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This Day in Georgia History

September 17, 1825

Lucius Q.C. Lamar Born

Lawyer, politician, and U.S. Supreme Court justice Lucius Q.C. Lamar was born in Putnam County, Georgia. He graduated from Emory College in 1845, after which he read law and was admitted to the bar in 1847. Two years later, he moved to Mississippi. In 1849, he became a professor of mathematics at the University of Mississippi, but the next year he resigned and returned to Georgia, where he established a law practice in Covington. In 1853, he was elected from elected to the Georgia House of Representatives, where he served for one term. In 1854, he returned to Mississippi, where he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for two terms. During the Civil War, Lamar was co-founder and the first lieutenant colonel of the 19th Mississippi Infantry. In 1863, he also was sent by Jefferson Davis on a diplomatic mission to Russia. After the war, he returned to the University of Mississippi, where he served as chairman of the university’s law school (1867-70). In 1877, Lamar was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served until 1885, when President Grover Cleveland appointed him to serve as Secretary of the Interior. Three years later, he was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, where he served until his death on January 23, 1893, in Vineland, Georgia.