 1843
Rutherford County, Tennessee
Died July 24, 1914(1914-07-24) (aged 71)
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Alabama Rebecca Pippen Richardson

Annie Augusta Richardson Ida Lee Richardson

James Daniel Richardson

Allie Sue Richardson

John Watkins Richardson
Alma mater Franklin College, Tennessee
Military service
Allegiance Confederate States of America Confederate States of America
Service/branch Confederate States Army
Rank adjutant
Unit Forty-fifth Regiment, Tennessee Infantry
Battles/wars American Civil War

James Daniel Richardson (March 10, 1843 – July 24, 1914) was an American politician and a Democrat from Tennessee for Tennessee's 5th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1885 through 1905.


Richardson was born in Rutherford County, Tennessee, son of John Watkins and Augusta M. Starnes Richardson.[1] He attended the country schools and Franklin College, near Nashville. He married Alabama Pippen on January 18, 1865, and they had five children,[2] Annie Augusta, Ida Lee, James Daniel, Allie Sue, and John Watkins.[3]


Before graduating from college, Richardson enlisted in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War, and served nearly four years. The first year he was a private and the remaining three years as adjutant of the Forty-fifth Regiment, Tennessee Infantry. studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice January 1, 1867, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives, serving from 1871 to 1873, and then to the Tennessee Senate, serving from 1873 to 1875. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1876, 1896, and 1900, and presided as permanent chairman at the 1900 convention.[4]

Elected as a Democratic to the Forty-ninth and to the nine succeeding Congresses, Richardson served from March 4, 1885 to March 3, 1905.[5] He was among the earliest U.S. House Minority Leaders, holding that position from 1899 to 1903, during the 56th and 57th United States Congresses.

Pursuant to an act of Congress on August 20, 1894, Richardson was charged with compiling the "Messages and Papers of the Presidents," a multi-volume work including every single important document from the federal Government, from the early days of President Washington through the second administration of Grover Cleveland, plus some papers from the administration of William McKinley.[6]


Richardson died on July 24, 1914 (age 71 years, 136 days) in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He is interred at Evergreen Cemetery.[7]


  1. Allison, John (1905). Notable Men of Tennessee: Personal and Genealogical, with portraits. Atlanta, Georgia: Southern historical Association. pp. 131–132. OCLC 2561350 via Internet Archive.
  2. "James D. Richardson". Notable Names Data Base. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  3. "James D. Richardson". Ancestry.com. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  4. "James D. Richardson". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  5. "James D. Richardson". Govtrack US Congress. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  6. https://www.gutenberg.org/files/14584/14584-h/14584-h.htm
  7. "James D. Richardson". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to James D. Richardson.
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Richard Warner
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
William C. Houston
Preceded by
David B. Culberson
Democratic Caucus Chairman of the United States House of Representatives
Succeeded by
James Hay
Preceded by
Joseph Weldon Bailey
Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives
Succeeded by
John Sharp Williams
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