Landon Carter Haynes
Landon Carter Haynes (December 2, 1816 – February 17, 1875) was an
American politician who served as a Confederate States Senator from
Tennessee from 1862 to 1865. He also served several terms in the
Tennessee House of Representatives, including one term as Speaker
(1849–1851). In the early 1840s, Haynes worked as editor of the
Tennessee Sentinel, garnering regional
fame for his frequent clashes with rival editor, William "Parson"
Following the Civil War, Haynes moved to Memphis, where he practiced
law. His farm near Johnson City, the Tipton-Haynes Place, is now a
state historic site.
1 Early life
Tennessee politics, 1844–1859
3 American Civil War
4 Later life
6 Personal life
8 External links
Haynes was born near Elizabethton, Tennessee, the eldest child of
David Haynes, a land speculator, and Rhoda (Taylor) Haynes. He
attended the Anderson School in Carter County, and graduated from
Washington College near Jonesborough in 1838. Returning to
Elizabethton, he read law with T.A.R. Nelson. When Nelson moved to
Jonesborough in 1840, Haynes followed him to continue his study of
law. He was admitted to the bar in late 1840.
While still in Elizabethton, Haynes began to quarrel with William G.
"Parson" Brownlow, a former circuit rider who had left the ministry in
1839 to publish and edit the Whig, a radically pro-Whig newspaper
(ironically, he had been encouraged to establish this paper by
Haynes's mentor, Nelson). In March 1840, Brownlow accused Haynes of an
assassination attempt after an unknown assailant fired two shots at
him; Haynes suggested Brownlow fabricated the entire incident. A few
weeks later, Brownlow attacked Haynes with a cane, igniting a brawl
that ended with Haynes drawing a pistol and shooting Brownlow in the
In 1841, Haynes was hired as editor of the
Tennessee Sentinel, a
pro-Democratic Party newspaper that had been published by his
brother-in-law, Lawson Gifford, since 1835. Over the next five
years, Haynes and Brownlow engaged in a ruthless editorial war.
Brownlow described Haynes as a "public debauchee and hypocrite,"
and accused him of stealing corn and selling diseased hogs. Haynes
mocked Brownlow's lineage, dubbed him a "wretched abortion of
sin," and charged that he had once been flogged for stealing
jewelry in Nashville.
In 1842, Haynes converted to Methodism, and was licensed to preach as
a Methodist minister. In December of that year, he began to quarrel
with long-time minister C.W.C. Harris, who questioned his behavior
during his feud with Brownlow. At a church conference in January 1843,
Haynes charged Harris with falsehood, but Harris was acquitted. Harris
then charged Haynes with falsehood at a conference in February, and
Haynes was found guilty and barred from the ministry. Crowing about
the incident in the Whig, Brownlow stated that Haynes had been hanged
"on the gallows he prepared for another."
Tennessee politics, 1844–1859
Although a Whig in his youth, Haynes joined the Democratic Party in
1839. In 1844, he was an elector for James K. Polk, while his old
mentor, Nelson, was an elector for Henry Clay. While canvassing for
Polk, Haynes honed his skills as an orator, delivering eloquent
speeches in favor of Democratic positions, such as the annexation of
Texas. At one event, he accused Whigs of being "latitudinarious,"
prompting taunts from Brownlow, who stated there was no such word.
Haynes and Nelson would later serve as the respective electors for
Lewis Cass and
Zachary Taylor in 1848.
Haynes was elected to the
Tennessee House of Representatives in 1845.
As a legislator, he supported a repeal of the "quart" law (which
banned the sale of liquor in quantities of less than one quart), tried
to amend the bill chartering Jackson College to obtain funds for
Washington College and Tusculum, and tried to amend a banking bill to
establish branches of the state bank in each of the state's grand
divisions. In 1847, he was elected to the
Tennessee Senate. In this
capacity, he helped obtain funding for railroad construction and
improvements to the upper Holston River. He returned to the House in
1849, where he was elected Speaker by a 38–31 vote, and continued
championing railroad construction.
In 1851, a sizeable faction of the Democratic Party, angry with the
policies of incumbent 1st district congressman Andrew Johnson,
convinced Haynes to run against him in the general election (the Whig
Party opted not to field a candidate). In what would prove to be one
of Johnson's toughest campaigns, the two candidates canvassed the
district together, engaging in fierce debates in front of large
crowds. Haynes criticized Johnson's support for the Homestead Bill,
arguing it was an abolitionist measure, and accused Johnson of having
opposed railroad construction and supporting Whig candidates. Johnson
noted that Haynes had voted for Whig Governor
Newton Cannon in 1839,
and pointed out that Haynes had been expelled from the Methodist
ministry. Johnson won the election by just over 1,600 votes.
After a hiatus in which he focused on his law practice, Haynes
reentered politics in 1859 when he again ran for Congress. This time,
his opponent was his old law mentor, T.A.R. Nelson. Haynes championed
states' rights and secession, while Nelson ran on a pro-Union
platform. Unlike the 1851 campaign, the 1859 canvass was relatively
cordial, with Haynes at one point coming to Nelson's defense after a
newspaper had misquoted him. On election day, Nelson edged Haynes
by just 90 votes.
American Civil War
During the presidential election of 1860, Haynes was an at-large
elector for John C. Breckinridge, a position which required him to
canvass the entire state. At one point, he jointly campaigned with his
brother-in-law, Nathaniel G. Taylor, who was an elector for John
Bell. In January 1861, following Abraham Lincoln's victory, Haynes
joined a growing chorus of Tennesseans who called for the state to
align itself with the burgeoning Confederate States of America.
