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Wade Keyes (October 10, 1821 – March 2, 1879) was a prominent Confederate politician.
He was born in Mooresville, Alabama, the son of General George and Nellie (Rutledge) Keyes. He was educated by private tutors and attended LaGrange College in Georgia and the University of Virginia before moving to Lexington, Kentucky, in late 1840s to study law. He had a daughter, Mary, by his marriage to a Miss Whitfield.
Keyes was a Methodist and a Democrat. He moved to Tallahassee, Florida, in 1844 where he practiced law and then he moved to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1851. He was the author of two volumes on legal subjects: An Essay on the Learning of Future Interests in Real Property (1853) and An Essay on the Learning of Remainders (1854). In 1853, Keyes was given the chancellorship for the Southern Division of Alabama.
Keyes was a secessionist. When the Civil War began, he volunteered for duty in the Confederate Army but assigned to staff duty in Richmond. Throughout the Civil War, he served as assistant attorney general for the Confederacy. During Judah P. Benjamin's term, Keyes actually conducted the affairs of the office. His opinions were detailed arguments backed by quotations from U.S. court cases.
After the war, he had a law practice in Florence, Alabama. Little else is known about his postwar career. He died in Florence.
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