William V. Sullivan

Last updated
William Van Amberg Sullivan
WVA Sullivan.jpg
United States Senator
from Mississippi
In office
May 31, 1898 March 3, 1901
Preceded by Edward C. Walthall
Succeeded by Anselm J. McLaurin
Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives
from Mississippi's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1897 May 31, 1898
Preceded by John C. Kyle
Succeeded by Thomas Spight
Personal details
Born(1857-12-18)December 18, 1857
Winona, Mississippi
DiedMarch 21, 1918(1918-03-21) (aged 60)
Oxford, Mississippi
Political party Democratic

William Van Amberg Sullivan (December 18, 1857 March 21, 1918) was a United States Representative and Senator from Mississippi.

United States Senate Upper house of the United States Congress

The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress which, along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol Building, in Washington, D.C.



Born near Winona, Mississippi, he attended the common schools in Panola County and the University of Mississippi at Oxford, where he was a member of St. Anthony Hall.

Winona, Mississippi City in Mississippi, United States

Winona is a city in Montgomery County, Mississippi. The population was 5,043 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Montgomery County. Winona is known in the local area as "The Crossroads of North Mississippi" due to its central location at the intersection of U.S. Interstate 55 and U.S. Highways 51 and 82.

Panola County, Mississippi U.S. county in Mississippi, United States

Panola County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 34,707. Its county seats are Sardis and Batesville. Panola is the anglicization of ponolo, a word meaning thread in both old Choctaw and Chickasaw and cotton in modern Choctaw. The county is located just east of the Mississippi Delta and bisected by the Tallahatchie River flowing to the southwest, separating the two county seats.

University of Mississippi university

The University of Mississippi is a public research university in Oxford, Mississippi. Including the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, it is the state's largest university by enrollment and is the state’s flagship university. The university was chartered by the Mississippi Legislature on February 24, 1844, and four years later admitted its first enrollment of 80 students. The university is classified as an "R1: Doctoral University—Very High Research Activity" by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education and has an annual research and development budget of $121.6 million.

He graduated from Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1875, was admitted to the bar that year, and commenced practice in Austin. He moved to Oxford in 1877, was a member of the board of city aldermen, and was elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-fifth Congress and served from March 4, 1897, to May 31, 1898, when he resigned, having been appointed Senator.

Vanderbilt University Private research university in Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Vanderbilt University is a private research university in Nashville, Tennessee. Founded in 1873, it was named in honor of New York shipping and rail magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, who provided the school its initial $1-million endowment despite having never been to the South. Vanderbilt hoped that his gift and the greater work of the university would help to heal the sectional wounds inflicted by the Civil War.

Nashville, Tennessee State capital and consolidated city-county in Tennessee, United States

Nashville is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Tennessee. The city is the county seat of Davidson County and is located on the Cumberland River. The city's population ranks 24th in the U.S. According to 2018 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the total consolidated city-county population stood at 692,587. The "balance" population, which excludes semi-independent municipalities within Davidson County, was 669,053 in 2018.

Bar (law) The legal profession as an institution

In law, the bar is the legal profession as an institution. The term is a metonym for the line that separates the parts of a courtroom reserved for spectators and those reserved for participants in a trial such as lawyers.

He was appointed and subsequently elected to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Edward C. Walthall and served from May 31, 1898, to March 3, 1901; he was not a candidate for reelection.

Edward C. Walthall Confederate Army general

Edward Cary Walthall was a general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War and a postbellum United States Senator from Mississippi.

On September 8, 1908, Sullivan led a lynch mob which murdered a black man named Nelse Patton, who had been accused of killing a white woman. William Sullivan was quoted a day later as saying, "I led the mob which lynched Nelse Patton, and I'm proud of it. I directed every movement of the mob and I did everything I could to see that he was lynched." [1]

Sullivan retired from active business and resided in Washington, D.C.. In 1918, he died in Oxford. Interment was in St. Peter's Cemetery.

Washington, D.C. Capital of the United States

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, the first president of the United States and a Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city, located on the Potomac River bordering Maryland and Virginia, is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.

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  1. "Ex-Senator Sullivan Will Stand Consequences for Directing Shooting". New York Times . September 10, 1908. Retrieved 2010-03-23. A special from Oxford, Miss., quotes former United States Senator W.V. Sullivan as follows with reference to the lynching last night
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John C. Kyle
Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Mississippi's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Thomas Spight
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Edward C. Walthall
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Mississippi
Served alongside: Hernando D. Money
Succeeded by
Anselm J. McLaurin