Henry, a grandson of famed orator and revolutionary Patrick Henry, was a wealthy businessman, owning cotton plantations in Hinds County, Mississippi and Desha County, Arkansas. He was a classmate in law school with Jefferson Davis, and established a practice in Tennessee prior to the Civil War. Affiliated with the Whig Party, Henry campaigned for Henry Clay. In 1853 he was that party's candidate for governor, losing to Democrat Andrew Johnson by around 2250 votes.
Henry served in the Confederate States of America Senate from 1862–65 and was widely known as the "Eagle Orator of Tennessee." Through his personal friendship with President Davis, he was influential in the Confederate government. As senator, he was a powerful member of the finance and military committees. Early in the war, the state of Tennessee commissioned the construction of a pair of forts to protect the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. The fort on the Tennessee River was named "Fort Henry" in the Senator's honor (see Battle of Fort Henry).
Henry owned a large mansion overlooking the Cumberland River in Clarksville, Tennessee. Today the Emerald Hill Mansion is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and serves as the alumni center for the neighboring Austin Peay State University.
|Confederate States Senate||Confederate States Senator from Tennessee|
Served alongside: Landon Carter Haynes, Sr.
References[edit | edit source]