Haynes, photographed by
Mathew Brady during the Civil War
In July 1861, after
Tennessee had seceded, Haynes wrote to Confederate
Secretary of War LeRoy P. Walker, warning him that East
a hotbed of pro-Union activity, and expressing concerns that Unionists
might attack bridges along the critical East
Tennessee and Virginia
Railroad (the latter of which was realized in November when Union
guerrillas destroyed five railroad bridges in the region). He asked
that Confederate troops be sent to occupy parts of East
discourage Unionists, which Walker granted.
On October 24, 1861, the
Tennessee General Assembly elected Haynes to
one of the state's two seats in the Confederate Senate (the other went
to Gustavus A. Henry). As a senator, he sought higher pay for troops,
and introduced legislation that would allow pay for POWs to be sent to
their families. He supported conscription, but sought exemptions for
members of state militias and overseers of plantations with twenty or
more slaves. He supported the continued suspension of habeas corpus,
but called for an end to martial law, and demanded that any civilians
arrested for pro-Union activities be tried in civilian courts. Haynes
favored fiscal conservatism, and called for the sale of cotton and
tobacco to buy back Confederate-issued bank notes, which had
As the war came to an end in 1865, Haynes moved to Memphis, and was
granted amnesty by his old congressional opponent, Andrew Johnson, who
was now president. In June 1866, however, he was arrested and indicted
for treason by a Knoxville court (possibly at the urging of Brownlow,
who was now governor). In a letter to Johnson seeking another pardon,
he argued that he would not receive a fair trial in Knoxville, since,
"Mr. Brownlow ... does not love me with the tenderness of sensibility
which his pious profession and Christian duties require him to do."
Johnson granted the pardon a few days later.
Haynes spent the remainder of his life in Memphis, practicing law. In
1872, he attended a banquet in Jackson, Tennessee, where he was
introduced by Nathan B. Forrest, who pointed out that Haynes was from
the "godforsaken" pro-Union region of East Tennessee. Haynes responded
with a speech, "East Tennessee: An Apostrophe," in which he reminisced
about the region's beauty, and longed to return. The speech was
republished numerous times in subsequent years. Haynes died in Memphis
on February 17, 1875. He was initially buried in the city's Elmwood
Cemetery, but was reinterred in Jackson Cemetery in Jackson in
For decades after his death, Haynes was remembered primarily for his
speaking ability. T.A.R. Nelson described him as the "
America," and author Frank Richardson (1831–1912) called him a
"silver-tongued orator." During the Civil War, Johnson's Depot,
near Haynes's farm, was renamed "Haynesville" in his honor. After the
war, the town reverted to its original name, and incorporated as
Johnson City shortly afterward. Prior to his move to Memphis,
Haynes sold his farm, the Tipton-Haynes Place, to his brother-in-law,
Lawson Gifford. In 1945, Gifford's grandson sold the farm to the
Tennessee Historical Commission. The farm is now managed as the
Tipton-Haynes State Historic Site.
Haynes's paternal ancestors were of English (Haynes) and German
(Meckendorfer and Kern) descent. His maternal ancestors were of Irish
descent. His brother-in-law,
Nathaniel G. Taylor
Nathaniel G. Taylor (married to his
sister, Emaline), was a Whig congressman and Unionist. Taylor's sons
(Haynes's nephews) included
Alfred A. Taylor
Alfred A. Taylor (1848–1931) and Robert
Love Taylor (1850–1912), who would both serve as Governor of
Tennessee. During the Civil War, Haynes's father, David, protected the
family's property by telling Union soldiers he was the father-in-law
Nathaniel G. Taylor, while telling Confederate soldiers he was the
father of Landon Carter Haynes.
Haynes married Eleanor Powell around 1840. They had six children:
Robert, James, Helen, Mary, David and Joseph. Robert Haynes, son of
Landon, represented Madison County in the
Tennessee state legislature
in the 1880s.
^ Historical and Constitutional Officers of Tennessee: Speakers of the
Tennessee State Library and Archives. Retrieved: 29 January
Landon Carter Haynes
Landon Carter Haynes at Find a Grave
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s James Bellamy, "The Political
Career of Landon Carter Haynes," East
Tennessee Historical Society
Publications, Vol. 28 (1956), pp. 102-127.
^ a b c d e E. Merton Coulter, William G. Brownlow: Fighting Parson of
the Southern Highlands (Knoxville, Tenn.: University of Tennessee
Press, 1999), pp. 37-48.
^ Paul Fink, Jonesborough: The First Century of Tennessee's First Town
(Johnson City, Tenn.: Overmountain Press, 2002), p. 143.
^ Jonesborough Whig and Independent Journal, 20 August 1845.
^ Jonesborough Whig and Independent Journal, 20 November 1844.
^ Hans Trefousse, Andrew Johnson: A Biography (W.W. Norton and
Company, 1989), pp. 78-79.
^ a b Frank B. Williams, Jr., Review of The Papers of Andrew Johnson,
Volume 10, February–July 1866,
Tennessee Historical Quarterly,
Volume 52, No. 3 (Fall 1993), p. 204.
^ Lawrence Kestenbaum, "Taylor Family of Tennessee,"
Politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved: 30 January 2013.
^ Jonathan K.T. Smith, "My Riverside Cemetery Tombstone Inscriptions
Scrapbook Part VII," TNGenWeb.org, 1995. Retrieved: 30 January 2013.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Landon Carter Haynes.
Tipton-Haynes State Historic Site
"East Tennessee: An Apostrophe" – speech delivered by Haynes in 1872
Confederate States Senate
Confederate States Senator (Class 3) from Tennessee
Served alongside: Gustavus Henry
Confederate States Senators
H. Johnson (Ga.)
R. Johnson (Ark.)
W. Johnson (Mo.)
American Civil War portal